COVID-19 Testing: Volunteers required to work in screening

A message on behalf of the HM Government:

To increase testing for COVID-19, the Government has significantly expanded its laboratory capacity and staffing.

What can you do?

The Government has already started testing samples as well as accelerating key workers’ return to work, but as the testing program ramps up further, they require additional experienced laboratory staff.

The Government is recruiting additional staff for new laboratories in Milton Keynes, Cheshire, and Glasgow.

They require individuals to commit to a minimum of 4 weeks and a start date from now over a period of several weeks.


  • Not essential but of interest are individuals who are comfortable working in a qPCR environment, and or those who can operate liquid handling machines, although more generalist laboratory support is also required.
  • This is an optional paid role. If you are currently employed full time and wish to help, they welcome your application. Happy to discuss secondment options with you, however, you will require permission from your current employer.
  • Where necessary, appropriate accommodation and reasonable expenses will also be covered.
  • You will need to be able to start right away and be flexible in your hours of work.

Sign up now!

You must be aged 18 years or over, with no symptoms of COVID-19. Nobody in your household must have symptoms. Full training and Personal Protective Equipment will be provided.

Unfortunately, you cannot be considered if you, or anyone in your household, are in a high-risk group (over 70, pregnant, with immune deficiencies or underlying medical conditions).

If you feel that you want to help out and fit the criteria, please fill in your details below. Representatives of the program (not CK Group) will then be in contact to provide you with further information and confirm your availability.

Apply online here or find out more


Posted in Articles, Industry News, News

Information for Contractors

What’s changing, and when?

In October 2018 the government confirmed that it would be extending the off-payroll rules to the private sector.  As of 6 April 2021, the responsibility for IR35 assessment will shift from the intermediary (usually the contractor’s own personal services company), to the client. The draft legislation was published on 11 July 2019.

The changes will also make private sector clients (or the fee-paying agency acting on their behalf) responsible for making the correct deductions for the tax and NIC of their contractors who are assessed to fall within IR35. This will bring the private sector IR35 legislation in line with its public sector equivalent.

How is IR35 status determined for contractors?

HMRC has created a tool called ‘Check Employment Status for Tax’ (CEST).  Clients can answer a series of questions presented by CEST to assess their contractors’ IR35 status.

It is not mandatory for client companies to use CEST to determine the IR35 status of their contractors, but HMRC have said they will stand by the results given by CEST, unless any checks reveal that inaccurate information has been submitted. It is critical that proper and thorough assessments of each assignment are made, rather than attempting to apply a single, all-encompassing status determination to all contractors.

What do contractors need to know?

The shift in responsibility for IR35 assessment means that client companies will need to ask their contractors questions in order to make accurate assessments. Contractors should therefore be prepared to provide information relating to the ownership and management of their personal service companies, including:

  • How many other clients the company works with.
  • The types of insurances held by the company
  • UTRs and VAT numbers.

Contractors should note that it is permissible under data protection law for client companies to request this information for the purpose of remaining compliant with tax legislation, provided they process the information in accordance with data protection law.

The assessment could result in a change of status for contractors that places them inside IR35. This will mean deductions for PAYE and National Insurance will be taken by the fee-payer before the contractor is paid. Some client companies may offer to increase their payments to compensate for this, and others may choose to offer contractors employee status or a PAYE contract with the company. Client companies are not obligated to offer any compensation or alternative business arrangements however, and the contractor should therefore decide what conditions they would find acceptable if they are deemed to be working inside IR35.

It is an offense to avoid paying the taxes resulting from their assessed status, and contractors should be highly cautious if engaging with agencies or umbrella companies operating in any of the following ways:

  • Disregarding the client’s decision regarding the contractor’s IR35 status.
  • Offering to pay contractors a large percentage of their renumeration ‘tax-free’.
  • Offering loans, offshore arrangements or other proposed solutions to paying taxes.
  • Offering to present contracts so as to make the contractors appear outside IR35.

All of the above factors could be deemed disguised renumeration tax avoidance by HMRC.

Finally, contractors who find themselves assessed inside IR35 should note that while they will be liable for paying employee tax, this does not mean they are entitled to employee benefits. Paying employee tax currently does not equate to full employee status. The government is reviewing this, and looking to bring employee tax status in line with full employee status.

Are there any exemptions to the new legislation?

The changes will only affect medium-to-large private sector companies. Small employers will be exempt from the new legislation, in which case it will remain the responsibility of their contractors to assess their own IR35 statuses. As per the Companies Act 2006, two of the following three criteria must be met in a particular year in order for a company to be classified as ‘small’:

  • The company’s turnover must not be more than £10.2m
  • The company’s balance sheet must not be more than £5.1m
  • The company must have fewer than 50 employees.

Anti-avoidance rules will be introduced to prevent organisations from restructuring in order to avoid the new legislation.

Medium-to-large companies may attempt to pass responsibility for IR35 assessment from themselves to the fee-payer (or agency), if a fee-payer is involved in the supply chain. However, it is unlikely that fee-payers in the supply chain will be willing to accept the resulting liabilities.

Regardless of whether the client or the fee-payer assumes responsibility for the IR35 determination, the decision must be cascaded throughout the supply chain so that all parties are aware of their obligations. This should provide contractors with the opportunity to discuss their IR35 status as assessed by the client, and dispute it if necessary. Disputes are to be a client-led process of consultation.

What should contractors do?

In the first instance, all contractors should be taking advice from their accountants with regard to their likely IR35 status.  If you then find you need to receive payment through an external company, CK Group can help. We have our own inhouse payroll and will pay you without any of the charges you would expect from an umbrella company.  We can also have contracts set up in as little as 24 hours, offer ongoing management of these contracts.

Get in touch today for more information

To find out more, contact Liam O Connell of the CK Group on +44 1246 457706, or email him at

Posted in Articles, IR35, News

Just graduated and interested in working in Pharma?

Here are some career paths to consider.

Finishing university and finding your first job in Pharma as a graduate is a challenging period for most. With so many options available to you, how do you choose which roles to apply for?

To help you make that all-important decision, we have asked real life pharma experts to give us a bit of insight into their job roles and explain how they got there.

A Research Scientist

We recently interviewed Harpal, a research scientist Graduate working for a global biopharmaceutical company.

His job involves performing and optimising biochemical assays for analysing compounds. He chose a career in research as he wanted to be involved in discovering new concepts.

Although the job is very technical, planning and executing experiments, analysing data and writing reports, there is also an element of team work. Harpal liaises on a daily basis with his team and line manager to discuss progress.

Are you also interested in pursuing a career as a Research Scientist?

Prior to becoming a Research Scientist, Harpal completed a PhD and then found relevant industry experience in his field of research. He adds that if you are interested in performing biochemical assays, it’s important to understand FRET biochemical assays and data interpretation.

A starting point for becoming a Research Scientist might be to look at PhDs in the subjects that interest you the most. By doing a PhD, you would gain that valuable lab experience.

A Stability Analyst

Katie works for a pharmaceutical company as a stability analyst, measuring the stability of different products manufactured at the facility. She tests different batches at different time points and conditions, to assess whether there are any changes in the content.

The role is fast paced and involves a lot of focus, so is ideal for someone who enjoys working under pressure and has a keen eye for detail.

