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Whether you are a current student, a soon-to-be graduate, or a parent, anticipating those first steps into the ‘big wide world’ can be a stressful and uncertain experience. Due to the pressures of the pandemic, getting onto the ‘career ladder’ has become even more competitive and unpredictable.

The good news is that with a little knowledge, preparation and the right support, graduates and their loved ones can approach job hunting with the enthusiasm, motivation and hopefulness it deserves. After years of studying, now is the time to shine! Here’s our top tips to help build your confidence.

Preparing to Find Your First Job

Starting Your Job Search

Supporting Graduate Job Seekers

For those new to the world of work, taking that first step towards a new career can feel intimidating. As an ethical recruitment agency, Marmion understand the pressure candidates can experience, which is why we provide practical advice and support at every stage of the recruitment process.

Give us a call on 0113 332 0678 or email to see how we can help.

Apprenticeships have developed a somewhat tainted reputation since they were first introduced in 1990, with many individuals believing they are an inferior substitute for a university degree course for those who do not achieve the necessary grades or for those hopping to pursue a career in manual labour.

However, apprenticeships have changed and developed significantly since their inception and many school leavers are now choosing apprenticeships over degree courses to enable them to gain the relevant industry experience they require, whilst earning and in many cases, studying. Top firms have demonstrated their belief in the value of apprenticeships by continuing to expand the number of places available on their schemes; EY, PwC and Nestle have expanded their apprenticeship schemes alongside their graduate programme and report that many apprentices are demonstrating more potential than their graduate trainees.

It is no surprise that one of the deciding factors for many young people who are faced with the tough decision of deliberating between going to university, undertaking an apprenticeship or going straight into a full-time job is the huge burden of debt that face those undertaking a university degree.

Depressingly, four out of ten university students are not expected to have cleared their debts 30 years after graduation and this is worsened with the reality that getting a degree does not guarantee you will acquire a good job at the end, highlighted by the statistic revealing half of recent graduates are currently working in positions that do not require a degree. Indeed, obtaining a university degree has many benefits, primarily providing a professional qualification that is respected and recognised worldwide that the individual will then have for life; however, with apprenticeships offering valuable work experience and with an increasing number allowing individuals to study a degree course as part of the scheme, apprenticeships should be seen as a very appealing option and one which school leavers today should definitely consider.

Further benefits that apprenticeships can provide for those considering enrolling include the ability to develop a broader and more specialist range of skills and knowledge that can significantly improve future prospects, especially for those considering a career in an industry where experience is vital. In addition, apprenticeships provide the opportunity for high earning potential and can be very rewarding, both financially and intellectually.

From a recruitment perspective, they are also a great way for individuals to get an indication of whether their chosen career path is the right path for them; something which is often hard to tell from studying a vocational course with little, if any, hands-on experience.

These benefits are not just restricted to apprenticeships and therefore predominantly school leavers; businesses can also take advantage of these benefits by offering their employees the opportunity to up-skill by completing on-the-job qualifications. Management may recognise that their existing employee’s skillsets within the business could be utilised elsewhere and offering these types of qualifications can be an easy way to rectify this. They can also provide a way to fill existing gaps in the workforce without necessarily having to invest in a new hire and it can help existing employees gain the skills needed to transition into a new department or get a promotion.

Offering both apprenticeships and on-the-job qualifications can be hugely beneficial for companies; they are both excellent for helping businesses grow, improving employee engagement and nurturing the skills the workforce need for the future. Again, looking at it from a recruitment perspective, apprenticeships are a brilliant way to entice candidates to a business in order for management to then train and develop individuals into their ideal workforce, whilst offering the opportunity to study on the job is a great way to not only attract new talent but also retain existing talent.

During Covid the government really stepped up and encouraged businesses to employ more staff who were affected by the sudden threat of redundancy, especially from within the hospitality, by offering financial incentives whilst running along-side apprenticeship schemes. Redeploying this valuable talent into other areas of the workforce opened up new opportunities for people who may have previously thought that their options were limited. Here at Marmion we have now adopted a 24 month onboarding program which includes an 18 month apprenticeship scheme leading to a recognised industry qualification. As a result, all our team are qualified to deliver consultancy services. It’s a win-win situation for everyone concerned and we encourage our clients who are struggling to find new talent, to do the same.

If you would like more information on how these apprenticeship schemes can benefit your business please do not hesitate to contact me on 07974 366140 or a member of our team on 0113 3320678

So that’s it… Christmas is over and the New Year has officially begun. January is typically associated with misery and dread as the holidays come to an end, the weather drops to freezing and the warm summer months seem like a lifetime away.

Well that’s one way of looking at it… Or you could look at it from a positive point of view and see the new year as a fresh start. For many, this fresh start could mean looking for a new job or changing career paths completely and what better time to do this than the month of January; a time when excuses are fought and more importantly, business owners and hiring managers are actively recruiting.

In order to make a somewhat daunting task as easy as possible, we have complied a list of top tips to follow during your job search:

Set Specific Goals

First things first, you need a plan. Take some time to sit down and think about the types of roles you are going to apply for. If this is something you are not 100% certain on, seek professional guidance or speak to those close to you and ask their opinion on whether they believe you would be well-suited to the role in question.

Once this is decided you can then choose which companies you are going to target and how best to go about this. Finally, set a time scale. Decide on a date you ideally hope to have secured a new role by and work backwards; include application deadlines and allocate tasks that you want to achieve each week and if time allows, each day.

A candidate searching for jobs at her laptop

Tailor Your CV

Every application you send should include a tailored CV that is specific to the role, company and industry you are applying for. A time-consuming process yes, but a task that is imperative if you wish for your application to be considered.

Match your CV to the specific job description for the role you are applying for and conduct your own background research on the company; you can then include elements of this in your CV and if applicable, your covering letter.

Educate Yourself

Research, research… research. This is important for every stage of your job search. Before you begin exploring specific roles, ensure you have conducted thorough research into the roles and industry you are applying for. Is the role you are hoping for within your reach, in terms of your experience and skillset?

If the realistic answer is no, think about what you can do to make it accessible. This could include volunteering, completing online qualifications or gaining additional experience.

When you reach the next stage of your job search and applications are completed, research needs to be conducted in preparation for interviews. Practise interview questions, learn about the company’s history and their plans for the future and use self-awareness and reflection techniques to identify your key strengths and link these to the role you are applying for.

The more you know about the company and the role, the better chance you have of convincing the recruiter that you are their ideal candidate.

Use Social Media

LinkedIn is a brilliant tool to use to assist your job search. Profiles need to be complete, with a professional and approachable image and contact information should be clearly available. You can use the tool to directly connect with potential employers and organisations. Conduct some research into who the directors and hiring managers are of the company you are interested in and contact them directly as they will know what gaps they have in their workforce.

Send a connection request, accompanied with a well thought out message detailing who you are and why you have sent the invitation. Following this, effort should be made to like and comment on their articles, posts and the posts they interact with.

Clearly over-stalking should be avoided, but once you have done this for a period of time, your name will have been noticed by not just the person being targeted but other industry decision-makers, and you will then be in a stronger position to ask the person in question for the opportunity to speak about potential employment opportunities.

Facebook and twitter can also be excellent resources to help your job search. Check these sites regularly to keep up-to-date with the latest job vacancies and industry updates. However, be aware that recruiters and hiring managers check social media; use these channels to promote yourself and your talents, don’t let drunken stupidity ruin your chance of success.

Don’t Give Up

Last but certainly not least, never give up. It can be hard to keep the momentum in your job search going, especially if you face a series of rejections, but if you persevere you will get there in the end.

‘Nothing worth having comes easy’

In the end, all your hard work will be worth it… Just keep going!

An online search for ‘recruitment agency’ will bring up countless links, so how can employers and job seekers find the best business for their needs? As one of the top recruitment agencies in Leeds, Marmion has the knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to support local companies and candidates in ensuring long-term and mutually positive working relationships in the process.

With Yorkshire Day being celebrated on 1st August, we take the opportunity to explore the importance of a strong recruitment process that focuses on the suitability of a candidate, the cost of getting it wrong, and how to secure and engage employees beyond the initial hiring.

The Benefits of an Effective Recruitment Process

There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to recruitment, but this should be seen as an opportunity for businesses to create bespoke processes tailored to their specific requirements, the nature of the role available, and the impact it will have on the wider team. By choosing a local recruitment agency, businesses can benefit from greater visibility, flexibility, and specificity when hiring staff.

For job seekers, knowing where to search and what to look out for are key to finding not only the right job but also the most advantageous company. A recruitment agency will not only help you to find the best vacancies but can also provide advice and support on the recruitment process.

The Cost of Poor Recruitment

Having to terminate a contract or quit a job you have just begun is always a difficult decision for everyone involved. For businesses, the cost of a bad hire is not merely monetary - it can have a ripple effect, causing wider issues such as decreased productivity, low morale, and reputational damage. For job seekers, it can be an emotional blow that can affect wellbeing and confidence.

Employee Retention & Recruitment

Knowing how to retain employees is key; it not only ensures that time and money is well spent, but also reflects the success of a company and helps to improve workplace culture, employee dynamics, and productivity rates. A business should devise recruitment and retention strategies designed for their needs, considering both present working conditions and future company aims.

The focus for improving staff retention rates should be regular, open communication between all levels of staff, aiding managers and HR personnel to better understand employees’ needs and to respond to any difficulties or challenges as and when they arise. Listening to your staff and acting on their ideas will also help to promote the value of a good working environment.

Your Local Leeds Recruitment Agency

Marmion is proud to be a Leeds business, and as an ethical and regional recruitment company, we have developed a keen understanding of the market in our area. So if you are looking for support in Leeds, Harrogate or Yorkshire, we have the expertise to help you find the perfect role or candidate. Get in touch with us on 0113 332 0678 or email

Work-life balance is increasingly a significant factor influencing job seekers' decisions. As employees prioritise their well-being and new ways of working since Covid, organisations  prioritising work-life balance have a competitive edge in attracting and retaining top talent. The potential of highlighting work-life balance in the recruitment process for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is huge.

Why Work-Life Balance Matters

Work-life balance refers to the equilibrium between professional responsibilities and personal life, allowing individuals to meet their personal needs without compromising on their work commitments. It is a crucial aspect of employee satisfaction and well-being. Recent studies have shown that  NHS employees leaving due to poor work-life balance has trebled between 2011 and 2021, having far reaching and long lasting consequences for the service. It is in employers’ best interests to avoid this and cater for the needs of their employees. When employees have a healthy work-life balance, they experience reduced stress levels, improved mental health, increased productivity, and higher job satisfaction.This, in turn, positively impacts their overall performance and loyalty towards the organisation. In small to medium enterprises with relatively small teams this can have huge implications for the overall performance and culture of the organisation. In today's competitive job market, retention is as crucial as recruitment. Employees who feel supported in achieving work-life balance are more likely to stay with an organisation. SMEs can leverage this by cultivating a positive work culture prioritising work-life balance and higher retention rates.
Investing in work-life balance is not just a perk; it is a strategic decision that fosters a thriving workforce.

Tips to Support Well-being in SMEs:

    1. Encourage Flexible Schedules: Flexible hours or remote working options, allow employees to better manage their personal obligations while meeting work requirements and achieve a better work-life balance.
    1. Foster a Positive Work Culture: Cultivate a supportive work environment valuing work-life balance, discourage excessive overtime, recognise and appreciate employees' efforts to maintain work-life balance.
    1. Provide Wellness Initiatives: Introduce wellness programmes, mental health resources, or on-site fitness facilities to demonstrate ongoing commitment to employee well-being.
    1. Encourage Time Off: Encourage employees to take their holidays. Avoid fostering a culture that discourages breaks or rewards excessive working hours. Encourage work-life integration rather than work-life imbalance.
    1. Recognise the Individual: Parents needing holiday time off, carers, and religious observance can all be planned for and recognised in a supportive flexible way.

