News & Views

Why Advocacy Is a Great Field To Work In

Why Advocacy Is a Great Field To Work In

10 Nov 2022

Guest Blog — Written by Hammersmith, Fulham, Ealing and Hounslow Mind

There are so many careers to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start, or what to change to if you want to try something different. If you’re looking for a career with real meaning, where you’ll be able to make a difference and genuinely improve people’s lives, advocacy could be for you.

What is advocacy?

An advocate is an independent professional that speaks for someone who may not be able to speak for themselves. Advocates help their clients achieve their goals by listening to them, helping them understand their rights, providing them with options and choices to help empower them to take control of their lives. Advocates do not make decisions on behalf of their clients.

Advocates all work towards the Advocacy Charter that underpins and governs the work they do.

What you need to work in advocacyEmpathy

Advocates need a high degree of empathy to be successful. Being able to understand how your clients feel, and why, is important in being able to help them be fully understood by organisations that have the power to make a difference in their lives.

Independence

You are working for the client and take instruction from the client to ensure their voice is heard.

Advocates must ensure, at all costs, that they take instruction from the client and do as instructed.

The advocate should not be influenced by other organisations or work in a way that disempowers clients.

Communication and Listening Skills

A good advocate is able to listen to their clients and understand what their clients’ issues are.

A good advocate is also able to communicate effectively to everyone they work with, whether that’s their client, the organisation they’re liaising with, case workers, or the local authority.

With the client, and advocate needs to be able to explain processes or situations. They need to take instruction from their client on how the client wants to proceed with their case. They also need to help empower the client to speak up for themselves.

With organisations, advocates need to be able to explain the needs of their client, why their clients want certain changes made, and how this should proceed.

Communication isn’t only knowing what to say, it’s about knowing when to not say anything. Advocates often need to keep information confidential. This is incredibly important and helps keep people safe.

Why advocacy is a great field to work inYou directly help resolve clients’ problems

One of the most rewarding things about working in advocacy is that you get to help people improve their situations.

Whether it’s creating action plans, improving access to resources or infrastructure, or just helping a client feel understood, advocacy has a direct positive impact on people who need help.

Advocates may play a role in helping vulnerable people take the first step to recovery, or greater and more secure sense of wellbeing.

You help to improve services

A large part of working in advocacy is dealing with social services, community organisations, and government agencies. Advocates facilitate meetings to discuss their clients’ needs with the organisation that can help. Throughout this process, as an advocate, you have a unique position to point out how processes could be smoother, simpler, or more effective.

The systems that influence these processes aren’t set in stone. Advocates have regularly made the case for why things need to change or improve, and had a great impact on making things better for other advocates and clients who they will never even meet.

You help clients improve their self-advocacy skills

One of the most important things advocates do is help their clients improve their ability to articulate their own needs and desires, to make them able to advocate for themselves.

Advocacy often starts with gathering information on behalf of the client, helping them understand their position, their rights, and who they need to speak to in order to make changes.

Eventually, advocates may be able to help their clients understand this information, and act on it, to such a point that they no longer require an advocate at all.

At this point, the client can be considered able to self-advocate, and are better able to navigate things by themselves.

Advocacy is an incredibly rewarding field, where you can directly help people in difficult situations, and empower them to improve their own lives.

Learn more about advocacy, or check out Morgan Hunt’s candidate section.

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How To Get Into the Mental Health Sector

How To Get Into the Mental Health Sector

07 Nov 2022
“I’m a Psychology student and I want to get into the Mental Health sector but I have no experience! What can I do?”

 

The Mental Health Sector

With 1 in 4 people experiencing a mental health problem each year in England and 1 in 5 people with suicidal thoughts, Mental Health charities all over England are fighting to tackle stigma and support those who are struggling.

Only a small fraction of people experiencing poor mental health can afford private therapy and for those who can't, there are thousands of charities offering a range of Mental Health services for those individuals.

What do Morgan Hunt do?

Morgan Hunt is proud to work with a number of these leading Mental Health charities across England helping to support their recruitment needs. With an ever-growing need for more passionate members of staff, our recruiters are there to help advise individuals on their steps towards a rewarding career.

