“Thousands of jobs & no one to fill them” – can that really be true?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57349802  This features a report by KPMG on the situation UK PLC finds itself in: “thousands of job vacancies but no people to fill them” How can that be so?

In other reports from @BBC we know there are 1.7m unemployed and over 4m on furlough who may not have jobs to return to when furlough finally ends.

There seems a huge disconnect.

From the people I’ve spoken to over the past fourteen months I think there’s an elephant in the room we are not addressing.  Fear.  

Fear of stepping outside their door.

Fear of leaving their family.

Fear of stepping onto public transport.

Fear of walking into a new environment.

Fear of getting to learn a new role.

Fear of a new routine

Fear of not being respected by colleagues

Fear of not ‘gelling’ with the team/management

Fear of losing this new job

Fear of failing

There is an expectation employers will address this fear. Those integrating the new ISO45003 guidelines will go a long way to achieving this. Using Growing Talent to gain new talent will see them go even further in achieving the goal of sustainable new talent who have grown into the available role through the methods taught on Growing Talent to flourishing adding real value to everyone.

If you have a real job to fill, why not consider www.growing-talent.co.uk?  It’s completely free and not a Government funded programme. 

The global pandemic has seen businesses change the way they operate to get the results they want. 

Isn’t now the time to change the way you recruit to reveal those hidden gems of talent you’ve potentially been missing?

#psychosocial #risks #business #leadership #talent #socialmobility #inclusion #diversity

Taken a wrong turn?

Ever put your trust in someone who’s then let you down?

It’s a situation we can all relate to – especially at work.

A conversation with someone in this position recently reminded me of a couple experiences in my distant past. The trouble with some humans is it can sometimes take repeat experiences to learn the lesson!

Similar to the person I spoke to recently, I was in a recruitment admin role in a complete rut. I knew the role was never going to expand and neither was the micro business it was in. One of the clients headhunted me to a role in their new start-up. Looking back, I didn’t reflect on the offer to check it was real and what I wanted. I believed everything I was told after all the offer was made by a client – they wouldn’t exaggerate the truth…..would they?

Of course! The thing I’d buried at the time was they were human first and foremost.

At that point in time, I was bored, frustrated and going nowhere professionally so I accepted the offer which I quickly realised was a big mistake! I could do nothing other than try to make the best of things until something better revealed itself. After all, who can leave a job without another to go to when they have bills to pay?

Shortly after came my repeat lesson. I was approached by a headhunter I knew about an ‘exciting new opportunity’ to set up a talent hub within a business who had done a lot of research and had interested clients lined up to use the hub’s services.

Too good to be true? Yep it was. The opportunity was real but they had done no research. There were no interested clients lined up.

The difference this time was my attitude. This was a blank canvas. I could grow it how I wanted it to be. Over a number of years I grew that talent hub into a multi award winning programme which made a real difference to many people who had experienced barriers to get into work.

So why share this with you? Well a couple of reasons really:

  1. We are all human and trust those offering us an escape – without considering it might not be the right escape.
  2. Sometimes when you make a mistake you can turn it into the most magical thing ever just by changing the way you look at it.

If you are in a rut professionally, frustrated and feeling like you are on a burning platform, take the time to stop and think what your purpose is. Plan your own escape journey to where you want to be. Otherwise you may end up having repeat experiences which are exhausting and worthless.

Passion Map – Do You Have One?

The global pandemic and yo yo-ing UK restrictions over the past year + has enabled a period of reflection for us all.

“Where are we?” “Are we happy and fulfilled?” “Is something missing?” “Am I on the wrong road?” “Are my relationships healthy or toxic?”

Just some of the questions we may have considered over this time.

Catching glimpses of the highlights of HRH Prince Philip’s funeral over the weekend and seeing some of the unique things he had planned – such as symbols of his love of carriage racing and land/range rovers – got me thinking about how much planning we put into living our best lives.

How many of us run on automatic pilot? Doing everything as habit almost on automatic pilot just means we are existing not living.

Having a Passion Map enables us to really examine all areas of our life and ask ourselves those difficult questions. Especially “am I where I want to be?” or “am I on the path to get where I want to be?”

Slowly, we are seeing the seeds of change – restrictions are gradually lifting. Is now the time to devise our own Passion Map?

Life is too precious to return to automatic living.

What do you think?

A step too far?

Some years back, I was introduced to Adam who had just started working with Jamie at a national recruitment company.

Sharply dressed, seemingly able to talk to anyone at any level confidently and make up really good raps for audiences ‘off the cuff’. A real ‘presence’ in the room, Adam was late teens when I met him not sure of the path he would ultimately take.