Work-Life Balance As A Recruitment Tool:

Candidates actively seek organisations prioritising work-life balance. By highlighting this aspect in job adverts, SMEs can position themselves as desirable employers, attracting a larger pool of qualified candidates.

Communicating Work-Life Balance In Job Adverts

It is essential to emphasise the organisation's commitment to work-life balance for its employees. Job seekers are now searching for terms such as ‘best work life balance jobs’ in a bid to secure the lifestyle they want. Companies can position themselves as a great employee in their adverts through a range of simple strategies:

Highlight Soft Benefits

Alongside job responsibilities and compensation, highlighting the work life balance of a role is crucial. Key words and phrases such as “work-life balance”, "flexible working hours," or "supportive company culture" showcase an organisation's commitment to work-life balance. Detailing unique soft benefits can help your ideal candidate find you, as well as being a very powerful reflection activity.

Showcase Employee Testimonials

Testimonials from current employees sharing their positive experiences with work-life balance in the organisation resonates with job seekers and clearly demonstrates a supportive environment. This can also be a great tool for highlighting the diversity and commitment to inclusivity in an organisation. Research shows that women are more likely to be affected by poor work-life balance since the pandemic, testimonials can help alleviate fears and offer concrete examples for candidates’ consideration. In today's evolving job market, work-life balance has become a key consideration for job seekers. SMEs that prioritise work-life balance as a recruitment tool gain a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent. By effectively communicating work-life balance benefits in job adverts, SMEs can showcase their positive work culture, employee satisfaction, productivity, and loyalty whilst attracting the best candidates for their role. At Marmion Recruitment we step into your ideal candidate’s shoes when working with you. The result is a tailored, appealing campaign designed to attract the best candidates. Contact us to learn more today.

It’s June and we are in the midst of Pride month. As the world awakens to the immense value of diversity, inclusive recruitment has emerged as a powerhouse strategy, opening doors to a vast and vibrant pool of exceptional candidates.

One key aspect of fostering inclusivity in your workplace is ensuring that your recruitment process is LGBTQ+ friendly. By seeking and retaining LGBTQ+ talent, organisations can enhance their culture, improve engagement and drive better performance.

In over seven years of business, we have never once come across a business unwilling to comply with the law or who has asked us to exclude a candidate based on their LGBTQ+ identity. This blog will explore the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in the recruitment process and share insights and strategies for creating LGBTQ+ inclusive environments.

Successful company with happy employees in modern office

Understanding LGBTQ+ Diversity

A solid understanding of key concepts and terms related to LGBTQ+ diversity is integral to any inclusive recruitment process. Sexual orientation refers to a person's emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attraction to others. Gender identity refers to an individual's deeply-felt sense of their own gender, which may or may not align with the sex assigned at birth. Gender expression relates to the way individuals present their gender identity to others through behaviour, clothing, and other personal choices.

Beyond the key terms, it is essential for recruiters and hiring managers to educate themselves about LGBTQ+ issues. LGBTQ+ individuals can face unique challenges and barriers in the workplace and the hiring process. They often encounter discrimination, bias, and a profound lack of understanding.

Demonstrating awareness and empathy for these issues is integral to creating an inclusive environment that celebrates everyone.

Auditing Your Recruitment Process

Auditing allows organisations to evaluate their current practices and identify potential areas of improvement. A checklist or framework, and working with charities such as Stonewall, can help assess whether LGBTQ+ candidates are being unintentionally excluded and can even uncover possible pitfalls and biases within your recruitment process.

Creating an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Job Posting

Job postings and advertisements play a crucial role in attracting diverse candidates.

Gender-neutral and inclusive language as well as avoiding discriminatory terms can signal to potential employees your commitment to diversity and inclusion. At Marmion, we can help with the design of your job adverts, making sure you attract the right candidates and reflect the core values of your business.

Removing Biases from Screening & Interviewing

Organisations should be aware of and implement strategies to mitigate unconscious bias during resume screening and candidate evaluation. Training recruiters and hiring managers on unconscious bias is crucial.

Conducting interviews inclusively and respectfully, whilst avoiding invasive or irrelevant questions, is vital. The simple act of ensuring that the panel is representative can be transformative for uncovering and challenging unconscious bias.

LGBTQ+ Inclusive Policies & Benefits

Inclusive policies and benefits are essential for attracting and retaining LGBTQ+ talent as well as creating diverse workplaces. Gender-neutral toilets, healthcare coverage that includes LGBTQ+-specific needs, and inclusive parental leave policies are examples of LGBTQ+ inclusive benefits.

Businessman With Laptop Working On Table In Office Coffee Shop

Inclusive Training & Education for Recruiters

Training recruiters and hiring managers on LGBTQ+ inclusivity is vital. This education enhances their understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, helps them recognise and address biases, and fosters cultural competence and sensitivity. Utilising external resources and training programmes can provide valuable insights and guidance in this area.

Organisations can also consider outsourcing their recruitment process or partnering with a recruitment agency that specialises in inclusive recruitment. These agencies bring expertise, resources, and networks to attract diverse talent, ensuring an LGBTQ+-friendly recruitment process.

Organisations can attract and retain diverse talent by:

LGBTQ+-friendly hiring practices lead to a more vibrant and innovative workforce. At Marmion, we support these efforts through our services, recognising the importance of fostering truly LGBTQ+ inclusive recruitment processes.

Find out more about how we can support your recruitment needs and get in touch with the team at Marmion.

There has been a great deal of doom-mongering recently regarding UK finances, with talk of a recession to rival that of 2008. On the back of an already challenging few years, it is no surprise that businesses and employees are feeling the strain. But is it really as bad as the media might have us believe?

How Likely is a Recession for 2023?

While many experts have agreed that a recession is possible for 2023, this is not necessarily something to panic about. Recessions are a natural part of economic fluctuation and can have different durations and implications. Understanding what is happening and finding strategies to prepare and persevere through a recession are key for businesses and individuals to survive.

In a recent BBC article on a possible recession, experts have claimed that the UK ‘will avoid going into recession in 2023 but the economy is still expected to shrink by 0.2%, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR)’. However, household incomes are also predicted to fall by 6% in 2023 and 2024, which may lead to difficulties with employment and redundancies.

The Importance of Supporting Your Staff

Whatever the impact of a recession, putting your people first is crucial. While managers should take the lead with implementing suitable strategies, everyone can contribute to a more positive company culture that can help to promote wellbeing, maintain productivity and foster resilience.

Ethical Recruitment When It Matters Most

At Marmion, our fully trained team are receiving more enquiries than ever before, having just had a record-breaking year and with many exciting new ventures ahead. So while a recession may happen, we remain positive as we look forward towards a promising and prosperous year.

For support with all your recruitment needs, please give us a call on 0113 332 0678 or email us.

The pandemic prompted numerous changes for employees and employers alike. Workers now want more flexible options, greater wellbeing support, and to achieve a better work-life balance. In the meantime, many sectors are still struggling financially while others such as IT continue to develop.

The job market has never been so competitive, making recruitment an even more demanding and stressful experience for both recruiters and candidates. Whether you are hoping to find and retain the right staff or select and apply for the perfect position as a job seeker, assessment techniques such as i3 Profiling can help to make the process easier, more accurate, and fairer for all involved.

Challenges Faced by Recruiters and Candidates

Modern day recruitment is all about creating a positive candidate experience, but with time, money and energy at a premium for many businesses, the hiring process can become a box-ticking exercise where following company policy becomes more important than finding the best person for the job.

For candidates, the pressure to find the right role can lead to negative or narrow ways of thinking and a decline in mental health. Second-hand information on industries and companies can lead to misinformed applications, while job titles and descriptions can be inaccurate or misinterpreted.

Are Job Interviews Enough?

Businesses and ways of working have changed for the long-term following the pandemic, yet the way many job interviews are conducted is outdated and insufficient. Whether in person or online, recruiters will find it hard to compare candidates fairly and unconscious bias is an ongoing issue.

For both employees and employers, the unnatural situation and pressure to succeed can lead to awkward responses and misrepresentation. Even a successful interview doesn’t mean the right candidate will be selected, or that they will enjoy their role and want to stay with the company.

The Benefits of i3 Profiling

One of the most successful ways of improving your recruitment strategy is to use an assessment technique such as i3 Profiling. Initially designed to raise the awareness of professionals and aid them in building relationships at work, the method has since grown thanks to its accuracy and insight.

Rather than offer a generalised suggestion for career management as with other assessments, i3 Profiling instead focuses on the individual and their unique strengths. With a variety of tools, it can be used at any stage of a career to provide continual guidance and support unique to each user.

In recruitment, i3 Profiling can give employers a way of gaging the suitability of candidates while job seekers can use it to bring clarity and direction to their search. Delivered by professionals trained through accredited courses, i3 Profiling has now become a trusted and useful employment tool.

Recruitment Advice and Expertise

At Marmion, we can offer support from experts fully qualified in the use of i3 Profiling. Contact our friendly team on 0113 332 0678 or email for more information.

Everything You Need to Know About Onboarding New Employees

More than 1/4 of new hires leave a company within 6 weeks. More than 1/3 leave in the first 6 months. And of those who leave in the first year, half were thinking of leaving for 6 months or more. When asked what the reasons for leaving were a lot of leavers will cite poor onboarding and training

The onboarding process bridges the gap between the candidate and employee experience, creating a transitional phase that is vital to creating great work environments. First impressions have a lasting impact so it’s critical to ensure that from the day a candidate is offer the job your company’s employee onboarding process is impressive, engaging and informative. This is your time to bring new employees into your business, explain your company culture and offer support.

Onboaring and employee training

What is Onboarding?

An employee onboarding process is the standardised introduction of a newly hired employee to their role within a company. This introductory process could include team introductions, workstation setups and familiarisation with operational processes alongside other elements.

Effective onboarding is not a day, week or month of learning, but a 6-month process designed to give new hires everything they need in order to reach maximum performance in their job as quickly as possible.

Consider your organisation’s mission statement when setting goals for a new starter, addressing how you’ll go about assessing their performance and how your HR team and line managers can help them – allowing them to feel confident and comfortable in their new role.

onboarding and training

Getting Started with the Onboarding Process

Onboarding doesn’t begin and end on your new employee’s first day with you. Instead, it starts from the day they’re offered the job until they are entirely acclimatised to their new working environment.

The best onboarding would give new staff the opportunity to be welcomed into the team, meeting co-workers and lunching with their line manager prior to starting. This way, your new employee feels embraced and celebrated within their new role in the company.

welcoming new employee into the team

Why Is Efficient Employee Onboarding Important?

Employee onboarding is the first interaction an employee has with an organisation following the interview process. If their first impressions fail to live up to expectations, your employee could begin to regret their decision to accept the job offer.

Companies have a moral obligation to ensure employees have a solid onboarding process to help them settle down in their jobs, get to know the organisation, obtain clarity on their job objectives and forge great relationships with their co-workers.

A recent study found that 75% of employee turnover was preventable with avoidable causes such as work environment, manager competency and opportunities for growth, staff retention, making staff retention more crucial than ever.

Efficient employee onboarding helps to maintain high staff retention, showing employees that they are a valued part of the company they work for.

Getting started with onboardingImplementing Onboarding Processes

So, a good HR onboarding process should integrate new employees into their daily routine, making sure they understand your business’ policies and procedures. To begin with, you can introduce them to the:

From here, make them feel welcome and remind them of your company culture, giving them the chance settle into their role.

Need Help with Your Onboarding Plan?

Successful onboarding programmes ensure employees can hit the ground running and take ownership of their roles. If you need assistance setting up an onboarding journey that speaks to your organisation, contact the dedicated recruitment team at Marmion and we’ll help you establish your process for new hires.

Creating a diverse and inclusive workforce is pivotal to successful business, yet many companies still have reservations around hiring young workers. As experts in ethical recruitment, our team have seen first-hand the advantages of taking on young employees and nurturing their talent and drive.

