In 2015, the UK government, along with 200 other countries, signed the legally binding Paris agreement. This committed the UK to reduce CO2 emissions and adopt a clean energy strategy by 2050. Since then, the term ‘net zero’ has been at the forefront of our news bulletins creating a great deal of confusion as to what this actually means, and what impact it will have our future.

Going ‘net zero’ is a radical concept of eliminating the use of fossil fuels as an energy source and replacing them with renewable energy such as ‘green’ electricity and gas alternatives like hydrogen. 

Future Homes Standard

The UK now produces less than 1% of all global CO2 emissions, with industrial processes, agriculture, and waste management accounting for 19% of all the country’s greenhouse gas discharges.

However, that still leaves 14% of all UK greenhouse gases coming from domestic consumption, mainly gas boilers. That is why, in 2019, the government announced they were banning gas boilers in domestic homes from 2023. However, that date proved to be unsustainable and has now been replaced with the ‘Future Homes standard’ that sets energy efficiency standards for new homes and extensions.

Effective from 2025, the new regulations enhance the current building regulations with the additional caveat that all new homes built from 2025 will have to produce up to 80% less carbon emissions than at present. In the short term, Building Regs will be updated next year to include that all new homes must produce 31% lower carbon emissions in readiness for the new 2025 standards.

In addition, from this date no homes will be connected to the gas supply and will require energy efficient insulation and a low carbon heating source such as a heat pump. According to the Committee on Climate Change, once the gas boiler ban is operational, it is estimated that 2.5m heat pumps will need to be installed to meet the government’s net zero target.

What impact will this have on the building services recruitment sector?

If the government is serious in its commitment to achieving net zero, then the opportunities for anyone currently working in the industry, such as mechanical & electrical engineers, or anyone considering a technical career in the sector, are going to be huge.

There are many reasons for this. To start with, out of the 27m homes in the UK, only around 1m use a low carbon heating system. That means, around 80% of UK housing stock is connected to the National Grid and receiving high carbon natural gas – and that’s before we start considering non-domestic buildings.

It’s quite clear that that to achieve net zero, there has to be a sea change in the way we power our buildings, and we have a long way to go if we want to achieve the net zero target date of 2050. 

As we have seen in recent months with gas and fuel shortages, the government must do more to enable this to happen. Even the UK ban on new diesel and petrol car sales from 2040 and the prohibition of new gas boilers is only going to scratch the surface.

After all, 78% of all current CO2 emissions come from the burning of fossil fuels to generate our electricity, transportation, energy consumption in industrial buildings and plant and domestic heating.

Undoubtedly, the UK has achieved significant improvements, over the years, in reducing emissions in the energy supply sector with its increased use of renewables such as solar and wind power. However, much remains to be done just to meet even its previous target of 80% less emissions by 2050.

Having said all that, achieving net zero will bring major benefits to the UK, both from a social and financial angle. It does, however, come at a cost. In 2019, it was estimated that going 100% net zero would cost the UK taxpayer around £70b per year or over £1 trillion by 2050. Figures that will, undoubtedly, be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

How is all this going to be achieved and how many jobs might the programme create?

The first step is to consider all the options currently being put forward.

The Climate Change Committee say that if the UK embarks on a programme of retrofitting heat pumps, we will need around 60,000 extra plumbers and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning engineers. That’s in addition to the upskilling of 350,000 technical staff by 2028.

As we said earlier, all this depends on the government maintaining its commitment to the net zero challenge. They were, after all, going to publish in the first half of this year, an updated strategy for heating both domestic and non-domestic buildings through the Renewable Heat Incentive – a scheme that rewards users for using renewable energy to heat their premises. This has now been delayed until next year.

However, this should not put us off from preparing for the introduction of low carbon heating, as this is just one of the options available. We have also seen, from the recent demonstrations by the Insulate Britain eco warriors, there is a growing appetite from UK’s residents to decarbonise their homes.

In fact, according to former political advisor to the conservative party and founding member of ‘Public First’, Rachel Wolf, ‘around 50% of surveyed adults (2000 interviews) were in favour of an outright ban on domestic gas boilers in the next ten years. The survey also discovered that 75% of those polled were keen to switch from their gas guzzling gas boiler to an alternative greener air, ground and water source heat pump, or other renewable energy source such as solar, thermal and biomass etc.

The proviso being that there were government grants to offset the extra cost of such installations. This response from the UK public should give the government the confidence to introduce a staged programme for achieving ‘net zero’.

