Tuesday 23 December 2008

Working Long Hours

Working long hours is no indication of how hard someone works, according to a new survey.

The survey, from T-Mobile and Kingston University Business School, shows that 59% of employers do not think how long employers work is an indicator of how hard they work, while 46% of employers offer no reward to those who work late or more than their normal hours.

Ollie Chivers, head of business marketing at T-Mobile UK, says: "It is encouraging to see that employers are increasingly aware that staff do not need to spend all night in the office to be productive and do their jobs effectively. In fact we've found that people think they are more productive when they work away from the office, and mobile working has a clear role to play in tackling the UK's notorious long hours culture. These findings are good news for all those who already enjoy the flexibility of working outside of the office, and give food for thought to those employers considering how to increase productivity without damaging morale."

Article Source:
BD Recruitment are a specialist recruiter for the internet marketing jobs sector, with a flurry of graphic design recruitment in Manchester and IT jobs in Leeds.

Monday 15 December 2008

IT Recruiters Optimistic Despite Downturn

The findings from a recent poll conducted by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation were revealed at the recent IT & Communications Sector Group meeting, which was attended by leading recruitment figures from the sector.

It showed that IT Recruiters are still optimistic about the future despite the effect of the economic downturn on the UK Labour Market.

At the groups last meeting in June it showed that recruiters rated their confidence in the market conditions as 7 out of 10. The poll taken more recently showed their was a slight downturn in their confidence to 6 out of 10 but despite this it show recruiters are still optimistic about sectors economic outlook.

The number of workers in the IT sector showed an increase in Q2-Q3 period despite advertised job vacancies falling for the third consecutive quarter according to research conducted by the REC'S 'Demand and Supply in the IT Sector' report.

Jeff Brooks, chair of the IT & Comms Group said: "Business confidence in the sector is generally stable. In most, if not all organisations, IT provides the sinews to make an organisation, operational, stable and productive. Much like the continual need for workers in the healthcare sector, despite the economic outlook, demand for IT contractors is still high. Specialist IT roles are still vital to the company".

BD Recruitment are a specialist recruiter for the creative IT jobs sector, with a flurry of web design recruitment in Sheffield and IT jobs in London.

Friday 5 December 2008

Intricate Detail and a Sense of Humour

Cornish tree windswept by the prevailing wind of CornwallA little ditty in Penzance: Photographic Memories is in the Foyer Gallery of the Penzance Arts Club - admission free - Chapel House, Chapel Street, from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, until December 12th.

LIKE Hamlet, Penzance-based photographer David Carley succeeds in "wiping away all trivial fond records from the table of his memory", leaving only those things that matter in the 16 photographs, mainly black and white studies, that make up his exhibition Photographic Memories, now being held in Penzance Arts Club.

David's images pay tribute both to the Cornwall he remembers from a few years ago and to which he has now returned, and to Europe where has lived and worked in the interim.

The exhibition is dominated by the large Tree – Cornish Blackthorn which he says reminds him of the Ingmar Bergman film Through a Glass Darkly and of the fact that the quality of light in Cornwall is similar to that in Sweden where "the sparseness belays brutality and yet beautiful tranquility, struggles against nature, struggles against the past".

It is the first time David has exhibited his work and it is hard to believe that he is a self-taught photographer.

He believes in the power of "intricate detail", which would be an apt subtitle for his show. This use of intricacy is demonstrated well in three close-up studies of flowers, Lily, Clematis and Rose – in which he uses soft focus to alter the shapes and structure of the petals, taking away the starkness and encouraging something more organic in the compositions – and in Salagou Landscape, in which he concentrates on a fragment detail of this sprawling wild and hot part of the world.

From one end of the spectrum to the other – from the huge, such as his Tree, to these delicate flower studies – this is an aspect of photography which he finds particularly appealing.

His photographs could hardly be more rewarding: from a quartet of studies of the Gothic portal of Chartres Cathedral, with its perpendicular and horizontal jamb statues, to a jewel-encrusted beetle – in which one can all but feel the heat of the sun which has helped weather them – to Number 21, a corner of the small village of St Guilheim Les Desert in the Languedoc, which "pulls everything together, religion, fun and sobriety, and could easily be seen as a homage to the artichoke", his sense of humour adds enormously to the pleasure of his pictures.

Whether looking at the Seagram Building, which he sees as a glass stairway to the heavens; or at the agony and the ecstasy of the Arezzo Cross; at a Thuringer Landscape, with its red-roofed barn; or at a Rugen Island Trabant – two of the few colour shots in his show – his compositions possess the precision and mix of delicacy and strength which are found, as he says, "in the simple Japanese woodcuts of Haku Maki".

As a final word, he reminds us that photography allows no distractions: the focused image takes precedence over all else.

"You can't shove an old tractor (McCormick Tractor) around till it's in a better light. You have to set the scene, be it fun or sombre," he says.

He is to be commended for coming up with a first solo show which is as inviting as it is intricate and as delightful as it is detailed.

Photographic Memories is well worth a visit and can be seen – admission free – in the Foyer Gallery of the Penzance Arts Club, Chapel House, Chapel Street, from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Saturday, until December 12.

Frank Ruhrmund
This is Cornwall

Tuesday 2 December 2008

Age Discrimination Concerns for Employers

EMW Picton Howell, the commercial law firm are warning recruiters and employers of the growing number of job applicants exploiting age discrimination legislation in order to file claims.

There appears to be a growing trend of people applying for jobs whose adverts tend to suggest a certain age range is required. Upon sending their CV and not receiving an interview, they then lodge a complaint on the basis of age discrimination.