You may have already read about our colleague Matt Pallister, who was made an executive director of Marmion earlier this year. Matt joined the company in 2017 and has worked his way to the board thanks to his dedication and diligence, with the ongoing support of our founder, Janet McGlaughlin. With Matt’s story in mind, read on for more reasons why every company should invest in new talent.

Why employers should invest in young people.jpg

Misconceptions about Young Workers

While recruitment practices have come a long way to reducing and removing bias, it unfortunately still exists, particularly the stigma surrounding school leavers. Whether a candidate has GCSEs, A-levels, degrees, or perhaps no qualifications at all, many employers can view a lack of employment experience as a potential problem, and those who have worked are often labelled as ‘job hoppers’.

But as many professionals will tell you, what is written on a CV has little bearing on the reality of an employee and their success in the workplace. What can be seen as negative attributes associated with young people can in fact be useful in many roles, such as their understanding of technology.

The Benefits of Post-Education Employees

The Benefits of Post-Education Employees

As well as a familiarity with computers, new employees who have just completed their education are already primed for learning opportunities. From exams and essays to practical tasks and teamwork, an education at all levels equips young people with the skills to excel in many workplace scenarios.

Post-education employees are also often more open to new ideas, and with the allure of discovery comes an enthusiasm, dedication and engagement that can help to keep a whole team motivated. If this interest and commitment is properly nurtured, young workers can grow within a company, with long-term loyalty helping to promote a more positive culture and a stronger succession structure.

Making the Most of Mentors (1)

Making the Most of Mentors

Older generations may bemoan the proliferation of social media platforms, but it has had one key advantage for young people – exposure to success. Entrepreneurs have helped to encourage greater ambition, focused goal setting and career planning that can make young people valuable employees.

Steven Bartlett is one such success story for aspiring young professionals, having left university to build one of the most influential social media brands, Social Chain, from his own bedroom and most recently becoming the youngest entrepreneur to join the BBC show Dragon’s Den in January 2022.

But it’s not only high-profile names who are inspiring young people – a workplace mentor can be just as valuable. With the right guidance and support, new employees are likely to feel more confident, have increased commitment to the job and produce higher quality work, which then supports the wider business. The process of mentoring can also be beneficial to the mentor, helping to develop leadership skills, improve communication and contribute to a more positive sense of wellbeing.

Nurturing New Talent with Ethical Recruitment

At Marmion, we are committed to building strong relationships between employers and employees of all ages, experience levels and backgrounds. Whether you are looking to find and support the best young talent or taking your first step into the world of work, our team aim to create long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships, helping young people to develop and grow within an organisation.

Get in touch on 0113 332 0678 or email

Love Island continues to attract a highly engaged and loyal audience, with the latest series drawing this year's highest viewing figures for the 16-34-year-old age bracket on live and digital platforms.

The popularity of the TV show may result from the intrinsic interest humans have in people's personal lives, the never-ending drama between couples or how the drama makes our personal relationships seem pretty straightforward, but whatever the answer, all we know for sure is that those who commit up to 7 hours of viewing a week love it.

At Marmion, our success as a recruitment & retention consultancy is a result of our ability to get to know and understand people, their character, career goals and personal objectives. This makes Loves Island a fascinating programme to watch from an anthropological perspective.

Paying particular attention to the characteristics of the cast and their behaviours alongside the impact producers have in manipulating certain situations, we can see how levels of manipulation can destroy a good match, impact relationships within a group and affect how viewers feel about the individuals.

With this in mind, we look at what lessons we can learn in recruitment from life on the island.

Don’t be fooled by appearances

This may seem odd considering the whole show is based around girls and boys parading around a villa, showing off their gym-honed bikini bodies and six packs. However, as the show has progressed contestants have realised that for the relationship to last, they must care more about their partner’s personality and characteristics, than just their appearance. This can be related to viewing a potential candidate’s CV.

At first glance, a CV may appear very impressive – glamorous job titles and an impressive list of company names, however these can make it easier to ignore the more obscure details hiding within the CV that will really show the recruiter the true candidate.

Image of two individuals in a casual interview situation.

Recruiters should ask, what specific skills and attributes did they demonstrate in these roles? How long did they stay at each of these rolesWere they promoted internally whilst working in these roles?  These will help the recruiter make an assessment on whether the candidate is the right fit for the role and the company in question.

Once selected candidates have been shortlisted, recruiters should always meet their candidates in person. Yes, they may be ‘their type on paper’, but we all know that doesn’t always lead to a perfect match.

Candidates will ‘keep their options open’

Companies need to be aware that the candidates who have applied for their job are active in their job search and will more than likely be applying for jobs elsewhere… ‘they’re keeping their options open’ and they’re definitely ‘not putting all their eggs in one basket’. Recruiters therefore need to ensure they take enough time to consider the decision but be careful not to prolong the application process as this could mean losing out on the candidate, which consequently means losing out on the financial investment and time spent searching for that candidate.

Unlike Georgia from 2018, you cannot rely on your candidates to be ‘loyal’; if a better offer comes along before your offer, don’t be surprised if they take it.

Grafting pays off

Whether it’s finding the ideal person to ‘couple up with’ or finding the ideal candidate for a job, the process takes time and often requires a lot of hard work.

Recruiters need to be prepared to devote time and effort into finding their ideal candidate, after all ‘grafting’ pays off. Look at Jack and Danni from season 4; Jack managed to escape the classic friendzone situation and turn their relationship into one of the most successful couples of 2018.

cartoon of a candidate being picked out from a line up of similar looking characters.

Once all the hard work has paid off, the ‘graft’ needs to be continued to ensure the selected candidate remains in their role. Look at how easily and quickly individuals move on in the villa when they send in new islanders – the possibility of being ‘happier’ in another couple, or similarly in another role or another company should not be ignored. Attrition is a real problem in the work place today and it can be very costly to a company; not only through having to repeat the recruitment process, but also through wasted time, money and productivity on the previous hiring process and any training the candidate has been put through.

Dangers of over-manipulation

It is no secret that the producers are actively involved in manipulating the show in order to maximise entertainment for viewers. They introduce scenarios for the islanders to act out with one another, in order to influence them to engage in a certain way and with certain people. This often leads to individuals being portrayed in a way that fails to represent them in their true light.

Recruiters can also be guilty of this; they can influence a candidate to act in a certain way in front of a client at interview. Whilst this may lead to the candidate securing the job because they have displayed key qualities the client is looking for, are they really the right fit for the job or have they just been manipulated to come across in a certain way?.

Additionally, clever editing by the producers ensure we, as viewers, only see what the producers want us to see. 24 hours of footage is condensed down into an hour-long episode each night, giving viewers a limited and biased insight into what really happens within the villa. In a similar manner, recruiters may carefully edit CVs in order to ensure the content compliments the criteria listed on the job description.

This ensures the CV matches exactly what the client wants to see, but by doing this it also effects the validity of the CV by portraying the candidate inaccurately. We, at Marmion, avoid both of the practices described above because we want to ensure that the candidate who secures the role will be real, honest and most importantly remain loyal to the company

Whilst many may not like to admit it, there are clearly several valuable lessons we can all learn from the hit reality TV programme that has captured the nation. Providing we view it from a professional mindset, it can be used as an incredibly useful and unique tool to study human behaviour and interactions in a real-life setting - maybe that is why it is such addictive viewing for so many of us.

Taking time off means more than simply fulfilling legal working requirements. Annual leave gives employees the chance to focus on themselves for a change; to relax, recharge, and reflect on life away from the daily demands at work. But we all know it can be a challenge to mentally switch off.

Employees can look forward to a more enjoyable holiday by putting in a little preparation work to help ease those anxieties, while managers can support their absent team members by putting steps in place to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some top to-dos before taking your annual leave.

The Month Before Your Holiday

With the countdown to your holiday now underway, this is the time to begin delegating tasks. The verb itself means to entrust a duty or responsibility to someone else, with the key focus on trust. Not only will delegation keep everything ticking along in your absence, but it will also give your team a better understanding of your role. It can also be empowering and improve working relationships.

For successful delegation, your colleagues need to feel confident and comfortable in carrying out tasks while you are away. This might involve training, shadowing, job sharing, or other means. Talk to your manager about providing team support so that you can keep your workload manageable.

This is also the time to schedule any difficult conversations instead of leaving them to the last day or after a break. The earlier you confront any issues, the sooner they can be resolved for your peace of mind. Managers should also plan key meetings ahead with any employees before they go on leave.

The Week Before Your Holiday

Understandably, the few days leading up to annual leave can set panic alarms ringing, making it the ideal time to start changing your routine. For many employees, shifting from work mode to holiday mode can prove difficult, but making small changes early on can help you to feel stress-free sooner.

Think about what you enjoy the most about taking time off, then replicate them in your final week. It might be less screentime, so start switching off your phone earlier, or maybe reading a novel, so why not visit a local bookshop and treat yourself? It will help build up that pre-holiday excitement, too.

The Day Before Your Holiday

And just like that, your annual leave is about to begin. On your last day at work, keep it simple and only do the most urgent of tasks. Set your email out-of-office reply early so you have the chance to answer any last minute responses and check in with your colleagues in case they have any concerns.

The benefits of annual leave go far beyond the employee taking time off. When teams are one (or even several) members down, it encourages everyone to work together and become more resilient. Managers can facilitate this by having strategies in place to cover absences, which will make sure employees feel less anxious on leave and can also be used for unexpected time off, such as sickness.

For a Better Work-Life Balance

Whether you are looking for a fresh challenge at work or planning to expand your team, Marmion are here to help. Contact us on 0113 332 0678 or email us at

Becoming an Executive Director for a company you are passionate about must be one of the key career ambitions for any professional. That has certainly been the case for Marmion’s newest member of the board, Matt Pallister, who has been with the company since 2017 while the business was still operating out of founder Janet McGlaughlin’s garden shed.

From grassroots beginnings to his recent promotion, Matt has been an important part of Marmion thanks to his determination, resilience, adaptability, and instinct. Sharing our ethical values and supporting the company through numerous challenges, including Brexit and Covid-19, Matt has been instrumental in steering Marmion towards greater success.

In this special edition Q&A blog, we hear from Matt himself about his career development journey, the lessons he has learned, and the plans he has in store for Marmion’s future.

How has your career developed and what led you to work with Marmion?

I worked within a couple of estate agency firms in Harrogate between 2013 to 2017 – I loved property and took to it quickly, [building] excellent relationships with landlords, tenants, and suppliers. I knew I had the drive and ability to have a successful career and got to the point where I felt my skills weren’t being utilised. So that’s when I reached out to Janet – two interviews, a presentation, and a secret mystery shop task later, I got the job as a Resourcing Advisor.

What is the most valuable lesson that you have learnt in your five years with Marmion?

There are far too many but here are a few. Never assume anything – working in a people-business means that what we do is subject to external factors that are out of our control. Knowing how hectic life can be and how unpredictable the business landscape is, you have to stay level-headed.

Always get the facts and figures first before you make any important business decisions. Running a business is quite straight-forward – it’s hard work, too, but when you focus on what’s in your control and work hard, the rest will follow.

Keep your head down and don’t let the scaremongering of negative news and social media influence you. It’s important to know what is going on in the wider economic landscape (Brexit and pandemic to name a couple) and within your competition, but if you focus on your business and people, you are more likely to succeed.

People are one of the key elements of success, so always try to recruit for the skills and experience that you’re maybe lacking and have a succession plan for your own development. Take stock of what you have achieved. It’s so easy to look at other people and think that you’re not doing well, but there will always be someone doing more or better, so focus on what you have control over.

How have your skills developed while working with Marmion?

What’s great about working for Janet is that she allows me freedom and autonomy. I don’t deal well with micromanagement, but me and Janet work well together. I’ve learnt so much from shadowing Janet over the last five years and realised that it is possible to become a business owner in different ways. Although I’m not Marmion’s founder, I treated Marmion as my own business from day one.