From Advocacy to Peer Support; Recovery Work to Community Engagement, the Mental Health charity sector has plenty of careers on offer. For many already working in the sector, there are many avenues to trial. However for those new to the sector, it’s knowing what route to take and how to get there in the first place.

For many Psychology or Mental Health students, starting your career can be daunting and for many individuals, knowing where to start is the biggest conundrum.

So where do I start?

As a Mental Health specialist recruiter, I receive a lot of CVs from Psychology or Mental Health graduates. Unfortunately, many have no relevant experience and it is difficult to find them a role within the sector with no prior practice in the field.

To work in the Mental Health sector, you need passion, tenacity and emotional sensitivity. While you may have this already, it is important to prove this in your work experience. It is important to understand that someone experiencing a crisis is considered vulnerable and needs a calm-mannered person to help alleviate a situation.

If you are still in your studies, now is the perfect time to do some work experience. Whether this is volunteering or a 2-week work experience, there are many roles available to budding Mental Health workers and it will look fantastic on your CV.

What options do I have?

Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/support-us/volunteer/become-samaritans-listening-volunteer/

One brilliant option to consider is a Listening Volunteer at Samaritans. With intense training provided, Samaritans offer an exceptional service for anyone who is in need of someone to talk to.  You will gain the ability to not only understand people but manage difficult emotions and conversations.

The Homeless Sector https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/volunteering/search/volunteer-to-feed-homeless-impoverished-people

Recorded over the past year, there were 28,882 homeless households recorded in 2021/22. Homeless charities are constantly in the need of volunteers to support those who are sleeping rough. Whether that is befriending, being part of a soup kitchen or signposting service users, there are plenty of options to consider.

With 45% of people experiencing homelessness diagnosed with a mental health issue, this experience will give you an understanding of various mental health problems, including alcohol and drug abuse

Befriending https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/befriending-services/

Loneliness is on the rise, with a number of over-50s experiencing loneliness set to reach two million by 2025/2026. With loneliness often comes depression and for many elderly people, being able to talk to someone on the phone or in person can help improve those feeling low. Befriending is a service offered by many charities, including Age UK. You can do it over the phone or in person and is a fantastic opportunity to work on your people skills.

Peer Support https://openmentalhealth.org.uk/individuals/peer-volunteer/ For those students who might have lived experience of poor mental health, there is an option for a career in Peer Support. Whether it is anxiety or depression, if you are someone who has accessed therapy in the past, you could make a great Peer Support Worker. Using your personal experiences and empathy to support other people can be an incredibly rewarding role and help those struggling to open up to you.

Finding an opportunity that works for you is ideal. I suggest considering these options listed above during your studies. After you graduate, many people will be in the same boat as you looking for a career with no experience to help kick-start this. Whether it is once a week or a few weeks of work experience, some experience looks better than none and gives you an opportunity to try out the sector and figure out what you enjoy and don’t enjoy.

Once you have this experience under your belt, I can help you find a career within the incredibly rewarding sector.

Morgan Hunt’s Amara Howe specialises in Permanent and FTC Mental Health recruitment. To get in touch for advice or to ask about roles, please get in touch with her via email at [email protected]

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IR35 - Genuine Solution Ahead?

IR35 - Genuine Solution Ahead?

12 Oct 2022

Is the repeal of the 2017 and 2021 reforms to the off-payroll working rules as part of last month’s ’Mini Budget’ statement the good news our contractors, employers and agencies wanted? What do you think? Are you ready for a change and do we actually know what the new legislation will mean?

Dave Hedges is a tax partner at Azets and says there is “an absence of fine detail” around how HMRC will manage the transition over the coming months. “While the changes are welcome and have been lobbied for, we are advising clients throughout the engagement chain to tread carefully pending clarification,” he said.

Some questions remain following the chancellor’s announcement that the Off-Payroll Working (OPW) rules are to be repealed from April 6th 2023. There are three main reasons for this:

Is it really going to happen? Nothing has changed yet and we have a Budget coming up in November, preceded by a government already doing a U-turn on its 45p tax rate plan. The possibility of further U-turns therefore seems significant. Fingers crossed that this promised repeal of the OPW rules goes ahead. But it’s not certain.

End-clients (both public and private sectors), agencies, umbrella companies, accountants and IR35/OPW advisers are all taking stock and wondering how this could affect their business. And yes, that goes for me too!