Head of employment at EMW Picton Howell, Jon Taylor, said: "These kinds of multiple claims can be worthwhile as employers sometimes decide it will just be cheaper to pay off the claimant to get rid of the claim."

These age discrimination claims appear to be a modern twist on the race discrimination claims, where an applicant would apply for a job separately using their own foreign name and an assumed Anglo-Saxon name. On receiving positive feedback from the Anglo-Saxon named CV only, a complaint would then be lodged.

Phrases in adverts are actually sought out by the applicants, intent on financial gain. Such wording as "newly qualified" or "10 years experience is essential" are clear examples of instances where a claim could potentially be taken seriously should an applicant not fall into this category, yet feel they are capable of doing the job.

Taylor states: "For example, if an employer or recruitment agency advertises for a "recent graduate" it's relatively easy for the claimant to prove statistically that the majority of recent graduates fall with a fairly narrow age range. This will be enough evidence to shift the burden of proof onto the employer, who then has to justify the use of the term if he is to successfully defend the claim."

Any agency or employer must be extremely careful when publishing adverts, so as to genuinely encourage the application of all potential candidates. Some things to consider within the adverts are:

- Actually write a clause at the bottom of the advert stating that age will not be a factor when considering applications.
- Make sure all response to adverts is logged and kept along with a copy of the advert itself.
- Where practical and possible, give explanations to applicants as to why they have been rejected.
- Show vigilance with the language used. Ensure the advert is not biased towards a particular section of society (such as "experienced candidates" or "recent graduates/ trainees").
- Try to advertise across a wide spectrum of media to ensure maximum expose to your market/s.

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Recruitment Survey 2007/ 2008

A high in recruitment, despite the number of permanent placements falling by 8%, it seems employers are willing to pay more for the right candidate.

Employers are hiring less but are paying more to find the right people, according to a new report.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation's Annual Industry Turnover and Key Volumes Survey 2007/ 08 shows turnover in the UK's recruitment industry hit a record high of more than £27bn between April 2007 and March 2008. The growth has been achieved through a sharp increase in turnover from permanent placements rising 21.7 per cent from £3.514bn to £4.276bn.

This high has appeared despite the number of permanent placements falling from 787,280 to 726,863 which the REC believes is down to employers willing to pay more for the right candidate.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "The huge growth in permanent recruitment turnover shows that employers are willing to pay more for the right candidate."

"This remains the case even in the changing employment climate. The downturn is really putting the skills of professional recruiters to the test but at the same time, this is giving them a real opportunity to shine and show employers what they're really made of."

He added: "As we enter a significant economic downturn, it is vital that the recruitment industry retains its ability to help the economy bounce back from the bottom of the cycle which will in turn enable early recovery."

"Within this context, we must ensure that new legislation such as the EU Agency Workers Directive and the taxation of recruitment services are implemented and reviewed in a way that does not add further barriers."

"The recruitment industry plays a crucial role in the economic success of the UK by ensuring the efficient delivery of human resources where they are most needed - in both good times and bad."

"Currently, some niche players are faring particularly well, for example those providing risk management specialists to the financial sector, while good opportunities for consolidation are emerging in most occupational sectors. The year ahead is likely to test companies, with flexibility and control of cash the key factors in achieving success."

BD Recruitment are a specialist IT & New Media recruiter for jobs in Leeds, jobs in Liverpool and jobs in London, based in Manchester, UK.

Thursday 6 November 2008

I still like writing links that include the words "Click here..."

This article by Nick Usborne at excess voice is definitely worth a read.

I speak to a lot of internet users that are not familiar with links that have no call to action, what do they do when they visit a page with no directions, they hit the back button; read on.

I know. I'm bad.

So much has been written about how passé and generally newbie-like it is to write a link that includes the words "click here".

Not good for search engine optimization. Wasted words.

Totally unnecessary for readers who have long since learned to click on text that looks like a hyperlink.

So why do I like using the words "click here?"

Because those two short words encourage my readers to take a very simple, no-commitment, non-scary action.

By way of example:

Learn more about Organic Flax Seed face cream...


Click here for information about Organic Flax Seed face cream...

Is the second one so bad? I don't think so.

When I look at the first one, it's asking me to make a commitment of time and thinking power to "learn more". If I am really interested in Organic Flax Seed face cream I'll probably go ahead. I really do want to learn more.

But what if I'm only slightly interested? Just a teeny bit? Before clicking the link I have to commit myself to "learning more".

Now let's look at the "click here" version.

I'm not asking them to learn anything. I'm just telling them that there is some more information on the next page.

All I'm asking them to do is "click here". Nothing scary about that. No commitment involved. No sense that they are being drawn down a sales funnel that will leave their wallet a little lighter.

Some people might suggest I write the link like this:

Organic Flax Seed face cream...

In fact, that is how I see more and more links being written. No call to action (click here), no indication of what you'll find if you do click that link.

Experts will tell me, "Don't be a pain Nick, you know as well as we do that it is sufficient to just name the product or service and make it look like a link.

People know what to do."

Yes, site visitors do know what their choices are when they see some links.

But what's wrong with encouraging them to actually DO something, and click that link?

Other than it being unfashionable and uncool, what is the problem with saying, for more information on creating effective links, click here?

In part, yes, I'm being contrarian and deliberately provocative here.

But it irritates me sometimes that people have stopped writing "click here" as part of their links text simply because everyone else has stopped.

By all means exclude those words from your links. But first, give some thought as to why you are doing it.

Myself, I still say "click here".

In a hyperlinked world, those two words strike me as being the simplest and most universally recognized call for the reader to move forward - from one page to the next and to the next.

Nick Usborne, home of the Excess Voice newsletter for online copywriters.