Upskill and retrain

This reinforces the need for current technical staff to upskill as well as opening up new opportunities for those wanting to enter the industry. We welcome you contacting us to discuss this further.

While achieving net zero in the agreed time scale is indeed a challenge, the cost of creating renewable energy is falling all the time. Wind and Solar being two examples where production costs have reduced over the past two years.

Of course, net zero is not just about money, despite the fact, there are significant savings from investing in a low carbon fuel supply. The population’s well-being will be boosted by the improvement in air quality which in turn should lead to a reduced strain on the NHS.

The colour of the future is definitely green. As a nation, the UK is committed by law to achieving net zero by 2050 along with Sweden, France, Denmark, and New Zealand, with the EU, Chile and Fiji expected to follow shortly.

This means the potential for re-trained technical staff in the buildings services sector as well as new employees is almost unlimited. We are in no doubt that we will require an ‘army’ of highly skilled tradespeople to decarbonise the UK over the next 30 years.

This not only includes the conversion of individual users to alternative fuel sources but also the potential of using hydrogen as a domestic fuel utilising the existing gas supply network.

According to the government’s ‘clean growth plan’ there’s a very real prospect of being able to replace oil, coal, and LPG heating from off grid properties with renewable energy alternatives before the end of this decade.

If you are also planning ahead and are looking into ways to keep your qualifications up to date, or to even re-train, we can help. Our vast network of training providers can set you off in the right direction so our recruiters can find you the perfect job to match your skills and experience.

Contact us on 01709 820102 or to discuss your options in more detail.

Multitask Personnel, the South Yorkshire based specialist recruitment consultancy, have grown the client base of their trades and labour department by adding twenty new accounts in September 2021.

The client wins come as part of a key internal drive to develop new business in the construction, M&E, building services and fit out sectors, to meet growing demand for skilled labour as businesses open their doors for new recruits across the UK.

Led by Clive Bateman, Managing Consultant of the Trades & Labour division, the team at Multitask Personnel help tradespeople find suitable employment in temporary, contract and permanent positions, ensuring clients can fill their vacancies quickly and efficiently, with the right people for the job.

Clive comments: “We’re really pleased to bring so many new clients on board. It’s a fantastic achievement for our hard working Trades & Labour team, but it’s also a great sign that recruitment, up and down the country, is as active as ever in these specialist sectors.

“We’ve taken on a range of job roles for our clients, anything from groundworkers, dryliners and ceiling fixers, through to joiners, electricians, labourers and painters, to support businesses who are actively recruiting in the shopfitting, interior fit out, civils and construction sectors.

“As a nationwide recruitment consultancy, we are placing candidates in roles from the north west to the south east, and everywhere in between, so it’s great to see recruitment picking up on a national level as well as regional.

“Recruitment can be a daunting task for hiring managers, particularly if they have numerous roles to fill, so it is our job as specialist recruiters to make the process as straight forward as possible by submitting the right people for interview that match the brief. As a proactive agency, we have a large talent pool of candidates who are ready to work meaning roles can be filled in a timely manner.”

Multitask Personnel strategically align their recruitment divisions to provide an all round service for businesses that have a mix of blue collar, white collar and support staff. This means employers don’t have to go out to multiple agencies for different types of employee.

Read more about Multitask Personnel’s services to employers here.

Multitask Personnel, the Rotherham based specialist recruitment consultancy, has strengthened its’ Construction desk with the appointment of Mark Taylor as their new Recruitment Associate.

Mark, who has a number of years’ experience working in industry in construction and building maintenance, brings an additional ‘client side’ skill set to the team as it continues to grow amid renewed activity across the sector.

Working on permanent construction positions, Mark will be responsible for growing the candidate database as he works towards becoming a 360 recruitment consultant.

Mark comments: “I’m delighted to join Multitask Personnel and to develop a career in recruitment. My experience of working within the construction industry gives me additional knowledge of how businesses in the sector operate, which will not only help employers as I know how they operate, but also help candidates as I will be able to identify the key personality traits and skill sets required to work in the industry.

“My aim over the next six to twelve months is to become an all-round recruitment consultant by utilising my contacts and understanding of the sector, whilst learning from the experienced recruiters here at Multitask, to repay the faith Claire and the team have put in me. I’m relishing the opportunity.”

