News & Views

Key motivators in the workplace

Key motivators in the workplace

17 May 2022

In light of The Great Resignation, motivated employees are key to retaining talent. In fact, employee experience is everything these days.

Eisenhower knew that finding the right motivators in the workplace was essential to success and improving employee experience. As the former U.S President, once said, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”

It’s important for companies, line managers and HR teams to recognise employee motivators to get the best work out of them and decrease costly staff turnover. Capitalising on key motivators will enable staff to be motivated, passionate and loyal to the organisation. But where to start? 

Understanding motivation

When Abraham Maslow created his Hierarchy of Needs in 1943, he argued that people are motivated by five essential needs that enable an individual to be fulfilled. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs these needs are:

Physiological - Food, water, warmth and rest Safety – including financial security Belonging - Relationships, community family and friends Self-esteem - Prestige and a feeling of accomplishment Self-actualisation - Achieving full potential and extra-curricular activitiesMaslow in the workplace

The Hierarchy of needs is often applied to the workplace as a means to determine how to motivate employees and ensure their needs are met. To achieve this, line managers must make time to consider an employee as an individual for their input into the organisation and encourage and support them.

According to Maslow’s theory, an employee begins by focusing on the lower order needs. Those embarking on their career might be more concerned with physiological needs such as income and security. Once these basic needs are met, the employee will focus on social needs. Once the needs are met, an employee may want to meet higher-level needs (growth needs) such as self-esteem.

Although workplace motivation has moved on from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the theory forms the basis of motivation.

Motivational triggers do vary between employees. And the challenge can be for line managers to understand what the motivators are for their team members. However, there are common workplace motivators. 

Key motivators in the workplaceCommunication

Companies with poor employee communications suffer low levels of employee motivation and engagement. Employees who are not informed are difficult to motivate. One of the most important workplace motivators for employees is communication. The more a team interacts with each other, the better their performance will be. Good and regular communication reduces confusion and mistakes as well as improves performance. 

Meaningful & challenging work

The Harvard Business Review reported that more than nine in ten of employees would be willing to earn less money for the opportunity to do more meaningful work – showing how important a person’s purpose is to them. If you want your employees to be self-motivated, it’s a good idea to offer them more responsibility with meaningful work. 

Challenging and new tasks are important to keep staff engagement, productivity and motivation high. New projects and tasks alleviate the boredom and repetitiveness of job roles, while a challenging task can give the employee a sense of importance and feeling of ownership that will make them feel valued. 

Company Culture

A healthy company culture fuels motivation and creates a sense of belonging and joint goals. It is fundamental to making employees feel like they are part of a family. It is important to evaluate your company culture to ensure it promotes collaboration, teamwork and transparency. Excessive bureaucracy, micromanaging by managers and withholding of information can be demotivators for staff as well as have a detrimental impact on company culture. A high-performing company culture will have a competitive edge. 

Teamwork makes the dream work

Teamwork can empower the employees to have confidence in voicing their thoughts and opinions and come up with innovative ideas. Teams that work (and play) well together can also improve employee retention too as they enjoy the sense of belonging to the business they work for.

A well selected team that complements different personalities and skill sets enables workers to work together and become a group with a mission. A 2009 study by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) found that “employees rated opportunities to use their skills and abilities in their work as the fourth most important aspect of their job satisfaction.”

Workplace friendships are created through a shared experience. Maintaining healthy friendships at work can motivate people to remain employed with a company. In 2018, Gallup reported that 63% of women who had a work friend were over twice as likely to be engaged during work. 

Recognition

Rewards and recognition are vital to every organisation. Similar to self-esteem needs, a company should promote or give recognition to employees based on their performance. Make sure to reward your employees with something that they value. This will motivate the employee to progress or work towards a promotion. Reward and recognition is important for candidate attraction not only staff retention. 

Appreciation & praise

Often forgotten when deadlines are looming and the pressure is on, appreciation is fundamental to keeping employees motivated. A BCG survey asked employees from around the world their top ten factors for on-the-job happiness. Results show that people place appreciation for their work as the most important factor for on-the-job happiness.

It might seem obvious but praising your staff on their achievements can be one of the best motivators out there. There are many ways organisations can appreciate their employees. 

Salary & benefits

Many people feel that their salary is a validation of their status and qualifications together with any effort and work they have put into their previous roles. Personal motivations form a part of it too –it is human nature to want to be able to not only pay bills but afford luxuries in life. Glassdoor research shows that 79% of employees would prefer  additional benefits as opposed to a pay increase. 

