Our client provides specialist property management services to a wide range of clients throughout the UK, prominently in Education, Healthcare, Retail and Leisure sectors.

Since early 2017, they have on-boarded new companies from around the UK which have enabled them to broaden their client base and delivery services within the technical sectors. These services are delivered through their four business divisions, each linking to support their customers work, software services, workplace and compliance, technical and real estate and maintenance and engineering.

Providing management and specialist services

Our client approached us due to the specialist knowledge Multitask Personnel holds within property and facilities management; we have several professional recruiters on hand who deliver a dedicated service. In addition to this, we thrive on being able to provide an excellent service to each hiring manager by showing exceptional communication skills which helps aid the recruitment journey.

Each recruiter within Multitask has specialist knowledge within certain sectors whether this be Trades & Labour, Mechanical & Electrical, Industrial or Commercial.

Managing the hiring process

Whenever we are approached with a new position, we acquire a detailed job description from our client. These roles can be either temporary or permanent roles, such as Maintenance Operatives, Gas Engineers, Electricians as well as Administration and Customer Service Agents. We also work to higher level roles such as Contracts Managers, Estimators and Project Managers.

We call each customer to qualify the role to ensure we have the maximum amount of information needed to sell the position to potential applicants.

We have access to the top three job boards and a range of social media platforms, plus over the past 12 years, Multitask has created a diverse database including a range on candidates where a bulk text / email can be sent out meaning we are able to find the right person for the job quickly.

Finding the right candidate

Each applicant that applies is screened by a specialist recruiter who will gain a further insight to their experience, their qualification, and expectations, this then allows us to shortlist candidates for the position. When shortlisting candidates, we ask them to send over all the correct documents requested by the client so we can send these over with an updated but formatted CV in one go.

By having a confidential chat with each candidate, it helps us communicate more information to the client when sending over their documents, as we will gain a better understanding of their current situation and what their expectations/ goals are within a new role.

As we have built a strong relationship with each client and advised them on what the market is currently like, we aim to get feedback within 24 hours to inform us if they would like to progress them onto the next stage – this is usually a 1st interview. Multitask will confirm each stage of the interview and provide feedback as soon as the interview has been completed. Should they advance to the next stage, which is usually with a contracts or divisional manager, we again would confirm this.

Each candidate is sent over an invitation to the interview along with the job description and company website so they can gain a good understanding of the company. Furthermore, each application receives a phone call the morning of the interview to confirm their attended and to wish them luck.

Building a new client relationship

With any client, we aim to book in a review meeting so we can gain a better insight of the company and the roles we are recruiting for. This allows us to gain knowledge on the office environment, and the benefits of working there such as parking / local shops; things that you might not necessarily gain from a phone call. Equally this helps to build a strong relationship with the client and have a more personal approach.

Finalising the recruitment process

When a candidate is successful the client with either call or email us with an offer letter or a brief where we aim to get as much information as possible. This will include the start date, salary level, induction details etc. By gaining this information we can then relay this to the candidate and ensure they know the highest level of information before the accept the role. The candidate will receive the offer letter from us as well as the client to confirm all the details we have given them verbally.

Once the candidate has accepted and they have received all the documentation required, we keep in contact with them until the start date to ensure they don’t have any further questions and are ready to start their new employment.

The result

Since we have partnered with this client, we have primarily been offering our permanent services across the maintenance and engineering division and on average we place between three and eight permanent candidates a month.

A tailored approach

Multitask Personnel are an independent agency who can offer a tailored service, this can be anything on the flexible payment types to the level of service we offer. Each contract will have a main point of contact at Multitask who will monitor the SLAs are being meet and that we go out to see the clients roughly every month to ensure we are continuing to build a strong relationship.

If you need support in finding the right candidate for your company, get in touch: enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk or 01709 820102  

Our client provides a complete energy service by funding, installing, operating and managing smart meters and carbon reduction assets, including EV chargers and battery storage systems, which facilitate a smarter, greener and more flexible energy system.

They require more than 30 live roles across their offices and warehouses on a temporary to permanent basis. As well as supporting the hiring process for those roles, Multitask Personnel also supply management permanent roles, as and when required.

Providing dedicated members of the team, and having robust experience of the sector

Here at Multitask Personnel, we provide a dedicated Client Services Manager plus a team of recruiters who work on high volume recruitment drives for the client within their offices, call centres and warehouses, as well as more specialist roles within management.

