7 Key Benefits of using Temporary Workers

What are the Key Benefits of using Temporary Workers to meet the challenges of the new normal?

As businesses begin to push forward into the new normal, flexible resourcing and ensuring your team are optimised to quickly respond to new challenges is key.  Using temporary workers can help meet many of these challenges.  Here are seven key benefits of using temporary workers which can immediately give your business a boost.

 

  1. Scale up your workforce quickly

    Using temporary workers is a fast and efficient way of scaling up your workforce at short notice.  Rapid growth can be extremely exciting, but you need the right people with the right skills to ensure success.  When a company needs to expand quickly in response to change in demand, temporary workers can help to add the capacity and skills necessary to scale quickly.

  2. Fast-track hiring

    Recruitment agencies keep pools of pre-assessed workers with verified skills who want to temp.  We personally interview every candidate, face-to-face or online, to understand their experience, skill set and aspirations.  This means you will only see temporary workers who meet your specified selection criteria and who we believe will gel with your existing team and ethos.

  3. Quickly reduce stress and pressure

    Increased workload can hamper productivity within your existing team. Temporary workers can help reduce strain, ensuring you can adjust with your existing trained and experienced staff and maintain maximum productivity.

  4. Increase adaptability and responsiveness

    Flexibility is key to rising to the new challenges in this climate.  Temps are adaptable and can switch roles with ease according to your business needs.  Temps are focused on opportunities, often more confident to navigate change and learn new skills.

  5. Try before you buy

    Using temporary members of staff is a bit like a working interview, you can see their skills and experience in action, see the impact they make on the business and decide if you need them as a permanent member of the team – with no risk!

  6. Bring in fresh skills to respond to new challenges

    Temporary staff bring new, valuable skills, new perspectives to existing processes and ideas from different companies and experiences.  Breathe some fresh air into your business with a different kind of employee, embrace the new ideas they carry with them and enthuse your team. You may well find your next team member or future leader!

  7. Control your costs

    Temporary workers allow you to add staff without increasing your permanent headcount and costs.  You can hire multiple temps to cover spikes in demand, with no long-term commitment should demand or workload decrease.  Temp staff are provided at an hourly rate which includes pay, National Insurance, holiday and pension so there are no hidden costs.

Experts in Temporary Recruitment

From urgent cover to planned project work, Octopus Personnel are a great choice for reliable, skilled, flexible workers.  We have a pre-screened workforce ready to cover your staffing needs and the dedicated back office staff to manage all aspects of administration and payroll with efficiency, allowing you to focus on driving your business forward.  We are committed to building a valued and diverse temporary workforce, enabling us to find the best candidates for you.

 

How can Octopus Personnel help?

At Octopus Personnel, we are here to help and support you.  From helping you explore the key benefits of using temporary workers for your business to finding the right temporary staff, to fully briefing them on health & safety and procedures for your company, to ensuring you remain compliant with all legislation, even as it evolves, we are here at the end of the phone to help you utilise flexible resourcing and maintain your key services.

Whatever challenges you are facing, whether you need temporary staff, advice, or simply a chat, Octopus Personnel are here to support you.  Call us on 01747 825568 or visit the website to request a call back.

Anna Wiklinska

About the author

I’m on hand for our temporary and industrial recruitment – think warehousing, production, construction and technical type jobs.

I really enjoy meeting our job hunters and helping them to find work. It’s been lovely to talk to local people and find out what matters to them.

Successful Recruitment during the Pandemic

We’re in this together

Despite the news continuing to report challenges for individuals, families and companies alike, successful recruitment during the pandemic is still possible.  We are working with our candidates and clients closely to safeguard the health and safety of all.  We take our responsibility to support our communities, those who are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers who are on the front lines of this pandemic extremely seriously.

Following the Prime Minister’s recent announcement, people living in England will be asked to work from home where possible and pubs, bars and restaurants will be required to close at 10pm each night under a series of new restrictions. Under these new rules, the requirement to wear face masks has now been extended.  If you need to attend the office for any reason, please make sure you wear a face covering at all times.

Successful Recruitment in the Pandemic

Moving forwards

We have initiated some changes to ensure we remain one step ahead and that we continue to do the right thing for our team, candidates and clients.

The Octopus office will remain open, but we will be offering virtual appointments only for the time being.  You can still meet with us in lots of different ways: using #Zoom#Facetime or #WhatsApp.  Our policies and provision for ensuring we help reduce the spread of Coronavirus have proved effective so far and we will continue to liaise with our clients to ensure we prove the best support and advice to our candidates.

If a virtual appointment does not suit you, we are, as always, on the phones (01747 825568) ready to discuss alternative arrangements with you.

Digital Innovation: Successful Recruitment during the Pandemic

Exciting Announcements

This year has changed the focus of many businesses and allowed us as a recruitment company to bring forward our digital plans. Our commitment to meeting with each candidate at the start of their journey remains at the heart of what we do, so we are very excited to share with you that we have now integrated the latest video software into our recruitment process!