Several different jobs over the years followed before Lockdown hit. At Christmas 2020, after almost a year of uncertainty the global pandemic has brought us all to trying degrees, Adam took the massive, in my view, step of getting on a plane and going to Tanzania. Without a job/home to go to there, Adam wanted a complete change.

He reached out to me to discuss his next moves and explore his thoughts – I was honoured.

I was shocked by the reality of Dar es Salaam from the photos Adam sent me which were the polar opposite of my perceptions of what this African City would be like.

Curtesy of Adam, I share a photo of his new home City:

According to Adam the pace of life is much slower compared to London and has given him time to think what he really wants to do.

Taking the time to ask ourselves ‘are we happy?’ and ‘does it feel right’ enable us to take the pulse of where we are and helps answer those questions of whether to keep going down a certain path or change.

Adam’s had the time and space to figure out his next move by relocating to Tanzania – even if to some of us it feels like a step too far.

Of course, it may not be practical to relocate to the other side of the world to find what we want to do. We don’t have to. Giving ourselves some space alone to think about our own happiness and whether what we are doing ‘feels right’ will give us the same ignition for our own next steps.

What’s stopping you? – Yourself maybe?

Coronavirus has forced us to stop and take stock.  Yes, we didn’t see it coming.  Yes, we don’t know when it will end. Yes, we still don’t know what the end result will be.  But, this is a unique, once only opportunity to stop, take stock of where we are in our lives and ask ourselves – am I where I want to be?

 

Hopefully, for most of us it will be a resounding ‘yes’.  For those who maybe feel change is needed in some areas of their lives, what usually stops them doing anything about it is them.  The negative part of their brain interrupts with self-doubts which get louder and louder if we let them.  This is perfectly natural as our brains are programmed to keep us safe and they do this by amplifying risk – think fight, flight or freeze situations.

 

We can learn tricks to move forward such as not thinking you can’t but just doing it.  I’m minded of the people throughout history across all corners of the world who have achieved great things when on paper stereotypical thoughts would be they can’t.

 

One who had diverse careers including that of a stuntman didn’t switch to being an inventor until his mid40s.  Trevor Bayliss initially starting making products to aid his peers who had been disabled through stunts.  On hearing about the AIDS breakout, he got to thinking of the isolation of remote villages who didn’t get healthcare information easily until he invented the wind-up radio – no batteries needed.  Totally accessible.

 

A fuller interview with Trevor is featured below…..

Taken from The Conversation…  This interview was featured following Trevor’s death in 2018.

 

Trevor Baylis, who has died aged 80, left his school in London at 15 without any qualifications. But he went on to become a physical training instructor, an engineer, a stuntman and, at 45, a full-time inventor, eventually finding fame for developing the wind-up radio.

Many of Baylis’s inventions were inspired from his time as a stuntman. He had friends who had suffered life changing injuries as a result of their work. “Disability is only a banana skin away,” he often said.

As a result, he focused his effort on inventing devices to help people with disabilities in their everyday lives. He came up with over 200 of these devices, which he named Orange Aids and included one handed bottle openers, foot operated scissors, can openers and sketching easels.

Then in 1991 he saw a TV programme about AIDS in Africa. The presenter described the difficulty of getting important health information to people who couldn’t afford batteries for their radios. Baylis immediately went out to his workshop to see if he could build a suitable generator for a radio. It only took him 30 minutes to come up with a solution.

The resulting clockwork prototype worked well but he struggled to get anyone interested in producing it. In 1994, as a result of being featured on the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme and in an interview on the World Service, a backer came forward to help start manufacturing the radios in South Africa, employing disabled people. The vast majority of these early production radios were sold to aid agencies to distribute freely, but over time they also became very popular with consumers in the developed world and were able to be sold for profit too.

When Baylis’s design was manufactured as the BayGen Freeplay radio, it won him 1996 BBC Design Awards for Best Product and Best Design. It is still considered an iconic piece of British design, featuring in the UK Science Museum collection. Spin offs from this design included a wind-up torch and MP3 player, along with shoes that generated enough electricity from the movement of the wearer to charge a mobile phone.

The wind-up Baygen Freeplay radio. J. D. Pfaff/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA

Despite his fame, Baylis felt he had often not received the financial returns he deserved for his inventions and began to campaign for better protection for inventors. He argued that intellectual property theft should be a criminal offence. He suggested that all school children should learn about inventing and intellectual property in the same way that they learn about art. In 2003, he set up Trevor Baylis Brands to help inventors struggling to develop and protect their ideas, helping over 10,000 people and launching many spin-off companies.

Baylis provided some early examples of how design could respond to both social and environmental problems by producing products that didn’t require expensive and polluting batteries. He made his radio very durable and easy to repair so it would last as long as possible, a real shift away from the usual consumption driven product market. A 1998 study of radios with different power sources found that, despite its weight, the Baygen had a significantly lower overall environmental impact over a five-year lifetime than any other radio on the market at the time.

