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by Lewis Andrews
The way that companies attract and retain talent moving forward is going to change. It has to. There are some companies who have excellent employer...
The way that companies attract and retain talent moving forward is going to change. It has to. There are some companies who have excellent employer brands but even the best will have to think about their offerings when it comes to talent attraction and holding on to your best performers.
We’ve covered a few areas below that we think businesses need to be thinking about.
The actual workplace
We touched upon this in a previous article and this will change. There is the potential to be a huge shift towards the reduction of office space and/or people wanting to work from home or remotely. The likes of Twitter and Facebook are already announcing big changes in this respect. Choice is going to be important for employees. Are you able to offer it to people?
Terms of employment
Do they need to be looked at? Many may not have been changed for years but candidates and existing employees will be striving for security and stability. Is there a case for shortening probation periods and lengthening notice periods? It’s unlikely to happen any time soon at a government level so employers who will be able to show this understanding and empathy are likely to stand out.
Open door policies have changed to open webcam policies recently, but this will need to continue. Employees will want to understand their leaders both as a person and as professionals. Questions around coping with unprecedented challenges will continue to be asked and honesty in answering will be key for potential new talent as well as for those “coming back.”
CSR and employer branding
There are big questions around how talent responds to their employer’s reaction to the recent crisis. Will they look to move because of their company’s actions, or will they be cautious because of market fragility? It’s going to be important for companies to offer forums and communications that clearly demonstrate their decision-making processes as well as creating clear roadmaps for the future. If you’ve got “people stories” on your website, then these will need to be updated – they need to reflect the mood and circumstances we all now live in.
Mental and physical health
People are now far more aware of their mental and physical health. There is an increased realisation of how important it is, and companies will need to offer qualified support, resources, and time to deal with these challenges. The heightened awareness will demand a year-round focus on employee wellbeing, rather than designated days here and there.
The world has, in many respects, been reset. The balance of roles and the number of roles has changed forever. Equally, people will have developed new interests and motivations and may want to do “something new”. Employers should be offering opportunities to move within companies and offer training courses and skill development that facilitate this to happen.
There is no doubt that workplaces around the world are already changing immeasurably. This doesn’t just apply to the physical surroundings people are working in, companies are going to have to pay much more attention to individuals’ changes in motivations, world views and appetite for risk.
The world has changed, people have changed, and businesses will need to make changes and shift thinking to attract and retain the best talent moving forward.
We’re in this together and collaborating will create the future workplaces that not only drive productivity and performance but ensures the wellbeing of people.
If you’d like to discuss what we have seen happening in the industry and tap into the conversations we’ve been having with networking and infrastructure professionals around the world, then please get in touch.
by Leonie Schaefer
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which coincidently falls in the middle of a global pandemic. Now more than ever it is so important to...
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, which coincidently falls in the middle of a global pandemic. Now more than ever it is so important to look after our mental health, which can be challenging when we aren't able to see loved ones.
Even though a lot of people are working from home, it's still important to try to keep your working day as enjoyable as possible. A lot of people are working longer hours than usual, so it's essential that you're not hating every second of it. Below, we share our top tips on how to stay happy at work.
Keep your desk as tidy as possible and manage your time to avoid stress. If you have a plan for your day you will feel prepared and work effectively.
Exercising at work can be difficult and it isn’t 100% necessary, but research says staying physically active can improve your mood and performance. Even just standing up at your table or walking around for a few minutes every now and then is better than nothing.
Take care of your professional development. In today’s working world experience is key, so ask for training opportunities to develop and improve your skills.
Ask for Feedback
In order to improve your skills, it's important to look for constructive criticism. If you ask your supervisors for feedback on your performance you might even be praised, which is always a little motivation booster.
Talk to your colleagues
Keeping a good relationship with your colleagues will brighten up your mood every day. It also helps you make yourself more comfortable in your workplace.
If you dread coming into work on a Monday morning, perhaps you're not getting the job satisfaction that you deserve in your current role. We have loads of amazing opportunities available, whether you're an IT Infrastructure professional or looking to start a career in recruitment - feel free to get in touch.
by Evangeline Hunt
As the UK eagerly awaits to hear how Boris Johnson's plans to pull the UK out of lockdown, most of us are continuing to work from home.
