Cherry Professional, values, relationships
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Register a Vacancy

 

Role to fill?

Are you looking to expand your team? Register a vacancy with us today and you can rest assured that we will find the right person for the job. We will work with you to 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. We can make sure 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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Why use Cherry Professional 

 

Your most trusted recruitment partner.

We understand it's the details that make the difference. We think long-term, building trust and lasting relationships to ensure our clients feel valued, listened to and understood. Our business is founded on delivering positive experiences and enabling everyone we work with to achieve their ambitions and goals. 
We provide our clients with instant access to a pipeline of skills and talent to make search and selection as smooth and time efficient as possible, because we understand that sometimes you need things yesterday.
You can rely on us to cover every last detail from paperwork to payroll. 

See the Information on our Offering page for more information.  

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Our Clients

 

Who we work with 

We know what it takes to succeed in professional roles; our expertise and experience ensures that we match people with the right profile to clients’ vacancies. Our reputation for excellence gives us the ability to work with the region's best and most exciting businesses. Take a look at our current client portfolio.

Denby Pottery

Denby Pottery

Derbyshire is home to many innovative and passionate organisations with which we are lucky enough to partner. One of those organisations is Denby Pottery. Denby was founded in 1809 and has grown from a small local manufacturer of pottery to the world wide, well-loved brand it is today. 
Denby has even more ambitious plans for the future and they don’t intend to slow down in terms of growth...

Experian

Experian

We live in a world built on data; it is everywhere, growing in power and influence. At Experian we have always believed that data has the potential to transform lives and create a better tomorrow. 

Thorntons

Thorntons

Being one of Britain's best loved brands takes a team of people who are dedicated, passionate, diligent, cheerful, thoughtful, resilient, ambitious and most of all consumed by the desire to make all of our customers (and colleagues) smile everyday. This doesn't happen overnight and here at Thorntons we take the time to ensure the people we recruit are as important as the yummy chocolates we make. On this site we...

Games Workshop

Games Workshop

Games Workshop is the largest and the most successful hobby miniatures company in the world. Our major brands are Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. In addition, we hold a licence for The Lord of the Rings/the Hobbit tabletop battle game. At its core the Hobby is all about our amazing miniatures and collecting, modelling, painting  and playing games with armies of them are activities enjoyed by millions of adherents all across the...

Porterbrook

Porterbrook

Porterbrook Leasing Company specialises in the leasing of all types of railway rolling stock and associated equipment.

By providing freight and train operating companies with modern rolling stock they can be assured of high standards of reliability and performance from their fleets. Passengers can also benefit from comfortable services and the latest technology.

With many new operators now active in the UK Rail market, different perspectives to service provision have...

Vision Express

Vision Express

With 593 stores nationwide, Vision Express first opened its doors in Newcastle in 1988. Since then it has gone from strength to strength, driven by a commitment to unparalleled customer service and providing the best personalised optical care, style and quality. Customers can select from a wide range of frames and lenses for glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses, allowing everybody to reflect their individual personalities and lifestyles.With over 4,000 employees,...

Refresco

Refresco

Refresco is world’s largest independent bottler of beverages for retailers and A-brands with production in Europe, North America and Mexico.

With production in Europe, North America and Mexico our global sourcing and local R&D capabilities offer an almost unlimited variety of products, manufactured to customer specifications and requirements.

3aaa

3aaa

3aaa Apprenticeships are an Ofsted Grade 1 Outstanding training provider with locations across England. We specialise in the delivery of professional services Apprenticeships including IT, Software, Digital Marketing, Accountancy, Financial Services, Business Administration, Customer Service and Management. We are a national company offering a personalised, local service in 38 locations as we look to partner local talent and businesses together to enhance careers and the economy through workplace training.

AmTrust

AmTrust

AmTrust Europe Limited is our UK regulated insurance company. The head office is in London with further locations in Nottingham, Milan, Manchester.

Blue Castle

Blue Castle

Blue Castle Group are dedicated specialists in responsible waste management and the provision of utilities. Providing clients with sustainable and practical solutions, we work across all sectors and our team members have a depth of experience and knowledge. We are continually looking for opportunities to improve and streamline your business operations, from innovations to improved resource efficiency, we believe there is always a better way. We are committed to our...

Xylem

Xylem

Xylem’s well-known global brands have served the water market for many decades with products sold in more than 150 countries. We listen, learn and adapt to local environments, working in true partnership with our customers. Our brands serve a number of industries including agricultural, construction, environmental, food and beverage, government agencies, industrial, public utilities, residential and commercial building services. With deep application expertise in the water industry, we focus on...

Motorpoint

Motorpoint

Motorpoint is the UK’s largest independent car retailer selling new and nearly new cars up to three years old and with less than 25,000 miles - saving each customer £7,000 on average off the new list price in the process. It operates from twelve locations in Birmingham, Birtley, Burnley, Castleford, Chingford, Derby, Glasgow, Newport, Oldbury, Peterborough, Sheffield and Widnes. Motorpoint also has a UK-based call centre based in Derby dealing...

Slimming World

Slimming World

Slimming World is the most advanced slimming organisation in the UK. It was founded in 1969 by Margaret Miles-Bramwell, who remains the driving force behind the company to this day. With the experience of a lifetime's weight problem, it is her enthusiasm and unique vision that has made the Company so successful. There are now over 16,000 groups held weekly on a nationwide basis via a network of more than 4,500 Slimming World trained...

City & County Healthcare Group

City & County Healthcare Group

City and County Healthcare Group is one of the largest providers of community-based social care services in the UK. Every day, tens of thousands of people with care needs are supported to continue living independently at home by our operating companies.

Envirogen Group

Envirogen Group

At the Envirogen Group of companies, our vision is straightforward – to be industry leading water, air and process solution providers using sophisticated technology backed by expertise and service. It is our overriding goal to offer our clients total solutions that deliver consistently reliable performance at the best lifecycle cost for the systems and services that we provide.

Fresenius

Fresenius

Fresenius Medical Care has been caring for NHS kidney patients in the UK for over 20 years. We are the leading independent provider of renal services working in partnership with the NHS. We carry out over 575,000 dialysis treatments a year for almost 4,000 patients, in over 50 clinics across England and Wales. We also supply dialysis products and renal pharmaceutical products to over 10,000 patients’ homes across the UK.

