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Our Specialist Divisions

We're not everything to everyone

With over 190 years of recruitment experience within the team, we are confident in our knowledge, skills and expertise. We are a specialist agency which means whilst we would love to be able to do everything for everyone, we can't. We have four defined divisions to ensure the service you receive is focused, dedicated and tailored to your needs. 


Make Cherry Professional the first call if you're contemplating your career/hiring into your team. 

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Candidates

If you’re looking for a new finance or office role in the East Midlands, we provide introductions to leading employers and all the support you need to make the most of the available opportunities. As the region’s leading finance and office recruitment agency, we’ll use our expertise, knowledge and networks to help you secure the right role in the right company, enabling you to achieve your aspirations and ambitions.

Clients

We’ll find the best candidates for your roles and enable you to recruit the right people for your business. We get results through relationships, working closely with you to build a deep understanding of your requirements, preferences and priorities. We can then make sure that you get the most from our expertise, knowledge and networks so we can move quickly to secure the skills and talent you need.

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Cherry Professional

a bit about us

About us

​We strive to be the most trusted finance and office recruitment partner in the East Midlands; the first call if you are contemplating your career or hiring into your team. We know that people make business happen and in recruitment that couldn’t be more true. Our entire business is built on long termtrusting relationships with candidates and clients alike. We truly value how important your ambitions are and that is why we work tirelessly to understand your needs.

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Latest Blogs

 

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Paid less because you're female.

#BetterForBalance, this year’s International Women’s day theme. Although international Women’s day was back in March, the battle of equality is one we continue to fight! Over the last several decades women have worked tirelessly to break stereotypes, glass ceilings and constraints, yet gender inequality is still prevalent. When this year’s gender pay gap report was published, it found that hundreds of ‘big firms’ saw an increase in their gender pay gaps(gasps), that’s around 2 in 5 companies. I was surprised at this, especially considering there has been numerous campaigns and social events to minimize it. But, why has there been an increase? Dharshini David, BBC’s economics correspondent suggests that as a result of an influx of female hires in junior positions the gap has widened and progressing them through the ranks could take years. I understand that this could be a contributing factor, but I am skeptical to it being the sole cause, aren’t you? Yes, there has been a 121% increase in women within accounting and finance roles which is fantastic, but for every 10 men in senior roles there is only 1 woman!! Even more significant there is an average 21.5% gender pay gap. So, what the 121% increase really means is that MORE women are getting paid less than their male counter-part to do the same job. Along with construction, finance as a sector has the largest gender pay gap. Does it come as much of a shock? No? We didn’t think so either. It’s no secret that finance has long been an industry monopolized by men, nonetheless it does not justify the vastness of the gap. So, what does the 21.5% gender pay difference mean? In theory women work for FREE 1hour and 40 minuets each day. That totals to 57 days a year. Shocked? Even more jaw dropping a senior CFO role where the average salary in the UK is £106,980, a woman could be getting paid a staggering £23,000.70 less than her male counter-part. Think of what you could do with that amount of money. Luckily, it’s not too late to rectify it. In fact, real women are taking real action to make themselves heard! Recently we saw Carrie Gracie resign from her position as China Editor at the BBC over equal pay, after the GPA report was released. For a company that claims to be ‘golden standard’ you would have expected it to be the last place to see the gender pay gap have such a large effect! The BBC has since said that it has now made “significant reforms”. If you don’t know the gender pay gap in your business be keen to find out. Although you’re not legal obliged to report into .GOV if your company has 250 employees or less, it is something you should know and be aware of. Research supports the claim that diversity is not only economically beneficial but essential for the wellbeing of your staff. Companies who invest in diversity and inclusion have a 57% better team collaboration and increase their staff retention by 19%, saving them around £11,000 a year. In this current skill short market finding new talent to replace staff is becoming increasingly difficult, so any way to retain staff need must be acted on! Want to know if your salary is competitive or are you interested what you could be paid depending on your career? Or if you’re an employer wanting to know how you could be competitively playing your staff take a moment to fill in our Salary Survey!

Libby McCaughey

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Why you need to think about your staff's well-being!

Renowned corporate wellbeing expert Dr Cary Cooper found that, new research from Close Brothers reveals employers are underestimating the impact, of poor employee financial wellbeing in the workplace. 88% of employers think that their employees worry about money but only a third (30%) think that money worries impact their staff while at work. Sadly, the reality is quite different as 73% of employees said that money worries do impact them at work. “Employers don’t just underestimate how many employees are affected by poor financial wellbeing in the workplace, they also underestimate the scale of the problem. In Close Brothers’ newly developed Financial Wellbeing Index, employees score their wellbeing in seven areas of financial health; employees across the UK scored themselves an average of just 53.6 out of 100. Whereas, employers given the same test, estimated their employees’ financial wellbeing at 70.5 – nearly a third higher than the reality.” This reality gap isn’t helpful for employee understanding and engagement, but it’s also restricting maximising their people strategies and impacting business performance. 22% of employers confirmed that poor financial wellbeing has led to reduced productivity, 19% recorded higher absences whilst another 22% said it caused them to lose talent all together. The current skill short employment market makes retention and attraction a top priority for businesses across the UK. One of the ways to improve retention is to implement a comprehensive Financial Wellbeing Strategy for employees. 27% of organisations surveyed said they plan to implement one. Why? Implementing a framework like this could help employees feel more stable and supported at work, it could offer solutions to financial worries that employers haven’t thought of, whilst they have been occupied feeling the stress and pressure of it. Take a look at Simplyhealth’s wellbeing strategies they suggest you should be implementing in the work place to help you to gain an idea of what will work best for you! It is vital that you are paying your staff what they deserve. The more they feel valued in your company the more they will feel motivated to perform! If you are unsure or feel you may be undervaluing your staff take a look ar our salary survey. It is designed for candidates to compare their salaries for roles and experience, it will enable you to gather a better understanding of what is best for you to be doing for your employees. “Conversely, the benefits of improving employee financial wellbeing are clear. Of those organisations that are already tackling the issue, nearly a third (30%) say that it helps improve employee productivity, a quarter (24%) say it assists in talent acquisition and retention, and 22% say that it helps to fulfil their strategic business objectives.” In today’s world it’s critical to try and retain current talent as well as, working on attracting new skilled candidates into the work place. It isn’t just higher salaries and maximised benefits that can make employees feel valued and supported. Implementing initiatives to support a person’s wellbeing weather that’s financially, mentally or physically will set you apart as an employer. It will inevitably improve productivity, retention and over all business aims.

Melissa Kilday

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6 Things you didn’t know about how to manage stress.