Claire Lee, Managing Director at Multitask Personnel comments: “Mark joins the construction desk at a key time as the industry starts to experience rapid growth again. We always need to stay ahead of the game in recruitment to ensure we can meet demand and exceed our client’s expectations, and with the forecast of increased growth in the sector we have identified the need to strengthen our team.

“Mark brings a new skill set to the team because he has worked on the client side, so whilst the wider team will be able to teach him about recruitment, he can also advise our more experienced recruiters on some of the key traits of the industry.

“We’re looking forward to developing our combined knowledge to the benefit of both employers and job seekers and would like to wish Mark a really warm welcome to the team.”

Mark Taylor becomes the fifth new recruit to join the Multitask team in 2021, and can be contacted on 01709 820102 or

September and October have, traditionally, always been a good time for job hunting. Schools are back, summer holidays are over, and people have had plenty of time to re-consider their current position, especially if they’ve been lazing on a beach somewhere.

This year, however, is somewhat different

It goes without saying that the Coronavirus has had a major impact on the jobs market.

Almost 11.6 million jobs from approx. 1.3m UK employers suspended as many businesses were forced to close or slim down their operation.

From the initial national lockdown in March 2020 and the additional localised measures through to the autumn and beyond, staff were transferred on to the government’s job retention scheme (furlough) and, in some cases, even made redundant.

Furlough has now come to an end and when combined with the fall out effects of Brexit, and the future uncertainty of the Covid pandemic, there is no denying that the jobs market has changed dramatically in the last 18 months.

So, if you’ve recently returned to work and are now considering a new role elsewhere or are someone looking for first time employment, the question is, how is this affecting the current employment situation and how do you identify a job that’s right for you?

Demystifying the job specification

As the UK economy bounces back, businesses are now looking to recruit staff, either to fill vacancies or to enable them to expand as confidence grows in their sector.

According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 77,500 more jobs on offer between April and June 2021 than there were in the same period pre-Covid. This is reflected in the fact that we are now seeing the jobs market starting to open up and businesses re-commence hiring.

How do you know what the employer is looking for?

As we’ve said in previous blogs, the traditional ‘job for life’ is now a rarity. Anyone who started work in the mid-2000s will probably experience at least 10 different roles before they retire.

Also, especially over the last 18 months, there has been a massive expansion of the ‘gig economy’ with its myriad of short term contracts, freelance work and hybrid working. This is something that is likely to be the future way of working as we come to terms with the ‘new normal’.

In all cases, the prospective employer will produce a recruitment document that defines what they are looking for and contain all the ingredients needed to perform the job. This document provides a valuable insight into the advertised role and is usually divided into two parts.

The job specification and the job description

Despite their importance in helping elaborate on the requirements needed to perform the job effectively, we find that many applicants spend little time interpreting their content and researching the job vacancy.

First. Let’s explain the difference between the two.

Job Description

An employer will usually draft a job description first. This will give prospective candidates a feel for both the position and the company as it provides a wealth of information about the vacancy and what is expected from the applicant should they be appointed.

If it is an existing position, it will state the (previous) job title – e.g. Gas service engineer. If a newly created role, the job title may be more ambiguous. The remainder of the document will then go into more detail so make sure you read on. Also, with many vacancies now being posted on the internet, you may find job titles are ‘standardised’ thereby allowing them to be picked up by search engines.

A detailed job description should enable a prospective candidate to understand what type of person they are looking to attract, but not necessarily why. It will also avoid referencing any negative points – see later.

What does a job description contain and why are they relevant to job recruitment?

A fully detailed job description outlines the company’s expectations, such as targets, goals, and aspirations. It also helps provide a framework for the recruitment advert by providing a certainty of purpose. This enables candidates to be fully aware of what the job entails and what it involves.

The job description, therefore, will cover the responsibilities of the job. If an existing position, this may be a fairly standard response but if it’s a newly created role (say due to expansion or change in trading) it might be more fluid and flexible.

A 21st Century job description will also now feature details about the culture of the organisation. Many applicants are (rightly) concerned about their prospective employer’s eco-friendliness, working conditions (hybrid working) and management structure.

The job description will also give you a guide to remuneration and rewards. This might be a salary range and will include incentives and ‘perks’ such as social events, bonuses, birthday off etc. This should give candidates a good feel for how financially rewarding the position is.

By the time you’ve finished reading the job description, you should know what the job is (title), what it involves and who you report to (responsibilities) and what rewards you will receive for carrying out your duties (remuneration).