Having previous experience of working within these Managed Services sectors, as well as great communication with all relevant managers, the recruitment process is fluid.

Managing the hiring process

The client will come to us with temporary to permanent roles that require filling. They could be call centre advisors, team leaders, operations support advisors, data analysts, warehouse operatives, FLT drivers, warehouse administrators, transport clerks and fleet administrators or we could be asked to support their own recruitment team on permanent roles. We work directly with them to manage the recruitment process.

Throughout each recruitment role, we will take a full job description and in the first instance check any relevant current candidates on our database who are already on standby. This process allows us to send out mailshots from the database, then place adverts on our own website, across social media pages, utilising relevant job pages, as well as specific paid job boards for maximum exposure.

Finding the correct candidate

At Multitask Personnel, all applications to adverts are screened by a recruiter and suitable applications will be invited to a face-to-face interview (or we’ll arrange a video call with them) to run through the job they’ve applied for, discuss their previous experience, and suitability for the role.

All appropriate applicants will then be asked to send relevant paperwork required, that way if they are suitable for the role we can get them to work as soon as possible.  Once these are in place the formatted CV will then be sent over to the hiring manager for review. If the client wants to arrange an interview with the candidate, we will then speak to the candidate to arrange an interview to suit both parties.

Building a new client relationship

With all new clients at Multitask Personnel, we like to arrange a meeting to see them to allow us to talk about the different skill levels that may be required for the roles they have to be filled. This allows us to really get a feel for the place of work, the dynamics of the team, what experience they prefer the candidates to have, and what qualities the current workers they have had for them to take them on.

By building a positive relationship with clients from the beginning, we can find out any specific questions they would like us to ask for in our screening process. This means we can take away interview notes to make the screening process more streamlined. We also try to touch base with all clients and mangers weekly, or daily, if required.

Finalising the recruitment process

For successful candidates, we get as much feedback as we can from the client, and then relay this to the candidate to ensure they are happy to accept the job and agree on a start. The candidate would then receive a job confirmation email from us to formally offer them the job.

The candidates are contacted a few days before their contract is due to start to ensure they are still starting and asked if they have any questions or queries, they need answering. We then contact each candidate after their first shift to check how their day went, and ensure they are happy with the role and continuing in the job. The staff placed are all given the account managers contact details and are told to get in touch with any queries; questions can be responded to on evenings and weekends if required.

The result

Multitask Personnel actively recruit on a constant basis and fill up to 10 positions each week on a temp to perm basis, plus permanent positions as and when required throughout the year.

“Claire and the team at Multitask are very professional, reliable, honest and hardworking. I have worked with Claire for a number of years now in different supply chain sectors and always found that whatever the business need they have delivered – from short term staff members to recruiting senior roles – Multitask are always fully focused on the companies values and would recommend anyone in the sectors looking for resource to reach out to Claire and the team.”

National Operations Manager, Logistics and Warehousing

A tailored approach

The account manager at Multitask has worked with this client for several years and has built up a good rapport with the managers there. Our client will easily approach us with new roles, any queries and short notice staff requests. Where possible the account manager would aim to visit sites at least every quarter to conduct a client review and speak to the temporary workers on site to answer any queries they may have.

If you need support in finding the right candidate for your company, get in touch: enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk or 01709 820102

Our client delivers people-focused, intelligence-driven property services offering better outcomes for customers and clients. The company repair and maintain buildings, manage properties, build homes, and support clients with all their property needs.

They require up to 70 Trades and M&E candidates, and 30 active roles to fill at one time.

Providing temporary and permanent candidates

Here at Multitask Personnel, we pride ourselves on the quality of service we deliver to each client, therefore the knowledge and background of our recruiters is essential to the hiring process.  Having experienced recruiters behind us means we can understand and meet our client’s needs, finding candidates to fit their requirements and help them develop a strong work team.

Our Account Manager and resource support personnel, source, and screen suitable candidates for our clients on an ongoing basis to utilise the specialist recruiters within the business, when required. 

Managing the hiring process

Each week our Accounts Manager will obtain an up-to-date list of vacancies from each of the nationwide Property Services’ departments, making sure we have full job details, pay grades and benefits for each live vacancy. These will be a mixture of Trades People, Gas Engineers, Electricians, Office Support Staff and Management positions. 