Studies have found that stress can be beneficial…HOW? Stress can actually improve memory and focus. But, like anything, if you have too much of it, then the effects can be detrimental to not only your mental but also your physical health. Let’s face it, stress is an unfortunate side effect to human life and whichever way we turn there is something that can potentially cause you stress. So what are the main causes of stress? In a recent study by Mind, it stated that 1 in 3 people said that their work life is quite or very stressful. Why does work cause people to feel more stressed than debt or financial problems? Well, having an overwhelming workload, tight/unrealistic deadlines and a lack of support from management or other colleagues are just some of the main triggers of stress. Do they sound familiar to you? Don’t fret we have some tips to help you recognise and manage your stress levels. Triggers! Take note of what situations cause you stress, write it in a journal or anywhere were you can reflect on those situations that bought on your stress and how you reacted to and managed the pressure. Keeping a physical note of this can give you the chance to reflect and you can put strategies in place to tackle your triggers. Balance! Around 80% of people check their phone and emails when they wake up before doing anything else. We advise you to always set work-life boundaries to make sure you aren’t stressing over emails at the dinner table or being woken up early by work calls. Start by making a small change like putting on call forwarding at home and on the weekend and make adjustments from there. Communication! You shouldn’t suffer in silence. If you feel as though you are drowning underneath a massive workload, communication with your manager is vital. Remember, stress IS NOT a sign of weakness. Make a note of all the things that are causing you stress, try coming up with a solutiontion to manage your work load. Make suggestions to eliminate distractions or even hiring a temp to help support the business if necessary. Relax! Did you know that in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe? That means we spend less time doing the things that we really enjoy, the things that make us happy and reduce stress. Make a conscious effort to leave the office at on time to do something you enjoy doing. Take a break at work. Try a mindfulness or meditation app, breathing exersices or simply just going for a walk to get away from a screen for a while. What is best for you? That is sometimes the hardest thing for most of us. It requires time and criticism of yourself and your current work place. It can make you feel stressed and anxious or you may decide that where you are currently working isn’t the right place for you anymore and we know that search for a new role can add to the stress. That’s why we would always recommend talking to a confidential and unbiased source to advise on what your options are. Empower!! Create a strong support structure. Having a network of people who listen to eachother, knowing you’re not alone in your feelings and it allows you to see situations from other perspectives. You’ll be able to share and receive advice, empowering others and in turn, being empowered! The next time you have an unmanagble stressful day, look to these tools to help bring you back to a better headspace; remember to, “check on your strong collegues, your quiet collegues, your ‘happy’ collegues, your creative collegues, check on eachother” and help where you can. When the people around you feel overwhelmed by stress, be supportive and they will do the same for you! Share these tips with your team to let them know you’re here for them. We need eachother!

Libby McCaughey

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What Game of Thrones can teach you about recruitment

Yes, you read that right, Game of Thrones holds some valuable lessons when it comes to hiring and recruitment! The world eagerly anticipates the Game of Thrones return for its final season on 14th April, the team here at Cherry Professional cannot wait! Most of us are binging on previous seasons just to get us through the next nine days. But what can Game of Thrones teach you when it comes to important business decisions. Well hold onto your dragons! Bias out, Objectivity in. Now, let us begin with a throwback to where it all began in season 1. We all can recall that haunting scene … the beheading of Ned Stark. We watched, jaws open, while Joffrey had the Protector of the Realm executed. Following the death of King Robert Baratheon, Cersei named Joffrey as King and branded Ned a traitor. Joffrey lacked skill and Cersei lacked objectivity, which is a perfect match for complete anarchy, cue the next 7 seasons! If we take a moment to imagine Cersei took time to evaluate her candidates, Ned and Joffrey, free of bias and objectivity, and she chose to name Ned as King. Okay so there probably would have been no season two, and yes, it’s bad for the world of entertainment but what is important for recruiters to take from this is to make objective decisions and remove bias when considering a new hire! Diversity. Moving on swiftly to season two when we watched Theon Greyjoy make his way back to Pyke on horseback, with a young woman he later discovers is his older sister, Yara. Theon pledged alliances to his father, which were quickly rejected! Rubbing salt into the wound his father King Balon, exclaimed he had entrusted Yara with leading his assault. Disgusted with his decision, Theon argues his sister is unfit to rule, primarily as she is a woman. This is a much more obvious lesson. Yara leads her assault successfully despite Theon’s doubts. Similarly, Brienne Tarth proves herself a worthy warrior and is appointed to the Kingsguard, even though she too was an unlikely fit as a female knight. It’s important to consider how diverse your workforce is and actively work to widen it! Preparation This now leads us to ensuring that you are hiring correctly and what measures you can take to do so. Daenerys Targaryen is a perfect example for a correctly hiring employer, or shall we say Protector of the Seven Kingdoms with a clear idea of who she wanted to hire. When appointing her next advisor while she was continuing her quest for the throne, Daenerys needed someone who had knowledge of the geography and politics of Westeros. She needed them to be an intellectual, not loyal to the throne and able to balance her lack of experience of ruling. This is what you call a candidate spec. When Daenerys hired Tyrion Lannister, she kept this candidate persona in mind. Although he is cruel to his enemies, he shows people closest to him great compassion. He is witty, smart and his problem solving skills speak for themselves. It is imperative to make an exhaustive candidate spec when considering your next hire, to ensure you find the perfect fit! Right fit. What do you recall about Podric? That he was seemingly awkward? Or perhaps completely incompetent? Well, Podric was a completely loyal and dedicated squire, he provided a priceless service for both his Masters and surprisingly defends and saves one in battle. What he lacked in experience he made up for with complete dedication to his role. I ask you to now think back to a time when you were sat facing a candidate who was completely perfect on paper, did they tick every box on your list? Did they however lack passion for your organization? You need to seek candidates who are genuinely interested in your organisation; understand where you’re located, your core values, and so on. You want to hire passionate people, hopefully traits that will lead to dedication and loyalty in the future. So there you have it – a crash course in how to turn your favorite show into useful material! While these lessons have come from a somewhat trivial source, they are important none the less. They are imperative when it comes to new hires and they should remain in the back of your mind when doing so.

Libby McCaughey

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Mental Health: Tackling workplace stigmas

Metal Health: Tackling workplace stigmas “Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients”. – Richard Branson. Over the last few years mental health has become a widely talked about topic from some very high-profile names, not to mention a number of campaigns to continue to raise awareness and to educated people on mental health. Despite this, there is much to tackle when it comes to mental health in the work place. Why do we find it more comfortable to talk about mental health from an objective point of view? Why do we find it so difficult to open up about our own experiences? Many people still put on a brave face and smile when it comes to their own mental health because they fear letting their emotions show will be seen as a sign of weakness or maybe effect their career prospects and have negative reproductions. We can understand why people this way, these are not irrational fears, in 2017 a report showed 15% of employees who disclosed a mental health related issue faced a demotion or a dismissal. What are you doing to makeyourstaff feel like it is safe to talk to you? Did you know, 1 in 6 workers are affected by conditions such as anxiety and depression every year? According to Mind1 in 4 people experience a mental health illness at any given time; so, the chances are, right now, while you’re reading this, someone in your office is suffering in silence. What can you do to shift these attitudes? How can you create safe environments where your staff feel empowered to openly talk about their issues without the fear of judgment or discrimination? Flexibility. 60% of employees have experience mental health issues in the past year due to work.Stress, anxiety and depression can be trigged by many things depending on the individual, while someone may find presentations and meetings stressful others may fear working alone. Being flexible is a necessity, your employees health and wellbeing are paramount and in the long term this approach will only benefit your business. Stress is the leading cause of sickness absence in the UK costing on average £1,035 per employee per year. So, making some adjustments right now could help reduce absenteeism in your business. Culture and Leadership. It’s yourresponsibility to not only promote good mental health but to actively take steps to create that environment where your staff feel safe talking about it. Putting in place a set of rules or policies isn’t enough, a complete culture change needs to take place in order to change the way people perceive and handle mental health. CEOs, business owners and leaders need to speak up about mental health, stopping the taboo and helping make it an issue people are comfortable discussing. Education and awareness. Its mandatory for organisations to train people on new software, policies and procedures, there is little or no training on how to deal with human issues. Guidance is needed for your HR teams and Managers in order for them to appropriately deal with mental health issues. They need to be able to spot signs and symptoms within their teams and feel confident discussing it. Mind and Rethink offer amazing training programmes to help create work places where stigmas and discrimination don’t exist. Communication. Since the middle of the twentieth century companies have conducted annual audits to track employee performance. However today work has become so fast paced, it is less predictable, stable and repetitive. It’s important to make time for more regular meetings one to one with your employees even if its once every other week, just to check where they are, how they’re feeling and what can be done if they are struggling. While workplace stress is a real problem, your approach to it can make a huge difference. By following the strategies outlined above will help identify and reduce stress in the workplace. We hope you continue to learn how to tackle and talk about stress at work and if there are any great tricks you think are helpful that we have missed off, please let us know!

