Eloise’s November 2019 News – Transferable Skills, Employer Branding and Fireworks

Hello and welcome to November

Wow, November. As we hurtle towards the end of another year, we need a moment to take stock. It’s not just coming up to the end of any old year, it’s the end of a decade.

It feels more significant being on the cusp of a new decade than just a new year. What were you doing ten years ago? How did your business look ten years ago? Where did you plan to be at this moment ten years ago?

Do you feel like you’ve progressed more than you expected? Achieved more? Changed more?

I first set up Vanilla Recruitment in 2005. This time ten years ago I was doing okay, I’d gone from a small (very small), rented office with no natural light in Market Harborough. To a ground floor Victorian office with a shop window. I employed 4 people and the recruitment market had been booming in the early days moving into a recession. My vision of setting up an ethical recruitment company, to match businesses and people for all the right reasons, was still doing well and I was delighted.

Between then and now, Vanilla has continued to grow. We have a bigger, beautiful office building and a team of twelve; plus, some freelance support. But there have obviously been some tough times along the way. A recession and decisions that didn’t quite go to plan. But as I sit here thinking through the last ten years, I am immensely proud of what I and my team have achieved.

I continue to learn every day; about myself and about business. This is perhaps one of my biggest learnings; that you can never sit back and think you’ve cracked it or that you know everything you need to. Things change, plans evolve, goalposts move, very little you have total control over. You have to be adaptable and open to possibilities, learning and opportunities.

Having had my moment of reflection, I urge you do to the same. Life moves so fast and it’s easy to forget what’s gone before. Take some time ahead of the end of 2019, before the festive blur, to think about how you got to this moment and what you’ve achieved.

Flexible options and transferable skills

Having had my moment of reflection, I got thinking about what’s the one thing I get asked most often about recruitment. For the last few years it’s been advice on how to recruit when there is such a shortage of available candidates. My answer is always the same, ‘are you being open minded?’.

A lot of the time, people enter into a recruitment process with a very clear picture of who they are looking for. In this type of market that can really hinder your chances of finding that new recruit.

By being open to finding the skills you are looking for in someone without experience in your industry, or, someone who knows your industry but hasn’t done the role you are recruiting for, can open up a lot of opportunities for you. And with that brings different viewpoints and a fresh pair of eyes that can be very valuable.

The other way of doing things that opens up another pool of people, is to explore flexible working.

This could be employing someone from further away from your office than you would normally consider, but allow them to work from home a couple of days a week to balance out the longer commuting times.

Or, it could be condensed working hours; allowing someone to do their hours for the week in less days, or with an earlier than usual start and finish time.

It could also be a job share. There is a wealth of highly skilled people looking for part time roles, often to fit around childcare. People who have worked at a high level and are now looking for 2 or 3 days of work on a decent salary. Being able to tap into this pool of people could be a great move.

Exploring any of these options and being open minded to working in a different way or employing outside of your ‘normal’ parameters, could really pay off.

Employer branding and employee benefits

The other thing I also really push home to people is the important of employer branding and employee benefits – making your business look attractive to potential employees. I have written about this in the past, have a read of these posts:

It’s so important and often overlooked.


Team Vanilla were all very excited about going to our local displays last weekend. But the rainy weather and waterlogged ground saw all of them getting cancelled. Such a shame but obviously a very hard decision for all those organisers to have had to have made. And we thank them for their hard work and for putting our safety first.

What comes after bonfire night…?

That’s right, it can now officially be the run up to Christmas. In recruitment world this is a very important time. We have temporary workers, like elves, ready to come to your rescue if your business is brimming over with work this time of year, or you need to backfill lots of holiday requests.

Get in touch with us to chat over your plans to see how we can help you on 01858 898058 or email [email protected]

The ‘E’ word

I have purposefully not mentioned the ‘B’ word this month and went straight onto the ‘C’ word, however, we’ll have the ‘E’ word in between.

Whatever your political persuasion or thoughts on the ‘B’ word, make sure you are registered to vote and get yourself to your polling station on 12th December to exercise your right. Now is the time to have your say.

I wish you all a lovely November full of reflection, pride and optimism.



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