Global Fire Systems

Global Fire Systems

Global Fire and Security Systems are market leaders in providing quality product solutions to services through the Fire and Security market place nationwide. 

Global design, supply, install, commission and maintain fire detection, voice evacuation alarm, disabled alarm, refuge, fire telephone, intruder and CCTV, access control and fire suppression systems throughout the UK, providing service to a diverse client range using a broad range of manufacturers such as: Advanced...

Ladbrokes Coral

Ladbrokes Coral

At Ladbrokes Coral we provide customers with exciting, simple and responsible betting and gaming experiences both online and in shops, delivered by the most passionate and committed people in the industry. There’s never been a more exciting time to join us. Our recent merger combined more than 230 years of heritage and opened up a world of exciting opportunities for the future. With the biggest UK retail estate in the...

MFA

MFA

MFA Building Control Ltd gained government approval in 2000 to act as Approved Building Control Inspectors. This enabled us to certify construction projects for Building Regulation purposes, a function historically carried out by local authority building control.

Champions

Champions

Specialising in digital brand marketing & communications, we are an award-winning agency with a difference. With a team of over 90 Champions, we combine the expertise of 10 in-house departments to create the ultimate agency set-up. With our unique structure and over 15 years of industry experience, we are proud to have become a member of the Telegraph 100 Brightest business and 57th in the Sunday Times Fast Track 100...

OHeap Fire & Security

OHeap Fire & Security

The Company was established in 1958 by Oswald Heap and now employs over 80 full time staff, including teams of dedicated engineers who service, install and maintain fire safety systems across the UK.

Ramtech

Ramtech

Ramtech Electronics Limited was formed in 1990 to meet growing demand for an effective security solution for static caravans on holiday parks, and has grown to become a leading UK manufacturer and supplier of a variety of wireless safety, security and communication systems to the construction and leisure industries.

We now have alarms in over 30,000 holiday homes across the UK, providing peace of mind for holiday home owners and...

Essentra

Essentra

We are manufacturers and distributors of vital component parts, making the simple but essential things that help your business work.

Browne Jacobson

Browne Jacobson

We are a national law firm and experts across the private and public sectors. Our clients choose and stay with us because of our sector expertise, straightforward advice, pricing and product innovation and exceptional client service. 

Retail Assist

Retail Assist

We were formed in 1999 with the aim to provide Managed Services, for retailers. In 2007, we acquired Merret, our omnichannel supply chain solution. Merret was developed in a multichannel age, and we continue to advance our services and solutions for today’s omnichannel retailing requirements.

Shorterm Rail

Shorterm Rail

We are one of the largest and fastest growing specialist technical engineering recruiters in the UK. Consistent service excellence is delivered through our constant focus on customer needs and our on-going commitment to the continuous development of our business and the people who make it great. Our values guide and define all our interactions with clients, candidates, staff and shareholders.

University of Derby

University of Derby

The University of Derby is a modern UK university located in the East Midlands and is rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). Based at one of our three campuses in Derby, Buxton and Chesterfield, students can study for a foundation, undergraduate, postgraduate or research course across a wide range of subjectsincluding Forensic Science, Music Production and Civil Engineering.

University of Nottingham

University of Nottingham

In 1928, while opening the Trent Building and University Park, Sir Jesse Boot wrote that …in each succeeding age the University will spread the light of learning and knowledge and will bind science and industry in the unity that is so essential for the prosperity of the nation and the welfare of our fellow citizens. That vision still has currency. It speaks to...

Zebra Finance

Zebra Finance

At Zebra Finance we understand that some things in life are simply too important to miss out on, but funding them can be a challenge. That’s where we can help, with our flexible finance packages allowing you to spread the cost of these vital purchases. Partnering with sports organisations, private healthcare providers and holiday parks, we provide loans for season tickets, operations, site fees and much more. With big-name partners...

Cherry Testimonials 

Don't just take our word for it

We take pride in everything we do and feedback from our clients and candidates means so much to us.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your experience with Cherry Professional. Click and drag to read more!

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Help & Advice

 

How can we help?

Take a look at our help and advice pages to help you attract and retain the best talent for your business. 

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How to use Social Media to Recruit 
The online world of social media is a great tool to help attract the best talent for your business

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Latest HR news and  changes 
Changes in business are constant. Thats why we created this help section to keep you up to date with all changes in the HR and legal space

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Market information 
The home of information about the labour market

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Salary benchmarking

It can be difficult to know what to pay your current staff, as well as what to offer potential employees. Make sure you are paying at the right level in order to attract the best  candidates in the market.   

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Register a vacancy 

We know recruiting can be difficult, in today's skill short market talented candidates are in limited supply. That's why having a well networked recruitment partner is vital. 

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Need an Interim?

With the demand for permanent employees increasing month on month and becoming increasingly difficult, the short term solution to staying on track is using temporary workers.​

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Request a meeting

We like to meet face to face to build a strong, trusting relationship with us. This way we can ensure we will get an understanding of you, your business and it's culture. ​

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Advice on hiring 

At Cherry Professional we understand the costs incurred during your recruitment process in terms of finance and time. Read our guide to understand how to hire so you don't need to fire! 

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Who we work with

Our reputation for excellence gives us the ability to work with the region's best and most exciting businesses. Don't just take our word for it....

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Information on our offering

It's the finer details that create the differences. It's the HOW and WHY people chose to set up and run their consultancy the way they do that truly sets them apart. 

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Testimonials

We believe our service is the best. Don't just take our word for it...