Throughout the process we discuss the vacancies in more detail with the relevant managers to ensure that we have covered all requirements; this allows us to identify the urgency of the position and pinpoint key attributes needed from a potential candidate.

With this client being nationwide, we work closely with many different departments and hiring managers old and new. We take the time to get to know each hiring manager and understand what their expectations are for us to help identify the right candidates. The Account Manager will visit each hiring manager on a regular basis to review the candidates we have supplied, and the service received, plus discuss upcoming requirements and changes within the business. 

Finding the correct candidate

With Multitask Personnel being an established company, we have a huge database of workers. When a suitable role is matched with a candidate, a text will go out advising them of the role. This gives candidates the opportunity to see vacancies before they go on the internet, leading to early application.

It’s impertinent to us that we advertise the roles on numerous job boards and websites, including social media. We aim to advertise the roles in a way that is with the candidate in mind; highlighting the key points we think they want to see.  We’re able to utilise online job boards through detailed CV searches. For more specialised roles we also use LinkedIn and ‘head hunt.’

Once we have identified, or have been approached by suitable candidates, they are put through a full screening process with one of our specialised recruiters. This allows us to gather further relevant experience the candidates have, and to fully brief them on the company, role, and benefits on offer. And once they have passed the screening process, we will put them forward for the position and obtain all Compliance Documents required to make the transition into the new role as seamless and as organised as possible.

Informing our client

We would at this stage send the client all the information necessary – including a formatted version of the candidates CV, and a brief bio on the candidate; highlighting their relevant experience, current situation and why we think they fit the role, plus relevant qualifications for the role.

The relationship we have with our client usually allows us to receive feedback on the candidate within 24 hours.

Successful candidates will either be offered an interview with the client which we will arrange, which could be over the phone, video, or face to face. Or in some positions such as trades roles, are offered a start date from the client following our submission of the candidate, as we provide enough information for them to decide.

Once a successful candidate has verbally accepted a position, we put together the confirmation details and email out to the candidate and client. We will remain in contact with the candidate right up to the start date, wishing them luck on the day and checking in to see how they found everything.

The result

Multitask Personnel have recruited thousands of temporary and permanent positions per month for our client over the years, along with providing pre-employment support.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Claire and Multitask for several years now and cannot fault her and the teams professional approach and dedication.”

Assistant Director of Operations, Property Services

A tailored approach

As an independent company, we can offer a tailored service to all clients. We understand that one size doesn’t fit all, we listen to the needs of each customer to give a bespoke service. Having this approach allows us to offer flexibility with terms, service level agreements, rebates, and payment options to suit. We have account managers in place to allow a direct contact on hand, offering a prompt service at all times.

If you need support in finding the right candidate for your company, get in touch: enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk or 01709 820102

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 enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk

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 enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk to discuss your next vacancy and we will be happy to share our knowledge.

Earlier this year, we wrote about the high cost of staff turnover and the importance of staff retention. Now, as an increasing number of people return to work after a prolonged time away from the office, employers are facing a new challenge – how to re-build workplace confidence and ensure that, once again, it’s a great place to work.

As we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, feeling safe and cared for has overtaken much of what we would term ‘perks of the job’ such as gym memberships or Pizza Friday.

Pre-covid, company culture would most likely involve activities that lighten the spirits of employees. This includes social activities after work, or long weekends, and early finishing. All notable parts of the employment package but, of course, for many members of staff, especially those working from home, this has been their experience for the past 12 months.

What do we mean by company culture and how important is it for attracting and retaining valued employees?

The problem with trying to define company culture is it means different things to different people. A positive shared culture can lead to lower staff turnover, less absenteeism, and a higher calibre of recruitment – all vital ingredients of a return to ‘normal ‘working.

What is company culture, and does it involve every size of business?

It’s probably best described as the personality of the business. This, of course, depends on the type of organisation, e.g. fast paced and dynamic (sales and marketing) or more methodical and static (professional services).

It will also include company policies and procedures, and the organisation’s management style, as well as the way employees feel about working for the company, along with their responsibilities.

It’s this shared ethos that determines whether current and potential staff feel they are a good fit and, of course, vice versa. We are aware that a high percentage (over 40%) of job seekers would not apply to organisations that did not possess their shared values.

