Eloise’s March 2019 News – New Team Member, Self-Development, Good Work Plan and Office Dogs

Hello, and welcome to March.

February is obviously the shortest month, but I really, really felt it this year. I feel like I blinked, and it was all over. But what a stonking February it has been. We saw the hottest UK February day since records began and Spring was springing up everywhere! It has been magnificent and probably just what we all needed to feel a little brighter with the uncertainty of Brexit hanging over us.

March’s weather is a bit more seasonal so far but from what I’ve seen already that is a good thing for both the environment and our farmers. ​

Our new recruit – Welcome Sarah Cole

I’d like to kick off this month’s blog by officially introducing my newest Vanilla team member… welcome Sarah Cole. We now have a trio of recruiting Sarah’s. Our newest Sarah has joined our Marketing recruitment team. She joins us after having previously worked in recruitment for many years but having taken a few years out to raise her family.

She is a true recruitment professional, loving meeting people, getting to know and understand new businesses and helping to match candidates with their dream jobs. Helping people and businesses to meet their aspirations is a big passion for Sarah.

If you have any marketing recruitment needs, get in touch and drop Sarah or Nikki a line directly.

Sarah Cole – Marketing Recruitment: [email protected] or call on 07540 331821

Nikki Sargent – Sales and Marketing Recruitment: [email protected] or call on 07772 908905

As you may know we recruit sales and marketing staff throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market Harborough, Leicester, Lutterworth, Northampton, Corby and Kettering.

What’s been happening at Vanilla in February?

Me and the team have been visiting clients all over our patch this month. I mention it because I think we’ve possibly seen record meeting numbers here in Market Harborough and Leicester, Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough and from one side of North Leicestershire right down to South Northamptonshire. We’ve covered the miles, caught up with some great clients and enjoyed quite a few cups of tea 🙂

We especially like to meet at our client’s offices because it gives us a much better feel for a company’s culture when we’re actually there. To visit people we have placed within a business and follow up with them to find out how they are getting on, as well as seeing where a new recruit would be based and then meet the team they’ll be working alongside, is a really important part of our jobs.

Self-development February – Refreshing and refocusing my recruitment skills

It’s easy when you’re running a business and managing a team, to purely concentrate on those around you. Doing 121’s, developing your people and getting them on courses and self-development initiatives, you tend to overlook yourself. So, one of my New Year resolutions was to take some of my own advice, to do some self-development for the good of myself and for Vanilla Recruitment.

I spent two days in London last week on a recruitment leaders course. It’s always good to refresh, refocus and brush up on your skills. It was also so nice meeting and chatting to like-minded people from across the country and sharing knowledge and inspiring each other.

I absolutely recommend to any business owner to ensure you invest in yourself.

Coming soon – Introducing the Government’s ‘Good Work Plan’

In 2018, the Government commissioned a review of UK work places in order for us as a country to continue to have the right employment law and policy framework to underpin the rise in employment numbers since 2010.

The aim of this is to allow Britain to thrive whilst protecting the workforce and cultivating fairness and inclusion in the workplace. A good thing.

What we all need to keep an eye on is the number of policy changes that will be introduced this year and then on-going via reviews and consultations to keep policies current.

Some of the key things to look out for in the Government’s ‘Good Work plan’:

  • Itemised payslips– from 6th April 2019, all employees will be entitled to an itemised payslip
  • Key facts documents – this is one I am hotly following. It’s going through parliament at the moment and will require businesses to provide job seekers/applicants, with a ‘key facts’ document about the business before contracts are signed. In the same way as mortgage lenders already provide. The point of it is to be completely transparent about what an employee will get paid in certain circumstances; holiday pay, use of umbrella companies etc.
  • Written statements – in a similar set up as key facts documents, the government are considering introducing ‘written statements’ to be given to employees on day 1 of their contracts to outline their employment status, entitlements, contract and pay. This would be an amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996.
  • Holiday pay legislation and guidance – there is a government campaign to promote the entitlement to holiday pay and from April 2020, they want to have introduced an irregular hour’s holiday pay calculator to make calculations easier and more transparent. I think this would be a great addition as it is tricky working out and tracking holiday entitlements for workers not on a standard 9-5, 5 days per week working pattern.

I’ll keep you updated on any changes coming into force as part of the Good Work Plan, as things are agreed. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/good-work-plan/good-work-plan

Vanilla’s awesome office dogs (and our new member of the team)

You may remember me saying that many of my team are either dog owners or would desperately like to be. And as part of supporting mental health and work/life balance and our office environment, we’ve been doing a bring your dog to work trial.

There’s been lots of studies about the positive impact of having dogs in the workplace, with findings ranging from increased productivity, reduced stress levels, increased team cohesion and increased employee engagement and trust.

Well, our own trial has been a great success. Our three daily dogs have been very well behaved, settled in very well and the team are reaping the calming benefits of having dogs around (except for the occasional barking when we are on the phone). Here’s the trio of Dodford, Pebbles and Tipex:

So, having been a dog owner in the past, me and my family decided to take the leap of getting a new puppy to join our family, and to come work as our own office dog. Fingers crossed our gorgeous little Cavapoo will learn very quickly to stop chewing everything and that our other office dogs will be a calming influence on him too! Say hello to Waffles (yes he sleeps a lot at the moment) 🙂

If you’re not comfortable around dogs, don’t worry, our meeting rooms are well away from our upstairs working rooms where our 4 office dogs hangout on cushions, usually on different days. If you’d like us to bring one of our beloved canines to a meeting at Vanilla though, just ask, we’d be delighted to!

That’s it for another month. Have a fabulous March.


We recruit throughout the East Midlands covering Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Rutland and the surrounding areas, especially Market harborough, 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 – Sales, Marketing, Accountancy & Finance, HR and Office.