Job Specification

On the other hand, a job specification is a more succinct statement that defines the job criteria. This is almost a tick box exercise where you check off the necessary attributes to apply for the position.

This will include qualifications, skills, experience, educational standards etc. In most cases it will also include the required level of competence and / or amount of experience.

In addition, some employers will add additional criteria such as those considered necessary and / or desired. These can include physical requirements (heavy lifting / working at heights), professional qualifications, and previous experience (e.g. minimum 5 years on the job experience).

These will either be included in the job specification or, more likely, as part of a separate person specification.

Applying for a job

One of the most important aspects of applying for a new job is interpreting the content of both the job description and job specification.  However, it’s also a good idea to dig deeper and discover more about the role before you start the interview process.

As we said earlier, a job description will not usually include negative aspects, especially why there is a current vacancy. Is it a new position or replacing a member of staff who has left?

A good place for exploring is LinkedIn. This is a goldmine for information, such as company and employee profiles galore, and all with a story to tell. How long do people stay at the company, is the post vacant due to internal promotion or have they moved on, how long were they previously in the job and did they have the experience and / or qualifications you are being asked for?

All this information is freely available on social media platforms, and you can delve even deeper if you subscribe to LinkedIn Premium under the job section tab. By doing your research and comparing the content of the job description and job specification with the information gleaned from LinkedIn, you should be able to build up a clear picture of the role and whether you should submit your CV for consideration.

For further information on what it takes to identify the best jobs, contact us on 01709 820102 or

According to latest government figures, UK businesses are facing their worst staff shortages in over 20 years. This has been brought on by a combination of Brexit, Covid and a lack training opportunities a fact confirmed by the latest survey undertaken by the Institute of Employment Studies.

Despite what you may read in the media, it’s not just the haulage and hospitality sectors that are reporting a staffing crisis. Other industries such as Construction and Building Services are also reporting a lack of skilled labour as the aftermath of Brexit and the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic starts to bite.

However, it’s not the fact that there is a shortage of jobs, it’s quite the opposite. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) this month showed vacancy levels at an all-time high, with July 2021 job opportunities surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

This is obviously great news for the UK economy as we start to recover from the recent lengthy lockdown. However, this also means that some key industries we work in at Multitask Personnel are now struggling to meet the current demand. After hitting a 24 year high in June, these sectors are now failing to recruit enough skilled workers to fulfil their expanding order book.

Skills shortage?

Skills shortages are nothing new. In 2016, the government was so concerned about safeguarding the future of the industry that they commissioned the ‘Farmer Review’. This was to report on the impact that the shrinking workforce and lack of skills training was having on the sector.

It concluded, even back then, that there was a massive skills shortage looming and predicted a 20-25% decline in the available skilled workforce by 2026.

Has the situation changed in the past five years?

It would seem not. In recent months, we’ve heard Richard Harpin, founder and MD of home repairs business, Homeserve and trades people finder, Checkatrade, voice his concern that the construction industry skills shortages were having a major impact, particularly on the smaller building firms.

Thanks to the ever widening skills gap, this is a huge incentive for tradespeople to upskill and reap the benefits of ever rising salaries (average increase of 9% in the past year) and prolific job opportunities in the construction industry.

It is said that one of the reasons for this lack of skilled manpower is the declining number of young people entering the industry combined with an ageing workforce. We estimate that almost a quarter of today’s trades’ force are in their 50’s. 

What can be done to level out the current shortage of skilled labour in the construction / building services industries?

Upskilling and re-training is the answer according to industry leaders. This is something crossbench peer, Lord Bilimoria, founder of Cobra beers and president of the CBI, made very clear at the recent (virtual) Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) annual conference.

He said that the government must do more to fill the skills gap by directing people to obtain qualifications for jobs that we know are in short supply. Investing in employment skills is vital for the future of the UK, he confirmed.

We fully agree. So much so that, over the years, we have partnered with local providers to provide subsidised training for those working in the construction and building services industries who want to upgrade their skills, re-qualify, or renew their existing qualifications.

Thanks to these close links, we can provide registered candidates with discounted training that suits their particular needs, enabling them to apply for vacancies that were previously unavailable to them.

What kind of training is currently available?

Our partnered training providers offer a wide range of training programmes. All are designed to improve the attendee’s job opportunities with many tailored to the specific needs of the candidate.

Construction Site Safety Scheme (CSSS)

This covers on site health and safety and is certified by Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). It is also recognised by Build UK who represent over 40% of the UK construction industry. It is also an integral part of the Construction Skills Certification Scheme.