We have already found this gives clients a better insight into the team and cultural fit of a candidate, whilst reducing the time to hire and supporting an accurate first stage screening process. For candidates, it provides a great platform to sell themselves within a matter of seconds, getting your personality, experience and USP across, bringing your CV alive!

So keep an eye out on our social media and website, where we will be revealing all over the next course of the next month!!

The Octopus Team: Successful Recruitment during the Pandemic

Here for you

As mentioned, we are at the end of the phone to support you in any way we can.

For job seekers, our website offers a wide range of resources to help you efficiently navigate the job search, advice on redundancy, making sure your CV and interview skills are up to date, improving your LinkedIn Profile and much more.

For clients, we have the latest advice on recruitment, from flexible resourcing with temporary workers to benefitting from the switch to an employer driven market.

Recruitment during Pandemic

Do you have symptoms of COVID 19?

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following;

  • A new continuous cough
  • A high temperature
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange.  Please see all the latest guidance here.

If you are experiencing any symptoms whilst working for Octopus Personnel you must notify us immediately.

Further Information

Further information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 is available on the PHE blog and NHS.UK.

Advice from the NHS on when to self-isolate is here:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/

Advice from the Government to Employer, Employees and Business can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19

Advice on travel and returning from travel is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus and from the Foreign Office Website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice You should notify Octopus Personnel if you have been abroad in the last month.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public provides further information, including symptoms and the latest advice.

Whatever your needs, we are here to help! You can contact us via phone on 01747 825568, drop us an email or contact us so we can answer any questions you may have.

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.

8 Key Benefits of using Temporary Workers now

What are the Key Benefits of using Temporary Workers to meet the challenges of the new normal?

As businesses begin to push forward into the new normal, flexible resourcing and ensuring your team are optimised to quickly respond to new challenges is key.  Using temporary workers can help meet many of these challenges.  Here are eight key benefits of using temporary workers which can immediately give your business a boost.

8 Key Benefits to using Temporary Workers Octopus Personnel InfographicScale up your workforce quickly

Using temporary staff is a fast and efficient way of scaling up your workforce at short notice.  Rapid growth can be extremely exciting, but you need the right people with the right skills to ensure success.  When a company needs to expand quickly in response to change in demand, temporary workers can help to add the capacity and skills necessary to scale quickly.

Fast-track hiring

We have a pool of pre-assessed candidates with verified skills who are raring to go.  We personally interview every candidate, face-to-face or online, to understand their experience, skill set and aspirations.  This means you will only see candidates who meet your specified selection criteria and who we believe will gel with your existing team and ethos.

Quickly reduce stress and pressure

Increased workload can hamper productivity within your existing team. Temporary staff can help reduce strain, ensuring you retain your existing trained and experienced staff and maintain maximum productivity.

Increase adaptability and responsiveness

Flexibility is key to rising to the new challenges in this climate.  Temps are adaptable and can switch roles with ease according to your business needs.  Temps are focused on opportunities, often more confident to navigate change and learn new skills.

Try before you buy

Using temporary members of staff is a bit like a working interview, you can see their skills and experience in action, see the impact they make on the business and decide if you need them as a permanent member of the team – with no risk!

Discover future leaders for your business!

36% of managers started in companies as temporary workers.  What a great way of find someone who could become pivotal in your company!

Bring in fresh skills to respond to new challenges

Temporary staff bring new, valuable skills, new perspectives to existing processes and ideas from different companies and experiences.  Breathe some fresh air into your business with a different kind of employee, embrace the new ideas they carry with them and enthuse your team!

Control your costs

Temporary workers allow you to add staff without increasing your permanent headcount and costs.  You can hire multiple temps to cover spikes in demand, with no long-term commitment should demand or workload decrease.  Temp staff are provided at an hourly rate which includes pay, National Insurance, holiday and pension so there are no hidden costs.

Experts in Temporary Recruitment

From urgent cover to planned project work, Octopus Personnel are the South West’s first choice for reliable, skilled, flexible workers.  We have a pre-screened workforce ready to cover your staffing needs and the dedicated back office staff to manage all aspects of administration and payroll with efficiency, allowing you to focus on driving your business forward.  We are committed to building a valued and diverse temporary workforce, enabling us to find the best candidates for you.

What our clients say about us

Client Testimonials Octopus Personnel (1)

Client Testimonials Octopus Personnel (2)

What our candidates say about us

Candidate Testimonials Octopus Personnel (2)

Candidate Testimonials Octopus Personnel (1)

How can Octopus Personnel help?

At Octopus Personnel, we are here to help and support you.  From helping you explore the key benefits of using temporary workers for your business to finding the right temporary staff, to fully briefing them on health & safety and procedures for your company, to ensuring you remain compliant with all legislation, even as it evolves, we are here at the end of the phone to help you utilise flexible resourcing and maintain your key services.

Whatever challenges you are facing, whether you need temporary staff, advice, or simply a chat, Octopus Personnel are here to support you.  Call us on 01747 825568 or visit the website to request a call back.