Latest Blog

 

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Virtual Christmas Party Ideas for 2020

​Whilst face to face Christmas parties aren’t possible this festive season, engaging and rewarding your staff should still remain a priority, We know that most companies want to celebrate and say thank you to all their staff, so here are 10 virtual Christmas party ideas to get you all into the spirit.Zoom Task MasterThe event is hosted by a professional comedic online compare, who alone will bring the event to life. They also play the role of the ‘Master of the Tasks, so it’s you vs them! They will also judge each round and allocate those vital points.The event starts by teams selecting their first challenge. The task can either be a live challenge or a practice challenge. Live challenges take place straight away meaning the team have to think quickly on their feet. Practice challenges give the group 10 minutes to plan their strategy. The games are so varied you will literally not know what’s coming next. Some  favourites include:Spud Sticks – how many potatoes can you move using giant chop sticksEasy Peezy – how much lemon juice can your team member squeeze whilst you’re standing in a bucket of iced water…These are just 2 of over 25 amazing games to choose from.​Zoom Virtual RacingThe flagship game for large online groups. Compete in teams to train horses, sabotage rivals and place play-money on race outcomes to win fun prizes. Strategic, vicious and nail-biting fun. (Don't worry... no real horse racing experience is required!).Virtual Christmas Comedy PartyWe can organise your whole Christmas party via Zoom. Comedy stars from shows such as Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You could be live in your living room for your work party!  The 99 Club has been awarded Best London Comedy Club 9 years running and our comedy experts can make all the arrangements for your perfect virtual Christmas party.Private Comedy GigIf you’re a smaller group, join a shared party and you can still put the boss or the office joker on a virtual front row to have the mickey taken out of them!Virtual Cocktail Master ClassVirtual cocktail masterclasses are led by some of the best bartenders in the industry. The classes have already been enjoyed by thousands including clients from Google, Tik Tok, Clifford Chance, Microsoft and Facebook.Christmas Virtual Murder MysteryIn this team building activity, participants work together to unlock and examine key evidence such as witness statements and suspect interviews, using augmented reality and image recognition technology.As you explore the crime scene via an interactive map, you’ll complete tasks and challenges which will help you acquire evidence and assist with your investigation.Throughout this immersive, tablet-based murder mystery, points will be awarded for successfully completing observational and trivia questions, as well as fun photo and video tasks… all whilst identifying the weapon, murderer, and motive.GOOD LUCK INVESTIGATORS!  Who will be the first to solve the crime?I’m Working from Home Get me Out of HereVirtual jungle hosts greet everyone live via a virtual platform.  Guests are encouraged to dress up to keep in the theme of the event.  The best outfit instantly wins bonus points!You’ll be taken through a number of jungle trials, all inspired by the famous TV show but adapted for people and teams working from home.Everyone receives a trial pack in the post prior to the event with all the goodies required for each challenge.  Teams go head to head on each trial.  Some tasks are team based; others have a nominated player to go against your peers.Your challenges will include:Dash n GrabMini Record BreakersJungle Trial ChallengesOutback Shack ChallengesCelebrity QuizCreative ChallengesOn completion of each challenge, the winning team take the points, and get to nominate a player who has to take on a live critter crunch!The event concludes with the crowning of the kings or queens of the jungle!So, go virtual this Christmas and get your whole team involved, doing more than just having a catch up and a few awards!

Libby McCaughey

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Attracting and hiring top talent in 2020

Recruiting today looks drastically different to what it did just a year ago. Accelerated by COVID-19, changes that were expected to take years are already happening. Digitally recruiting remote workers is the new norm for many. Internal mobility and upskilling programs are being built out, many for the first time, and diversity is finally being treated with the urgency and accountability it always deserved. All of which will influence your ability to attract, engage and retain talent within your organisation.Pre-pandemic, most businesses looking for talent started by showing off their swanky office space (complete with ping-pong table) as well as giving candidates the opportunity to talk to potential colleagues about the roles, teams, and company, followed by an early Friday finish and free drinks.In the past it has worked a treat for most, but now this whole experience needs to change - it’s often moved online, and you’ll need to adapt and overcome changes caused by COVID-19 if you want to attract and retain the very best of the best.  Adapting to this virtual world can be difficult when there’s no room for error. Before, if your website and social channels weren’t quite up-to-date, you could throw in the missing pieces in an office tour.These days, your team are drowning in a sea of CVs, wasting time sifting through people who aren’t relevant to the role. Your screening and application process will need streamlining to help you reach the kind of candidates you’re after; it’s become a two-sided interview process. You have to pitch the business and culture to candidates as much as they have to sell themselves to you. Honestly, it’s not as daunting as it may seem. You’re clearly nailing it with the fact that you’re looking to recruit. It shows amazing resilience and definitely needs to be shouted about. So, here are 10 tips on attracting the right talent, how to engage with those perfect candidates, and get yourself and your voice out there.  1. Standing outHit them with your best pitch. Differentiate yourselves. Get reviewing your employer brand and the value of your employee value proposition - make sure it supports this inescapable new way of working.How does your pitch showcase your culture, your values and benefits? You need to put the things that make your business great up in lights! Especially when offering a good work-life balance and flexible working hours are becoming more standard.2. Use your biggest fansTake a look at your current team. Round up those charismatic, confident characters that can ‘sell’ the business. Use them to create some videos about life at work - and let them be honest. Let them have a homemade feel. Candidates want genuine and real opinions on what it’s like working with your organisation.  3. Show your behind-the-scenesAgain, be truly authentic - this time with your team imagery. We’ve seen a number of great examples of businesses changing from that cold, stock imagery, to their people’s selfies on the website and social channels. I can’t emphasise enough - giving an insight into your people’s lives really does wonders for bringing out the character of your teams. 4. The candidateIn the current situation, taking on a new role is a huge deal. Trust and respect are going to be your number one priorities.Candidates used to be able to figure out the vibe of a business during an interview. Now, they have to trust their gut, making an assumption based on talking to your team in their living rooms and your company’s social channels. That new interview process should sell more than just the role. 5. The new socialisingHave you checked how your business comes across on your social channels? Because this is your brand and employer voice. How you express your culture, your values and your purpose matters. Keep every channel up-to-date - it's all about communication and consistency.6. Impress themNot to sound like a broken record but, you need to pitch to applicants as much as they need to pitch to you. Excite them -you’re recruiting! That’s already something to be proud of.Talk about your vision, growth, the roles that employees play in driving your innovation. Prep the right people to help with the theatricals.  7. Streamlining applicationsHow do you tackle that mind-boggling inbox of CVs?  To quickly identify people that are not only right for the role experience-wise, but also right for the business, get creative with your interview process.8. What's their ‘why’? In these times, it’s more important than ever to understand why candidates are applying.  A recent redundancy? Although they might be looking for all the standard requirements - career progression, team collaboration and salary - now, their focus is on the security of their next role. Are they applying because of remote working insecurity? Remote working through lockdown has pushed many employees to question their value in their current role. These candidates want to hear about innovation. If it’s a graduate opportunity, they might be concerned about the logistics of joining a business while working from a bedroom, with no team around them. How can you support them in what is probably the first experience of their chosen career path?9. Don’t ignore your unsuccessful applicantsHandle your applicants with care, especially during these times where rejections are heavy. I’m sure we’ve all heard, "I’m applying for loads but not hearing anything." Would it be really that hard to set up a really personal, but automated email that can go out to applicants to thank them for their time and effort spent in applying?10. Don’t stop at the job offerWhy stop at attracting? Make it all clear - the appointment process, the notice periods and the onboarding process. Provide a step-by-step guide to what they can expect, keep them in the loop if they’re on their notice period, get them involved before their first day.That’s why we are advising our clients not to postpone their talent reviews but to conduct them more frequently than ever. This is certainly not the time to get bogged down in bureaucracy. So rather than focusing on processes and tools, it’s best to use this opportunity to reflect on the core purpose of talent management, namely establishing which leaders will lead your organisation back to recovery and beyond.Let us know what your business is doing to work with these changes!

