With all the bank holidays of the year over, we’re re-lighting the ongoing debate of the 4-day working week, and whether it would work in the United Kingdom.
At face value, an extra day off sounds brilliant. A day to do the food shop, go for lunch, or catch-up on a Netflix show without eating into the standard weekend. However, there is a whole host of factors to consider when planning the logistics of this outcome.
What is a 4-day working week?
You may already know someone that works compressed hours and as such works full-time over 35 hours over 4 days. This is not uncommon for some.
But the four day work week that is being proposed isn’t this at all. It isn’t a compressed work schedule, but rather reduced hours. So, the employee would work around 28 hours over four days and have a three-day weekend.
A 4 day work week is a relatively new concept, brought about largely due to recent advancements in technology. However, some companies are already trialling the idea with promising results for both employees and employers. We’ve gathered a sum of benefits to the system:
Overworked employees are actually less productive than employees working an average or normal working week. Read that again.
To put into context, with less days in the working week, workers will maximise their time more efficiently to make sure everything is completed. No more lulling around knowing you have a lesser timeframe in which to get things done.
Perhaps the most obvious benefit to the 4 day working week, it shall allow for more time outside of work to manage personal errands and spend time on families and hobbies. Therefore maximising an individuals quality of life.
Better Employee Engagement
A 4 day week can lead to happier and more committed employees. Employees are less likely to be stressed or take sick leave as they have plenty of time to rest and recover. As a result, they return to work feeling ready to take on new challenges.
From 2015 to 2017, Sweden conducted a trial study into a shorter work week. Nurses at a care home worked only 6 hours for five days a week. Results were largely positive with nurses logging less sick hours, reporting better health and mental wellbeing and greater engagement as they arranged 85% more activities for patients in their care
A Smaller Carbon Footprint
Countries with shorter working hours typically have a smaller carbon footprint so reducing our work week from 5 to 4 days could have an environmental benefit too.
Shortening our working week means that employees don’t need to commute as much and office buildings are only in use four days a week. Thats if employers haven’t already implanted the work from home scheme.
While there are certainly a whole host of benefits to a 4 day work week, there are also a few disadvantages. Here’s our summary:
A study in Utah argues that a 4-day working week decreases customer satisfaction massively. In their study of the week, they said Customers complained that they were unable to access government services with offices closed on a Friday.
Using technology, like chatbots and AI-powered websites, could solve issues related to customer satisfaction as it would allow customers another avenue of support rather than relying on officebased staff members. However, if you don’t have access or capacities for this, not being around on a Friday could hinder you. Wrong Approach
Many confused the concept of a 4 day work week with compressed hours. And as we stated at the start, this isn’t what the structure is.
Employees who are expected to still work 35 hours, but across 4 days will actually show decreased levels of productivity and it can also impact employees’ engagement, work-life balance and overall happiness. To achieve the desired effects a 4 day work week should consist of standard 7 hour work days.
Need some help navigating what’s best for your business? Get in touch with us here at EPQ
Signs of a Toxic Workplace
It is crucial to be a part of a healthy work environment that allows for professional development, prospering and making lasting professional connections. And it’s sometimes tricky to spot when a workplace isn’t delivering.
If you’re an employee, there are many ways you can spot toxicity and report it to your employer. In this blog, we help you explore the signs of a potentially toxic work environment, here is 5 signs to spot you’re in one:
1. Poor communication
The most obvious sign of a toxic workplace is poor communication. If you find that your team members aren't communicating with each other, if they're not giving feedback or asking questions, or if they're just not communicating well in general—that's a sign of a toxic culture.
2. High turnover
Turnover is expensive and time consuming, so if your company has high turnover rates it's probably indicative of a toxic culture. If you see that people are leaving the company because they don't feel challenged (or are being given the wrong kind of challenges), that's a big red flag.
3. Exclusionary behaviour
When people feel excluded from company culture or from social activities at work, it can be incredibly harmful to morale and productivity. If you see employees feeling left out or excluded from important decisions or opportunities because of their gender/race/age/etc., take action immediately!
4. A lack of employee growth and development opportunities
When employees aren't offered opportunities for professional growth and advancement, both inside and outside the organisation, it's unlikely that they'll stay engaged for long periods of time without feeling bored or unfulfilled by their jobs. This can lead to high turnover rates as well as low morale among existing.
5. Unmotivated coworkers
If your coworkers appear unmotivated and lack excitement about their role, this may be a sign that your workplace has made them feel unappreciated. A lack of motivation in your colleagues may indicate a much bigger organisational issue and can directly impact your drive to do well. If your coworkers don't find purpose in their tasks, it can be much harder for you to find purpose as well. If you're taking on extra work as a result of your colleagues' attitudes, you may develop resentment towards those who've become disengaged.