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

A practical guide to wellbeing

Wellbeing in the Workplace

Our update this week focuses on how we have continued to maintain productivity and support well-being within the team.  Here is our practical guide to wellbeing in the workplace.

Whilst there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach, what works for one business might not work for another, it is about finding what works for you and your employees and then finding the time to share those experiences and achievements.

Making wellbeing a priority in your business is not only good for each individual but can also lead to increased productivity and improved staff performance.

So what are we doing?

Letting staff know their passions are important and valued

Just as we used to enjoy the bake-offs, team events and other fun office antics before lockdown, now we are focusing more on our own achievements – our passions.  This is so motivating and that opportunity to share what makes people tick strengthens the team bonds which can be so vital.

So what are the team doing?

Sandra's going out with the dogs - Octopus practical guide to wellbeing

Woman’s best friends

Scruff and Molly will be familiar faces to any of you who know us or follow our social media, and they are normally the heart and soul of the office.  Getting out and exercising the dogs each day has given Sandra structured breaks to her day which keep her productivity up.  An early morning walk down by the beach as the sun is coming up is good for the soul.

Donna's being in nature - Octopus practical guide to wellbeing

Natural inspiration

Donna and her family love to be exploring outside.  Sharing what the children have discovered with us, and her family in Cornwall keeps her feeling connected and inspired.  We live in such a beautiful place!

Lucie's doing Yoga - Octopus practical guide to wellbeing

Yoga can’t beat it

Via Zoom, Lucie has been able to keep up with her Yoga and meditation classes, with her teacher all the way in Cornwall.  Making time for those classes, alongside the dedication to her practice has kept Lucie focused and grounded during this time.

Rae's writing - Octopus practical guide to wellbeing

Noteworthy

Following on from her Octopus birthday present, Rae has been journaling.  Each day that involves; setting mindful targets, drinking more water and tracking her running total which is almost up to 200km during the lockdown period!  This period of reflection at the beginning and end of the day is helping Rae move toward her goals and recognise each step she takes towards them.  And who doesn’t love a chart to colour in?

Alice's running - Octopus practical guide to wellbeing

Couch to 5K

Having adopted a lovely little dog, Alice has been using this time to work on her running.  Using the couch to 5K app, Alice has become a runner!  Setting herself a new challenge and getting out in the fresh air has kept Alice focused and productive.

Thank you so much for the responses last week about ensuring the safety of staff and we hope you find our practical guide to wellbeing useful!

We would like to hear from you again and ask: ‘How are you supporting team productivity?’ and ‘what is your practical approach to wellbeing in the workplace?’  Click here to let us know.

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

Comms are key

Comms are key

Through social media and emails, we have worked hard during this time to keep all of you, our clients, and our candidates up to speed.   This has allowed us to maintain a high level of engagement for the business from clients and candidates, and has ensured we are constantly registering new high-calibre candidates and able to respond to the changing needs of our clients.

Comms are Key: Visit the Octopus Personnel Blog for the latest Recruitment News

We have and will continue to go above and beyond, offering the same high quality support and guidance, whilst starting to work more flexibly. We are now taking forward the lessons we have learnt over these past months, to continue to offer a comprehensive package of online support as well as operating a physical presence in the office, and comms will remain key.

Repurposing the Office Space

With the business running successfully remotely, we are now stretching forward into our 42 day plan and repurposing the office for the return.  This week, the Octopus space has been completely redesigned with the protection of candidates and the team at the heart of every choice.  Gone are the seating area, computers, extra desks, visible paperwork or anything which could hamper the thorough and regular cleaning of the office.  Now, clear signage and robust procedures, which ensure the safety of all.  Using clearly outlined policies and procedures which all staff members have contributed to, we have tried to plan and prepare for all eventualities.

Image of the front window of Octopus Personnel - Our plan for returning to the Octopus Personnel Office

Our online window

Over the past few months changes to online behaviour has accelerated in pace, with other large-scale changes and, like any other business, it was vital we were able to keep up and meet demand.  The launch of the new Octopus website came at the perfect time for the business.  Although we couldn’t celebrate the launch as we had planned, the website has been the centrepiece of keeping the office running remotely.  From candidate needs (remote registration, job application, timesheet submission etc.) to client needs (registering a vacancy, requesting a callback, or quickly updating the team about ongoing demands) the website has allowed us to continue to broaden our mentoring and personal on-boarding service.

Looking for staff? Visit the Octopus Personnel Website

 

Thank you for the feedback we received last week about returning to the office – the lessons learnt and shared make us all stronger.

We would like to hear from you again and ask: “What has been vital in ensuring the safety of your staff?”

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

Approaching the new work normal

The whole country is now exploring what the new work normal looks like for their business.  Octopus Personnel, as a team, are now working hard to implement steps for us to start safely returning to the office and we wanted to share our approach with you.

There are so many competing challenges for businesses at the moment and it can, at times, be hard to see the wood for the trees.  To help us, we have moved our focus to a 42 day rolling plan, which is constantly updated by the whole team, and we have used ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ to make sure all aspects of the team’s welfare is being considered.