Interested in becoming a stability analyst? Recruitment managers would typically look for someone with a chemistry degree or pharmaceutical sciences as well as prior experience in an analytical pharma laboratory.

A Laboratory Analyst

Anthony is a laboratory analyst, working for a company who develops vaccines and healthcare products.

He is responsible for conducting all quality testing on products, writing up data and reporting the results. These results are then used to determine the quality of the product, and make decisions on whether the product is deemed safe to be used by patients.

Anthony finds his job particularly satisfying, knowing that he is contributing to helping people’s quality of life.

Interested in this role?

To apply to this type of job, you would be expected to have a chemistry qualification or pharmaceutical sciences and specific experience in the use and maintenance of HPLC systems. Anthony gained his qualification and relevant experience through an Apprenticeship scheme, proving that the typical university route is not the only way to a successful job in chemistry.

An Associate Scientist

Sarah works as an associate scientist for a company that researches and develops pharmaceutical products.

Her role involves collating information to create knowledge transfer packages for clients. She uses a variety of systems to search for product information, to compile comprehensive reports.

She chose this role as she enjoys the challenge of piecing together information as well as the customer interaction.

Sarah explains that this type of role is ideal for someone analytical, who wishes to work in science but also be customer facing.

Interested in this role?

To get to this position, Sarah did a degree in chemistry and additional training in project management. She then gained experience in product delivery within a contract manufacturing organisation.

A Regulatory Affairs Associate

Alaa is a contractor currently working for a science-led global healthcare company. As a Regulatory Affairs Associate, he ensures Over the Counter Medicines (OTC) are maintained, renewed on time and regulated by Health Authorities in different countries globally.

His day-to-day involves liaising with affiliates from different markets globally to meet deadlines, as well as working with internal stakeholders to improve processes for the company.

According to Alaa, a Regulatory Affairs Associate role would suit someone who is target driven, enjoys helping people but doesn’t need to be micro-managed.

Prior to this job, Alaa graduated with a degree in Forensic Biology and has a variety of experience from lab work to project management roles.  He also worked abroad, which helps him stand out from the crowd.

A life science or pharmaceutical science degree would also be considered for a career in regulatory affairs.

Feeling inspired? Why not read the interviews in full, as well as many others on our careers section. You can also have a look at available jobs or create a CK+ account, to find jobs tailored to your experience.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, Home Page, Homepage, Homepage Candidates, News

How to find a graduate job in Science after University

Congratulations, you are about to graduate from university.

But what now?

Leaving university and finding your first graduate role in Science is a daunting process. With so many opportunities out there, where do you start looking?

Moreover, once friends start receiving job offers and family start questioning you about your own future, the pressure really builds up.

A job might no longer be for life, but your first job is the first stepping stone for your career path, and not a decision to take lightly. After all, you do spend a third of your life at work, so choosing something that interests you and leads to your dream job is vital.

As a starting point, we suggest creating a simple 4-step job-finding strategy. This will help you stay focused and engaged, and give you the necessary space to make that all-important decision.

Step 1: Do your research
We know, this is easier said than done!

This initial step is all about research and finding out what options are available to you.

Popular dilemmas for graduating scientists are firstly whether to work in research or not, and secondly whether to work in academia or industry.

Additionally, apart from the obvious decisions regarding what role to choose, there are other factors to consider such as ‘where’ you wish to work – for example, would you consider a role abroad? And what kind of environment do you work best in – somewhere fast-paced or somewhere where you can take your time?

If you have done internships while working and have some working experience, answers to these questions might be clearer. If not, there are other ways to carry out research, such as:

A. Getting in touch with a recruiter
A good place to start is to speak to a specialist recruiter. Not only will they give you a better feel for the different jobs available to graduates, they will also take the time to mentor you.

Our recruitment consultants at CK have years of experience matching graduates to roles in the science industry, and therefore are best placed to give you credible advice. They will act as your guiding hand during the whole recruitment process, from looking for jobs to applying, and are here to answer all your questions during this daunting time.

B. Reaching out to your network
When searching for a job, you will most probably have been reminded of the old proverb “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know”. We would always recommend proactively engaging with your contacts to ask for advice, whether that be to better understand different roles or to ask if they know of any job openings. Most people are willing to discuss their careers, give advice and answer any questions.

C. Attending career fairs
Many universities will organise career fairs for their students. This is a brilliant opportunity to talk to experts in the industry, to get a feel for the different types of companies and roles available to you, and more importantly, to ask questions!

For more information read how to make the most of careers fairs.

Step 2: Start your applications
After your initial research, you should have a good understanding of the different roles available to graduates, and which of those roles interest you. And now it’s time to start applying.

The science job market is a very competitive job market, especially for recent graduates with little experience.

At this early stage in your career, the aim is to gain as much experience as possible, to build up to your dream role. With that in mind, we would suggest applying to as many opportunities as possible in the field that interests you. To avoid disappointment, remember to apply to jobs suitable to your level of experience and field of expertise.

To increase your chances of finding that ideal first job, our advice would be to not just look at opportunities close to home, but to also look further afield.

If you struggle to find job opportunities, get in touch with CK and we can help find those opportunities for you. This will help you from feeling overwhelmed.

Step 3: Tailor your application
So many people start their job search by updating their CV and resume. But without knowing which jobs you are applying for, this makes little sense.

Hiring managers and recruiters receive hundreds of applications for every graduate job, leaving them only a few seconds to scan each CV and resume. In this competitive job market, make yours count by tailoring it and keeping it succinct.

As well as thinking about your individual skills and experience, this means finding out more about the company and demonstrating an understanding of their business, their challenges and the broader sector in which they operate.

Step 4: Don’t give up
Rejections happen, especially when you are applying for a lot of jobs at the same time. Try not to get disheartened but instead think about why you might have been rejected, and how you can improve your application for the next job.

If you have made it past the first stages of the application, ask the hiring manager for feedback.

Applying for your first job is not easy, but remember, once you have found that dream graduate role, all that job-finding stress will be long forgotten about.

Search for jobs on CK Science

Visit our Careers Zone

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, General, Home Page, Homepage, Homepage Candidates, News

Don’t panic over smashed glassware! An interview with an Analytical Chemist

“I’ve always loved chemistry and in this job I am able to use it every day…….

It could be that you have just finished your degree in chemistry and are wondering what to do now.

If you love chemistry and would like to use it regularly in your role, a career as an Analytical Chemist might be for you.

We interviewed one of our contractors, Jacob, who works as an Analytical Chemist for a well known brand. He described for us what the day to day is like, what’s the hardest and best part of the job and where this career can lead.

We really like his top tip:

Don’t panic over smashed glassware!


Take a look here – A day in the life of an Analytical Chemist





Posted in Articles, News

6 Ways Managers Can Help Reduce Stress in the Workplace

Your staff are your strongest asset. The benefits of having healthy and happy employees are endless. Predominately, happy and healthy staff are proven to be more motivated, productive and take less sick leave, which in turn makes them more profitable.

Likewise, happy staff will become your biggest advocates, not only bringing in clients but also new recruits.

Intermittent stress at work is normal and can be a good thing. It energises people, motivates them and helps them focus.