The Importance of Recruitment
The Importance of Recruitment
When putting a magnifying glass on the success of a business, we tend to look at the financial growth and certain figures. So much so, we ignore the importance of recruitment in business strategy. The success of a business ultimately relies on the employees, and their quality. Companies that want to grow rapidly but steadily understand that they can only do so if they have the right mix of
talent, which is why recruitment is vital. We’ve summed just how crucial recruitment is in order to grow and sustain a successful business:
1. Determines requirements
The recruitment process navigates a company in evaluating its present and future staffing requirements. It conducts an analysis of the company and its process.
2. Prevents Disruption of Business Activities
The process of recruitment ensures that the daily activities of your organisation are carried out seamlessly. It provides businesses with all vital resources regularly for various job positions. The recruitment process selects individuals from a variety of backgrounds to meet the organisation’s needs.
3. Increases Success Rate of Hiring
This approach is effective in stimulating the success percentage of the company’s selecting process. It analyses all the job applications to minimise the frequency of unqualified and exaggerating candidates. Only qualified employee’s applications are advanced to the next stage
4. Expands Talent Pool
The goal of recruitment is to create a wide pool of qualified candidates from which one has to choose the most qualified individual for the job. This approach draws big groups of individuals and encourages them to apply for open opportunities in a company.
It focuses on minimising total costs and time spent on finding suitable employees. Recruitment is a well-organised and methodical approach in which a large number of people are given a detailed description of a job opening. A good job description attracts a large number of people at a lower cost.
6. Improves the Credibility of the Organisation
A business organisation’s reputation is bolstered by a strong recruitment process. It assesses the validity of job openings and reflects the professionalism and authenticity of the company. The adoption of a good application method by a company organisation will aid in increasing the trust of job applicants. This, in turn, attracts the attention of highly qualified applicants for your company.
The role of a recruitment consultant - EPQ’s breakdown
Here at EPQ, we take an immense amount of pride in the quality of our recruitment consultants. They are the essence of our company and help us build dream careers.
However, we noticed they are common misconceptions about the role, therefore we’re setting the record straight with our fully fledged outlook on what it takes to be the heart and soul of recruitment.
What is a recruitment consultant?
In short, Recruitment consultants help employers find suitable staff, and match people to jobs, permanent or temporary. Often with a whole host of experience and connections, they are able to gather resources to point businesses into the direction of their desired employee.
We like to think of recruitment consultants as professional, career matchmakers.
What is a RC’s responsibility?
Recruitment consultants are responsible for:
What does the day-to-day look like?
Much like the whole of the recruitment industry, consultants start their day with a large cup of coffee - but that’s about their only moment of downtime.
From the day’s get-go our consultants are hosting meetings and liaising with clients, perfecting our onboarding processes, keeping record of employment and finding and networking with potential candidates. Times by 100!
The world of recruitment is a busy, sometimes foggy place to be, but our recruitment consultants are fully equipped with knowledge (and a lot of strength!) too persevere in their daily tasks.
How do they differ from an internal recruitment team?
One key difference is that our consultants find our clients not just the available talent, but also the best talent out around.
This may be through headhunting or finding people through our wide network of procurement professionals, either through our extensive database or strong market share on LinkedIn.
Once we find them these candidates, we offer the initial screening process, saving businesses time and money by ensuring that the right candidate is sitting in front of them when it comes to the interview process.
What can our consultants do for you?
Our EPQ Consultants help candidates in a number of ways, but mainly it is about taking time to listen to their desires, needs, motivations and even perhaps what’s not right about their current role.
We take this information on board, ensuring we will put them forward for the right role and to the right employer. And vice versa where employers are concerned.
If we don’t have the right role or employer on offer, we proactively go about searching for that opportunity that suits our candidate’s needs.
Needing help hiring your perfect candidate? Get in touchIf your company doesn’t have a deliberate strategy to attract top talent, then you’re not getting the best candidates to apply for your open positions.
Having a sufficient recruitment process is essential to a functioning, growing business. Without a stable routine, you are going to consistently run into issues where you are unable to attract the highest qualified candidates. Consequently, you will lose them to the competition and it will either take too long to fill open positions, or, you will spend too much money in training to get new employees up to speed with the expectations of the job.
Here are various signs which will indicate an inefficient recruiting process. By being aware of these, you can take greater control of the process.
1. Overstretched offering time
In short, your process is insufficient due to the amount of time you take to respond to a candidate.
Candidates, especially when they are being recruited by other employers, don’t want to wait prolonger periods of time waiting for your response.
Our best practise is to always disclose a time period in which you will come to a decision in and make sure the candidate is happy to wait. To note, the most important part is to keep candidates in the know!
2. High Cost of Recruiting
As you may know, there is a lot of money being spent on recruiting. Sometimes, more than is necessary. If you find yourself blowing the budget frequently, there could be huge flaws in your employing process.