Contractors are realising that unless they have always been outside IR35 and working for ‘small’ companies (not affected by the OPW rules), that their own circumstances are complicated.  Notably where the contractor is:

currently with an umbrella, or

holding an SDS where the client has stated ‘inside IR35’, or;

regularly jumping between their PSC and an umbrella company depending on the IR35/OPW assessment.

At this stage (Q4 2022), nobody knows how the repeal of the OPW rules will work. That’s the unpopular, hard truth.  Many commentators are reaching for their crystal balls, with some suggesting that there will be new rules for contractors added onto the IR35 rules of old (2000), such as requiring contractors to complete Status Determination Statements. There’s even the odd whisper that end-clients will continue to determine IR35 status; that blanket bans on using PSCs will continue indefinitely, and that HMRC will declare some sort of ‘amnesty’ on prior SDSs with ‘inside’ results. As interesting as they are, these really are only opinions at this stage and should be taken as nothing more.

So what can we do now? Every part of the contracting chain needs to use this time to analyse the effects on their own businesses and it is vital that all get up to speed with IR35 version one (2000). 

Keep watching the contractor press for developments (the contractor ‘press’ that doesn’t just stick a press release up!).

Decide what you want to do -- if you could.

Collect and keep all evidence including SDS outcomes, online IR35 status tool outputs, end-client correspondence, contract review results, and working practices changes/opinions.

Find out about your personal situation now, to see what the options and (above all else) the risks are, and if a change in your status is feasible.

Speak to your client and find out what their position may be come April 6th 2023, especially if you are contracting with an organisation that has banned PSCs.

Take advice from only those that, as impartial as possible, understand all the rules (from 2000 onwards), and ideally those with hands-on experience of successfully defending IR35 HMRC investigations.

This could be great news for professional interim and self employed workers, it could be great news for large private companies and the public sector to attract and retain key skills to help them deliver growth and it could be great news for those involved in the supply of these people. For now, keep up to date, get planning and be ready, April will soon be here…

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Why Go Into Teaching?

Why Go Into Teaching?

15 Sep 2022
Back-to-school should need not be reserved for September, nor should it be reserved for children. The number of people considering a career in teaching is on the increase, with over a third of people (36%) considering getting into teaching.  In the UK, the teaching profession is not limited to a degree choice or a single entry route. And it's never too late to train to be a teacher. But how and where do you start?  Teaching can be a challenging profession, but there are numerous benefits to this exciting and rewarding career.  Variety

A Respected CareerTeaching is now considered one of the most respected careers in the UK. According to a Teach First poll, 42% of those surveyed voted this way – with around half (47%) agreeing that people underestimate how much impact a teacher can have on a child. As a teacher you have the opportunity to become an integral part of the community, getting to know parents and other staff. If moving to a new area, teaching is a good way to meet new people. 