Wednesday 5 November 2008

Bank Funding for Small Businesses

The FPB (The Forum of Private Businesses) is petitioning the Government to ensure that the banks deliver on their bail-out obligations and remain open for business.

Following a seminar held at the London Guildhall to discuss the European Investment Bank's (EIB'S) £4 billion business fund, small businesses are calling for a return to 2007 lending levels.

The seminar was attended by the President of the EIB, Philippe Maystadt, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Peter Mandelson, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, in addition to representatives from UK banks and businesses.

The FPB, which is preparing to meet with Lord Mandelson and representatives from the banks on the new small business lending forum, has posted its petition on the Downing Street website.

Nick Palin, the FPB's Director of Finance said: "The European Investment Banking funding, which is being earmarked specifically for businesses, follows the £37 billion in tax payers' money that the Government has already ploughed into the banks.

There can be no excuse for the major lenders not to live up to their responsibilities to small businesses. We are backing Government's repeated calls for access to finance to be restored to 2007 levels, and will continue to push for this to happen as quickly as possible"

He added; "Already, more calls are being received by our member helpline concerning issues such as increased overdraft rates and reduced credit lines. Through its new economic downturn panel, the FPB will continue to scrutinise the banks' relationships with their small business customers. Through the petition, we are urging the government to do the same".

BD Recruitment, specialists in recruiting for new media IT jobs , based in Manchester, UK.

Thursday 23 October 2008

How to Resign From Your Job

I do like this one; probably because as I look back into my murky past I think - could have done that better, read on...

1. Make up your mind first

  • Thejob hunt can be long and stressful, often involving days off work and a good dose of secrecy in the work place. So, make sure your mind is 100% made up before you embark on the interview process.
  • Ask yourself how determined are you to leave?
  • Would you stay put if offered more money or a better position?
  • Talk to your family to see what they think

2. Verbal Resignation

  • Work out your strategy and what you are going to say and DO NOT allow yourself to be drawn away from this onto other subjects.
  • Try to highlight positives, such as what you have liked during your time there. This will demonstrate you have thought about things in a balanced frame of mind.
  • Keep your composure. If your Boss becomes annoyed, do not change your tone or deviate from your initial strategy.
  • Expect to be "bought back" (see The Counter Offer below)

3. Written Resignation

  • A written resignation gives you time to prepare what you going to say.
  • Keep it simple. Include your name, date of resignation and the person it's addressed to. You can add information such as appreciation for your time there, but don't use it as a vehicle to voice any opinions you may have or bad mouth the company.
  • Remember you may require a reference, so do not leave on a bad note.

4. The Counter Offer

  • Always consider a counter offer seriously. This could come in the form of a pay increase, a change in job role, a promotion.
  • HOWEVER, always remember why you are here in the first place. Consider the following before your ego is flattered too much:

    1. How difficult will it be to replace you? Is the prospect of having to find the next ‘you' the reason they would rather just throw money at you?
    2. How much money will it cost to replace you? On average it costs £7000 to replace a vital member of staff - recruitment fees, time taken out of other people's days to recruit & cover your work, etc. Therefore it's often an easy option to pay you a touch more to keep you.
    3. If you have been offered an immediate pay rise, when can you expect another one? It's unlikely that having paid you more than they would like in order to keep you, you will also get a good increase next time around. The chances are, this is simply a pay rise that has been moved forward in order to paper over a crack.
    4. Will it rock the boat? Studies show that when someone leaves a company, they often take someone else with them (someone who has been thinking about leaving will be buoyed by you resigning and do the same). Does your Boss want the team morale slumping or would it be better if you stayed?
    5. Where has this fantastic position being offered to you suddenly sprung from? Don't be fooled by the prospect of new titles and roles. If you didn't think those prospects were there in the first place, the chances are they are still not. Once again it's a technique to keep you, in the short term, to give the company chance to create a contingency plan.
    6. Now that you have resigned (or threatened to) how secure is your job really? Will you be first out the door if things become tough for the business, because of your lack of loyalty?
    7. Will things very quickly go back to how they were? Studies have shown that people who take up a counter offer are often back looking again within 6 months as they realise improvements were simply lip service.

So, don't be flattered to the point of staying put. Remember what made you look for a new role in the first place. For this reason, it is vital that you give careful consideration to a move at the very start.

If you are able to establish whether an improved position and/or pay rise is possible prior to resigning then you maybe saving yourself, the companies you interview with and any agencies you use, a great deal of time and effort.

Article Source:

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for new media jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Monday 20 October 2008

Pedn Vounder Beach Cornwall

Pedn Vounder beach Cornwall

A reprieve and a reminder that there was a summer after all.

Friday 10 October 2008

The Survival Guide to the First Week in your New Job

This is an excellent article published on BD Recruitment's advice for job seekers page.

First impressions count when you start a new position, so make sure that the weekend celebrations over your new job stop long before Monday morning.

It can be a nervous time, when you want to be merging gradually into your new environment and not sticking out like a sore thumb. So, here's our simple guide to getting the first few days right...
Getting to work

* DO NOT be late on your first day.
* This journey maybe unfamiliar to you, especially during morning rush hour, so preparation is the key.
* You will have ideally carried out a trial run one morning the previous week, to assess the flow of traffic and give yourself every chance of predicting journey time.
* Check for traffic jams/road closures/train delays before you set off.
* If you are going to be late, make sure you call ahead and inform the company.
* If you arrive too early, don't worry. It will give you time to relax and grab a coffee before it all starts.

Who are you seeing?

* Who are you due to ask for on day one?
* Do you know what time you are set to start?
* Do you know the address you are working (if the company has more than one site)?


* Many larger firms have strict security policies. You maybe expected to meet with a Security Officer initially to go over procedure.
* Make sure you know before hand if any information is required, such as ID or a couple of photo's for a security card.

