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We would like to share our knowledge and experience with you and hope our blogs help you find an ideal employee or secure your dream job.

  1. New Year, New Job…Start Looking Now!

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    Christmas is here! The time of frantically running around the shops, writing out Christmas cards, watching the same old Christmas classics and eating way too much! But what about job searching?

    It is very common for people put their job searches on hold over the Christmas period for a number of reasons; such as wanting to spend time with family and friends, being busy with Christmas get togethers & parties, using the time off to relax & catch up on some much-needed sleep, or thinking employers won’t be looking for new staff at this time.

    However, businesses do still look for new talent over the Christmas period and you could be missing out if you don’t start looking for your new job now! While most people are taking a break from work over Christmas and New Year, the Christmas holiday can be a great time to search for jobs, prepare applications and perfect your interview skills.

    Here are just some reasons why Christmas is a good time to find a new job for 2019:

    • A lot of people save their job hunt for January, which means there is a huge rush of job seekers looking for new jobs after Christmas. Beat this rush and get in there first!
    • There are a lot of people who put their job search on hold over Christmas, which means less competition for you if you continue looking for a new role.
    • HR Managers are easier to reach as there are less people to deal with and they are always looking for potential applicants, so by beating the rush, your CV will stand more chance of being seen.
    • Christmas is also the end of the year, which means businesses may have hiring budget left to use before the end of the year and will want to make sure people start as early as possible in January to ensure that this budget in not lost.
    • It gives you time to make sure your CV is up to date and relevant for the job you are applying for. If you would like some useful hints & tips, read our blog here ‘Is My CV Okay?’ Invest time in your CV before pressing submit and think about what the person reading your CV wants to see. No matter your experience, skills or education, be proud of your CV and truly sell yourself.

     

    We wish you all the luck in the world with finding your new job for 2019! If you would like to see our current vacancies across Kent, visit our vacancies section here. Your perfect job may be waiting for you!

  2. National Minimum Wage Increase in 2019

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    The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has announced the new increased rates of National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW). The increases will affect around 2.4 million workers.

    From April 2019, minimum pay rates will increase:

    • National Living Wage for workers aged 25 years plus will rise from £7.83 to £8.21 per hour.
    • National Minimum Wage rates for:
      • Workers aged 21 years –24 years will rise from £7.38 to £7.70 per hour.
      • Workers aged 18 years –20 years will rise from £5.90 to £6.15 per hour.
      • Workers aged 16 years –18 years will rise from £4.20 to £4.35 per hour.
      • Apprentice rate will rise from £3.70 to £3.90 per hour.
      • The accommodation offset rate will rise to £7.55.

     

    So, for example, a full-time worker aged 25 years plus on the National Living Wage will therefore receive an annual pay increase of £690.

     

    If you would like more information on the increased rates of National Living Wage (NLW) and National Minimum Wage (NMW), you can visit the GOV.UK website here.

  3. How To Support Someone who is Stressed at Work

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    Stress is a huge topic right now and it’s not surprising; more people are suffering from stress than ever before. An article published by The Guardian in May, 2018 highlights that three in four people in Britain feel overwhelmed by stress stating, “Mental health experts said the huge number of people affected should prompt employers, NHS staff and ministers to do more to reduce stress’s debilitating effects and provide more help.”

    So, what is stress? The Stress Management Society state, “Stress is primarily a physical response. When stressed, the body thinks it is under attack and switches to ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing a complex mix of hormones and chemicals such as adrenaline, cortisol and nor-epinephrine to prepare the body for physical action. This causes a number of reactions, from blood being diverted to muscles to shutting down unnecessary bodily functions such as digestion.”

    It is very difficult for someone to ask for help and support when they are feeling stressed at work, so how can you support them?

