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Diana AndersonDirector 16 Jun 2021
  • Interview process

The UK is opening back up - are you ready to start hiring exceptional talent again?

It’s clear to see just by scrolling through Linkedin that there is a buzz in the air and companies are on the hunt again for the best talent to join their teams. If you are thinking about hiring and wondering when you should start your recruitment process, now is time. Don’t get left behind and miss out on the most talented candidates.

After speaking to our community, we know that many of our EAs & PAs who were out of work during 2020, spent a lot of time refining their CVs and thinking carefully about the type of role they will be looking for when the world opens up again. We all know that an interview process is a two way street and candidates are interviewing the companies just as much as the companies are interviewing the candidates. Now that businesses are hiring again, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and think about why candidates should choose your company over your competitors.

It’s really important to get your ducks in a row prior to starting the interview process. Making sure that all the contracts are ready, offer letters are drafted and you have an established process for checking references. If you have everything prepared then you can make your offer before someone else snatches them up. It’s best to avoid any delays in the onboarding process as it’s a really busy time for recruiting.

Here are 5 points to think about as you return to the office and start hiring again:

1. Flexible working scheme

A survey conducted by Virgin Business found that 65% of public sector organisations say that hybrid working (a mix of office based and remote working) will be here to stay after Covid - 19. 55% of private firms agree with this statement. With that in mind, have you thought about your businesses’ flexible working scheme and how your company will adapt to new requests? There are many different types of flexible working structures, from job sharing to compressed hours, to flexi time, you can see the full list on the Government’s website.

2. Company Culture __

Over the last few years “Company Culture” has taken a front seat when candidates are looking for a new role, nearly all the EAs & PAs that we speak to ask about company culture when they are interviewing. Since being in lockdown for over a year, company culture is going to be even more important to candidates. Culture covers many different areas and you need to figure out what motivates that particular candidate, is it daily standups, weekly team lunches or perhaps some mentoring from more senior employees? An energetic and positive interview is what will make the candidate accept a role, but culture is what will make your employees stick around long term. Here are 7 reasons why organisational culture is important: https://bit.ly/3pYf4Qs

3. Diversity

Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace is a huge topic of conversation at the moment. Whilst UK legislation sets minimum standards for I&D during the recruitment process (gender, race,religion,age,sexual orientation and disability). Once your team is in place, there is so much more you can do as a company to make sure that all of your employees feel included and happy whilst working for you. Rick Kershaw from People Management says: “Asking the right questions is key. Leaders need to understand whether employees feel able to bring their best selves to work, whether they have a strong sense of belonging, and whether they feel their identity is accepted and respected.” He’s written a really interesting article on how to meet employee’s growing expectations around diversity: https://bit.ly/3xoXSpL

4. Mental Health

Last month we wrote an article about Mental health and how to help your employees stay well at work. Mental health is still an extremely important topic and one that should always be at the front of your mind during the recruitment process. It’s also important to review mental health on a regular basis to make sure that all your employees are happy and feeling at the top of their game. In last month’s article we discussed Mind’s wellness action plans and anonymous surveys to help you check up on employee engagement. Just in case you missed our article on mental health, you can see it here: https://bit.ly/3gjAwfm. Your mental health policy and process is something that you can discuss during interviews as it covers any questions that might come up about culture and also diversity/inclusion.

5. Productivity apps / tech

Over the last 15 months the majority of your staff will either have been on furlough or have been working from home for a significant amount of time. It’s fair to say that all businesses have had to adapt during lockdown, whether it was moving the business in a new direction or implementing new technology to make processes smoother. Zoom was the pandemic’s success story, do any of us even remember a time before Zoom was the go-to video conferencing platform? Zoom is just one of the many amazing productivity tools out there helping businesses run smoothly and employees work to their full potential. Martin Leuw (Chairman of GroundControl) says “Businesses either sink or swim depending on their effective investment in digital tools. No one can afford to ignore the impact of technology. And it is better to be the disruptor than to be disrupted.” Tech is important at all stages of your business, from helping employees with their productivity to making the customer experience the best it can be. If you are just starting to look into the best tech for your business, here are 8 employee management apps that can help increase productivity: https://bit.ly/3wzI9nu