On the other hand, persistent stress in the workplace can be expensive. Accumulated days off, unproductive staff and high staff turnover can quickly affect a company’s profit margins. In fact, 57% of lost working days between 2017 to 2018 in the UK were due to stress, the highest level on record.

There has never been a more important time for employers to make reducing stress in the workplace a priority.

Here are CK’s top recommendations for managers to follow, to reduce stress in the workplace.


  1. Helping staff manage their time

The predominant cause of stress in the UK is pressure related to excess workload at work (44% of stress cases to be exact). Regular tight deadlines and the constant feeling of ‘not doing enough’ can quickly mount up, and become a mental health concern.

The second most cited cause for stress in the workplace is a lack of managerial support. As a manager, understanding you employees’ main stressors and working with them to eliminate these will not only show your team that you care, but will also encourage them to be more productive.

A simple solution can be setting reasonable deadlines and giving your staff enough time to complete each task properly, to avoid them from feeling overwhelmed with long to-do lists. Another good time management method is to start every morning with a short planning meeting, where you set out the requirements and what is expected of each employee ahead of the day.


  1. Communicating clearly with employees

As an employee, being kept in the dark and not knowing where you stand can be a major cause for anxiety. Likewise, managers can also feel stressed if they don’t have a clear understanding of what their team is up to.

The best way to avoid this two-way stress is regular communication. This can be done via workshops or one-to-one interviews, questioning your staff on how they feel at work, what they wish to achieve and what you expect from them.

Being transparent with employees and setting out clear goals is an excellent way to relieve stress for both parties.


  1. Allowing flexi-time and remote working when required

Nowadays, everyone is looking for that flexibility at work. Letting staff choose their working hours means they can work to a less stressful schedule that best suits them. For example, they can avoid the morning rush hour or work around family requirements. As a result, they can come to work more focused.

Not all organisations are able to offer this perk, but for those who can, this has been a proven method to help reduce stress levels up.

Furthermore, allowing employees to occasionally work from home is another proven way to successfully motivate them and help them feel more relaxed whilst at work.


  1. Creating a stress-free environment

After a stressful period, your brain will continue to play the stressful experience for an hour afterwards. To avoid developing chronic stress, stress expert Dr Mithu Storoni suggests always following up an episode of stress with another enjoyable intense activity, to engage your mind in something else and avoid rethinking about the stressful episode.

Providing staff with an area to relax and engage in fun activities, such as a table tennis area, after a period of stress will allow them to recover from a stressful episode.

More importantly, keeping the stress period to as short a time period as possible avoids the brain seeing stress as a major threat, and will allow it to be less reactive to future stressors.

Does your office allow your employees a place and the time to recharge after moments of stress?


  1. Encouraging staff to stay active

Research has proven that the best ways to reduce stress are by exercising and meditating. Studies have shown exercise reduces fatigue, improves alertness and concentration, and enhances individuals’ general cognition, all contributing to keeping the brain energized and avoiding the negative effects of stress.

Introducing workplace wellness schemes like discounted gym memberships or a lunchtime running club are good ways to encourage your staff to keep active. Other ways could include an office step count competition, organising charity runs or an active day out.


  1. Encouraging social activity at work

According to the NHS, spending time with friends helps us relax and alleviate some of the stress we feel from day-to-day life. Therefore if people enjoy spending time with their coworkers, they will feel more relaxed at work.

All in all, encouraging staff to interact with one another and be sociable will improve the office morale and boost employee satisfaction. This in turn improves employment retention and supports recruitment campaigns.

Posted in Articles, General, Home Page, Homepage, Homepage Clients, News

7 Alternative Career Paths for Scientists

What happens when you have worked so hard to get a science degree and even a Ph.D., only to realise that you don’t want to follow the expected research trajectory, and instead you want to try something new?

The good news is scientists are not confined to the lab anymore. In fact, candidates with a science degree and a science background are becoming increasingly desirable in other fields.

We’ve compiled a list of seven popular alternative career paths for scientists looking for a change.


  1. A career in scientific writing

Writing requires many of the same skills you learn whilst studying a science degree; analysing a lot of information and presenting it in a way that is easy to understand.

The best writers are the ones who know first-hand about the topics they discuss in their writing. Consequently, writers with a science background are always in high demand for scientific writing.

Writing opens up a world of opportunities including journalism and writing about science and science novelties for the general public, or technical writing and presenting science findings for patents and authority bodies.

Alternatively, if you love reading and writing, a science degree can help you get a job for a specialist publisher such as Bloomsbury Sigma or IOP, whether that be in production, editing or proof reading.


  1. Working in intellectual property law

If you are interested in the legal side of science, becoming a patent attorney could be an interesting option. Patent law is already a well-established career path for scientists, as companies recruiting trainee patent attorneys usually ask for a degree in science or another STEM subject. This is because to draft a patent, you need to understand the research and technology behind it.


  1. Turning to consultancy

Moving into consulting is another popular move for scientists looking for a more client-facing role.

Big consultancies such as BCG, Accenture and Deloitte will have a dedicated science department recruiting analytical candidates with science backgrounds, to head projects for clients in the science and clinical space. Alternatively, there are also opportunities at a number of specialist scientific consultancies like IQVIA and Alacrita.


  1. Working for a funding body

If working in an office seems more appealing than working in a lab, but you still want to stay up-to-date with the latest science news, then working in funding could be a great option. You might want to look at organisations such as Research Councils UK (for example, the BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC and the STFC) and major funding bodies like the Leverhulme Trust and the Wellcome Trust.


  1. Sales and marketing for Pharmaceutical companies

Why not explore different areas of the value chain, and look at jobs selling and promoting products, rather than creating them?

Being knowledgeable on the product you are selling is particularly useful when presenting products and answering client needs and questions. These jobs tend to be less about pure selling and more about becoming a product expert.


  1. Recruitment

If you enjoy using your people skills, then specialist recruitment companies like CK Science are always looking for recruitment consultants with science backgrounds.

Good knowledge of the science world helps recruitment consultants not only understand the jobs they are recruiting for, but also understand which skills are needed and which types of candidates would be better placed in each role.


  1. Teaching

Science teachers at all levels are in high demand right now in the UK, as great initiatives are being taken to close the current STEM skill gap. So, if you have a passion for science and sharing your knowledge, teaching might be something to consider.

Thinking of trying out something new? At CK we offer a range of different jobs for experts with a science background. Why not have a look at our jobs here or get in touch for recommendations.

Posted in Articles, Careers Advice, Homepage Candidates, News

The benefits of using a specialised recruitment agency when applying for jobs

Finding the right job can be arduous for any one, and even more so when you work in a specialised industry or sector.

If you are searching for a job in the science and clinical industry, working with a specialised recruitment agency such as CK Group could be the solution to your job-hunting challenges. Here are some of the main benefits of using a specialised recruitment agency when applying for a new job.


Access to jobs and companies that are not always advertised

Surprisingly, only 30% of all new jobs are advertised.

However, recruiters working on behalf of multiple businesses at once are the first to know who will be hiring, even if the position isn’t advertised yet. Working with a recruitment agency can provide you with that insider information, giving you a head start.