Modern challenges

With hybrid and remote work now the norm due to the Covid-19 pandemic, some employees can feel isolated with reduced levels of motivation. Nowadays, there is an additional consideration for organisations: How to keep employees who are working away from the office motivated. 

In Summary

Motivation is a powerful energy that drives how employees work and the vigour with which they approach their roles. Motivation is, in short, the incentive we all need to wake up in the morning, get dressed and ready for work. Revisiting Maslow’s theory of motivation is important, as we continue to adapt and adjust workplaces in a post-pandemic world.

It’s normal for employees to face dips in motivation, but it becomes a problem when employees are consistently disengaged. Therefore, HR and SMTs need to take time to review areas such as:

Communication methods and frequency company culture reward and recognition schemes salary and benefits

While line managers need to get to understand their employees as individuals and consider how each staff member may have different ways to be motivated. People managers also need to:

ensure that employees have meaningful and challenging work look at team dynamics and how the team is working together consider how they show their appreciation and give praise ensure they communicate opening and regularly  We’re here to help

At Morgan Hunt our team are here to help. If you’re looking to recruit and need guidance or advice on areas such as salary, benefits, reward and recognition just get in touch. 

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How can the FE sector retain top teachers?

How can the FE sector retain top teachers?

10 May 2022

The Great Resignation is a phrase usually associated with office workers, but recent stats indicate that the next Great Resignation could be among teaching staff.  A survey conducted by the National Education Union (NEU)  found that a fifth of teachers (22%) said they would leave within two years. An estimated 44% of teachers in England are planning to quit by 2027. 

Why are teachers leaving the profession?

Statistics published by the DfE reveal that of teachers who qualified in 2014, just 67% were still in service after five years in 2019. 

Teacher Workload

The high drop-out rates suggest that attempts to tackle teacher workload - seen as a main obstacle to teacher retention - is failing.

Teachers’ mental health is being damaged by working excessive and long hours, causing stress and burnout. Research by the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union revealed that, nine out of ten teachers (91%) reported that their workload has increased in the last year, according to the Union’s Big Question Survey 2022. 

Flexible Working

In the private sector, The Great Resignation has come about partly due to employees wanting the flexibility of remote working and flexible hours. In the private sector, companies are trialling four-day weeks with no reduction in pay and are offering flexible hybrid-working.

And, while the world around us has changed considerably, the fundamentals of education have not shifted in the same way. Professionals, including teachers, are looking at flexible working as a key priority in their career decisions and job search. Teaching is generally a sector where these new types of working cannot be offered.  

Career Progression and Salaries

School teachers are currently paid over £9,000 more than college teachers on average, despite many college lecturers being more specialist and having industry experience. FE salaries are also often lower than those in industries.

Jade Blackburn, Director of Human Resources at Waltham Forest College, reveals:

"We know that teachers have concerns about an ever increasing workload and that salaries in the FE sector are being outstripped by salaries on offer back in ‘industry’ – this is a particular challenge in the construction trades and IT & Digital."

Staff that leave the profession often report that their college or school had limited career development and training options. And when it is there for the taking, a lack of time and a heavy workload can prevent FE tutors from taking-up continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. 

The perception of teaching

Although teachers in the UK battled on as key workers during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, there is an issue with perception, which is common in countries including the UK and US.

Teaching and marking are what most people think of when they think of a career in education, but there are a whole host of other parts of the role that many outside the sector do not appreciate, which can often be surprising and very challenging to new teachers coming into the profession. This includes admin, lesson preparation, assessments, record keeping, exams, and pastoral care. They also often don’t consider the more personal skill element of teaching, such as managing the emotional charge of a room of 30 (often young) minds or the emotional intelligence of what it takes to drive and motivate each member of a class.

In the 2018 Global Teacher Status Index, the countries that most respect their teachers are China, Taiwan and Malaysia. In these countries, the teaching profession is seen as on par with doctors. 

What is the sector doing about it?

When it comes to The Great Teacher Resignation, how we can attract and retain the next generation of FE staff is a key question. 

Improving salaries, benefits & career development

The Association of Colleges (AOC) is pushing for the government to work with the FE sector so that colleges can pay their staff better and support them with their development. Some colleges have introduced a salary overhaul in certain subject areas. 