We also know that staff who currently work for an organisation that has a company culture that aligns with their own beliefs and mind-set will work harder and stay with the company for longer. On the other hand, conflicts with their personal feelings will reflect on their work performance or result in them leaving.

Company culture is, therefore, high on the list of considerations for new job seekers. But as we said before, building the right employment package based on a single culture style is no longer a guarantee of high calibre recruitment.

Employers need to fully understand what makes their business a great place to work and of course, as we say, it will be different things to different people. For those that have been working from home over the past 12 months, a priority could be the office working environment. We’re not suggesting replicating their home layout in the office, but it is certainly worth discussing if there is anything that can be done to improve their respective workplace. We do, after all, spend almost a third of our life at work!

It could be simple things like more comfortable office furniture, a personalisation of the work desk and a selection of greenery to bring the outside in. Other considerations could be transparent windows that open, rather than relying on air conditioning, to create a brighter and less intimidating environment, as well as a comfortable and acceptable (to other colleagues) temperature etc.

Over the past few years, we have seen significant changes to the office environment. From closed doors and narrow corridors to open plan workplaces able to adapt to the needs of the business, something where employees can influence the layout.

Of course, despite further lockdown easing, there is still a great deal of uncertainty and concern regarding practices such as hot desking or shared kitchen facilities, but this will become clearer as time goes on.

Culture is driven from the top

There is no doubt, that the values of a company culture are driven from the top down. Also, the one thing that has become clear over the past 12 months is the fact that the word ‘care’ keeps recurring when we asked recruits what makes a company a great place to work.

Even before the pandemic, LinkedIn reported that 66% of job seekers consider the culture of the prospective hirer to be a major consideration when looking for employment. It was also reported that businesses who actively manage their company culture achieve 40% higher staff retention.

This means that having a transparent company culture that goes beyond a basic job description, as not only does it help to attract high calibre talent, but also goes a long way to retaining the staff you have already.

How do we build the right employment package, especially in these uncertain times?

If any of your staff have been furloughed or working from home, they will have become used to flexible working practices. Therefore, flexibility becomes a valuable component of the ‘culture of care’.

The one thing that returning staff will have appreciated whilst remote working, is being able to manage their own work-life balance. This could be flexible working hours, juggling childcare duties, or avoiding peak hours if travelling.

Reflecting on this, the one key influence of the pandemic is that working hours don’t have to be the traditional 9-5 if the style of employment can accommodate these changes. With the advancement in technology, it could even include hybrid working with a mix of office and remote working that suits both the employee and employer.

A great place to work is, therefore, a place that puts the individual staff member at the heart of the business. This includes a recognition that an emphasis on competitive performance might now be undervalued by employees, and rewards based on a team spirit might be more appropriate.

And talking of rewards, traditionally, social activities and fun events have generally been the backbone of company culture. In addition to Pizza Friday’s, this includes simple things like chats around the boiling kettle, interaction between colleagues, and celebrating occasions such as birthdays etc.

OK, some of this could be done over Zoom but this is definitely something that remote workers have missed, so it becomes an important part of the company culture as things get back to normal.

Building or re-building a company culture that inspires employees and encourages increased job satisfaction and productivity, is absolutely crucial as we work our way out of the covid pandemic.

As we said earlier, what makes people happy at work is very individualistic, but there are several steps employers can take to create an environment that will inspire an employee to feel secure with their employment.

Here are a few:

One of the main reasons for leaving a company (and no, it’s not money) is because employees don’t like the work environment. A negative workplace culture leads to a toxic workplace, which results in high absenteeism rates, increased staff turnover, low productivity, and unpleasantness between colleagues.

On the other hand, a positive culture fit with the individual encourages an atmosphere that leads to a happy, fulfilled and more productive workforce.

If you would like to discover more about building a post-covid employment package, please contact us on 0845 478 5009 or enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk

For many, it’s time to return to the office after spending months working from home.  And whilst employers have done their utmost to support staff in their remote working environment, it’s not the same as being able to motivate and monitor employees on a collective basis.

Despite the limitations offered by remote management, there is no doubt that employers have done everything in their power to retain a cohesive team, largely via virtual meetings and the occasional socially distanced get-together.

Academic research shows that while most people have managed to work from home, the lack of personal contact with work colleagues is starting to put a strain on the effectiveness of teams within the organisation.