Your P45

* You should have been provided with a P45 by your previous employer. This details what you have earned in the current tax year along with tax paid to-date.
* Take this along with you on day one and give it to the Payroll or Accounting Departments.

Something to keep you busy

* Often your job will require you to "get stuck in" with immediate effect. However, if it's a slow burner or perhaps it's your first job, you can expect some "down time" when you could be left twiddling your thumbs.
* Take a book or magazine with you to work - perhaps a leading industry publication. This will make you appear organised and prevent you being seen as idle or a little lost.

Personalise your space

* It's usually acceptable to allow a little personalisation around your work space.
* Bringing in a couple of family photos or something personal will make you feel comfortable and at ease early on.

Learn names

* You will obviously be meeting a number of new people when you start. Learning names is very important - not only to make you feel part of your new surroundings but also to let people see you are really making the effort.
* Focus on putting a name to the face in the early days as getting names wrong after week 2 is not ideal!

Ease into the social scene

* At the end of your first week, it may be common for the team to go for drinks.
* Be aware of your behaviour during the early social stages. You don't know these people yet and the wrong thing may be said to the wrong person.
* Wait until you have stronger relationships before opening your heart to them.

Article Source:
BD Recruitment are a specialist recruiter for IT & new media jobs, internet marketing jobs and technical IT jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Monday 6 October 2008

National Minimum Wage Increase

From Wednesday 8th October, the national minimum wage in the UK will increase from £5.52 to £5.73 per hour for workers aged 22 and over, £4.77 for an 18-21-year-old and £3.53 for those aged 16 and 17.

The National Minimum Wage was first introduced on 1 April 1999. The main rate was set at £3.60 (for workers aged 22 and over) and £3.00 (workers aged 18-21 years old).

Business Secretary John Hutton said:

"The National Minimum Wage remains one of the most important rights introduced by the Government in the last decade. Before it was introduced, some workers could expect to be paid as little as 35p an hour, our legislation has ensured that can no longer happen."

Tough new penalties are set to come into force next April for employers that flout the rules, while an information campaign over the next six months will aim to make sure that every employer is aware of the changes. The Government is also tightening up enforcement of the minimum wage with new measures, including:

* A fairer way of dealing with national minimum wage arrears, calculated to ensure that employees do not lose out as a result of underpayment.

* Tougher penalties for employers who break the law, increasing the maximum penalty for non-payment of the National Minimum Wage from £5,000 to an unlimited fine. Serious cases of non-compliance will be tried in a Crown Court.

Pat McFadden, employment relations minister, said:

"Ten years ago, the National Minimum Wage was born, marking the start of a hard-fought campaign to introduce a basic standard of employment rights that every worker could be protected by. The minimum wage has made a lasting and significant difference to the low paid, with around a million workers benefiting from the increase each year."

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for new media jobs, business development manager jobs and technical IT jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Tuesday 30 September 2008

UK Salary Gap Rise

The average advertised salary in London is now £10,000 more than the rest of the UK, according to new figures.

The figures, from search engine AllTheTopBananas.com, show that the average advertised salary around the UK is £31,128, compared with London's average advertised salary of £41,500.

The highest average advertised salary outside London is to be found in East Anglia, at £34,487, while the North West has the lowest at £29,676.

Region with average advertised salary:

London - £41,079

East Anglia - £32,551

Wales - £31,795

West Midlands - £31,673

South East - £30,765

South West - £30,496

East Midlands - £30,146

Yorkshire & Humber - £29,782

Scotland - £29,538

North East - £28,941

North West - £28,641

Dave Martin, managing director at AllTheTopBananas, said: "Advertised salaries are rising faster in London than the rest of the UK and the gap is getting bigger. This is a trend that is likely to continue throughout the next 12 months. We are also seeing advertised salaries continue to rise overall, putting added pressure on inflation. There's a chance this could add to the UK's economic woes in the next 12 months."

Article Source:
BD Recruitment are a specialist recruiter for web development jobs, ppc jobs and business analysis jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Friday 26 September 2008

Penzance Arts Club – Up for Sale

penzance arts club hotel

Will someone want to come in and keep the arts club as it is, or will they want to live there themselves or will the building be a private development. For those in the vicinity of Penzance, Cornwall and involved in the arts in any way this will be of interest.

First here’s what you’ll be getting:

Grade II listed 4 storey Georgian building.
Views over Mounts Bay towards St. Michael's Mount.
7 bedrooms and a caretaker flat.
Reception hall/ foyer/ gallery.
Spacious bar lounge.
Lower ground floor restaurant & kitchen.
Walled garden and terrace.
Garage and courtyard.
The Penzance Arts Club Hotel is featured in 'HIP Hotel' series.

The origins of such a wonderful building, well, Chapel House was originally built as Portuguese Embassy in 1781.

Now an insight into the club, and a little more detail about what you’ll be getting:

The Penzance Arts Club is up for sale after fifteen years of trading. It is currently on the market for £895,000 and is being sold with the options of either, a going concern, a private house or for development.

Chapel House is situated at the bottom end of Chapel Street, one of the oldest streets in Penzance and is fast becoming known as the Cornish equivalent of Cork Street in London with its numerous art galleries featuring old and new paintings, sculpture and new media.

Under the present ownership Chapel House has been tastefully restored and retains most of its original features. It has been the Penzance Arts Club for the past fifteen years with approximately 300 members.

The principal function of the Art Club is to provide a congenial venue for people of like minds to meet and entertain their friends, colleagues and business associates. The club is dedicated, in its own way, to promoting the Arts in Cornwall and the South West and hosts many functions including, exhibitions, parties, weddings, poetry, life drawing classes, jazz and blues evenings.

