We know that many people are currently worried about
their job prospects and as an employment agency we are keen to help in any way
we can. We are particularly concerned
for those trying to enter the job market for the first time and have invited
our publisher clients to promote any graduate schemes, paid internships or work
experience through us (free of any charge).
Details of publishing internships / publishing work
experience / publishing graduate schemes will be posted here on our blog,
promoted on our social media and shared with our registered job seekers.
If you’re a publisher or company in the publishing
industry or supply chain, please get in touch with Claire Law at email@example.com
With bookshops now starting to reopen, we hope that this is going to be a much needed boost for us all. With evidence showing that reading books has surged in lockdown we are all hoping that this trend will continue and now that people are able to visit bookshops, translate into further increased sales.
According to Nielsen
Book’s research, 41% of people said they were reading more books during this
period and many have almost doubled the hours they have spent reading per week.
There have been stories from parents that have been delighted to see their
teenage children grow back in love with reading. Hopefully this trend will
continue and those that have found a new love of books will keep on
For those of us that are struggling to read during these unsettling times, it is worth persevering. Try reading something lighter than you would usually choose if you are finding it harder to concentrate. It is well documented that reading can have many health benefits including reducing stress levels, lowering our blood pressure and helping combat depression. It can also improve our memory and empathy and generally make us feel more positive. This is in addition to the more obvious benefits of increasing our knowledge and challenging our imagination. In these current times the opportunity to have a ready form of entertainment with the opportunity to immerse ourselves in escapism seems even more welcome and valuable.
So whether you are finding that you read more or less
during lockdown – the message is clear – support your well-being and our
industry by carrying on reading!
Many people will be looking to leaders, for some
hope and inspiration, to get them through these uncertain times ahead.
to Gallop, what people primarily need in their
leader, is a clear path forward. If we
have this, then as human beings we are amazingly resilient, known as the ‘rally
effect’. During extraordinary times like
this pandemic, it becomes even more important for leaders to clearly
communicate this path and then to inspire confidence in their workforce to get
through this difficult period by working as a team. You do not need to be
overly optimistic or unrealistic, but you do need to give hope and
times of panic, it is easy to micromanage. To show trust, give your staff more
autonomy rather than less and encourage them to see the bigger picture. By showing
faith in them, it will allow them to help you come up with the best solutions. When
times are tough, people are afraid of losing their jobs. This fear often prevents
them from freely making suggestions and observations that might lead to improved
outcomes, as they don’t want to rock the boat. If you want to motivate your employees and get
the best out of them, you need to make them feel safe rather than fearful. It is crucial that leaders don’t show panic,
as employees often model their behaviour, particularly in times of crisis. It does not mean that leaders need to have
all the answers – it just means that they need to provide hope that things will
eventually improve and give practical suggestions on steps to take on the path
None of us know how long this situation is
going to last or what the long term effects will be but knowing that the
leadership has a clear plan of action and that they care about their employee’s
health and well-being, will go a long way towards them feeling confident and
secure. They need to know that their contributions
are valued and integral to the future success of the business. If we can learn and adapt together, there is a
much greater chance of coming through this testing time, both stronger and more
In the meantime, do not forget to celebrate the
wins, however small and praise your team for things they are doing well. Positivity breeds positivity, even in times
Recent government announcements suggest that anyone
unable to work from home, should now where possible, start to return to their
workplaces. This is straight-forward
advice for industries that cannot work from home but what about those of us
that have a choice? How can we decide
the right time to do this and the best way to do this? The most important thing is to start planning now,
in order to do this safely and most effectively, when the time is right.
The last couple of months has turned everything we did
and thought on its head, including our attitudes to home working. Working from
home is no longer seen as just an employee benefit for the minority, instead it
has and will continue to be a core part of business planning. We have now
learnt that it is possible for many of us to work from home and whilst there
are undoubtedly some negatives, there are lots of obvious positives that many
people will be keen to continue benefitting from. The future challenge for businesses will be
how much they can and should continue to offer flexibility, once it is not
forced upon them and what the trade-offs will be in doing so.
