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

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

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

Recruiting in a candidate-driven market

The recruitment market has dramatically changed over the last few years, due to a range of factors from the economic recession to Brexit.

During the recession we saw a surplus of candidates on the market, due to redundancies and candidates job searching because they felt at risk. Following the recession, unemployment rocketed to around 8.5% in the UK.  Companies who were recruiting found themselves spoilt for choice and as a result were often able to offer lower salaries and less preferential benefits, while still securing the best talent.

However, the tables have since turned. As the economy recovered, the labour market stabilized, but recently, especially since the Brexit referendum, we have noticed a massive shift towards a candidate-driven market.

In the current climate fewer candidates are looking to change jobs as they are still unsure about the future and are less likely to make rash decisions such as quitting a job.   Moreover, international candidates are less likely to consider roles in the UK, further diminishing the candidate pool.  As a result, the current unemployment rate is at 4.1% in the UK, the lowest it has been in 40 years, and skilled candidates are at a premium.

Consequently, those few candidates looking for new opportunities are finding work more easily. The best ones are attending multiple interviews and can pick and choose between employers. They can afford to wait for the right job to come along with the right salary and the right match to their selection criteria.

This is a great time for highly skilled job hunters who are in such demand, but it’s not good news for employers, who can be left struggling to recruit the right people and retain their current staff.  Companies can no longer expect interviewees to be available for long. To avoid disappointment, they need to make decisions quickly and follow up with an offer of employment as soon as possible once they have found the right candidate, or they risk losing out.

Companies seeking new employees are having to work harder than ever to entice people to work for them. Hiring managers and recruiters are raising their game by offering the best pay and benefits packages they can. They are also making sure the candidate recruitment experience is smooth and efficient so they can get an edge on the competition, as candidates are more likely to favour a company that is efficient, organised and makes them feel wanted.

Companies are also threatened by the whole array of tempting job opportunities now on offer by other companies who are happy to go the extra mile to entice new employees.  If they are not providing their current staff with a good enough salary and benefits package, they risk losing them to a more attractive option elsewhere.

All in all, a candidate-driven market means tougher times for companies trying to recruit, and for those trying to retain their staff. Finding the right candidate for a job is no longer a given, and companies recruiting are having to adjust their recruitment strategies accordingly.

For more advice on recruiting in a candidate driven market, check out our top tips for attracting candidates to your business.

For more information on how CK Group can help you find the right candidates get in touch today.

Posted in Homepage Clients, 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


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