Ripples of change

Sustainable product design still struggles to be recognised and applied by industry today. Yet the innovation displayed by the Baygen radio, initially using human powered energy systems and later supplementing this with solar power, produced a ripple effect in the market and large corporations began to develop similar products.

Although many criticised the product for being unnecessarily robust, it wasn’t created for the same kind of use as typical radios in developed countries and instead was designed to be as durable as possible. Baylis’s radio illustrates the complexities of balancing environmental, social, ethical and economic decisions in design and is still a useful discussion piece for aspiring designers today.

Trevor Baylis embodied the role of the inventor, always looking for solutions to problems and proving his novel ideas through many prototypes. He understood the value of design and considered this to be an important step in the commercialisation of his ideas.

Baylis received an OBE in 1997 and a CBE in 2015 for services to intellectual property. Despite his many successes, he once said he had one big regret: not being selected to swim for Great Britain in the 1956 Olympics.

Wind-up radios can still be brought today.

 

If you are reflecting on potentially changing something in your life right now, don’t let self-doubt in.  Instead think about the wider impact you could make not only on your lives but those around you.

 

You don’t have to be an inventor to make a difference.

Mental Health – when do we start teaching it?

The conversation has been getting bolder and louder over the part decade or so on Mental Health.  Businesses are now putting in place some training around starting and managing a conversation when a change is noticed.  We know a lot about self-care and the importance of observing our self-care techniques as ‘non-negotiable’.

 

However, with the report published below, we can see how earlier intervention is essential. Check out the link below… the stats are shameful.

 

https://news.sky.com/story/teachers-to-work-with-nhs-to-support-mental-health-of-young-people-in-schools-11761403

 

1 in 9 of children in full-time education aged 5 to 15  has a diagnosable mental health condition.  Maybe read that again.

 

In 2017 there were 226 recorded suicides of people in full-time education including primary schools.  Again – shocking.

 

We know education about road safety has reduced road deaths.  We know regular brushing of our teeth reduces teeth decay.  We start learning these things at home before we’ve event gone to school.

 

Shouldn’t parents be talking openly to their children about feelings, kindness to others, it’s ok not to feel ok and it’s a strength to alway talk about our feelings?  Surely this would start to normalise mental health.

 

Of course not every parent is equipped to provide this guidance.

 

Schools have a lot on their curriculum.  Considering the huge cost to society, business, NHS, communities, families etc, isn’t it now worth making part of Ofsted’s school inspection look at the provision of mental health resources in our schools to nourish the future generations making them more robust in dealing with life issues?

 

The earlier the intervention the better the recovery.

 

Do we make a difference now or wait for the time bomb to stop ticking and just explode?

 

The end of the road…………

Today is the final day of Growing Talent 21.  Nine of the 13 who started the journey have completed and secured their permanent roles.

 

Their true grit and determination has paid off.

 

Congratulations and respect to:

 

Amar – joined MitieTDM – Specialist Internal Firm Services

Bernie -joined MitieTDM – Specialist Internal Firm Services

Navin -joined MitieTDM – Specialist Internal Firm Services

Kelly – joined Melia White House Hotel

Heavenly – joined Firmdale Hotel

Robert – joined Firmdale Hotel – initially as Kitchen Porter but his performance saw him start as Commis Chef

Natasha – joined Firmdale Hotel

Charlie-Ray – joined Portico at PwC

Katrina – joined Portico at PwC

 

We wish them all well in their careers ahead………………

 

 

Doing the right thing or risking a lawsuit? Food for thought?

As a Mental Health Instructor for over 10 years, I am enthused to see the growth towards seeing and respecting mental health in in the same way we see and respect physical health.  Everyone is comfortable enquiring if a cold is better – not quite so comfortable asking how someone is feeling on their return to work after say depression.

 

The internet is full of well intentioned plans and events to raise the bar in talking about mental health and I see more employers supporting events like #MHAW2019 – Mental Health Awareness Week which starts 13 May.  Really great intentions.

 

But is there a risk of being sued under the Equalities Act 2010 and taken to Employment Tribunal?

 

Some of the employers I know allow all staff, regardless of screening to see if they are equipped to listen to someone else’s pain, to be a ‘listening ear’.

 

You don’t know what you are going to hear when you sit down to listen to someone struggling.  It can be an emotive area the listener has strong views on – such as self-harm.  Even if they can listen without judging – are they knowledgeable on how to signpost someone on? do they know how to take care of themselves after listening to someone’s pain?

 

I feel very strongly that we should be talking more openly in every day conversations about all human issues especially mental health.  But I feel just as strongly that we need to train those listeners how to listen, signpost and look after themselves.