As the UK eagerly awaits to hear how Boris Johnson's plans to pull the UK out of lockdown, most of us are continuing to work from home.
For lots of businesses, employees will continue with remote working for as long as possible. Unsurprisingly, motivation could be flagging after so many weeks in the home office and the challenging business markets.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to keep your team engaged while working remotely – not just to keep spirits high, but also maintain an effective workforce.
How best to do that? Here are three simple steps to follow….
Set realistic goals
Lots of businesses operate by setting goals for their employees to meet. The current crisis has impacted most businesses in some way or another, meaning that the goals you set your team may have to be adjusted to suit the current business climate.
Although we can say that it’s ‘business as usual’, it’s likely that most employees are going to be slightly more distracted than usual – not because remote working is distracting, but because we are in a global pandemic and everyone is concerned about the future.
Adjusting your team’s goals will encourage your team to push towards an achievable target, rather than giving up on something unrealistic in these times.
As always, the best way to set goals is the SMART criteria – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound.
Keep company culture strong
While it might be hard to keep the company culture alive when everyone is working remotely, it can and should be a priority. Keep the usual traditions up, just make them remote.
Friday office drinks can be done over Zoom, run club can happen separately and achievements shared on Strava.
Create fun additional games and challenges to bring teams together – office quizzes, crazy hat day, or new incentives. Doing some teams challenges will remind everyone that they’re not working solo, but are a vital member of the team.
Keeping the social side of work strong is important as without it, the “work” side of the job is the only side. Adding a little fun to the mix will encourage your team to keep logging on, day after day.
Internal communication channels are essential
Having a central internal communication channel where teams can chat is essential. The office comradery can be hard to replicate online, but encouraging you team to engage with these channels will help keep some of that alive.
Wish colleagues happy birthday, celebrate achievements (personal and professional) and make jokes as if you normally would in the office.
Praise your team when they hit targets and make it visible to everyone. Recognising the wins in your team will encourage productivity and efficiency from those being praised, while empowering the rest of the team to do the same.
These are just a few of the things that we've been doing at Franklin Fitch to keep everyone happy and motivated - the possibilities are endless. What are you doing to keep your remote workers engaged?
by Steven Ewer
The first few weeks in a new job can be difficult anyway, but imagine not being able to meet your new colleagues in person...
The first few weeks in a new job can be difficult anyway, but imagine not being able to meet your new colleagues in person and having all your onboarding and company introductions done virtually. For a small handful of people working in permanent remote roles this is the norm, but for the vast majority of individuals, starting a new job is all about meeting new people, working closely with your peers and learning from your new colleagues. That was until the coronavirus.
In reality, onboarding is the first official impression of a company the new employee gets and is typically conducted over a series of face-to-face meetings. Portraying your company’s identity, brand, motivation and goals without physical contact is not easy.
The onboarding process is very important
"We place a lot of importance on the onboarding process,” says Franklin Fitch Founder David Annable. “When employees are physically distanced from their team members and managers it can be easy to feel isolated and disengaged. This is especially true for new employees who haven’t had chance to experience the company’s culture. Ensuring the onboarding process and training has the same impact when done remotely is not easy.”
Video calls and screen sharing are a lifesaver
Isra Suet joined Franklin Fitch as a recruiter in mid-February. Just four weeks into her new position, she has found herself working from home, conducting all her business and training remotely after the UK government ordered employees to work from home where possible. Video calls and screen sharing have been her lifesaver.
“The group chats at the beginning and end of every day are a great support,” she says, adding that she particularly likes the fact it isn’t all work and that people discuss their feelings, along with general chats about the current situation. “I’m new to the company so am missing out on all the opportunities to socialise, so this aspect is very important.”
Despite knowing she is missing out on some of the support and camaraderie of the office environment, Isra is finding the positives in home working. “There are very few distractions and minimal noise, which makes it much easier to focus on calls,” she says.
Vincent Mertens, who managed just two weeks in the Franklin Fitch office before having to work from home, agrees. “Being onboarded remotely is not ideal, but it has been quite positive given the circumstances.” He too believes making calls has been easier without so many people around him, though admits that it will be harder to rectify mistakes as there is no one to hear them.