I read a lot of business and development books and I’m always researching new business trends. I’m more confident – one thing I asked Janet to do was to push me outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to keep growing, and I have. Growing a successful business takes time, especially if you’re doing it organically without external investment, so I’ve learnt to be more patient and enjoy the journey.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in recruitment?

Do your research and make sure you start your career with a reputable and ethical business.

How did you know that Marmion would be the right move and fit for you?

Honestly? The fact that when I joined in 2017, it was in a shed in Janet’s back garden. I knew I wanted my next move to challenge me, and I wanted to be part of a business that was growing. I’ve always been fascinated about start-up successes and knew I could add value to the business.

What do you love most about working in recruitment and working with Marmion?

I love the fulfilment you get when you walk into a growing business and see teams that you have helped build (sometimes from scratch) succeeding and making a difference in organisations that are on the same journey as you. Nothing beats that. Specifically [with] Marmion, [I enjoy] the team I have around me and the future potential for our business. We have seen year on year growth since I joined, even through the pandemic, and I still feel that we’re only just getting started.

And finally, tell us about your future with Marmion – what’s to come?

This month, I move onto the board as an Executive Director joining Janet and Alan McGlaughlin. This will see my role change significantly as I start to focus more on our business strategy, specifically future growth. I already treat Marmion like my own and feel that I act as a director, but this gives me the legal ability to start making decisions quicker. Next year, we hope to double the size of our team, and moving into 2024, we hope to double again [and] start to think about our first overseas office.

Leading the Way in Ethical Recruitment

For Marmion founder Janet, Matt’s promotion comes as recognition of his ongoing commitment to the company and its values, saying she has ‘never been interested in giving people titles for the sake of it – they need to be earned’. And thanks to colleagues such as Matt, Janet’s team are stronger than ever, with even greater ambitions for the future. Find out more about Marmion’s history here.

As companies strive to build a competitive advantage in a world recovering from the pandemic, the well-being of leadership staff is often overlooked.

With the pressure to steer businesses through adversity and consistently deliver great results, it’s no wonder that our leaders need support, reassurance and respect to thrive in their roles.

Companies that are serious about developing leadership within the industry should aim to support the growth and development of their leaders at every level – improving productivity within your team and aiding business success. Here are 4 expert ways to encourage and support leadership development:

Hire Great Leaders

Having effective leaders within the management of a company can help achieve the company's desired goals, ensuring that both employees and managers are reaching their highest potential.

Leaders should be evaluated on how they support continuous growth, direct the team and identify areas for development – contributing to the overall success of the business. While the recruitment of fantastic candidates is particularly difficult at the moment, it’s imperative for employers to support their existing leaders.

Why not provide access to external coaches and informative webinars to personalise leadership development and reinforce its importance?

Respect and Compassion

When considering the most effective ways to support your leaders, showing kindness, respect and compassion is a huge priority. In a recent study by the Centre for Creative Leadership, it showed that roughly 38% to more than half of new leaders fail within their first 18 months – so, how can you change that?

Company directors and employers can avoid falling into that terrifying statistic by incorporating supportive leadership strategies that celebrate honesty, openness and the ability to voice one’s own concerns.

That way, leaders feel respected in their position and can rely on their manager’s unwavering support – which will inevitably improve staff retention.

Accepting Failure

Your business can’t cultivate new processes or invent breakthrough products without a willingness to take risks and learn from previous mistakes. Providing room for failure in business not only takes unnecessary pressure from your leaders but will make space for company growth and advancement.

As a leader developing new leaders, you must trust your employees to make important decisions, giving them opportunities to step into a commanding role and thrive.

Feedback and Learning

Valuable, constructive feedback has the power to empower your leaders, showing them that you are passionate for them to grow within the company and that their growth is important to you.

Welcoming suggestions and including leaders in significant discussions are two ways to support leadership development – giving beneficial feedback wherever necessary.

With feedback, learning and development, managers can identify areas for improvement which will accelerate training, promote workplace positivity and improve business efficiency.

To learn more about ethical recruitment and crucial leadership support, get in touch with the dedicated team at Marmion.

Most salespeople are endowed with a wealth of confidence. One might even say it’s a prerequisite for the job. However, it’s the responsibility of employers and leaders to invest in company culture, protect the wellbeing of sales staff and attract the most effective players to maintain an all-star sales team.

In a society fine-tuned to the importance of mental wellbeing and the concept of candidate-lead recruitment, an amplified focus on company ethics, values, products and services could be the difference between a good hire and an excellent hire.

When considering the importance of sales support, our founder Janet McGlaughlin believes that “salespeople need a positive company culture to inspire them to work harder and be more productive” – so, how can business owners achieve this?

Company Culture

Young team working on computers at modern office

Believe it or not, millennials and Gen Z are the generation driving workplace changes of the near future – and it’s for today’s leaders to keep up. Promoting and investing in positive company culture makes staff want to stay at an organisation where they can thrive and develop.

In a conversation concerning the support of sales staff, Janet stated that “company culture has become a significant factor in a candidate’s decision when accepting a job offer.” In turn, a clear sense of company culture can impact both staff retention and recruitment.

So, how can employers advertise and implement positive company culture? Leaders can begin by “exhibiting core values and standards” on their website and job advertisements to meaningfully invite candidates to understand their company.

When people feel like they belong to an organisation, they’re more likely to settle for the long term. That means lower turnover, fewer new recruits and better chemistry among your team.

Faith in the Company

When recruiting for or managing salespeople, “it is critical to ensure that they believe in the products and services of the business.” While we all know that a good salesperson can ‘sell ice to an Eskimo’, but an employee’s faith in the company is where the sales team goes from good to exceptional.

By holding communicative meetings, inviting sales staff to see the bigger picture of the organisation and encouraging their voices to be heard, employees will maintain faith in the products they’re selling – which makes for a more motivated salesperson.

Encouraging Authenticity

Creative team discussing sales statistics in office

In order to thrive as a salesperson, an individual’s natural flair and confidence must be celebrated in their workplace. Leaders must remember that “being authentic is what makes sales representatives memorable”, and that memorable staff members produce incredible results for their respective businesses.

On that note however, employers must strike a balance with such characters, ensuring that bad behaviours are not overlooked due to high performance. Janet stated that “coming out of the pandemic with a shortage of talent, it’s all too easy to tolerate individuals whose only objective is to make deals and earn commissions.”

Supporting Staff

Effective recruitment can ensure that salespeople are happy and content in their workplace, but what else makes sales staff stay? From strong company culture to the celebration of authentic personalities, leaders have a responsibility to create a positive workspace for salespeople to enjoy a long-term, mutually successful tenure with their company.

At Marmion, we can help you attract long-term sales candidates, as well as provide guidance on supporting your sales team (and improve staff retention!) – contact our experts today.

Research shows that the average person spends 900,000 hours of their life at work; that equates to approximately 1880 hours a year, 152 hours a month and 38 hours a week. More worryingly, research also shows that many people are unhappy at work, with over 50% of UK employees surveyed admitting they would rather be in a different career and confessing they wish they could change jobs.

Pairing these two pieces of research together then, it should come as no surprise that mental health issues in the work place are becoming more common. Due to the significant amount of time we spend at work, unhappiness in the work place can have a significant impact on our quality of life. Loneliness has been identified as one of the main contributors to unhappiness in the work place. It is something that is often overlooked as employees suffer in silence, often too embarrassed to speak out due to the social stigma that is attached. Additionally, many sufferers believe it is a personal problem and not something which should be shared as a concern with their employer. In turn, many employers are oblivious to the problems their employees are dealing with whilst at work.

Some may argue it is not an employer’s responsibility to care for their employees in this sense, but I would have to disagree. Both morally and productively, it is in the employer’s best interest that their workforce are happy whilst at work. Not only do happy people tend to stay in their role longer, therefore lowering staff turnover; they have lower rates of absenteeism and they also tend to be more productive whilst at work. A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, whilst unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. They stated ‘we found that human happiness has large and positive casual effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings’.

From a professional point of view, it is very important that employers pay attention to what can cause or add to loneliness in the work place as attrition can be very damaging to a company. When employees leave, the ripple effect can be felt throughout the company. Lost knowledge, training costs, interviewing costs and recruitment costs all add up and companies can therefore not afford to ignore the long-term implications of high employee turnover. More research is being carried out in this subject area which is a step in the right direction, however there is much still to do.

When beginning to consider what may be contributing to potential loneliness, one of the things an employer should consider is an employee’s work space. Many businesses are trialing ‘hot desking’; this involves allocating desks to workers when they are required or on a rota system, rather than giving each worker their own desk. Hot desking can cut the costs of running an office by up to 30%, however research has shown that more than a quarter of companies that have introduced the scheme report a significant drop in staff morale. The study raised concerns about employees struggling to develop and maintain relationships as they no longer have the same colleagues surrounding them, who they can interact with on a day to day basis.

The same issue can be related to flexible working hours. Giving employers the freedom to choose when they work does have its benefits, however staff interaction may be disrupted as staff will be working at different times of the day. Working from home creates a similar issue for obvious reasons; staff miss out on the opportunity to form work relationships if they are not present in the office. They will also miss out on benefiting from group work and communication barriers may form from not having face to face contact. With so many different forms of communication available to us, it is now easier to pick up the phone rather than going to see someone in person. We are more connected than ever, yet we have never been more disconnected from the people around us.

Work life balance is also an increasing issue. The modern-day workplace has replaced working drinks with longer working hours. People are rushing at the end of the day to ensure what little time they have left they spend with their family and employees are regularly skipping social lunches to eat at their desk in order to continue working. External relationships are taking priority over forming internal relationships. A shocking statistic that represents this was shown by a 2014 survey that revealed 42% of individuals believe they don’t have a single friend at work. A very worrying statistic when you consider just how much time is spent there.

So how can employers identify which of their work force may be suffering? It is certainly not the case that it will just be affecting the shy and reserved members of staff. The loud, confident employees may be masking their feelings by displaying a bold persona. There’s one thing for certain, the shy nor the confident employees will be shouting ‘I’m lonely’ for everyone to hear. Therefore, perhaps the answer moving forward is to focus on a predominantly preventive measure rather than a curative approach…

In part 2 of this blog, I will suggest different methods businesses can implement in an attempt to prevent members of their workforce developing feelings of loneliness and what can be done to help those who may be suffering in silence.

A very good friend and colleague has always told me that the best outcome for a dispute between an employer and an employee is to have resolved matters without ever having to involve an employment tribunal. He is a highly qualified/experienced HR Consultant and his 100% record of successfully avoiding tribunals is something he is very proud of (Lee Williams). Having spent a very uncomfortable day yesterday in court, I couldn’t agree with him more.

However, there are situations when a tribunal is unavoidable, and to be frank as far as yesterday was concerned there was no option for this particular claimant but to seek recognition that he had been treated very unfairly by someone he had served faithfully for over 8 years. Whilst the outcome will not be finalised for another 6 weeks it is more than likely the judge will find in favour for the claimant. In my experience and from my observations there are 2 reasons why, in my opinion, these parties ended up in court:

I won’t go into the specifics of the case because the judgement has to be finalised, but as I was the person who supported and advised the claimant from the very beginning, during his 12 month journey and observed proceedings throughout the hearing, I thought it would be helpful to share some insight to help employers avoid falling into the trap that this particular employer fell into.

I can say that the claimant admitted in the hearing that he made mistakes, but it’s evident that these were never fully reviewed, no performance management arrangements were agreed and his employer continued to leave him in charge of difficult projects which for the most part were successfully executed. Mistakes in this particular sector happen, but unless he’d been given an opportunity to know about them and then to improve, it was always going to be a challenge to prove a dismissal on the basis of Gross misconduct was a reasonable and fair decision.

