Eloise’s July 2021 News – Confidence, Help HR, Office Return, Workplace Menopause

Hello and welcome to July

As we go into the third quarter of the year, with most of us wondering where the first half of 2021 went, we are starting to feel change is in the air.

There are big government decisions due mid-July. Decisions that could mean the reopening of the final tranche of businesses and the lifting of all restrictions. Will it be the final step? Covid-19 case numbers are rising but if we’re not swamping the NHS, this could be the last we’ll see of restrictions.

We all need to be mindful that this will bring a huge range of emotions with it. For some it’ll be a time for celebration, for others it will be about reflection, anxiety, stress, mourning, even fear.

Everyone’s feelings are valid and need to be respected.

How is this impacting the recruitment market?

The keyword in the June Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) report is ‘confidence’.

Business confidence in the UK economy surged 21 percentage points in March-May 2021 – the highest it’s been since June 2018. And employer confidence in making hiring and investment decisions increased by 29 percentage points to its highest since March 2016.

In the REC employer survey, the short and medium-term outlook for businesses was that between 62-67% expect to keep the same number of overall employees. Roughly 25% expect to increase numbers slightly and about 4% expect to ‘increase greatly’.

This is reflected in temporary recruitment, with 46-50% expecting to stay the same in terms of overall numbers. 29-35% expect to ‘increase slightly’ and 2-4% to ‘increase greatly’.

This is amazing news for businesses. After the last 18 months we’ve all had it is almost unbelievable to be honest.

Another point of note is wage growth. Wages are up 5.6%, 4.4% higher when adjusted for inflation. This is certainly something to consider when deciding on salaries when recruiting.

Candidates are still in short supply. Engaging with agencies is highly recommended to take the pressure off internal HR teams.

Helping your HR teams

I ran a single question survey a few weeks ago to find out ‘what is the biggest challenge HR professionals are facing right now?’.

The top results were:

  • People not wanting to come back into the office to work
  • Recruitment / recruiting the right people
  • Being overworked and under-resourced

Employees are more important than ever right now. Meaning your HR professionals are super important. They are trying to hold the business together in terms of the people’s agenda, but they are feeling stretched.

There are areas where we, at Vanilla, can take some of the strain away from them. It might be managing your recruitment processes. It might be getting some temporary or even permanent support in place.

Please utilise our skills. If we can take some of the strain, it’s for the benefit of your HR team and therefore for the benefit of your business.

HR Huddle – next event

Whilst we’re talking HR, our event on 30th June was a total sell out. The topic was ‘Managing employees with anxiety / depression’ with Keeley Baigent. If you’d like to receive the recordings from the event, please drop me a line and I’ll email them over for you. It really was a very insightful, practical, and helpful session.

Our next session is with Julie Denis on Wednesday, 18th August from 2-3pm.

The topic is ‘Menopause in the workplace’. Excusing the pun, this is a super-hot topic, menopause is trending. From financial institutions to local councils to SMEs, every week heralds a new press story celebrating the launch of another company menopause initiative.

And rightly so, with more women in the workplace than ever before, implementing a menopause support and awareness programme is an investment in not just your current workforce but in future generations and the future success of your organisation too.

This is set to be an interactive and positive session designed to generate discussion and resolve immediate challenges. If you are not on our HRHuddle mailing list just drop me an email if you’re interested in attending or receiving the videos afterwards.

How people are feeling about office working

With one of our HR survey top answers being people not wanting to come back into the office to work, I wanted to explore this further.

We ran a poll last week on LinkedIn, asking people:

With lockdown restrictions easing and many businesses planning on going back into the offices if they haven’t already, how are YOU feeling?

The results were:

  • 54% Can’t wait
  • 23% Anxious / stressed
  • 23% Forced / under pressure

Worryingly that’s 46% who are not feeling great about returning to the office. Are you managing this? Are you looking at hybrid working or sticking with home working?

Have you consulted your teams to find out how they’d like to move forward?

Rise of the ‘third’ workplace

This is another option to put into the mix… With flexible and hybrid working on everyone’s agendas, coupled with the easing of restrictions, there’s been a recent surge in the popularity of the ‘third’ workplace.

So many have us have been working from home and are, or are about to start, splitting our time between home and the office. But on our ‘home’ days, do we actually need to be at ‘home’? More and more people are choosing to work from locations other than the office or own home.

This used to be a privilege mainly enjoyed by the self-employed, working from a coffee shop, garden centre, art space, campervan, or shared office space.

How do you feel about it? Do you work from places other than the office or your home sometimes?

Would you encourage your teams to work from a ‘third’ office? Could this work for your business?

Vanilla’s own ‘third’ office space

We have office space available in Market Harborough if you are looking for a change of scenery with longer-term and hot desking options available.

The offices are close to the town centre with plenty of amenities and shops. Included will be free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee.

Just get in touch if you have any questions or would like to arrange to see the space.

If your job is now 100% homeworking this could be just what you need to build some interaction back in.

Diversity & inclusion

Our HRHuddle last month was with ‘Diversity Dana’, Dana James-Edward our diversity, equality, and inclusion partner. She was amazing and the session was a great way for everyone to re-evaluate their own way of working and seeing others.

With Dana, we have written a couple of blog posts on the topic. Have a read when you get chance:



And if you haven’t yet watched the video from the session with Dana, this is a great watch https://youtu.be/pmPG6gJSgA0

That’s it for another month

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of the topics I’ve mentioned here. Likewise, is there anything specific you’d like to hear about in my posts?

Have a good July and fingers crossed for the sun to come back (you thought I’d managed a whole post without mentioning the weather!).


PS If you’ve not already done so check out the ‘The State Of Recruitment Report 2021’ to see what impact has COVID-19 had on the recruitment market in the East Midlands?

We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Lutterworth, Leicester, Corby and Kettering. We help people find their perfect job and match suitable jobseekers with businesses looking to hire the best candidates across our five specialisms – SalesMarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office

Please find below some helpful links:

Gain a new skill in 2021

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