Author Archives: Lynne Willoughby

Are you Able to ‘Kickstart’ a Young Person’s Career?

The government is calling on ‘every employer, big and small, national or local’ to hire as many ‘Kickstarters’ as possible, through their newly launched Kickstart Scheme.

These newly created job placements should help the ‘Kickstarters’ develop skills and experience that will help them with their future career prospects.

What is the Kickstart Scheme?

Kickstart is a Uk Government Scheme which provides funding to employers to create thousands of job placements for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit.

The Government will fund 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week, plus associated employer National Insurance contributions and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions, for 6 months. £1,500 is also available per placement for support and training.

Who can apply for funding?

All UK companies are eligible to apply for funding but if they have less than 30 placements to offer they must apply through a representative organistation/gateway. The only criteria is that the job placements created with Kickstart funding must be new jobs and cannot:

  • replace existing or planned vacancies
  • cause existing employees or contractors to lose or reduce their employment

The roles you are applying for must be:

  • a minimum of 25 hours per week, for 6 months
  • paid at least the National Minimum Wage for their age group
  • should not require people to undertake extensive training before they begin the job placement

Each application should include how you will help the participants to develop their skills and experience, including:

  • support to look for long-term work, including career advice and setting goals
  • support with CV and interview preparations
  • supporting the participant with basic skills, such as communication, problem solving and teamwork

How can Atwood Tate help?

As a passionate advocate of the scheme, Atwood Tate are delighted to get involved by acting as an intermediary organisation/gateway to facilitate our clients’ access to the scheme.  It is a fantastic opportunity for us all to give hope to the hundreds of young people that are getting in touch with us, concerned about their futures.

There has been some criticism and concern that many smaller businesses may be disadvantaged by the scheme in relation to their larger counterparts because companies taking on fewer than 30 new young workers are prevented from applying directly for funds. To address this problem, we are delighted to be working with our clients to pool your job vacancies and apply for funding on your behalf.

When Does the Kickstart Scheme Start?

The scheme is open for applications now and the DWP expect to be able to confirm funding within 4 weeks of the application.

How to Apply?

You can apply through our gateway as a completely free service, or you can take advantage of our large network, skills and experience to provide you with a more comprehensive package. Details of all our packages can be found on our website www.atwoodtate.co.uk

Leave a Comment

Filed under Advice, Company News

How Company Culture Can Impact Recruiting?

How you consider your company culture can have a big impact on the way you recruit. It is widely considered that hiring for ‘cultural fit’ is a sensible approach to recruitment.  It makes sense that candidates hired with ‘cultural fit’ in mind are more likely to start really becoming part of your team much quicker, be happier in their role and in turn stay longer with your company.

BUT, if the definition of your culture is too rigid, it could lead to a lack of diversity by allowing ‘bias’ to creep in and consciously or unconsciously favouring people with similar backgrounds to your own. 

Consider cultural contribution rather than just cultural fit

Rather than just fixating on finding people that ‘fit in’ and align exactly to your beliefs and behaviours, it is better to think about how they might contribute to these. If you see value in hiring people who bring new perspectives and ways of thinking to your business, then you are already thinking about ‘cultural contribution’, rather than just immediate and obvious fit. 

It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t define your values and culture and recruit with these in mind, but you shouldn’t be restricted by them. It is important that you recruit for people that will stretch your ability to innovate and adapt, as challenging the status quo is what will drive your business forward. Your recruitment approach needs to fact based, so that candidates are measured by their strengths and behaviour, rather than whether they are ‘similar’ to the people you already have.

Make ‘cultural contribution’ a company value

If you make cultural contribution a value of your company and are able to demonstrate and articulate the benefits to your existing team, you are less likely to create disharmony. People are often threatened by things that they are not familiar with or don’t understand but if you are able to show that cultural contribution can help them and the business to grow and evolve, you are more likely to take them with you on the journey.