    • Recognise the symptoms and signs of stress: There are many different physical, behavioural, cognitive and emotional symptoms of stress. You may notice they are looking unwell or tired, not eating properly or not caring for themselves. They may have mood swings, are withdrawn, have lost their sense of humour, are easily irritated, short tempered, cannot concentrate, are agitated, can’t switch off, are indecisive or error prone. They may have become emotional or very negative about everything. It may not be something specific, but they just seem to be different to how they normally are.
    • Try and engage the person in conversation: Try a simple ‘How are you?’or ‘Fancy a coffee and a chat?’  This can be difficult to do but it could be the start of them getting help and acknowledging that someone is there for them, to make sense of how they are feeling. Try and encourage the person to talk about how they are feeling as this may help them start to feel better. Giving someone your time, patience and understanding can mean the world to someone who is stressed. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, then confide in another colleague, your boss, HR or someone else that you think the person is stressed and struggling and ask them to speak to the person.
    • Help them gain perspective:Try focusing on the positives. When someone is stressed, they become very negative and everything seems to be going wrong on their life. Offer help, support and be there for them; remind them that there are always choices and options.
    • Try to understand the causes: Whilst listening to the person you may pick up on what is causing them to feel stressed. You can ask open questions to help them explore what the causes are. For example, when do you feel the most stressed? You can help by saying what you think the causes are. “From what you have said it sounds like x and y are contributing to you feeling stressed.”This may help them realise what the causes are.
    • Encourage action: Gently encourage the person to think about what they could do and what action they could take. To begin with one small action is enough; they may decide to discuss it with their boss or their partner.

     

    If you would like more information on stress and any help you may need, you can visit The Stress Management Society website here. The Stress Management Society is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping individuals and companies recognise and reduce stress. They have an online test ‘Test Your Stress Today’ which you can visit here.

  4. Candidate Testimonial: Thank You Madeleine!

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    We love hearing from candidates who have been placed successfully. Here is a wonderful candidate testimonial from Madeleine:

    “I cannot thank Jo at Trapeze Recruitment enough for helping me to find a new job role. She never gave up on me and was constantly keeping me updated with any new vacancies that matched my skills set.  Jo has been very honest and never gave up on me. What sets her apart from other recruiters is her professionalism and her passion for the industry.”

    Thanks so much Madeleine and we wish you all the luck in the world!

     

    Are you looking for a new job? Contact us at hello@trapezerecruitment.co.uk and like our Facebook page to receive regular new job alerts.

     

    Are you an organisation looking for a new recruitment company? Contact us at hello@trapezerecruitment.co.uk.

  5. How You Use Facebook Could Damage Your Career

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    Social Media.  Isn’t it wonderful?   We are all so connected and up-to-date with the minutia of each other’s personal lives.  Indeed, every aspect of our lives can be played out on Facebook.  Every waking thought that we have we can share, the very minute we have it.  Thus, the good, the bad and the ugly – are out there and all available for the world to see at the press of a button.

    Whilst you might comfort yourself that you are aware of the privacy settings on Facebook have you ever considered how your profile and your posts might negatively impact upon your job and career prospects?  At Trapeze we are very mindful of the impact that a negative profile can have on current and prospective employers and so highlight some of the issues for you to consider:

    Be aware that when applying for a job by email, some prospective employers may use your email address to run an email plug-in such as Rapportive.  This search facility pulls all social media related information registered against your email account.  This means that prospective employers can gain access to your data.  Data that you have shared on social media platforms such as Facebook is therefore automatically sent to them.   This allows them to build a better picture of you as a person and prospective employee and can thus can seriously impact upon your future employment potential.

    Locking down your privacy settings is essential whether you are currently happy at work or looking to change jobs.  Last year saw a switch to graph search.  This means that your profile is not automatically hidden.  We’d urge you to create a list of your co-workers so that you can exclude them from any controversial posts and can’t access anything which your friends might tag you in.