By using CK Group as your recruitment specialist you will have access to a large array of job opportunities in the scientific, clinical and technical industries, from the top life science companies to the latest start-ups.


Recruiters can assist and advise you on your resume and application

Did you know that 59% of applications will be rejected based on poor grammar or spelling errors, and a further 50% of candidates will be rejected if their resume is full of clichés? If you want to get noticed it is highly important to get your resume spot on.

Recruitment agencies are experts at helping candidates with resumes and application forms. They understand exactly what hiring managers are looking for, and how to make you stand out from the crowd. They will provide you with constructive feedback, giving you the best possible chance of success.


Recruiters can help with your interview preparation

In a recent survey, 33% of hiring managers said they know whether they would hire someone in the first 90 seconds and 47% stated that they wouldn’t offer the job to a candidate if they had little knowledge of the company. It goes without saying that interview preparation is essential for successfully securing a role.

Recruitment agencies give you a great advantage in preparing for your interview.  Not only will they have more knowledge of the hiring companies’ cultures and job specifications than available to you online, they can also give you more of an understanding of what the companies expect when it comes to your application, interview and the hiring process.


A recruiter can save you time and energy

Searching and applying for jobs is a very time consuming and tedious process, especially if you are working full-time. With there being hundreds of jobs listed online, it can be a struggle knowing where to start. In a competitive job market, you may find yourself applying to jobs for a while before the right one comes around. According to the Department of Labour, the average job search takes an astonishing 10 months.

By having a large network of staffing consultants with hundreds of job openings on file, recruitment agencies can save you a huge amount of time; you will have only the most suitable jobs selected for your skill set, with interviews, inductions, reference checks and all other additional time-consuming tasks being arranged by the agency.


What happens once I get the job?

CK Group will be on hand throughout your job-hunting experience – and once you have successfully secured your job our support will continue. If you feel you need to negotiate your salary, CK will know what the company can or cannot afford and will be able to give you an idea of what other companies in the space are paying their employees, ensuring you get the highest salary possible. Paperwork and documentation will also be handled by your recruiter, guaranteeing everything is in place for your first day.

CK Group has built strong relationships with a client base that includes 26 of the world’s top 30 leading blue-chip organisations, as well as a multitude of SMEs and everything in between. We strive to be the best provider of staffing and outsourcing services for the science and technology community by providing an excellent experience for our candidates.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you in your job search, why not take a look at our website and register for CK+?

Posted in Articles, Candidates, General, Homepage Candidates, News, Research and knowledge

New Year, New Job

The New Year often signals a sign for change, a new challenge or an exciting opportunity. It therefore isn’t a surprising that January is the most popular month to make a career move.

A survey by Gallup showed that 85% of workers worldwide admitted to not enjoying their jobs, with ‘lack of job satisfaction’ being cited as the number one reason for wanting to change roles.

If you are feeling the January blues and are particularly interested in a fulfilling career within the scientific and clinical industry, as with any goal the first step to success is organization and planning.

Here are our top five things you should consider whilst looking for your new job:


  1. Know what you are looking for

First and foremost, to ensure you find a job that satisfies you, you need to do a bit of introspection and understand what exactly you want to achieve from it. For example:

  • Are you wanting a change of career/industry or just a different position?
  • What interests you?
  • What skills and experience do you have to offer?
  • Would you be willing to re-train or go back to study to get the position you want?
  • How much responsibility are you willing to take on?


  1. Find a job which you will find rewarding, even when times are not so rosy

We spend a substantial portion of our life at work, a third of our lives to be exact. It is therefore important that you find your job enjoyable and rewarding.

However, chances are you will never love every aspect of your work – whether it’s the admin side of the job, the long hours or the people you work with. People who tend to focus on those negative areas rather than being grateful for the positives are more likely to feel depressed and discouraged. It is important you find a role that is professionally and personally rewarding, but it’s also important to remember to focus on the areas you like and not just those you don’t.


  1. Find a job that adds balance to your life

Your job and career are an important part of your life, they give you a sense of purpose and money to pay your bills and do things you enjoy. However, when looking for a new job it is important to consider the balance between work and play. For example, if you are currently very overwhelmed and stressed in your workplace, think about looking for a job with less responsibility, or flexible hours. Although this may result in a pay cut, it will improve your overall work-life balance.


  1. Find a job that offers the opportunity to learn and grow

A study by Quantum Workplace showed employees listed growth opportunity as one of their highest drivers of engagement. This could take the form of:

  1. Financial growth – increased income related to performance, or promotional opportunities
  2. Career growth – moving up the ranks in the organization, more significant duties, increased job titles
  3. Professional knowledge growth – ensuring you can increase your knowledge in your field

If these are important to you, when applying for a job remember to ask what the opportunities are for progression and training.


  1. Does the company culture fit your personality?

Company culture defines the environment in which employees work; some companies have a relaxed team-based culture, and some a strict corporate management style.

It is important to do your research about a company’s culture when job searching. This can be done by looking on sites such as Glassdoor for reviews.

You are much more likely to enjoy time in your workplace and have high job satisfaction if the company culture is one that you enjoy and can relate to.


  1. The company’s values align with yours

Many people these days favour a more meaningful career over the option of climbing the corporate ladder. To increase your job satisfaction, it is important that your personal values are in line with the company’s values. The best way to define this is to:

Step 1– Take time to identify your personal core values; what do you place importance on, what values do you dislike etc.

Step 2– Familiarize yourself with your organization’s values; what matters most to the firm, how do they treat employers, what area of the company do they invest most in.

Step 3– Create a plan; if there are certain attributes or values that are extremely important to you, ensure your workplace places importance on them too.

By following these steps, you will hopefully find a company with the same values as yourself, making life at work much more rewarding.

Many organizations start their recruitment process at this time of year, so it’s a great time to take stock and re-evaluate what you really want. By following our tips and advice, you can make sure you’re clear on what you want and be prepared to grab the opportunity when the right one comes around.

If you are aiming for a fresh start in your career in 2019 keep an eye on our job listings here . We can help you to kick-start your job search in the right way.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, General, Home Page, Homepage Candidates, News

6 popular recruitment trends to look out for in 2019

In the current challenging candidate driven market, coupled with the likes of Brexit, a new generation of demanding candidates and an unstable economy, recruiting the best candidates for a job could become harder than ever.

Whereas once upon a time companies had to make no effort to recruit the best talent, in 2019 it’s a very different game. This year, to increase their chances, companies should be marketing themselves as best they can.

To give you a head start here are the top recruitment trends to look out for this year, and some advice on how we can help you implement them.


Trend #1: Recruitment Marketing

Recruitment marketing is one of the most popular topics in HR in 2019. As the recruitment process becomes even more competitive with the likes of LinkedIn, job comparison sites and an increasing number of job board sites, companies have to work harder to get their job advertisements noticed by the right candidates.

With 86% of HR professionals agreeing that recruitment is becoming more like marketing, these days advertising jobs is very similar to advertising products to attract potential customers.

Recruitment software, Talentlyft, state the 4 main goals of every recruitment marketing strategy are to:

  1. Make potential candidates aware of your company and opened positions
  2. Trigger their interest
  3. Make them consider you as their next employer of choice
  4. Drive talent to apply to the open positions your company has available

The good news is it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. By using a recruitment specialist like CK Group, we can take care of marketing your job openings for you, ensuring that they are marketed on all the right sites and to all the right candidates. Furthermore, we can ensure your company’s identity stays anonymous if needed.