Libby McCaughey

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"The Power of Thinking without Thinking"

Unconscious bias is a fact of life. Everyone harbours them – and unknowingly takes them into the work place. These deeply embedded subconscious attitudes span, race, appearance, age, gender, wealth and much more. They make mental shortcuts based on social norms and stereotypes, conclusions made so quickly and so quietly it goes quite unnoticed. This hidden drive stymie diversity and retention rate to even how you chose to promote or not promote. Not to mention undermine your recruiting efforts and employee development, and your organisation’s culture. Its not a new idea but has be the centre of Malcom Gladwells Blink - the influence behind this blog. And it is certainly frightening how something so primitive and uncontrollable can be so detrimental to your business. Unconscious biases are prevalent and permeate throughout the workplace from all levels as everyone carries these prejudices but are completely unaware of them, even when they may completely believe that decimation and prejudices are wrong. They cause decisions to be made in favour of one group, decrementing others. For example, Queensland University found that blonde women’s salaries were 7% higher than women with brunette or red hair. So now we can see how something minute as the colour of someone’s hair can lead our mind to jump to conclusions. What you thought of unconscious bias before beginning this read, you now know goes much deeper than just gender and race. Tall men may find the unconscious bias to work in their favour within the corporate world. Around 58% of Fortune 500 CEOs were all just shy of six feet tall. Let me put that into some perspective, 14.5% of men in the overall American population is six foot or taller. Even more striking is that 3.9% of the male American population is six foot two or taller! So over a third of that 14.5% is a CEO at a Fortune 500 company. Just to push on that pain, an inch in height is worth $789 per year in salary. Why do we fall for tall men? MIT and University of Chicago sent 5,000 CVs to 1250 employers. Each employer received 4 CVs, one average candidate and one above average, one with a “typically white” name the other a “typically black” name. “Typically white” names received 50% more call backs than applicants with “typically black names”. More shockingly even though the black candidate was more skilled than the white candidate, the white candidate still received more call backs! We are currently in a skill short market, so to have your unconscious bias eliminating people from the hiring process so quickly will mean you missing out on some real talent. Can you afford that? Google publically admitted that when it came to diversity it could be doing better. Even some of the biggest businesses have recognised they’re guilty, but at least they’re doing something about it. Google blamed the lack of diversity on unconscious bias and went on to announce its “bias-busting” initiative. It included workshops and seminars designed to identify and address unconscious bias within the work place. They also released a tape of one of their seminars that is now available to watch in YouTube. Ultimately the training made employees more comfortable in recognising unconscious bias and in calling out themselves and others for it. Now 20% large American companies provide unconscious bias training to all employees. What are you doing to eliminate it in your office? Here are some suggestions to reduce bias in your recruitment and hiring efforts. Vet your job averts for suggestive language! Using extreme pro-masculine or pro-feminine vocabulary or requirements can deter potential candidates. Words such as “exhaustive”, “enforcement” and “fearless” can prove more enticing for male applicants whereas, “transparent” “catalyst and “in touch with” attracted a more feminine tone. Widen your net! Actively pursue diversifying your team, studies have showed a correlation between a more diverse team and increase in financial takings. Ultimately the more diverse the company the more money it was making. Script your interviews! Setting predetermined interview questions and paying attention to the setting to ensure a level playing field. Most recently a London based recruitment firm is now trailing robots to conducts its interviews. Training! Follow Google and other major companies and take the time to educate your staff and address the problem instead of hiding behind it. Invest in training days. In 2018 Starbucks closed all of its stores for the day to host a mandatory training day for all employees on race awareness. Be aware of the consequences! And this is why you need to be doing something about it. 6,000 black people in the state of Iowa claimed that they were victims, not to overt or deliberate discrimination but that potential employers were subconsciously favouring whites. Yes subconsciously. Well they sued for $67 million less earnings. In an effort to reduce bias and promote inclusivity, we hope that you will take active steps with in yourselves and your business to implement strategies to support it. It would be great to hear of any active initiatives you have to take unconscious bias in the work place.

Libby McCaughey

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Employee Attrition vs. Employee Turnover: What you need to know.

1 in 3 workers will leave their job to work somewhere else by 2020. Do you like the sound of that statistic? No? Neither do we. There are a number of metrics that many companies use in order to measure the efficiency of their recruitment. Employee attrition and employee turnover are often used interchangeably, but they do represent two different types of employee “churn”. Employee attrition is referencing to the lifestyle of your employees, and how it affects their work. Some examples include, leaving due to a moved, changes in family circumstances, or even going back to school. It’s not negative, they aren’t leaving because of an issue but rather a life change. When unwanted employee attrition takes place, the company tends to be downsizing, struggling financially or perhaps are going in a new direction. Employee turnover, can come as a result of an unsuccessful recruit, culture clashes and dysfunctional teams, but a massive 80% of employee turnover is a direct result of poor hiring. When employee churn occurs, as a result of turnover, the vacancy needs to be filled quickly. Did you also know that the cost of replacing a high-level employee is anywhere up to 400% of their annual salary! Just to put that in to perspective, if an executive is making £120,000 a year, the true loss of your company would be around 213% of that, totalling a huge £255,600. Would you be willing to pay this just because of a poor hire? The KPMG and REC 2019 Markit report released last month recorded that candidate supply was at an all-time low. Widespread reports concluded steady increase in vacancies but a continuous rapid decline in candidates to fill them. This brings us on to can you spot employee turnover before it happens? There are a number of indicators that help identify those employees whose minds are elsewhere. Key indicators include: - Absenteeism! Are they under work related stress? If you notice staff having extended leave. Are they applying for new jobs and interviewing elsewhere? - Disengagement! On average 73% of unengaged works are looking for work elsewhere. Are your staff “zoning” out? - Productivity! Unhappy staff produce 10% less work! So if your highest performers are under performing ask them why? What is going to help keep their focus and increase productivity? But ultimately it is down to preventing the problem from the get go, and cutting that scary 80% of poor hiring down. Consider using a recruitment partner to save you time finding the right recruit with the correct skill set. Use skill testing programmes to short list the candidates you’re looking for and finally encourage new candidates to meet the team to prevent cultural misfits. Seek assistance for hiring, it will relive the load from your own desk and/or your HR department and in turn prevent hiring people who don’t fit into your organisation. WE take care of everything recruitment related to make your search as smooth as possible. We build a deep understanding of your requirements, preferences and priorities to ensure candidates are a great fit culturally as well as having the right skills. You can either cherry pick what works for you or pick Cherry and we will find the perfect candidates to for you.

Libby McCaughey

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16 days till the end of the fiscal year ... How to manage the stress!

