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July 18: Boosting Team Morale in the Workplace

When you’re building a new team or recruiting people to join an existing one, you need to find the right people. This doesn’t just mean looking for someone with the right skill set; your new recruit needs to fit in with your existing team members in terms of their personality and mindset. Hiring someone who does not fit in well with the team can cause big problems in the long term including low morale, conflict and office politics. So, how do attract the right people and keep your employees motivated at the same time? This month, we look at ways you can boost team morale in the workplace when it comes to recruitment and staff retention:

Listen to your people

Before you start the recruitment process and finalise your job description, meet with the relevant team and discuss any gaps or working practices that need to be identified. Some large organisations carry out a ‘shop floor’ exercise, where senior managers and even CEOs spend time with employees carrying out day-to-day operations. This experience offers an invaluable insight into the different challenges that affect staff on a daily basis. Many companies have achieved substantial cost-savings as a result of listening to their employees by taking steps to change outdated systems and processes.

Appreciate your employees

Encourage your team to get involved with the recruitment process; maybe even ask a team member to help write the job description or sit in on interviews. If you have recently recruited and are looking to improve team morale, schedule regular team meetings and encourage people to openly express their views (without conflict). Praise your staff for their achievements and regularly relay any positive feedback from other employees or customers. If you have a company newsletter, why not create a feature for team or employee successes? For example, you could include a ‘Team of the Month’ or ‘Employee of the Month’ section. When people feel that their opinions are valued, this leads to increased morale and better employee retention.

Reward achievements

As well as praising employee achievements, why not offer incentives to drive further successes? This does not necessarily mean cash bonuses - this could be simple things like more flexible working opportunities, allowing staff to attend conferences and events, taking people out of the office for the occasional team lunch, or paying for professional membership affiliations. Treat your employees well and they will have a greater respect for your business and your objectives. What’s more, by offering enticing rewards, you will help to attract and retain team talent for the long term.

Learning opportunities

One of the key ways to maintain or boost team morale is to encourage and support learning and development opportunities. Not only does this help you move talented team members upwards into more senior/manager roles that reflect their knowledge and experience, but this will also demonstrate to potential candidates that you are a progressive and caring employer. People are often attracted to roles where they can gain vital skills and qualifications, as well as a good salary. Over the long term, your business operations will benefit from the continually improving skill set of your employees and, in turn, your people will enjoy a greater sense of achievement rather than just focusing on completing their day-to-day tasks.

In summary – the more valued your people feel, the greater the morale will be in your workplace. Therefore, always ensure you recruit the right people for the right roles and with the right personality fit. When someone joins a team with the wrong attitude, this can have a huge impact on your existing employees and a knock-on effect in terms of your productivity and your profit line. Remember – it only takes one ‘bad egg’ to spoil the ‘nest’!

At HSL, we get to know you and your business to ensure we recruit the right people. As well as vetting CVs and carrying out various skills assessments on your behalf, we also look at whether the candidate has the right personality fit for your team. You can always rest assured that any new recruit will fit harmoniously into their new role. We place great importance on finding the right candidates for our clients – read more…

If you’re looking to recruit, please contact us today, call 02476 327 602 or email: enquiries@hsl1uk.com. HSL is a proud recruitment partner for a vast range of employers across the Midlands area.

June 18 : 7 Tips to Create the Perfect CV

Whether you’re looking for a new job or a career change, your CV really needs to stand out from the crowd. If you get the right information on your CV – and in the right format – you could be on your way to finding your dream role. In this month’s article, we’ve produced a guide to help you create the perfect CV:

1. Don’t waste any space by writing ‘CV’ at the top of your page!

Space is a precious commodity when it comes to CVs, so instead of writing ‘CV’ at the top of the page, use this area for your contact details. It will be obvious to any recruiter that your document is a CV. You do not need to include a photo on your CV (unless you are looking for a job as a model!).

2. Your contact details - Name and Professional title (if applicable)

Okay, so this sounds really obvious, but you might just be surprised to hear that many people forget to include all of their contact details on their CV. You do not need to add your date of birth, age, or your full address (just your town and county). Always include a contact telephone number and email address. If you have a professional title such as Dr, Prof, etc., then always include this information too, especially if you are looking for a specialist job in a specific industry sector, as this will highlight your academic level to recruiters.