Trend #2: Inbound Recruitment Marketing

Inbound recruitment marketing takes recruitment marketing a step further.

It’s all about proactively engaging and attracting candidates, with the aim of attracting candidates to your company instead of you having to search for them.

Inbound recruiting leads candidates through three stages: awareness, consideration, and interest. It involves working hard to create a strong and trustworthy employer brand and uses creative ways to provoke interest. This can be done through:

  1. Content marketing – creating interesting and informative content you are confident your target candidate market will find compelling
  2. Social media targeting – assessing and monitoring where your targeted potential applications spend their time online, therefore putting a budget into this area
  3. Personalisation – which creates trust and brand awareness for the company with a higher percentage of conversions

Ideal for a long-term solution to recruiting, inbound recruiting is a successful way to continuously attract and recruit high-quality applicants and employees.


Trend #3: Employer Branding

As candidates are now prioritising work-life balance and job satisfaction over their paycheck, it is more important than ever for companies to portray themselves as an appealing place to work to job seekers.

In fact, research by LinkedIn has proven that more than 75% of job seekers research a company’s reputation and employer brand on sites like Glassdoor before applying.

2019 candidates will be judging companies based on their staff perks and incentives, working hours flexibility and the perceived company corporate identity, based on the website and social media.

Linkhumans reported that 72% of recruiting leaders around the world agree that the employer brand has a significant impact on hiring, and even more so has a significant impact on your business’s success. It will enable a company to have a consistent stream of applicants and job interest.


Trend #4: Candidate Experience

The candidate experience reflects the current, past, and potential candidates’ feelings and perception of the company’s job application and recruitment process. The candidate experience starts with the first exposure to a potential employer, and the candidate’s feelings and attitudes they experience through the entire journey, from applying, interviewing, hiring or the unfortunate rejection.

Candidate experience has been proven to be directly tied to recruitment performance, and with the use of social media being so high, it is incredibly easy for candidates to spread the message of a positive or poor candidate experience. A survey showed that nearly 60% of candidates have had a poor candidate experience, with 72% of those candidates having shared their bad experience online or with someone directly, which creates a negative reputation of the company.

In contrast, a positive candidate experience can lead to better applicants, lowering recruitment costs.

By outsourcing your recruitment to specialists such as CK Group, we can ensure candidates have the best customer experience possible, helping to improve your employer branding and avoiding those bad reviews.


Trend #5: Social Recruiting

Social recruiting is quite simply using social media as a recruitment tool, and over the last couple of years has become a vital part of recruitment.

A range of social media channels can be used to find, attract, post job openings and hire talent such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Furthermore, there are many websites that can be used, such as blogs, forums, job boards, and review sites such as Glassdoor.

Surveys showed that at least 84% of organizations are currently using social media for recruitment and that 9% of those who don’t yet use it are planning to.

This is definitely a trend to adopt in 2019 if you are wanting to target millennials, with 73% of 18 to 34 years olds finding their last position through a social media platform.


Trend #6: Contractor Recruitment

With the uncertainty in the economy and the confusion about what exactly Brexit means for the country and many businesses, there has been a rise in demand for contractors rather than permanent candidates. According to a study by the Freelance Union, by 2020 half of the workforce will be made up of contractors – increasing from 35% of the workforce in 2014.

There are many benefits for hiring contractors, such as:

  • Flexibility: Contractors can be hired on a short-term or permanent basis.
  • Access to specialised skills set: Contractors have all the necessary skills and come already trained.
  • Contract recruitment has proven to lower recruitment costs.
  • It gives companies a ‘Try Before You Buy’ opportunity.

These are just a few recruitment trends which are going to continue to grow in popularity over the coming years. The recruitment and HR processes are continuously developing and changing, which is why it is so crucial that companies stay on top of these trends to ensure they attract and hire the best talent. For any advice regarding this subject please contact us here.

Posted in Articles, Homepage Clients, News

Contract recruitment: a more flexible approach during these uncertain times

With the political climate constantly changing on a daily basis, uncertainty of what will happen in 2019 is making planning a challenging task for many companies in the science and clinical sector.

Planning for your recruitment strategy doesn’t have to be so arduous. Whilst uncertainty looms upon us, why not opt for a more flexible recruitment model?

If you are looking for a bit of stability and security, a responsive recruitment approach like contract and temporary recruitment might be a more favourable solution.

Temporary contracts range from 3 months to a year, and once the fixed amount of time is over the position terminates with no further commitments.

These types of contracts are becoming increasingly more attractive, and it’s not just employers seeking flexibility. In the last decade, since the uncertainty of the recession, the self-employed workforce has risen by 45%, and now accounts for 15% of the working population. This model has proven to be especially popular among the millennial generation who desire a more flexible lifestyle and to work on projects they feel passionate about.

In a recent survey by CK Group, we found that 80% of our candidates have previously worked in a contract position and 60% would be happy to consider another contract role. We also found that a third of candidates looking for work seek contract roles as a way to gain experience over money, with another third using temporary contracts for flexible working.


Here are a few of the key benefits of taking on contract workers to fill your short-term needs during these uncertain times.



Flexibility is vitally important during these uncertain times.

The main benefit of contract recruitment is that contractors can be brought on as and when needed to address seasonal specific work requirements, and to help stabilise your business without any commitment. They can be hired on a short-term basis, ensuring that if there are budget cuts, or if the project is completed early, there are limited consequences.


A quick turnaround

Hiring a contractor is ideal if you experience a high project turnaround and need to build a team quickly to support rapid growth or sudden unexpected demand. As contract recruitment is for a fixed amount of time, less consideration is needed when employing someone new. This, in turn, makes the hiring process easier.

Furthermore, contractors usually have the necessary licenses, permits, and rarely require any training, so can start the job immediately.


Hiring for unconventional jobs

Companies are not the only ones feeling the uncertainty. Many STEM experts are refusing to change jobs for fear of lack of security. Therefore, hiring permanent staff for unconventional jobs is harder than ever.

However, contract candidates are more willing to take on those niche roles. For example, 74.5% of CK Group contractors would consider working away 4 days a week for a contract job, which is ideal for those companies in a remote or difficult location.


Additionally, 55% of people asked would relocate for a contract role. They would also be happy to fund their own relocation.

Access to specialized skillsets

At CK Group we have many experienced contractor candidates with specific skillsets in their field.

Contractors tend to gain a lot of specialised experience while working on short- term projects for various different companies within your industry. They acquire unique skillsets which can be transferred onto the next jobs. They can bring a new and unbiased third-party perspective to your organisation, and help you run projects more efficiently.

In short, they can provide a competitive advantage to help you stay ahead of the curve during these uncertain times.


A cost-effective solution

There are also financial benefits to hiring contract staff. Hiring staff on a contract basis allows you to easily stick to a budget, avoiding any additional expenses such as training expenses and taxes. In fact, hiring a contractor can cut your payroll costs by 20% to 30%.

