Employers, Are You Winning the STEM Race?
If you recruit staff in any of the STEM-related sectors – science, technology, engineering and maths – then you probably already know how increasingly tough that is. Not least because so many commercial and industrial organisations are embracing the technological revolution and joining the search for people with these key skill sets.
This can leave many recruitment campaigns falling short of enough candidates to interview, even before you pinpoint the applicant who fits the job spec perfectly! The situation is further exacerbated if you’re a relatively small company. In the race to recruit staff with STEM capabilities, the winners tend to be the organisations with the deepest pockets.
However, that is not always the case. There are things you can do as an organisation to close the STEM gap and attract candidates with the right experience and acumen.
Mind the gap
First, let’s look at the problem in more detail, for more background to some of the decisive actions you can use as solutions.
You will no doubt have seen headlines about the global shortfall in STEM skills. The talent pool needed to take full advantage of improved connectivity, automation, AI and data science is not well enough stocked.
The global figures for hard to fill vacancies make for sober reading. So it’s not surprising that the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) feels the UK’s skill shortages are at “critical levels”. (source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/01/10/skills-shortages-critical-levels-risking-uk-growth-research/)
You may also be aware of the campaigns and projects launched to address this serious skills gap, including a drive to attract more women into engineering and technology careers.
Is it working? There are reports that suggest current measures are not going to solve the problem any time soon! In fact, the number of adults in training or education has actually fallen to the lowest levels on record. (source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/23/skills-crisis-number-adults-training-falls-record-low/)
According to Department of Education figures, only 37% of people in the UK undertook training of some form over the last three years. When you compare this with the peak in 2001 – 46% of adults in skills training – it shows the numbers are going in the wrong direction.
Recruitment is not always salary-focused
One of the most important things employers must recognise when trying to attract candidates with STEM proficiency and experience is that wages are not everything. People are motivated by more than just money, and developing a career path that takes account of that is vital.
Among the things applicants look for is how ambitious you are as a company. If you can demonstrate that they will be part of a forward-looking team, and that their contribution is a key element of a robust business plan, it all helps! Recruitment of STEM candidates as a knee-jerk reaction, with a muddled job spec or unclear career path, is liable to reap poor results.
Also, an employer with a culture that enables staff to bring their “whole self to work” is potentially going to receive more applications from the right calibre of candidate. This could include flexible working practices, empathy for family commitments and offering good health and welfare support in the workplace, for example.
Equality and diversity
Job satisfaction is more assured if you can demonstrate that you are a diverse and inclusive employer. This is a really important point, and not simply in terms of making your workplace attractive to STEM applicants. It is also about your attitude as an employer.
Sometimes, your STEM recruitment policies need to be fluid and responsive, rather than being run along fixed perimeters. For example, you may need to look for someone who has creativity, ideas and a passion for technology, rather than someone with academic prowess or a long list of previous employers.
Inclusivity needs to factor in more than the usual race, age, gender, religious and disability issues. The best fit for the role may be someone who didn’t look good on paper, for example!
As there is such a serious shortfall in STEM applicants – and a growing number of companies hungry for these skills – you need to look further ahead as a company. Your recruitment policies may need to be focused more on where you are going as an organisation, rather than your current business needs.
That way, you can constantly be seeking candidates with STEM relevancy, ready to “grab” them and put clear career paths in place. If you are in the engineering sector, in particular, you may need to think in terms of more young applicants that you can train up. Apprenticeships in STEM-related areas are undoubtedly a key way to develop the workforce of the future.
As attracting enough STEM candidates does now involve a “hard sell” in recruitment terms, it makes sense to bring in expertise.
Time Recruitment invests heavily in creating a fertile talent pool, but also in matching potential staff and employers in an intuitive way. This avoids time wasted and gets jobs filled – including STEM-related posts – as quickly and effectively as possible.
Balancing a Full Time Job with Looking After Your Mental Health
Every year, one in four adults in the UK will suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition, most commonly depression or anxiety. Although not a cause of mental ill health per se, stress and a poor work-life balance place individuals at greater risk and can exacerbate any difficulties that someone is already experiencing. Workers in emotionally taxing professions such as healthcare, or those who work variable and unsociable shift patterns, are especially likely to be diagnosed with poor mental health. So, if you have a full-time job and are trying to balance your work with a family, social life, and all the other demands of modern living, what can you do to help safeguard your mental health?
Stress is a leading contributor to poor mental health. Far from being “all in the mind”, stress is a very real physical condition. When we experience stress, the body releases increased quantities of the hormone cortisol. In small amounts, and for short periods of time, cortisol can be beneficial. Human beings evolved on the plains of Africa, where cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones were beneficial in helping us run away from lions and other animals that would otherwise have had us for lunch. However, over long periods, high cortisol levels can lead to hypertension, heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, difficulty sleeping, hypervigilance, and anxiety. Stress is also a key risk factor for depression, psychosis, and schizophrenia.
Reading that last paragraph has probably been enough to increase your stress levels all by itself! So, what can you do to reduce the amount of stress in your life? Leading mental health charity, Mental Health First Aid England provide a free resource on their website called the “Stress Container.” This simple model can help you to identify the areas of your life – whether they’re related to work, money, family or elsewhere – which are causing you stress.
Once you’ve identified your stress factors, you can begin to plan how to deal with them. That could mean talking to your line manager about stressful issues at work, or perhaps having a conversation with your partner or family about how they can help you reduce stress at home.