Libby McCaughey

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Kamala Harris makes history as the first female and woman of colour to be elected Vice President: “I am the first, but won’t be the last”

DOWNLOAD FREE WHITE PAPER OR SCROLL FOR BLOG​“What I want young women and girls to know is: You are powerful and your voice matters”Vice President-elect Kamala Harris paid tribute to the women on Saturday, particularly Black women, whose shoulders she stands on as she shatters barriers that have stopped women from obtaining the highest levels of ranking power in the White House for more than two centuries. “Tonight,” she said, “I reflect on their struggle, their determination, and the strength of their vision to see what can be unburdened by what has been. And I stand on their shoulders.”Harris has broken glass ceilings throughout her career, having been elected the first Black woman to serve as San Francisco’s District Attorney and later California’s first Black woman Attorney General. She became California’s Junior U.S. Senator in 2017 and developed a reputation for posing tough questions during Senate hearings to Trump administration nominees, including now Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.So why is Harris’s appointment so important?It’s no secret that women have historically faced huge challenges and greater barriers to achieve gender equality. Across geographies and income levels, disparities between genders persist in the form of pay gaps, uneven opportunities for advancement and unbalanced representation in important decision-making.Kamala Harris has secured her place in history like so many amazing women before her, as a vital person in the movement for equality and diversity.The election of Kamala Harris as the first Black-Indian vice-presidential candidate in history provides renewed hope for diversity and inclusion both inside and outside politics. It’s no small feat to have a woman of colour as a role model in such an important and visible position.There are fewer women than ever in leadership positions, making it hard to envisage oneself near the top as a female worker. Deanna Strable, Executive Vice President and CFO at Principal Financial Services, told McKinsey:“The lack of women in C-suite positions is a self-perpetuating cycle. Because we don’t have many females in the C-suite, young women don’t see role models or potential paths towards executive-level leadership and are more likely to deselect themselves out of higher-level leadership roles.There is no clear-cut way to solve systemic issues of equality and representation but there are steps businesses can take to help improve their diversity and, just as importantly, inclusion. Here are a few steps that we have seen our clients and other organisations take that have had a meaningful impact:Lead from the top down –You will struggle to make real change without diverse leadership. While monolithic executive teams may have the best intentions, without the input of diverse opinions, you can only achieve so much. Furthermore, companies with diverse boards outperform their competitors.Create diverse project teams –Diversity is not only important at leadership level, but also within projects themselves. Diverse teams are proven to show better results and their work is also more likely to diversify customers and clients.Review interview panels –It’s a well-known fact that people tend to hire in their own image. By diversifying the people who conduct your interviews, businesses can help eliminate this internal bias.Train your interview panels –In addition to diversifying your interviewers, it is wise to ensure they receive unconscious bias training and are aware of what bias they may bring to the interview process.Create a culture that values inclusion –It’s impossible to highlight just how important inclusion is when looking to improve diversity. By creating a culture where all people feel like they have an equal voice you are much more likely to retain a diverse team. This could include representative groups or societies, allowing religious holidays outside of annual leave, and ensuring that necessary access and equipment is available to those with disabilities.Celebrate diversity –By acknowledging and celebrating diversity, businesses can better align their teams and create an atmosphere where individuals don’t feel left out. For example, firms can allocate money to Employee Resource Groups, bring in a diverse range of speakers, look to include gender pronouns in their email signatures, and, most importantly, ask their teams what would make them feel better represented.Don’t set finger-in-the-air objectives –While effective when used right, diversity quotas and targets can be a hindrance if they aren’t thought through. If you are going to set these, they should be well researched and achievable. Otherwise, review softer objectives, such as how making efforts to improve diversity has impacted staff wellbeing, rather than looking to tick boxes.Be transparent –For many businesses, improving diversity is still a learning curve. If you have set objectives, be open about what they are and how close you are to achieving them. By being clear about what you are doing, and open to any feedback, your team will show more trust in you and you are more likely to have their support in yourIt's important that no matter your political opinion, you are actively working to make your workplaces more diverse and inclusive. Kamala Harris's appointment is a step to towards positive change and is a real success story, paving the way for young women and people of colour, let's keep this momentum going. For more information on Women in Leadership, take a look at our white paper on how diverse FTSE 100 companies when it comes to women in senior roles. Download Below.The Female FTSE Board Report is an annual publication looking at trends in female representation on FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 boards, this is our take on the research and is available to download for free using the form below.​ ​