    Whilst it may seem as though we are stating the obvious it never ceases to amaze us or our employing Clients…how many people continue to up-date their Facebook profile when they are off sick!  Even more so those who chose to spend time abroad to aid their recovery!  Even if the GP has sanctioned such a trip it won’t impress your boss or that co-worker who’s envious of you and just waiting for you to put a foot wrong.  We’d strongly advise against selfies of you topping up that all-over tan or celebrating your holiday by downing copious amounts of Ouzo whilst dancing to Zorba the Greek on the tops of the local taverna’s tables!  We’d urge you to leave your profile alone, whilst off sick.  Even regular posts of just how very sick you are could be easily mis-construed!  It’s a bit like liking every post you see on Facebook. It gives the impression that whatever you are doing, off sick or not, that you are not really ill or if at home, that you aren’t focused on much else, apart from social media.

    In fact, we’d advise you to strongly re-consider adding your boss or co-workers as friends on Facebook, however much you may feel that you all get along and are one happy family.

    In addition, making comments about your boss or colleagues or entering any disputes they find themselves in even on a personal level – is an absolute no-no.  However well-judged you may feel your comments are they can be negatively construed by current or future employers.  Complaining about work or colleagues on line is also a no-no as future employers will not want you to do the same to them.

    You should also stay off Facebook during working hours.  Looking deep into your lap whilst carrying out a task will only alert the boss to the fact that you aren’t focused and are looking at your phone.

    If you have any concerns with regard to your own employment or promotional prospects due to your profile on Facebook or other social media platforms and are applying for a job through Trapeze then do ask our advice. We can work with you to sharpen up your image, which may just help make that difference you require to land you that dream job.

     

    Are you looking for a new job? Contact us at hello@trapezerecruitment.co.uk and like our Facebook page to receive regular new job alerts.

     

    Are you an organisation looking for a new recruitment company? Contact us at hello@trapezerecruitment.co.uk.

  6. Attracting the Right Candidates

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    There is a definite art to successful recruiting and the devil is in the detail from the off. If you are to attract the right applicants for any given role, then it is imperative that proper attention is paid to the formulating/designing the recruitment advertisement.

    At Trapeze we understand the pitfalls of using generic advertising templates. Instead we take time with our employers to get to the very crux of what they are seeking from a candidate, what the job description entails and to iron out the detail to be true to the companies we represent. In turn this ensures that we target the attention of a wider audience of specifically qualified and suitable job seekers.  In addition, our advertising is optimized for the way that people search for jobs today, ensuring we obtain sufficient interest in the jobs being offered.

    Here are just some of the issues we carefully consider on our behalf:

    Attention Grabbing:  We like to open with an attention-grabbing statement or paragraph.

    Targeting:  We use key wording or specific terms which relate to the main aspects of the job to maximise the chances of hooking the interest of a suitable candidate.

    Being Open: Every organisation we work with has a special or unique feature and this is something we like to promote in the job content through to the preparation for the interview.   Promoting a particular company’s benefits for instance, may be key to attracting the personnel.

    Aware of Trends: By keeping a keen eye on the market and all aspects of recruitment, to include our competitors, we keep abreast of key or trend phrases in searches relating to specific jobs/roles.  Many companies lose the opportunity to recruit well because they are unaware of trends.  This inside knowledge is crucial in ensuring that your advertisement reaches a wider audience, giving us the opportunity to select only the best candidates for your consideration.

    We Don’t Exaggerate, Make Dishonest Statements or Use Jargon: It is as important to know what information to exclude from an advertisement as it is to know what information to include.  We believe in keeping advertising “real”.  We don’t use words such as global development when your company may operate in this country/county only.

    Our Test:  We do not become complacent.  We are always looking to experiment and challenge recruitment and advertising assumptions and methodologies to achieve better results and draw a wider audience.

    At the heart of our work is our relationship with you and a bond of trust.

     

    Are you looking for a new job? Contact us at hello@trapezerecruitment.co.uk and like our Facebook page to receive regular new job alerts.

     

    Are you an organisation looking for a new recruitment company? Contact us at hello@trapezerecruitment.co.uk.