Although having a CSCS card is not mandatory to work on site, we have yet to find an employer who does not require employees to hold this accreditation. It does, after all, prove that they have received the required appropriate training and have the level of qualifications necessary to carry out the work safely and efficiently.

Asbestos Awareness

Another popular area that is relevant to many of our prospective candidates, these short courses are designed to give our candidates the information they need for working in situations where they may disturb the fabric of the building.

More in depth courses leading to professional qualifications are also available through us.

We have ongoing vacancies for qualified professionals in the construction and building services sector at Multitask Personnel. These industries are, however, experiencing major skills shortages as they fail to attract young people and have an ageing workforce that, in some cases, have been reluctant to enhance their skills.

The challenge, for our longer term economic recovery, is for the construction industry to attract a higher skilled workforce in the future.  We have over ten years’ experience in the recruitment of staff for this sector and understand the need for a highly skilled workforce.

We recommend that anyone looking to obtain a position, or change jobs, in the construction and building services sector should, if they haven’t already, consider registering with us.

This will enable us to identify suitable vacancies and the skills level required to carry out the job description. Should there be a need to upskill, we can then use our close links with training partners to source relevant and in many cases subsidised training support.

For further information about subsidised training provision, please contact us on 01709 820102 or

As we start to see greater numbers of people returning to their workplace, after months of working from home or other satellite locations, employers tell us that their next biggest challenge is to ensure they not only come back but stay.

In this blog we look at the importance of a having an employee retention strategy in place, in a post-Covid world.

In previous blogs, we talked about the high cost of staff turnover and how to create a workplace culture that re-built confidence in an organisation in the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdown.

However, as lockdown eases, and staff have had time to re-assess their current employment, it’s now even more crucial that employers introduce staff retention techniques to hold on to the organisation’s best talent.

As we’ve said before, recruiting the right staff to start with is one of the key factors in retaining staff. Recruitment should always be based on attracting candidates that are committed to the beliefs and long term aspirations of the recruiter. This is particularly relevant in these uncertain times.

From effective recruitment to competitive remuneration, there are a number of techniques aimed at encouraging your staff to remain with you. Let’s have a look at probably the most important tip first.

Hire the right person

We know you would expect us to say this, but it’s true. You can introduce as many retention schemes as you want but if the employee does not fully value the long term opportunities with the organisation, then the chances of them leaving will be much higher.

What sort of techniques will help you stem any flow of staff leakages?   

The first part of developing a staff retention strategy is to ask yourself why people leave their jobs in the first place. Offering a competitive salary package is clearly going to be a key factor in initially attracting the right people but also goes a long way in ensuring they stay.

But it’s not the only incentive that will retain your talent. In fact, a high salary with little or no benefits can sometimes have completely the opposite effect. Today, the primary staff retainer is work-life balance, as workplace stress becomes an even bigger issue since the start of the Covid pandemic.

Working from home or away from the office has highlighted this even more. The demands of juggling home life with a busy work schedule but without the ‘always active’ support in the background, has led to increased anxiety and unease.

Agile working

One concept that is currently being promoted as a stress leveller is agile working, but is it more than just a combination of working from home and flexible hours?

Organisations that are looking to instigate a staff retention policy will now be looking at the many levels of agile working, that involves doing work differently to pre-covid. 

However, this new way of working is far more than hybrid working (a mix of home and office based locations). At its heart is an understanding of what incentivises staff to not only want to stay but develop as part of the organisation’s growth.

This concept of smart working is what agile working is all about and involves empowering staff. This means focussing on results and performance rather than previous parameters, such as time and attendance.

As many employers have discovered during the recent lockdown, 20th century maxims are no longer relevant in a 21st Century global economy. We know that if you create a positive workplace culture of trust and reliability, where staff are involved in their own future, productivity increases, efficiency improves, and staff retention becomes less of an issue.

Individual support

It does, however, depend on the support each individual receives from the employer. Two key activities that increase staff retention are involving them in decision making, and actively encouraging and providing professional learning and development.

We know from our own feedback, that skilled placements are happier and more interested in their work when they have a learning and development plan in place.

As we start to adjust to a new way of working, now is a good time to flesh out a career development plan with individual employees. This is not only good for them but of major benefit to the company, as it factors in the objectives and goals of both the organisation and the person themselves.