Managing stress when it does happen
However hard we try to reduce the sources of stress in our lives, we are all going to experience stress from time to time. So, when you’re up against it in the office, or there’s just a lot going on in life, here are a few things you might like to try to help manage your stress.
Science is increasingly showing us that exercise is a fantastic tool for managing stress and improving your mental health. Physical and mental health are connected, so eating well and taking regular exercise are very helpful in improving mood and lowering stress. If you can find something that you enjoy, and you can do it regularly, then make the time for it.
Take some “me time”
When we’re busy at work, it can be tempting to work that little bit of overtime, skimp on lunchtimes and breaks, and generally work harder to get the job done. The reality is, there’s nothing worse for your mental health than not taking any time for yourself. Make sure that, every single day, you set aside time to do something you enjoy, and that will make you feel good. This doesn’t have to be anything complicated or expensive – curling up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a good book is perfect. Positive emotions, though, help to build a buffer against stress, so take some time to create those happy moments.
Learn something new
Many people find great satisfaction in learning a new skill or hobby. Maybe you’ve always wanted to play the guitar, take up painting, or learn a new language? Take a look around and see what opportunities are available near you. Most further education colleges offer community classes, many of which are free.
Share how you’re feeling
It’s OK to ask for help and support. Everyone has up days and down days, and it really is true that talking a problem through with a friend, colleague, or loved one can help.
Be organised enough to switch off
When you’re not at work, you’re not at work. At the end of your shift or working day, take five minutes to reply to any emails, tidy your desk or locker, and put away your equipment. Then, when you walk out of the door, switch off. Turn off your phone, stop checking your emails, and get your mind out of “work mode” and ready to relax. After all, you’ve been working hard all day, and you’re not paid to spend your evenings and weekends working too.
Following these tips will be enough for many people to begin to address the sources of stress in their lives. However, if you’re struggling and want to talk, there’s help out there for you. You can call Samaritans 24/7 on 116 123, or email [email protected], contact your GP, call NHS 111 for advice or, in an emergency, visit your local A&E department and ask to speak to the Mental Health Crisis Team.
Exciting Nursing Career Options in 2018
A nursing career offers speciality paths, which allow nurses to work in many fields – clinical or nonclinical. Nurses plan and provide medical care to people in various settings, and they work together with doctors and other medical and non-medical professionals to provide high-quality care to patients. To work as a nurse, you need to first complete a nursing degree or diploma. Most nursing degrees have an option of specialising.
Licensing and registration
You have to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) so you can get a practising licence and the licence needs to be renewed every three years. Apart from just paying for the renewal fees, you need to have attained at least 35 hours of continuous professional development and have at least 450 hours of registered practice in the last three years. You also have to pass the Disclosure and Barring Service check.
Apart from having the technical skills gained from going to school, there are some personal attributes that you need. You have to be compassionate, committed and dedicated to helping people get better. You must also have excellent organisational skills.
Nursing offers a wide array of exciting career options that have many opportunities for promotion. Some nurses work in primary care, which is the first point of contact when providing health care. Others work in secondary care, which happens after first contact and involves the provision of specialised medical treatment services.
Nurses can choose various specialities based on a specific demographic of patients like: adults, the elderly, people with learning disabilities or people with mental issues. These specialities include mental health nursing, general nursing, paediatric nursing, learning disability nursing or geriatric nursing.
Mental health nursing
Mental health nurses work with people with mental disorders and their families in various settings and teams that meet specific needs they have. Some nurses work in a clinical inpatient setting helping people whose recovery requires that they be admitted. Other mental health nurses work in outpatient centres, forensic and residential services. A lot of mental health nurses also belong to community health teams that work with patients in their own homes or within local communities.
Before you become registered as a mental health nurse, you have to complete your mental health nursing degree. After qualifying you have to garner some experience, skills and knowledge, before seeking out opportunities in roles and settings that you want to work in.
Some organisations give rotational schemes that allow new nurses to work in various settings in mental health services. This approach enhances one’s job prospects and even helps one to choose which setting would be the best for them to work in. The experience builds up their management skills and takes them from just being a staff nurse to become a consultant.
Mental health nurses need some qualities to enable them to become better nurses. They need to be good listeners, empathetic and be able to respond appropriately to their patients. They must have good observation and interpersonal skills so that they can comprehend the issues and concerns that their clients have. They need to be emotionally intelligent and be able to help their patients find solutions.
Geriatric nursing refers to nursing that entails taking care of the elderly. It can also be called old age nursing. A lot of elderly people are located in nursing homes. The nurse’s role includes assessing older clients, providing care for them and working with them together with their families. Nurses can work as regular staff or as deputies to the matron. If they have enough experience they can become matrons and be in charge of the staff and control budgets. Nurses can rise higher up the ranks and work as regional managers in charge of a group of homes. Statistics show that there are more beds in nursing homes compared to government facilities. This means that a geriatric nurse will have a lot of employment offers coming from both the government and other players in the private sector.
Learning disability nurse
People with a learning disability are impaired when it comes to their intellectual and social functions. Unlike other people, where their impairments may stem from an accident or illness in adulthood, their impairments are present from childhood. People with learning disabilities experience sensory, physical and/or mental health issues.
Learning disability nurses work together with other professionals to help people with learning disabilities, their families and even in their career lives. These nurses work with people that society has always excluded and their main aim is to help them live fully integrated into society by assisting them to meet their health, well-being and career goals. Adult nurses can work in prisons, community teams, secure services and respite homes.
