Candidate Hub

Career Advice


Morson have been matching the best candidates with the best jobs for over 50 years, giving us unparalleled experience when it comes to giving great career advice. 

Whether you are actively looking for an opportunity, wanting to push yourself to the next level or are just starting out on your career journey, Morson recruitment teams are on hand to support you through your job search.

Check out our selection of career top tips below, visit our YouTube channel for career advice from our experts or get in touch for help from a specialist. 


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The Morson Candidate Hub offers a wealth of advice, insight and highlights. Take a look around to find out about our latest events, competitions and videos.

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    The Job Switch Checklist | 5 Things to do to Get Ready For Starting a New Job

    Starting a new job can be a daunting experience, whether you’re moving onto your next role or if it’s your first ever job. There are many questions that may be running through your head… is the job going to live up to your expectations? What are your colleagues going to be like? Are you going to get along with your manager? Even though there will inevitably be things that are out of your control, there are some things that you can do to try and give yourself the smoothest possible transition into your exciting new job. Research the company and culture Make sure that you put some time aside for researching the company that you’re moving to. If you’ve had to have an interview to get the job in the first place, it’s likely that you’ll have already looked into the company to prepare yourself, but a refresh is always a good idea! We suggest taking a quick look at online review sites such as Glassdoor as they can be a great way to get a feel for the company’s culture. Remember to be open-minded about reviews left by former employees though, as some may have been left in bad taste and may not represent the experience that you’ll have at the company. Practice the commute The last thing that you want to do on your first day is to be late. Again, if you’ve already had an interview on the company’s premises, you’ll have made the journey before and will hopefully have a good idea of how long it’s going to take you. Make sure you take into consideration any busy periods and if your hours of work coincide with rush hour, it might be worth practising the journey a couple of times before you start. Give yourself plenty of time for the first few days until you know exactly how long the commute takes so you can leave home at the right time. Plan your first day Make sure that you thoroughly read through your contract and job description before starting your new job and know what the key requirements are. What are the set working hours? What’s the dress code? Ensure that you bring in any key documentation to prove your identity and your eligibility to work in the relevant country/countries. Your job may require specialist equipment so it’s essential to know what you will need to provide yourself and what the company will be providing for you before you start. Don’t be afraid to ask questions It’s inevitable that you will come across testing situations, especially early on in your new job. You won’t know everything straight away so make sure you fire away as many questions as you can when you first start, whether that’s relating to the technicalities of the job or something that’s HR-related. This will mean that you avoid worrying about things further down the line when it may seem too late to ask even the simplest of questions! Take it easy Moving into a new job can be stressful for us all, but it’s important to find the right balance between preparing for your next role and taking things easy to give yourself the best start as possible. You may have a few days off between jobs that may present you with a chance to tick-off some long-overdue admin tasks that you’ve been putting off for months. But just remember that the priority is giving yourself the best possible chance to get off to a good job in your new job. If possible, get in as much rest as you can before your switch so you’re ready to give 100% straight away. Still looking for that perfect new job? You can search all of our current vacancies here. Or, if you want to read some more career advice, click here.

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    How to Decide Between Two Job Offers

    A lot of the time the career advice you receive is based around getting a job. How to write your CV, our top tips for smashing your interview and how to work with recruiters are all topics which we’ve covered in our blogs to ensure you have the best chance possible of securing your dream role. But what happens if you’re offered two jobs? Well first off, congratulations! All that hard work has paid off! Today, we share our top tips on how to decide between two job offers. We know it can be a tricky situation and often one that you must decide on pretty quickly, so run through our top tips below to help you make an informed decision. Compare the two jobs side-by-side Firstly, get the offer details in writing so that you have all the information that you need to make the decision. Chances are, if you’ve been through the interview process, you will already know your roles and responsibilities but it’s a good idea to have them written down in order to compare. Additional things to consider are any benefits, the commute, salary, bonus, hours, company reputation and any growth opportunities. Once you have all of the information you need, you can compare both roles side-by-side. One thing to note is that it’s easy to be swayed by your emotions or ‘quick wins’, i.e. ‘this company takes their staff on holiday once a year’ or ‘the pay is better at X, so why would I consider Y’, but it’s worth slowing down to consider the whole picture to make sure your choice is going to make you happy in the long run. Access how each role aligns with your long-term career goals Do you have better progression opportunities in one role? Maybe one of the company’s is offering to put you on a training course that you’ve always wanted to do? One of the main reasons people change jobs Is to advance their career, so when you’re deciding between two job offers its important to consider your long-term ambitions and goals for the future. If you have certain career goals set in place, now is your time to access how each role will align with your long-term career goals to ensure you stay on the right path to success. Consider the culture A factor that many people oversee, culture! In today’s recruitment world, company culture is becoming more and more important as candidates are looking beyond the typical benefits of working at a company such as salary and are now looking for added value. However, although benefits are something you should take seriously, they ultimately won’t matter too much if you don’t enjoy your work. What constitutes a good culture fit largely depends on the individual so it’s up to you to reflect on your experiences with each company to decide whether their culture is a good fit for you. These experiences can be your communication with them so far, how you felt at the interview and how you connected with your interviewers. Trust your gut Sometimes you have to trust your gut and If you have an unexplainable positive or negative feeling about one job or the other, don't ignore it. You should weigh up and red flags that you noticed throughout the interview process, for example, did you get on with the hiring manager? Which interview did you feel more comfortable in? Imagine yourself working in each of the spaces, interacting with clients and co-workers, grabbing lunch, and commuting. How does it feel? Which place allows you to be yourself and honours your talents and strengths? Most of all, don’t be rushed into making a snap decision! A company worth working for will respect you need some time to weigh up your options. Still looking for that perfect job? Click here to freshen up your job-hunting skills with tips and advice on everything career-related! Or, you can get straight to it and browse Morson’s current vacancies here.