This means that over the next few months, with a drift back the office, there will be a focus on re-building team spirit and re-establishing leadership skills.

The key is to find a balance between the wishes of the individual and the effectiveness of the team. This is where leadership skills play such an important role in the creation of trust and loyalty, something that is recognised by most successful organisations.

How do you build a winning team in the aftermath of a major pandemic?

The first consideration is to identify what we mean by a team and its importance in increased productivity and staff retention. A team can be best described as a group of people with a range of complementary skills that work together to achieve a common goal.

This is very specific and quite different to a group.

Which three of these do you think is a team rather than a group?

  1. A runner in a marathon
  2. Volunteers in a charity shop
  3. Members of two families attending a wedding
  4. Eight nurses working in a hospital not always on the same shift
  5. All the stewards and stewardesses of an airline
  6. A group of children on a fairground ride

The answer is 2 / 4 / 5 as they combine three elements key elements; the team, the individual and the task, along with the complementary skills needed to work together in order to achieve a specific outcome. 

However, choosing the right team members and style of management is not easy, as everyone will have a different approach.

This mix of the ‘right’ people and the most efficient leadership style is how successful teams are created.  These teams are managed by people who build trust and encouragement, spend time thinking about external forces such as customers, competition etc. and support the team on a ‘needs must’ basis.

Who are the ‘right’ people?

According to Dr Meredith Belbin, a team is not a group of people with job titles, but individuals – each of whom has a role that complements the other team members. The most successful teams comprise a diverse mix of talent, which are categorised into nine team roles.

Belbin says that these following nine roles (in no particular order) produce the most effective team:

  1. Co-ordinator: A good chairperson sets the agenda and clarifies the team’s objectives. This role suits someone who is confident without being domineering while, at the same time, promoting collective decision making.
  2. Completer: This role suits someone who is known for dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. Meticulous and conscientious, who will personally check all the details – and then again, just to make sure.
  3. Implementer: Well organised, disciplined, efficient, trustworthy and reliable are words that sum up this role. Here is a person who can translate ideas into manageable talks and then timetable them for the other team members.
  4. Monitor / Evaluator: This is a role designed for someone who excels at absorbing and making sense of random information and then making a sound judgement.
  5. Creator: As the title suggest, an asset to the team is someone who is creative and has an imagination that can best be described as ‘out of the box’. Also good at problem solving.
  6. Resource investigator: This role suits someone who is enthusiastic and good at developing contacts. They are good at working under pressure.
  7. Shaper: Here is another one that works well under pressure and has the drive and energy to overcome obstacles.
  8. Specialist: This is the expert on the team whose interest is usually confined to their own sphere of knowledge. Can be best described as a single minded self-starter.
  9. Team worker:  This role epitomises the definition of a team. A reliable team player that co-operates willingly and can be relied upon to be diplomatic and a good listener.

What does a team need to make it work?

There is no question that team building will become even more important in the next few months as employers regain the trust and loyalty of their staff post lockdown. On the other hand, it’s not something that can be achieved over night, and could certainly prove to be a challenge for many businesses as they start to re-establish themselves in the market-place.

Once you have identified the type of right people for your organisation, speak to a recruiter like Multitask Personnel, who can help make filling these roles a reality.

As the UK starts to open up for business, it’s no surprise to find that many businesses are now busy gearing up for a return to better times. One area that is crucial for business recovery is recruitment.

In the next few months, we anticipate an increase in the number of candidates looking to change jobs or secure employment, so, for employers, that means producing an effective job description for any vacancies you will be recruiting for.

What makes a good job description?

The first thing to consider is the importance of a well written job specification. After all, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, hiring the wrong person can have a significant impact on productivity and prove to be an expensive decision.

In fact, they go on to say that a ‘poor hire’ contributes around 25% less value than a ‘good match’ and costs three times more than just a wasted salary.

There is no doubt, the second half of 2021 is going to be a critical time for UK businesses. Both Covid and Brexit have disrupted the labour market to such an extent that many businesses are now completely re-evaluating their staffing needs. For some, the Covid pandemic has encouraged them to consider remote working, while others have changed their business model and consequently require a different set of employee skills.