Waltham Forest College, is one example of an FE institution looking at the issue of salary and career development. As Jade Blackburn explains:

“Our turnover of teaching staff is lower than the sector average, but we’re not complacent – we have introduced recruitment and retention payments for new joiners in hard to fill roles, we’re reviewing our overall benefits package and ensuring staff have access to good quality CPD so that our first and foremost succession planning tool is to grow and develop our own staff into future teachers, managers and leaders.”

Those working outside of the education sector are not aware of the generous annual leave entitlement that comes with FE. Although this is dependent on the type of role, most are entitled to around 38 days holiday per year, plus bank holidays. This is significantly higher than the basic 20-to-25-day standard allowance. FE providers could be more transparent about this benefit, as well as other benefits such as pensions. College staff have access to the Teacher Pension Scheme, which compares favourably to almost all private sector schemes. 

Reviewing teacher workload

Waltham Forest College is looking into the issue of workload. As Jade Blackburn explains,“We’ve heard the concerns about workload and are continuing to work together to create workable, long term solutions to reduce workload - particularly administrative burdens on teachers.”

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of teachers is also key to retaining staff and is an area that is being developed.  

Mentoring

The use of mentoring and coaching for teachers is widespread. Mentors and coaches may offer support to new teachers as part of an induction process or to existing teachers to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. 

Promoting flexible opportunities

Although FE workloads are demanding, teachers and assessors can often choose between working full-time, part-time, compressed hours, evenings or even on a casual, hourly basis. This leaves significant scope for flexibility in working hours. Nowadays, there is an opportunity for FE colleges to promote flexible working and home working options where possible. 

Attracting new staff to the sector

There is an opportunity for FE institutions to adopt some of the tactics that the private sector uses in their candidate attraction and one such example is reviewing their employer brand.

FE colleges are diversifying where posts are advertised to reach a wider talent pool. They are also broadening their use of social media, working in partnership with industry to offer specialist delivery and engaging with specialist recruitment agencies to headhunt teachers and trainees. 

Other key areas for teacher attraction can include growing a pipeline by promoting vacancies to existing staff and students completing their studies and alumni, as well as promoting FE jobs to parents at student open evenings. 

Ongoing commitment

Finally, inconsistency in management styles between different schools and colleges is a real challenge. Good onboarding and ensuring a consistent and robust induction process for all staff can go some way to address this.

So, while there might be a Great Teacher Resignation about to happen, teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession. As schools and colleges continue to take action to improve teacher workload and staff wellbeing, real progress can be made.

If colleges work proactively with the sector to understand the drivers behind current issues and improve their policies and interventions, attracting teachers and retaining them will no longer be the issue they are today.

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How can organisations appreciate their employees?

How can organisations appreciate their employees?

03 Mar 2022

This year’s Employee Appreciation Day is on Friday 4th March. It will be the first since the onset of the Great Resignation.  There are many theories about what is driving post-pandemic resignations. But one thing is clear: UK workers often feel burned out and undervalued.

With scattered teams working from home (WFH) and hybrid working the ‘new normal' it is easy for employees to feel disconnected. And underappreciated. 

Companies know that their employees are their greatest asset. Employee Appreciation Day provides an opportunity for HR teams and managers to take stock. Employee appreciation is essential in fostering a motivated and happy workforce. An eachperson.com survey revealed that 86% of employees said recognition makes them happier at work. 

The difference between appreciation and recognition

The words “recognition” and “appreciation” are not interchangeable. Recognition is about giving positive feedback based on results or performance. Appreciation is about acknowledging a person’s value. This difference matters because recognition and appreciation take place for different reasons. Often businesses focus on praising positive outcomes (recognition). Companies should ensure they’re doing both. 

Appreciation and retention

A Glassdoor Employee Appreciation Survey shows that 53% of employees say more appreciation from their boss would help them stay longer at their company. Businesses that engage in employee appreciation see improved retention rates and lower staff turnover.

Companies conducting exit interviews may see that lack of appreciation is a culprit in driving employees to leave. Some may have stayed if their employers offered more rewards and recognition. 

A culture of celebration

The need to belong is part of the human condition. A culture that celebrates career milestones, life events, and group achievements increases a candidate's desire to join and grow within the business.

In a Harvard Business Review article, Michael O’Malley states: “The best places to work provide people with life satisfaction, as opposed to job satisfaction alone.” 

Appreciation, Happiness and Productivity

In the TED Talk: 'The Power of Appreciation' 43% of people who feel 'appreciated' are more effective and productive.