At Time Recruitment we have close to two decades of experience in the recruitment and placement industry. Our job is to make sure that you meet the requirements of the job you want to apply for. We will offer you the same excellent services and attention to detail regardless of whether you are new to work or an experienced professional. We have offices in Manchester, London and Birmingham.
7 Reasons Why You Should Get a Job in the Construction Industry
Construction is absolutely booming in the UK! Worth a massive £160 billion annually to the economy (double the value since 2000), the industry has never been healthier. And with Britain’s famously growing population, every year brings greater demand for new houses, offices, and infrastructure, as well as endless need for repair and maintenance work. So you’ll be happy to know that recruitment for construction jobs has never been higher. Even better, work within the industry is plentiful, varied, and highly paid, meaning it can be easy to find a career that will keep you happy (as well as financially secure).
The top seven reasons why you need a career in construction:
Construction output in Great Britain supports nearly 300,000 firms nationwide, who together employ well over 2 million people. The UK government has also pledged to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, including many for the building and construction sector. Yet demand is so high that over 60% of construction firms report that they still struggle to find workers, meaning there is white-hot recruitment for highly skilled and experienced tradesmen. Such a skills shortage in this fast-paced and growing industry brings amazing opportunities for both beginners and qualified professionals. Quite simply, this means the pay is great. The average salary for construction jobs is £37,500, rising to £57,500 for senior appointments (compare this to the national average salary of £27,271).
2. Jobs for everyone
Mention construction and many people will simply think of builders, yet the industry is widely diverse and adaptable with many specialised roles. For example, some of the most popular construction positions include: architects, construction supervisors, civil engineers, electricians, heavy equipment operators, and planners. Work opportunities can be found in both cities and rural areas, and involve everything from individual bespoke house building, to megaprojects such as railways or nuclear power stations. Whether you want to get your hands dirty or not, there is likely to be a perfect job that matches your skills, experience, and interests.
3. Work that matters
Construction is one of the few industries that makes a crucial difference to our daily lives. Not only does the sector contribute to the economy, creating jobs and wealth, it also makes a positive impact on the world around us. From shopping malls, business parks and skyscrapers, to hospitals, schools and airports, construction workers literally shape the society we all live within. This makes the work rewarding, knowing that you personally have physically changed the world, improved lives, and left a legacy for the next generation to admire.
4. Collaborate with a team
Construction teams consist of many different occupations, involving architects, engineers, owners and investors, as well as contractors and subcontractors. The knowledge, experience, and effort from a diverse range of people must be pooled to tackle everyday challenges on a building site. The pleasure of working in a team is therefore one of the highlights of this career: solving problems together, overcoming obstacles and sharing the rewards of your group labour. This is how strong relationships are forged, and many construction workers often enjoy the social life and friendships they make which can extend beyond the job.
5. A lifelong career
As one of society’s essential occupations, you can rely on the construction sector being around for your whole career, allowing you to build on experience and qualifications to progress into higher positions. Today’s foreman can advance to be tomorrow’s superintendent, project manager, or construction manager. Ongoing education is also possible, and many skills are transferable from one position to another. Recruitment agencies can help you seize opportunities within different fields of construction, from health and safety, engineering and training, to even striking out and starting your own contractor business.
6. Satisfaction guaranteed
Many people love seeing the immediate result of taking tool in hand and making a direct impact on the world. Construction workers especially can take great pride in creating landmarks and infrastructure that will last for generations. The progress they make each day in construction, no matter how small, is often measurable and physically visible, culminating in a new building that wasn’t there before. No wonder that anonymous job surveys often show that construction and facility service workers are the happiest of all employees.
7. Never a dull day
It might sound like a cliché, but no two days are the same. Different construction projects can introduce you to new skills, dynamic new technologies (e.g., drones and virtual reality), with challenges that require fresh perspectives and daily innovation. Since the sector is so widespread, there are also many opportunities for travel and relocation. Construction skills are in demand globally, meaning recruitment agencies can place construction workers on prominent projects across the world. With such a versatile array of exciting projects large and small, national and international, you never know where you might end up next!
Reasons to Become a Mental Health Nurse
If you’re thinking about a career in nursing, or are currently a nurse considering a move to the mental health sector, there are many benefits to becoming a registered mental health nurse (RMN). The UK is currently experiencing a shortage in mental health nurses, having experienced a decline in the number of qualified practitioners of 12.63 percent between 2010 and 2017, so the demand is now very high for good quality professionals in this field.
The shortage of mental health nurses is leading to a high demand for jobs in both the public and private sectors. As the NHS struggles to cope with a lack of qualified professionals, the government and individuals are increasingly turning to the private sector to meet the nation’s mental health needs. A higher demand for workers means more jobs and better packages.
As people working in mental health are in such high demand, those that do make it into the profession can often count on a high level of job security. Many see it as a career for life, as a lot of mental health placements are for long-term care. Patients that need ongoing support throughout their lifetimes are likely to need RMNs that can commit themselves for the long term, thus there’s less of a risk of job cuts and redundancy.
Working as a nurse in the mental health field is a highly challenging job – you are likely to be caring for people with a range of conditions, from autism and schizophrenia to dementia and addiction. The needs of the people you are caring for are likely to be particularly high, and extremely individualised. This presents a huge amount of challenges in the daily job, and requires patience, tenacity and enthusiasm at all times. However, despite the challenges, working as a mental health nurse can bring unrivalled rewards.