3. Personal Statement, Profile or Summary

This is the introductory section that sits just below your contact details and it should encapsulate all you have to offer in a nutshell. Ideally, if you are looking for a variety of job roles across different sectors, you should tailor this section to suit the job you are applying for. Make sure you include your qualities, skills, and reasons why you are suited to the role you are applying for. This section needs to be short and snappy; a high-level summary of who you are and what you can do.

4. Career Background and/or Experience

List your job roles (or work and volunteer placements, if you are a school leaver), company names, dates of employment, a short one-liner that sums up each role, and a bullet point list for every job that highlights your skills, responsibilities and achievements. Try to use descriptive words rather than generic phrases. Start with your most recent role first and work backwards. For more senior, professional roles, you might want to consider using an Executive CV format that lists key achievements instead of jobs – if this is the type of role you are looking for, please get in touch and we will advise you accordingly.

5. Education and Professional Qualifications

This section should follow a similar approach to the above Career/Experience section; start with your most recent qualification and then work backwards. If you are a recent school leaver, list your subjects and grades either in grade-order (A-F), or in the order most suitable to the role you are looking for. If you are a graduate, and you are looking for a job relating to your degree subject, you might also want to include details on any relevant modules, projects or assignments. If you are a professional looking for a more senior role, you might have additional professional qualifications to add, i.e. an MBA, so always ensure the most relevant ones are at the top of this section.

6. Additional information – hobbies, skills or references? 

At this point of the CV, you might be struggling for space. Therefore, decide on the relevance of the information you add to this section. Some skills and hobbies may be wholly relevant to the job you are applying for – for example, if you are a classic car enthusiast and you are looking for roles in the automotive industry. Some activities can paint a good picture of your overall character, whereas some interests may raise a few eyebrows! If you have a good reference, or one that is relevant to the job you are applying for, then you might decide to add this information instead of any hobbies. Otherwise, it is fine to include a sentence like ‘References are available on request’.

7. Formatting hints and tips

Your CV must be easy to read. Be careful not to cram too much information on the page or use a font size that requires a microscope to read your CV. Ideally, your CV should be 2-3 pages max. Try to use a font size no smaller than 10 and a font type like Calibri, Arial, Times New Roman or Verdana. For greater impact, use a bold format and a different font size for headings - usually, this would be between size 14 and 18. Check that your page margins are wide enough to prevent the wording being cut off when you print out your CV (aim for around 2.5 cm) and ALWAYS proofread the final CV for any typos before you send it off. Bad spelling looks sloppy and could hinder your chances of being interviewed.

If you would like some help when it comes to creating your perfect CV, why not give us a call on 02476 327 602? Our friendly team are always happy to help. We might also have the job you’re looking for, so always remember to regularly check our Jobs Board page.

At HSL, we place great value on finding the right roles for our candidates and our clients. We spend time getting to know you, so we can help you find a job that suits your skills and experience. It’s really important to us that you find a role that you will enjoy for the long term.

If you’re looking for a new job or a career change, please contact us today, call 02476 327 602 or email: enquiries@hsl1uk.com. HSL is a proud recruitment partner for a vast range of companies across the Midlands.

May 18 : 7 Top Tips: How to Spot a Superstar Candidate

When you’re trying to find the right candidate for your role, you need to look out for a number of factors. Many businesses hire the wrong person when they are swayed by the “talkers” – these are people who are great at schmoozing their way into a role but lack the right skills or characteristics to do the job or do it well. We’ve pulled together a guide to help you find a superstar candidate for your business:

1. Writing an accurate job description

Before you start to advertise for your job role, double-check the job description – is it fully up-to-date? Has anything changed about the role since it was originally written? Does the job description accurately reflect all the tasks and responsibilities assigned to the role? Never embellish a job description; this will only lead to you recruiting the wrong person and, once employed, they are unlikely to stay in the job for long.