Maintain as much contact as possible
Charlotte Drury, who heads up Franklin Fitch’s Academy and is responsible for a lot of the training and onboarding, says the key is to keep up as much contact as possible with the new starters and recent joiners. For her, technology such as CloudCall, which makes it easy to listen into calls and provide remote coaching, and Microsoft Teams, which facilitates instant messaging and group video calls, are essential.
“It is definitely more difficult than doing it face-to-face,” says Charlotte. “But we’ve been doing a lot of screen sharing and peer learning. The raft of technology available gives many more possibilities.”
Better onboading increases retention
The key, according to Charlotte is to use the expertise of different people within the business, such as letting a colleague who is particularly familiar with Linkedin host a webinar on how best to use it for recruitment. “In the office, the onboarding process would involve introductions to, and learning from, many different people, so we need to try and replicate this as much as possible remotely,” she says.
According to figures from onboarding specialists, Click Boarding, new employees who go through a structured onboarding programme are more likely to still be with the organisation after three years. In addition, organisations with a standard onboarding process experience 50% greater productivity from new hires.
First impressions count
So with the old saying ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’ still holding true, it is essential you make sure you decide what sort of impression you want new hires to have of your organisation and how best to portray it, whether in person or remotely. With all of today’s technology, there is no reason it should be very different.
Key tips for remote onboarding:
Make sure internally you know what message you want to share with your new employees and have a plan of how to disseminate it, particularly who is responsible for each part
Ensure new employees have all the required equipment to do their job and know how to communicate with key contacts and who to go to if they have a problem
Organise video introductions to team leaders and members, HR personnel and admin contacts
Arrange all necessary training, including IT, HR, team and role-specific
Set times for future meetings to ensure the new employee doesn’t feel isolated and make sure the goals and targets are clear
by Claire Shoesmith
by David Annable
Employment is tight, organisations are struggling to find highly-skilled technology workers and if we’re honest, the UK isn’t helping...
Employment is tight, organisations are struggling to find highly-skilled technology workers and if we’re honest, the UK isn’t helping itself when it comes to attracting talent – by leaving the EU we just restricted our access to a large number of workers.
Whether it’s the uncertainty around immigration and the right-to-work in the UK post-Brexit, the upcoming changes to the IR35 legislation, or the fact that the technology sector is not good at appealing to a diverse range of employees, there are many reasons that the industry is struggling to recruit.
David Annable, Franklin Fitch’s founder, believes the key is to embrace the full available range of talent. Whether you’re a baby boomer with substantial on-the-job experience; a generation x’er who’s grown up with IT; a millennial who has had digital technology thrust upon them from birth; or an entrepreneurial and tech-savvy member of generation z, each individual has something to offer.
Since the end of the 1950s, immigration has transformed the UK. Back then, fewer than one in 25 of the population was born outside the country, according to figures from the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford. Today that figure is closer to one in seven. With the tight employment market – unemployment is at its lowest for more than 70 years – these overseas workers are essential to the healthy running of the UK economy.
Similarly, the age and gender demographic of the working population has changed significantly, with many tech workers both starting their careers earlier and finishing them later. Employing people with varying levels of experience can add a lot of value to a business, but is something that needs to be embraced right across the enterprise to avoid any risk of discrimination.
A study by CW Jobs found that 41% of IT and tech-sector workers said they had encountered age discrimination in the workplace, compared with only 27% across other industries. Moreover, 29, the age at which IT and tech workers first experienced ageism at work was significantly below the wider workforce average of 41.
There are benefits to both ends of the age spectrum. Many youngsters start writing code as teenagers because they’re fascinated by technology. By the time they graduate, they already have many years of relevant experience and a good grasp of the latest technology trends. They are generally considered to be open to new ideas and not tied to a particular design or coding approach.
By contrast, more experienced tech workers bring valuable insight from previous roles and in many situations use prior experience to successfully influence how challenges are solved. However, there is also a risk that experience brings a pre-determined mindset entrenched in a particular technology or methodology. In addition, experience often generates an aversion to risk, making these individuals less likely to move to smaller, developing start-ups or to stay in, or move to, a different country where their future may be uncertain.
Gender is an equally divisive issue, particularly in the technology sector. While just over half of the 6.5 million Britons working in professional occupations are women, the ratio falls to just one in six amongst the 998,000 working in IT and telecommunications, according to 2018 data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The disparity is even more pronounced amongst programmers and software development professionals where the ratio falls to just one in eight.