Libby McCaughey

Prioritising Staff Wellbeing

Prioritising staff wellbeing: Retaining top talent

​As businesses emerge from the disruptions caused by the pandemic, prioritising staff wellbeing is central to retaining and attracting employees, according to a new report. CIPD and Simply Health found 37% of businesses saw a rise in stress related absences over the last year.  Work related stress, depression and anxiety accounts for 44% of work-related ill health and 54% of workdays lost. As well as sickness absence, poor mental health at work can lead to increased staff turnover and reduced engagement.Employees already do not feel comfortable in speaking up about poor mental health and this is unlikely to change following the pandemic. Employers will, therefore, need to adapt a range of measures to support employees experiencing poor mental health as a result of COVID-19 and its effects on society and the economy. Many companies are already planning to alter their benefits programmes with around 60% of them planning to enhance their wellbeing initiatives; and around 58% plan to ramp up mental health and stress management services.What remains important is that people experiencing poor mental health are not labelled by focusing on a diagnosis, and instead, discussions and support focus on the impact it has on them at work.These facts relate to a world pre-COVID-19; early indications suggest that the pandemic (and measures taken by government to control it such as lockdown and social distancing) will have a significant impact upon the mental health of employees. It is very possible that these mental health implications will be felt for many months or even years. As early as two weeks into lockdown, employees were reporting a range of health effects including negative impacts on mental health and overall well-being.Not to mention, the resilience of all employees has been challenged by the current situation – although the mental health and wellbeing implications of this will vary from employee to employee.Employers and HR may wish to consider some of the following:- Brief managers on the potential mental health implications of COVID-19 and their specific roles and responsibilities in relation to supporting staff.- Communicate regularly on wellbeing and mental health support, wherever possible supported by activities that encourage physical, mental, financial and social wellbeing.- Provide mental health awareness-raising activities – work towards a culture where it is acceptable to talk about and seek support for poor mental health.- If employees are needed in the workplace, those who started work for the organisation in the time prior to (or even during) lockdown may need a re-induction into the workplace to help them feel connected and engaged (this could also help cover any health and safety changes in line with the government’s COVID-secure workplace guidelines).- Many employers are currently facing difficult decisions about their workforce as a result of the pandemic. Unemployment can have a significant impact on mental health; research suggests that the average number of people with psychological problems among the unemployed was 34%, compared to 16% among employed individuals. Redundancies can also have a negative impact on employees that remain within organisations (sometimes called ‘survivor syndrome’).They may experience a range of emotions; guilt, anxiety about further job losses, and stress relating to the process of redundancy had they themselves been at risk. Similarly, it’s important to ensure employers are supporting staff returning to the workplace. It is now clear that any return to workplaces will be gradual and phased. It is likely that many employees will continue to work primarily from home for the foreseeable future, possibly even into early 2021.Even if employees are not experiencing poor mental health, they may have concerns and fears about returning to a physical workplace, including using public transport or staying safe in the work environment.The mental health implications on employees of being placed on furlough leave is currently unknown. We do know that periods of unemployment can impact negatively on physical and mental health. Work can provide meaning, purpose and structure. Work also provides social connection and opportunities to learn and develop, both of which support wellbeing and good mental health. Employees who have been on furlough may be anxious about the return to work and may be concerned particularly about future job security.  “I think togetherness is something that's just really important. I don't think employers can do this on their own, neither do I think managers can do this on their own and I think managers and employees and teams and individuals, we all need to come together and figure out how to make this next stage and how to keep talking and how that dialogue must continue as we go forward” -Andrea Winfield CIPDInformation sourced from CIPD ​

Libby McCaughey

Work Life Balance

Has 2020 lost its work life balance?

As we are drawing closer to the end of 2020 (thank god), I think it’s important to reflect on the huge changes this year and how they have impacted people across the globe. Many people have lost loved ones, people have been separated from family and friends for months on end, there’s a constant uncertainty and, of course, the economy and job market is reeling. There’s not many good things to come out of 2020 apart from the baby boom that seems to be happening and amazing acts of kindness as people support one another in their communities. We speak to people from all industries/sectors and many of the same issues are on people’s minds; people fearing for their jobs, people working extended hours, people still on furlough worrying about the future, and people who have been made redundant and don’t know what to do next. That’s a lot, so it’s no wonder that all mental health organisation’s across the globe are seeing huge spikes in mental health issues such as stress, depression and even suicide. One thing that we have spoken to a lot of people about, especially over the last 6 months, is mental health and its impact on peoples thoughts and feelings about work. We’ve written blogs about furloughed workers and key workers and how to try and maintain positive mental wellbeing, however, one thing we haven’t really spoken about is the impact on people’s work life balance. Fear is a very complex emotion and at the moment many people are driven by it. Working more because people fear losing their job, working longer hours because people fear letting someone down, even the fear of being at home alone with nothing to do turns people back to their work. We are in times where, undoubtedly, companies need their staff to pull together and try their best to help keep the businesses sustainable during this time. But what does that create in workers? Working from home had an impact on many - some people reported they enjoyed it as they had more time to spend with their families, they saved on travel costs and could establish a new routine quite easily. However, a study released by an Irish recruitment platform, found that 40% of workers are working longer hours than they would in a standard working day. 21% say they cannot switch off from work, 12% feel that they are working less efficiently and 11% claim to have a heavier workload than usual. So what can you do to create a better work life balance following the initial impact of COVID 19. 1. Set a log on and log off time. 2. Take an hours break in the day to go out for lunch if you can. Or move away from your screen and do something that doesn’t involved looking at another screen. 3. Switch off work emails during evenings and weekends 4. Set out non work goals you want to achieve. 5. Identify why you are working more hours? Out of fear for your job? Inability to switch off? Or simply because your work load is too much to handle? 5. Whichever reason it is, speak to your Manager about work load and your worries. 6. I know this sounds obvious but take up a hobby. Having a hobby non-work related can help keep you stimulated and positive. If you are struggling with your mental health please reach out to someone. Visit this website created by the NHS in conjunction with various mental health organisations who can help you and be there to listen and advise. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mental-health-helplines/

Melissa Kilday

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Championing Mental Wellbeing at Work: Why it matters more now than ever