Helping some of the most vulnerable individuals in the country is why many people choose to work in the mental health sector, and it provides many people with significant daily job satisfaction. Job satisfaction, as well as making a difference to society is arguably the main reason most people are motivated to become mental health nurses and, for the right people, this field of healthcare work can provide stimulation and variety each and every day.
More Hours with Patients
A mental health nurse has many roles, such as holistic assessment, developing a programme of complex interventions and delivering specialised care on a daily basis. All of these tasks are centered around building positive relationships with patients. With such a wide range of skills open for development and the frequent opportunities to interact with each patient, it’s not difficult to see why this career path can offer so many opportunities to progress.
How to Become a Registered Mental Health Nurse
If you want to become a registered mental health nurse, you will need to study for a degree and undergo intensive training. There are various universities in the United Kingdom that offer courses in mental health specifically, and their entry requirements vary depending on the establishment and its reputation.
As well as formal training, you will also need certain qualities to make it into the field. Patience, resilience, a thick skin and – most of all – a caring nature are all required of those working in mental health. You’ll also need skills for helping to rehabilitate and bring quality of life to individuals suffering from anything from eating disorders and drug abuse to lifelong mental health conditions.
Why the Private Sector?
The private sector provides most of the long-term mental healthcare placements in the UK, as well as many acute care services. This plays a crucial role in helping the government to meet the huge demand for care and to reduce waiting lists. The sector also enables the government to offer more choice in terms of types of placements and services provided.
The private sector consists of for-profit, not for profit/charity and voluntary organisations, and many mental health nurses are turning to this sector for various reasons. Firstly, working in the private sector can be more lucrative with the right organisation. The average starting salary for an RMN in the NHS is between £22,128 and £28,746 (band 5), and can rise to between £26,565 and £41,787 once you reach bands 6 and 7. Private sector companies, on the other hand, set their own pay scales, with many organisations offering a higher base salary and better staff packages.
Secondly, private sector working allows RMNs greater flexibility in their career paths; organisations set their own career progression paths, and you often have greater opportunities for negotiation in your employment terms. Finally, you also have added job security as most placements are long term; therefore, most employers will be looking for people that can commit to working with their patients for several years at least.
Those interested in a career as an RMN should speak to Time Recruitment, for access to many of the best private healthcare positions.
The 3 Soft Skills That Every Candidate Should Develop
For all candidates who are entering the job market, there are a host of skills you need to develop to make yourself as attractive as possible to a wide array of employers. Whilst we all tend to focus on ensuring that our educational and practical skills are as cultivated as possible, it is often easy to forget that the most attractive candidate for a position is usually the best-rounded individual.
Hard skills vs. soft skills
In an economy that is increasingly competitive and modernised, candidates seeking employment often think of developing, for example, their computer skills as a way to stand out to employers. Developing skills such as these would be to focus on hard skills, the practical abilities that increase our general competency. Whilst nurturing hard skills is an essential task for all would-be employees, to focus on these alone would be a mistake. We also have to ensure that we are working on our soft skills, the intangible aspects of our personality that help to make us a well-rounded candidate, with the ability to be more adaptable and developed as a person.
Whilst hard skills can be essentially described as our ability to perform specific tasks, for example, computer coding or graphic design, soft skills help us to interact positively with the fellow humans that populate the workplace. As such, here is a list of just a few of the soft skills that you should be thinking of nurturing and developing to ensure that you are the most attractive candidate that you can possibly be.
Ensuring that you have the ability to communicate accurately with your fellow employees, and any potential clients, is a must-have soft skill. Often our perception of people can be more important than the reality of their personality; even if you are highly competent at your job, if people perceive you as a difficult person to work then that can negatively impact your working relationships, potential to be promoted, or your ability to interact with clients in a successful manner.
Employers will prize candidates who can communicate effectively as it helps to ensure that productivity levels in the workplace are as high as they can be. If confusion and a lack of clarity permeate the workplace because of a lack of communication, there is a higher probability of inefficiency and inability to convert and retain leads. To help develop your communication, practice your writing skills to make yourself as clear as possible. Moreover, rather than avoiding public speaking and presentation due to nervousness, think of taking opportunities that help to increase your clarity and ability to present information concisely
Just like in our everyday lives, no-one can guarantee exactly what will happen in any given working day. A host of unexpected circumstances can crop up that require us to change our plans, and the ability of employees to respond and adapt effectively to changing situations is an essential soft skill that employers will search for. Moreover, if you are ambitious and aiming up the corporate ladder, then it will be expected of you not only to adapt to changing environments but also to take advantage of the new opportunities that arise.
To help develop your adaptability, focussing on stress-reducing techniques in your everyday life can help to ensure that when situations change, they do not negatively affect your mood. With a calmer state of mind, you’ll be able to think more clearly about how to adapt to new situations, and how to take advantage of them. Lastly, ensuring that you keep up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in technology will be a huge plus-point for any would-be employers, displaying the ability to identify the opportunities that arise with new developments.
Developing your leadership soft skills is as an essential task for any candidate on the job market, whether you are searching for a job or are currently employed. Employers do not want to have to spell out every little detail of your working life for you, and having the ability to take your own initiative will make you stand out from the job market crowd.
Moreover, when an employer hires you for a position, they are not just hiring the abilities and talents you currently possess; they are investing in you, hoping to see an increase in the “value” of your abilities and talents. The more ambitious you are, and therefore the further up the ladder you are aiming, the more leadership responsibilities you will undertake. Thus, if you can nurture your leadership skills, you will be a prime candidate for promotion up the corporate ladder.