This seven bed boutique hotel attracts people from far and wide and has over the years been frequented by many celebrities (it is in Cornwall), also having reciprocal arrangements with several other clubs world wide including the Dover Street Arts Club in London. It has a very bohemian atmosphere with a very shabby, chic style.

There have been many articles written about the Penzance Arts Club over the years, both nationally and internationally. It would make a great home and/ or business for someone wishing to live and work on the same premises. The top floor could easily be converted back into an owner flat with spectacular views over Mounts Bay, leaving four letting bedrooms for income together with the bar, restaurant and Art's Club.

Chapel House sits in a very prominent position and is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in Penzance.

So what are you waiting for…

Full colour brochure available at Savills.
Or have a leisurely look at the Penzance arts club website.

Tuesday 23 September 2008

One Man's Loss is Another Man's Gain

Adding to the depressed state of the economy, the TUC is confident that the number of individuals out of work for a year or more will double by the end of next year. This will bring the total of long-term unemployed to 700,000 and the number of unemployed, in total, to just over 2m. These figures surely bring with them the concern for out of date skills and the difficulty of getting the long-term unemployed back into employment.

Chief Economist at the CIPD, John Philpott, strongly agrees, stating that the combination of the rising number of claimants coupled with failing business confidence will only be cause to further jobs cuts on top of the ones already pushing the economy to it's limits.

However, not everyone holds such a dismissal view and on the other side of the employment market you could argue that things are improving. Yes, there is no denying that the number of companies making redundancies is at an all time high. Yet the successful companies, arguably the ones which as an employee you would want to be with anyway, are going from strength to strength. The number of companies going out of business is resulting in the striving companies devouring the market share relinquished by the companies who are bowing out.

Ask a recruitment consultant in the IT industry, for example, and they will most definitely tell you that their best clients are recruiting now more than ever. Tom Hadley, director of external relations at REC, supports this view stating 'feedback from recruitment professionals on the front line of the labour market confirms that employers are still recruiting, although it is clearly a more competitive environment for jobseekers following years of an extremely candidate-driven market.

Our message to jobseekers is to speak with local recruitment agencies, find out what sectors and employers are recruiting and even ask them for some guidance on longer term career options'.

With figures showing the largest unemployment increase for over a decade, with worse predicted yet to come, in times like this jobseekers need to enhance their added value and prove that you, above the rest, can offer more. Companies are still recruiting the game just got harder.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for web designer jobs, marketing account manager jobs and web programmer jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Female workers paid less

The Battle of the Sexes continues in the workplace according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.co.uk. Although employers are increasingly introducing programs to promote equality, 30 per cent of female workers in the United Kingdom say they feel they are paid less than their counterparts of the opposite sex with the same skills and qualifications. Thirteen per cent of men in the UK say they feel they are paid less than their female counterparts. The CareerBuilder.co.uk survey, "Workplace Equality," included more than 3,700 workers across seven European countries and also surveyed workers in the United States.

Overall, 38 per cent of the female European workers surveyed, believe they experience pay discrimination when compared to their male counterparts with the same qualifications. Female workers in Germany (45 per cent) were the most likely of those surveyed to report wage discrimination and women in the Netherlands (28 per cent) were the least likely to report wage discrimination.

Per cent of women workers who say they are paid less than their male counterparts with the same skills and qualifications:

· Germany 45 per cent
· France: 43 per cent
· Italy: 36 per cent
· Sweden: 35 per cent
· United Kingdom: 30 per cent
· Spain: 30 per cent
· Netherlands: 28 per cent
· United States: 34 per cent
· Europe Overall: 38 per cent

While female workers in the UK reported less discrimination than European workers overall, there is still much work to be done to promote equality in the workplace. Companies recognise the competitive advantage a diverse workforce provides and are placing more emphasis on recruitment and retention practices that encourage equality.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for graphic designer jobs, account manager jobs and web programmer jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Thursday 11 September 2008

Write every web page with a view to its connections to other pages.

Unless you are writing a single page web site, the pages you write will always be connected to other pages on the site.

Here are my questions...and be honest in your answers:

When you write a web page, how much attention do you pay to its relationship with other pages on the site?

Do you think about the pages people may have read immediately BEFORE arriving on the page you are writing?

Do you think about the pages that people will visit immediately AFTER reading that page?

Understand this difference about the web...

Unlike with other media, the connections between the different pages on a web site can be very complicated.

With a catalog or magazine, one page follows the other in a linear, predictable fashion. The relationship between one page and the next is always the same. The next page follows the one before.

But it's different online, and a lot harder for people to figure out where they are and where they should go next.

Imagine not being able to hold a print catalog in your hand in its entirety. Instead, you are given just one page to look at a time. Once you have read that one page, you then have to ask for the next page you'd like to see.

How do you know which is the "best" next page to see? How do you know which page to ask for?

It would drive you crazy. You'd scream, "Hey, just give me the entire catalog so I can see where I am and see where I want to go next!"

Online, visitors to web site are served up just one page at a time.

And we can't help them by giving them the whole web site at once. We are constricted by the medium and by the monitor.

In other words, our visitors have a really hard time figuring out where they are and where they should go next.

Here's how you need to help them...

First, understand that visitors to an internal web page won't always arrive from "the page before". Some will come from the home page, if there's a link, some will come there direct from a search engine, and some will arrive via some other internal page on your site.

In other words, if you have links to a page from ten other pages on your site, people can arrive there from any of those pages...in addition to those arriving from links outside your site.

This means that each page has to open with a headline and introductory copy that will make sense to people REGARDLESS of which page they arrived from.

This can be tough to do.