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    How to Maximise Efficiency When Working from Home

    With the UK Government now focussing on delaying the spread of Coronavirus, many firms are allowing their employees to work from home in order to trial its success before any potential quarantine comes into effect. Working remotely, in general, is one of the most coveted perks you can find in a job and there are many benefits to working from home. It reduces the need to commute, saving time and helping the environment and it can have a huge positive impact on your wellbeing. However, it can uncover its challenges too. How do you keep yourself from getting distracted? How do you go about effectively communicating online? Everyone who works remotely must figure out when to work, where to work, and how to create boundaries between work life and personal life. Office equipment, career development, training opportunities and building relationships with colleagues are all factors that should be considered when working remotely. In our latest blog, Ben Fitzgerald, Head of Professional Services at Morson looks at how to maximise efficiency when working from home to ensure it works well for you and the company you work for. Create your own environment First off, it’s important to set a work schedule and stick to it. Having clear guidelines for when to work and when to sign off is the key to maintaining a good work/life balance. Decide if there’s anything you need to do before/after you start your day and schedule that in too. Your environment is everything so here’s where you should consider any elements of your set up that may increase your productivity. Sitting on the sofa in your pyjama’s may sound appealing to some, but will that make you the most efficient when it comes to getting your work done? In the current climate, the chances are if you’re working from home, members of your family could be doing the same. So, we suggest setting some ground rules with other people in your home when you work. If you have children who come home from school while you're still working, they need clear rules about what they can and cannot do during that time. Get the right tools in place If you’re working from home for any length of time there’s a good chance that you’ll need to arrange a meeting, whether that be via conference call or video calling. For that, you need to ensure you have the right tech in place to keep them running effectively and ensure they are optimised for time, decision-making and outputs. Your company’s IT department should be able to advise you on which project management, collaboration and web conferencing tools to use and it’s a good idea to have everything in place before you start working from home in order to hit the ground running. Keep in mind extra employer scrutiny Another facet to consider when remote working is what the employer will additionally expect of you in terms of reporting. Employees will be expected to still adhere to KPI’s and should be aware of additional scrutiny from bosses in terms of workload and targets. Having a good system of communication with your colleagues and line manager will ensure everyone is clued up on your workload and task completion. Visibility is key for management, so regular updates at agreed times should be recommended to give employers peace of mind that everything is running smoothly. Use it as an opportunity Do you have a certain task that you’ve been putting off? Whilst working in the comfort of your own home you can use the opportunity to really focus and get stuff done! You won’t have the usual distractions of the office which hopefully means that you can maximise efficiency when working from home. Optimise remote team collaboration Slack. Google Hangouts. Skype. LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams. Whatever communication platform you use, you’re able to still work together with your teammates and maintain team spirit and trust. Now is the time to leverage technology to work closely with your team. Prolonged isolation can lead to weakened productivity and motivation – not to mention it’s incredibly detrimental to your mental wellbeing. So, if you don’t have a job that requires you to be on the phone or video chat, then you need to put in the extra effort to stay connected. In this uncertain time, the need to be flexible and adjust to new ways of working is more important than ever. But with the help of a little technology, we’re certainly able to maintain team collaboration and maximise efficiency when working from home. How have you found working from home? Tweet us with your suggestions for getting the most out of your day! Ready to progress your career? Search Morson jobs here and grasp every opportunity.

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    How to become a HR Business Partner

    Over the last few years Human Resource Business Partner roles have become much more common place within progressive businesses. This is largely due to more and more employers adopting the HR Business Partnering model. This model aims to align the central HR functions with the top and central levels of an organisations workforce infrastructure, including HR managers and directors. Demand for HR Business Partner professionals has spiked recently. Mainly as it allows organisations who successfully adopt the model to make quicker business changes based on HR functions. Many companies look for a business partner to join the senior team to drive positive business change from a HR perspective. The rise of agile working Over the last decade, and with the rise of the 'digital start-up' companies, more and more organisations are choosing to adopt a more 'agile' working structure. Technically, agile working essentially compartmentalises an organisations employee structure, so that every team is self-managed and can react to quick changes. Whereas senior level decision making is led by an agile team of senior staff. With market demands always changing, companies with the right agile working structure can adapt quickly to meet these demands. This ability to change alongside market demands provides companies with a distinct competitive edge. This has provided senior HR professionals with a new exciting opportunity to work in a contemporary fast paced environment. Traditionally, senior HR professionals would work in a static centralised HR department. Their role would centre heavily around defining company policies and facilitating the day to day HR functions. Whereas today, companies can look to a HR Business Partner to support and work with different heads of departments. For example, with the finance director or management accountant to drive multi-disciplinary business change. If for example a company decides to change it's infrastructure to align with market demands, it would be the role of the business partner to work agilely to implement this new strategy, manage HR projects and typically lead the HR team. No two HR business partner jobs are the same The role and central responsibilities of a HR Business Partner can typically vary as they must align closely with an organisations specific infrastructure. One organisation may require a candidate who possess specific skills in talent acquisition and management, often known as a Resourcing Business Partner. Whilst another may require a candidate with a strong background in business strategy and finance, known typically as a Finance Business Partner. It is therefore the role of the recruiter to gain a deep understanding of a candidate’s experience, skillset and aspirations to ensure a successful partnership. What are the business needs of today? A good business partner will constantly ask themselves 'what are the business needs of today?' and 'how can I facilitate them?' These two questions form the basis of almost any business partner role. Once a need has been identified, the business partner will then work closely with the right people to implement change and meet the demands of the business. Peter Wilson, National President of the Australian Human Resources Institute says, "The business partner’s role is to put in place the policies and practices of the people of the organization that are aligned to the operational needs of the business or, if there’s a big strategic change, then the people management processes to move people from doing things one way to whatever the new form of implementation is.” What are the main responsibilities of a HRBP role? Even though many HR Business Partner jobs can differ, there are still a few general competencies that a candidate must possess. According to a study of over 100 HRBP job descriptions, there are around six essential skills. Those are: Communication Business Acumen General HR Expertise Recruitment / Resource Expertise People Management Analytical / Computer Skills Education Typically, a successful HRPB candidate will possess a degree level education in either Human Resources or a business-related subject. Accreditation can also typically be required, such as a CIPD recognised certificate in Human Resources or business. Experience Experience is vital in almost all HR Business Partner jobs, but depending on the company and its demands, the level of experience can often vary. Many companies look for an experienced HR Business Partner with around 4 years’ experience of working in a HR role and with supervisory or management experience seems to be the average. However, reviewing a job description and list responsibilities is always the best way to determine whether you are capable of meeting the demands of the role. Career Path The average career path of a HR Business Partner typically follows the same progression path. Progression path: HR Business Partner - Senior HR Business Partner - Head HR Business Partner - HR Director - Chief Human Resources Officer. Chief Human Resources Officer is widely recognised as the highest possible HR position. This role will often require a HRPB to move to larger organisations to finally attain the position. Find the right HR jobs with Morson At Morson we work with some of the worlds largest employers to provide HR professionals working all levels with exciting career opportunities. Start searching for HR jobs here... If you are looking for exciting HR jobs that are tailored to you, get in touch with us for more information on 0161 707 1516.