According to a survey by job board Totaljobs 49% of people are looking forward to returning to work so managing how we introduce our staff back into the office and arriving at solutions that are safe and sustainable is the immediate challenge. Most experts think that this ‘management phase’ of the covid-19 crisis, is likely to last well into next year, so getting it right is crucial. In order to decide who to bring back first, you will need to think about what roles you absolutely need to have in the office and plan accordingly. For example facilities and IT may be among the first to bring back so that they can help plan and implement the rest. Technology infrastructure will play a key part as it will need to continue to support some level of home working for those that cannot come back into the office. The more agile and flexible your systems are, the more you will be able to react to future disruptions ie if we get a large second peak of infections. It will also enable you to offer flexible working as a long-term benefit.
The CIPD have published a guide to returning
to the workplace and they encourage all businesses to ensure that they meet
three keys tests before bringing people back into the office:
Is it essential?
Is it sufficiently safe?
Is it mutually agreed?
The guide includes lots of practical advice on areas such as risk management and the importance of communicating the new rules and procedures. It also has lots of information on how the government’s new extended, more flexible furlough scheme can help. There are links to other useful information including the government guidance for working safely in offices.
clear, is that in order to keep to the government’s social distancing
guidelines, most of us will not be able to go back into our offices exactly as
we left them. Unless we are able to take
extra space, we will need to reduce the number of employees at work at any one
time. This could be done in a variety of
ways, from shift patterns to rotational days or weeks, but ultimately will
probably require some mixture of home and office working.
all these additional challenges, as well as trying to keep business going will
require all of us to work together. Clear communication and thorough planning
will be vital. Showing that you are putting the health and well-being of your
employees at the heart of all the decisions so that they feel supported and
valued will be even more important in these challenging uncertain times.
Some people are
understandably nervous of recruiting under the current constraints of social
distancing, but this could be the perfect time for you to test ‘remote
recruiting’. Many people think that
remote working could be the new norm, so how do those without experience of
this adjust and make it work when recruiting new staff?
It is not necessary to put
all recruitment on hold until everyone is back in the office – it is possible
to recruit remotely – many companies have done this on a regular basis before
it became a reality for us all. Whether
you want to consider this as just an interim measure or a more permanent
solution, making this work will not only help you to keep your business moving
in the current climate but may also be used as an attractive option for the
future. Being able to offer a mixture of
remote and office based employment will not only present cost savings but also
make you more attractive to future employees.
Whilst many of us may be used to some form of remote interviewing, taking this one step further to ‘on-board’ new staff remotely may seem daunting and more of a challenge. We all know how important the first days and weeks of new employment are, both for the candidate and the client, so it is extremely important to get this right, whether in an office or a remote location. It is obviously important to make sure that your remote employee has the right equipment and technology and that you think about how your existing processes can be adapted to work in a remote setting. With the wide range of video and communication options that are available it is easy to have face to face regular contact wherever your staff are based and getting regular feedback from your new employee will ensure that you arrive at solutions that work for you both. Our recent blog Remote induction of a new member of staff during the lockdown gives some useful tips on things you will need to consider. REC business partner Howden has created a hub of resources to help employers manage employee wellbeing and includes a very useful 13 page guide to welcoming new team members remotely (towards the bottom half of the page) on On-boarding in a virtual world.
Many of our clients now
recruiting remotely, with no previous experience of this, are finding that
starting new employees on a part-time basis has helped them. This has allowed them to adjust in a more
The current situation has
proved conclusively that flexibility in working patterns can work and that you
don’t physically have to be in the same space to make decisions and work as a
team. The enforced lockdown that arrived without warning has meant we have all
needed to adapt and live and work in different ways. There may be many negatives that we have all
experienced from this but hopefully there will also be some positives that will
help us all continue to build robust businesses that can thrive wherever we are
Now may be the perfect time to upskill yourself. With
millions of us forced to stay at home, it is a great time to take advantage of
access to numerous free online courses and information. This will not only add
to your future employability but also give you a focus, particularly if you are
currently not employed or furloughed.
This offers free digital and numeracy courses at various levels and
covers topics such as the fundamentals of digital marketing and the effective
use of social media. With 82% of jobs
requiring digital skills, increasing your knowledge in these areas is always
going to be useful. It is also a great way to add to your CV and gives the
opportunity to link what you have learnt to a required competence in a job
vacancy. You can use these resources as
a simple introduction to various topics or move onto more advanced concepts
within the courses to really master skills, such as learning to write your own
Job descriptions often ask for a good level of Microsoft Office,
particularly Excel (check out v lookups and pivot tables), practice some
Powerpoint and InDesign basics too.