A mountain showing Maslows Hierarchy of Needs - the new work normal

A practical approach

Physiological needs are the easiest to meet, but have, in their own right, needed consideration when returning to the office.  Making sure that everyone is able to do their job safely has been the first priority.  From who is using the kettle to how the desks are positioned, everything within the office is being considered to ensure these needs can be met.  We are ensuring that we have a good working environment for all, alongside the right tools to safely perform our roles.

Safety: our biggest concern

Safety is obviously of paramount concern during this time.  Screens, sanitiser, floor markings, routes in and out of the office are all being addressed, but perhaps most importantly all members of the team have access to the plan and can raise any issues they are concerned about.  A Health & Safety inspection is also booked to ensure that every aspect of provision has been thought through.  Everyone’s opinion has been treated with respect, allowing all ideas to be put forward and the best ones developed.

Our continued passion

Belonging is perhaps one of the easiest needs for the Octopus family to meet, as we had such a strong underlying team ethos.  Weekly Zoom meetings help us remain connected and as mentioned, every member of the team is a stakeholder in the return to the office, whether they will be office based or not.  The team dynamic has never been stronger and that is most certainly down to the quality of communication we share.  The same vision for the business continues to be held by all.

Picture of the Octopus Team Business - Team Spirit - the new work normal

 Feeling valued

The challenges, which businesses have faced already and continue to face, are not to be underestimated.  Using Microsoft Teams, we have made sure that each member of the team is recognised for their contribution each day.  Goals have become much shorter focused, as we push the business forward day by day and all successes are shared and celebrated.  From placing temps to completing payroll, every task is being shared and recognised by all to maintain transparency and inclusion.

 Dream big…

This all means that the Octopus team is here and ready to ‘think big’.  Everyone has had the opportunity to be creative, to have a vision for the future, to reinvent, and provide direct input to senior leadership. Creative solutions, the application of technology and a lot of hard work have helped Octopus navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic so far and means we are ready and raring to go as we push the business forward again into the new normal.

It would be great to hear how you have been and how you are approaching the return to the new world of work? Drop us an email to enquiries@octopuspersonnel.co.uk or request a call back here.

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

Navigating the change to an Employer Driven Market

Sandra Smart, Octopus Personnel Director, explains how COVID19 has flipped the candidate driven market on its back, and what the implications are for candidates and employers as we approach recruitment post lockdown in an employer driven market.

For the last couple of years, with unemployment at record lows, we have been operating in a candidate driven market.  Put simply, this meant that high calibre candidates were often receiving multiple job offers, as well as their current employers trying to offer more for them to stay on as their employee.

The focus was on the whole package: more competitive salaries, flexible working patterns, stronger study support and a full career development plan. If a client couldn’t offer what a candidate was looking for, a competitor was.  Clients had to invest heavily in the packages they were offering, but also in selling their culture, brand and reputation to attract top talent.

Thanks to the unprecedented challenges which the business world has met during the Coronavirus pandemic, suddenly the market has become saturated with candidates again, and, make no mistake, many are extremely high-calibre talent. However, during March, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that as a result of the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus crisis, confidence in making hiring and investment decisions fell by 21 percentage points compared with the previous month.

So how does this affect recruitment?  How can you position yourself as an employer to benefit from this situation, attracting these high-quality candidates to your business, what effect will this have on those people seeking employment now, and how can recruitment agencies work to best serve both and ensure the right people are hired for the right jobs?

Image shows connected people icons - Strategic Recruitment in an Employer Driven Market

Strategic Recruitment for an Employer Driven Market

In a employer driven market, it is the companies who call the shots. They hire at their own pace, can focus wholly on their needs, and face little or no competition from peers in the industry.  Due to the COVID19 impact, there are many high-calibre people seeking employment right now and, for those companies who are able to, recruiting now may bring many dividends.

Now, more than ever, we are working closely with our clients to understand how they are managing the crisis, and their strategic operations and workforce planning for the future.  We are there to advise on successful recruitment strategies in practice and the flexibility of different types of recruitment.

We have continued to register high-quality candidates throughout this time to ensure we will be able to present the best qualified candidates, who we believe will dovetail with the company’s culture and vision, ready for virtual interviewing and, where required, digital onboarding to enable our clients to move swiftly and decisively.

Picture of Sandra Smart - Sandra's advice to navigate an Employer Driven Market

Sandra’s advice to clients

Now isn’t the time to abandon all your hard work on culture, brand and reputation, but it is a perfect opportunity to find the right person with a depth of experience and drive who can fully fulfil your role.   Be clear about the job role so candidates can visualise what a typical day at work might be like. Break responsibilities into short, clear job duties.  Be clear about KPIs and decide which qualifications and experience you need.  Think about the teams which this role works within and needs to gel with.  All this information will help your recruitment consultant work hard, better, faster for you in finding the right person.

Image of a star on the floor - How to secure the best talent in an Employer Driven Market

Working with the best talent

For candidates seeking employment, this is the toughest the employment market has been in a long time; it’s going to involve a lot of hard work, rejections and perseverance.  But an employer driven market is not without hope.