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    Managing Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing in Uncertain Times

    Morson Wellbeing Q&A Series Episode 1: How do I stop myself from feeling overwhelmed during this time? Over the next few weeks, Morson Group health, wellbeing and engagement partner, Heather Deering, will be presenting a series of informative videos in response to common health and wellbeing questions being asked of her by our employees. Our wellbeing series will allow us to support our wider community during, and beyond, this uncertain time. In this first episode, Heather discusses how to cope during times of crisis and guides us through some practical steps we can take to limit feelings of helplessness and being overwhelmed... These past few weeks have been really strange for everyone, including me. It’s an incredibly challenging time for everyone’s health and wellbeing and with that in mind we produced a guide to ‘Looking After Your Physical and Mental Wellbeing During COVID-19’. If you haven’t been able to access the guide, you can download your copy here. The guide covers several wellbeing topics, from looking after your mental health to physical and nutritional suggestions, but people have also been approaching me directly to ask questions. I really encourage this and I’m filming this wellbeing series to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, so that everyone can access the insights. In this first session, I want to cover a topic that is affecting all of us… how do I stop myself from feeling overwhelmed during this time? Firstly, you can’t stop yourself from feeling anything, this is an overwhelming time, one that none of us have ever experienced in our lifetime. It’s normal to feel anxious, worried or sad about the events that are going on. You should never feel bad or guilty for feeling this way. That being said, there are things that you can do to stop these feelings from becoming overwhelming and protect your mental health. In the week that the coronavirus response was ramping up over Europe, I was glued to the news and social media to get every update that I possibly could. This continual checking of the news and desperate feeling of a need to stay up to date with every development are ways that we try to assert control over events which are seemingly out of our control. However, by doing this you are likely to exacerbate anxiety, and this was particularly true for myself. If this is something that resonates with you, you may want to reassess how you are consuming news and whether this is actually helpful to you. It’s important that we do stay up to date to ensure we’re following governments guidelines and acting responsibly in order to protect ourselves and those around us. But, it’s possible to do this in a way that limits our exposure to information overload, which is a direct contributor to making us feel overwhelmed. Here are my simple recommendations to help you limit the impact of, anxiety inducing, information overload: Turn off news notifications A really simple technique, but so important. Turning off your notifications means that you control when you access the news. In doing this, you’ll choose to seek out information rather than being passively provided with it when you may be relaxing or trying to actively disengage, before sleep for example. So, try choosing times of the day where you allow yourself to access the news. Personally, I’m just trying to tune into the daily press conference as I know that will give me the key information that I need to stay informed and stay safe. Think about where you’re getting your information from In a world of sensationalism and ‘fake news’ remember to question the sources of the information you’re being provided with. Make sure that what you’re reading or watching is reliable. There’s a lot of questionable reporting at the best of times and social media is a major contributor to this. Information reported by Facebook or sent in a WhatsApp group may not be reliable or accurate. These news items are often shared by friends, family or colleagues with the best intentions, but misinformation or sensationalised information is not helpful. Ensure that you’re consuming news from credible sources such as gov.uk, The World Health Organisation or the NHS. Seek out the good news stories Good news is out there. A lot of the major news outlets have channels dedicated to good news stories as well as Instagram channels (however, remember my above point about being aware of credibility). As awful as these situations are, they can also bring out the best in people and you can’t underestimate how uplifting that can be. On that note, something that can really help to anchor us is looking for ‘silver linings’ and ‘bright sides’, no matter how seemingly insignificant they can be. A lot of mental health charities and mental health organisations have issued ideas and guidance on how to remain positive and one thing that is often suggested is a ‘gratitude journal’. In a ‘gratitude journal’ you note down one or two things each day that you are grateful or thankful for – if this seems too far out of your comfort zone just try to focus on those positives in your mind. Global crises such as this can make us feel helpless, and that in itself can make us feel overwhelmed. But, we can all play a part in making the world a better place right now. Things as small as not participating in panic buying, respecting physical distancing and thinking about the quality of the information you’re sharing on social media all helps to ensure the emotional and physical safety of others. If you are able, consider engaging in volunteering. Volunteering can take many forms; from donating to food banks, to checking on elderly people in your community to see if they need any help and volunteering to be a phone buddy for an isolated person. Many councils have set up emergency volunteering schemes, community groups are organising help via Facebook and of course there is the NHS Volunteer Responders scheme which will be invaluable in the fight against coronavirus. Having said that, it is enough to only look after one person during this crisis and it’s OK if that person is you. So, find the things that are going to help you relax; exercise, baking, reading, binge watching Netflix, now is the time for us all to practise self-care and concentrate on the things we enjoy, but may not ordinarily have the time to do. Remember, we still must exercise balance. A startling report showed that in March, supermarket sales of alcohol outsold groceries. This just serves as a reminder to be mindful of the coping mechanisms your using at this time, and whether these will serve you and your family well in the longer term. Finally, something we can easily forget when we’re in the midst of this, is that it is temporary. One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, daily life will return to normal. Keep your questions coming in and I’ll see you on the next Q&A! If there is a question that you would like answered or topic you think would be worth covering please email me heather.deering@morson.com

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    Can You Keep Creative Sparks Lit Whilst Working Remotely?