Contract staff are hired for a set amount of time and at a specific rate. This makes it very easy for organisations to calculate the exact hiring cost, allowing you to have tighter control over your allocated budget.

For CK Group’s contract staff employed on a PAYE basis, CK Group will cover all employment matters such as employee rights, holiday and their Employers National Insurance contribution, releasing you from this burden.

All in all, hiring contract staff might be a more favourable solution for those companies who need to plan for the short term. To find our more, get in contact and we will be happy to answer any questions.

Posted in Articles, General, Homepage Clients, News

How to increase your chances of finding a job at a careers fair

Autumn is renowned for being careers fair season. Whether you are a graduate or more advanced in your career, careers fairs are a great way to discover new opportunities and to ask employers questions directly.

If you come prepared, a careers fair can also significantly enhance your chances of gaining a job, as representatives of companies will be on the look out for potential recruits. To increase your chances, we have come up with our top tips to help you make a lasting impression.


Know what you are looking for

First and foremost, in order to get the most out of a careers fair you need to do a bit of introspection and understand what exactly you want to achieve from it.

Looking for your first job? Or looking for a change? Think about the following questions:

  • What types of roles are you looking for now?
  • What is your 10-year career plan?
  • What skills and experience do you have to offer?

Based on our experience, the candidates who stand out from the crowd are those who come up to a stand and know exactly what they are looking for. It helps both the employer and candidate alike to find the right fit.


Do your research

Take a look at which companies are attending the fair, and which you find interesting. This information is normally available on the career fair website.

Once you have made a shortlist, research your favourite companies and have a look at what types of jobs they offer.

The main benefits of career fairs are that they give you the chance to ask employers questions directly, so make the most of it. Prepare a list of questions you want to ask each company– this could include questions about the business, the specific roles, what they look for in employees, progression opportunities and about the recruitment process.

If a company you like the look of doesn’t have any relevant job openings, it might be worth asking them how often opportunities do become available.


Come prepared

Prior to the event update your CV and print copies out ready to hand out. You could even go a step further and create some tailored CVs to specific job openings that you found during your research.

On the day it’s advisable to dress professionally as if you were going to a job interview. And don’t forget to bring a notepad and pen to take notes.


Prepare your elevator pitch

Exhibitors will have spent the day speaking to hundreds of candidates just like you. Make an impression and speak with confidence by preparing what you want to say in advance.  

Your pitch should be no longer than a minute long and should include a brief outline of your past experience and what you are looking for now.

Be prepared with personal, sincere answers to questions the representatives are likely to ask you. These will most likely be centered around the kind of research you carry out, your technical skills and training and why you are interested in their company.


Keep focused

On the day you will have a lot of talking to do in what seems like very little time. Use a map of the fair to plan your route, aiming to talk to the companies on your shortlist first and allowing enough time for questions and note-taking in between stands.

If you plan on arriving early, this allows you to talk to your favourite employers before they get too busy. However, staying until the end also gives you the opportunity for more one-to-one conversations, after most other candidates have gone home.

A good tip is to ask for business cards or write down the email addresses of the representatives you got on with the best. This allows you to have a direct way into the company when applying.


Keep an open mind

However, once you have done the rounds and spoken to those companies which originally caught your eye, take the time to investigate other opportunities and ask questions to those you haven’t necessarily considered. You never know – the smaller, niche companies can sometimes surprise you!


And remember to follow up

The careers fair is only the beginning. Afterwards take the time to follow-up with an email and a tailored copy of your CV to the representatives of your favourite companies. As mentioned before, this allows you to have a direct way into a company, sometimes allowing you to skip parts of the corporate application process.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, News, Research and knowledge

5 reasons why companies should really be focusing on mental health initiatives

Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of conversation around mental health in the UK. Despite this, discussing mental health in the workplace still holds a stigma. In fact, 92% of people who suffer from bad mental health feel that admitting it at work would negatively affect their job.

As over three quarters of people experience symptoms of poor mental health at some point in their life, this is not a stat to be taken lightly.

Providing wellbeing initiatives aimed at improving employees’ mental health can not only help improve a company culture but can also play an important role in your recruitment marketing.

To attract candidates

A general misconception is that mental health initiatives are purely for internal purposes. When asked in a recent survey by Robert Walter, only 33% of employers said they thought this would be important for attracting new recruits.

In contrast, 88% of professionals consider mental health and wellbeing initiatives at work important when looking at applying for jobs.

Candidates are now looking for more than just a salary, and wellbeing perks are an attractive benefit to jobseekers. They want to join a company which will look after them, and reward them.

Offering perks such as discount gym memberships, healthy food options or wellness days out of the office won’t only look impressive on your job adverts, they will also put you in an advantageous position compared to competition.

But there are far more advantages to offering wellbeing initiatives than just for recruitment purposes. Here is a short list of some of the other benefits.

To boost employee productivity

Currently, on average, only 2 in 5 employees are working at peak performance at work.

This lack of productivity is mainly due to distractions because of wellbeing issues, including poor mental and physical health. For example, studies have demonstrated that employees who smoke, don’t eat healthy diets and don’t exercise are those who suffer from presenteeism the most.

By focusing on employees’ wellbeing and helping them to improve their lifestyle and mental health, companies could motivate their workforce by eliminating some of the main causes of distraction.

To retain existing staff

Rewarding your staff with wellbeing initiatives increases their loyalty to the company. The feeling of being looked after will keep your staff feeling motivated week after week, keeping them satisfied at work and more likely to stay on longer.

As workers aged 25 to 34 stay on average three years at a job, companies should be looking at more incentives like wellbeing perks to reduce staff turnover.

To improve job satisfaction

A healthy lifestyle has been proven to make people happier. Providing your employees with wellbeing-focused perks could help employees feel more satisfied and overall happier in the workplace. In short, happy employees produce better work.

Additionally, discontented staff tend to distract other coworkers whereas happy employees attract like-minded people to the business and create a positive culture. Keeping everyone content will avoid creating waves in your workforce.

The long-term plan

As mentioned previously, three-quarters of people suffer from bad mental health at some point, so encouraging your staff to concentrate on their wellbeing could help reduce these stats in your workplace. Investing in wellbeing initiatives now could help you save money in the future – for example it could help prevent early retirements, save on absenteeism costs as well as avoid hefty insurance claims if you provide your staff with health insurance.

The bottom line is that wellbeing initiatives not only help you market your company better to potential candidates, but they also help reduce your staff turnover and improve your overall company culture and staff productivity.

Posted in Articles, General, Homepage Clients, News

Is it time to call it quits?

You spend on average a third of your life at work, so making sure you enjoy your job (most of the time!) is essential for your well-being.

Work can sometimes be stressful and hard, but when it gets unsatisfying it may be time to say enough is enough. But this is easier said than done.

Are you undecided about whether to stay or go? We’ve come up with the following list of questions to help you make that ever-so-important decision.


Are you working towards certain aims?

Having a goal to progress towards is vital to keep yourself motivated.

Whether it is working towards getting a promotion, a bonus or aspiring to move abroad with your company, having these aims will stimulate you to keep trying your best.

If your company doesn’t offer opportunities or progression, your work life can get monotonous pretty quickly, leaving you feeling deflated.

