Eloise’s March 2020 News – Mental Health, Recruitment Matters, New Consultant, New Website

Welcome to March 2020

Welcoming you to March I imagined I would be chatting with you about spring blooming all around us and the sunshine bursting through. But, as you know, it’s been storm after storm; flooding, wind like never before and snow! It’s been crazy. This weekend just gone was meant to be stormy again, but we did okay and got some dry weather and a welcomed interlude of winter sunshine.

I hope you and your business hasn’t been too badly impacted by the storms.

It’s impressive that bluebells, daffodils and snowdrops are still tough enough to push on through and are popping up in gardens all over the place. There’s a real metaphor for life right there.

Mental Health in the Workplace

From bluebells to mental health… our last ‘HR Huddle’ session had a fantastic focus on mental health in the workplace with key speaker Kat Marlow, from Positive Change in Market Harborough.

I do a lot at Vanilla with my team to harvest and support positive mental health, but the session with Kat highlighted other things I could be doing. One of those was to have mental health champions in the team. After asking for volunteers to take on and shape the role, I am very happy that Nikki and Jaimini were keen to get involved.

How this role evolves over time I’ll keep you updated on. But to get them started and show my commitment to this permanent initiative. Nikki and Jaimini are joining Gateway HR in Corby, for their new mental health workshop.

The stats around poor mental health in the workplace are simply staggering. It is frightening what people are going through and it’s saddening that businesses are often exacerbating the situation without always being aware of it. Is this enough to get you to explore better mental health provision for your business?

The other side of the coin that might get you thinking more about this is the impact of people’s poor mental health on your bottom line. The government commissioned an independent report by Dennis Stevenson and Paul Falmer about workplace mental health. It detailed that:

  • the financial cost of poor mental health in the workplace is significant and estimated to be £33bn – £42bn for the UK; the mid-point of which is equivalent to almost 2% of UK GDP
  • the costs reported per employee ranged from £497 – £2,564. This was depending on the industry and sector


You could take the lower amount per employee, that you would lose on average, and think about how you could spend that amount on each employee to help support their mental health. You’d be spending/losing the same amount of money, but you’d be gaining a healthier, more engaged and more productive team.

It’s worth thinking about. Maybe the Gateway HR mental health champion workshop could be the start of this journey for you.

HR Huddle

Our next HR Huddle is coming up. As I mentioned, it’s for HR professionals; either in standalone roles or as part of a team. It’s not an elitist group, it’s for collectively sharing HR knowledge, so works for all levels of HR professionals. It is about peer to peer learning, networking and employment law updates.

The next session is on Wednesday 29th April in Market Harborough. Our key speaker will be Gary Beckwith from Gobby Ltd on the topic of Stakeholder Engagement – The Power of Co Creation.

If you would like to be added to the mailing list or have someone in your business who might like to join us let me know.

The current recruitment market

We’re in an interesting recruitment market at the moment. The trend continues with a distinct lack of skilled available candidates pro-actively looking for new opportunities. We’re also seeing a lot of companies lose out on their preferred person due to being slow at arranging second interviews, delayed decision making and down to the amount of choice of opportunities that good calibre jobseekers have.

I cannot stress enough the importance of a slick recruitment process.

There simply isn’t time now, in most cases, for a period of mulling things over. You need to have your timeline and diary appointments in place up front, so everyone involved in decision making at your end know where and when they are required.

We have some great tips via this link about how to get this right.

Vanilla news – we welcome Jodie Clements

It’s all go here. Firstly, we have another new recruit!

After welcoming Caitlin to our team just before Christmas., we’re delighted to have Jodie Clements joining us this week.

Jodie is joining Sarah Clarke as a Consultant on our Temporary Division. She has worked in recruitment locally for the past 4 years within the commercial market.  We would like to welcome her to the team and will be introducing her to clients once she is trained on the ‘Vanilla’ way of doing things; our systems and processes.

Vanilla news – we have a new website

In other exciting news, we also have a brand new website. Our fabulous Charlene and Nathan have been working with our friends at ClickReturn to refresh our website. Our branding remains familiar; we’re keeping this as we all still love it. The new website is as bright and beautiful as ever, but have a look and it is also now:

  • Easier to navigate and use
  • Formats better on mobiles and tablets
  • Has a more simplified and clearer job application process

Have a look around and if you have any comments at all, good or bad, drop us a line: hello@vanillarecruitment.co.uk

National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates increase

On 1 A‌pr‌il 2020, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates for all age bands and for apprentices will increase.

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on your age and whether you’re an apprentice.

You must be at least:

  • school leaving age to get the National Minimum Wage
  • aged 25 to get the National Living Wage – the minimum wage will still apply for workers aged 24 and under

Current rates

These rates are for the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage. The rates change every April.

Year 25 and over 21 to 24 18 to 20 Under 18 Apprentice
April 2019 (current rate) £8.21 £7.70 £6.15 £4.35 £3.90
April 2020 £8.72 £8.20 £6.45 £4.55 £4.15

Find out more info on the gov.uk website


I’ll be back in touch with more Vanilla goings on, to introduce Jodie properly and lots of recruitment news next month. Until then, I hope you have a great March.

Best wishes



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 – Sales, Marketing, Accountancy & Finance, HR and Office