    Ever since remote working became a ‘thing’ back in the early 1970s, the debate continues as to whether working from home inspires or stifles creativity. During a once-in-a-century public health crisis, we see millions of employees now working from home – many of which are not accustomed to doing so. As dining room tables and spare bedrooms are transformed into temporary office spaces, there’s been a real challenge to ensure employees remain connected. This is exactly what we’ve been striving to achieve here at the Morson Group. Strategic communications are playing a vital role in helping to retain our family ethos and values and provide the right tools to support our people in staying productive, creative and energised. Several studies suggest that working from home does ignite creativity. Virtual communication tools like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Slack allow creativity to blossom in remote settings. Supporting ‘face-to-face’ interactions through digital means often helps to spark new perspectives and ideas that may alter the direction of a project or goal, whilst enriching its result. This sharing of ideas is extremely important for creativity and since it’s harder to remain in constant contact with your team, it is recommended to set reminders to interact at certain points of the day and support the free flow of ideas. Research also suggests that time spent brewing up for the team or running into a colleague in the lift can boost collaboration. These small social moments are essential for creativity and easing anxiety, so remember to dedicate time to personal conversations and retaining team camaraderie, rather than getting straight to business. Informal get-togethers are just as important as formal meetings, so try to implement a virtual coffee break whereby the team can connect without expectation and create a feeling of connection and trust. This aspect is crucial when considering the mental health agenda and the benefits of virtual interaction during a time of social distancing. On the flip side, studies have also shown that working from home for extended periods can leave employees feeling professionally and socially isolated due to having fewer opportunities to interact and acquire information. This counter-argument suggests that creative sparks can only fly when we’re physically present amongst our colleagues and partners, rather than communicating via Zoom or other digital means. Beyond any lost creativity and companionship comes loneliness, which is caused by the breaking of social bonds which are deemed necessary to productive teamwork. Employees need to, therefore, develop new habits and work to normalise video conferencing to ensure our craving for social interaction continues to be met. Working from homes gives employees greater autonomy over how they manage their workload, including the hours and the conditions of their work. The eight-hour workday revolutionised working habits in the late 1800s and has dramatically influenced workplaces. Yet today’s interconnected world where people can continue to be productive outside the parameters of the office means that they may no longer need a set 9-5 schedule to fulfil their duties. As schools remain closed, many employees now suddenly find themselves working from home with children to homeschool and care for. In such instances, it’s important to be strategic in how you plan your day to ensure this is tailored to your working environment. On a practical level, we must maintain a set routine and structure wherever possible to manage our energy levels and support creative thinking. As people’s commutes increase, there’s also the argument that working from home gives us back that valuable time spent away from our family. The average commute in the UK sits at just under an hour – 58.4 minutes to be precise. This figure also differs depending on where you live, with Londoners losing an average of 81 minutes a day commuting. Studies suggest that working from home blurs the lines between work life and downtime. It is, therefore, crucial to implement boundaries and draw a line under the day, so it doesn’t begin to encroach into your home life. It’s difficult to switch off, so implement some clear rules and goals. Without your regular commute it can be difficult to switch off, so provide a separation between work and home wherever possible. Creativity is an asset that businesses cannot afford to neglect, with it being key to fostering an engaged and innovative workforce. The Coronavirus pandemic has presented the opportunity to implement new technology and a stronger culture that, when the economy is back to full force, could make remote working more accessible to those workers who want to take advantage of it. Working from home is the lifeline to ensuring business continuity for many and if balanced correctly, the COVID-19 outbreak could be the catalyst for seeing such working arrangements become the new norm. Ready for a new creative challenge? Check out our latest professional services and digital opportunities.

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    Our Guide to Managing a (Newly) Remote Team

    As managers and leaders we may have flown through these past 3 weeks by the seat of our pants, however as we likely move into a phase of extended lockdown, it's important to consider the longer term engagement techniques that will ensure your team remain motivated and productive whilst working remotely. Leaders whose teams usually share an office, now find themselves in the throes of a global pandemic and facing a host of challenges around how to effectively manage, support and stay connected with their employees who are remote working. Despite COVID-19 altering the way companies operate, managers should see the present-day situation as a new opportunity. From personal experiences of managing newly remote teams, we discuss the challenges and shine a spotlight on the opportunties for keeping employees happy and inspired, whilst driving productivity during this uncertain time. Common challenges Before focusing on the proactive measures and recommended tactics, managers must first understand the inherent challenges that remote working has the potential to present. A lack of face-to-face supervision means that some managers may fear that their team isn’t working as efficiently or as hard as it could be. Remote working studies show that home-based employees also risk feeling that their managers are out of touch with their needs. Failure to provide important information is a major barrier, including gaining answers to even simple questions. Loneliness is one of the most common complaints when remote working, with employees craving the interaction that they gain from an office setting. Over time, this can lead to a disconnect amongst staff, with employees feeling less of a belonging to their organisation. At home distractions can impede remote working, with many employees contenting with suboptimal workspaces and the need to juggle office responsibilities with home-schooling and care requirements. Opportunities for success Whilst remote working has the potential to be fraught with challenges, those who revert to the fundamentals of good leadership can garner real success. Managers must set clear goals and expectations amongst the team. This is crucial for preventing burnout, as employees run the risk of having a workday that never ends and which subsequently sets them up for failure, exhaustion and resentment. Without a physical presence, managers can also no longer judge an employee’s effectiveness in-person. Instead, try to focus your efforts on what is being accomplished and the bigger picture goals. Establish team norms. With the normal working day turned somewhat upside down, these norms are a set of practices to adopt whilst working remotely, which could take the form of a series of individual or team video calls. If is fundamental that these check-ins are regular, that they provide an open forum for people’s questions and concerns to be heard, and that you ensure those who are attending are present and aren’t multi-tasking. Provide several lines of communication as relying solely on email at such times is insufficient. Today’s suite of technology options provides team members with the same visual cues as if they were meeting face-to-face, which helps to reduce any sense of isolation. Communication is of paramount importance when working remotely. Such methods of communication also prove useful for the sharing of complex or sensitive information, as well as troubleshooting problems or conducting difficult conversations that would otherwise be had face-to-face. With many employees having been thrown into remote working requirements almost overnight, there runs the risk of people quickly becoming disconnected and lonely. Don’t forget to prioritise the personal conversations and foster real-time human connection by providing opportunities for rich social interaction. Such a technique is crucial for all remote working employees but particularly important in today’s situation whereby many workforces have been swiftly transitioned out of the office. It helps to foster and maintain team morale, whilst ensuring your team feel valued. Working from home is also a fantastic opportunity to cover the basics. Ensure that everyone in the team understands their purpose, their objectives and how they contribute to the overall outcomes. Understanding their role helps to reduce feelings of isolation and in fact, promotes a sense of belonging when delivered correctly. It also helps to build a trusting culture from the ground up and works to prevent micromanagement. Many businesses have had remote working thrust upon them without the proper time to prepare and implement robust working practices. But removing the physical location of an office has opened a world of management opportunities, with leaders able to discover new ways to lead and inspire. In many instances, these activities were already present in the workplace but COVID-19 has given us the chance to find new ways of thinking and doing.