Statistically 1 in 4 of us will fight a mental health problem at some point in our lives but the reality is that all of us will be affected. We all know that things are strange and tough right now and that the Pandemic has drastically changed many aspects of our lives and has brought us a great sense of worry, insecurity, and fear. No one has been left unaffected by COVID-19 with many people now dealing with these difficult feelings for the very first time. This is why it’s more important than ever to be attune to our mental health needs and make our mental wellbeing a priority.Maintaining good mental health of all employees should be a priority for your business right now and implementing a wellbeing strategy is vital. Across the business It’s imperative to get buy-in from senior leadership and make sure conversations about mental health and wellbeing happen at Board level too. When staff feel happy and well cared for, they are more engaged, motivated and loyal.Currently, 67% of employees feel scared, embarrassed, or unable to talk about mental health concerns with their employer. Working remotely presents its own challenges, making it increasingly more difficult for employees to reach out and for employers to recognise signs their staff may be struggling which is why it is important that as an employer you are creating an open and caring culture.So how can you put mental health on the agenda and break the taboo?Understandably, senior leaders are under more pressure than ever to cut costs and optimise ROI and perhaps do not immediately understand the business impact of poor mental health. Be prepared to make the business case and have figures to back up your proposal, such as, relevant figures on staff turnover, moral and feedback from exit interviews.“As we continue to live through a global pandemic, we need movement onmental health, perhaps more than we have ever needed it before”, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Mental Health Organisation. "We need to move for our own mental health, the mental health of our families, friends and colleagues, and more importantly, so that there is a massive increase in investment for mental health services at national and international levels." Think about when would be the most beneficial time to start the conversation to get buy-in? Use important dates to help start the conversation, for example World Mental Health Day in October or Mental Health week. However, don’t feel you have to wait for these dates, as board / management meetings, staff surveys and staff absence reports alt present the right opportunity to broach the topic.Having a well-defined mental wellbeing strategy is imperative to future proofing your business. It is important to take action on mental healthNOW, as it is predicted by 2030 that depression will be the most common illness and the global burden of this condition will be greater than illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Employers need to take action to prevent (safeguarding the mental health of your workforce), intervene (stepping in before problems become more serious) and protect (supporting staff if they need time off, or need help retuning to the workplace) their workforce.Brands like the Royal Mail and Deloitte have already partnered with organisations to develop training and create peer-to-peer support networks for their staff in a bid to improve and support the mental wellbeing of their work force.Efforts to improve mental health span further than the business world, I hope this will motivate you to take action because we can no longer simply ignore the fact that unreported, unmanaged stress increases the prevalence of mental health issues in the UK. 

Libby McCaughey

Virtual Meeting Team Building

How to Integrate Teams Remotely

As the nation gets back to some form of normality and more employees are returning from furlough, working from home is still the reality for many businesses. As teams are working remotely and are often not in the same location, how can employers make sure their staff continue to feel connected to each other and the company’s culture?  Here are our top tips for making employees working remotely feel integrated into the culture of their company. Use Technology to Your Advantage We recommend using appropriate software to enhance your team’s communication and, hopefully, increase productivity. Whether someone is working from home or in the office the tools they use stay consistent. This in turn allows everyone to stay on the same page regardless of their work location and leads to improved team cohesion. Make Time for “Face Time” With employees split between working from home and being back in the office, to ensure that communication is still clear to all, the use of Skype/Zoom/FaceTime/Teams is critical  Clearly this is something that has been happening since the start of lockdown in most businesses and has been a god send in terms of visibility and communication.  Establish Community Traditions  Try to mix work-specific messages with lighter, friendlier communications, such as employee’s birthdays; this will help your employees to feel that they are valued for more than just their business output.  Use a Chat Application as your “Communal Area” It’s beneficial to have everyone on the team in a chat application, such as WhatsApp, whenever they’re “in the office”, wherever that may be. It’s not only a place to ask questions and bounce ideas around related to the business, but also, it’s a place for employees to build a rapport with each-other and share more casual conversations. Keep up with Weekly Reports It’s really important that managers are liaising with individuals in their teams on a daily / weekly basis to enable everyone to understand what is going on in the company and share ideas which will help the team to be more successful.  Remote working is forming part of the new reality that we’re experiencing during the pandemic. As most businesses have demonstrated that thanks to technology, they have been able to work remotely with no harm to the business, it is likely to be a trend that is here to stay.

Libby McCaughey

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Dressing to Impress for an Interview

After featuring on BBC Radio Derby, we caught up with our Lead Consultant Kerry Bilson to bring you the highlights from the interview. Kerry said “In a nutshell; ensure you prepare fully for your virtual interview. Ensue you’ve downloaded the necessary platforms (Microsoft Teams, Zoom etc) and do a few practice runs with friends or family members until you feel comfortable with the technology. Dress appropriately - just like you would as if you were heading to a face to face interview! Not only is this a sign of respect for the role and the employers time, it also puts you in the right mindset for a professional interview and helps improve your confidence! If you feel confident in your clothes, you will naturally appear more confident in person. Remember small talk is fine - when you are in a face to face interview, you have time to sit in the waiting area, look around, chat to the Receptionist and shake hands with your interviewer; a virtual interview means that you sadly skip that bit, but it is ok to acknowledge the weirdness! This is new for us all, so express that you haven't done this before and how strange it feels interviewing via a screen. Own the strangeness of the situation, you are only human! Its key to prepare questions for the end of the interview to gage what you might be missing from not having that physical interaction. Ask what the company culture is like? What is the office atmosphere like? Would I be able to pop in to visit the office at some point? Do you have members of staff already returning? All these questions are important to ask to ensure that not only do your skills match the role but your personality matches the company culture!” We are so proud of Kerry for tackling her own nerves to offer advice and guidance to candidates who are struggling in these uncertain times and adapting to a “new normal”, to help calm their nerves. You can listen to the full interview here on BBC Sounds.