It is widely accepted that a diverse workforce is more successful. Whenever there is too much of one type of person and a lack of diversity in ways of thinking, experience levels and perspective, it’s easy for unconscious bias, stereotypes and singular mindset to take over not only individual workplace cultures, but even entire industries.
“By failing to appreciate the benefits of a diverse workforce you are placing your business at an immediate disadvantage and potentially missing out on certain valuable skillsets,” says Annable.
“The key in most cases is agility. The technology sector is changing fast, and anyone that is able to do the same will thrive with it.”
by Simon Nicholls
What has the potential to impact the contract and permanent employment markets in opposite ways at the same time? No, this isn’t a joke, it is...
What has the potential to impact the contract and permanent employment markets in opposite ways at the same time? No, this isn’t a joke, it is a serious question to which the answer is the upcoming changes to the UK’s IR35 legislation.
From April 6th, private sector companies will be responsible for determining the IR35 status of their current and future contractors. As a result, the number of so-called ‘off payroll’ contractors is expected to dwindle, making it harder for organisations to fill highly-skilled project-based technical roles. To take them on as permanent employees, which would be welcomed in today’s tight recruitment market, organisations will need to pay more to compensate for the loss of the benefits associated with being self-employed (not paying tax or national insurance contributions).
The latest changes to the IR35 legislation are designed to remove the tax advantages of providing services via a limited company for individuals who are not truly working for themselves. In other words, those employees whose working practices are more akin to those of traditional employees.
The changes were introduced in the public sector in April 2017 and are due to come into effect in the private sector in April this year. From then, the responsibility for declaring tax status will lie with the organisation rather than the individual. The change has prompted many large businesses, including HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds, to consider the way they work with contractors and in the majority of cases, to make a blanket statement saying that they will no longer be engaging with contractors via their own personal service companies (PSCs).
While the actual impact of the changes on the private sector are yet to be seen, we can learn from the experiences of the public sector. Nearly three years into the new regime and the changes have been blamed for a series of delays to public sector IT programmes. A report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and the association of Independent Professionals and Self-Employed (IPSE) published in June 2018 found that nearly three quarters of public sector hiring managers reported challenges in retaining contractors. It also found that more than half believed they had lost contractors due to the legislative changes.
Moreover, figures released by the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) in November showed that after a decade-long boom in IT contractors, the number of freelance technology workers fell by 2.4% to 121,989 in 2018, compared with the previous year.
While the new regime is without doubt the most fundamental change to the operations of IR35 since its inception, it doesn’t necessarily spell the death of the contractor. Many of these highly-skilled and very valuable individuals will be able to continue contracting via their Limited Companies, provided the end clients can provide recruitment agencies with an IR35 status determination. Companies not willing to embrace the changes will look to force contractors into permanent roles or make them switch to Umbrella companies.
Simon Nicholls, practice manager for the contract recruitment market at Franklin Fitch, says: “We’re seeing a lot of panic from both our clients and the contractors we work with around the IR35 changes. However, if companies have a mechanism to assess IR35 status in a genuine, fair and pragmatic way then it should be business as usual.
“This is where we are educating clients currently in the hope that contractors can continue working in the same way, and clients have access to the vital flexible resources needed.”
As the saying goes, one man’s loss is another man’s gain. In this situation, while the contractor market may be at risk of losing some valuable assets, there’s every chance that the permanent market could reap the benefits as the tight employment market – unemployment is at its lowest for over 70 years - forces organisations to do whatever they can to ensure they attract and retain the best talent.
by Leonie Schaefer
One of the most important things within the application process is your CV. It’s the first impression you make on a potential new employer....
One of the most important things within the application process is your CV. It’s the first impression you make on a potential new employer. Here are our top tips on how to make it a good one.
Nearly there! Do’s and Don’ts before sending your CV out
Done? Perfect! Now send it off and let us take care of the next steps! If you have any further questions concerning your CV before sending it to us, feel free to get in touch. We are happy to help!
Currently looking for a new role? Feel free to send us your CV or call us to see what opportunities we might have for you! We specialise in IT Networking, Server, Database and InfoSec.
by Sian Llewellyn
There are many reasons why Graduates should look to recruitment as their first step into the working environment. The traditional image of...