Yes, it’s that time of the year again, you’ve spent months in building anticipation for it. No it’s not summer, and unfortunately not your holiday. It’s the end of the financial year. The time financial teams across the nation dread, a sort of time-honoured tradition for accountants as they scramble to meet looming deadlines. Stress levels mount and pressure builds, as they prepare to sign off accounts, complete paperwork and collate reports. We can sympathise. Like any other company we are trudging through the same swamp. We know the pain of the 12 hour days during the bleakest months of the year. We know you’re juggling a million other things, the company doesn’t close its doors so end of year tasks can be completed, there will inevitably be ongoing projects, perhaps payroll to submit and month end reports to complete. You then start unknowing projecting stress into your life outside of work, frustrated to find a cue to get your much needed caffeine fix. For those of you sharing these woes know you’re not alone, here are our tips to help you survive this intensely stressful time. Delegate! You know that your team is your most valuable asset. Your job is to ensure that they maintain focus on the most pressing tasks. It is critical to prioritise tasks and balance the work load efficiently. While you may see delegation as a loss of control, it is a beneficial tool empower your team and keep them focused. It is valuable to explore adding temporary contracted employment to help ease your teams work load. We can help minimise the stress on your team, allowing them to keep focused and consistently meeting deadlines! Review! It’s fairly obvious and I’m sure most of you are already doing it but “if your fail to plan you plan to fail” really is true. While it’s easy to have the aspiration to plan, it can be a tricky task to execute, perhaps try to spend Monday mornings drawing up a rough idea of the week to come, know meetings scheduled, deadlines coming up and listing tasks that have to be completed in order of urgency. At the end of each day take 5 minutes to review, and reshape accordingly in order to make progress. It’s easier to chew small bites than to swallow something whole. You may discover your team are burning out, to improve efficiency you may need to add staff. Mindfulness! Everyone can agree that the end of the financial year feels like it goes on for a lifetime! But it’s important to remember that it doesn’t. And to sprinkle salt on a wound it is winter, its cold, wet and you can rest assured that you won’t be seeing daylight for the next few weeks, as you make it to work before day breaks and you leave long after the sun sets. Alas there is a light shining through the trees, there is a clear goal in sight. Keep focused on the ‘now’, maintain competing short-term deadlines and reshape plans day by day to adapt and overcome obstacles. Don’t be distracted by asking “what if”. Have faith in your work, and tackle the complications when they present themselves. Negative thinking will never help, try to stay positive! Motivation! The last quarter of the year can be the more stressful than other months combined. It marks the clearing of social calendars, missing your loved ones and resorting to microwave meals when you eventually do make it home. It is important to keep yourself and your team motivated throughout this time. Keep moral up by presenting small rewards, occasional team lunches to keep you all feeling connected. During a time of very little joy and a whole load of stress it will remind you and your team that you are not alone, you’re in it together. Adding temporary employees can spread weight of the work and allow your team to make time for the small things, in turn keeping them motivated. If you can see the stress in beginning to produce cracks in your team it may be time for you to review your approach. Yes it will always be a busy time and yes stress is inevitable but it’s about how you can minimise stress, reduce errors and improve the efficiency.

Libby McCaughey

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What it takes to become a global success like Owen Farrell...

We’ve all heard it time and time again, “Practice makes perfect.” Does it? In a team of some of the best rugby players across the globe, we have been discussing what truly makes a perfect pro. Back in 2018 England lost to France and Ireland, this year they have come all guns blazing recently beating both teams. So what is different this year? Is it because they’ve learnt from their mistakes or have they practiced harder and put in more hours surely? For those who have been living in the remote wilderness for the last 10 years, Malcom Gladwells Outliers: The Story of Success details the importance of the 10,000 hour rule, using examples from the global success of The Beatles to Bill Gates technological career. Much like Owen Farrell’s success as becoming the world’s best rugby goal kicker. Gladwell identifies how successful people, practice eight hours a day, seven days a week, for five years, before they are experts in their field. This does sound daunting, however there are key characteristics outlined to help get you well on the way to discovering your true potential. Do you practice in a way which will maximise your benefits? I’m not suggesting what you lack in innate talent can be made up in its entirety with 10,000 hours of practice, but ultimately that 10,000 hours of practice will enhance your natural ability. It’s passion, which drives your want to improve and succeed. Its’ all too easy to say been there done that, but if you want to stand out and elevate yourself as an expert then be proactive, sit back and say okay what is next! It is important to understand this rule (I think it’s better described as a guideline to success rather than a definitive rule) doesn’t just apply to athletes, performers or even musicians. It applies to anyone who wants to excel and become an expert in their chosen profession or skill. Be a little more “Generation Z”, always be switched on. “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later” – Richard Branson So what are some characteristics that are key to becoming an expert? Here are our Top Tips: Dedication! The persistence and focus to practicing. It’s about learning how to not be impatient or easily distracted. Challenge! Continuously and consistently pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to learn something new and difficult. Learn! Absorb every piece of information, grab every opportunity you get to develop your knowledge, whether that’s training at in the workplace, listening to a podcast or reading a recommended book. Nike says it best, Just Do It™. Feedback! Be inquisitive, why are you falling short? What can you do to improve? Don’t let missing the mark dishearten you, try and try again! So what do we want you take from this post? Ever heard the saying “every day’s a school day”? Make this more than just a statement, make it fact. What sets you apart from the rest? What makes you more hireable than the rest? The best piece of advice we could give you is to find something you have a real passion for, practical or academic, visualise it, focus on it, and strive to become a Pro at it!

Libby McCaughey

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#BalanceforBetter - International Women's Day 2019

Today is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the economic, cultural, social and political achievement of women across the globe, and throughout history. The theme this year is #BalanceforBetter, calling for the construction of a gender-balanced world. Balance drives a better world, and you all collectively have your part to play. While it may be the theme of 2019s International Women’s, it doesn’t begin and end today. This year’s theme continues to encourage the acceleration of gender balance in businesses, politics, media coverage and wealth. Did you know around 82% of young men receive feedback after applying for a job, while a little under a third of young women (30%) are missing out on this vital constructive guidance. Additionally, young women generally found the experience of applying for a job more difficult, not to mention the pay gap. When recruiting as a business you should be actively making adjustments for the right talent regardless of gender, we currently stand in a skills short market so you have a duty to be flexible in order to grab that talent! Statistically recruitment is a male dominated industry, with many known recruitment firms across the UK named after their male predecessors. Our office currently stands at 18 women to 12 men, we understand that we have to be flexible for our staff and our talent with 8 female members of staff on flexi or part time because they are working mums, we understand that it is our responsibility to support them to ensure that they are happy and successful in both their role and personal life. One of our youngest female employees has been in our top three preforming recruiters this financial year, and has been the only person in the company history to go from Trainee Recruiter to Lead Consultant. Our MD, Danielle Asano when asked about gender balance said, “19 years in recruitment has taught me a number of lessons and I’ve seen a fair few mistakes when it comes to gender and hiring. Recruitment is a people business, we are not an industry run by machines. Over past 10 years running Cherry we have had staff members need to flexi work due to children, ill family members, study, illness, other life issues and just choice. We quickly learned that our business need to adapt to keep the talent we valued. Other steps we have taken include infrastructure such as cloud based systems to allow our staff to work from almost anywhere, and hours that work around their lifestyle. In the current skill short market it is important to be mindful of staff needs, which is also a vital tool in attracting the people we want at Cherry.” That’s a quick idea of what we do, but what do you do to join us and millions of other businesses in paving the way for gender balance. Motivation is key, help rise each other up, celebrate achievements and support lows. Be proactive, what differences can you make? Just to show you what people from all industries are doing to fight for balance! Cricket Australia are celebrating the fact that 6 in every 10 new Australian cricket participants are female! STRIKE THE #BalanceforBetter POSE and show you’re support, do what you can to make a positive difference for women EVERYWHERE.

Libby McCaughey

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Absenteeism vs. Presenteeism – which is worse?