As a recruitment agency, this is where we go above and beyond for every one of our candidates.  We are there for the journey, not only talking them through roles, but advising them on changes in the market and how to most effectively self market through CVs and interviews.  As many of our candidates are currently at home, or working from home, we are taking this opportunity to work even more closely with them, coaching them through the job hunt, helping them improve their CVs and keeping them focused and motivated.  These quality relationships mean we are better able to advise our clients about the suitability of our candidates.

Picture of Sandra Smart - Sandra's advice to navigate an Employer Driven Market

Sandra’s advice for candidates

Whilst the market is tough, there are still plenty of things you can do to make yourself as attractive as possible to a new employer.

Be ready

Work with your recruitment consultant to improve your CV, and make sure you tailor it to each application.

Be active

Spend this time learning new skills, becoming part of professional discussions on LinkedIn and networking.

Be bold

Your recruitment consultant can advise you on the challenges of the current market.  This could mean you may need a new direction, be ready to work on a short term contract or explore temping to find that perfect fit.  Be open to new suggestions.

Be resilient

The challenges of this market will mean many candidates, even those exceptionally well-qualified and experienced, are going to experience some nos.  That’s ok.  Ask for feedback, learn what you can and move on.  It will be a yes soon!

How can Octopus Personnel help?

At Octopus Personnel, we are here to help and support you as you navigate these challenges.  Whether you are looking for work or looking for workers, we are here at the end of the phone to help you.  Call us on 01747 825568.  Visit the website to request a call back or click on the send CV button to register with us.

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.

Mental Health Awareness: Being ‘Mindful’ at Work

This is a Mental Health Awareness Week with a difference.  With the unprecedented levels of change and anxiety about the impact of Coronavirus on our loved ones, on the economy and country as a whole, Lucie, Octopus Personnel Recruitment Consultant, describes 4 ways to promote good mental health during this time and to use mindfulness to support your team.

You and your team have probably faced significant adjustments to your working environment, whether you are now working from home or following social distancing rules in the workplace.  Although there are emotional and practical challenges to handle with both of these scenarios, your whole team can benefit from a mindful approach to work and this week is a great time to reconnect with your team members to make sure everyone is connected and managing the ‘new normal’.

1. Be mindful of your time

Without the normal signals of the day, such as face-to-face meetings, lunch outings, making a cup of tea for everyone in the office, the day can seem to blur into one long slog.  It is very tempting to start answering your work emails on your phone from the moment you wake up, and hard to ‘finish’ at the end of the day, meaning many are working longer, but not necessarily more productive hours.

Without these rhythmic breaks to the day, many of us can feel fatigued and burnt-out.  So how can we bring mental health awareness to the forefront and use mindfulness to help us adjust to this ‘new normal’?

In its simplest form, mindfulness means awareness. Practising mindfulness offers a way to pay attention to the present moment. This awareness of ourselves and the world around us can improve our mental wellbeing. Slowing down can feel against common sense, but in some ways, it’s the kind of recharging you need most to get even more done. Mindful employees are well employees!  Taking breaks throughout the day is key to being productive, and you can help shape your team’s day to embed these habits.

Image showing an alarm clock - Be mindful of time - Mental Health Awareness at Work

If you want your employees to be mindful and take breaks, you can use your schedule to show it’s a priority. Allocate slots for ‘taking lunch’, making sure people are stepping away from their work.  Book zoom lunches were your team can socialise.  Encourage them to take a walk or go into the garden to have a little quiet time to regroup.  Be firm about start and finish times and thank your team for their hard work and make sure they sign off.  Open up a discussion about what works to help them switch off.

Lead by example and help normalise taking breaks from work or getting outside for short strolls: during lunch breaks, in the morning before checking emails, or even while on calls.  Productivity will increase.  When getting outside isn’t feasible for all of your team, share some movement and exercise videos to get short bursts of movement throughout the day.  Get them moving with Joe Wicks in the morning – hilarious if you do it as a team over Zoom.   Ask everyone to track how far the walk/run in a week and add it all together to see where in the world the team could have reached this week.

Wherever possible, offer flexible working.  Use Project Management tools, such Microsoft Teams or Basecamp, to provide real-time solutions for team members working remotely. Allowing team members to adapt their hours, making employees feel valued and, in turn, produce even better work. As a parent during this pandemic, your childcare duties don’t stop when you sit down at your desk for work in the morning. A family-friendly work approach is vital to get the best from your employees.  Listen carefully to their needs, understand the challenges faced by working parents, be open to their solutions which balance business needs and their childcare demands.

2.  Stay connected: being together whilst apart

Whether social distancing in the workplace, or working from home, one of the biggest challenges facing us in the ‘new normal’ is the feeling of isolation, a definite focus for mental health awareness.  There has never been a more important time to work on team bonding, despite the social distance.  “No work talk” social hangouts, Friday team drinks, quizzes and find me a picture of you (when you were six, of you walking outside, of your favourite hobby…) can promote easy discussion, help your team bond and help them connect to times and activities which brought them pleasure before.  Get to know everyone properly and you’ll get the best from them.