Libby McCaughey

Projectprofessional

The Balancing Act - People vs Profit

Last week our Director, Martin Burnett, hosted a virtual event entitled “The Balancing Act – People vs Profit”. The event opened a discussion with business owners, finance leaders and HR professionals around the effects of COVID 19 on business and the importance of building an effective strategy to retain cash and people in your organisation. Some fantastic points were made and we have compiled a short blog of Top Tips that materialised from the event. Top Tips: You need to be all over the numbers, producing rolling monthly forecasts and lots of ‘what if’ analysis. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Make sure that as a Business Owner or as Finance Director you are constantly aware of the state of your cash flow and chasing overdue debt the minute it arises. Speaking to numerous businesses across the East Midlands, one key internal change that has resulted in stronger management of cash and team moral has been to utilise your workforce and redeploy labour that would otherwise have been furloughed – e.g. tele sales helping chase debt in credit control – clearly cash management and cash flow has been fundamental to businesses surviving. Being on furlough and, alternatively, being part of a “core team”, both have unique challenges. It’s important to engage with employees and be transparent with what’s happening in the business. People who have worked all through lockdown are likely to feel exhausted and worried. Those on furlough likely feel anxious, and demotivated. So, to try and maintain a united team, communication is key. Stay in touch regularly with furloughed employees and be in open dialogue about work and employees mental health. This is an opportunity to create deeper relationships with your employees. 70% of organisations have reported issues / resentment between those that have been working and those that have been furloughed, especially as they are returning to work now. It’s important that any conflict is address immediately. Always encourage open conversations and you could reach out to an expert on change and conflict to help you navigate through these times.   As we’ve all seen, redundancies have been the most common way of businesses reducing costs. The redundancy process can be an intricate web of legal issues, cost queries and business needs. Redundancies also cause huge unrest and nervousness amongst the remaining employees. So our redundancy expert Gavin says that “Transparency and clear communication is key. Understanding the legal process and balancing that with trying to maintain a strong business culture can be very difficult. If redundancies happen try to make sure it only happens once as cutting twice has a massive knock on effect to those employees who are left, they won’t really ever feel secure in their role” Finally, use employees to give you ideas. It might seem a bit nerve racking to conduct an employee engagement survey during these times but it is an honest and productive way to show your employees you value their opinion, you are committed to improving your culture and it makes them feel included.  If you have any questions about cash flow, finance or HR issues following COVID 19, please reach out and we can put you in touch with one of our experts. 68% of organisations across the UK have said they will be making big internal and external changes to their organisation. So if need advice on more finance, cash flow and future proofing your business please reach out as Allan Caven is a turnaround and distress specialist, with a real focus on profit and building a plan to achieve it. He is an experienced leader with a proven track record in both PLC and SME environments across multiple industries including Energy, Waste, Retail, Financial Services, Recruitment, and Manufacturing. Allan has extensive experience across business partnering, business growth, stakeholder management, business re-structuring, mergers & acquisitions, exit route planning, turnarounds, raising finance and private equity. People and Hr process was as much of a focus before COVID as it is right now, and it’s arguably even more important than ever as organisation need the best people in place to succeed. Gavin Peace FCIPD - HR Director – was on our event to offer advice and guidance on all things from redundancy, restructure and employee engagement. Gavin has several years’ experience overseeing redundancy, restructuring, change and transformation projects. He has industry experience across Financial services, hospitality and Retail. Gavin has previously led a 250 employee TUPE transfer and 450 headcount redundancy consultations simultaneously with zero litigation. He’s also managed redundancy projects both small and large scale up to 1,500 heads.  Gavin has extensive experience across business and team consolidation, team restructures, culture change, system implementation, large and small scale recruitment projects and people management.      

Melissa Kilday

Bbc New

East Midlands Business Outlook 2020

Our MD, Danielle Asano, last week shared her insight into the impact of Covid-19 on the jobs market in an interview with BBC East Midlands Today. We wanted to share further information on the topic as the segment aired was a mere snap shot.Whilst the overall picture may be bleak, we are keen to share with you the many positives we are experiencing in the market at the moment. Even though vacancies have fallen by more than 60%, compared to 2019 figures, new roles have risen month on month since lockdown and we are hoping, of course, that we continue on an upward trajectory.A report conducted by CV-Library revealed the significant drop in vacancies year-on-year was experienced in all areas of the UK. It found key professions such as Administration (down 86.6%), Customer Service (down 77.5%) and Recruitment (down 82.3%) saw the biggest fall in job adverts during this period.However, there was a rise in applications within the public sector (up 179.3%) and medical; (up 27.7%). There has been a substantial increase in the average application to job ratio which rose 84% quarter-on-quarter across the UK, with Leicester seeing one of the largest increases of 117.1%.  Founder and CEO of CV-Library, Lee Biggins said “While applications dropped overall, there were less jobs being advertised and that means there’s a lot more competition for the roles that are available. In addition to this, while the furlough scheme has been a life support to hundreds of thousands of businesses, it does also mean that the national employment rate is possibly higher than it should be right now.“As a result, we expect to see applications pick up in the coming months, as more people are forced to look for new jobs. With the government now encouraging businesses to return to the workplace, it will be interesting to see if this has a further impact on the UK job market going forward.”We too are seeing an influx of experienced and skilled candidates who have sadly been made redundant as a result of the pandemic and others who fear their roles may be at risk. With that in mind, we wanted to share useful advice for candidates active on the market at the moment: - Take the time to analyse your CV and identify any skills gaps you see - Work on yourself! There are lots of reading materials and free courses available to upskill yourself whilst on furlough or looking for work- Write an engaging CV i.e. a sales document who’s sole focus is to get you an interview- Partner with reputable agencies that specialise in your area of expertise.        REC July StatsSize: 491 KBAn insight into the REC Market Report from JulySage StatsSize: 503 KBAn insight into Sage's Report on the impact of COVID-19 on SME's View the latest REC 'Markit' Report HERE

Libby McCaughey

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Coming back from furlough? Top tips when working from home

Create a workspace: Having a dedicated room/space, where you can sit comfortably, solely for work, will help you ‘get in the zone’ and focus. Make sure the workspace has everything you need before you start so you aren’t constantly up and down looking for paper or a pen, for example. If you live with family or in a shared house, be open with them about your expectations during work time, especially when you are on calls/meetings relating to work. Be reasonable but clear on your expectations. Craft a daily work routine: Replicate what you would do if you were in the office; wake up at a certain time, take a break at a certain time etc. Make sure you follow a certain schedule, structure your breaks, and in general, create a structure to follow. Stick to your working hours: Along the same lines as creating a routine, try and stick to your working hours. During this pandemic is has been quite apparent that people may be shifting their working hours to suit them but it’s important to try and retain your working schedule as much as you can. From a Managers stand point what’s also very important is to be open and honest about expectations and flexibility. Also, let your team members know when they can reach out to you throughout the day and be available to them. Check your internet connection: Make sure you have a secure internet connection and fast enough to keep things running at all times. Communicate with your employer if you are having difficulty accessing the internet or if your connection may be unsecure. Be visible: It’s important to stay connected with your team and colleagues. Keep on top of emails and any other internal communication channels. If you have a lot of meetings, or are not working specific hours put that in your calendar so people know when you are available. Limit distractions: Whether that’s taking a TV break, scrolling through social media or making a snack, make sure you have finished (as best you can) the task you are working on so you can leave your work at your desk when taking time out. This will also help you be more productive as it enables you to retain your focus and dedicate your time to your duties. Share your thoughts: Working remotely may be a huge change for some people and in others it can lead to the fear of missing out. Remember that your manager and team members are always there to hear your ideas and updates and some of them will be feeling the same way that you are. These are uncertain times for us all, don’t be frightened of communicating your thoughts. Remember to have fun: Relationships with colleagues are important, it’s a key factor in building a working culture in an organisation. Having them around only virtually can seem strange and can make you feel detached and alone. Try and get involved in fun virtual experiences with colleagues whether that be a quiz or a Friday night catch up. Pursue work-life balance: Maintaining a positive work life balance is something that has been a challenge long before this pandemic. But having work life balance shouldn’t be something you aspire to, you need to create it. Again as mentioned in point 3 “stick to your working hours” - if you work over time on certain days, communicate that to your manager and work out when you can take those hours back, if possible, or at least create yourself a plan to try and reduce this moving forwards.