Did you know that workplace absences costs UK businesses an estimated £29 billion a year? As you may have noticed January – and winter in general is notorious for unauthorised employee absences. Research by Britain’s Healthiest Workplace found that employers are losing 27.5 days of productive work from each employee. The average absence for each employee lasts for 6.6 days, and can take its toll. Absenteeism and sickness has many implications to a business such as work not getting done, the team becoming over-worked under the extra pressure and often struggling to maintain the same levels of productivity. So, what’s the alternative? Many businesses can’t afford for staff to go off sick, but what about the staff who choose to work while they are ill? Well, surprisingly presenteeism is almost as bad as absenteeism. Presenteeism is when an employee comes in to work despite being too ill to be productive. Presenteeism is common in high-pressure workplaces where employees are stressed and feel obligated to come in. Not only does presenteeism risk making other staff members ill and the problem becoming an ongoing cycle but it has been found to have consequences further down the line. 64% of staff who attended work ill reported an increase in stress-related absences later on as opposed to 35% who hadn’t. What’s more, 3 in 10 organisations reported an increase in the last year. Causes So, since both absenteeism and presenteeism are both a problem for the staff and business, what can we do? Well, we looked at the most common reasons for absenteeism which are: minor illness; stress; musculoskeletal disorders; recurring medical conditions; back pain. Knowing that these are the most common reasons for staff absence, we have provided some tips for you to implement in your workplace. Review the environment Our work environment is vital to our well-being. For instance, 34% of employees are regularly suffering from backache, 25% suffer neck ache and 23% suffer headaches as a direct result of how they are working. Given that so much time is spent at work, even the slightest changes to your chair and monitor will be beneficial. Allergies can be another issue at work, to avoid triggering or aggravating allergies companies should consider the fabrics used on furniture in the office. Try to use low- or non-toxic paints, and bring in plants to counteract any pollutants that do exist. Promote the importance of healthy lifestyle A strong immune system can defend against potential illnesses and dragging energy levels. How can you encourage wellness in the workplace? There are a number of low cost alternatives which can encourage new healthy habits. Why not provide fresh fruit or healthy snacks such as granola in the kitchen or break room. It’s no secret physical activity is good for physical and mental health. Why not encourage employees to get active by prompting them to use the stairs or introducing walking challenges. Fitness programmes can be made fun by including an element of competition, and a reward can encourage participation. Introduce a bike to work scheme or suggesting that staff get off the bus a stop earlier are also great fitness suggestions. stress relief Presenteeism is also much more likely to happen when workloads are piled high or if an employee feels their job security is threatened, so it is important to find ways to manage their stresses. Try to encourage open communication about stress and mental health-related topics amongst your employees in company communications and staff reviews to ensure they receive the support they need. It is also worth reviewing management policies as workplaces which are employee focused are known to improve staff engagement, morale and increase productivity. Options such as flexible working, incentive schemes and duvet days help very well with absenteeism. Encouraging workplace recognition can also help reduce stress. Employees who feel they have a positive and personal rapport with their management are more likely to be engaged, and they would feel appreciated when they or their work gets noticed. Make a point of recognising the efforts of your team members and appreciate their achievements. Given the impact stress has on mental health, as an employer it is your duty to look after staff. Therefore, it is important that you are aware of signs of mental ill health. These include mood swings, uncharacteristic and erratic behaviour, low employee engagement and poor productivity. If you are supporting staff with mental health issues an employee assistance programme may be useful. Other resources such as such a confidential telephone or in person counselling should be available. For more information click here. For examples of more easy tips to help will all aspects of employee health, click here.

Sarah Graham

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5 tips to manage the fear of job hunting

It’s fair to say that job hunting can be a challenging time, but if the thought of applying for your next job fills you with dread, you are not alone. A survey conducted by CV Library found over half of applicants are scared of the application process. So what exactly are we afraid of? Well, 55% are afraid of being rejected for a role they want, 42% are concerned about attending interviews, and 29% feel troubled when it comes to writing a cover letter. These statistics aren’t too surprising but try not to worry! We have a few useful tips to help combat your fears and make your job-hunting experience run smoothly. Tip 1 - Face the rejection If the fear of rejection stops you from applying to that ‘dream job’ then you’ll never get it! Make the application! Even if you don’t get that specific role consider it an achievement that you are making an application and taking the right steps forward to get your ‘perfect role’. Even if you are unsuccessful in your application, that doesn’t mean that you have been rejected. Try to get feedback, every application you make or interview you go to offers an opportunity to gain more knowledge and learn something new. Use the feedback as tips to implement in your next opportunity to find something better. And, if it does take you a few interviews to get your dream job, you will find that it becomes easier each time. Tip 2 - Take the pressure off yourself While it may feel that this job is the ‘be-all and end-all’, it doesn’t need to be. This is the best time to be searching for new a new job as employers are currently struggling to find talented candidates due to the current skill shortage. Data shows there are more than twice as many jobs available as there are candidates. So, what does this mean for you? Well, it is an exciting time to be looking for a new role, there are more vacancies to choose from and fewer applicants to compete against. So this means you can relax, see what’s available, take your time and choose the opportunities you prefer. Tip 3 - Prepare yourself In terms of staying relaxed and showing what you have to offer, you need to prepare beforehand. You should prepare what you’re wearing and know where you are going, we even suggest to some candidates who are unsure of the area to do a test run to the location a few days before. Also try and practice how you would answer some commonly asked competency based interview questions for more information click here. Remember, an interview is your chance to shine and tell the employer as much as you can about yourself, your experience and your achievements. So don’t be afraid to sell yourself. If you don’t tell them, how will they know all the fabulous things you have to offer! Nobody knows you better than you do, so make the most of the opportunity. If it helps to make yourself more aware of what you have to offer, why not make a list of all your skills and accomplishments. Before an interview, make sure you know your CV! Remind yourself of your previous roles and key responsibilities. What did you learn and how did you develop? How can you utilise your skills for this role? Having done your preparation and thought about this will make it easier to discuss in detail. Tip 4 - Do your research As part of your interview preparation, you will need to do some research. Not all candidates will think this is necessary, but honestly it is! Not only will the research make you feel more prepared and confident, it will help you stand out. What are the key things you should research? - The company and its history - The industry - Any recent positive news stories about the organisation - The role - The company’s initiatives (if you can find them) Once you have looked on their website, look at Glassdoor. You can see reviews form current and previous members of staff about the business, its culture and management. Don’t forget to check the company’s Facebook and Google reviews. These will give you a more unbiased insight into an organisations service and quality. Maybe you could also find information online to see how well their industry is performing. Is the business facing any challenges? Are there any new articles or reports on the company? Tip 5 - Use the job description It has been reported that 32% of applicants do not know what an employer is looking for. The job description will give details from the employer of the skills they need from their ideal candidate. The job description is a valuable tool, so make sure you use it to your advantage! Make a point of including the skills you have which are requested in the job description in your cover letter and CV. If there are any points where you don’t quite meet the requirements, explain in your cover letter how the skills and experience you have can be transferred to the role. If you need some career advice, our consultants are on hand to help. You can find all their contact details on our meet the team page.