With WFH, hybrid working and the possibility of a four-day week, productivity is a hot topic. Appreciated employees are more engaged at work. Findings from BetterUp show that 56% of employees who felt belongingness have a higher level of job performance.

SurveyMonkey reports that 82% of workers consider appreciation an important part of their happiness. An Oxford University report shows that happier workers are 13% more productive at work. 

Types of Employee Appreciation

Employee appreciation takes many forms:

Day-to-day appreciation is frequent, simple and ongoing. It could include sending emails or e-cards. Informal appreciation is when individuals or teams progress toward milestones. Or when they complete a complex project. These are often low-cost gestures such as lunchtime pizzas, after-work drinks or an earlier finish on Friday. Formal structure appreciation often involves a nomination, selection process, ceremony or special event. It could be part of a formal recognition scheme.  Getting Started

It’s a good idea to ask employees what they would like so you are rewarding staff with something they value. 

How to show appreciation

Nowadays, more companies value employee appreciation, rewards and recognition. It's something we see here at Morgan Hunt with our clients. They include: 

Wellbeing Days

There is a correlation between work-life balance and employee performance and job satisfaction. Work-life balance:

reduces stress prevents burnout reduces sick leave saves money promotes a caring company culture

Remote working throughout lockdowns undoubtedly affected employee wellbeing.  A company-wide day off to encourage employees to look after their well-being can help. 

Employee Recognition Programmes

Employee recognition refers to employees’ accomplishments. The most common programmes recognise one-time achievements.  Programmes can recognise team and individual work throughout the year. Consider asking current employees the type of recognition they desire most.

Over half (56%) of HR leaders believe recognition or appreciation schemes help with recruitment (SHRM). Candidates want to associate with employers that recognise and appreciate their employees.  These can include:

employee of the month club/award annual awards events financial incentives/vouchers lunch with the CEO earned time off  Celebrate anniversaries and birthdays

Do something special for employee birthdays and work anniversaries. A hbr.org study found that employees were likely to leave after a year of employment. Don’t let the anniversary of an employee’s hire go unnoticed.  Acknowledging the important dates across your team shows you value them as individuals. This could be:

a coffee/bottle of wine/chocolates greeting card birthday day off company-wide announcement decorated desk  Regular employee surveys

Enabling employees to give feedback shows you value their input. Anonymous feedback portals or surveys ensure honest, quality responses. Consider having a mix of questions, like "Does your manager make you feel valued?" and allow employees to provide feedback. Employees feel valued the more they feel heard and want to contribute to the success of a company. 

Appreciation portal

Giving and receiving appreciation increases morale, collaboration and job satisfaction. Some companies have online platforms where managers and peers can praise colleagues. 

Offer learning opportunities

Investing in professional development shows you value staff.  For effective and cost-efficient ways to let employees learn new skills consider:

courses conferences tuition reimbursement cross-training between departments mentorships budgets for learning materials e.g., books  Employee Appreciation Week (or Month)

Events throughout the week or month may include:

workshops coffee and cake mornings team lunches offsite group/company activity onsite massages/manicures celebrations of teams’ cultural diversity  Say Thank You

A study from Each Person found that 51% of UK employees say a ‘thank you’ would make them feel more appreciated. A heartfelt thank you is a simple way to show appreciation.  While not everyone needs a ‘thank you’ to do a good job, many do. It won’t hurt those who don’t need to hear it, but it will mean much to those who do.

 

Finally, employee appreciation shouldn’t take place on one day. It should be integral to your company culture and adopted by management. Your employees are your most precious asset, now it’s time to appreciate them.

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Can collaboration in recruitment enable an increase in BAME leadership?

Can collaboration in recruitment enable an increase in BAME leadership?

15 Feb 2022

Many people working within the Further Education sector speak about the decline in Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) college leaders. The number of black and ethnic minority principals leading FE colleges in England has dropped from 13% in 2017 to around 5% or 6% in 2020. On the flip side, the number of BAME students has increased to represent 30% of FE students.

With 239 FE colleges in England, it is estimated that between 12 and 14 are currently led by BAME principals, although the Association of Colleges has no official data. And, for those already working in FE, black staff in the sector are not only under-represented, but less likely to be promoted or get a permanent contract. 

#AntiRacismInAction

The Black Further Education Leadership Group (BFELG) is demanding urgent action to address racism in FE which is undermining “the sector’s ability to engage with all its constituent communities”. They have introduced a ‘10 Point Plan’ laying out possible solutions to the current situation. 