To enhance your leadership skills, try taking in all the information you can about notable industry and market leaders, and see if there are any lessons applicable to your life. If you are currently unemployed, search for internship opportunities that will enhance your leadership “portfolio”. Once in a company hierarchy, take every possible opportunity to move horizontally, even if only temporarily, to gain as much experience as possible in as many areas of your company’s operations as possible.
To learn more about how to develop your soft skills to make yourself as attractive as possible to a wide array of employers, contact us today!
Steps to Become a Successful Engineer
Stiff competition and limited employment opportunities mean that many job seekers struggle to attract employers and pass interviews. This is especially true for the engineering industries. Engineering-related job hunters will need to develop and update the right soft skills, which include personal qualities and interpersonal attitudes.
Employees want professionals who are flexible with their schedules, preferences and responsibilities. Flexibility is a can-do attitude that people should act on and not just talk about. During interviews, it’s recommended to describe project experiences or workplace scenarios that required flexibility and resulted in benefits and new understanding.
Time management skills are crucial for job applicants because new hires must often juggle a variety of roles and responsibilities. Be prepared to explain how you prioritise mundane duties and urgent daily tasks to help your potential employer understand your awareness and organisation skills.
Texts with popular acronyms and casually written emails may help to establish rapport, but they may also demonstrate professional incompetency. Many business leaders and educational experts worry that technological advances are weakening people’s ability to clearly and effectively communicate. It may help to mention that you prefer to engage clients and coworkers in face-to-face conversations.
Why soft skills matter
Soft skills are not related to degree level or technical expertise because they help people re-prioritize the right tasks, proactively solve problems and communicate well with others. Soft skills encourage productivity, collaboration and excellent customer service. In fact, most consumers select technical professionals based on their abilities to establish rapport, respectfully communicate and take the time to help others.
Know what you’re talking about
Expertise is a valuable commodity. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s bad news both for you and the company you’re doing the work for. But that’s no critical job skill at hand. Even if you start with relatively little niche knowledge or precise understanding of how a prospective company uses its resources, you can learn. If you’re applying for an entry-level position, the company might actually prefer a little less hands-on experience so they can train you how they prefer.
The hottest job skill isn’t really knowledge
The most important skill is being able to articulate knowledge and have a worthwhile conversation. Every single job involves some degree of communication, and the interview doesn’t end just because you get the job. You need to be able to have a meta-conversation about what you do, not just be able to do it.
Be able to understand questions full of technical jargon
Take the time to learn engineering industry-specific terminology. Even in your own thoughts, start referring to tools with their official names. The last thing you want is a director to walk by, understand your spreadsheet, and ask you questions you can’t even begin to answer.
Be able to explain procedures to new employees and auditors
Explaining is an extremely underrated skill. You’ve probably sat through dozens of podcasts, lectures, and meetings where you want the speaker just to get to point. But when they do get to the point, it sounds like a mix of vague and technical nonsense.
If you can present yourself as having both deep technical knowledge and the ability to concisely explain it without generalizing, you have a unique asset. People will prefer to listen to you than someone who rambles or over-complicates, which makes you extremely powerful.
Access the industry
Remember, the first step to growing your career is to step into your desired industry. Job experience is key, so apply for jobs at engineering companies. While you might not get your dream job as an engineer from the start, beginning in a related position is key. You can work your way up as you build your resume.
Earn engineering certifications
Talk to your employer about signing up for training with AWS, GCP, Azure, or other platforms. You can earn credentials and certifications by doing so. If your employer is not able to cover your training, look into doing so on your own. These certifications will be worth it down the line.
The engineering industry is all about who you know. Attend conferences, connect with staffing firms, and join networking groups to meet experts and professionals in the industry. By making these connections, you can build your professional web and continue to grow in your career as an engineer.
Keep up with new technologies
No matter where you are in your career, its essential to stay educated on up-and-coming technologies. This way, you can stay one step ahead on the future of the cloud industry. So, when certain certifications are in demand, you can be one of the first to add them to your resume.
7 Ways to Prepare for Your Next Job Interview
When you’re interviewing for your dream job, there’s nothing worse than going in unprepared. Though studying interview questions and having general knowledge about the subject is a must for any interviewee, you might be overlooking some of the other ways that you can prepare for your interview, in order to give you an edge over your competition. Here are just a few ways you can prepare for that big interview:
1. Research your potential employer
It’s not enough to know general knowledge about your topic – it’s also important to do at least a little research on what a company does, how it works and even its history. Showing you can research and understand the values and ethos of a business can be equally as important as the skills and knowledge you can display offhand. You don’t have to go in-depth, but if you can fill a page of an A5 notebook with what you know about the company you’re applying to, then you’re off to a great start. If you have one positive recent news story you could refer to as well, perhaps relating to an award, event or new product, then it’s all the better.
2. Research your employer’s competitors
Having a greater understanding of the market you’re going into can give you insight into what your role might be. Whether it’s taking a quick look at the skills and abilities of people in similar organisations to you or simply looking at what sets your interviewing company apart from the competition, further knowledge of the ins and outs of an industry can be a good indicator that you’re passionate about it. It can also give you a greater understanding of what your responsibilities will be in a particular role, and give you other options that you’ve already researched should one interview not work out.