  7. Interview Mistakes; Part Two

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    Did you miss part one of this blog last week? You can read it here.

    Never have first impressions mattered more than when being interviewed for a job. It is essential to use this opportunity to showcase your best qualities and ensure that you are memorable for all the right reasons. Nerves do play their part in the interview process and everyone has areas that they could improve upon. However, it is often the most common errors that can mean the difference between getting the job and not getting the job!

    Our advice? Avoid these common interview mistakes:

    Criticising previous employers or colleagues

    Complaining about colleagues and drawing attention to the negative aspects of your previous or current job is a huge no-no! This can give employers the wrong impression about you and could make them question what you would say about them in similar circumstances.

    No matter the reason for you leaving your previous or current employment, always be diplomatic. Instead of highlighting the mistakes of others, emphasise the positive steps you took to overcome them. This shows how proactive you can be.

    Failing to ask questions

    As the interview comes to an end, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions you would like to ask them. Never say no! This is your opportunity to get answers to your queries about the role and the company. Asking a couple of relevant questions shows your interest in the role; ask about any current major projects your team is working on, progression opportunities or where the company sees itself in five years’ time.

    Avoid asking how much paid leave you are entitled to and how soon you can book holidays or if you can work from home. Also avoid asking a question if the answer has already been covered during the interview. Prepare at least four questions; that way you have always got a backup!

    How to succeed at interview

    Try to relax and show your natural personality; the employer will get a much better feel of how you will fit into their team if you do. Take comfort from the fact that if you are being interviewed, the organisation is already impressed with what you have to offer.

    Enthusiasm and a positive attitude go a long way and instantly make a more appealing candidate. Throughout the interview, reiterate your motivation for the role and the company. Employers like forward thinking people, who can commit so talk about the future of the company and your role within it.

    Lastly, observe the basics. It can be easy to underestimate the power of good manners, regular eye contact, a firm handshake or a smile. Be polite to everyone you meet, as you never know who might be on the selection panel!

  8. Interview Mistakes; Part One

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    Never have first impressions mattered more than when being interviewed for a job. It is essential to use this opportunity to showcase your best qualities and ensure that you are memorable for all the right reasons. Nerves do play their part in the interview process and everyone has areas that they could improve upon. However, it is often the most common errors that can mean the difference between getting the job and not getting the job!

    Our advice? Avoid these common interview mistakes:

    Arriving unprepared

    Preparation before an interview is crucial to arriving confident and ready to answer the interviewer’s questions. Read up on the company’s background, its place in the market and its competitors, and familiarise yourself with its key team members. Make sure that you fully understand the job role, as failing to do so will make you look uninterested.

    Prepping for an interview can take many forms and research into the organisation is just one of them. Being prepared also means figuring out how you are going to get to your interview, planning your route and factoring in any delays you may encounter. Sometimes delays are unavoidable and if the circumstances are out of your control, they should understand. Take the details of your interview contact with you, so you can let them know if you are going to be delayed.

    Wearing the wrong clothes

    Being well presented is a must, so choose your outfit carefully. Knowing the type of company, you have applied to should give you an idea of the expected dress code. However, if in doubt always go too formal than not formal enough. You need to make sure that you look the part and feel confident.

    The balance of talking too much or not enough

    Learning to get the right balance between talking too much and talking too little can be a challenge. Taking part in practice interviews with family or friends can really help to ensure that you give the right amount of information. It’s important to sell your skills and experience without ‘waffling’.

    When the interviewer asks a question, pause for a couple of seconds, take a breath and gather your thoughts before responding. If you’re talking too much or too fast, you also run the risk of talking over or interrupting the interviewer.

    Employers understand that nerves play a part in the process, so if your mind goes completely blank politely ask for a couple of seconds to gather your thoughts or ask if it’s convenient to come back to the question at the end, once you’ve had some time to think.

     

    Make sure you read Part Two next week!

  9. Telephone Interview Questions; Part Two

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    Did you miss part one of this blog last week? You can read it here.