Sarah Graham

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Management at Manchester United

Before anyone reads this I just want to say that I’m not a football fan.... Don’t get me wrong I like the international tournaments and due to having ‘sports mad’ brothers I’ve always loosely followed football in some fashion. I have always enjoyed the connection and unity that football brings to towns, cities and nations. Even when I was a little girl sat in the stands on many cold boxing day afternoons, I would always marvel at how so many people from all walks of life would pull together to support the game. I sometimes wonder what kind of world it would be without it. Anyway, that was to just set the scene of my limited love and knowledge of the sport and links nicely to what I wanted to write about which is the change in management at Manchester United and the lessons it can teach us about business and team culture. Over the last 2 and a half years we have all watched the changes at Old Trafford with interest. I’m not questioning Mourinho as a manager and I know he needs no introduction to anybody who follows football. He is regarded by many players, fans and pundits as ‘one of the smartest and tactfully brilliant managers’. He has been named as one of the top 10 greatest coaches since the foundation of UEFA. So what’s happened? Why couldn’t this established manager and coach take top quality players and turn them in to a top performing team? I’ve listened to fans and pundits’ comment on the ‘Manchester United culture’ and how that seemed to disappear during Mourinho’s reign. So how important is culture to success? Well, it appears to be vital! Leaders have the responsibility to first articulate a team’s primary cultural beliefs, and then to proactively embody these beliefs, mobilising all employees to personally engage in shaping the new culture. But what happens when that culture is so strong and established that it isn’t easily changed? Is it your responsibility to change your approach or leave the role? As a leader you are appointed to implement change as necessary but you should always be aware of the generated outcomes of your actions and how this will effect the bottom line and the business in general. So how can you manage strong cultures? Don’t create detractors. Not everyone is going to understand your philosophy so it’s vital you work hard to develop people and learn their traits quickly so you can appeal to their nature to align their outlook with yours. Some strong personalities can create extremely difficult situations, whether it’s ignoring direction or continuously challenging your philosophy but it’s how YOU handle it which will determine the output of the team. If you are a ‘my way or the highway’ manager this approach will not breed positivity in people who have dominant and assertive personalities. Additionally, by nature these people are traditionally leaders within their peer groups so alienating them or always having to prove your authority will never end well. Embrace the teams strengths. A well-established team will come with many strengths some of which you can overlook in an eager attempt to make a quick difference. This can be where most managers fail because they focus so much on improving a team’s weaknesses that the strengths that already exist can be destroyed. Additionally, if focus is only on the negative, a team can feel like they are not being developed or invested in and can become withdrawn and demotivated. Even with all that in mind, sometimes it just isn’t the right fit for the team or the manager. No matter the experience and philosophy of the leader, if both parties ideologies, methods and values aren’t aligned then the end goal will never be reached. I look forward to watching the change in Manchester United in the coming months and I think the premier league has definitely been shaken up this season and, just to put the winning confidence back into my colleague Richard Bowe, I am looking forward to Liverpool winning the league for the first time in 29 years!

Melissa Kilday

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Are you ready for the office Christmas party?

For most staff the office Christmas party is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the year’s achievements and kick start the festive celebrations. With all the food and merriment planned, what could possibly go wrong!? We have all heard a Christmas-party-horror story or two! In fact, according to the Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD), 1 in 10 people know someone from their organisation who has either been disciplined or sacked for inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas do! While the festive faux pas make for great gossip, you may not know you are liable for the behaviour of your staff on work gatherings. Despite the Christmas party being out of the office and after work hours, staff are ‘acting in the course of their employment’ when attending. Therefore, as an employer, there are a few things to consider to make sure you are not dealing with accusations and arranging disciplinary hearings on your return to work! We have outlined our top tips below: Consider the event If you can already imagine the eventful antics which are likely to occur at a Christmas party, why not plan a low key celebration lunch or team outing instead? It can be difficult to cater for everyone’s personal preferences and the last thing you want to do is offend anyone, so be sure you double check the venue, theme and food options. Remind your staff Your staff might not be aware that work policies apply at a Christmas gathering. Therefore, in an attempt to minimise potential mishaps, it’s worth reminding your staff that disciplinary procedures are in place to protect staff. Review your policies On the off chance there are any occupational mishaps to attend to when you return to work you might want to familiarise yourself with your employer’s policy on Christmas parties or work-related social events. Having a good relationship with Human Resources is important as they will be your port of call for any questions and advice. Social media cautions As entertaining as social media is, it can have detrimental consequences for your business if it is not managed carefully. Make sure you inform staff of the damaging effect inappropriate social media use can have. Why not use past examples to demonstrate the disastrous outcomes caused to individuals as well as potential consequences for your business? As an employer it is your responsibility to ensure everyone is safe at the events you plan. So whether it is controlling the amount of alcohol provided or organising transport home, there are a number of safety measures which could be enforced to ensure your staff are safe while also having a great time. The Cherry team celebrated another amazing year with our Christmas party at Bistro Live on Friday. Fun was had by all with plenty of drinks and dancing on tables to kick start the lead up to Christmas. If you are having your work party soon we hope you all have a fantastic time and have a very Merry Christmas!

Sarah Graham

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The benefits of recruiting at Christmas

As we approach Christmas, it’s possible that you will be thinking less about your recruitment needs and more about the Christmas party. After all, this is the time to be celebrating the team’s hard work and successes throughout the year. But before you place a hold on your recruitment, be aware that December is prime time for recruitment. This sounds surprising as we know you may be thinking candidates are not available or not looking to change jobs at this time of year but this isn’t true. Many candidates start looking for their next challenge in December! So if you have a recruitment freeze for the holidays you could be missing out on the right talent to join your team! While you may be faced with more candidates on the market in January, you will also be faced with other businesses competing for the best candidates. The current labour market is extremely skill short, therefore talented candidates have more choice than ever. Therefore, Christmas is a particularly good time to get ahead of the competition and snap up the current talent. Some organisations experience a slight slow-down due to the holidays which means they have more time to focus on making the ideal job advert and sift through applications to find the perfect person. With fewer tasks and work pressures over the festive period, it also makes for an ideal time to start training new people as well as your existing employees. Christmas is a great time to ease people into the team quicker than any other time of year! Why? Well because they get to see first-hand how the team not just work together but also play together; which in a study conducted this year, 71% of active talent said that the team was a critical factor in moving and staying with a new employer. So, why not use the ‘Christmas slowdown’ to your advantage and have the team ready to go in the New Year? In recruitment, the 'Christmas slowdown' never really happens and that's partly because business in the east Midlands is booming if permanent recruitment isn’t what you need right now, temporary staffing could be. If like us, you have no such thing as a ‘slowdown’ you might find interim staff can help with any Christmas demands, cover holidays as well as add to any project work which has been put on hold for this time of year.

Melissa Kilday

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Are you covered for Christmas?

In many industries the Christmas is the busiest season. As Christmas approaches we all have a million and one things to plan for. But what about your business, have you got everything in place to ensure the festive period runs smoothly? At this time of year businesses suffer reduced productivity from struggling to keep up with extra demand in products and services, lower staff attendance due to illness, annual leave requests, and adverse weather conditions making it impossible for staff to attend work. If your business feels the extra pressure, have you thought about hiring a temp worker to lighten the load? Cherry Professional provide temporary staff of all types including people with their own limited companies, day-rate interims and temps paid on an hourly rate through PAYE. Why hire a temp? Temps are traditionally quick hires who can have an immediate impact on your business. They are quick hires increase staff morale as it means current staff aren't stressed. Temporary workers with specific skill sets that could be anything from systems knowledge to people management. This extra knowledge or experience can offer a new insight and support for other staff members and have a positive effect on your business Niche interim professionals are a speedy and cost effective solution to a specific problem. Temp workers offer flexibility as they can be hired for the shortest of assignments or time frames. If there is an unexpected gap in your team, a temp ensures it is ‘business as usual’ and there is no loss of productivity. Please contact us if you need any advice about temporary resource or if you have any recruitment issues you would like us to solve.