So, if you’re reading this and you are considering to ultimately terminate the employment of an employee here a few things I noted which didn’t help the respondent at yesterday’s hearing.

Disciplinary Policy – Make sure that when you read your disciplinary policy you can define your reasons for doing so. And, be very clear that the problem you have with the employee matches with the list of grounds for termination you’ve created within the policy. Ambiguity will not serve you well.

HR Consultants – You may or may not have followed a disciplinary procedure. If not and you are going to engage the services of an HR Consultant get references, and once satisfied they have the necessary skills/experience and qualifications to support you, listen to their advice. They will not always tell you what you want to hear, but if you are paying for a qualified service then take note. Without proof that you’ve followed a set procedure prior to dismissal it more likely you’ll lose your case

Employment Lawyer – If you are determined that your HR Consultant isn’t giving you what you want, or you want the added reassurance that you are doing things the correct way then speak to an employment lawyer. Do not leave it to the last minute. Do get an employment lawyer involved early on – whichever side you’re on – because they really know what they are doing. An employment lawyer will quickly identify if you have a strong case and if not, they will tell you. They focus on what is winnable and not on a feeling that justice must be served. It will cost, but a lot less than a drawn-out case that has no chance of winning

If you’ve left it to the last minute the lawyer will probably be very expensive and there is still no guarantee that you’ll win. If you’ve failed in your duty of care to your employee, the case may be decided by considering Liability (fault) and Quantum (amount of the claim £$) separately, and the best you can hope for is less of a financial award to the claimant.

Correspondence and Communication – Don’t send anything in writing (Texts, Emails, Letters) or leave messages unless you are absolutely sure it’s necessary and correct. These will be presented in evidence and may compromise the outcome of your case (both sides). Be mindful of headers in any correspondence during the disciplinary procedure. The letter to invite an employee to an investigatory meeting which includes a header GROSS MISCONDUCT suggests dismissal, and this should not be a thought until you’ve followed a proper procedure. And, don’t include any additional issues into the disciplinary process unless you have addressed them previously, and there is a record. Having too many reasons for dismissal which have not been dealt with will raise red flags for the tribunal Judge!

Avoid a tribunal at all costs – No matter how big or small your business is don’t go through what I saw yesterday, unless you absolutely have too. Dismissing an employee or terminating your employment with an employer under difficult circumstances is awful, and at the end of the day whilst you may win, in terms of liability or receive an award, there are no real winners – except the legal team and HR Consultants of course.

As I watched the claimant go through his cross- examination I felt physically sick, and I wasn’t giving evidence. When the respondent gave his evidence, I could see that he was very shaken, and for a while, even though he’d created the situation, I felt a bit sorry for him. It really was an awful experience, but in this case necessary albeit totally avoidable if it had been handled correctly in the first place.

As an employer I am mindful of my responsibilities to my employees. I am also an employee of the business, but I just happen to have my name listed on ‘companies house’ and I am ultimately responsible for minimising risk to the business and its employees! Just because I run what could be considered a family-businesses, and have a good relationship with our teams, does not change the fact that I am required to consistently treat each member fairly and within the law.

Small businesses come with the added challenge of having very up close and personal relationships with their employees, and I cannot put enough emphasis on the need for employers to respond in a consistent manner to performance issues, no matter how long a team member has worked for you.

During the hearing, the Judge will not consider how big your business is when it comes to liability because it will be assumed that by deciding to employ someone you will know what your responsibility is to that person – it cannot be that the law will change according to the size of your organisation. In a dispute or if you have an issue with an individual with whom you’ve had a long relationship it’s important that emotions are kept at bay. If there is no choice but to part company how you handle things throughout must not have any grey areas!

If you are struggling with a work situation, be it as an employer or employee, and need support and advice on how to avoid the above or to work your way through it, we offer a practical HR Consultancy Service through our UK network of specialist partners. For more information please contact me on 07974 366140

Reflecting on our preparation to officially commence Marmion Recruitment services back on 2nd January 2016, I can’t quite believe we have just entered our 5th year of trading. And it all started in my shed……..

I felt confident our business could offer something worthwhile, albeit I was quietly nervous because I was starting with 4 team members who were depending on me to make Marmion a success. Fear of failure and the frequently posted statistics about the number of recruitment agencies who opened and then closed was held in abeyance, and we opened our doors with a lot of hope and conviction that if we worked really hard and demonstrated great practice we would succeed. And, if you are reading this and have just started up or are thinking about setting up a new business this year I hope this article will give you confidence.

Year one was, as you can imagine, difficult. The phones didn’t ring much and at times it felt almost impossible. The office ‘canine’ crew had many an undisturbed nap. Continually having to apologise for the poor practice of so many other agencies was quite tough, and remaining motivated was one of our biggest challenges. However, we knew we could do better, and we remained focused.  It took 6 months to make our first placement, 3rd of June – the same day Muhammad Ali died, and then 20 days later Brexit happened. It could have been the kiss of death for a new business like ours because there was certainly a palpable shift in how businesses felt about the future. All I could do to reassure my team was to say, “Let’s keep our heads down and keep going”, which we did!

In the following 3 years we doubled the size of the shed (it was a nice shed); then expanded and relocated into 2 city locations (Leeds & Manchester); recruited trained and passed by qualification 5 colleagues; significantly increased our number of placement per annum year on year; retained the trust of 94% of the companies who started with us in the beginning and through recommendations we have continued to increase that number; have recruited in England Scotland and Wales and have been asked in 2020 if we would support overseas recruitment projects; have retained a 5 star status on google, and, more importantly, have never wavered from our commitment to providing a quality service to both our employers and candidates. I can count the number of failed placements on one hand (3 to be precise).

What has been critical to our survival is our ability to manage our finances. We have always been self funded, and for a small business it’s important to recognise that not all business is good business. There are times when it’s time to say no, and if ethically challenged to stand your ground. If you’ve done a good job then you deserve payment. To date all invoices have been paid and we’ve paid our suppliers. I’m really proud of that because what I’ve learned is that banks do not want to lend small businesses money, and when there are hard months, which there will be, budget carefully!

I remain eternally grateful to our candidates and employers who have entrusted us with their search for each other, and for taking the time to share their experience. I am also thankful to all of those candidates placed or not who have expressed their thanks for the service they’ve received. 5 stars on google from genuine clients who have taken the time to share their experience, for a small business like ours, is something we are all very proud of.

I am not afraid or embarrassed to say that our biggest challenge is promoting our services through aggressive sales. It would be true to say that none of us are particularly keen on that type of promotion. However, as we’ve become more established and have proven our recruitment expertise I have been overwhelmed by how loyal and generous our ‘employer clients’ are. The number of referrals they’ve made together with repeat business have helped us to continue to grow, and to those who have supported us I am very thankful.

Walking into a client company just before Christmas and realising we’d placed over a 3rd of the workforce in the last 2 years made me realise just how far we’d come. This relationship is all thanks to a candidate we didn’t place, but who we continued to support in her search for a new role. She believed in what we do and had we not been true to our values she would not have persuaded her boss to give us a chance. The value and power of naturally treating people with respect in both the good and bad times is something no business should underestimate.

Starting a business is never easy and no matter how many years we are in business I will never be complacent about Marmion’s future. Our journey to this point has been a roller coaster ride and it would be untrue for me to say it’s been great the whole way though, but if I’d wanted an easier ride, I’d have stayed at home and enjoyed a series of coffee mornings. What I have learned is that without a strong and committed team of people who are prepared to learn, contribute and follow the vision, none of our success would be possible. A sense of humour also helps!

For a business owner and Manager of one of 40000 recruitment agencies in the UK my pride comes from the consistent commitment to quality and great service delivered by my team, who really are remarkable, which has hopefully secured our place in the market. We still have much work to do and I am looking forward to this year, more confident than I was on 2nd January 2016. Our plan to extend our offering into HR consultancy services is going ahead in 2020 (Lee Williams), and our new website is being launched this month.

When was the last time you took a proper sick day? By this, I mean taking a full day and night off work to recover from an illness whilst avoiding all work-related emails, calls and tasks. Can’t remember? That is not surprising.

In today’s highly competitive working world, sick days are seemingly becoming a thing of the past. Instead, an increasing number of employees call to tell their employer they’re unwell but then proceed to say they can work from home instead. Why? Many fear that taking the day off will make them seem dispensable to employers and may suggest a lack of loyalty or tenacity. High job demands, stress and job insecurity all may play a role in an employee’s decision to choose to work when they’re ill, as they wish to prove to their employer that they are fully committed to both their role and the company, when in reality they should be resting.

There’s always been a stigma attached to calling in sick. From a young age, many of our parents taught us that sick days should not be taken unless you have a very serious illness and even then many parents still doubted the truth regarding whether an illness was genuine or whether the individual just wanted to have a day off school. The same can be said for taking a ‘sick’ day at work; it seems employers and fellow employees alike, have become predisposed to thinking that those who take the day off may be faking it. Because of this, many sick employees decide to power through their illness by either going into work as normal or taking the day off but still working from home; both of which can cause further problems.

The rise of remote working, the increased mobility of the standard office and the accessibility of technology have made the decision to work from home when ill too easy for employees and the more employees that ask for permission to do this, the more problematic the consequences may become. It’s easy for an employee to agree to work from home when they have a cold, but what happens when they catch a severe stomach bug and working is not an option but it is now expected by the employer? Additionally, what happens if two colleagues are off sick, one of them works from home and the other has the day off, is this fair? How may the employer view this?

Flexible working hours are also decreasing the number of ‘sick’ days employees are taking, as this approach allows employees to schedule their time according to what best suits them as long as the necessary work is completed in the set time-frame. Therefore, when these employees become ill they may choose to take the morning off to relax at home and begin working when they are feeling better later in the afternoon. This relies on employees managing their time effectively but aslong as this is done properly, employees can take time off without taking a sick day, whilst still completing all necessary tasks.

Many employees choose to work from home when not feeling well simply because they fear getting behind with their workload. In our 24/7 working world, there will always be jobs that need to be done and emails that need to be replied too; for some employees the prospect of all the work they’d have to catch up on when they return is not worth the time off. While this may seem like an advantage to a business, in reality employees choosing to work whilst ill, also known as ‘presenteeism’ can add to the cost of organisations. They may end up having to pay a high price in terms of lost productivity by allowing their unwell employees to continue working. The cost to employees is also high; working whilst ill and not taking time off to recover may result in the illness deteriorating and therefore requiring the employee to take an extended period off work, rather than just a day or two.

Ultimately, working when sick should be avoided; however, if a motivated employee who detests taking sick days feels capable of doing some work from home then that is their choice and there is little that can be done to stop them. As long as this decision is voluntary and most importantly, that it is not the result of an employer’s set expectations, it should be left to the individual employee’s discretion. If an organisation wants to actively discourage employees from working on ‘sick’ days, introducing an alternative such as ‘personal emergency leave’ where employees can take a day off with no associated expectations that work should be completed and no requirement to disclose the reason, could be the answer.

Today, more and more companies are experiencing the many benefits associated with hiring a ‘boomerang’ employee; rehiring someone who has previously worked for the company but who then decided to leave. What was once a very much taboo act is now a growing recruitment trend, sweeping the industry as the vast number of advantages this type of recruitment can yield are becoming more widely known and appreciated. It is likely that the candidate-driven market we are experiencing today has caused a shift in thinking from both an employer’s and an employee’s perspective; employers are aware that talent is in high demand and it is therefore much harder to find suitable candidates for specific roles, whilst employees are very much in the driving seat with regards to the recruitment process and can therefore afford to be selective over their future employer. An increase in the use of social media sites, especially for professional connections, may have also played a part. A brilliant example of this is LinkedIn; a site which makes it very easy to stay in touch with all your former employers and colleagues, with just the click of a button.