All too often writers will assume that visitors to a second level page have all arrived from a link on the home page. And they write that second level page as if it is a continuation of the information on the home page.

That works fine for visitors who DO arrive from the home page, but not so well for those who don't.

Just be aware that the web is not a linear reader experience, like a catalog, and write accordingly.

Here's another way to help your readers...

If you study your server logs and track the behavior of your visitors, over time you will see some clear patterns emerge.

For instance, you will usually find that after reading a particular page about 80% of people will find their way to one of three or four other pages.

For instance, if a financial services web site has a page on insurance, 80% of the readers of that page may want to then go to 1) the page on auto insurance, 2) the page on home insurance or 3) the page on farm insurance.

When this proves to be the case, make it easy for everyone by providing direct, descriptive links to those three or four pages at the end of the current page.

As with a catalog being served up one page at a time, it helps people if you can tell at least 80% of your readers, "Here are the pages you probably want to look at next."

Nick Usbourne
home of the Excess Voice newsletter for online copywriters

Monday 1 September 2008

6 million People Live In Homes Where No-One Is Working

Around six million people live in homes where no one is working, according to new figures.

The statistics, from the Office for National Statistics, reveal that 4.3m adults and 1.77m children reside in welfare-dependent homes. The number of homes in which no one works has risen by 43,000 since 2003.

James Clappison, a Tory welfare reform spokesman, told the Daily Mail: "If nearly 1.8m children are growing up in households with no one in work, they are potentially being condemned to a cycle of low achievement and unemployment."

Debbie Scott, chief executive at Tomorrow's People, an independent charity that helps the long-term unemployed back into work, told Recruiter: "We are acutely aware that there are unacceptable numbers of households with people that have never worked. We need to work with the whole family in getting them back to work. We are about to commission a research project this to identify some strategies to look into this problem."

Richard Bacon, a Tory MP on the committee, which acts as a watchdog over public spending, said: "The Department for Work and Pensions does not know how many people are out of work by choice, rather than by chance.

"Properly targeted help must be put in place for those who want to work. Only then will the Government be able to flush out the shirkers who are sticking up two fingers at hard-working families and treating the benefit system like a cash machine."

The committee's report pointed out that the burden of worklessness is being borne by the country at a time when an expanding economy has produced record levels of employment. The proportion of working age people with jobs has reached a historic high of just under 75 per cent.

At the same time, the official unemployment tally says only a few more than 800,000 are out of a job and able to work.

However evidence has been piling up that millions of Britons have been content to spend entire lives on benefits while four out of every five new jobs have been taken by immigrants.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for creative account manager jobs, marketing account manager jobs and technical project manager jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

3.3 Million Workers Are Not Confident They Will Keep Their Jobs

According to a new YouGov poll commissioned by the TUC more than 3.3 million workers (13 per cent of the workforce) are not confident they will still be in their job in a year's time.

The report, found that that one in five Welsh workers fear job cuts, while 17% of Scots are worried they may find themselves out of work.

Workers in the east of England are the most optimistic. Only 7 per cent are not confident of being in their job in a year’s time. They are followed by workers in London, Yorkshire and the west Midlands where 12 per cent lack the confidence in being in their jobs in a year.

People who earn between £10,000 and £15,000 feel less secure about keeping their jobs whereas employees earning more than £50,000 seemed more confident. Non- Union members seemed less confident about being in their job in a years time compared to 48 per cent of union members who where optimistic about their employment.

Brendan Barber, general secretary at the TUC, said: "These poll findings show just how many people are getting worried about losing their job in the current economic slowdown. Of course, this does not mean that unemployment will rise by anything like three million, but it does show just how jittery people have become about the economy and their own job."

"The economy will inevitably slow this year and next, given the credit crunch and the impact of higher oil, food and commodity prices. But there is a real danger that if everyone thinks that the downturn will be deeper than it needs to be it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy."

"These findings add to the growing pressure on the Government and economic policy makers to put growth first by doing all they can to restore confidence and boost investment".

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for creative manager jobs, marketing management jobs and business analysis jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Wednesday 27 August 2008

Results of a survey by the CIPD

According to a survey released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), fewer than a third of UK firms are taking on new staff and are expected to increase from 22% to 27% this year.

The number of employers planning job losses increased between the second and third quarters of this year. And the survey of 1,200 UK firms showed a big dip in work prospects compared with 37% of firms taking on staff earlier this year and 58% when the survey began in 2004.

John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said: "Last December I forecast that 2008 would be the UK'S worst year for jobs in a decade. I thought there would be some growth in employment- though only a third of that enjoyed in 2006 and 2007 and not enough to present a rise in unemployment- resulting from a squeeze on recruitment and a limited increase in the number of redundancies. Although this forecast was initially considered pessimistic it now looks relatively optimistic in comparison with the prevailing mood of doom and gloom. My initial view was based on the assumption that interest rates would fall in the second half of 2008. But this has been made difficult by a bigger than anticipated spike in food and fuel prices, making the outlook for jobs worse than originally expected.

Even if we avoid the scale of jobs fallout suffered in previous downturns, the era of the candidate's recruitment market is already over, with people in work becoming increasingly anxious that their P45 might be on its way soon.

With pay pressure still subdued, mounting job insecurity is being compounded by a significant squeeze on workers' real incomes."

According to the recent study, average pay rises are expected to rise by 3.7% in the coming months, in line with recent settlements.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for creative manager jobs, ppc jobs and c# jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Friday 22 August 2008

Help to Decline in the Level of Sickness at Work

New report by the Department of Work and Pensions claim that bosses could be assisted by the department by being given grants to help sick employees return to work. This would in turn cut the level of sickness absence as well as the amount of people that are relying on incapacity benefits.