There is no doubt that staff members who feel frustrated by the apparent lack of advancement or promotion are more likely to look elsewhere if they believe they are stuck in a rut with no recognisable signs of progression.

Establishing a growth plan in conjunction with the employee will create an aura of confidence and reassurance. This is integral to the branding value of the organisation, ultimately leading to an increase in the employee’s pride in their work-place. 

By setting goals and benchmarks, staff can more readily envisage their future.

This, along with a competitive salary package, a good work-life balance, a mechanism for generating feedback in addition to regular appraisals, along with a positive and diverse workplace environment will go a long way to making sure your staff have no reason to consider leaving.

If you would like to discuss your employee retention strategies, and how your next recruitment campaign can be built around this, please drop us a line on 01709 820102 or

On average, employers will typically interview six to ten candidates for every advertised vacancy and applicants will undertake between two and three interviews before being shortlisted.

Of course, Covid has had a massive impact on the recruitment process, and in many cases, this means the traditional job searching process may not necessarily apply to some industries and sectors.

Also, as lockdown restrictions are lifted, more staff return to working in the office or site, and we get back to some sort of normality, many people are also now questioning their current career choice. In fact, having had over a year to consider their current position, we are now finding an increasing number of people are wanting to do something different.

The question is what? It’s not simply a case of ploughing through the job vacancies anymore, it’s more about finding the right job, and increasingly important, one that’s relevant to you.

Where do you start?

As the furlough scheme starts to wind down, combined with the strength of the economic recovery, it’s no surprise to see an increasing number of jobs being advertised. Understandably, many of these are in industries that were hit hardest by the Covid lockdown. However, we are also seeing a growth in other professional sectors.

The latest UK government statistics indicate that over 750,000 jobs were publicly advertised from March to May 2021, no doubt due in many parts, to the increasing success of the Covid vaccine programme.

Could now be a good time to find that dream job?

Let’s face it. We spend a considerable amount of time at work. In fact, about a third of our life is spent working, based on an average 35 hours a week, so it’s important that we not only earn a living but also enjoy what we are doing.

But with an increasing number of vacancies, how do we cut through the job lists and find a job that, not only fulfils our monetary requirements, but also motivates us? This is especially relevant if we have been working off site during the recent lockdown.

Register with an agency

Traditional job searching, especially in the current environment, is a long and laborious slog. However, one way of making your task easier is to sign up with a recruitment partner, such as ourselves.

Registering your details with us means you will hear of any suitable vacancies in advance of them being publicly advertised. Also, as an independent recruiter with many years’ experience, we provide a flexible, tailored service that’s responds to your specific requirements.

Having specialist recruitment divisions also helps. Our team members, all have time served experience in their specialist field and can sit down and discuss your options with you when you are ready.

How do you know when you’re ready, and where do you start?

The first thing to consider is, what is it that motivates you to get up in a morning and go to work?

Some would say instantly that it’s the money, while others, especially those that have been furloughed and / or working from home this past year, would say that there’s more to work than the pay packet.

And we’d agree. From our experience, we find that everyone responds to different motivations when it comes to work. There are some who have a secure and well paid career but suffer from work fatigue, while others dread the looming of Monday morning and the thought of another miserable week at work.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this.

Yes, we fully understand the practical reality of paying the bills and keeping a roof over our heads is very real, but we also find that most employees rank job satisfaction and personal fulfilment above salary when it comes to what motivates us to get up and go to work.

Your career, your choice

We believe there’s no point being miserable at work and feeling lost and forgotten when there are increasing opportunities for pursuing a different career, post lockdown. So, unless you have little choice in taking the first job offered, now could be a very good time to cut through the plethora of vacancies and start focussing on your next career choice.

It could be the first step on the employment ladder, a completely new career change based on existing skills and experience, a slight deviation to your current career or even a fanciful idea that’s been brooding for some time.

Over the years we have reiterated that nothing is impossible. You only have to ask Mexborough born, Craig Senior, who in 2019 quit his job in the hospitality sector to become CEO of Herm, one of the smallest of the inhabited Channel Islands.

He is still using his skill set and experience but has applied it to a dream job he saw advertised while on holiday with his family.  So, in our opinion, the answer to a fulfilling career is to focus on the things you love doing. This could be a professional skill set, a hobby or interest, or something truly off the wall as with Craig.

Having said that, we do, of course, fully understand the challenges involved in finding the job that’s relevant to you. We are, after all, doing this every day for our registered clients. One thing we always suggest, is to jot down all the things you dream of doing in a job, possibly stuff you’ve dreamed of in the past – no matter how inconceivable it might sound.