Furthermore, being in a job that isn’t helping you progress can stunt your career path, and the longer you stay the harder it will be in future to get back on track.

So ask yourself – is your job repetitive, unchallenging and not leading anywhere? Maybe now is the time to reconsider.


Do you feel passionate about what you are doing?

To be successful you need to be passionate about what you are doing.

If that passion has faded over the years and you no longer feel enthusiastic about your projects, it may be time for a fresh start.

Whether you just need a change of scenery to regain your passion, or whether you need a complete career switch, finding a new job could help you rekindle your passion.


Do you feel like work affects your mental health?

Do you spend your weekend dreading Mondays? Do you come home feeling depressed or exhausted on a regular basis?

Feeling down because of work can lead to mental health issues such as depression. To avoid this situation it is essential to spot the warning signs early on and make a change before it is too late. No job is worth sacrificing your health for.


Is your job affecting your relationships?

Following on from the point above, if you are suffering because of your job this can also have some seriously negative affects on your social life and relationships.

If you are hardly at home or are stressed when you are, this can put a strain on your relation with your partner, children and friends. Is your job really worth it?


Do you appreciate your peers, boss and management team?

When you spend so much time with your peers, it becomes very important to be able to tolerate them. They create your working environment, and if you don’t appreciate the way they do things maybe it just isn’t the right environment for you.

However, above all, getting along with your boss is vital. Your boss dictates your projects, your success and your progress. If you feel disappointed by their actions you can be left feeling demotivated to work for them.

Likewise, if you don’t trust your company’s management team you can easily start wondering why you ever worked there in the first place.


Do you have faith in your company?

Another good reason to be questioning leaving a company is if you think it might be on its last leg.

Companies are not invincible, and only a third of small companies survive over 10 years. If your company is suffering it may be worth leaving before the bitter end.

A few signs to look out for: management suddenly gets very fussy about expenses and starts having a lot of closed-door meetings.


Of course, these are not the only reasons you might quit a job, but essentially the question to ask yourself is ‘are you happy?’.

Life is too short to waste time at a job that doesn’t satisfy you.

If you think the grass is greener on the other side CK is here to help you make that next move. Whether you just want to browse jobs and see what’s out there, or whether you need advice, why not visit our website. You can also sign up to CK + to easily get access to any new jobs relevant to your requirements.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, Careers Advice, News

The best job perks to attract candidates

Studies have proven that in all industries, including STEM industries, salary and career opportunities are the two biggest incentives for candidates when it comes to choosing a place to work. However, according to a recent survey by Glassdoor, over a third of people admit to choosing a company over another based on the extra perks. Increasingly, the desires of candidates are shifting and they tend to be more interested in a good work-life balance rather than a big pay package.

Besides, job perks don’t only attract new talent – they also help with staff retention. According to Capita’s latest employee insight report, nearly 70% of staff are more likely to stay with a company if they feel they are offered good benefits.

Perks teamed up with salary increases are the best combination to keep your workforce satisfied and motivated, creating a nicer working environment and boosting productivity overall.

In this article we investigate the UK’s favourite perks.


Flexible working hours

Rather than the traditional nine to five, companies are increasingly offering Flextime – allowing employees to work when suits them best.

Some employees will like a lie in and come to work later. Others, notably parents, may prefer to come in earlier and leave when school finishes, to spend time with their children.

Offering employees this flexibility means they work their 37.5 hours when they feel most motivated and will help them attain a better work-life balance.


Remote working

Interestingly, 30% of people would rather have the option to work from home rather than get a pay rise.

Many roles don’t require employees to be in the office every day. Giving staff the option to work from home from time-to-time helps them save money and time by avoiding their daily commute.

This perk is especially useful for those employees who live further away or have families.


Childcare help and additional parental leave

High childcare costs often put new parents off returning to work or persuade them to work part-time. A good way to attract and retain new parent employees is to offer onsite childcare like a nursery or to help out with childcare costs.

Being a parent is stressful enough – if companies can help relieve some of that stress then these employees can be more relaxed at work and consequently be more productive.

Another attractive perk for soon-to-be parents is extended parent leave. Again, this won’t cost a company much but will keep these employees satisfied and encourage them to return after their parental leave.


Office outings

Office outings are a great way to boost office morale and help with team building.

They can create a community feel in the office and build staff confidence.

Office outings are especially useful for newcomers to get to know their peers. When applying for a company, the prospect of feeling welcomed into the company community straightaway can be appealing.


Extra holiday time

Holiday time is precious – and the more a company offers, the more attractive it becomes.

Furthermore, holiday time allows staff to rest and rejuvenate, keeping them happy and relaxed.

Some companies have gone as far as allowing employees to take unlimited paid leave – leaving them the choice to have time off whenever they wish and avoid feeling burnt out.


Other favourite perks worth considering

There are many other popular company benefits that can attract candidates and satisfy current staff – some others include:

  • Entertainment for the office (pool table, drinks on Fridays, office pets…)
  • Free food
  • Retirement plan
  • Performance benefits
  • Health and life insurance
  • Gym memberships

So, if you are looking to recruit or are struggling with employee retention, it may be worth reconsidering your company benefits.

Many of these don’t necessarily cost much – but will have massive returns on investment in terms of employee satisfaction, overall productivity as well as more candidates applying for your company.

Posted in Articles, Candidates, General, Industry News, News

How to find the right talent

With the average job seeker looking at 7.6 job sites to find the best available job openings, attracting the right talent for your organisation is now harder than ever.

Gone are the days of just posting your job openings on job boards and hoping for the best. If you really want to hire the top talent out there it will require much more work.

Companies are now expected to actively put themselves out there to attract the right people. This is time consuming and needs a dedicated team and hefty budget.

An alternative is to avoid the hassle and partner with a specialist recruitment company.

Here are some key reasons why partnering with a specialist recruitment company could give you that much needed competitive edge.


Help with your employer branding

A potential candidate will judge a company based on their employer branding. They need to imagine themselves working there as well as understand the company’s culture and what the job will entail.

Larger organisations may have the budget to create a whole recruitment branding campaign, but for others it is not that simple.

By partnering with an agency, they can get to know your company and in turn represent you appropriately to candidates, giving these potential employees a real insight into your business -current job openings, benefits and career progression as well as a feel for the culture.


Knowledge of the market

Specialist recruitment companies like CK Science know the ins and outs of the industries they work in. It is their job to keep up-to-date with all the latest developments. They can provide you with expertise and guidance based on their past experiences.

They can help you figure out how to reach the sort of candidate suitable for your job opening, how to set appropriate salary rates and the potential issues that could arise etc.


Access to candidates

Probably the main advantage of working with a leading specialist recruitment company is that we readily have available candidates, with the right expertise, registered with us.

At CK, thanks to our reputation and tools such as CK+ we have direct access to an impressive pool of talent with specific skills related to the science industries.

In addition, recruitment companies tend to have good relationships with job boards – getting good value adverts in prime positions.


A search partner

The right candidate may not be actively looking for a new job and therefore will not come across your job opening. A recruitment partner like CK Science will actively go seeking talent that may currently be in employment and not looking right now.


Time saved

On average 250 people apply for every role. Unfortunately, nothing guarantees that any of those applications will be fruitful.