Continuing with our theme to share ideas and tips for working and living through these strange times, we thought we’d suggest some ideas on keeping your mind fresh whilst staying at home.
Continuing with our theme to share ideas and tips for working and living through these strange times, we thought we’d suggest some ideas on keeping your mind fresh whilst staying at home.
From Clare Chan:
If you are working from home, why not create a standing
For the past weeks, I have been working at my
desk sitting down. I increasingly felt a
need to break this habit to sharpen my mind so I decided to work standing. If you don’t have a tall table? Try using
books or perhaps a small stool. Working standing up keeps my mind sharp and
active. I am also able to concentrate on my work much better so why not give it
Find a new exercise
Very frankly, I am not the best cyclist.
Living in London for quite a few years now, I have never cycled on the
road. This weekend, I jumped on a
Santander bike as my once a day exercise. It was terrifying at first, but by
pushing yourself out of your comfort zone makes you feel much more refreshed
and stimulated, especially we are now spending a lot of time at home and might
get a bit too comfortable at times.
Take a virtual museum tour
Miss travelling around the
world and going to museums? Google
Art & Culture has everything you need to keep yourself
entertained. It has virtual tours from the
Pyramids to Anne Frank’s Family Home.
They also have over 3,400 museums and galleries around the world to
bring anyone and everyone virtual tours of some of the most famous museums
around the world. Still bored? They have
an Art Selfie function where you can see who you look like in the world of
From Claire Law:
It can feel like the weeks are starting to
blur a bit now and it’s important to make sure we look after our mental health
as well our physical. I’m much better at making myself do exercise, partly
so I can eat and drink what I want but also as I (usually) enjoy it! It’s
harder to remember to make an effort to look after our minds so here are some
of my ideas:
Keep a diary / log of things that made you happy each day
I have a beautiful little
book I try to fill in (admittedly I don’t do it every day) with at least a
couple of things that made me smile that day.
Even if you’re not working right now, it’s a good idea to
have a routine in place so you get up, get dressed and find time to do a
mixture of things. Try to go to bed at the same time and get up at a normal
time. If you are working then make sure you take proper breaks and try to leave
your workspace behind while eating.
Make time each day to communicate with friends and
family, maybe keep in touch with at least 1 friend
each day, by phone, email or post.
In recent years, telephone and video interviews have become increasingly
common and in the challenging times we now live in, they are now a necessity.
If it is your first time doing a video interview or you are worried you will
not perform to the best of your abilities on screen, fear not! Here are some
key tips for you to nail your video interview!
Prepare the equipment
We can never say
it enough, preparation is key! In this case, it is not only preparing to answer
the interviewer’s questions, but getting your equipment ready:
Familiarise yourself with the software used by the
interviewer: whether it is Zoom, Teams, Google Hangout or Skype, make sure you
know how it works
Test your equipment beforehand: are the video and sound both working (or do
you know how to turn them on!)?
that your broadband speed is high enough
Do a test call
with a friend or family member (or your recruiter!)
Dress smartly and
tidy up your surroundings
This is an interview, so do approach it as you would a face-to-face
meeting. If you don’t have a home-office/desk, prepare your surroundings to
make sure they look professional:
Opt for a neutral
background and make sure the lighting is suitable – not too bright or dim
Sit up straight, ideally at a desk/table (not
slouching on the couch!)
Test out your
webcam in advance and get an image including most of your top half. This will
allow interviewers to see any hand gestures and overall body language.
Dress professionally from head to toe (in case you have
to stand up during the interview)
Try to eliminate possible interruptions
Unplug / turn off the ring on your landline and
Close any doors and windows and make sure you won’t
be interrupted by anyone else living with you
Put a note on the door (and front door) to say no
interruptions, in a meeting
Prepare for the
As you would do
for any other interview, do some extensive research on the company before your
Read the job
description thoroughly and have some questions ready
Make a list of
your achievements/examples to show the interviewers that you are the right
person for the role
Have a copy of your CV and cover letter handy so
you can refer to it during your interview
Make sure you have the email address and telephone number
of your interviewer in case you need to reach them by another mean
During the interview
Do keep a glass of water next to you if
you need a sip/take a pause during the interview
Don’t interrupt the interviewers or
talk over them: this is true in a face-to-face meeting but even more so in a
video interview where communication is slightly more tricky
Take your time: it’s perfectly
acceptable to take a moment or two to collect your thoughts
Have a notepad and a pen next to you in
case you need to write down a question or take some notes
Answer the questions with strong
examples but keep succinct, go to the point
Look at the camera, not yourself: this will give an
appearance of eye contact – otherwise you’ll appear to be looking down
Try to relax and smile!