There are many reasons why Graduates should look to recruitment as their first step into the working environment. The traditional image of recruitment is changing. What used to be a “plan B” career is fast becoming the occupation of choice. Why?
More companies are using recruiters due to the high demand for talented people in the industry. Recruitment consultants use their knowledge, expertise and judgment to match talented candidates to business’ job opportunities. Most companies have realised that their most valuable asset for success is their employees, giving recruiters the change to make a real impact on the economy and business growth.
Agencies are not only seeking the skilled candidates for their clients but looking for the top talent to join their own workforces. There is a significant demand for enthusiastic, ambitious professionals who are self-driven, hardworking and want to “be their own boss”. Recruitment companies are looking for those personalities that can build rapport, handle negotiations, influence and manage relationships.
Here are 8 reasons why recruitment is a good career move for you:
by Charlotte Drury
Are you a Network Visionary?
The Network Architect
Do you want a thriving IT career? This is the roadmap to becoming a successful Network...
Are you a Network Visionary?
The Network Architect
Do you want a thriving IT career? This is the roadmap to becoming a successful Network Architect.
Compared to a traditional Network Engineer, who is focused on implementing and troubleshooting, a Network Architect designs computer networks. This means constructing layouts for the usage of hardware and software and creating models to predict future network needs, using network modeling tools such as Opnet, OMNeT++ and NS2. Furthermore, architects are involved in the analysis of business requirements, project planning and budgeting, and often require softer skills including stakeholder management to complement their technical abilities. This requires a lot of diplomacy and consultancy skills.
But, Network Architects are among the highest paid employees in the IT-world.
Skills & Certifications:
The role of a Network Architect usually requires a bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, several network certifications are highly recommended. These include Expert level certifications, such as Cisco Certified Design Expert (CCDE) or Cisco Certified Internet Expert (CCIE). Also beneficial are certifications such as ITIL and TOGAF or even the Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr).
Knowledge in key areas such as cloud computing, virtualization, programming, security and application design are also in high demand.
However, it should not be forgotten that building your experience is as important as having a degree.
If you put in the time and effort into gaining professional skills, certifications and experience in the networking field, the position of Network Architect could be the ultimate goal in your IT career.
by Xenia Armbrust
As attractive as a counter-offer may seem, you should seriously consider if it’s wise to accept it. If you have already decided to move on from...
As attractive as a counter-offer may seem, you should seriously consider if it’s wise to accept it. If you have already decided to move on from your current job, you shouldn’t let anyone change your mind.
As soon as you hand in your notice, a lot of bosses will try and convince you to stay – the standard counter-offers include higher salary, more training and development, more new technologies, etc.
So your mind starts wandering: “What if they are right?” “Should I give my old job a second chance?” “Who knows, what the new job might be like – it could be even worse than the current one…”
Please stop this thought process right now! Counter-offers have a lot of traps that you might not detect at first. In most cases, people regret accepting counter-offers.
Why does your employer only react to your wishes now?
Counter-offers are quite a common thing – and here’s why:
Let’s imagine you accept the counter-offer – what happens next?
Your boss is happy you stayed, and he doesn’t have to replace you, so he pays more attention to you and your needs for a while. You might get that pay rise, better working hours and that long-desired bonus. Then your boss eventually realises – you wanted to leave. So, he will keep a close eye on you and what you do: a person that decided to leave once might do it again. Unfortunately, that makes you a very unsafe candidate for any upcoming promotions – because if they invest in you today how do they know you won’t take your expertise to a competitor tomorrow. Chances are, your boss only wants to keep you until he has found the right replacement. Once you realise what’s happening – the job offer you secured back when you decided to leave will be long gone.
Why is your employer only appreciating your value now?
Receiving a pay rise is a nice perk – but was the pay rise really the reason you wanted to leave in the first place? Money is important, but usually there are more reasons for an employee to leave: no career progression, no work-life-balance, not enough appreciation, bad atmosphere within the team, feeling bored or overwhelmed with the tasks. If you are now still considering accepting the counter-offer from your boss, then please make sure you mention the other issues you have within the company – more money alone won’t make you happy. In a lot of cases, and we are speaking from experience, accepting a counter-offer has made candidates unhappier rather than happier.
If you are looking for a new position within IT Infrastructure, contact Xenia Kusainov today or browse our current vacancies here.
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