3. Choose your outfit
Just throwing on something on the day won’t cut it; and even if an office or workplace has a uniform or is smart-casual, opting for the smarter spectrum for your interview wardrobe gives a good impression. Of course, it’s also important to know how to read a business; if you’ll be on your feet a lot or on-site for a role, showing up to your interview in a pencil skirt and heels might not immediately make your match with the kind of job you want. Don’t be afraid to ask your recruitment agency or their HR manager pre-interview on what it the etiquette for your interview process; whether formal or casual.
4. Talk about yourself in the mirror
This one might seem more appropriate for an improv or drama class, but in fact, being able to speak confidently about yourself while keeping good eye contact is something many people struggle with, and using the mirror can be a good tool to take away the awkwardness of being asked about yourself in the interview room. Talk about your good points, your experiences and even things you’d like to improve; anything that might be asked on the day.
5. Practice your makeup and beauty routine
We’re not just talking women when it comes to ensuring you look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on the day of an interview. A little concealer can make you look more awake, and a beauty routine could just be ensuring your hair is freshly washed, clean and nicely styled. Other makeup isn’t a must for any interview, really, but if you feel more confident with a little mascara on, go for it. Heavy-duty concealer can also be used to cover tattoos is necessary, and if it is indicated that they may not be welcome in the workplace.
6. Plan your route
There’s nothing worse than the panic of being late to a job interview, and it can reflect badly on you even if the situation may not have been your fault. From traffic to breakdowns, lack of public transport to roadworks, having some understanding ahead of time of how long your journey will take, when you’ll get there, and how much time you’ll have before an interview are all key things to consider. It’s always preferable to arrive at your interview a little early, but if you’re there more than twenty minutes before your interview, opt to duck into the nearest coffee shop or cafe and wait it out.
7. Collate relevant documents
It’s very unlikely that any job will want you to take in your qualifications and identification to an interview, so when we’re talking about paperwork we mean anything that adds value to your meeting with a potential employer. If you’re asked to do a presentation, bring paper copies so they can follow along and make notes. Written something relevant you’re particularly proud of? Bring it with you. Choose a professional ring binder or folder to ensure your paper doesn’t arrive dog-eared or messy, and to give yourself a more professional image.
If you’re looking for a new role in the healthcare, construction, commercial or industrial industries, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today at Time Recruitment to find out more about the roles we have waiting for you.
7 Mistakes That are Killing Your Job Search
If you are currently on the hunt for the perfect job for you, you may be feeling a little bit frustrated if your search is not going as well as you expected it to. There is no denying that a job hunt can be a bit of minefield. With so many places to find jobs today, and so much competition, it can be hard to know where to start and then how to make yourself stand out so you secure the job. With that in mind, in this post, we are going to take a look at some of the common mistakes people make when job hunting so that you can stop making them.
1. Going it alone
– One of the biggest mistakes people make today is attempting to tackle the job search by themselves. Nowadays, there are specialist recruitment firms dedicated to specific industries that can help you to find the right job for you. There are a number of different reasons why you should make the most of their assistance. Firstly, they can help you with matters like improving your CV and preparing for interviews. Secondly, they have the best contacts within that specific industry, and so they will be able to present you with more opportunities. Thirdly, they specialise in matching people to the right jobs for them, ensuring you end up in a career that is perfectly suited to you and can set you up for life.
2. Taking your eye off the competition
– When job hunting, it is important to remember that you are in direct competition with all of the other applicants. This is why you need to make a conscious effort to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Why should employers want you over the other candidates that are available? You are going to put yourself at a distinct advantage if you simply fall in line with the crowd.
3. Forgetting that times have changed
– If you have not been in the job market for a number of years now, you could have unrealistic expectations, as well as an outdated approach. It is easy to assume that the job market is going to be exactly as it was when you last applied for a job, but this is unlikely to be the case. Times have changed. Make sure you understand the modern job market before you attempt to tackle it, as well as what kinds of interview questions might come up. Again, this is where an expert recruitment firm really shows its worth.
4. Applying for every job you come across
– You should not waste your time applying for each and every job that you come across. Instead, you need to focus on the jobs that you really want. Instead of adopting a scattergun approach it is better to focus on fewer applications so that you can get them right. You won’t be able to give your applications the time and effort they require if you are making hundreds of them.
5. Taking rejection personally
– You should not be downhearted if you do not get accepted for a job, or a number of jobs for that matter. Today, it is exceptionally rare to be offered the first job that you make an application for. Competition is simply so fierce today, so you should never take rejection personally. Instead, ask for feedback so you can learn from it and take these lessons into your next proposal and interview.
6. Badmouthing a previous employer
– This is a mistake that a lot of people make during the interview process. If you say something negative about your previous employer, it says more about you than the person you worked for. The individual that is interviewing you will assume that you are difficult to work with and they will worry that you are going to badmouth them in the future too.
7. Using the same CV and cover letter for every proposal
– Last but not least, employers can spot a generic application from a mile off. You need to ensure that every proposal is tweaked to suit the job that you are applying for. If you don’t, it shows that you do not care. Instead, show that you are passionate about the role you are applying for and that you have done your research into the company. You need to display that you are a perfect fit for the business you are applying to.
Hopefully, you now have a much better understanding regarding some of the most common mistakes that people make when they are looking for the perfect job for them. If you make an effort to avoid the blunders that have been discussed, you can give yourself a much better chance of your search being successful. Do not hesitate to call us at Time Recruitment for more advice. We can help you to find the ideal job for you.
