Eloise’s October 2021 News – Recruitment Trends, Furlough Ends, Winter Health and Wellbeing

Hello and welcome to October

It’s the final quarter! Wow, as always, the year is flying by – well, the last 2 years have been pretty much a blur with everything going on in the world.

I’ve got quite a practical post for you this month. Information about the furlough scheme coming to end and employee reintegration. And I’m kicking off the conversation about winter employee health and wellbeing.

The recruitment markets

There are no surprises in the August KPMG and REC, UK Report on Jobs. The trend has carried on growing; hiring activity growth accelerates but candidate availability falls further. The knock-on effect has been another surge in starting salaries, making it very much a job-seekers market.

The end of the furlough scheme might relieve some of the people shortages, but it is predicted that the skills gaps and people shortfall will stay tight for a few years to come.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“Business leaders should be looking now at how they will build their future workforces, in partnership with recruiters, including the skills and career path development. But attracting and retaining staff also requires a serious assessment of why workers want to work with the firm – from management approaches to facilities, as well as pay.”

“Government can help too, by aligning skills offers with business needs and making sure the new immigration system works. But government also must prioritise alleviating the immediate crisis – we’d like to see a joint forum where government departments and business can collaborate to tackle worker and skills shortages.”

The end of the furlough scheme

The 30th of September marked the end of the furlough scheme. We will find out as October progresses what this means for the estimated one million workers still on the scheme having not fully returned to work.

Since the pandemic began, the scheme has helped to pay the wages of 11.6 million workers. It is predicted by the Bank of England that unemployment will rise slightly as the scheme ends, but that could be good news for those trying to recruit as the available candidate market could swell.

Those still on the scheme in September are most likely to be from the travel sector.

There is an opportunity here for those wanting to recruit but there might need to be a bit of ‘thinking outside of the box’. For example, someone with no experience in your sector or type of business, could be a good fit for you with the right training and support. It’s going to be about personality and drive over specific experience. If you take this approach, it is worth being explicit in your job adverts.

Redundancy after furlough

It’s important to remember the redundancy rules have not changed.

The CIPD have reported that they’re starting to see employment tribunals “where employers have misunderstood the interface between redundancy and furlough and handled matters incorrectly”.

More information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and redundancy procedures can be found here:


Reintegration after furlough

HR Magazine has just published results from 215 respondents of their LinkedIn poll.

  • 39% said they were planning to fully bring staff back after furlough
  • 44% said they would be doing a mix of redundancies, part-time work and bringing staff back full time over the months ahead.

Read the full article here: https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/news/how-can-hr-reintegrate-staff-post-furlough

The big issue is going to be transitioning employees back into the workplace. After significant time away from work or their original job, there needs to be a period for them to adjust.

Working hours, technology, social distancing rules – these are all things that might need to be readdressed, retrained or freshly briefed in.

People furloughed for extended periods could have experienced poor mental health or feelings of not being needed by their employer. And on the flip side, people not furloughed in a business where others were, could feel resentment to those they might perceive as having had a nice long holiday.

Both will need addressing and acknowledging for everyone to be able to support each other and move forward.

Our new blog post titled ‘Managing Employees with Anxiety and Depression – Where to start?’ might also be useful for you to read https://www.vanillarecruitment.co.uk/recruitment-news/managing-employees-with-anxiety-and-depression-where-to-start/

HR factors to consider post furlough

The FSB have put together a great video and set of resources to help manage the end of furlough:



Winter spotlight on health and wellbeing

Yes, it’s autumn and not winter yet, but it’s mainly grey, wet, and a bit chilly outside already. As the days get shorter it’s time to start thinking ahead and planning for employee safety, health and wellbeing through the winter.

With lots of people working from home or a mix of home and office, there are loads of things we can easily do to support mental health this winter.

  • Change of scenery – this might be the easiest one at the moment. We all benefit from changing things up a bit. Having a different view. Sitting in the same location day in day out, particularly if you are working from home on your own, can get stale. Try working from a café, a different room, buddying up with a homeworking friend etc.
  • Flexible hours/breaks – it can be hard when you start work in the dark and finish work in the dark. Where possible be flexible and encourage people to get outside for a walk during the day or start work earlier so they can finish when it’s still light
  • Vitamin D – during the darker months we tend to all need a top-up of vitamin D and the difference it can make is huge. We shouldn’t ever push anything onto anyone but it’s a great thing to encourage.

Also, please think about if you have people arriving and leaving the office in the dark. With lots of people working from home, there might be more times when someone is walking alone and could feel vulnerable. Are there outside lights you could install or priority parking spaces for later finishers? Maybe the rule could be that nobody leaves alone.

That’s it for another month

So, it’s been quite a serious one for me this month. I guess this October is about getting your ducks in a row. Making sure your people are happy, that your working practices are supporting your people and their mental health, and that your business is set up ready for the next quarter and beyond. That you are able to think creatively to solve any business issues/challenges. Preparing for, what will undoubtedly be, a fast few weeks in the run to the end of the year.

Have a great October


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

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