A precise and compelling job description is, therefore, going to be a number one priority for any recruiting business wanting to stand out and attract the right candidate. In fact, it is said that prospective candidates take just six seconds to decide whether the job description applies to them. This is despite over 75% of candidates saying that it’s the job description that persuades them to apply for the position.

What is a job description’s job?

Its main role is to enable the prospective candidate to make an informed decision that yours is the kind of organisation they would like to work for. One of its key roles, therefore, is to sell your brand to the reader. This means providing a summary of what makes your business unique and worth working for, as well as its achievements and successes.

Talk about the kind of projects the successful candidate could be involved in, the range of clients, and how your product or service benefits them, as well as the potential for progression within the company (but without any oversell).

Also, don’t overlook the possibility that should the position not be what they are looking for, they might know someone for whom it is.

Where do you start?

A job description should include corporate information such as vision and mission statements, success stories, possible links to media coverage, blogs, location, and current members of staff before you go into finer details about the position.

This is where a recruitment partner can really help. After all, a job description forms part of the contract of employment so it’s important to ensure it’s clear and concise to avoid any potential conflicts in the future (‘that’s not what it said in the job description’ etc.)

If it’s a role that already exists, then it’s worth re-visiting the original job description and see how much of it still applies. If expanding the team – talk to current staff and see if they consider the role has changed.

If it’s a new position, an external opinion from a recruitment partner will certainly help identify the requirements of the role, as well as ensure the content is compliant with all the new employment laws, and HR rules and regulations that have been introduced over the past few years.

For example, the unintentional use of discriminatory words or gender specific roles etc. This can be a minefield and could lead to a negative reaction or even worse – legal action. We suggest keeping it simple and precise while being generic to the current employment pool, but specific enough for the position in question.

An effective job description should include the following:

Job title

For maximum effectiveness, be precise and specific, and use words that accurately describe the role, such as HSQE Manager / Electrician / class 2 driver / CSCS labourer / climber tree surgeon etc. The more precise the description the better the results.

Unless you are specifically targeting qualified staff with recognisable accreditation as above, try and avoid in-house jargon and acronyms. Remember, listings will be online so need to be Google friendly. Include key phrases such as ‘manager’, ‘supervisor’ or ‘director’ etc. rather than just descriptive content like ‘responsible for’, ‘in control of’ or ‘experienced in’. Specific keywords will then be picked up by search engines.

Also, keep the job title concise – it’s said that titles containing between 60- 80 characters outperform shorter / longer titles by 30 – 40%.

Job summary

This should provide an overview of the position and the company’s expectations of the role. This section provides the prospective candidate with a feel of what makes the organisation worth working for.

Highlight the company’s success stories, emphasise the brand message, and talk about the culture of the company.

This is where you should also include relevant details such as salary range, hours worked, holiday entitlement, site location, travel / parking etc. Including work location also helps to optimise the posting online for more effective search results.

Responsibilities / duties

Once again, be precise and concise. Outline the key roles the candidate will undertake as part of their employment. The more detailed the better, especially the responsibilities that are unique to the organisation.

It’s also good idea here to outline the regular activities involved.  You might want to break down the time staff are expected to devote to different aspects of the position.

Include details of the hierarchy of the role, in other words who they report to and how their role affects the functionality of the business. This is also good place to talk about team working versus solo working, especially if they are expected to be self-sufficient.

Qualifications / skills

Treat these as separate entities. You may advertise for someone who is a ‘self-starter’ or ‘works well with others’. These personality attributes will appear under the qualifications heading, while skills should include both hard (e.g. technical skills) and soft (e.g. problem solving).

Of course, you will also clearly identify necessary qualifications. However, there is no need to list every desirable qualification (unless you want to put people off applying), just the ones that enable them to do the job.

Other details

A job description will also include details of salary range, benefits – such as car / car allowance, laptop, phone, flexible hours etc, as well as desirable qualities (languages / computer competence etc.)

Finally, as you can see, producing a job description in today’s sensitive employment environment is not something to be undertaken lightly. It’s crucial that you ensure you are not putting an unintentional bias in your job description. Falling foul of the laws regarding gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, and using language that would be considered discriminatory or even offensive.

Contact us

We are here to help you create a compelling reason why someone should want to come and work for you. Contact us on 0845 478 5009 or email enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk to see how we can help with your next recruitment campaign today.