 

Why not have a #MHAAT (Mental Health Aware And Trained) badge for trained employees to wear all year – not just one week.  Wouldn’t we make more of an impact and reduce the risk of a challenge under the Equalities Act at Employment Tribunal?

 

What do you think?

Growing Talent 18 – how has the first week been?

The first week training in their potential end jobs is always tough.  It’s about managing instant expectations and keeping the end goal in site – easier said than done for many!

 

After being unemployed – even for a short time – leaving the routine of your comfort zone takes courage, determination, tenacity and grit. Qualities that not everyone has.

 

So where are the Growing Talent 18 Associates ? & how have they got on?

 

Kam is working with the Portico team on their PwC accounts cross training in all areas at two sites in London – Charing Cross and London Bridge.  Based there with Kam is Alex…

 

Alex summed the first week as ‘so much to learn, but it’s really good – I made the right choice.’ Alex was in the lucky position of having a number of employers offer him provisional roles on Growing Talent.

 

Helen below is very happy working with the reception team at Regent Group in Wimbledon…..

 

‘The team are really friendly.  It’s different work to the world of corporate switchboard which I’ve been used to but I really like it and the travelling isn’t bad! Just an hour max door to door including all the walking to stations/interchanges etc.

‘The days are really long but I’m really enjoying it’ shared Tom above who is working with the Social Media team on video content.  ‘The days are really long as I’m in 7.45 to 8am each day but I’ve found a local part to go to each lunchtime’.

 

Leo had a tough week not least because he, by his own admission, is very impatient and want everything now!  Working with Scotscape – a living wall specialist, Leo is hands-on in his role

.

Mohammed, above, is learning the ropes with Acuity Services’ Elite Team.  The Elite Team are trained in all accounts to enable them to seamlessly cover holidays and sickness.  Mohammed is keen to get his teeth into something demanding responsibility.

 

Lastly AJ is learning to support Amrik – Talent Acquisition at Regent Group to deliver an exemplary service in securing and training the right talent to ensure Regent Group grow efficiently.

 

AJ’s a little camera shy so no photo!

 

The biggest transition for anyone one on Growing Talent to complete the programme and secure the provisional job offer is managing their ‘instant expectations’.  By this I mean, we are so used to getting everything we want ‘now’ without having to wait for it. Eg, order a takeaway on line and it’s delivered to your door, same with a weekly shop, clothes, maintenance equipment, furniture in fact just a bout anything.

 

However, two things you won’t ever secure instantly are meaningful relationships and a career! Both have to be worked at, nurtured and sustained.

 

Check back to see how the guys get on over the coming weeks……………

 

 

Rethink by business needed?

I attended the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s joint launch with London Councils of their report on London’s skill challenges.

 

Looking through the stats and research put together by their researchers – ComRes who surveyed in excess of 2,000 London based employers this year, one of the key areas I found startling was that illustrated in the feature picture of this blog.  London businesses found the following key difficulties when recruiting:

 

  1.      Applicants lacked sufficient technical ability
  2.      Applicants lacked sufficient experience
  3.      Low number of applicants for the role
  4.      Applicants lacked cv writing/interviewing skills
  5.      Too much competition from other employers

 

I found this startling because nothing has changed since I started working in recruitment in the early 2000s!  Employers have to think differently especially with the uncertainty of Brexit.  We need to think outside the box.

 

The talent that has the technical ability, experience and cv/interviewing skills is already employed!  We need to look at the vast chunks of our population which aren’t employed.  These people may have some barriers to work which in the main can be overcome by nurturing into employment.

 

We have to accept the faults of the past and address the issues to ensure we meet the skills challenge:

  • Why not train someone in a vacant role so they get the technical skills and experience before hiring – oh wait we already do that on Growing Talent
  • Why not select based on attitude and enthusiasm instead of cvs and interviews?  Oh wait, Growing Talent does that too!
  • There are plenty of applicants for the role – they just aren’t ‘polished’ at the start but become so on the journey – over 128 people from all backgrounds prove this!
  • Selection is in two stages – a speed dating session and a 1-2-1 – no cv, no traditional interview
  • Employers won’t have competition from other employers if they nurture as above and will get more commitment because they have given that support.

 

A report last year showed we have a generation of pre-school children who don’t know how to turn the pages of a book ! – most swipe as if it’s a screen!

 

Even where people have technical ability, they often don’t have the social skills.  They are glued to their mobiles, don’t know how to network, expect everything instantly etc.

 

To meet the skills challenge – employers have to be parents, counsellors, coaches – not just employers – but the results are so worthwhile as proved by Growing Talent – http://www.growing-talent.co.uk.

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