Anti-racist Board and Executive Search Recruitment Practices

The recent webinar ‘Anti-racist Board and Executive Search Recruitment Practices’ was a panel discussion focused on anti-racist board and executive search recruitment practices. The session was a solid starting point to address these challenges. 

Collaborative Learning

Anti-racist and diverse recruitment practices in the FE sector rely on collaboration. It’s about FE Institutions coming together with commercial companies, such as specialist recruitment businesses, to provide solutions and promote best practices. 

So much starts with recruitment and selection. And, recruitment agencies are in a position of influence. If we don’t address it with our clients we are adding to the problem.

The webinar featured three of the FE sector’s leading recruitment companies: AoC Services, Peridot Partners and Morgan Hunt, who along with FE Associates and Protocol have come together in this way for the first time, demonstrates the importance we all place on anti-racism, and our commitment to change.

Hilary Clifford, Director, AoC Services and Drew Richardson-Walsh, Director, Education Practice, Peridot Partners, along with myself all agree that we want people who are working in, and applying for positions in the FE sector to have the confidence that they are being judged on their ability, competence and potential - not their ethnicity.

There is a real opportunity for FE recruitment companies to work with their clients to:

Ensure best practice is being followed Break down barriers Challenge each other Hold people accountable.

The Joint Commitment companies are an example of collaborative system leadership for change. This is a remarkable collaboration considering that under normal circumstances these companies operate as competitors in the FE market. 

Anti-racist recruitment in the FE sector

When it comes to recruitment for leadership roles, recruitment in the FE sector is a mixed bag, with institutions hiring directly and through recruitment agencies. Boards, HR departments and recruitment companies all have a part to play in increasing representation from black communities. They also have a major role in challenging and reversing the status quo. 

What can FE providers do to help?

When it comes to recruitment for institutions, FE colleges need to ensure that they can clearly articulate their value proposition, culture and beliefs. For the process to be successful, these establishments must ensure they are living and breathing these, and that what they promote is a reality when candidates join.

It takes more than just a diversity and inclusion policy. For it to be effective, each area needs to be addressed: anti racism, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability - and not address everything together as one. 

Recruitment matters

Morgan Hunt is the first private sector organisation to become an affiliate of the BFLEG and support their BFELG 10 Point process. We are pleased to support the objectives, and specifically item six of the plan: “College recruitment processes, including the deployment of recruitment companies, to proactively address imbalances in the diversity of leadership at all levels.”

As recruitment professionals, we recognise the need for a shift in approaches to the development, attraction and recruitment of leaders and governors. Here at Morgan Hunt, we are seeking to proactively address imbalances in the diversity of leadership at all levels, particularly through the development of anti-racist practices and approaches in recruitment.

For us it's about growing awareness, listening to colleagues and candidates talk about their own experiences and focussing on the key challenges and the work that needs to be done to improve the situation, and crucially taking action.

At Morgan Hunt, we have a big focus on diversity and inclusion.  Anti-racism has been a big part of that, as has our relationship with BFLEG and the training delivered by them. One of the positive actions agreed from it is to break down the standard recruitment process both internally and externally.

We’ve also:

Implemented an inclusive recruitment guide to support our clients Built a webinar series, with key speakers, for our clients around diversity with a focus on anti-racism Promoted the value of an anti-racist and inclusive recruitment approach at relevant networking events Promoted the value of inclusive recruitment within our digital marketing Worked with our FE client base to proactively support them develop anti-racist and inclusive recruitment practices in the appointment of senior leaders.  BFELG 10-point plan training programme 

We would encourage anyone who hasn't been through this training to do so. A number of our clients have gone through the same training and its been useful to share what stage of the journey we are at with them and collaborate. The course has been both challenging and eye opening. It’s not right to recommend appropriate solutions to our customers if we don’t go through this process ourselves. 

Still work to be done

We’ve still got a long way to go. It's not finished and it's not fixed and there is still a lot to do.  Despite having an ethnically diverse workforce our Senior Leadership team isn’t as diverse as we’d like it so we’re going through a process to improve that. 

Making progress #AntiRacismInAction

Anti-racism needs to be at the heart of selection and recruitment within FE. As a group of search and recruitment firms dedicated to supporting the leadership of the sector, we all agree that when recruitment is done well it should enable opportunities for a broad range of people.

Whatever your involvement within FE is, we all want to see a shift in data when it comes to the number of black leaders progressing through the management ranks and into senior leadership posts in the FE sector.