We’re sure Craig Senior never thought he would be moving lock stock and barrel to the tiny island of Herm when working as a retail manager in the hospitality sector. Many times, we overlook how our skills and experience (including hobbies and interests) can be transferred to a sector we had not previously considered.

We can help you identify transferable skills and sectors that match your accomplishments

Also, don’t just focus on job titles. Delve behind the advertised description to see if it offers (or could offer) ingredients that enable you to not only earn a living but also fulfil your passion and values.

There is no doubt, that the jobs market in 2021 is very different to pre-Covid. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) comes to an end in September and while 2.4m workers (down 50% since January) continue to rely on State payments, it is expected that the change in employer contributions will encourage more people back to ‘normal’ working.

Also, despite unemployment estimated to peak at around 5.5% over the next 18 months, we are certainly seeing an optimism in the jobs market, as UK firms boost investment in their workforce.

Strategic planning

For those looking for their dream job or just simply for a way to cut through all the current job vacancy lists, the key is to create a strategic plan. For example, start by identifying ‘growth’ sectors that are currently experiencing a shortage of professionally qualified staff.

These include engineering, customer service, hospitality, construction, and transportation. Even if you don’t have experience in these fields, on the job training is usually available.

Finally, don’t forget with the jobs market starting to bounce back, now is the time to identify your transferable skills (not just work related) that could just open up the doors to that dream job.

For more information on cutting through the job lists, contact us on 01709 820102 or

Multitask Personnel, the Rotherham based specialist recruitment consultancy, has strengthened its’ Trades team with the appointment of experienced Managing Consultant, Clive Bateman.

Clive, who has close to 30 years’ experience at various levels within the recruitment sector, has built a successful career providing recruitment services, predominantly within the Construction and Interior Fit Out sectors.

Responsible for building the Trades & Labour division of the business, Clive comes on board to help grow the department by increasing market share and brand awareness, along with the development of staff members within the team.

Clive Bateman, the new Managing Consultant at Multitask Personnel comments: “I’m delighted to bring my experience to the Trades team at Multitask Personnel. This division is seeing creditable growth as the recruitment sector works its way out of the pandemic.

“I’ve joined a team where each person is self-motivated and dedicated within their own role, whilst there is a constant sharing of information for the good of the clients and the business. Each day offers various challenges which everybody meets head on.

“It’s a please to spearhead such a hard working, dedicated and loyal team who always work with a smile on their faces.”

Also joining the wider team at Multitask is Accounts Administrator, Ruth Faulkner-Dyke who comes in to provide much needed support for invoicing, credit control, payroll, banking, and general accounts duties.

Claire Lee, Managing Director at Multitask Personnel comments on the appointments: “We’re experiencing an increasing demand for our recruitment services at Multitask Personnel, particularly for trades and labour candidates across the Construction and M&E sectors, so bringing in someone with Clive’s experience is a huge coup for us.

“Not only does Clive bring experience in some key sectors that we work in, but he also has a vast amount of managerial knowledge that will benefit the wider team as well. In order for us to continue to offer the best possible service to our clients, we need make sure our staff are developing too.

“Recruitment is such as fast paced environment, so it’s vitally important that all our recruiters stay on top of their game. Our Trades team will learn a lot from Clive, who will be a brilliant asset for the business.

“In addition to Clive, we also extend a warm welcome to Ruth, who joins our Accounts team to provide some much needed finance experience to the back office team.”

The latest recruits bring the total head count at Multitask Personnel to 12, with plans for further internal recruitment set to continue throughout the remainder of the year. Clive, Ruth, and the team can be contacted on 01709 820102 or

With the increasing uncertainty in the jobs market, it is no surprise to find that many employers are becoming swamped with applications, while at the same time, struggling to filter candidates for their suitability. This is especially critical if there is a deadline looming (such as lockdown easing).

So, how do you ensure you select the most appropriate candidate for the position while at the same time ensuring legal compliance and fairness?

Shortlisting is the answer. But where do you start?

If you are replacing a staff member, you may consider a simple ‘like for like’ criterion but what if they’ve been there some time; things have changed, not just from a job description point of view but the increasing number of legal obligations now involved in the recruitment process?

So, you’ve identified a vacancy, produced a job description, and embarked on recruiting the best person for the job. What do you do first?

Step one is to define your criteria. In other words, what kind of person do you wish to recruit and what skills and experience do they require.