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    Making it Work from Home: Eight Top Tips for a Productive Work Day

    The effects of COVID-19 have created business unusual for many of us, with working from home becoming the norm. For a huge percentage of the population, this is a sudden and new working environment and it can be challenging to juggle work, school and home life in one space. Much of the challenge lies in a single word: ‘routine’. Our 'normal' routine is established, collaborative and, although it may be flexible, it will almost certainly involve fixed points and other people. At home, however, an environment that is usually separate from the deadline-driven professional world of work, life is generally much more relaxed and less regimented. If we’re going to work from home, we need to merge these two worlds, without losing focus during the nine-to-five, and without allowing the home office to infiltrate our downtime. It’s not easy, particularly when we’re already coping with all the anxiety of these extraordinary times, along with the social isolation and health concerns that come with them. For some people, loneliness and mental health will be ongoing challenges, while for others, a busy family home will be at odds with the need for a quiet and professional workspace. The picture looks different depending on your job role, your home environment and your previous experience of working from home. We wanted to offer some real-world tips and advice, however, so we asked some of the Morson Group team for their insights on how to adapt to working from home and adopt new routines. Establish a regular workspace With the sun shining for most of us, the spring weather creates the temptation to work in the garden on days when it’s fine but part of establishing a routine at home is anchored in being ‘at work’. Lots of people have shared their 20 second commute from the bedroom to the spare room on social media, but not all of this is tongue in cheek. The transition from home to work environment is part of the process of stepping from one mode to the other. Perhaps more importantly, it also allows you to step away from work at the end of the day, even though you’re at home throughout. Having a workstation, no matter how Heath Robinson it may be, enables you to get organised, have everything you need to hand and step into a professional, focused environment. You can still pop to the kitchen for a cuppa and take a lunch break in the garden (more on this below), but you will clearly differentiate between work and home. Rebekah Lee, head of marketing at Morson, explained how important this is to her: “I pop the coffee on and go and clean and tidy my workspace first thing in the morning. I find that having a clean and uncluttered workspace is essential for me to take control of my day, feel centred and organised.” Wake up for work Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean office hours are out of the window. Getting up at a regular time and having a routine for how you spend your time getting ready for work is just as important when you’re working from home as it is when you’re in the office. As Kerry Redmond, executive manager - head of Morson Screening commented: “I wake up early and like to sit outside if the weather is nice. Usually, I will take our gorgeous doggy around the block and through the park and back home again, all before 7.30am. I think it is great to have a good morning routine and get up, washed and dressed and ready to work in line with your usual working day.” Sleep your way to productivity Just as important as getting up at a regular time for work is going to bed at a regular and reasonable hour. It’s tempting when every day feels like a weekend to slip in to weekend habits of late nights, particularly if you’re living with a partner who has been furloughed. The pressures of these strange times can make sleep more difficult than usual, so a good sleep routine is not just important for productivity but also for good mental health. Organise your day One of the biggest challenges for many people is that the external structures that map out how you manage your workload are not in place when you’re working from home, so it’s important to establish a routine that works for you. In this way, you can focus on tasks without becoming distracted and maximise your productivity. For many of the Morson team, this means catching up and planning in the morning. Rebekah said, “I begin the workday by answering emails and scheduling activity, then I can dive into the day’s projects.” Kerry echoed this sentiment: “I think it is key to tackle your inbox in the morning,” she said, “and then any specific pieces of work or client activity in the afternoon.” Get fit for work Exercise might not be going to the gym at the moment, but it should still be part of your routine because it helps us to feel energised and ready for work. One of the Morson team told us that he’s enjoying an hour-long bike ride early each morning before work, for example, because there’s so little traffic on the roads Rebekah maintains that exercise is key for her too. “I find that exercise in the morning works really well for me, so I set my alarm around 6, giving me time to fit it in before work. I struggle with meditation and yoga, so for me it’s cardio in the morning to get me focused and clear my head, which either means a HIIT session or a run just as the sun is coming up and the only sound is birdsong.” Others have found the plethora of online exercise classes is a great way to start the day. As one of the team said: “PE with Joe Wicks in the morning is a great way to start the day with exercise and family time before I open my laptop and start work.” Breaks are good for you For most of us, working from home means working alone, which is something many of us are not used to. It may mean that we’re not frustrated by interruptions but it could also prevent us from having the natural breaks we’d have to catch up with colleagues or pop out for a sandwich if we were in the office. Taking regular breaks is important, whether it’s topping up your vitamin D in the garden or checking the kids’ progress with the day’s home schooling tasks. As Kerry told us: “It is so important to take regular breaks away from your work area to keep focused working from home all day.” Feed your productivity The downside to working from home is that you’re always a short walk from the fridge. It’s all too easy to fall into a snacking habit but it’s not great for productivity. Try to keep to regular mealtimes and eat a nutritious lunch. As one of our team told us: “poached egg on toast has become a lunchtime favourite because the time it takes to make it gives me a chance for a proper break from my desk and it keeps me full all afternoon.” Get social One of the hardest challenges of the lockdown is the lack of social interaction it involves. For those who live alone, the change to working from home involves an especially difficult transition from a busy office. It’s important to catch up with colleagues and, where possible, do this by telephone or video chat rather than email to maximise human contact during the day. For Kerry, whose partner also works for Morson, this is much less of an issue. “We have set up a “mini Morson” at home,” she said. “It’s great having someone who works for the same company to bounce ideas off and chat decisions through… though I can’t get a word in edgeways at the moment!”