Image of a man outside on a conference call on a laptop - Stay connected - Mental Health Awareness at Work

Be curious and open up discussions about how this new situation is working for everyone.  Review the approach you have taken so far and listen carefully to comments and suggestions from your team.  Listening to your employees is vital. Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work.  Listening to your employees is at the forefront of ensuring equality and inclusiveness in the workplace – and getting the best from everyone!

We do our best work when our mind and body are at ease.  When it’s your turn to share, show your mental health awareness  and keep the mindful focus with educational resources such as mindfulness apps to download, share your tips on creating the right environment for the right work mode and use little prompt cards/notes you can share remotely on quick mindful exercises. Empower your employees with my 5 Simple Ways to improve your Well-being, reduce Work Stress and increase Productivity blog here.  Encourage your team to find a couple of places that provide comfortable working space if they are working from home.  Changing where you are working during the day is a simple way of resetting your mind.

3. Recognition matters: get creative

Perhaps even more vital than before, recognition for hard work and effort is vital in these times.  Feedback and recognition should always tie back to a company’s core values and mission. Employees want to be reminded that their work has purpose and meaning – making a difference makes you happy!

You are already probably excellent at recognising your team’s effort, but make sure your praise is specific and public. Praise them, nominate them for awards and publicly say that you’re grateful for their work. It motivates them to do more great work and will pay off in the company’s success.  This is no less true now.  Use the praise function on teams.  Make it specific, genuine and talk about impact.  Share larger gains on your company’s social media.  Recognise those individuals with foresight who are driving the company forward.

Image of a smiling face icon in a frame - Recognition matters - Mental Health Awareness at Work

4. Be a role model: engage and lead

Finally, model the right thing! If you want your team to keep their focus on mental health awareness, you need to make sure you are making those healthy choices too! It’s really important to encourage employees to be self-aware about their own personalities and tendencies, as some people are more prone to imbalances and stress than others. Through your words, actions, and example, emphasise the need to continually assess one’s goals to determine what brings satisfaction, inner peace, and balance. Empowering your employees to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling you to do what’s best and most effective for your company.

Image of Dorset Coastline - Be a role model - Mental Health Awareness at Work

Show how much you value your team and re-energise and engage them through CPD. Investing in the team in this way during this time gives you a more dynamic and cohesive team for the challenges ahead, ensures they remain invested in the business and provides a change in pace which often helps employees see their work, and find their motivation, in new ways.  Be their coach.  Develop their strengths and help them improve with weaknesses.

Have I convinced you? What have you got to lose?

Infographic showing 4 Business Benefits of Recruiting through Octopus Personnel

At Octopus Personnel, we take the well-being of our staff and candidates seriously. Years of industry expertise, a healthy dose of mindfulness and outstanding relationships with our clients, and grasp of the needs of their business, means we are perfectly positioned within the market to the right employee who will drive your business forward. Explore our services here or call the office on 01747 825568 to find out how we can support your staffing needs, be they temporary or permanent.

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

The bounce-back of recruitment post COVID 19: frozen or skating on thin ice?

Sandra Smart, Company Director of Octopus Personnel, responds to questions about recruitment post COVID 19, the challenges currently faced by the sector, the opportunities for growth and the long-term changes likely to become sector-wide.

How has the recruitment industry been impacted by the measures introduced to tackle the COVID 19 pandemic?

The impact of COVID 19 has quite simply been unprecedented, with companies either putting a recruitment freeze in place or shifting start dates significantly.  However, this freeze isn’t due to recession; it isn’t due to lack of demand or funds.  Many companies and clients still want to recruit but are frozen themselves due to the nationwide lockdown.

Like many businesses, recruiters have worked extremely hard to adapt to lockdown conditions and provide continuity and the same high-quality service to their clients and candidates remotely.  With more recent news from the Prime Minister and the furlough scheme open, there is definitely some light at the end of the tunnel, unfortunately no-one is clear how long the tunnel may end up being.

Person analysing data in graphs - How has recruitment been impacted - The Bounceback of Recruitment after COVID 19

What is the biggest challenge for your clients?

The biggest challenge for our clients currently is the unknowable.  How long will this go on for?  Between February and March, employer confidence in the economy dropped by 22%, according to the specially-commissioned COVID-19 REC Jobs outlook survey.  With regard to recruiting permanent employees, things have become harder with a clear, short-term slow-down across most sectors.

However, the recruitment industry is vast and wide and when employers think longer-term, it’s clear that recovery is on the cards and they are still looking to hire staff.  So whilst some areas have been extremely hard hit, others have prospered during this time.

The REC survey showed that short-term demand for temporary workers increased by 15%.  Whilst some roles for temporary staff, such as those in retail, hospitality and leisure, simply vanished overnight, other jobs including those in supermarkets, food production, delivery and cleaning increased in demand.