This also means it takes up an enormous amount of time sifting through all the CVs, to make a selection and to carry out interviews. By working with a recruitment company, you can skip all the admin and only see the selected final few candidates.

This gives the HR manager, or whoever deals with hiring, the time to do other more pressing tasks.


Over time, partnering with a recruitment company will provide even bigger benefits. As they get to know your company, understand your needs and gain your trust, the recruiting process will become smoother and quicker. A company like CK Science will quickly get to understand the types of candidates you are looking for and find you exact matches every time.

For more information on partnering with CK Science to find the right candidates for you, contact us here.

Posted in Articles, General, Homepage Clients, News

Why AI will never replace traditional recruitment

There are lots of mixed emotions around Artificial Intelligence. Some people are scared it will replace human jobs, whereas others see the enormous potential. Nonetheless, whatever people’s stances are on it everyone agrees that AI software is present everywhere.

Whilst the recruitment industry is growing, AI technology companies are seeking the opportunity to get involved. These new generation tech start-ups are using Artificial Intelligence software to try and disrupt this “people-centric” industry.

In the last few years we have seen a number of successful (and some less successful) software companies offering solutions that provide an “unbiased” or “more efficient” recruitment process. But could traditional recruitment as we know it, renowned for being such a personal and interactive industry, be replaced by robots?


New offerings

Recruitment is an industry which will always be indispensable – there will always be a need for hiring talent and placing people in best-fit roles. However, the way we recruit could see change with the introduction of AI.

Much of AI in recruitment is about sorting through data and automatising the recruitment process. Recruitment companies receive a vast number of CVs each day. On average, a job opening will attract over 250 applicants – and around 23 hours of Recruiter time to sieve through them.

To save time, tech companies are introducing new software that can ease this process and make it more efficient. These new systems are capable of sorting through every detail of an application and assessing potential candidate, without tiring out.

Others new software systems claim they have the solution to creating an unbiased process. A good example of this is Headstart. This recruitment app claims to match students from a range of backgrounds with opportunities at leading companies, using a series of contextual and predictive algorithms. According to the app, this process reduces natural human bias as it selects candidates purely on maths and facts, and not emotions.

However, this is debatable as it has been proven that machine-learning is influenced over time by human bias. AI technology adapts to regular patterns – over time it would recognise that a company has been employing a certain type of candidate, and would alter its algorithms to continue to look for that same type in future. This in turn makes the problem worse and can cause even bigger discrimination issues.

Also, another question to ask ourselves is can AI really replicate human common sense?


GDPR and security– a big hurdle for AI

A big development for AI and all digital systems is the soon-to-come introduction of new data protection laws.

Data automation in all industries has had a lot of bad publicity. So much so that from May 2018 new regulations are coming into place to protect data – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  The idea is that these regulations will give people greater control over their privacy and personal information. This is worrying for the AI world as transparency has never been its forte.

Under the new laws candidates must give consent for their personal data to be collected and used. Personal data will no longer be easily accessible for AI softare to sift, which in turn will limit its potential.

Additionally, the GDPR states companies must clearly explain to candidates how their data will be used including “the existence of automated decision-making, and, at least in those cases, meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and the envisaged consequences of such processing for the data subject.”

Companies heavily reliant on AI software will struggle to explain their decisions to applicants, and especially those who have not been selected by the algorithms. We predict many will have to rethink their recruitment strategy in order to comply with GDPR. Those who don’t obey will face hefty fines.


Recruitment – a two-way process

More importantly, the reason AI will never replace traditional recruiting altogether is because AI will never completely be able to replicate humans or understand human emotions (at least not any time soon!)

The recruitment process is as much about selling a job to a potential candidate as it is finding the right person. A chosen candidate needs to make a decision on whether the role is for them, and in many cases, they may have to be reassured. They will have lots of questions and will need to trust the recruiter before taking any chances. This is an area where personal human interaction and sensitivity is absolutely vital, and no machine can replace that.


Over the next few years we will see some AI influence in the recruitment industry, but with GDPR coming into place there will inevitably be limitations. AI may help certain aspects of the recruitment process, but a machine will never be able to reassure candidates, decide whether someone will fit into a certain company culture, understand someone’s capabilities or fully grasp whether they are being genuine.

Posted in Articles, General, News

Good news for the pharma and biotech sectors

Liam O’Connell, Operations Director of the CK Group has written an article reviewing the latest data from the IHS Markit Europe PMI Composite Index and it’s good news, take a look at the report here:

The latest IHS Markit Europe PMI Composite Index for July actually showed a slight decline on the previous month for all sectors. Despite this slight cooling from 55.8 in June to 55.3 in July,  economic growth across Europe remained strong and among the highest over the last six years.

Beneath the overall figures, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors are gaining momentum with strong order books and profit margins. Alongside transportation, pharma and biotech are the strongest performing sectors at the moment, which is great news for investors and people working in these fields.

The latest IHS Markit Europe PMI Composite Index graph.

The growth of output through July in the pharma and biotech sector is the fastest for the last ten years and considering the sector was in contraction 12 months ago, the growth during this period is extremely positive.


Read the rest of his report here

Liam O'Connell

Liam O’Connell

Posted in Articles, News

Industrial Insights at MSD

CK Science are attending a two day event called industrial insights hosted at one of Europe’s most advanced pharmaceutical sciences facilities, MSD in Hoddesdon.

This event is  for undergraduate and postgraduate students who want to explore opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. It will take place on the 4th-5th April 2013  and has been organsied by the New Scientists’ Focus Group.

CK Science will be running C.V. Clinics in between the sessions for attendees to go to.


Find out more about the event here

Science jobs      Science jobs

Posted in Articles, NewsTagged in ,

Soil researchers discover a microbe of global agricultural significance

As reported by Scientist Live, microbiologists at the University of Aberdeen have shed new light on the understanding of how ammonia-based fertilisers are inactivated by microorganisms in soil.

Billions of pounds are spent annually on nitrogen fertilisers to support crop production to feed the world’s population. Ammonia-oxidising’ microbes rapidly convert ammonia to nitrate, which is washed out of the soil before it reaches crops for which it is intended. This leads to losses to farmers estimated at over $15 billion per year and nitrate-polluted drinking water.

Over the past hundred years, all strains cultivated have only grown in standard laboratory conditions at higher, neutral pH, and not in acidic conditions.

Research performed at the University of Aberdeen has identified a novel organism which performs the process of ammonia oxidation in acidic conditions, and has also demonstrated that this organism is abundant and globally distributed in acidic soils.

A large part of this work involved the analysis of soils from the Scottish Agricultural College’s Craibstone Estate outside Aberdeen, to recognise the importance of the site from which the organisms were obtained, and the university at which the microbe was first cultivated, the new organism has been named Nitrosotalea devanaterra, which means an ammonia-oxidising ‘rod’ from soil in Aberdeen, incorporating Devana, the Roman name for Aberdeen. It is part of the Domain of microbes known as Archaea.

The research team has now been awarded a £0.5 million, 3.5-year research grant by the Natural Environment Research Council to investigate the highly unusual physiology of Nitrosotalea devanaterra and to find out more about its potential role in the loss of ammonia-based fertilisers and nitrous oxide gas emissions from soil!

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