6 key skills needed to progress as a call centre operative
The commercial sector is one of the real growth sectors within recruitment currently. Within this general industry, call centre staff are in demand. This key role is very often the first point of contact for customers with a company so it is vital call centre staff have the right attributes to succeed. If you are involved in this sector and want to progress your career further, there are some key skills to possess.
We take a look at just what they are and why they are so important.
1. Communication skills
This first skill is common sense when you consider what a call centre role involves. It is still worth highlighting though when thinking about recruitment or progression! To really progress as a call centre operative then you need to be able to talk to people in a way that engages them and explains things clearly. Be sure to always keep a professional tone though but in a way that is welcoming to the customer too. If you can continue to improve your communication skills through your career, it will really help your progression to higher-level roles.
2. Problem-solving skills
Although you will naturally have built up experience within your current role, you will still get lots of calls that present problems you may not have come across before. To stand out as an excellent call centre employee and move up the career ladder, you need to show you can solve these problems and use your own initiative. Of course, any solutions should be checked with your team leader before you promise the customer anything but they will soon notice that you are bringing them answers not just questions. It will also help you get good feedback from customers too who will value that you are trying to find a way to solve their complex issue.
3. Listening skills
This is very often the one skill that many call centre staff could do with brushing up on. Take the time to really listen to what the customer is saying to you when they call and it will make everything so much easier. Not only will the customer appreciate someone who listens to them but it will give you time to fully understand their issue. The net result is that you will get great customer feedback and better results which will do wonders for your career progression.
4. Teamwork skills
It is pretty certain that you will be working as part of a call centre team in this recruitment sector. With this in mind, it is vital that you are able to work with people in a positive, effective manner. If you cannot then your career progression can soon hit a glass ceiling. Employers will naturally want to promote and give responsibility to people they see who can be a team player for the good of the whole company. This could cover everything from your interpersonal relationships with other staff to taking on a difficult call or helping out if they are short staffed. Brush up on your teamwork skills and you will have another fantastic string to your bow to make that next move upwards.
5. Conflict resolution skills
Let’s not pretend – at some point when working as a call centre operative, you will experience an unhappy or angry customer on the phone! The mark of a good call centre worker is that you can diffuse any situation such as this so it doesn’t get out of hand. This doesn’t mean agreeing with the customer or giving them what they want though if they are not right. It does, however, mean finding a way to resolve the call to the satisfaction of both parties. If you can develop these skills then you will be in demand and likely to progress quicker.
6. Organisation skills
A major part of this type of role is being organised. If you work in a haphazard way then you will not retain any information given to you by the customer and not be able to complete any follow-up work after the call. Great organisation skills will also mean that you can have your PC set up with the databases you need ready for when a customer calls in. Being organised will also help you have any information you may need on a call to hand and not be searching for it while the customer is waiting. If you are not organised then you will find it very hard to move beyond the most entry level of call centre roles.
If you are looking to make that next step as a call centre operative then why not let Time recruitment help? We work with the very best companies nationwide that need the skills you have. Get in touch today to see how we can help you progress to that next level in your career.
Crucial skills for construction industry candidates
If you are looking for work in the construction sector, and if you are new to the world of building work, you might be finding some of the jargon in the job adverts confusing. What is the difference between an essential skill and a desirable one? What is a CSCS card – and why do you need one? How can a worker without experience get themselves onto the career ladder? We answer all these questions and more, in order to help you secure the right construction job.
Know the difference between ‘desirable’ and ‘essential’ skills
When it comes to job vacancies, there are some skills you absolutely must have. These will be listed as ‘essential’ skills or qualifications. They often include safety courses that must be completed for legal reasons. Without holding the relevant paperwork or having the right work experience, you are unlikely to be given the job.
However, there are also secondary skills and qualifications which relate to a job role, often described as ‘desirable’ skills. A candidate without these skills could still be considered for the job, and the more boxes you tick, the more chance you will be successful in securing an interview and getting the job. Many jobs will even offer additional training in their desirable skills, to ensure you meet the high standards expected of that role.
What is a CSCS card?
One thing you will see listed as essential in the majority of construction jobs is a CSCS card. But what exactly is the card – and how do you get one? CSCS stands for the Construction Skills Certification Scheme. The card is a guarantee to your employer or client that you have completed the relevant exam, and that you are registered with the Construction Skills body.
Some employers will help new staff members acquire their card, especially when they take on an apprentice worker. However, the majority will expect construction workers to hold the card already. You can apply for a CSCS card yourself online [https://www.cscs.uk.com//], while employers can apply for cards in bulk through the same web portal.
The application process consists of a health and safety test, completed online. This is a multiple choice exam with a number of questions relating to construction site safety and best practice. Make sure you take the right test: this depends on the type of work you will be doing and the level of seniority in the role. The three categories are ‘construction related occupation’, ‘craft and operative’, and ‘technical, supervisory and management’. You may also need to supply evidence of any qualifications that apply to the work you will be doing, such as a City and Guilds or Higher National Diploma in a relevant field.
Finally, there is a charge of £30 to be paid. When the application is successfully completed, the card should arrive within 15 days. Make sure you apply in good time if you will need to present the card at a work interview, or when you start work at new premises. Without the card, you are unlikely to get the job – or be allowed access to the work site.
What does ‘time served’ mean – and how much experience is required?