Lots of ChoicesThere is a range of options too, from primary and secondary schools to independent, boarding schools and international schools to teaching roles within Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE). There are full-time roles, part-time teaching jobs, as well as supply teaching options.  Every Day Is DifferentYou’ll work through a new syllabus and a changing curriculum, teach new topics, and work with new pupils each year. You’ll be able to make decisions about what’s best for your students and lay out your own lesson plans. Although you’ll need to follow certain standards in your curriculum, you have the opportunity to inject your own personality into your job. Job FulfilmentMaking a DifferenceThink about your career, dreams, interests, and ambitions.  You might be able to trace it back to a special teacher who inspired, challenged, or helped shape what you do today. Improving the lives of children and young people is the main motivator behind those who choose to become teachers.Teaching is one of the most rewarding professions and there are many reasons why teachers love their job. When our team speaks to teachers here at Morgan Hunt, teachers often say that seeing students finally understand something they’ve been struggling with is rewarding. Teachers get to feel the direct impact of their work on a daily basis. There are many different reasons why people teach. While some have a calling to impact the lives of students, others are drawn to the profession for its ability to make a difference in the education system.  The Little MomentsAt the end of the day, teaching offers more than just a salary, pension, and holidays.  Teaching is full of little joys you can’t quantify and don’t come along in other vocations. There are student birthdays, school events and trips, charity fundraisers, and comradery with other teachers. When teaching reception and primary, there are the funny things kids say without intending to be funny, their genius ideas and their sense of curiosity. These are what energise schooldays and make teachers excited about work. SalarySalaries for TeachersThere isn't a straightforward answer when it comes to teaching salaries. There are different teaching positions within schools. These include teaching assistants, early years teachers, supply teachers, special education needs (SEN) specialists, and teachers with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) backgrounds, to name a few. All these have varying salaries. The location also plays a part. Teachers in London earn up to £5,000 per year more than their peers across the rest of the UK. Recent Teacher Salary IncreasesTeachers across the country benefited from pay increases of between 5% and 8.9% this September. Pay for experienced teachers who have been in the profession for more than five years will rise by 5% in the next academic year – an increase on the Government’s initial proposal of 3%, in recognition of the broader economic context and the School Teachers' Review Body (STRB’s) recommendations. The rise is equivalent to an increase of almost £2,100 on the average salary of £42,400 this year. Government Backing The recent pay increase – alongside the free-to-access training courses available to teachers – is part of the government’s drive to make sure there is an excellent teacher in every classroom. Starting SalariesThe government is making good progress towards meeting its manifesto commitment for new teacher pay to rise to £30,000. The starting salary for teachers outside London rose by 8.9%, with salaries reaching £28,000 in the 2022/23 academic year. From September 2022, a new teacher will now receive over £2,000 more this year than last. The competitive new starting salary will help attract top-quality talent. Those in the early stages of their careers have also benefited from increases, ranging from 5% to 8% depending on experience. Additional Salary BenefitsOn top of their basic salary, teachers may receive additional payments. Qualified teachers of SEN pupils may get an additional (SEN) allowance of £2,270 to £4,479 per year. There are payments for those taking on more responsibilities within the role. These teaching and learning responsibility (TLR) payments range from £2,873 to £14,030 per annum. BenefitsBeyond the SalaryOther benefits of a teaching career include automatic entry into the Teacher's Pension Scheme and extensive holiday periods. Job SecurityWhile other jobs are being replaced by technology or robotics, there will always be a need for teachers. A career in teaching offers job security and is one of the most recession-proof jobs, according to CNBC News. Job growth is expected to see a steady increase. The DfE forecasts that secondary schools will need 15,000 more teachers before 2025 to meet a 15 per cent rise in student numbers. The DfE forecasts that primary schools will need to maintain teacher numbers over the next decade, by ensuring the numbers entering keep up with those leaving.  Holidays and Flexibility Despite teachers enjoying a 195-day working year, there is still work to be done during the holidays. However, the summer, winter, and Easter breaks alongside half-term holidays allow teachers time to recharge. And while there might be some work to be done, this paid time off outside of the academic year is a bonus for teachers.For parents, teaching provides convenient scheduling. If you have children, you will be on a similar schedule. Teachers may need to do marking and lesson planning after school, but this can often be done from home.The holidays are not only a break from the classroom, but they enable teachers to spend more time with their children or families. Personal ProgressionLife-Long LearningTeachers not only get to share their existing knowledge, but they research new topics and learn along the way. Teachers need to keep on top of new technologies and trends.  Transferable skills There’s a high degree of mobility within the education field. Former teachers can go on to a variety of careers both inside and outside of education.  A Global CareerIf you’re a qualified teacher, you’ll be able to work around the world. Whether it’s teaching English as a foreign language or a specialised subject, you can live and work abroad. International schools often look favourably upon teachers who have trained and qualified in England. Becoming a TeacherTeachers are the fabric of the school system, and it is their dedication and skill that ensure young people can leave school with the knowledge and opportunities they need to get on in life.Many teachers find great satisfaction in their work. Despite the everyday challenges teachers face, a number of surveys conducted among teachers indicate that the vast majority of them are satisfied with their role. If you are interested in embarking on a career in teaching there are different paths to qualification and training. You can also reach out to our Education Recruitment Team - they have over 100 years of combined experience. 
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Temporary Work in FE: Advice to Those Looking

Temporary Work in FE: Advice to Those Looking

23 Aug 2022
As we approach the start of the academic year, FE Colleges recruit staff at pace, to cover permanent gaps, sickness and respond to student enrolment. To help the community we’re releasing a two part series on temporary work in FE and how to find the right jobs and talent, the first in our series explores finding work.  