Very often it can be a company’s perceived culture that holds them back so having people challenge this by having their own new ideas can have a positive impact.  Culture does not need to be fixed, instead it can adapt and evolve to create an environment where everyone can fit.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Advice

How to Get the Most Out of Your Recruitment Agency

Honesty is the best policy

The most important thing in the relationship with your recruitment agency, is honesty.  The more honest and open that both candidates and clients are, the more they are likely to get out of partnering with a recruitment agency.

As a candidate being honest about what you want and expect from a job is made easier by having a third party to ‘sound out’ your expectations.  This will give you the opportunity to find out if these are realistic and feasible without potentially ruining opportunities.  If you are using a specialist agency, they will be extremely experienced in the industry and be able to offer vital advice.  It is great for candidates to be focussed and have a good idea of what they want and this enables agencies to match them with the right employers for them.  It is also important that they are realistic and ensure that they have the relevant skills and experience that the role requires and a good agency will be able to advise where and if there is any flexibility on this.  Communication with your agency is key and ensuring that you are available to pick up and answer messages, either by phone or email, as promptly as possible will ensure that you don’t miss out on potential opportunities. If you are flexible and reliable, your recruitment agency is much more likely to be proactive on your behalf.  If you are unsure of anything it is always best to ask and if you are worried about any particular aspect of the job or remuneration package it is always good to raise this with your agency at the earliest possible opportunity. Always let your agency know about other opportunities you are exploring as a good agency should offer impartial advice and be more focussed on creating long term partnerships than the quick win. They should therefore hopefully have your interests at heart and give you the information and benefit of their experience to allow you to make the right choice for you.

Keep your agency informed of any changes

As a client, it is also extremely important to be as honest as possible with your agency partner. The goalposts will often move throughout the recruitment process but keeping your agency updated and aware of these changes is critical to ensuring they are able to manage the candidate’s expectations.  Honest feedback on the candidates is also essential so that the agency can help to ensure that the candidates are going for the right opportunities for them and are able to learn from their experiences.  Clients also need to be realistic with their expectations and realise that it is not always possible to tick every box.  Again, a good specialist agency will be able to give advice on where it is best to be flexible as they are likely to have an excellent grasp on the current market. Where possible it is always best to use one specialist agency rather than multiple agencies as this commitment will be matched by the agency’s commitment.  Partnering with the right agency and showing commitment to them will allow them to become a great ambassador for your company to ensure you maintain the value of your employer brand.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Advice

Top 20 Interview Tips

Interview Tips

Interviews can be nerve racking and with many interviews now being conducted remotely it can be more difficult to appear relaxed and be able to get your personality across.  Whatever structure your interview takes and whatever level of role you are being interviewed for, the one things that remains unchanged is that preparation is still the key. The more you prepare the better chance of success you have.

There is a huge amount of advice out there to help you nail your interview, but we have put together a reminder of our top 20 tips for a successful interview.

1              BE PREPARED

2              BE PUNTUAL AND IF USING TECHNOLOGY TEST IN ADVANCE

3              SMILE & BE FRIENDLY

4              DON’T PANIC

5              RE-READ YOUR APPLICATION LETTER AND CV

6              BE ENTHUSIASTIC

7              BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITY

8              TAKE TIME TO CONSIDER YOUR ANSWERS

9              DO YOUR RESEARCH ABOUT THE COMPANY AND ROLE

10           DO YOUR RESEARCH ABOUT THE COMPANY’S COMPETITORS

11           PREPARE ANSWERS TO COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

12           HIGHLIGHT YOUR STRENGTHS AND APPLY THEM TO THE JOB ROLE

13           FRAME ANY WEAKNESSES POSITIVELY

14           PREPARE SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK

15           CLEARLY DEFINE WHY YOU WANT THIS PARTICULAR ROLE

16           KEEP PROFESSIONAL THROUGHOUT THE INTERVIEW

17           DON’T WAFFLE OR GO OFF AT TANGENTS

18           DON’T BE AFRAID TO ADMIT IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND SOMETHING

19           ASK ABOUT NEXT STAGES AND TIMELINE

20           FOLLOW UP AND CONFIRM YOUR INTEREST

Good luck!

Leave a Comment

Filed under Advice, Company News