Eloise’s September 2022 News – Results, Recruitment Success, Supporting Staff, Four Day Week

Recruitment Success Vanilla Recruitment

Hello and welcome to September

Recruitment Success, September is upon us. Another of our transitional months as we journey from summer into autumn. Usually, the bright greens and yellows start to fade to make way for browns and golds. But with all the dry weather we’ve had, there are already lots of browns.

The crop fields have almost all been harvested, and then the work begins to prep the land for the next cycle. And we’re all in that same cycle; prep, grow, harvest, repeat. And September feels like that reset point. Summer holidays have been taken, kids are back to school, and it’s time for our usual routines to kick back in as we set new goals and intentions ahead of the final quarter of the year.

For lots of business, September tends to be when the foot goes back on the gas. It’s that time of year for my team and me when we get a surge of candidates and jobs coming to the market, after the quieter summer months.

GCSE and A-level results day

Late August saw results days for just under 1 million 16 and 18-year-olds in England. For those having done A-levels, this was their first time physically sitting exams – having missed out on exams for their GCSEs.

Overall grades and performance were high, but what has been the actual impact of the pandemic on this age group? And how will that impact employers and workplaces in the future?

I have heard of a lot of 18-year-olds opting to take a year out rather than head straight to university. With uni’s having struggled with online and remote learning for the last 2 years, this could have put people off going. Or does this age group want to travel, be free and see the world after being locked down for so long?

And quite a few students going on to do their A-levels post GCSE, are opting for colleges slightly further afield than their local sixth form centre. Again, is this a result of wanting to explore further than your hometown after not being able to for so long?

All this got me thinking about how this generation will approach the workplace. They are very well versed in ‘schooling from home’ and working remotely. Using technology to access the resources they need and logging into meetings and lessons.

Whilst we all grapple with hybrid working – if it’s staying or going – if it works or not. Will we have much choice by the time the younger ‘Gen Zers’ hit the executive employment market? Or will they favour and appreciate face-to-face time?

Time will tell.

The recruitment market

You’ll have heard me say before when recruitment is busy, it’s a real barometer for how businesses are performing. And it’s looking like this September will be a busy one with lots of clients already talking about jobs they have coming up.

The KPMG and REC Report on Jobs published in August shows us just what we expect to see at this point in the summer. Less candidate availability, softer demand for staff, and an overall slowing of the recruitment market. Although, we didn’t get this last year as we were amid the pandemic recovery boom. So, the monthly trends are starting to kick back in.

The main takeaway from this month’s report is that starting salaries are continuing to rise sharply. This is the bit you need to factor into your recruitment plans. If you want to attract top talent for your roles, you need the package on offer to be competitive and attractive.

September and April are the months people start thinking about changing jobs. They will likely dip their toe and have a look at what’s out there and if it’s worth moving for. Be there ready to be spotted with a strong offering.

Speed up your recruitment process for success

I keep saying it, if you’re recruiting you need to act fast. Too many employers are still working with a slow recruitment process. Taking time to get to the interview stage, and working around staff holidays etc, holding up second round interviews and offers. It’s unlikely to get you who you want.

The bottom line is that there are more available jobs than people looking for them. Unless you show real interest in people and move quickly, they simply won’t be sat waiting for you when you’ve got all your ducks in a row. Employers don’t have the upper hand anymore. You must impress your applicants as much as they must impress you.

This post from Namrata Bhawnani at LinkedIn News, summaries it perfectly: https://www.linkedin.com/news/story/move-fast-to-get-the-best-talent-5976306/

And the comment on that post from Brigette Hyacinth is a great illustration:

ME: Candidate accepted another offer.
CLIENT: I thought she really liked our company.
ME: Yes, she did
CLIENT: I don’t understand why she would throw away a great future here.
ME: She is very talented. She will have a great future wherever she chooses.
CLIENT: But we’re #1 in our space!

“Companies need to realize interviews are two-way streets. You are not only choosing the candidate, but the candidate is also choosing you. While you are taking 3+ months to hire someone (looking for perfection) putting candidates through multiple interviews and tests – another company recognized her worth and made her an offer far above the market range.”

A three-month recruitment process is still common from an employer’s point of view. But applicants are not looking for a 3-month investment of their time. Our world is fast-paced, and the recruitment process needs to keep up.

Cost of living crisis – how are you supporting staff?

As the ongoing cost of living crises puts a greater strain on everyone’s resources month on month. With autumn and winter approaching, how can you best support your employees?

Research from an online well-being platform has found that 30% of employees think their employer cares about their financial health. This is down from 52% ahead of the crisis.

The number of people who think their employer doesn’t care has also risen from 22% to 35%.

Off the back of this research, Jamie Lawrence, insights director at Wagestream is encouraging companies to better communicate with employees. To highlight what benefits and perks they have access to and break the ‘money stigma’.

We all know it’s not as simple as giving everyone a pay rise, although if you can, this is a great option, but there are other creative things we could all be doing to help each other. Lift sharing, shifting working patterns to allow for a hot cooked meal for lunch that’s prepared at work, personal phone charging in the office.

Look at the benefits you have on offer and ask if people are using them or if you could swap them for things that would have more impact right now. Perks type packages are not cheap so check if you’re getting value from them and if you’re not, work out with your team what would be better.

Lots of little changes all add up. And there is a chance here for HR teams and employers to make a real difference for people – and off the back of it, all create a great culture and a loyal team.

It’s what you do now that will matter to your current team and the legacy of your actions will help form the opinions of your future team.

Read the research here: https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/content/news/cost-of-living-crisis-erodes-employee-trust

And here is a link to Best Companies interviewing some of their member organisations who are thinking creatively about how they support people. It’s a good watch. https://www.b.co.uk/articles/cost-of-living-crisis

My final thought for this month’s post… ‘is Thursday the new Friday’?

I was reading this article the other day: https://www.linkedin.com/news/story/are-thursdays-the-new-fridays-5980554/

It talks about Thursday being the day that people work up to and then go for drinks afterwards, rather than Friday being the day people head to a pub or bar after work.

Comments from Nick Maher on the post, then start to explore the idea of ‘buffer days’. Days where you’re not churning work out and ticking things off, but when you’re preparing for those days. Getting your ducks in a row to allow you to have the productive days of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

I have written a few times about 4 day working weeks. Some companies have trialled them; some have moved over to them. Are we on the edge of more employers moving to a 4-day week if Friday is just a buffer day rather than a productive day?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on buffer days and 4-day weeks.

And that’s another monthly post done

I feel like it’s been quite a heavy one this time. I hope everyone is coping okay and are looking out for one another in these tricky times we’re facing.

Speak to you in October


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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