Without systematic monitoring, training or positive action to address the issue, it isn’t surprising that the FE sector has reversed in terms of BAME leadership. But, it all starts at the beginning. Recruitment.

By Luke O’Neill, Education Strategy Director at Morgan Hunt

 

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How to find a job in 2022

How to find a job in 2022

10 Jan 2022

It’s a new year, so it’s a time that many people think about trying something new. For you, this might mean exploring new job opportunities. In this article we’ve outlined the best ways to approach finding a new job in 2022. 

The current state of the market

Firstly, to know how to navigate the job market, it’s important to understand the current conditions.

Last year the market was turbulent because of the pandemic, but by the end of the year the market was strong. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points on the quarter to 4.2 per cent by the end of October. More people were back in work, including those who had been on the furlough scheme until it ended in September.

This general market trend also applied to public sector employment where the number of employees increased in September 2021 by 0.4% in comparison to June.

Yet, at the same time, the number of job vacancies continued to grow as the effects of the pandemic began to soften and organisations looked to expand. Between September and November, the number of opportunities had increased to more than 1.2 million. However, by November the rate of this expansion had begun to slow somewhat.

This increase in vacancies was paired with a skills shortage due to hundreds of thousands of people leaving the workforce during the pandemic, meaning employers struggled to hire new staff.

For jobseekers such as yourself this means that, for now, the market continues to be led by you. Jobseekers have a greater range of opportunities to choose from and have more leverage to demand the conditions they want. Further benefits for jobseekers include increases in starting pay due to the imbalance between supply and demand. 

How to job search in 2022Update your CV

A straightforward CV that outlines your most relevant and recent experience is key to finding a new job. And although there are plenty of jobs out there, you’ll still be competing with others, so you want to have the best chance of standing out.

Here are some best practice guidelines to follow:

Update your CV with your most recent experience and achievements Include up-to-date contact information Add a short profile at the top of your CV outlining your skills and positive attributes Make sure it’s easy to scan (hiring managers and recruiters are busy people) Ensure it’s not longer than 2 pages Don’t include photos Double check your spelling and grammar

Ideally, you should tailor your CV for every job you apply for, but having a good template as a starting point will save you time and can be used if you don’t have time to customise it for a specific vacancy.

When tailoring your CV, read the job description and include relevant keywords that apply to your experience to ensure your CV is searchable in hiring managers’ and recruiters’ systems.

For more guidance on how to write an effective CV, read our full CV writing guide. 

Write a well-crafted cover letter

A cover letter isn’t always necessary as part of an application. We don’t require them at Morgan Hunt for example. However, other companies or job boards often require them, so it’s worth doing. And even if they’re not necessary, following up your application with a cover letter can be a good way to differentiate yourself from other applicants.

In a nutshell, your cover letter should explain the why behind your application. Why you think you’re right for the job and why you’re interested in that specific role or organisation.

You can read our guide to learn how to write an effective cover letter. 

Finding the right jobs

Given the number of vacancies out there, there’s more than enough to choose from. So how do you find the best ones, or the ones you’re most suited to? We recommend using a variety of methods to support your search which will give you exposure to all available opportunities and allow you to pick right ones. 

Make your searches specific

When searching for jobs on Google or other websites, use keywords related to the type of job you want and the responsibilities you’d like to have. Being specific and using more keywords will narrow down the number of results, so you’ll only see the most relevant jobs for you. 

Use a recruitment agency

Having a recruitment consultant working for you who understands your skills and what you’re looking means you’ll be put forward for suitable roles without having to do the heavy lifting yourself. This can save you a lot of time and effort. 

Another benefit is that many employers don’t advertise roles themselves and will exclusively use recruitment agencies, so using an agency can get you access to jobs that are not being advertised.  

Set up job alerts

Job alerts are another great way to automate your search. Google Jobs alerts are especially useful as they will pull jobs from across the internet and email them to you. To set these up, perform your search in Google Jobs. Next, turn on job alerts at the bottom left of the page.

Many other sites, such as job boards, support job alerts too. You can also sign up to Morgan Hunt job alerts to be notified about the best and most recent public sector jobs. 

Update your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn isn’t for everyone or every type of profession, but for most it’s a great way to network with others in your current or desired industry and set yourself up to be contacted about opportunities.

You should update your LinkedIn profile like you would your CV by including your most recent and most relevant experience. With the extra space you have to work with on LinkedIn you can also include information about your specific interests, career aspirations or other skills you have.