Things do sometimes go wrong, it happens, but do not panic!
Try to remain calm and calling again
If the problem can’t be fixed, suggest using a
phone to speak while still using the camera or try a phone call instead
If you cannot hear/see the panel properly, do
mention it straight away to the interviewers
Use this to show the panel that you can remain calm
under pressure J
Here are some tips on what to consider when inducting new staff now we’re all working remotely due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid19). It’s vital to get new employees up to speed as quickly as possible so they can start to feel comfortable and confident in their new role. The main points of doing a remote induction will involve:
Introducing employees to their new job and their main
What is expected of them and how their work will be
How they will carry out their duties and who/how
they will be supported to do it
In advance of the 1st day ensure you have communicated
regularly with your future employee to reassure them that their job is safe and
inform them on how the remote induction is going to work. Make sure you have shared
contact info so you can set up a Zoom/Skype/etc video call on the 1st
Things to include
Logistics for home working It’s a good idea to have a Work from home Policy or Checklist. This will ensure employees can work in a safe environment. Allow enough time to send any equipment (computer, phone, etc.)
Company history and Organisation structure Give an overview of the company history including strategy, culture and vision. Outline the structure and give the names of key people in the company.
Job role Give a copy of the Job Description and Person Specification so it’s really clear what they will be doing. Explain how they fit into the department, any probation period and monitoring. The remote induction might imply doing more of certain duties whilst they are waiting to be trained in person on other tasks. Make sure the employee understands it is temporary.
Equipment / training Explain any new equipment / software to be used and outline how training can be done eg using a company intranet / online learning modules. Create a 3 or 6 month plan for them to follow.
Introducing them to colleagues / key staff Organise a group video call over lunch to introduce them to colleagues and people they’ll be working directly with. Assign them a work buddy they can liaise with to show them the ropes.
Company terms and benefits Give a copy of the employment contract and outline basics eg core hours, holiday allowance, pension, life assurance, pay dates, share company policies etc and any benefits eg gym memberships, social activities etc.
What not to do
to overload on day 1 (or week 1)
the information you’re sharing at the right level for the role the person has
been taken on to do
sure they get plenty of opportunity to ask questions and keep in regular
in the 1st week and have regular follow up meetings to ensure
questions are answered clearly.
Some of you may be used to working from home already but
it’s very likely that the current situation will mean many more of us will be
doing this from now on for some weeks.
If you’re used to working with a team in an office, working on
your own at home can be a culture shock. It’s important to keep communicating
with your colleagues and manager to ensure you feel engaged and motivated. Here
are a few ideas and tips to help…
Checklist for companies / managers
Think about what equipment, software, access and
logins your team may need to do their work remotely
Do a quick check on laptops, chargers, headsets,
webcams etc to make sure they’re in working order before giving out
Ask your team to share their home/mobile contact
numbers and circulate this list
Check your office can forward calls to another
number and ideally turn the function off outside of work hours. Can people log
in to check voicemails if left?
If people don’t have an unlimited phone package
agree to cover expenses for usage
Keep a record of important stakeholder /
supplier contacts and share with your team
Get everyone to access / download a video
conference app like Zoom so you can have video meetings with each other and
Decide on an instant messenger eg Skype /
LinkedIn etc so your team can communicate amongst themselves without clogging
Agree guidelines on checking in to confirm
you’re well and able to work that day / when plan on taking lunch / arrange
cover for time off
For when working you’re at home
You’ll want to be as effective as possible, so
make sure you have a clear workspace with suitable work surface and chair
Think about structuring your day – you might be
able to start and finish earlier if not commuting
Try not to get distracted with household chores,
factor in some break times and if possible take a proper break outside at
lunchtime and get some fresh air, go for a walk etc
Communicate with your team on your movements and
any successes / useful tips that have worked well for you
At the end of the day, make your to-do list for
tomorrow and pack up the desk so you have clear free time separate from your