For some jobs, experience working in a related field is essential. The job vacancy listing might request ‘time served contractors’. This generally means that the worker has three or more years in a relevant industry. Other job adverts might list a minimum level of experience – such as two years working on other sites. This is likely to be true of more complicated jobs, where specialist skills are necessary, or for supervisor and project manager roles.
If you are an experienced construction worker who has spent time working in your chosen industry, you are likely to meet this requirement. But what if you are fresh from college: will you be rejected for lack of experience? If you can prove in your cover letter and CV that you do meet the other specifications and that you hold the relevant qualifications, you still could be in with a chance. It may be worth speaking with a recruitment consultant who can help you find roles at companies where experience isn’t always necessary.
What desirable skills do construction workers need?
As well as holding the right qualifications and possessing the right knowledge, there are some qualities which help construction job candidates stand out from the crowd. For building work, there are some characteristics most employers want from their staff members. These include a strong work ethic. Can you demonstrate that you are hardworking and committed to getting the job done? In the interview, share examples of projects you worked hard to complete, and detail ways you have taken responsibility for the work you have done before.
Having a good level of strength and stamina is also important. Construction is a very physically demanding industry, with lots of heavy lifting and hard work involved. If you are already an active person, engaged in keeping fit and building your strength, this is likely to work in your favour. Employers look for candidates who are willing to learn, and extra training can always be given to improve skills: but without a basic level of fitness, which cannot simply be taught, the candidate is unlikely to be able to fulfil the requirements of the job.
The ability to think fast and solve problems is extremely attractive to a prospective employer. The fewer problems there are on a construction site, the sooner the project can be completed – saving the managers and developers money. Fewer problems also mean less risk, keeping workers safer. Therefore, bosses want to employ people who can spot problems quickly and solve them using their own initiative. If you can describe during the interview a time when you took charge of a situation and found a solution to a problem, you are sure to impress the recruiter.
For more information on working in the construction sector, or to hear about upcoming vacancies in commercial, residential and industrial construction, get in touch with Time Recruitment today.
6 Skills That Will Benefit You in the Workplace – That aren’t on Most CVs
When preparing for an interview, it can be tempting to extol your virtues and all the great things you can do based solely on how your abilities will directly affect your work. From specific qualifications to previous experience, on paper, you might look like the perfect candidate and may even land your dream role. But when it comes to actively surviving in a bustling and busy workplace – especially if your area of expertise lends itself to high-energy environments – it takes more than just your theoretical knowledge to survive.
Want to know how to make the most of your job and help both yourself and those around you? Read on for six skills that will actively benefit you in the workplace that most people don’t even think of including on their CVs.
1. Digital communications skills
With many workplaces becoming more virtual than ever before, if you’re not used to working in a digital-friendly environment you’ll soon find yourself out of your depth. Especially when it comes to larger-scale businesses, being able to make full and active use of online collaboration tools, task management, excellent email communication and even messaging communication are all vital elements to success in the modern workplace.
These skills can be quickly learnt and developed with a variety of online tools, but failing to do so may soon put you behind your colleagues when it comes to your productivity and results.
2. Workload analysis
Being able to know when your workload is too much is just as key as knowing when you have too little to do. It may be tempting, in many roles, to bear the brunt of too much work by staying late, overworking and on occasion pushing back deadlines, but knowing how long a project or piece of work takes isn’t a failing; in fact, that perception puts you a step up above those who might choose to attempt too much work and fail, or take too little action and become complacent.
Knowing your workload can mean anything from just being aware of how much time something takes to a solid understanding of budget versus cost, and the resource needed to complete your work.
3. Stress management
Stress isn’t a word we ever want to think about in a new workplace – but no matter what industry you’re working in, stressful times do happen, and you need to be able to manage yourself effectively during those times.
Burn out is a very real thing in any business, so mechanisms to reduce stress and improve productivity during particularly busy times are crucial to producing consistent, quality work your employers will be happy with.
4. Conflict resolution
It’s a fact of life that sometimes people just do not get on. Whether it’s a rational disagreement or a previously professional complaint that’s gone a little too far, if you don’t have the ability to logically and rationally end heated moments with other team members, you’ll soon find you’re no longer enjoying your new workplace quite as much.
When you see certain people so much, it can be easy for microaggressions and animosity to build up – so knowing how to clear the air and resolve situations efficiently and professionally is critical to avoid embarrassment on either side.
5. Industry empathy and insight
You might know everything that there is to know about what your new workplace does and how it does it, but if you’re working with clients, customers or even other businesses, having a certain amount of insight and empathy for the position of those you’re working with outside the company is key.
This allows you to create fair and positive network relationships, which can go a long way towards impressing your employers and benefit your business in the long run. A different perspective can be a positive experience for everyone involved, and can even allow you to do your work better.
6. Crisis management
In any business, bad things sometimes happen. It can be a completely unexpected event or issue, a sudden catastrophic IT problem or even a result of issues internally, but when a crisis does occur in your workplace, knowing how to handle yourself and those around you is key to making it through a stressful and productivity-stalling situation.
An understanding of how your role can be achieved even with obstacles in the way puts you in a far better position than those who become helpless in similar situations. At the other end of a crisis, showing just what you can do under pressure will always go well for you.
If you’re on the hunt for your next dream role or you’re thinking about mixing up your career for something brand new, Time Recruitment is the perfect place to start. With a focus on the construction, industrial, healthcare, engineering and commercial industries, we have roles to fit just about everyone. Register with us today to find your next dream job.