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    Keeping the Recruitment World Turning: Using Tech to Support our Clients and Candidates

    In these challenging times many businesses have, understandably, chosen to put recruitment on hold. However, for those who may not be recruiting simply because they do not think it’s possible right now, there are opportunities for businesses to continue to shape their organisation. As a recruitment business we thrive off creating personal connections, meaning that the physical distancing imposed by the COVID-19 response is an obvious challenge. However, our new normal has uncovered opportunity, with recruiters and clients discovering new ways to engage, communicate with and source top talent. With greater utilisation of recruitment and business technology, Odro, Skype, MS Teams and Slack, we have continued to effectively support many clients with their recruitment requirements. COVID-19 has given us the chance to explore the full potential of these tools, meaning that recruitment does not necessarily have to be put on hold. Our recruiters are experiencing first-hand the benefits of virtual engagement and HR recruitment manager Craig Saxby spoke with Odro about making his first, fully remote, permanent (and one of their quickest ever) placement with the technology. This specific role is with a client who we’ve not done business with before. At Morson we take an extremely consultative approach with each client, and we took the time to fully understand their challenges, creating a bespoke solution to help them achieve their objectives. From there we we’re briefed on several roles across HR and IT… this was 4/5 weeks ago, right on the cusp of when the lockdown response to COVID-19 started. Naturally, once lockdown measures were put in place, the client questioned whether recruitment could even continue in the current climate - unsure about how physical distancing and travel restrictions would affect the recruitment process. Other questions they asked of us were, how to onboard and get hiring managers bought into the process remotely? With these concerns front of mind we educated and guided the client, reassuring them that we had the experience and technology in place to continue to collect CV’s, arrange interviews and onboard individuals remotely. Having used Odro for several months prior to COVID-19 we we’re perfectly placed to adapt to these new challenges and rework our solution. By consulting with our client and taking control of the recruitment process we we’re able to design an agile recruitment strategy, covering shortlisting and interviewing to offer and onboarding. Odro was a cornerstone of the solution, using the technology effectively to interview and, importantly, engage candidates throughout the recruitment process. First interviews we’re conducted through Odro’s pre-recorded question function. Candidates were sent a link to a set of questions (devised by the client) and they simply record their answers which are then sent back via email for review. The client found this first stage clear, useful and easy to coordinate. These interviews give candidates and clients the ultimate flexibility as they can be recorded and reviewed at any time. Several candidates were taken through to second stage interviews which we’re done via Odro’s live video link involving a two-way conversation between the client and the candidate, enabling them to relationship build and connect on a personal and professional level. From here a candidate was offered the role. From a candidate perspective, the individuals that went through this remote recruitment process provided positive feedback on their experience. The flexibility of being able to record answers in their own time meant they could complete the interview in an environment where they felt most comfortable. In addition, having sight of the questions beforehand allowed them to prepare effectively for the video recording. Similarly, the client found the flexibility around timings particularly advantageous, able to review interviews when appropriate for them, instead of having to book out a full day to interview multiple candidates. We’ve then been able to support the client with remote onboarding by sharing best practise from across the industry. Speaking with the candidate just this morning, she has let me know that she has been set up with e-learning, IT support and the technology to allow her to perform her role will be delivered to her home this week ready for her to start in a weeks’ time. Although this is just one example, we’ve now used Odro effectively for multiple clients on multiple roles and have found, that even for senior appointments, Odro is a fantastic tool for professional interactions. Time saving for both parties yet still maintaining that human face-to-face interaction allows our clients and recruitment teams to build relationships and connect with potential candidates. By using tools like Odro we’re opening ourselves to a wealth of opportunity – challenges around location, working hours and other commitments are minimised, allowing greater flexibility for both candidates and clients. It is clear that businesses need to adapt in response to the current environment. By using technology and engaging in new and thoughtful ways, Morson are continuing to help organisations and candidates achieve their ambitions, even at this difficult time. Our experience of creating agile, bespoke solutions, using innovative tech solutions and a thorough understanding of the market has allowed us to guide existing and new clients through these challenges, and help candidates find new opportunities. If you’re a business seeking guidance on how to proceed in these challenging times, an organisation actively recruiting or an individual looking for a new opportunity or advice on the market, we’re here to support you. Speak with Craig, craig.saxby@morson.com to find out how we can support you during and beyond this time. Remember, whether you are actively recruiting or not, now is a great time to be speaking with potential candidates, making connections and engaging with recruiters whether they be in house or agency side, to build future pipelines and engage potential talent for when the threat of COVID-19 lessens.