Sarah Graham

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How to get the most from your candidate interviews

Conducting interviews are a really important stage of the recruitment process. Not only are you trying to determine which candidate is most suited to your team, the candidate will also be wanting to decide which organisation is best for them. Remember we are in a candidate-short market. For every vacancy available, there are only 0.4 candidates. This means that candidates are spoilt for choice on the job market. It is down to you to sell yourself and stand out from the competition. So, what can you ask to get a unique insight to the candidate and what they have to offer? Well, Cherry Professional, we spoke to one of our expert recruitment consultants for some pointers and tips of the insightful questions to ask. To begin with… Interviews can be very daunting for candidates so take some time to welcome the candidate, introduce yourself and put them at ease. The more relaxed they are, the more responsive they will be. Take some time to explain your role within the business and ask them about their self. You can then start off by asking the candidate what they know about the business and the role. This a good question to ask straight away as you will be able to see how committed the candidate is and check their understanding of the role. Next, it is wise to run through their CV, be aware of any gaps in their employment history and question their experience to get a detailed understanding. Tip: Ask questions such as "Talk me through your position at XYZ". A question phrased this way will encourage a detailed answer. What to ask… “What would be your main development areas?” Why: This is a great way identify the candidate’s weaknesses and tailor any in house training straight to their needs. “How do you like to be managed?” Why: Every manager has a different style. You can pinpoint where they would fit within the business to get the best results. “What are your motivators?” Why: Motivators are a good way for you to understand what you need to sell back to the candidate to get them on board! “What do you want to achieve outside of work and on a professional level in X years?" Why: A lot of people don’t want to be stagnant within a company and will seek progression. Ask questions surrounding their progression and what they want to achieve outside of work but also on a professional level. This is a great opportunity for you as the employer to talk through why their goals are possible at the company. Tip: Use a time scale to keep the candidate focused in order to gain more specific information. In closing… “What do you think about the role and the business?” Why: You will get an understanding of how the candidate feels about you as an employer. This is just as important as what you feel about the candidate. Tip: If you like the candidate, chances are other business do as well so you need to sell your organisation just as much as they do. “Do you have any questions?” Why: This is a great conversation piece to finish off the interview and any loose ends. A good candidate will be wanting to ask lots of questions which again gives you the opportunity to speak about how great your business is. No two interviews are the same but having questions prepared in advance will help you stay on track to obtain the information you need. Tip: Bare in mind that candidates will have lots of interviews and they need to make the difficult choice of where they could be spending the foreseeable future.

Connor Coombes

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Dyslexia in the workplace

Did you see last week Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, holds his dyslexia accountable for his successful career? Statistically 10 per cent of the workforce will suffer from some type and level of dyslexia. According to The Dyslexia Association “Dyslexia is recognised as a disability within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. As such employers are obliged to take action and make “reasonable adjustments” to help and support individuals with the condition to help them overcome any disadvantages caused by the condition”. Does your organisation have any processes or tools implemented to aid dyslexic workers? Whilst reading and writing may be a challenge for people with dyslexia, it is well documented that they are not limited with the skills they have to offer. According to The Psychologist the skills dyslexic people excel at include, good productivity, flexible coping, problem solving, ‘big picture thinking’ planning innovation, good communication and being creative. Evidently these are valuable skills to have in the workplace. The founder of ‘Made by Dyslexia’, Kate Griggs, said: "People with Dyslexia see the world in a different way and are not tied to conventional thinking..." This is supported by Theo’s experience, as he said the disorder forced him to find solutions to problems. Knowing how to support someone with the condition actually means you are likely to be embracing their potential and unique skills. The support you can offer includes training to understand dyslexic traits and the implications and impacts on ways of working. For more information on how to utilise dyslexia in the workplace click here.

Sarah Graham

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What do candidates want?

Did you know that 57% of UK workers have changed jobs in search of greater job satisfaction? This suggests job security is less of a priority as 22% of workers changing jobs said it was because they did not feel their hard work was appreciated. Clearly, employers need to be aware of this and able to offer engagement and job satisfaction candidates are searching for. As we are currently in a candidate short market with an average of only 0.4 candidates for each vacancy, we are aware of the challenges in recruiting and the importance of attracting the available candidates. So, how can you attract the talent you are looking for? When Cherry Professional recruit internally we meet candidates and work to understand their personal motivators and ensure that they are a suitable match what we can offer. For instance, we may offer additional training or study support for someone who is motivated by career progression or offer flexible working to someone motivated by maintaining a work life balance. Similarly, you can do the same during the interview process with your candidates. Remember, the interview is an opportunity to see if you and the candidate are a suitable fit. Try to establish what is most important to them and what their needs are for staying engaged in work. What is it that drives them, is it career progression, training, rewards and incentives, flexibility, workplace culture…? Can your company meet their needs? This time spent at the beginning will help you to identify and invest in the right talent. In terms of candidate attraction, we also recommend you put yourself in the shoes of a candidate when writing the advert. If you found your job advert, would it get your attention and offer something of interest to you? There are currently over 32,000 jobs advertised in the East Midlands. How does yours stand out? Be sure to showcase benefits which are possible motivators for candidates, particularly if they set you aside from your competitors. Think about the type of candidate you want to attract and emphasise the aspects you offer which would appeal to them. As job satisfaction and engagement increases productivity and is strongly related to staff retention in the long term, it is therefore important to consider adopting this to approach to your existing members of staff. These factors can be something different to each person and may change over time and therefore need reassessing at regular reviews if your employee’s priorities change.

Sarah Graham

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Are you geared towards ‘Generation Z’?

Are any of your employees aged roughly between 18 and 25? If so, they are often referred to as what is called the ‘Generation Z’. As the latest generation to be entering the workplace, employers need to be aware of how these candidates differ when it comes to recruitment in order to attract the best talent. So, who are Generation Z, and what do we need to know about them? Well, they are people born between 1995 and 2012 and tend to be ambitious, flexible in their approach to work and are characteristic in their upbringing. They are the only generation to have grown up with the internet and are technology minded. They typically go on social media every day and refer to the internet for just about all their needs from communicating with friends, catching up on news, shopping, managing their finances and booking their holidays. Generation Z are completely comfortable with technology and are therefore naturally suited to learning and adapting to systems and software used in the workplace. Recent research revealed that 88% of businesses believe that Generation Z will have positive impact on their workplace. A further 77% of businesses see the Generation Z skill set of digital communications and multi-tasking as a valuable contributor to helping a company meet their business objectives. Given their desirable skill set, it is important that employers know how to reach and attract the Generation Z candidate. If prospective employers neglect to embrace the needs of a Generation Z candidate, they run the risk of undermining their ability to compete and benefit from the best talent. Generation Z candidates are most likely to find and apply to job adverts on social media or well-known job boards. They will be interested to know that prospective employers can invest in their development and be at the forefront of technology with continuous investments and changes. Similar to millennials, they appreciate a flexible work environment which accommodates their needs and allows for a healthy work/life balance. A generation Z employee is not afraid to change roles, so support tailored to their needs will help give job satisfaction as well as make you more desirable among competitors.

Sarah Graham

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Does your business discourage employees to take time off when sick?