FE Colleges have a huge range of courses and learners available, so there are often plenty of part time and temporary positions available. Temporary work is a great opportunity for those looking for flexibility, who may have their own business, have child care responsibilities  or are semi-retired and want to continue to work part time in their industry area.

There are some do's and don'ts to finding temporary work in FE and some benefits you might not have realised. Read on to find more information on temporary work and some tips to improve your chances of landing the job you want and getting the most out of it. 

Finding the right temporary job for you 

Make the most out of agenciesRegistering with recruitment agencies may seem daunting at first and you may think it will require lots of work. However agencies will prioritise candidates they are working with on a more exclusive basis, and thus increasing your chances of finding the perfect role.

At first you may think registering at every agency you can find would increase your chances of finding a job, however it can be tricky keeping tabs on different contacts at multiple agencies, providing vetting information to multiple companies and having your referees contacted by multiple people. We recommend you choose one or two agencies; enabling you to build a good relationship with the agency and the agency’s staff, so that they can fully understand your requirements and match you with the College that’s right for you.

Be flexibleTry to be flexible in your requirements, your recruiter will try and find you the most suitable job based on what you are looking for, however the ‘perfect’ job doesn’t always exist. It may be you need to travel a bit further than you ideally wanted to, teach a broader range of levels, pick up an extra day's work or look at shorter term contracts.

You will likely miss out on opportunities if you aren’t receptive to needs, as temporary staff recruitment moves very quickly, as colleges do everything they can to accommodate their learners.

Be availableThis one may seem obvious, but being available is crucial when it comes to temporary work, as Colleges will recruit new staff quickly to cover sickness and student enrolment, you may miss out on job opportunities if you are not keeping on top of your correspondence. So make sure to keep your phone on you, keep on top of your personal emails and keep in touch with your chosen agencies.

Nail the basicsWith so many people competing for the same jobs it’s important to stand out from the crowd. So make sure you’ve got the basics covered, your CV needs to be kept up-to-date and it’s a good idea to brush up on your interview skills, so that when you’re applying for jobs, you’re confident and prepared. You can find extensive guides available here: morganhunt.com/career-advice

 

Now you’ve found temporary work  

Express your availabilityJust because you start a position on a part time basis, due to the size of some colleges provisions, you may find you are offered more hours after you start work, either in the same or different departments. So if you’re looking for more hours, make your manager aware you would be interested in picking up more work and they can try to accommodate you and introduce you to other managers who can utilise your skills.

Keep in contact with your agencyIf there’s no additional work available in the College you are initially placed in, make sure to ask your agency to keep you posted about work at other organisations that fit around your timetable. It's often hard for agencies to find someone who can work for 1-2 days per week, so knowing a candidate who is already working for them and looking for additional hours can work well for both parties.

 

Unsure about temporary work?

If you are newly qualified or have recently finished a permanent job and are ideally looking for a new permanent opportunity, make sure to keep an open mind about temporary work as this can often lead to longer term opportunities. 

Misconceptions in FE Temporary workTemporary teaching work in the FE sector is generally not the same as day to day supply teaching, most synonymous with schools. Generally, unless there is a very short gap to be covered, there is an expectation that temporary Lecturing staff in Colleges will complete and undertake lesson preparation and marking for their classes, which is usually included in the hourly or daily rate. A temporary lecture job in FE isn’t just about managing the class.

Benefits of FE Temporary workYou will be an integral part of the team when approaching a temporary contract in FE. You will be included in team meetings and often gain access to CPD opportunities, and will play an important role in the success of your department and the learners.

Possibility of permanentIf you’re ultimately looking for permanent work, make sure to find out from your agency about why there is a vacancy. If it is because someone has left a permanent role or they have been unsuccessful in recruiting for the permanent equivalent, then this creates a great opportunity for you to go in and demonstrate your skills and aptitude for the job to the College, putting yourself in a great position to be offered a permanent role.

 

Find your next job 

By applying the tips in this article, you’re sure to find the right job for you in no time.  If you are looking for a new role in FE why not reach out to our Education Recruitment Team, they have over 100 years combined experience and are proud to be a key supplier of staff to FE. You can email our team at [email protected] or why not explore the vacancies we’re currently recruiting for.

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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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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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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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