Research from Work Place trends has revealed that employers are growing increasingly more open to the idea of workers returning to previous jobs. According to the study, these “boomerang employees” are starting to create some serious competition for job seekers. From a business perspective, it is a very intelligent form of recruitment for companies to utilise. Employee turnover can be a huge drain on a company’s bottom line ultimately costing the business time, productivity and money; therefore, hiring someone who has previously worked for the company and thus is unlikely to leave in the near future is a smart move, especially as they will require little time and money spent on training.

Faster on-boarding is another key benefit of hiring a boomerang employee. On-boarding can be an extremely time-consuming and labour-intensive process which can eat into other employees work load and in turn, productivity levels. Rehiring a former employee who has already been put through company training and has learnt all the necessary skills for the job will be able to start working straight away, with only a quick debrief needed to refresh their memory.

Hiring a former employee will also allow for a streamlined re-entry back into the workplace. The organisation will already know the employee and can thus be assured they will fit culturally with the company in question and their personality will be well-suited to their other employees. Knowing this will help to minimise any potential problems that could arise and will ensure the on-boarding process goes as smoothly as possible.

Avoiding unnecessary and often expensive recruiter fees is another benefit, especially in today’s competitive marketplace. If a previous employee who performed well and left for appropriate reasons, such as to develop new skills or to deepen their knowledge, is interested in returning, it will help bypass a potentially complex and costly recruitment process. As business owners and hiring managers, it is important to always leave the door open for people to go out in order to give them the freedom to develop in ways they may not have been able to whilst with you. If/when they return, the company will definitely have benefited from the time an employee had off to do what they needed to do.

Whilst it is clear not all previous employees will make good re-hires, especially those who have been fired or left under similar circumstances, rehiring many former employees who have consistently performed well could make great business sense for all parties involved. Because of this, many companies would benefit from using a strategy to encourage their best employees to return should they decide to leave. The strategy should involve ensuring that when valuable members of staff leave they are told they are welcome back in the future, they should be given a great reference and they should be encouraged to keep in contact, both in person and via social media. Ultimately, talented and valuable employees are hard to come by, especially in the current marketplace so when a company finds talent, they should hire them and retain them; if/when the individual decides to leave, they just need to make sure they let them know that the door is always open and they will always be welcomed back.

Communication and technology have undergone significant changes over the last few decades with the key development being the emergence and exponential growth of social media. The power of social media and social networking is so great that that the number of users worldwide is expected to reach over 3 billion active users by 2021, around a third of earth’s entire population; a phenomenal statistic.

When considering the different social media sites used today, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter may immediately spring to mind; however, there are many other sites that are rapidly growing in popularity that make up a considerable proportion of the above statistic. LinkedIn is a brilliant example of one of these sites; it was originally overlooked due to the assumption it was predominantly made for recruiters and job seekers. However, over the last 5 years it has increased in popularity from 140 million users worldwide to 500+ million users and it is now the social network of choice for business professionals.

LinkedIn has many benefits to a wide range of professionals; however, as I am writing this from a recruitment consultant’s perspective, I am going to focus predominantly on the benefits for job seekers and business owners.

For those searching for a new role, LinkedIn is a brilliant tool to assist your job search. It has an extensive number of job listings and allows you to make business connections with a wide range of professionals, from previous co-workers and colleagues to CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies. It also enables you stay continually connected with these individuals, something which is often not the case when networking in person as business cards are often handed out and then subsequently forgotten about. Additionally, having an online presence on LinkedIn lets you create a personal brand where you can establish expertise through posting content via articles and posts, continually updating your CV and staying up-to-date with the latest industry news and trends.

At Marmion, we advise our candidates to use LinkedIn as a base to tell their story. LinkedIn profiles need to be complete, with a professional and approachable image (people tend not to engage with individuals who don’t include a picture of themselves), and contact information clearly available. We also advise job seekers to conduct some research into who the directors or hiring managers are of the company they are interested in, and to contact them directly, because they will know what gaps they have in their workforce. They should send a request to ‘connect’ accompanied with a well thought out message explaining who they are and why they have sent the invitation. Following this, effort should be made to like and comment on their articles, posts and the posts they interact with. Clearly over-stalking should be avoided, but once they have done this for a period of time, their name will have been noticed by not just the person being targeted but other industry decision makers, and they will then be in a stronger position to ask the person in question for the opportunity to speak about potential employment opportunities.

Business owners should use LinkedIn to take advantage of the free exposure it can provide. It can be used as a brilliant platform to promote new products, increase lead generation and to assist with your recruitment strategy. Similar to how job seekers can use LinkedIn to create a personal brand, business owners can use it to build the brand of their company; this helps to increase likeability and trust and can in turn increase sales. Additionally, it is a platform specifically designed for connections and so it is a great way for business owners to find vendors, suppliers, manufacturers and other third-party resources should they so require.

As LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner sums up:

 “It’s not just job seekers. It’s journalists who are looking to source stories, its entrepreneurs looking to raise financing, its investors looking to find right investment vehicle. It’s about all professionals and the way in which we share information, knowledge, expertise, opinions and insights.”

Like all social media platforms, if you don’t engage with the platform and with your connections, you’ll see little value generated from your time using it. However, if you dedicate your time to understand LinkedIn and use it to its full potential, the value it can bring to job seekers and business owners alike, is huge and it is therefore a social platform that professionals cannot afford to ignore.

Over the last decade ‘Team building’ and ‘self-awareness’ have become well-known management buzzwords; everybody seems to know they are important, but it seems few truly understand how or why they are both so important and the potential impact they can have on improving organisational performance, and in turn improving an organisation’s overall success.

Neither word is new; in fact, self-awareness has been favoured by successful leaders and managers throughout history, boasting that getting to know oneself through learning their own skills, abilities and indeed shortcomings, is the key to success. Vast amounts of academic research has proven that leaders benefit from being self-aware and the significance of this is demonstrated by a study carried out by the Cornell School of Industrial Relations (2010) who found that self-awareness was the strongest predictor of overall success for the leaders studied.

With the benefits so evident and so widely acknowledged by the many academic studies carried out in this area, a shift has now started to take place which highlights the importance of this for each individual team member within an organisation, rather than specifically those in charge. A team of self-aware individuals will allow both individuals and management to identify their individual core strengths and use this to ensure they are working to the best of their ability and in their most productive working environment. Armed with this information, effective and strategic team building can then be enforced by management to create the optimal working environment for members of their team, both socially and physically.

Interestingly, research suggests that organisations are not as self-aware as they believe they are and therefore many organisations could dramatically benefit if they decide to act on this. Companies need to realise that they are missing a trick by not looking in the mirror and identifying and then subsequently acting upon these vital areas of potential improvement. Certain assessments have been specifically developed in order to help businesses build effective teams comprised of self-aware individuals. At Marmion we use i3 profiling; a trait-based assessment tool that manages talent whilst embracing individuality.

Organisations who decide to implement i3 profiling or similar trait-based assessments can hugely benefit from gaining a detailed understanding of each team members natural instinctive behaviours. Based on this information, managers or leaders can then ensure each individual is managed with this information at the forefront of their strategy. Looking at the results collectively, the most productive environment for the team as whole can be established. This will include identifying any areas or skills that an individual may be lacking and overcoming this by pairing this individual with another team member who excels in that skill and thus bridging the gap.

This technique ensures all the necessary skills required for the roles are covered without having to consider hiring a new member of staff who possesses the required skill(s), whilst encouraging team members to use each other’s strengths to learn and grow. With regards to recruitment, identifying group traits through i3 can also highlight any similar patterns that tend to occur in businesses through managers subconsciously hiring a similar type of person every time they bring on a new member of staff. In fact, without the use of i3 profiling, many managers may be completely unaware they are doing this and whilst hiring individuals who share the company’s values and beliefs is critical, hiring the same type of people for every new hire is likely to create a homogenous internal culture consisting of a workforce of people who do the same thing.

Introducing trait-based assessments, such as i3 into a business can have dramatic results. For any organisation, either large or small, it seems like a logical step to take in order to fully benefit from each individual member of staff they have on their team. It is without a doubt a brave move to make, as it highlights areas of weakness and therefore areas of improvement for a business, therefore companies need to be ready to make relevant changes by adapting and then implementing the knowledge acquired. Only when a company is ready to hear the truth, can it truly benefit.

If you are interested in learning more about trait-based assessment and analysis and how it can benefit you as an organisation to understand more about your employees and their natural drivers and instinctive behaviours, please call Janet McGlaughlin or Matt Pallister now on 0113 332 0678 or email

Traditionally Christmas is a busy and exciting time of the year for everyone; not a time you would necessarily associate with searching for a new job or with companies taking on new employees. Job seekers tend to take time off from their job search as the holidays approach with the rational that very few companies will be hiring in the lead up to Christmas as their time will be occupied with staff trips, parties and annual leave. However, more and more companies as seeing the benefits associated with hiring in December in order to beat the inevitable increase in recruitment activity and in turn, industry competition, that occurs at the beginning of January as work resumes.

This is of course, industry dependant. For those in retail and hospitality, hiring in December (undoubtedly their busiest time of the year) would not be appropriate as all focus is likely to be concentrated on ensuring the business can keep up with the increase in demand. In this case, hiring several months before the festive period would be beneficial to ensure all new staff are fully trained in preparation for their busiest period. However, for professional services, December tends to be a quieter month in terms of workload and this can therefore be the ideal time for recruiting. As recruitment consultants, we know first-hand that the myth which states that the hiring process dies down in December is not entirely true; indeed, it may be quieter than other times of the year, but this can work in the favour of both hiring managers and job seekers.

For companies looking to hire new staff members, initialising the recruitment process in December, rather than January can have many advantages. Firstly, this enables hiring managers to cherry pick candidates ahead of their competition; something that is especially advantageous in today’s very much candidate-driven market. From an organisational point of view, candidate interviews and phone calls are easier to arrange over the Christmas period as typically more people have time off work in December than they will in the new year. Those managing the hiring process are also likely to have more free time and less urgent responsibilities in December; enabling more time for staff training and inductions to take place while workloads are relatively low, minimising any potential teething problems that could negatively impact current members of staff.

For job seekers looking to secure a new role, the benefits of job hunting in December are also numerous. If they are still working, applying for roles when their workload is reduced, and they have more time off will make the application process much easier. Competition from other candidates is likely to be lower as not everyone will choose to continue their job search over Christmas and therefore their commitment to the job search will be emphasised by sending applications at this time, highlighting their diligence, making them stand out and helping to ensure they will not go unnoticed by employers. In many cases, more vacancies start to arise over the Christmas period as employees who have been considering leaving wait to receive their Christmas bonuses before quitting. Additionally, the increase in volume of networking and social events over the Christmas period could also be used to a job seeker’s advantage by using them as recruiting opportunities.

Timing is critical in recruiting, both from a hiring perspective and from a job seeker’s perspective. In any competitive endeavour, if you want to beat the competition you need to go against the flow and so, in this case recruiting or searching for a job when others are idle is the optimum time to do so. Firms and candidates alike can benefit from what is known as counter cycle recruiting, where a recruitment push is made in quieter periods in order to take advantage of the lowered level of competition. This benefit, coupled with the many other benefits discussed in my article, are just several reasons that hiring and job seeking over the Christmas period can be advantageous. However, in true Christmas spirit, the main reason has to be that for job seeker’s and hiring managers, there may be no better Christmas present than receiving their dream offer or the addition of a brilliant new employee!

Happy Christmas… And Happy Recruiting!



The purpose of this study was to ensure that every team member within this first-to-market business is fully aware of the objectives of the business and how awareness of their own natural, instinctive behaviours can help them to draw on their strengths, which will therefore help them drive the business forward. The purpose of the self-awareness exercise is also to give each member of staff an understanding of their most productive environment, and allow them to learn how their characteristics can positively impact other team members and their own role. Environmental factors may include influences such as social preferences, structure and physical surroundings. Once these have been established, the business can then take action to adapt, where necessary, elements of the working environment, revisit and review job descriptions and create bespoke career progression opportunities per individual rather than a one size fits all environments.