Person holding freshly picked red and green tomatoes - There will be important roles in agriculture - The Bounceback of Recruitment after COVID 19

Another area that in the South West which will continue to create jobs is agriculture. With international workers unable to travel there is a fear that crops will rot in fields and greenhouses, and food very much remains an essential service.

How has Octopus Personnel dealt with the crisis?  What have been your priorities?

Recruitment as an industry is extremely vibrant.  It is high energy and highly social, with dynamic flow between needs of the clients and the candidate.  Our focus during this time has most certainly been the wellbeing of our clients and candidates, supporting our clients with advice and reaching out to our candidates to make sure that nobody feels isolated in these days of self-isolation.

The Octopus Team - The Bounceback of Recruitment after COVID 19

We have a fantastic team who were able to transition to remote working extremely well.  We are used to supporting each other in the office, and we have found new ways to offer than same level of support at home.  Microsoft Teams, Zoom and email have kept us in touch in real time and allowed us to focus on short-term productivity goals which have kept the whole team driving forward.

We have worked hard, wherever possible, to reassign our brilliant temporary workers to those companies and industries which are fulfilling key worker roles, areas where there is still demand for workers.  For those individuals seeking permanent roles, it is about helping them to use this time as productively as possible, to reskill, or upskill, to be ready once lockdown is lifted.  Recruitment post COVID 19 may look quite different, with a dramatic shift from a candidate-driven market, to a client-driven market

Registering and connecting the right candidaates and businesses - The Bounceback of Recruitment after COVID 19

What do you anticipate might be the long-term changes to recruitment moving forwards?

I have been incredibly proud of the way the Octopus team has risen to the challenges of this time, using technology, team spirit and hard work to achieve.  I know we will take many lessons forward from this time and it will alter the way we work.

On a larger scale across the industry I would expect to see wider changes too, such as:

  • much of the interview process moving online
  • development and utilisation of recruitment technology
  • a much greater availability of flexibility and remote working options
  • a review of employment contracts and employee benefits
  • candidates who are open and actively seeking to reskill and upskill
  • a more long-term focus on recruitment strategy and conscientious budgeting
  • a greater focus on flexibility and dynamic team members with proven response to challenge and change
  • the focus to be on retainment and development of staff, as well as ensuring the right people are recruited

When might things get ‘back to normal’?  When might recruitment post COVID 19 bounce back?

I think we can all agree there will be a new ‘normal’, but I do believe that the Government’s measures, especially the furlough scheme, will have a significant impact on businesses’ ability to retain their staff. This will make it quicker and easier for companies to return to previous levels of productivity, something which will be vital for the recruitment sector, opening up the funds and the focus for staff who can continue to drive businesses forward.

For us, we are ready for the bounce-back of recruitment post COVID 19 and prepared to support our clients & candidates effectively.  We have continued to register high-calibre candidates during this time as well as funnelling our quality temporary staff into roles within the key worker industries.   Whatever challenges you are facing, whether you need temporary staff, advice, or simply a chat, Octopus Personnel are here to support you.  Call us on 01747 825568 or visit the website to request a call back.

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.

Dextra – the local light in the darkness

Keith Brownhill, CEO of the Dextra Group, outlined their efforts to support the NHS and food industries as well as thanking donors, such as Octopus Personnel and Screwfix, who are enabling Dextra to supply free PPE to local NHS, Care & key workers to BBC Radio Somerset this morning.

The UK’s largest privately-owned lighting manufacturer, Dextra Group, lighting manufacturer based in Gillingham, is certainly playing its part in the response to Coronavirus and has been prioritising orders for the NHS, NHS Suppliers and food production industries supplying both standard and bespoke products in as little as 24 hours from point of order.  They have also been producing PPE for local NHS and care workers.

Dextra Transport Lorry next to a sign which reads #NHS Thank you from Dextra - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Although the Group is facing a fraction of their normal turnover, with 60% of staff furloughed, they are prioritising NHS orders and food manufacturers wherever possible.  As an NHS supplier, they outfit anything from a corridor to a whole hospital with lighting, as well as all major supermarkets, and this demand is equally vital during the current situation.  Dextra are currently working hard to supply lighting for the pop-up supermarkets outside the Nightingale hospitals, with very tight deadlines, often a single day, to dovetail with the operational needs of the hospitals.

Row of Dextra Transport Lorries next to a sign which reads #NHS Thank you from Dextra - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Keith explained, “It’s great to be able to be there.  A lot of manufacturers have shut, said they aren’t going to develop the product, but we are developing whatever we can, within a couple of days, to help wherever we can really… If we save one life or one person from getting the virus in the working staff, I think it will be worth it personally.”

PPE for local NHS & Care Staff - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Keith went on to talk about the fantastic work Dextra is doing in producing PPE for local health organisations, with donors like Screwfix and Octopus Personnel supporting their work.   Dextra has also completed and delivered a significant number of visor headsets and converted hard hats for local NHS, Care staff & key workers.  Dextra is making visors which were approved by local GP’s and they are now in use in 7 local GP practices.  The visors are different to the normal NHS specifications, the aim being to produce a protective visor which could be ‘wiped down’ to protect staff.  Dextra still currently have some visors & safety glasses for NHS & care workers, please email kbrownhill@dextragroup.co.uk directly with any PPE enquires.