The Department of Work and Pensions reveals that around 90% of people that have health problems would be able to return to work earlier if there was some intervention in illnesses, along with the work place becoming much more accommodating, allowing more support for retuning to work and the temporary provision of modified work.

The official review looks closely into vocational rehabilitation, simple measures, as well as more structured support for employees who need extra help, this could reduce the amount of long term sickness absence. It could also reduce the number of employees on incapacity benefits by up to 60%.

James Purnell, the Secretary for the Work and Pensions Department, commented on the review stating that their radical proposals to change the welfare system are created to make sure that people can stay at or return to work if they re able to. The evidence from the review shows how getting back to work can be an important step to the recovery of employees.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for creative jobs, marketing jobs and technical IT jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Monday 18 August 2008

CIPD Conference

With the economic downturn being the focus for this year’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) conference it’s a must for all businesses. With 5,000 HR professionals to meet and network with, 300 exhibitors and the opportunity to book an appointment in advance with key suppliers it’s worth a visit if you are a recruiter or just looking for a career change.

You can find advice and solutions to all your HR needs from talent management to organisational development and there will be speciality zones to help you find your way.

The Conference will take place at the Harrogate International Centre from Tuesday 16th of September until Thursday 18th of September. It will be open to everyone from 9.30am-5pm.

Seminars that will take place include;

· Surviving and Thriving through Turbulence: views from the top with Carolyn McCall, chief executive from the Guardian Media Group (GMG) and David Robinson, chairman from Richer Sounds.

· Leading through Turbulence: the power of courageous leaders with Octavius Black.

· How to Get Engaged at Work: developing successful leaders and cultures with Beverly Alimo-Metcalfe, professor of leadership from the University of Bradford School of Management, Emeritus professor of leadership studies at the University of Leeds and chief executive at Real World Group.

· Performance Management with Stephen Sidebottom, head of HR Europe at Nomura International, and Stephen Moir, Director of people and policy from Cambridgeshire County Council.

To find out more information about the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development conference visit their website www.cipd.co.uk

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment a specialist recruiter for web development jobs, ppc jobs and .net developer jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Tuesday 12 August 2008

Pauillac Gironde Latour Reprieve

Grand cru Château Latour vineyards in Pauillac Gironde FranceA reprieve from work: Château Latour's vineyards... heaven?

Monday 11 August 2008

Vulnerable Workers

Business leaders have breathed a sigh of relief after a crackdown on rogue employers of vulnerable workers announced today did not include new laws.

The strategy instead features a telephone helpline for vulnerable workers to report abuses, and a £6m information campaign to raise awareness of employment rights as reported in personneltoday.com.

The Vulnerable Worker Enforcement Forum made recommendations which included representatives from business, unions, recruiters and the government.

Neil Carberry, head of employment at the CBI, said; "This report is good news for law-abiding employers. Britain has a strong framework of employment rights and it is where these laws are flouted that employees are open to exploitation. New laws and regulations do little to tackle unscrupulous firms, who simply ignore the law while they undercut law- abiding businesses. This package of reforms will not increase the burden for honest businesses, but will help protect workers who are being denied their employment rights".

The new Fair Employment Enforcement Board, chaired by the employment relations minister Pat McFadden, will co-ordinate the work of the government enforcement agencies covering minimum wage, health and safety, employment agencies and gang masters.

Among the new measures is the induction of a telephone helpline to report abuses to government workplace enforcement agencies. The Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate is to be strengthened by doubling the number of its inspectors by the end of July 2009 and have its profile raised significantly, while BERR (The department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform) will also introduce stronger penalties for agency offences. As part of the crack down, agencies are being encouraged to share more information.

Pat McFadden said: "There are still dark corners of the labour market where rogue employers seek to mistreat their workers and more needs to be done to safeguards people's rights. We want to prevent unscrupulous employers who undercut honest competition and prey on people who are fearful or so desperate to earn a living that they are open to exploitation. It is vital we boost awareness of employment rights and ensure those rights are properly enforced".

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for copywriter jobs, sem jobs and web programmer jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Re-Think Redundancies

Employers need to retain staff to see out the economic downturn, according to Hull based human resources consultant Rob Coates; The Managing Director of Willerby Hill.

Rob's Comments are supported by a recent study by Deloitte Touche, which concludes that 2008 is the year when there will be more jobs than people to fill them.

Coates claims that staff expertise and skills are needed most during a downturn to see companies through it. He said "Apart from depriving yourself of prized assets that may be vital to weather hard times, you could be delivering competitive advantage to business rivals by letting go high calibre players whose training and development you financed."

"The fact is that, whatever the short to medium-term trends, the UK workforce is aging and shrinking rapidly, with decent staff increasingly aware of their value and far more ambitious. As such, the employment market is more predatory than ever before and businesses should be positioning themselves as top employers in their sector and geographic area so that they attract and retain the best workers."

Yet still it seems that too many companies are taking the knee-jerk reaction of streamlining three vital areas: marketing, training and staff- with the impact of redundancy invariably echoing long after people have departed. As the morale of the surviving staff is then low and they are feeling insecure they then start to seek alternative opportunities – which then in turn leads to more staff losses.

Rob says that even if business is doing well and there doesn't seem to be any plans to make redundancies then communication and transparency are vital in the face of the slowdown. This way everyone knows what's happening around them and they are kept in the picture.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for web development jobs, seo jobs and .net developer jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Frustrated Employees

According to new research conducted by the global management consultancy Hay Group: one in five UK workers are frustrated in their current jobs. 20% of the UK workforce felt frustrated by their work, while 35% think their job does not make the best use of their skills and abilities and 50% believe that they lack the authority to make decisions crucial to their jobs.