To put this into action, a trait-based profiling assessment was used within the business and for all team members, including the senior leadership team, as well as their current external business consultant. All were willing and engaged participants which created a positive energy within the organisation. To complete the online assessment, it took between 15-20 minutes and the results were calculated instantly. Thereafter, individual feedback sessions were carried out in a confidential and private setting with each team member. Once completed and with the consent of each participant, the information was fed back to the senior leadership team. One of the great advantages of this type of report is that it is non-contentious as this is not an exercise to identify a ‘type’ and the objective is always to avoid typecasting, but instead to provide an insight into the personal traits of each individual.


The results from the assessment enabled the Directors to establish how best to manage each team member in accordance with their natural instinctive behavior. More importantly, once the most dominant traits were identified and explained during the feedback session to each person, it was encouraging to observe how much more aware they were of how they may respond to environmental and cultural factors which could potentially impact on their productivity. Furthermore, they could reflect back on how some of these behaviours may have affected colleagues. Armed with this insight, they agreed they would and could be more conscious moving forward.

These identified traits would enable not only team members to apply their natural way of behaving and responding to the needs of the business but allowed the Directors to make important decisions about how they needed to adapt, not just their management style but the cultural environment in order to offer the best support required to achieve the overall business strategy operationally. The profiling assessment enabled ‘pairing’ to be implemented; a process which pairs two members of staff together who possess different personality strengths, but which allows for gaps in skills to be bridged, that may have been missing previously. This also encourages staff to work together and to learn from each other’s strengths to help the team as a whole, succeed. For some roles within the business, the company was able to acknowledge that there were limitations with regards to certain role requirements, but the process of pairing allowed them to overcome this. Similarly, the assessment allowed the business to identify any potentially volatile relationships that may be in place or at risk of developing, in order to ensure these were either rectified or prevented.

Ultimately, the session resulted in the Directors growing more conscious of how their own actions and behaviours could influence the team and provided them with more information with regards to how best to manage their team by drawing on their strengths and being aware of situations which could prove to be more challenging. As a result of this, the company has experienced immediate improvements, less ambiguity in the role requirements for each individual member of staff, with an increased boost in morale. It is hoped that this will continue into the future, as the company continues to grow.

If you are interested in learning more about trait-based assessment and analysis and how it can benefit you as an organisation to understand more about your employees and their natural drivers and instinctive behaviours, please call Mohsin Hanif or Janet McGlaughlin now on 0113 332 0678 / 0161 960 0376 or email

For some women, returning to work following maternity leave cannot come soon enough, however for the majority of women returning to work can be a very daunting period of their life. The worry of having to leave their new born baby in somebody else’s care, often for the very first time, whilst also worrying about re-adjusting to working life can make it an emotionally draining transition and therefore one which many women fear.

Will my workload have increased? Is there new management? Do I have new team members? Are there new social groups? Have new work systems been introduced? Are there new rules/regulations?

These types of questions are endless and often justified, as many women do return to work to find that changes have taken place, in both their workload and social groups. For some women, re-adjusting to these changes proves very difficult; this is exemplified in research which shows that 1 in 3 women leave their jobs within just 2 years of returning from maternity leave.

The reality of gender discrimination also plays a role here. It is hard to avoid the daily news articles highlighting the frequent cases of workplace discrimination for women and the ongoing gender pay gap debate. Therefore, additional worries for those returning to work following maternity leave often include the possibility of redundancy, restructuring, reduction in hours and thus a reduction in salary, dismissal or loss of their key responsibilities. Some companies seem to have a lack of understanding regarding how to treat new mothers returning to work. Reports have shown that in response to requests for flexible working, some companies offer part-time working as an alternative; a completely different concept and an option which many new mothers cannot afford to take.

It is clear then that some companies need to do more to support women returning from maternity leave. The challenges these women may be facing when returning to work need to be acknowledged and addressed and a support structure needs to be put in place to make this transition as easy as possible. Some companies are already doing this brilliantly; the different techniques these companies use can be copied and implemented by all businesses to ensure women are fully supported, not only when they return from maternity leave, but also before and during their leave. Such techniques include:

Agreeing to allow those returning from maternity leave to have a phased return to work is a great idea which allows the new mother to ease back into their role gently, whilst also giving them time to work out the logistics of returning to work. This can be implemented over a number of weeks, however, if this is not an option, encouraging employees returning from maternity leave to start work on a Wednesday or Thursday rather than a Monday could also be advantageous. This will give the new mother a taster of what it will be like to be back at work, whilst also acting as a trial run with regards to timings, child care and any other new responsibilities they may have to consider.

Alongside adequate maternity leave and higher pay, offering flexible working is rated as one of the most important factors women consider when returning to work. Ultimately this equates to employers being understanding of new mother’s situations and thus allowing changes based on their individual circumstances, from letting them leave early to pick up their new born up from child care to offering the opportunity to work from home several days a week. In today’s society, where flexible working is becoming widely accepted and is slowly becoming the norm, it is likely that many women, especially millennials as they approach this period of their life, will expect flexible working to be an option as they will understand many jobs can easily be modified to fit with their transition.

·        An inclusive culture

With regards to the social aspect, employees can really help to ease the transition for new mothers by helping those returning to work feel welcome and a valued member of the team, regardless of any team changes that may have taken place. Hosting a welcome back staff lunch or staff team bonding day once the new mother has returned from maternity leave may help, as will remaining in contact throughout their maternity leave. This is known in the industry as KIT (keep in touch) days; these act as useful ways to keep employers in the loop at work and ensure the employee still feels like a valued member of the company, whilst not being physically present.

It is no surprise that many women do worry about returning to work and for some that may always be the case; however it is clear that companies can make a real difference. They need to acknowledge that they have a key role to play in supporting women through this period and in re-integrating them back into the business. The shocking statistic that reveals 85% of new mothers believe that UK employers are poor when it comes to being family friendly, can easily be changed by ensuring they support women by both encouraging career growth and promotion as they would with other members of the team, whilst also being flexible in their understanding of the new mothers’ situations and making allowances, where necessary. After all, it is in a company’s best interest to do this as these women represent an underutilised yet hugely valuable talent pool in a very much candidate-driven market.

In an increasingly candidate-centric job market, recruitment consultants should be seen as a hugely valuable resource in both a candidate’s job search and in a company’s hiring strategy; however unfortunately this is not always the case. The recruitment industry as a whole has gained a somewhat poor reputation over the last few decades, partly due to the stereotypical view that all consultants focus solely on how many placements they can make and thus how much commission they can earn, rather than focusing on ensuring the candidates placed are a good fit with the organisation in question. However, this tarnished reputation should not reflect all recruitment agencies and consultants, as so many do truly care about the clients and candidates they represent. Furthermore, letting the few agencies that display poor practice deter job seekers or organisations from using a reputable agency that can provide a beneficial service would be a huge waste.

The recruitment industry has been through vast changes since the first agencies were established in the 1940s in order to fill the gaps in the workforce created by those who had left for war. At this stage it was more of a case of finding people who were able and willing rather than screening candidates in order to find those best suited for the job. More recent changes that have affected the industry are related to the rapid advancements in technology, which have brought about a host of new opportunities including the use of social media, mobile technology and artificial technology. As this technology advances, the level of service consultants can now provide as part of the recruitment process has improved, providing numerous benefits to both potential candidates and potential clients.

For job seekers, enlisting the help of a recruitment consultant can not only save them time and help minimise stress associated with their job search, but consultants can also provide advice on how they can best prepare for interviews and how to ensure their CV is written to highlight their keys skills, experience and attributes. Using a recruitment consultant will also mean the individual has professional representation who can then act on their behalf and in their best interest, from when they are initially presented to clients right through to the final stages of negotiating their job offer. These benefits combined with a consultant’s knowledge of the market and industry insights highlight how valuable using a consultant can be in a job search, especially considering these services are free for job seekers.

Organisations using recruitment consultants to aid their hiring strategy can experience similar benefits; reducing time, stress and money wasted on lost productivity. Often the time taken to hire a new employee is underestimated, especially when the process is done thoroughly, therefore consultants completing the time-consuming end-to-end process can make a significant difference. Not only are consultants likely to have a vast network of high-quality talent to choose from, they should have also personally vetted potential candidates and shortlisted them using their expertise in screening, interviewing and profiling with professional impartiality. Marmion place huge importance on meeting our clients and candidates face-to-face as this is a vital step in order for us to develop and maintain professional relationships. We strive to act as an extension of each of our clients’ business and therefore devote time to visiting their offices. This provides us with the opportunity to see how they operate and to meet individual members of their teams ensuring we fully understand what type of individual is going to be the best fit. We can also then best describe the work environment to potential candidates during the interview process.

Some recruitment agencies take their service one step further by offering additional services, such as psychometric testing or personality assessments. At Marmion, we use ‘i3 profiling’ which is used to help candidates by increasing their self-awareness and thus establishing what roles and working environment they may be best suited to, whilst simultaneously helping organisations by ensuring they understand their optimum team dynamics.

The whole process of recruitment is reliant upon the successful matching of clients and candidates; pairing up the skills required by an employer with the inherent talents and experience of the ideal candidate. However, in order to experience the true value of a recruitment consultant, clients and candidates must be as equally invested as the consultant. Without the co-operation of the client devoting time to fully explain what they’re looking for and trusting the consultant, alongside the co-operation of the candidate to communicate quickly and efficiently with the consultant whilst keeping them up to date with where they are in their job search, the consultant may not be able to do their job to the best of their ability. In this instance, the true value of the recruitment consultant may not be experienced.

If you would like any further information about how a recruitment consultant could help with your hiring strategy or job search, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on 07943 710 160 or a member of our team on 0113 332 0678.

We have seen a significant growth in the number of companies created specifically to provide Life and Career Coaching. Seeking out support to help achieve life goals in the UK is now more commonplace, and whilst there is never a guarantee that the exact desired results can be achieved, the service provides job seekers access to individuals who are trained to listen and to be objective when creating working strategies on how to develop careers.

It’s important to remember that career development is not necessarily about leaving a current employer, but about how to move forward, be that for promotion or to search for other roles within the business. And, because not everyone has the confidence or the skills to be able to cross over into an unknown future in an unfamiliar and risky new role, a good career coach will provide the necessary guidance. Gaining a better understanding of themselves through personal insight and self-realisation will be key because in order to be effective it will be important for individuals to work closely with their coach and to be prepared to hear some unwanted truths about whether or not what they want is realistic, and or what might lie ahead if they choose to cross the line.

When setting up Marmion we were conscious that we didn’t just want to place people in companies, we want to connect people with businesses that complimented their preferred style of working, elements of their personality aptitude, and just as importantly to place them into environments in which they would be at their most productive. Conversely, we wanted our clients who would ultimately be responsible for these new hires to have a better understanding of themselves and their style of management. With attrition management being at the forefront of our service we knew that by investing in getting to know both parties well we would make the ‘right’ introductions and if the candidate and clients were more self-aware they would be able to more easily recognise if they could work together for the long term.

We decided to invest in a well-tested character trait-based assessment and it now forms an important part of our standard evaluation programme. It’s an assessment tool that is not generally included in the service offered by our industry, which, as it becomes more reliant on AI to make decisions about a candidate’s suitability for a role, is sadly less connected with its candidates. We make no apology for this style of recruitment as we don’t practise in this way. Our approach is consultative with a focus on career counselling so, whilst the assessment is delivered online, to be meaningful, it requires an in-depth face to face feedback session to explain the results. This investment in time to explore the report and the impact their unique traits and working environmental requirements are, gives the candidate a stronger narrative when they are in interview as they can describe themselves and what they can bring to the business more effectively. It takes effort on all sides to get all the pieces in order, and once it’s done we know it works because our ratio of interview to job offer is often 1:1.