This includes the amount of interviews taken, the time used by HR team and hiring managers, the money you spend flying candidates in and out for interviews and meetings, fees paid to professional teams, and more. The typical establishment spends about 8 to 12% of a candidate’s salary in recruiting costs, though it could be optimised to between 4 to 6%.
In essence, it’s a lot of money to waste on bringing people in for them not to convert. We recommend referring to a professional who can help streamline your recruitment costs. Professional recruiters are able to pinpoint your surplus of spending and conduct more cost- effective approaches. Get in touch with us at EPQ to help you cut the cost of employing!
3. Low Employee Referrals
The insufficiency of your recruitment process may depend on your current employees not providing referrals.
If you are not getting as many as you once did, there might be a problem within your establishment that you’re unaware of. Most employees, especially when provided with a referral bonus, are happy to refer their friends and associates to the company where they are happy. If they are not happy, they will be less inclined to provide a referral.
This essentially means that you have to take a step back and consider if employees are satisfied with the company. We recommend conducting an employee survey could tell you what area is unsatisfactory so you can work to rectify the problem!
4. Candidates Are Unwilling To Attend Multiple Interview Rounds
If you bring candidates in for an additional (2 or more) round of interviews and they decline, you have a problem.
They have either found another position or they are simply tired of passing through the hoops you have created to come and work for you. They would rather keep looking than endure another round of interviews.
In this case, you need to refine your interview questions. Look at asking more in-depth questions during the first round or providing a better explanation to candidates as to why you need the additional rounds. If they know the further round is with higher level employees or that they will receive a job offer within days of the next round, it might lead to them accepting your challenges. They shall only continue if they feel it’s worth it.
5. Poor Feedback
Candidates will grow frustrated when they don’t hear back from the hiring manager or HR as to when a decision will be made.
As-well, new-starter employees grow frustrated when they don’t get feedback from management about their performance.
As stated, you need to be completely transparent of your timeline, as-well as make time for employees to receive comment.
6.High Turnover Rate
If you suffer with a high employee turnover rate, especially in the first 2-6 months, it often indicates that there were mistakes made in the hiring process.
The turnover could be for two reasons: the candidate leaving or the candidate being replaced/let go. Either way, you need to identify the reasons behind it.
If you have trouble identify the flaws in your onboarding process, get in touch with us here at EPQ for an honest overlook of your recruitment process.
In the end, you have to look at what candidates are receiving throughout the recruitment process.
If they aren’t being constantly informed throughout the timeline, there’s an issue. If they aren’t receiving feedback on performance, there’s an issue. And the rest? It comes down to you taking the time to refine and assess your in-house process.
Needing advice, or a professional outlook on your recruitment process as a business? We are EPQ Recruitment, a small, friendly team ready to guide you into a new, high converting, candidate search.
Onboarding can mean many things to different teams in various establishments. A typical onboarding process begins when a candidate accepts their offer, and ensures of a smooth transition for the employee entering the company.
Your employee onboarding should focus on welcoming your new starter warmly and making certain of their comfort. Here’s our guide to do doing just that:
Celebrate your new starter
Celebrating your new employee can be done firstly by making an announcement.
This could be done via email, in a meeting, or both. It is important to have your existing employees recognise the new hire - it not only shows your new employee your excitement of having them onboard, but it also alerts others that a new member has been onboarded and could potentially encourage implement their own personal welcome.
A celebration could extend to the likes of a welcome company lunch, or decorating the new starters desk with merchandise. Have fun with the celebration, but make sure your starter is comfortable.
Conduct an orientation
An orientation can include the likes of additional paperwork for the employee to complete, too giving a tour and rundown of the company. We highly recommend, if not done already, to show your new hire around the facilities, and introduce them to all colleagues and explain how they’ll potentially be working together.
Should you have multiple new hires starting in the same week, consider turning the orientation process into a group exercise. By doing so, new employees shall be given the opportunity to get to get acquainted early in the process. At the end of the orientation process, your new employees will have a few familiar faces they will recognise around the office helping them get accustomed quicker to their new job.
Delegate a mentor
It’s wise to pair your new employee with a mentor within their department - ideally a team member of a similar level and position to them (so that your new employee will feel more comfortable confiding in their mentor!). As a mentor, their role is to overlook the progress of the new hire, to give guidance and share tips.
Set up a refined feedback system
It’s imperative that you prolonging feedback from the employee. The most effective way to identify areas which need improvement in the onboarding process is to ask for a program assessment as soon as the new employee has completed their necessary training...
Make sure to ask the new hire if they identify any gaps in the onboarding process such as in the specific first-day activities to more general experiences during their first days on the job.
Your onboarding process plays a key role in your overall employee turnover factor, so it’s incredibly important to monitor its strong points and its flaw by collecting feedback.
If you’re looking for advice on how to perfect your onboarding process, or would like a professional eye cat over your entire recruitment timeline, get in touch with us here at EPQ Recruitment.
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