Many businesses up and down the country have been using down time during lockdown to re-assess their employment needs and plan for the future. This means change is inevitable. One area that is being given a new consideration is the importance and relevance of skills accreditation.

Nothing new you may say. After all, professional qualifications and industry accreditation have long been used as a benchmark for providing customers with a reassurance that the job will be carried out to a specific standard by a professionally qualified member of staff.

However, according to the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), they say that although the demand for engineers is rising, many companies are struggling to recruit candidates with the right skills and professional qualifications.

According to their ‘skills and demands in industry’ report, they found that this lack of accreditation was an ongoing problem, which could lead to a shortage of engineers as we come out of the current covid-19 pandemic.

In addition, 53% of engineering companies surveyed by the IET considered that this could be a potential threat to their business over the next three to five years.

How does this affect your recruitment?

As a long-established recruitment partner, we have always placed great importance on professional qualifications and accreditations as part of the recruitment process. For example, candidates applying for employment as a gas engineer must hold an approved evidence of competence, obtained through a recognised training route and assessment.

In fact, a gas engineer can only be issued with a licence to undertake gas work on behalf of registered business if they hold a valid and current qualification. For employers, the Gas Safe Register (formerly Corgi) is operated on behalf of the Health & Safety Authority and registration is only approved if the business has at least one gas safety qualified engineer.

This is a legal obligation and something we take very seriously when submitting candidates in order to ensure that only qualified engineers are licenced to legally work on gas installations.

With over 10 years’ experience in recruiting specialist staff, we have an in- depth knowledge of supplying accredited tradespeople, such as CIS and Gas Safe registered, to our clients.

Accredited candidates, identified at the start of the selection process, can be supplied on a short-term basis (some with own vehicles and insurances) or on a longer term more permanent basis. Accreditation, along with professional qualifications and memberships can, therefore, speed up the whole recruitment process – saving the prospective employer time and costs.

This ‘oven ready’ solution to hiring effectively removes the need for any third-party involvement and can lead to work being self-certified and approved. This is just one of the reasons we are committed to our candidates not only holding a professional qualification but also achieving industry recognised accreditation.

A re-designed job market

The Covid-19 pandemic is having a massive impact on the UK economy and the jobs market in particular. There is also the thought that any changes, in these unprecedented times, will be quick and long lasting.

As the economy starts to recover and furloughed staff begin a return to previous working practices, there is a possibility that employers and HR professionals will be re-designing job descriptions to take into account the future needs of the employment market.

Professional qualifications and accreditations will, therefore, play an increasing important role in the recruitment of suitable staff. As we know, the need for a professional qualification is already mandatory in some roles, such as engineering, gas fitting etc.

Our recruitment process highlights this during the selection process

As the UK returns to some of normality, we are aware that employers are looking for stability and an opportunity to attract highly skilled and professionally qualified staff. This is especially relevant in the engineering sector with its current shortage of skilled engineers.

This is confirmed by the UK’s Engineering and Technology Board, who say that as we head towards a manufacturing revolution in order to retain our global competitiveness, we will require more engineers. In fact, they claim the UK has a shortfall of 55,000 skilled engineers each year.

They also added, that for every engineering position filled, a further two jobs are created in the economy. These kinds of statistics are always in our mind as employers look to us to identify and recruit suitably qualified staff on a short term or long-term basis.

There is no doubt, Covid-19 has forced everyone to explore new ways of working. We responded to this challenge very early on in the crisis and have continued to support our clients in helping to reduce stress levels when recruiting new staff.

In fact, we are regularly told by our clients, that it is our attention to this and our commitment in ensuring the quality of candidates, those who have the necessary accreditations and professional qualifications to work in the sectors we represent, that sets us apart from other recruiters.

Looking for qualified staff?

Contact us on 0845 478 5009 or enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk and see if you agree.

In this blog, we look at the reasons why larger businesses and public sector organisations, in particular, have adopted Preferred Supplier Agreements in a bid to reduce the cost, time and hassle of repetitive purchasing, and whether it can apply to your recruitment process.

A PSL or Preferred Supplier List, is a directory of approved suppliers that have signed a Preferred Supplier Agreement (PSA) with clients to provide an agreed level of service and commitment.

For all size and type of organisation, procurement is an expensive charge against the business and any way of reducing this is always going to be welcomed. Having a directory of pre-approved vendors can, almost certainly, speed up the purchasing process, apply a defined security of delivery and provide the reassurance that the vendor has already undergone stringent tests to ensure suitability.