Over the last year, only 25% of employees who showed up to work sick said their organisation took steps to discourage this according to research made by the CIPD. Does your organisation fall under that small percentage or are you in the 75% of businesses that are happy for workers to ‘power through’ and be present in the workplace while sick? Sick days can have a real effect on the day to day running of an organisation as well as having a significant financial impact. Last year sick staff cost British businesses £77 Billion in lost productivity and with this staggering figure it isn’t surprising that employers are discouraging their workers to take time off when sick. However, this figure isn’t representative of only sick days taken, but is mainly made up of lack of productivity through ‘presenteeism’ (employees present in the workplace while sick) which amounts to, on average 27.7 days per worker annually compared to only 2.7 sick days taken. Due to these shocking findings, organisations are now being encouraged to look at their culture in regards to sick days and how they can improve their statistics, firstly looking at why their employees are turning up to work unwell. There are a number of reasons employees can feel under pressure to be present while sick, most commonly: Employees feel their workload is too large to take unexpected time off with fear of falling behind There is a lack of team work preventing workers feeling their colleagues will help out with any urgent duties Felling they will be disciplined or discriminated against for taking a sick day / days They won’t be believed or accused of skiving Financial deductions to wages without room in their budget Presenteeism can cause more damage than good as unwell employees are less productive and don’t work to their usual standard. Sickness can spread and in turn affect the team as a whole having a significant impact on the productivity of not just one worker but an entire department. Therefore, adopting a culture of sick day acceptance and support can only help to decrease the number of productive working days that are lost each year. It is essential to create an environment where employees feel comfortable about staying at home when sick, you can do this by: Offering flexible working – if an employee is sick but worried about falling behind, provide the tools they need to work from home Review your organisations policy on paid sick days Be supportive towards sick workers Support the wider team by taking on a short term temporary worker in the event of an unexpected absence There are many benefits to taking on temporary workers as they offer immediate cover for sickness leave, holidays and other unexpected absences, taking pressure off the team and filling gaps where you would otherwise be short staffed. Temporary workers can be flexible in terms of the length of an assignment and often offer a stronger skillset due to the variety of assignments they have previously completed. You might also find it useful to take a look at our blog highlighting the benefits of offering flexible working: Benefits of offering flexible working - https://www.cherryprofessional.co.uk/news/2018/02/benefits-of-offering-flexible-working/207

Melissa Kilday

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Are CVs help or a hindrance?

The Senior Vice President of Marketing at Indeed, Paul D’Arcy has described CVs as serving a ‘terrible disservice’ to job seekers. Would you agree, or do you think CVs a useful tool for helping you recruit? How much time do you usually spend reading a CV? According to Paul D’Arcy, a CV is briefly glanced at for only a few seconds to establish a candidate’s key details. In addition, he argues that CVs do not demonstrate what a candidate can bring to a role. Can a couple of pieces of paper really tell you how well someone is suited to your team? Research has also shown that CVs can be counter-productive as a candidate’s name or gender may be subject to an unconscious bias. Imagine ruling out the perfect candidate without even realising! But, you may be asking, what is the alternative? There are many ways to determine whether someone is suitable for your team. For example, you could consider using psychometric testing, personality tests or cognitive ability tests. Tests such as these are ideal for giving a more detailed profile of the candidate’s traits. It will also provide an objective way to see which candidate has the qualities most suited to your job specification. Of course, we understand that this is not always possible with time constraints – particularly if you have many applicants apply. This is where you would need a trusted Recruitment Consultancy like Cherry Professional. We meet every candidate we put forward for an interview. We have an impartial team of consultants with a combination of over a 190 years of recruitment experience. We are skilled in taking the time to get to know candidates personally and building a profile to get a full indication of their abilities. This means we know all the details about them, their skills, and experience so we can find the exact talent you are looking for.

Sarah Graham

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We all 'lose it' sometimes...

Did you know that 65% of office workers have experienced rage in their workplace and 45% regularly lose their temper? Is anger an issue in your workplace? We have all had a day when we feel like we there are so many demands for our attention that we wonder how we will achieve everything on our to-do list. Naturally, our demands can leave us feeling stressed and frustrated. When you consider that we now have more and more demands for our attention in working day, this is not surprising. Research by Deloitte has revealed that a demanding ‘always on’ culture and involvement in multiple communication flows, known as ‘hyper connectivity’ leaves us feeling overwhelmed and less able to absorb and process information. Combined with this, the information overload is likely to have an impact on your employees such as lack of sleep and poor concentration. This can then lead to added frustrations and your staff feeling like they may be reaching a limit of how much more they can manage. As a result of more and more demands, it is not surprising that our overloaded attention is actually contributing to increased instances of anger in the workplace. While it is a natural emotion and generally justified under the circumstances, anger has a number of implications to be aware of. For instance, anger can cause serious health issue such as chronic anxiety, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease. Having read this, you are probably wondering how you can prevent anger in your workplace in order to improve productivity and staff well-being. So, if your staff become angry, what should you do? Below we have provided some key tips to help you manage the situation. See if you can calm down your employee. Where possible, remove them from their stressful environment and find a place where you can talk in private. Be sure that you are open and available in wanting to help them. Take the time to listen and empathise with your employee. Try to get them to do the talking and have them explain what is wrong. What was the cause for their anger? Put yourself in their shoes, do not judge or criticise them. Concentrate on gathering the details without interrupting them so you fully understand the situation. This will help them the anger to deescalate. Show you are listening by relaying back your understanding of the problem. Once your employee has finishing explaining, discuss whether something could be put in place to prevent the angry situation occurring. What does your employee feel that they need to help reduce their anger? Looking at the account of the anger provoking situation, is there something that could be done to prevent the situation from happening again? It is likely that this issue will also be affecting the rest of the team, in which case your productivity is a risk of suffering. As they say, ‘prevention is better than cure’ so can you identify any unnecessary stressors or issues which cause information overload that could be minimised? If so, anger can be quickly managed and reduced. Maybe there is something you could implement so your employees do not feel as overwhelmed by information and demands. Click here to take a look at some activities which you could introduce into your workplace to help create a calm environment.

Sarah Graham

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Could a little furry team member help your stress levels?

We all know that business can be stressful, but do you know that stress can have long term effects? Six in ten employees experience stress in the workplace which contributes to absenteeism and lower levels of productivity. Clearly this is an issue which will have a direct impact on your team. How can you help to reduce stress and create a more productive and calm environment? Did you know pets are good for our health? This can be as relevant when pets are brought into the workplace. Research by the American Animal Hospital Association has shown that pets in the workplace have numerous benefits for employers and employees alike. The benefits include; Improved office morale Better communication Higher attendance rates A healthy work-life balance Reduced stress In my experience, Cherry Professional office is brightened by the most popular member of our team, which is actually our furry four legged friend, Pugsley! Pugsley makes everyone smile and boosts our staff morale whenever he is in! Pets help to increase productivity by giving staff a short mental break away from long or stressful tasks for a little fuss or playtime. Without realising, Pugsley does this for us with a little game of fetch. Pets have been well known to have a positive effect on stress due to the calming effects of increasing laughter and positivity and reducing blood pressure. Naturally, the benefits of reduced stress have great implications for related illnesses as well as implications for costs to you and your team. Are you considering bringing a pet into your workplace? It appears that the advantages are overwhelming, but what do you need to be aware of? Here are our tips for ensuring that both pets and employees are both suited to the work environment. Check with the rest of your team that they are happy for the pet to be brought into the workplace, there would be nothing worse for an employee with allergies struggling to work. Ensure pets are well groomed, clean and free of fleas or ticks. You might also want to check that all vaccinations are all up to date. Make sure you are aware of the pets training and dietary needs. Ensure that your workplace is ‘pet-proofed’ should the pet have any additional needs. Generally, it can be arranged for the owner to provide for the pet’s needs so costs should be minimal. Take time and care introducing pets into your work environment. If you take the time to allow pets to settle in, it will stop them feeling stressed and prevent any difficult responses. We hope that your new furry recruits bring as much joy to your workplace as Pugsley brings to ours! If you have a furry friend, why not introduce them by tweeting us @cherryprof!

Sarah Graham