All the information you provide in your profile summary and experience is searchable by other people on LinkedIn, so recruiters will be able to find you for relevant vacancies they’re hiring for. 

Practice for interviews

It goes without saying that to get a job, you will need to interview for it if your application is successful. This is your opportunity to sell yourself, so being confident is important. But interviews can be nerve-wracking, so to avoid making mistakes you will later regret, practice for your interviews.

You should research the company and the role you are applying for, not only to demonstrate your interest in the job, but to help you come up with your own questions for things you’d like to know more about. Asking questions in the interview reflects well on you and will help you decide if the role is what you are looking for.

When it comes to answering their questions, make sure you prepare for general questions beforehand. You will want to provide relevant examples of work you’ve done that match the skills they’re looking for, so make sure you’re familiar with your experience. Writing all your experience out can be a helpful exercise to do this.

Here are some examples of basic interview questions you might face:

Tell me about yourself What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What do you think makes you right for this job? Where would you like to be in your career five years from now? What attracted you to this company/organisation?  Now go find your next job

By applying the tips in this article, you’ll be able to navigate the current job market with ease. Use them and we’re confident that you’ll find the right job for you in no time.

If you are looking for support in your job search and are interested in opportunities within the public sector, why not explore the vacancies we’re currently recruiting for or submit your CV to us through our Quick Drop CV tool – it takes less than a minute.

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Developing an inclusive hiring strategy (Webinar)

Developing an inclusive hiring strategy (Webinar)

28 Sep 2021

On 23rd March 2021 Morgan Hunt hosted a webinar on developing an inclusive hiring strategy. We were joined by Amarjit Singh Basi from the Black FE Leadership Group, Ann Allcock from Marshall E-Learning, and Kira van Niekerk from Thomas International.The session covered both the importance of having an inclusive hiring strategy, as well as the practical steps to implementing one. Watch the full recording below.

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The UK's unexpected job crisis

The UK's unexpected job crisis

14 Sep 2021

During the pandemic the market was such that redundancies and furloughing were high, resulting in fewer jobs and more people unemployed. As the grasps of the pandemic slowly lifted, expectations were that market conditions would return to normal. But to the suprise of many, the situation flipped and we are now experiencing a skills shortage in the UK. 

Job vacancies in Britain are roughly 20 percent higher than before the pandemic. Employers are on the search for people to fill their open positions, and there are still many seeking work, but the jobs don't align with what people are prepared for or want to do. 

The current market conditions were explored further in an article by the New York Times, in which Morgan Hunt's Managing Director, Dan Taylor, provided comment on the situation. When asked about the company's experience as a recruitment agency, he said "This has been a very quick bounce. In six months we went from struggling to find jobs for candidates who are registered with us to a situation where we just can’t find the specific skilled and experienced staff we need". 

Image from The New York Times. Photographed by Tom Jamieson for The New York Times. 

One example of the difficulties faced by employers is when Morgan Hunt was helping a public housing association hire a senior fire officer. Two people were ready to accept the job, until a department store offered higher pay, causing the candidates to pull out from the senior fire officer position. 

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Morgan Hunt staff sign up to become mentors

Morgan Hunt staff sign up to become mentors

12 Apr 2021

The pandemic has affected every part of society, but young people face a particularly uncertain time as they look to enter the job market, come to terms with ongoing furlough or recent redundancy.

Morgan Hunt have partnered with The Youth Group to offer the skills and experiences of our staff to mentor a growing number of young people who are seeking knowledge, advice, and support.

Dan Taylor, Managing Director of Morgan Hunt said “It comes as no surprise that the wonderful Morgan Hunt staff have voluntarily given up their time to help young people. Their experience and listening skills will prove invaluable to young people who may not have access to someone who can help and support them. It is another visible extension of the company’s desire to live our mission by inspiring working lives”.

More information including how you can register to become either a mentor or mentee with The Youth Group can be found on their website.

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Wellbeing and resilience advice for jobseekers (Webinar)

Wellbeing and resilience advice for jobseekers (Webinar)

29 Mar 2021

On 25th March 2021 Morgan Hunt hosted a webinar jobseeker wellbeing and resilience. We were joined by Alastair Smith-Agbaje (CEO of Lambeth & Southwark Mind), Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz (Frontline Clinician at Lambeth & Southwark Mind) and Suzanne Penny (Career Coach and L&D Expert. During the session we shared advice for jobseekers on how they can protect their mental health and remain resilient in their job search. Watch the full recording or read our summary below.