They will also have been credit checked and have a payment system in place that makes the whole process so much easier than having to start fresh each time. They may also offer a discount for the volume business.

In fact, PSL’s have been a part of the recruitment process for many years. Something that has enabled employers to quickly fill vacancies without the inconvenience and uncertainty of having to contact a large number of unknown recruitment agencies.

What are the key benefits of recruiting staff using a PSL?

To answer that we need to consider the pros and cons of having a PSL in place for recruiting staff.

We believe, one of the key benefits of a PSL is ‘trust’. 

This means that having such an agreement in place ensures that your recruitment partner truly understands your business, is financially viable, and is fully compliant in managing your recruitment.

This should inevitably lead to higher quality candidates, and a guaranteed level of service that is cheaper and less bureaucratic than a haphazard approach. In fact, if structured correctly, your recruitment partner effectively becomes an extension of your in-house HR department and brand ambassador.

Is it for everyone?

There is no doubt, having a Preferred Supplier Agreement in place offers many key benefits to all size and type of business. However, this decision will largely depend on the role taken by the recruitment partner in creating a consistently reliable service. That is, one that is able to offer a suitably skilled talent pool combined with a financial advantage of reducing costs and possibly fees, based on volume business.

Of course, some employers will prefer a more flexible recruitment process based on a dynamic approach. This does not necessarily preclude them having a PSL in place but allows them to respond to an ever changing market.

Multitask Personnel, for example, is an advocate of both processes. We appreciate that many employers value the confidence of working to a PSL but we also work closely with intermittent clients who may only have very specific roles to fill on an irregular basis.

Depending on the agreement signed, a PSL does not deny the recruiter flexibility. A larger company, for example, could operate a multi-faceted recruitment process for contracting specific roles within the organisation.

A PSL has to work for both parties

We said earlier that trust was a key feature of such an agreement. Employers have to be confident that their recruitment partner has met an agreed status when it comes industry compliance, service ability and value for money.

These are absolutely critical points to consider when recruiting for new staff and should form an integral part of any Preferred Supplier Agreement.

This is confirmed by the fact that there are some Employers and HR professionals who still consider the demands and efforts of recruitment agencies do not offer value for money.

This is where a PSL can really come into its own. Having an agreement in place ensures a guaranteed level of service as both party’s requirements are established in the initial stages. In addition, a PSL can also save organisation’s a great deal of wasted time in searching for an appropriate recruitment partner, especially one that understands the industry and is compliant to operate in that sector.

This is especially relevant when dealing with sensitive areas such as data protection and financial security. In fact, some industries such as the financial sector rely on PSL’s to ensure compliance vetting is carried out in order to protect the business from undue risk.

Building up a relationship

There is no doubt, having a PSL in place helps to maintain the integrity of the business. This means you have built up a relationship with the recruitment partner and can be confident that they are protecting your reputation and brand definition.

Working with a pre-selected recruitment partner also provides a high level of consistency, increased confidentiality, and access to a selective pool of candidates. At the same time, it also effectively manages an employer’s legal and commercial risk.

So, as we said before, employers can choose to go it alone and recruit through a number of recruiters, and for those that have the time and resources to manage this it can work well. This is especially so for those that employ a number of skilled and experienced HR people in-house.

A hybrid system or a mix of random recruitment and PSL is also a possibility and is something we have a great deal of experience in. We will be happy to offer advice.

To summarise

There are many benefits of setting up a preferred supplier list for your recruitment requirements. To start with you are working with someone who knows your business, is industry compliant, and goes out of their way to understand the client’s needs, thus providing extra reassurance.

However, before all that happens, we believe it’s important to consider what criteria you will apply prior to adopting a PSL.

For example:

Our flexible approach

Multitask Personnel is proud of its flexible approach to recruitment that is tailored to the client’s specific circumstances. Some prefer to engage us on an irregular basis, some will ask us to use our specialist knowledge to recruit niche staff while others will instruct us using a Preferred Supplier List.

We are happy to offer the best possible advice, service and support that best fits the recruiter’s own criteria.

If you would like to discuss what recruitment arrangement is best for you, please give us a call on 0845 478 5009 or email: enquiries@multitaskpersonnel.co.uk

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