    A telephone interview is a pre-scheduled job interview. Popular with recruitment agencies and employers alike; they save time and help to keep interview costs down. However, telephone interviews do have their challenges. In most cases, you will be answering questions under a strict time limit and this can increase nerves. Not being able to see the interviewer also presents its own difficulties, as you’re unable to make a connection.

    Tips for telephone interviews

    Pick a suitable location – Avoid noisy, public spaces and instead choose a private, quiet location such as your home. If you live with family or friends, warn them in advance of the call that you need some peace. Unless your mobile is charged and receiving full reception, use a landline. Turn electronic devises to silent to avoid distraction.

    Dress to impress – You shouldn’t treat telephone interviews any differently than face-to-face interviews. Dressing for the part helps to put you in a professional frame of mind and boosts confidence.

    Smile – Smile to ensure that the interviewer hears the enthusiasm in your voice from the start. To covey energy and confidence, think about taking the call standing up.

    Refer to your notes – Being able to have application documents and your notes to hand is one of the main advantages of a telephone interview, but don’t rely on them too much. Use concise bullet points as prompts, rather than pages of possible answers.

    Have a glass of water ready – Interview nerves and lots of talking can lead to a dry mouth, so have a glass of water – the same as in a face-to-face interview.

    Ask for clarification – If you miss a particular question, do not try to second guess what it might have been. Apologise and politely ask the interview if they can repeat it.

    Take notes – If you’re able to multitask, write down any useful information provided by the employer and the questions you’re asked during the interview. These notes could be a valuable resource if you’re invited for a second interview.

    Following up an interview

    Just like in face-to-face interviews, employers expect you to have questions of your own. These could be about the role or the company. Stay away from questions about salary, holiday entitlement or start dates. It’s also perfectly acceptable, if the interviewer hasn’t mentioned it previously, to enquire about the next stage of the process and when you should expect to hear from them.

    If you don’t hear back within a week, give them a call or send a short email to follow up. Reiterate your interest in the role and thank them again for their time. If you’ve been unsuccessful on this occasion, use this as a chance to ask for feedback on your performance so you can use the lessons learned in future applications.

  10. Telephone Interview Questions; Part One

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    A telephone interview is a pre-scheduled job interview. Popular with recruitment agencies and employers alike; they save time and help to keep interview costs down. However, telephone interviews do have their challenges. In most cases, you will be answering questions under a strict time limit and this can increase nerves. Not being able to see the interviewer also presents its own difficulties, as you’re unable to make a connection.

    How to prepare

    Just like in any other interview scenario, you need to research the industry, organisation and job role. Visit the company website, competitor sites and read relevant news articles. Do this in advance, so you are well prepared. You can also plan your responses to frequently asked questions by preparing a list of examples of when and how you’ve demonstrated each skill or quality listed in the person specification.

    A confident phone manner doesn’t come naturally to all and some candidates may feel uncomfortable talking over the phone. To increase your confidence when talking over the phone, ask family or friends to call you for a mock interview. Use your research and planned responses to answer their questions and treat this practise as the real thing.

    Telephone interview questions

    When answering the call, you need to be professional and positive. If you’ve pre-arranged an interview time, make sure you are ready when the phone rings. Answer with ‘Good morning/good afternoon, (your name) speaking and maintain this professional tone throughout the interview.

    When answering questions. be aware of the pace of your speech. Time is limited but don’t rush or mumble, despite your nerves. Your responses need to demonstrate your knowledge of, and enthusiasm for the role.

    One of the main challenges to telephone interviews is that without visual clues from the interviewer, it can be hard to gauge how you are doing. In a face-to-face interview, you’re able to take direction from the employer’s body language and visual responses, but this is not possible over the phone. When you’re being interviewed in person, you are also able to smile and show the interviewer that you’re engaged. Make sure you smile during your telephone interview; it really does come across!

    Make sure you read Part Two next week!