The majority of people at work are aligned with corporate goals and objectives and enthusiastic about making a difference- but they are held back by roles that do not suit them or work environments that get in their way. "Frustrated" employees represent a real lost opportunity for organisations. From a motivational perspective, business leaders have these employees where they want them. Where strong motivation to succeed is not paired with similar levels of support, employees are likely to either tune out or leave.

The report also showed that 56% of senior managers fail to generate a high-performance climate, while 41% thought managers were guilty of creating a de-motivating climate for employees.

Ben Hubbard, regional director (Europe, Middle East, Africa) at Hay Group’s employee survey division, said: "The frustrated employee phenomenon poses a major risk and a significant opportunity. With fierce competition for the most talented employees, companies' efforts to engage their people will be wasted if not backed by a supportive and enabling environment".

According to a report written by hay group there are several ways in which organisations can help beat the employee "frustration":

· Performance Management: By clarifying personal goals and priorities enables performance by allowing employees to focus on essential, value-added tasks. Likewise, by continually 'raising the bar,' ongoing feedback about performance helps ensure that employees are using their full capability.

· Authority and empowerment: Where employees have appropriate autonomy and discretion, they are better able to structure their working patterns to suit the way that they work best. And, by managing how they work, employees are more likely to find opportunities to leverage their skills and abilities fully in their jobs.

· Available resources: An enabling environment requires that employees have the information and resources (e.g tools, equipment, supplies) needed to do their jobs effectively.

· Training: In an enabling environment, employees are provided with job-related training to ensure they have the knowledge and skills necessary to carry out key tasks and deal effectively with internal and external customers. Appropriate training, which can turn potential into productivity, is also essential to ensure that organisations get the most from the abilities of their employees.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for creative account manager jobs, marketing account manager jobs and technical project manager jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Tuesday 29 July 2008

Train to Gain a Government Initiative

The Government is earmarking £200 million for training in key sectors of the economy, such as construction and IT. At the moment the bulk of government funding is aimed at improving the literacy and numeracy of lower-skilled employees through their flagship training initiative, Train to Gain. Employees with low levels of basic skills or who do not have a level 2 qualification can benefit from the independent Train to Gain scheme. Specific funding initiatives are also in place for achievement of management and leadership qualifications and some level 3 qualifications.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says that if the government is to realise its ambition of raising the nations productivity levels it needs to expand its support to other areas in which recruitment is difficult due to genuine skill shortages. The most effective method would be to provide additional training to internal staff to fill the posts rather than recruit people who do not have the necessary skills.

Employers should be playing their part too. By investing in training they can add to the supply of skilled labour and help combat recruitment difficulties. Employees are more likely to able to progress further in the company with internal training and the amount of employees that would stay with a company would increase.

Another recommendation from the government is that every school leaver should have the right to an apprenticeship by 2013. At present only 6% of employers offer them. John Denham the skills secretary from the Learning and Skills Council said

"An apprenticeship will become a typical choice for young people and adults- at the same time ensuring that businesses get the vital skills that they need. Apprenticeships are at the heart of the country’s economy. They unlock talent and are the key to our future prosperity".

Even with the offer of an apprenticeship scheme the first port of call would still be through LSC'S Train to Gain service.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for web designer jobs, account manager jobs and asp .net developer jobs, based in Manchester, UK.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Think Smallest Business First

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has written to members of both the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, seeking support for its 'Think Smallest First' campaign. They are urging senior MPs, including the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, to pledge their support for the UK’s smallest firms first and to consider the impact of the regulation on the smallest businesses at every stage of the legislation process.

Prof Whyman, who has written exclusively for the FPB, refers to small businesses as the "backbone of virtually all economies", quoting figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that almost half (47.1%) of the UK's working population – 22.4 million people – are employed by small businesses. In turn, they produce £2, 6000 billion worth of goods and services. He also writes that small businesses have the potential to be more customer – focused than their larger competitors, often operating in niche markets, identifying new opportunities and satisfying market demands that would otherwise remain unfulfilled.

More than 99% of the UK's businesses are small (1 to 49 members of staff); however, the majority employ fewer than 10 employees. The recruitment and Employment Confederation estimates 9,070 of the 11,354 recruitment companies (80%) earn less than £1m in turnover.

Phil Orford chief executive at FPB, said; "It is widely acknowledged that small businesses across the UK are struggling to cope with the increasing burden of red tape and other barriers to growth, such as the UK's disproportionate tax system."

"The key issue is that businesses at the smaller end of the scale most often lack the resources to over come these barriers. Considering the smallest, most valuable firms had to be the number one priority of all politicians when it comes to legislating on enterprise."

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the creative recruitment, marketing recruitment and technical recruitment industries, based in Manchester, UK.

Friday 13 June 2008

Working Time Directive

The Working Time Directive was introduced in 1993 by The European Commission. It limited the maximum working week to 48 hours unless staff requested to work longer. After a recent review, EU ministers have agreed that Britain can retain its opt out of the legislation.

The opt-out has allowed member states to put in place measures allowing individuals to agree not to be subject to the 48-hour working limit. Employees are basically allowed to work as many hours as they wish now but with a cap at 60 hours over an average of 3 months.

According to the TUC, 3.3 million employees currently work longer than 48 hours a week.

John Hutton, Business Secretary commented : "Flexibility has been critical to our ability to create an extra three million jobs over the past decade. That flexibility has been preserved by ensuring workers can continue to have choice over their working hours in future years".

Industries such as catering, hospitality and recruitment rely heavily on this legislation.

Chris Crawford is the MD of BD Recruitment, a specialist recruiter for the creative recruitment, marketing recruitment and technical recruitment industries, based in Manchester, UK.