When searching for the most appropriate psychological/psychometric assessments we wanted to find something that would be totally unique to the individual, it wasn’t just about finding a ‘type’. The report takes into account 7 individual ‘instinctive’ indicators; practical, enterprising, enquiring, promoting, perceiving, responding and organising, whilst also assessing an individual’s most productive environment through four opposing orientations; task, ordered, social and flexible. No two results generated from the assessment are the same, which makes it more credible and therefore of more value to both our candidates and clients.

The 360-degree feedback session, which combines the report, the insight we can provide regarding the role they’ve applied for, an assessment of the potential line manager they’ll work with and detailed information about the business they should consider investing their career in enables our candidate to make more informed decision about whether or not to proceed. This combination of counselling and introduction to a job makes our role much more meaningful and satisfying.

Information and advice will empower individuals and help them to feel more confident in who they are and what they can contribute to an organisation, whilst simultaneously enabling employers to ensure they provide these individuals with the best environment to succeed. Additionally, because i3 role profile highlights the characteristics needed to succeed in the role it may highlight that changes in the original job description are needed. An example of this could include an individual who is currently working in sales as a cold caller, who is reporting feelings of job dissatisfaction and is struggling to meet targets. Their i3 profile shows that ‘promoting’ is bottom of their 7 indicators and yet in the role profile report it clearly states that a high promotor is required to succeed; an indication that a cold calling role is not best suited to their natural strengths. This level of insight is very valuable to not only those who want to achieve more within their current role, those considering a career change or those seeking advice at the very beginning of their career as it allows individuals to establish what roles and working environments they are best suited to. We’d suggest that as this profiling remains unchanged in someone’s lifetime it would help to understand more about oneself before entering the world of work, it may even influence decisions regarding the choice of University courses which could potentially be linked to future careers.

Humans are multi-faceted individuals and using personality assessments as a guide for career coaching is a great way of helping individuals match their individual personality, preferences and natural abilities to the kinds of requirements of work, pressures and environments that different careers can offer. As recruitment processes continue to advance, and the emphasis on the importance of employee satisfaction and fulfilment at work increases, introducing career coaching and personality-based assessments can be hugely beneficial for employers, current employees and potential future employees.

For more information please contact me on 0113 3320 678 or email me on

Recent advancements in technology, coupled with continuous developments in cloud computing and access to internet connection almost anywhere and at any time, have contributed to the major shift in working patterns that has been taking place over the last decade. The number of people working the standardised hours of 9-5 is decreasing significantly, whilst flexible working is becoming increasingly popular. More companies are now offering flexible working as an attractive job perk, including offering flexi-time hours, compressed workweeks, the option to work in ‘workhubs’ and in some cases, the option to work from home.

‘Millennials’ are now the nation’s largest generation in the workforce and workplace flexibility, including the option to work from home, has become a top priority for these workers. This generation has been born into a constantly connected world; a world in which they are rarely far away from internet access via their computers, tablets or smartphones. This new generation brings new expectations; they are fully aware that the majority of their work is carried out online and are therefore raising important questions regarding why we are all still confined to working in an office at set office hours, when this is no longer a necessity. In many cases, these restrictions are in fact a hindrance, as we are having to travel to work during the busiest times of the day and work hours that in many cases do not fit in accordance with our daily schedules. The younger generations are not alone in this; older workers are also demanding home working as it enables the growing number of workers who are delaying their retirement to improve their work life balance.

The benefits of home working are numerous; improved productivity, reduced absenteeism, improved employee retention and an increased talent pool to consider when recruiting. With regards to employee well-being, in general those who work from home report feeling happier and healthier; perhaps correlated to the fact they have more time and flexibility to schedule necessary doctor’s appointments and go to the gym. They also report reduced stress levels which may be linked to the reduction or end to their daily commute to work. As a commuter, myself who has been severely affected by the ongoing train delays, revisions and cancellations on a daily basis, I can understand why working from home would be hugely beneficial for both employers and employees; not only through having more time to spend working, but also through monetary savings and employee well-being. Shockingly, research has found that UK workers waste over 4.5 million hours per day commuting; a costly waste of time and productivity on a problem that could be easily rectified.

Some organisations are reluctant to offer home working to their employees, partly due to the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ mentality some managers possess, where if they cannot physically see their employees working, they may doubt whether work is being done. This highlights an issue of lack of trust and raises the question, if businesses cannot trust their employees to work independently at home then surely they shouldn’t be trusted with other information, such as confidential data and financial details? More importantly, if businesses do not trust their employees, why did they decide to hire them in the first place?

Additional concerns include the difficulty associated with managing and communicating with team members working at differing locations, employee’s reporting feelings of isolation and a lack of team spirit and morale. Indeed, these are all possible problems. However, they can all be easily managed by implementing flexible working or home working, gradually or as part of a schedule. Home working does not have to be all or nothing; a typical week could involve working in the office for three days a week, whilst working from home for the remaining two days. This type of schedule allows for spontaneous interaction with colleagues and allocated time for necessary meetings, but also some independent and focused productivity too. This method would be a great starting point for companies considering offering flexible working to their employees through taking the form of a trial, enabling them to evaluate productivity levels and other relevant criteria before implementing change.  Offering flexible and remote working may be not possible for all companies but for those that can operate with employees working remotely, it is a trial that may prove to be hugely valuable.

The modern workforce is collaborative with multi-generations with differing communication preferences; however, something that remains consistent throughout all workers, regardless of their age, industry, role or individual preferences, is that they value choice and they value flexibility. Organisations are now recognising this and attitudes towards home working and flexible working as a whole, are changing. For many companies, the future is flexible and those that do not recognise that the world is changing and adapt accordingly face a very real risk of being left behind.

From a recruitment perspective, this is a necessary step to take in order to keep up with the race to attract and retain the most effective workforce. As the younger generations continue to move into the workforce, understanding what younger workers desire is a top priority for many recruiters and hiring managers seeking to build a firm workforce for the future. The remote workforce, specifically those wanting to work from home, is expected to grow significantly in the next decade and employers need to be prepared for this.

In the competitive marketing landscape that we operate in, ‘networking’ is a hugely valuable and increasingly popular tool, that can be used by small or large businesses to build and maintain relationships, stimulate personal growth and raise the profile of yourself and/or the business you represent. It is however, a long-term strategy and focus should be based around building a network of connections for the future, that are both meaningful and sustainable.

Networking can be done online via sites such as LinkedIn, however by far the most valuable form of networking is face-to-face. This type of networking involves attending events that usually have a non-selling, relaxed environment where individuals can showcase their knowledge and expertise as well as create valuable relationships. The fast-paced, tech-centric lifestyles we lead today have made it easier for us to avoid face-to-face communication, and this is not necessarily a good thing, as face-to-face communication is often the key to building trust and forming long-lasting relationships.

At Marmion, the importance of face-to-face communication is highlighted through our own business model which makes it an essential and unquestionable part of the process that we meet and get to know all of our clients and candidates personally, before we begin working with them. For us, this is so important because without having met them, we do not believe we can act in good faith in promoting either party in a manner that acts in their best interest. Talking in person also helps to build rapport which is massively important as strong relationships are often built on trust and respect that has been earned on both sides.

In order to network effectively, gravitating towards people you know and already like should be avoided. These people will often have similar interests, backgrounds and points of view to you but what results from this is a ‘closed’ networking experience which limits our exposure to people who can offer real, valuable connections and fresh, new ideas.  The importance is quality of conversation over the quantity. There is little point, if any, in attending a networking event to hand out hundreds of business cards or to make hundreds of empty new LinkedIn connections if these connections have real no purpose or intent. It would be far more advantageous to make fewer, genuine connections if these connections are truly meaningful. There is also little point in building valuable relationships through speaking with individuals at events if you do not follow up these connections. By exchanging contact details, connecting on LinkedIn, or just making a quick phone call, it can help to strengthen that connection and also create a method of communication for future use.

Networking has so many benefits. It can help enhance your specific or general industry knowledge; keep you up-to-date with business trends; help you grow in confidence as an individual and as a professional; and can help build and showcase your personal brand. It can be hugely beneficial for start-ups and small companies in particular, to help get their name out there whilst building trust and gaining support from the local community in an extremely cost-effective way. Ultimately, networking is a hugely valuable tool that all businesses can benefit from utilising, with an added bonus that the majority of events are fun and free.

There are a variety of networking events to choose from, ranging from early morning breakfast events to drinks events after work. A quick search on ‘’ is the easiest way to search for events and sign up online.  Marmion regularly attend Lightstart’s networking events; our personal favourites are their monthly digital coffee morning and ‘netWINEing’. We also attend ‘Harrogate Live’, ‘Harrogate Social’ and keep a regular eye on Martin Mann’s networking calendar for any other events being held in the Leeds/Harrogate area –

If you would like any more information on networking or the services Marmion provide, please do not hesitate to contact me on ’07943710160’ or ‘0113 3320 678’.

I hope to see many of you at a networking event in the near future!

When a candidate decides whether to accept a job offer, you may expect them to ask the following questions:

‘Is the offered salary higher than my current salary?’

‘Is the location more convenient than the location I currently work in?’

‘Do I have more responsibilities in the new role than I do in my current role?’

‘Are there more opportunities for training and promotion in the new role than in my current role?’

However, research has shown that criteria which is often overlooked or neglected initially can have more of an impact on future job satisfaction than the criteria stated above. For example, a recent study by Robert Half (2012) found that working environment is the most crucial factor in employee satisfaction. This is therefore something which should not be overlooked; working environment comprises so many vital elements of working life, it should be the basis of one of the first questions candidates ask themselves when deliberating over a job offer.

What contributes to a good working environment?

Employees spend over 2000 hours a year at work, therefore it is important the workplace is a comfortable and inviting place to be. There are many advantages employers will gain from facilitating environmental improvements. Taking into consideration factors such as office layout, lighting, room temperature, noise, office equipment, facilities, amongst other criteria, can have a huge effect on employee morale and in turn, employee productivity. Research has shown pleasant work spaces can help employees feel more creative, engaged and connected to the company they work for, which encourages hard work and increases motivation.

Encouraging communication in the workplace helps to create a relaxed and sociable atmosphere, whilst also creating a sense of social belonging for employees. It is more than just talking; it’s about connecting with people and increasing employee engagement. Employees are more engaged in their work and can better align with company objectives and goals when a culture of good communication is established in a team or workplace. Additionally, a workplace which communicates effectively establishes a safe place for people to think creatively which encourages employees to openly express their thoughts and ideas.

When employees feel like they’re working together as part of a team, they’re more likely to want to help each other succeed. This behaviour encourages colleagues to support one another, offer advice and share their knowledge in order to help everyone perform to the best of their ability. This type of co-operative atmosphere ensures that everyone’s talents can be used to their full potential, whilst also accommodating individual weaknesses. Team spirit can inspire and encourage employees to work hard through developing a positive working attitude; an attitude which is contagious.

Flexibility is a vital trait that businesses need to demonstrate in order to survive in today’s ever-changing world. Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and recent advances in technology will ensure employees are working to the best of their ability and thus maximising productivity. Flexibility towards working routines can also have a significant impact on productivity. Giving employees the opportunity to be flexible with their hours and their place of work helps to improve their work/life balance. Employees will respect this flexibility and increased level of trust and this is likely to show in their work.

A negative working environment can be extremely costly. A global report by Leesman investigated how a poorly planned workplace can have a negative impact on employees and inhibit their ability to perform. Shockingly, they found 43% of employees globally do not agree that their workplace enables them to work productively; this jumps up to 46% for UK employees.

These findings suggest that there is still a vast number of employers that need to be doing more if they’re going to leverage the workplace as a place of competitive advantage and a booster of organisational performance. However, making just a few small changes to the working environment can make a huge difference. Ultimately, creating or reinventing an office to be employee-centric and a good working environment, will lead to more success in the long term; it may come at a short-term expense, but it is an investment that will no doubt prove to be worth it.

The Marmion Recruitment Blog

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