Eloise’s May 2020 News – Gratitude, Government Updates and Useful Advice

Welcome to May!

We hope you and your loved ones are all ok and remain safe and well. My monthly blog post is a little late this month I’m afraid. One of the reasons for this is that we’ve been creating so much new and useful content to help people cope with the current situation, and all that extra content creation has taken a lot of time. Also, I wanted to wait until after the bank holiday weekend (which is usually much earlier in the month) to digest and highlight some of the main changes coming up from the Government, which have just been announced.

So, this month’s blog is going to be a mix of good news, updates, positivity, gratitude and looking to the future which will hopefully be brighter times for all of us.

VE Day celebrations and our gratitude for others

It was a unique bank holiday this year for many reasons. Firstly, it was on a Friday rather than the usual first Monday in May, which was changed in order to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. It was a strange but great day which really started for us the evening before. As usual, we clapped for our carers on Thursday evening at 8pm, but this time we joined many of our neighbours who were also out at the end of their drives and gardens on Lubenham Hill in Market Harborough. It had a great community feel and was made special by the procession of work vehicles that made their way past in a long convoy, flying their flags, waving and beeping their horns all to celebrate and give thanks to our NHS and keyworkers. Our kids really enjoyed seeing everyone out as I know they like many others have been feeling very isolated recently.

Unusually for the UK the bank holiday weather was fantastic, which really helped the general mood. It was lovely to see so many people flying flags and bunting and embracing the VE Day celebrations. We were actually able to spend some time with our neighbours (at a safe distance) and to get some much needed engagement with someone outside our house. Even Waffles was able to have a run around with another dog, so everyone was happy.

Thanking all those who are currently working to help us through the crisis, whilst also celebrating the sacrifices made by so many 75 years ago, certainly made for a very emotional couple of days. I am so grateful for all of the amazing people in our community, and continue to be thankful for all they have done and continue to do.

Latest news from the Government

Last night Boris Johnson gave quite a unique speech and announced his plans to restart the economy and ease lockdown restrictions in England. There was a lot to cover and if you need to recap then full details can be found on the .gov website at https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-the-nation-on-coronavirus-10-may-2020.

From a recruitment point of view there were some interesting updates. The Government are looking to gradually bring business back out of lockdown and have come up with the following:

  • From Wednesday 13th May, people in England who “can’t work from home” will be “actively encouraged to go to work” (the government had earlier indicated this would apply from Monday)
  • But they should still avoid public transport if possible because of social distancing
  • And the government says it is working on guidance for employers to make workplaces “Covid-secure”

These plans raise many potential issues and there are a number of things that need clarifying and questions that still need answering. None of us know if these changes are the right thing to do at the right time, and many businesses and employees will be worried about their safety. People are being told to continue to work from home where possible, and some companies may need to look at staggering shifts, rethink how equipment is shared and plan safe walking routes for staff – in offices, on factory floors and at building sites.

The issue of how businesses can secure personal protective equipment without competing with the NHS has also raised concerns. Unions are rightfully highlighting the fact that employers must be compelled to protect staff.

At Vanilla we are monitoring the situation on a daily basis. We will continue to talk and communicate with our clients as much as we can, but at the moment we haven’t seen much change from what’s been the norm over the past six weeks or so. We’ll make sure to keep you all updated of any changes we see.

The BBC have a very brief guide and highlights some of the new rules set out by Boris which may be useful: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/explainers-52530518

Lockdown life: Dog grooming and surviving homeschooling

I wrote a blog post recently highlighting a few things affecting my life personally during lockdown. The main things I discuss are the terrible job we did of cutting Waffles hair, and the possibly equally bad job we’re doing of trying to be teachers. You can read the post here, which has some great advice from actual teachers. https://www.vanillarecruitment.co.uk/client-recruitment-advice/lockdown-life-dog-grooming-and-surviving-homeschooling/

Making the most of your time on furlough

It’s fair to say that at the moment many of us find ourselves in a situation that we could never have predicted when we pictured what 2020 held in store for us.

Furthermore, as part of the unprecedented events of the last couple of months, many of us now also find ourselves affected by a term we had perhaps never heard before February; being placed on furlough.

If you have been furloughed and are essentially not permitted to work, you may have been considering what you might constructively do with this period of time. How can you add value to your skill set, maintain a sense of purpose and keep on track for when lockdown is over?

If so we’ve written a post just for you: https://www.vanillarecruitment.co.uk/candidate-job-seeking-advice/making-the-most-of-your-time-on-furlough/

Engaging your remote workforce

Many companies are now requiring their employees to work from home, and asking employees to shift to remote work arrangements can be demanding and difficult, especially for organisations that don’t have remote work already embedded in their cultures.

One of the biggest challenges in managing remote workers is ensuring effective and efficient communication. With team members spread out across various locations, coordinating work hours to schedule online meetings isn’t easy. This can cause confusion that slows progress and delays in projects. Employees can also feel isolated and out of the loop, becoming frustrated with management.

Our post covering this topic is designed to help and explains how to keep your employees engaged whilst they are working remotely. Read it here: https://www.vanillarecruitment.co.uk/client-recruitment-advice/engaging-your-remote-workforce/

How to Conduct an Effective Virtual Interview

As companies everywhere are forced to make adjustments and prioritise the health and safety of their employees and communities during the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses are reassessing how they conduct candidate job interviews. In many cases, this means changing from in-person interviews to virtual ones.

For some recruiters, virtual or video interviews are familiar and their companies have established video conferencing capabilities. But for many others, this is all brand new and companies are being forced to quickly adapt to new technologies and adjust from traditional ways of working.

You can read our 5 top tips on conducting a virtual interview here: https://www.vanillarecruitment.co.uk/client-recruitment-advice/how-to-conduct-an-effective-virtual-interview/

A day in the life of a remote recruiter

I’m sure you’ve all often wondered what it’s like to be working from home as a recruiter during these times 🤔😂 Well wonder no longer 😀 Our very own Jodie has written a great blog post explaining what a day in the life of a remote recruiter is like at the moment.

Have a read and feel free to let us know how this compares to your day in these strange times: https://www.vanillarecruitment.co.uk/client-recruitment-advice/remote-recruitment-a-day-in-the-life-of-a-work-from-home-recruiter/

HR Huddle – Managing the Mental Health of Employees during COVID-19

Many of you will know that our quarterly HRHuddle events aimed at HR professionals have been running for several years now. But did you also know that we are now running more regular virtual HRHuddles to help businesses with the dramatic changes that have been caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Having a virtual presentation means we can really open up the huddle and welcome anyone interested in the topic, especially HR professionals and business owners to join us.

This Wednesday’s topic is “Managing the Mental Health of Employees during COVID-19”. It’s only an hour of your time at 2pm, and you can log in and listen to a great presentation from Kat Marlow. See full details of the event on Eventbrite at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hr-huddle-managing-the-mental-health-of-employees-during-covid-19-tickets-104329229534

Remember that we are here for you now and in the future

There are so many unknowns but we’ll do our best to keep you informed and up to date on any important information and advice, especially with regards to employment and recruitment in general.

That’s all from me this month. Stay safe and I’ll be back with a new monthly blog in June.

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 – SalesMarketingAccountancy & FinanceHR and Office