Covid-19 has significantly disrupted the UK job market. As most organisations prepared to meet the challenges of the pandemic, growth plans were halted. Normal hiring levels reduced significantly and restructuring in many organisations led to redundancy for many people. As a result, the competition for available roles has increased dramatically, and it is taking many jobseekers longer to secure work.

Although job markets are beginning to pick up, there are many who are still struggling with their job search. The effect of which cannot be underestimated. The experience of submitting applications for tens (sometimes hundreds) of jobs, attending interviews and facing rejection takes its toll on an individual’s wellbeing and ability to stay motivated.

As a jobseeker it is important to take care of your wellbeing and mental health so that you can continue to perform at your best. If you are showing up to interviews stressed, anxious and defeated, it’s more likely that it won’t go the way you hope. You’re far more likely to make mistakes and not communicate the value you can bring to your potential employer. So what can jobseekers do to ensure they don’t burn out?

Dealing with stress and anxiety

As well as feeling stressed or anxious, you are likely feeling tired from your job search. When you feel this way, the best thing may be to take a short break. It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself and to listen to what your body is telling you it needs. However, if you decide to take a break, you should still retain some structure and routine to your days. This will help you to still feel productive and positive. It also ensures you don’t lose your momentum. Don’t forget to include healthy habits like exercising and socialising with others.

Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz, who is a frontline clinician for Lambeth & Southwark mind, highly recommends doing something creative as an antidote to stress and anxiety. Having a creative outlet puts you on the side of love and life, helping to enrich and bring positive emotions into your day.

Dealing with rejection

Rejection takes its toll on us as individuals. It makes us question our self-worth and if we’ll ever make it. But it’s important not to dwell on these feelings.

If you were made redundant, remember that it is not a reflection of your skills and expertise. It was the role that was made redundant, not you, so have confidence on your ability. If you were rejected after an interview, know that you were invited to the interview for a reason. Someone saw something in your ability, which should give you confidence.

Viewing the interview as a learning experience can help change your perspective too. Focus on the elements of the rejection that you can control by using feedback to identify areas of growth and improvement.

If you have faced numerous rejection, you may want to take some time out to deal with the feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as build up your resilience again.

Building your resilience

Resilience is a resource which we build up and is then drained through the challenges we face. When we feel our resilience is low, we know that we need to take the time to build it up again.

The origin of the word comes from Latin, meaning both rebounding and recoiling. Resilience is our ability to bounce back, but in order to do so we must recoil from time to time. To do this, take a break from the tasks that have been draining you. Remember and reflect on positive reinforcement you have received from others. This will be help you rebuild your sense of value and self-worth.

Negative thoughts, which come as a result of stress, have an impact on how we feel and behave. But improving your mood can be as simple as telling yourself positive stories and affirmations   

How to remain positive when job searching and interviewing

After having many knockbacks and feeling like you’re not progressing, it can be difficult to remain positive and determined in your job search. To combat negative thoughts that might arise, try creating a mind map of testimonials and positive comments you have received. Refer back to this whenever you need a confidence boost.

Remember that although you have may have receive rejections, you have been invited to interviews because the hiring managers like what they see. With this in mind, try to relax in interviews and focus on emphasising the elements of your CV that your interviewer liked. And don’t forget to be prepared for your interviews. With preparation comes confidence.

Lastly, if you’re feeling anxious in an interview, view it is an opportunity to see if the organisation is a right fit for you. By changing your perspective, the interview becomes an opportunity for you to find the right fit for you. You’ll then feel enabled to have a relaxing conversation about what both you and the organisation bring to the table to determine if it’s a good fit.

 

By applying the tips above to stay positive and resilient in your search, your chances of getting the job will be improved as you’ll be able to bring your best self to your interviews. However, a positive mindset isn’t all you need to stand out in a competitive market. Here are some tips on how to improve your chances of getting the job:

Refresh your CV on job boards every 7 – 14 days. This will improve your chances of being found by recruiters and employers. Join groups on LinkedIn Join a job search group Network with others in your industry Take online course and develop key skills Do some volunteering to fill your time and gain experience Do some form of interview and career coaching

Overall, it’s important to stay positive and hopeful. A negative mentality will not help you to achieve your goals. Pay attention to the areas that you can improve and listen to yourself if you feel like you need a break. Good luck!

If you’d like to speak to a recruiter for career guidance or help finding your next role, get in touch.

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