PPE for local NHS & Care Staff - Dextra – local light in the darkness

Octopus Personnel is incredibly proud to have been able to support Dextra with the donation of hard hats for PPE and we thank all the Dextra workers for their continued efforts to support and protect the NHS.

Listen to the full interview on Breakfast on BBC Radio Somerset from 2:50:55 https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p089k90y

 

Erin Belmont

About the author

I look after the marketing for Octopus – from the job adverts you see to the events we put on throughout the year.

I love being in the middle of the office, soaking up the lively dynamic atmosphere. The team at Octopus really care about our job searchers and clients and do everything they can to understand everyone’s needs and make intelligent and productive job matches. Their drive and fun loving spirit inspire me every day!

 

New skills for the new normal

This week, the Octopus team has been focusing on setting and achieving personal goals and learning new skills – keeping ourselves motivated, well and productive.  Sandra Smart, Octopus Personnel Director, explains how developing new skills, online training, real time support and screen sharing in Teams, and a bit of fun is at the heart of the Octopus approach.

It’s the new normal – get learning!

Online training - New skills for the new normal - Octopus Personnel

Upskilling to provide flexibility and a more adaptable, cohesive team is most definitely the new normal and we’ve gone for this at Octopus in a big way!  From webinars to online courses, the whole team is driving forward!

Sandra is now (almost) full trained to take over payroll should it be needed (watch out Donna!); Rae is loving having the opportunity to support candidates over the phone and Alice is perfecting her blogs on the website.  The opportunity to learn from each other and support in different roles is proving so valuable – just a shame we all still have to make our own cups of tea!

There's no-one to make tea when you are remote working - Octopus Personnel

Jack of all trades; masters we will become

As each of us becomes ‘Jack of all trades’, there is a real opportunity for innovation and collaboration.  From conference calls to Teams meetings and chat, the opportunity to support each other in real time remotely and to pool knowledge and understanding is helping the whole team to be more responsive and prepare for the future.

Furloughed staff can still undertake training

Furloughed staff can still undertake training - Octopus Personnel

Whilst furloughed employees cannot do any work for employers, they can do volunteer work, or training if this does not provide services to or for the employer, or generate revenue for the employer.

Upskilling your team members who are furloughed not only builds flexibility and strength into your team moving forwards, it’s also a great way to ensure all team members remain engaged and see how they can contribute towards the future success of the company.  There is some government support out there for online CPD, and this is money well spent investing in the future of the business.

If we can offer support in any way, in terms of staffing, training or other advice, please do call us 01747 825568, email us enquiries@octopuspersonnel.co.uk or visit the website and request a call back at your convenience.

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.

Tomorrow will be a good day – Inspiring from the front

Sandra Smart, Octopus Personnel’s Director, explains how managers and leaders can inspire during #lockdown2020 and build their teams with the resilience, creativity and strength to navigate coming challenges.

This week the nations hearts have been captured by Captain Tom Moore walking 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the NHS and raising over £17m!  His resilience, determination and humble approach have inspired and comforted many that everyone doing their part can make a difference.

How can we inspire our teams to get the best out of them too?  How can we ensure that, in Captain Tom’s words, ‘Tomorrow will be a better day?’

Tomorrow will be a good day - Inspiring a team with Octopus Personnel

How can we be inspiring for our teams?

Especially working remotely, what do we need to do differently as managers?  How can we get the best out of our staff and lead through challenges?  Here are my ten top tips:

  1. Heighten communication – mini catch ups throughout the day keep everyone on board and focused on the targets for the day.
  2. Simple focus for the day – short sharp tasks and realistic goals which can be reviewed quickly
  3. Use your team – play to people’s strengths and innate abilities, be flexible
  4. Define success – short, sharp, focused, fulfilling tasks
  5. Praise, praise, praise – make sure people know they are valued and how they can contribute, then they will!
  6. Coach, don’t criticise
  7. Look after your people. Remember the details they share with you and the challenges they are balancing.
  8. Show the strength, resilience and good humour you need from them
  9. Constantly talk about your future vision – now is the time to innovate so make sure everyone is on board.
  10. Stay upbeat and reach out to other leaders, build a powerful network for the future.

So we are reaching out to you.  Let’s build this network of leaders together.  What’s inspiring you? How can we help?  What do you need right now?  Let’s chat  on 01747 825568, email us enquiries@octopuspersonnel.co.uk or visit the website and request a call back at your convenience.

Together we are stronger.  If you would like to donate to Captain Tom’s Just Giving page, please click here.

 

Sandra Smart

About the author

I believe that recruitment is at the heart of a growing economy and that a different type of recruitment service, with honesty, efficiency and integrity at its heart, can benefit all. Octopus Personnel is the result of hard work, focus and commitment to that vision – to delivering consistently great results for our candidates and clients alike, as well as ensuring the agency is a vibrant, inclusive, inspirational place to work and develop rewarding careers.