Melissa Kilday

Personaldev

Have you put your professional and personal development on hold?

I’ve recently watched the 10 part documentary ‘The Last Dance’ which focuses on the life of basketball legend Michael Jordan. It was a great watch (definitely recommend it, even if you aren't a fan of basketball) and it showed insight into the life of numerous superstars  and gave real perspective on Michael Jordan's motivation and drive as a professional athlete. The series talks about the highs and lows in Jordan's life, it shows his commitment to being the best and how that commitment never took a back seat even during the toughest times.  Why am I telling you this? Well, the documentary got me thinking about growth and my own dedication to self-improvement, which has taken on a different dimension this year due to COVID 19 and its impact on the world. The current pandemic has created crises amongst the health and financial markets that are disrupting the lives of almost everyone on our planet. COVID-19 is forcing many of us to confront a new world that is unfamiliar, unpredictable, unexpected and uncontrollable. The rapid change has caused people to purely focus on the here and now which is completely understandable, but it’s important to also try and keep hold of personal and professional goals and motivations during this time, if possible. Before I go on, I want to acknowledge that using the current crisis as an opportunity for personal growth is something that has been forced upon us, we either sink or we swim. This blog is not intended to reduce or distract from the seriousness of the consequences many people will face due to COVID 19. However, many people are motivated by working on their personal development whether that be via education or through experience and it’s important that, even during challenging times, that doesn’t stop, you just need to manage your expectations accordingly. Progression within business is important for many employees and, even in times like this, dreams and ambitions shouldn’t need to be put on hold. Rather, they should be adjusted in line with what the new business world may look like during and following this pandemic. Many businesses will be in no position to offer that progression right now. But it is still just as important to note how you may be able to develop your skill set and knowledge during this time and understand what short term goals can replace some of the more longer term ones you originally had planned. For those on furlough, being detached from work may be causing stress and worry, others may be enjoying some ‘time out’. Either way it’s important to ask yourself how you may be able to utilise this time to set goals you never thought about before?  Such as; taking up online classes, reading that book on leadership you were always keen on, volunteering, even gaining insight to a completely new skill that may be outside your professional field. Personal development can be inspired by role models in all different fields, such as Michael Jordan. People working in key/core roles may be feeling additional pressure and stress due to an increase or decrease in business demand, they may be working in a new environment, with new systems implemented purely due to lockdown. I’ve spoken to some people who are even doing a completely different role to help out. It’s important that, if possible, you try to understand how this time could provide you with an unexpected chance to grow and understand how this is impacting your professional development. You may be learning new ways to handle stress, learning how to get the most out of rapid change and even how you've adapted your leadership style to suit the ‘new norm’ such as managing remotely. Either way your personal and professional goals and ambitions should not be shelved, we need something to focus on during times of adversity. It’s healthy to be mindful on how you are growing during this time and if you feel like you are not, then reach out to someone who may be able to help and provide guidance on how to make the most out of this time. If you don’t have a personal development plan now is a good time  to sit and reflect on what it is you want to achieve and how you may need to adapt to do that in these current times. Ask yourself questions on how you want to develop outside your role, what objectives can you set yourself that are achievable now rather than later. If you would like access to a development template, please email me and I can send one over.  I’m writing this blog because I’ve always been passionate about development and I’ve had some times in my life where I felt lost, and focusing on my personal and professional goals gave me a much needed anchor to grasp hold of. I didn’t realise that during the last few months I have been ignoring and distancing myself from my dreams, as if I sub consciously gave up on ever achieving them. Over the last 10 years I have chased those dreams passionately, with a fierce commitment to achieve them, and I felt extremely disappointed in myself for almost letting them go - even temporarily. I now need to refocus my personal development to enable me to grow and develop in the “new, post COVID 19, business world”. This has been a difficult time, there’s no denying that but I want to make sure that when I look back on this period of my life, I know I have been present and mindful in understanding how difficulty creates opportunity.

Melissa Kilday

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Blurring the lines between work and home life - how to reduce burnout and stress!

Last week Twitter announced that they were giving employees the ability and option to work from home indefinitely. There are clearly positives and negatives regarding this with experts saying we shouldn't be surprised if people are starting to feel unmotivated or less productive. For many, working from home started out positively! Extra time in bed, no reason to get dressed unless you are on video calls that day and spending more time with the children. For others, it was more negative, as it’s natural for people to need a routine and to be able to separate personal lives from their professional one, which is hard in any normal situation, but in times like these its become almost impossible. Burnout was already on the rise before the coronavirus, in part because the blurred professional boundaries made it more difficult to switch off. We are now in a world that is considered ‘always on’ which means we have instant, one touch access to the whole world. We have no regimented down time. Did you know that, on average, professionals check their email 15 times per day, or every 37 minutes and some people (including myself) check work emails first thing in the morning and last thing at night. With the “new normal” now being that people work from home and organisations starting to contemplate a permanent remote working culture, we need to understand and know what that will do to our personal lives and mental health, both in a negative and positive way. I personally enjoy working from home but only for short periods of time. Personality testing indicates that, being a extrovert, I thrive being around people, which makes times like this difficult as, like most, I enjoy human interaction.