Start by using your job description and person specification to create two lists – Essential and Desirable. These are the requirements you’ve decided a candidate should have before being selected for interview. However, the key to success, when creating these, is to be strict and not inflate them with ‘it would be good if they could also etc.’ Aim to identify half the number of essential requirements compared to desirable qualities.

The first part of shortlisting is fairly straightforward. This is where you sort through the applications and score each one against the set criteria. Those that meet all (or most) of the ‘essential’ criteria can then be moved forward to the next stage.

At this point, it’s also worth mentioning that if more than one person is involved in this part of the selection process, it is crucial that they are working to the same format and terms of reference.

Also, remember when sharing information with colleagues and be aware of the implications of GDPR when disclosing personal data. Even though we are no longer part of the EU, the full GDPR act still applies in the UK.

To manage the shortlisting process, we find it easiest if employers create a spreadsheet with both criteria listed and what they involve.  Also, when deciding what skills / knowledge a candidate needs, it’s worth considering what ‘on the job’ training will be offered. This may have an influence on the final selection, where any missing ‘essential requirements’ are compensated from the ‘desirable’ list.

The essentials

Essential requirements are the must haves, and depending on the sector or industry, this could include:

This list will be the easiest to filter by eliminating those that don’t fit the criteria.  This is another reason why it is important that everyone involved in the process is working from the same template.

The desirables

The desirable list is more complex and comprises attributes that candidates may possess that give them the edge and bring something extra to the organisation. This could include:

Scoring the candidates

Once you have created a spreadsheet with essential and desirable qualities, you can then score each candidate based on your criteria and whittle your list down to a manageable number. 

This is probably the hardest part of the whole process. In fact, even with a comprehensive shortlisting process in place, most employers would agree that choosing the most appropriate candidate from the pool of applicants can be somewhat daunting.

There’s no doubt that having a shortlisting process in place does make the hiring process easier and ultimately more effective in helping you select the right person for the job. A desirable outcome can often be determined by the criteria chosen in the first place.

As we said earlier, if you are replacing a staff member on a like for like basis, it’s fairly straightforward. Ask them what skills and attributes they feel are necessary to do their job. However, do bear in mind depending on how long they have been with you, as there will be changes that now affect the position.

Employment law

For example, employment law has been amended several times in recent years, especially in the context of the UK leaving the EU and employment rights in respect of the Coronavirus pandemic.

This means that, before embarking on the shortlisting process, it’s undoubtedly prudent to have an awareness of the legislation that could affect your decision making. The equality act (2010) covers ‘protected characteristics’ such as disability, maternity, race, religion and sexual orientation, and should be a major consideration when drawing up the shortlist criteria.

It cannot be underestimated how important this is in when creating a shortlisting criteria. As we say, job descriptions and hiring practices might have changed dramatically since you last made the appointment.

Discriminating against someone because of their protected characteristic (not always obvious) even if inadvertently, is against the law and could have serious repercussions. This is another reason for having a strict selection process template in place so that your decision making is carried out objectively and individual perceptions do not influence the process.

Employment law can be a minefield, but our team of specialist recruitment partners will be happy to provide any help or support you require to stay on the right side of it.

A numbers game?

Finally, one of the questions we often get asked when clients are creating a shortlisting process, is how many candidates we should invite for an interview. Unfortunately, there is no real answer to this. Much will depend on your timescale, the quality pool of candidates submitted, and the number of candidates you are looking to recruit.

However, using a recruitment partner such as ourselves, will provide the support you need at this critical time. As a general guideline, we suggest you invite up to a maximum six candidates for a first interview, scaled down to half this number for the second.

Also, as a benchmark, on average around 12% of applicants will be invited to a first interview. Any more than that and your job description and / or shortlisting criteria may need amending.

We are here to answer any questions about effective shortlisting. Contact us on 0845 478 5009 or to discuss your next vacancy and we will be happy to share our knowledge.

We’re delighted to become a member of Constructionline, meaning we are now a preferred supplier for construction buyers across the UK!

As a key supplier of skilled staff into the construction sector, it’s important for our clients to know they are getting quality staff that are fit for the roles they need to recruit for.

This is something we pride ourselves on at Multitask Personnel, so it’s a great accolade for us to become accredited with Constructionline to provide this additional layer of reassurance to our clients.

We’re looking forward to becoming an active member!

Read more about the benefits of using a Constructionline partner here.

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