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    Reasons to be Cheerful: Resilience, Re-openings and Recruitment

    Across the globe we are united in our experiences of disruption and uncertainty. But we must seek the positives. It would be easy to see the recruitment industry as a sector hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. However, from economic considerations and utilising technology to sites reopening and available jobs, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for businesses and individuals alike. Economic factors This is a pandemic not a recession. Economic downturn has been a result of the government’s policies for public safety, not because of market instability. Although it is impossible to predict the economic impact of COVID-19 we hope, as the market was strong when the outbreak hit, that we will experience a ‘mini-recession’ i.e. a short fast economic drop followed by a quick bounce back. Of course, nobody knows quite when this will happen but, when the economy starts to grow again, recruitment will play an essential part in helping businesses and the economy rebuild, finding innovative ways of matching skilled workers with roles when they need them most. Signs of a push towards growth and revival are creeping in. The ‘Keep Britain Working’ campaign has been set up to help support employment in the UK and is encouraging businesses to pledge their support to help companies retain staff and help people find new jobs. More on our involvement in the campaign to come in the following days. There are jobs available Construction, Infrastructure and Utilities We’re working hard in collaboration with our clients to ensure that people can get back to work, with their safety of paramount importance. We’ve seen some of our clients start to re-open sites over the past week and we expect this trend to continue. Interestingly, with remote work taking place, the telecoms and utilities industries are thriving with a surge in demand for workers. We have some key clients who have needed resource throughout this period. As such, the nuclear, chemical, oil and gas and power sectors are in need of contract and permanent workers now. If you’re looking for opportunities in construction, rail, highways, nuclear, utilities or power please drop in your CV here > Rhys Harris, associate director spoke about his optimism for the market: “In unprecedented times right now the jobs market is clearly a big concern. However, when we are through this period, I am confident the construction industry will ‘get Britain building’ again. Any contractors whether trades, labour or managerial want to get in touch to register interest for when the construction and infrastructure projects kick off again then please contact me directly on rhys.harris@morson.com and I will ensure you are connected to our client’s needs” It is essential that contractors, and anyone going back to work, are safeguarded. We are actively working collaboratively with our clients, and other organisations, to ensure they are taking effective measures to create safe workspaces. Our ‘Fit for Work’ app is early intervention technology, which identifies the first signs of the Coronavirus before workers attend site – to businesses to ensure those venturing back to employment are completely safe to do so. Launched just last month, the app is being rolled out across 3,000 essential workers and their employers to ensure they are attending work in line with governmental advice on Coronavirus. In addition, understanding that maintaining a 2-metre physical distance stipulated by the government is difficult whilst on-site, we have added the 2-metre signage to the high visibility vests of our essential maintenance teams. Designed to encourage the correct behaviours and keep our workers within safe distances, the updated PPE has already paid dividends with distancing rules effectively observed on-site during safety briefings and consequent works. Digital Digital has never played a more crucial role in our professional and personal lives. The current pandemic has made many businesses realise the importance of technology by enabling remote working and bringing remote teams together to ensure business continuity. The current climate has also highlighted the importance of data, to track and monitor COVID-19 and safeguard communities. Morson executive manager for technology, Sam Menelaou, reveals that the digital sector is resilient and why candidates should look to up-skill in this area: We've seen encouraging signs from our clients in the digital space during this time and I foresee that digital jobs will be more resilient, and digital requirements will grow faster, than in most employment sectors. In addition, we’ve seen many clients whose business operations have been affected massively by COVID-19, yet their IT and digital functions have continued to thrive due to the need to deliver technology projects and road maps which are essential now and in the future. If you are recruiting for roles in IT and digital or are a candidate looking for an opportunity I am here to support and have a conversation. Contact me at sam.menelaou@morson.com Get the full story: https://www.morson.com/blog/2020/04/digital-sector-growth-boosting-your-digital-skills-at-home Technology to keep the recruitment world turning As a recruitment business we thrive off creating personal connections, meaning that the physical distancing imposed by the COVID-19 response is an obvious challenge. However, our new normal has uncovered opportunity, with recruiters and clients discovering new ways to engage, communicate with and source top talent. With greater utilisation of recruitment and business technology, Odro, Skype, MS Teams and Slack, we have continued to effectively support many clients with their recruitment requirements. COVID-19 has given us the chance to explore the full potential of these tools, meaning that recruitment does not necessarily have to be put on hold. Our recruiters are experiencing first-hand the benefits of virtual engagement and HR recruitment manager Craig Saxby spoke with Odro about making his first, fully remote, permanent (and one of their quickest ever) placement with the technology. Although this is just one example, we’ve now used Odro effectively for multiple clients on multiple roles and have found, that even for senior appointments, Odro is a fantastic tool for professional interactions. Time saving for both parties yet still maintaining that human face-to-face interaction allows our clients and recruitment teams to build relationships and connect with potential candidates. By using tools like Odro we’re opening ourselves to a wealth of opportunity – challenges around location, working hours and other commitments are minimised, allowing greater flexibility for both candidates and clients. Get the full story: https://www.morson.com/blog/2020/04/keeping-the-recruitment-world-turning Uncertainty is abundant and we cannot predict when we will be able to start to rebuild, but there are signs of hope, as businesses come together to retain their employees and get people into work. Beyond COVID-19 we hope we’ll see businesses keen to retain their ‘people first’ approach and this will lead to an enhanced focus on the needs of their employees.

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    The Return to Work Roadmap: CEO Ged Mason Responds to Government Announcement

    Comment provided by Morson CEO, Ged Mason OBE The Prime Minister’s announcement has brought hope and confidence back to UK industry, particularly to those technical and complex sectors which had essentially ground to a halt under the lockdown restrictions. By modifying the measures and allowing those employers whose workforces cannot operate from home to return to work is the next logical phase in ensuring our economy can bounce back from the global pandemic. Businesses had already begun turning their attention to planning a return to work road map and how this would work in practice by safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of their entire workforce. Whilst there is no one-size-fits-all methodology and guidance, with each workplace facing their own individual challenges, organisations can adopt the same proactive approach to managing risk, delivering a safe transition and to mitigating the spread of infection. Assessing risk and taking appropriate action will be fundamental and is why we’re offering the practical support of our specialist in-house Health & Safety Advisors and Consultants. By working collaboratively with businesses, they will deliver a risk-assessment-based approach to identify the workplace risks and the control measures required to not only protect the health and safety of their people but any third parties which may physically interact with their workplace. The adoption of early detection technology will become more commonplace, as organisations work to create and maintain a ‘safety first’ culture that protects themselves and the welfare of their workers. Mobile applications, including our own ‘Fit For Work’ technology, will play a crucial role in arming businesses with the digital means to identify whether workers are experiencing common signs and symptoms of Coronavirus and to ensure these individuals do not enter the workplace. We’re on a mission at the Morson Group to lead the economic fightback against COVID-19 and #KeepBritainWorking. As such, we have joined forces with REED as the official Northern Recruitment Partner in its ‘Keep Britain Working’ campaign. We will lead the movement’s presence in the North to help match businesses with essential and key workers, to fill roles safely and in line with Government health advice. We will also spearhead the operation’s mission to identify and facilitate new roles for those who have found themselves out of work as a result of the pandemic, as the northern economy looks to rebuild. We are also working with organisations to support them beyond their talent acquisition needs, such as HR and wellbeing support. It would be naïve to assume that once the lockdown is lifted, everything will return to normal. Workplaces, and how we use them, will be significantly different to those we left behind in March, with measures such as social distancing being a new way of life for the foreseeable future. We’re all in this together, and as we digest the Government’s 50-page roadmap for exiting lockdown and embark on this new chapter of normality, we are committed to sharing best practice and supporting organisations to ensure the safety of your workers, just like ours, remains paramount. For more information on how we can support your organisation with anything from talent acquisition and flexible payroll to employment screening, workplace risk assessments and mental health support please email david.lynchehaun@morson.com

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    The Emergency Service of HR

    While the Coronavirus pandemic continues, against a backdrop of businesses eager to restart the economy and individuals seeking advice on how to safely return to work, a new emergency service has emerged which is going largely unnoticed. Due to some uncertainty around the Government's advice on the steps businesses and their teams should take to arm themselves against the virus, those working for the UK’s six million private sector businesses, and for the millions more operating within public sector services, have turned to their most trusted source of support. Almost overnight, HR teams have become counsellors, employment lawyers and experts on business legislation. They are facing demand for their service and expertise more than ever before. But who exactly is supporting them? While they are working around the clock, where and what are the most useful sources of advice for HR professionals? What are the key business continuity challenges emerging, and how can this sector prepare for the new normal? We want to hear from HR experts who are finding this time daunting; our team are here to help you. If you think you’re alone, continue reading for the variety of ways the Coronavirus pandemic is presenting a wholly novel challenge to the HR industry. Day to day operations Though the Government introduced a largely blanketed approach to how lockdown should be implemented, every business in the UK is different. That means there is a responsibility on every HR professional to assess the guidance and make a judgement, so it can safely and easily be implemented into that organisation’s existing working model. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, lots of HR teams’ agendas for 2020 have changed significantly. And while the weeks and months spent labouring over strategies and processes to help companies achieve their ambitions on targets won’t be totally wasted, it feels like an entirely new challenge to adapt them to cater for a pandemic. For many businesses, the safest option is to work reactively, as the news and response from Government changes daily. But when HR are typically tasked with outlining the comms to be issued to a business in relation to COVID-19, this is a heavy burden to bear. This challenge is heightened further when some organisations are seeing their absence levels rocket due to team members becoming sick or having to isolate. Not only is this damaging for those who continue to operate, due to the extra demand for their time, but the fluctuation in leave allows very little wriggle room for contingency planning to acquire appropriate staffing levels. Industries that are in demand – manufacturing, ecommerce, food and drink – still require sufficient peoplepower, and it’s up to HR teams to source it. And they’re pressured to do so while continually trying to strike a balance between these unprecedented challenges and positive staff wellbeing. The future of the HR team The Government’s business finance schemes have forced HR teams to quickly get to grips with furloughing staff and the resultant claims for loans and grants from HMRC. As a result, HR teams are searching for additional support of their own, with many drafting in temporary expertise to support the spike in HR activity. HR teams can often be found taking on the role of other departments – for example, payroll and finance – and these are essential tasks which must be completed alongside the demand to get to grips with Coronavirus-related changes in business operations. Thankfully, there are recruiters – like the Morson Group – on hand who are able to source immediately-available talent to plug this gap in resource and knowhow, meaning HR teams can share some of the pressure with those used to dealing with temporary changes in supply and demand. This is encouraging many HR teams to reconsider their ways of working, having identified the option to restructure to streamline processes. However, when still little is known about the recommended timeframes of returning to work – and how long the reintroduction of furloughed staff will take to complete – HR teams may be reluctant to consider huge changes in their make-up. Ongoing support Ultimately, HR teams need to feel empowered and able to liaise with their senior management, MDs and CEOs, to discuss what the short- and long-term futures may hold for businesses, and especially how this will impact their division. If this doesn’t feel possible, they can seek support from regional CIPD teams and unions, as well as industry experts on the challenges of HR, to form a collaborative approach suited to benefit all parties. Recently, candidates and clients – potential and existing – are seeking our support to gain a clear understanding of markets across different sectors; we work across a huge variety of industries making us best placed to learn lessons from what is working well for one sector, and how it could positively impact another. Plus, our connections with thousands of active candidates means that we can source available talent to support HR teams in their main challenges. There is no rule book for how businesses should try and survive COVID-19; ultimately, the health of your teams is superior to many other areas. But those struggling to muddle through the fog of the pandemic should utilise every support channel they can. For example, this webinar from the CIPD provides inspiration and tactics on everything from furloughing to mental wellbeing, and everything in between. We are encouraging every HR professional to open a dialogue with the Morson Group and work collaboratively with us and other key leaders to develop bespoke solutions for your business – because your ‘new normal’ is different to everyone else’s. Please get in touch with louise.ellis@morson.com or craig.saxby@morson.com; share your challenges and let us help you find a way through this challenge. And in the meantime, know that you’re doing a fantastic job. If you're looking for work in HR, search our latest opportunities here.

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