2. The three A’s: Ability, Aptitude and Attitude

When you are sifting through a pile of CVs, you need to have set criteria to work to. You may decide that a series of tests or skill assessments are needed to determine whether the candidate is right for your role. You could be recruiting for a job that requires a level of training due to certain machinery or equipment you have on-site. Therefore, you need to check carefully to see whether a selected candidate is actually capable of doing the job and has the aptitude to do the job well over the long term. Lastly - and this is one for the interview room – you need to check whether the candidate has the right attitude, not only in terms of the job itself, but whether they are a good personality fit for the team and your business (see point 7 below).

3. What qualities are you looking for?

This is an important question as you may be looking for certain skills or traits, so make a list of the top five characteristics that you find in your highest performing employees. This list will help you to create your selection criteria. However, when you are reviewing candidate applications and CVs, you might come across someone who has additional qualities, but who does not slot into the role you are trying to fill. Often, when a company spots talent, they will change or create a new job role to suit a person’s ability, if they decide the person could be a real asset to the business. If you need help with candidate selection, please get in touch to speak to our team.

4. Have they fully answered your questions on the application form?

Depending on the job you are trying to fill, you may be looking for a certain response to questions on the job application form. Again, this will depend on your selection criteria and you may need to test the candidate to assess their skillset. However, if you are recruiting for more senior roles, you need to look for something above and beyond generic answers to questions. How does the candidate express themselves? Does their feedback highlight their strengths? The way in which a candidate answers the questions will show you their capabilities, e.g. attention to detail.

5. Do they show genuine passion for your role?

Obviously, people have different reasons for applying for jobs, so we’re not talking about expressing an ‘undying love’ for the role you’re trying to fill. However, if the candidate is not displaying genuine enthusiasm and a keen interest in your role – either in their application or the interview room - then we would be concerned about their level of commitment. As a business, you only want people who are going to enhance your day-to-day operations. Therefore, it’s important to recruit someone who shows the same eagerness as you and your employees in terms of fulfilling your key business objectives.

6. Devise an assessment to ‘weed out’ weaker candidates

Test and assessments are usually a vital part of the recruitment process (depending on the role). Make sure you create a set of tests that reflect the required skillset of the role itself. Usually, tests are split between practical and computer-based ones. It’s important to assess whether the person will be able to fulfil the job expected of them before they reach the interview stage. This is also a good way to check whether people are being truthful on their CVs.

7. How confident are they in the interview room?

This can be a tricky one, as people are generally nervous in interviews. However, take a look at their body language. How are they sitting? Are they wringing their hands due to nerves or are they fairly relaxed? Are they making eye contact with you? Likewise, are they listening carefully to the questions you are asking and giving adequate responses? Also, be aware of the over-confident interviewees – sometimes these people may upset team dynamics and they may also prove hard to manage.

When it comes to the recruitment process, why risk hiring the wrong person? Recruiting the wrong people for your business will only lead to a waste of money, time and resources, as well as low morale and staff retention. 

At HSL, we have strong procedures in place for finding the right candidates for our clients, and we carry out a number of thorough checks and assessments – visit our Employers page.

If you’re looking to recruit a superstar candidate for your business, then please contact us today, call 02476 327 602 or email: enquiries@hsl1uk.com. HSL is a proud recruitment partner for a vast range of companies across the Midlands.


Apr 18 : A Day in The Life Of… an Assembly Operative

If you’re interested in working in the motorcycle industry, have you considered working as an Assembly Operative? Have you ever wondered what it takes to build a motorcycle? If you’re wondering what a typical day involves, we interviewed one of our workers to find out what they do on a day-to-day basis…

What does an Assembly Operative do?

Our Assembly Operative builds engines for a leading motorcycle company. The assembly process starts with the crankcase – this is the case covering a crankshaft - which is fitted onto a moving conveyor where internal components are added. Stringent checks are then applied including the cylinder heads, which are measured to establish the correct valve clearance – this is done using a CMM machine. The cylinder head is then bolted onto the crankcase using a Multi Spindle DC Tool. As the engine continues along the conveyor, the final components are fitted and, once assembled, the engine will undergo testing. The final stage of the engine assembly is the inspection; the fully built engines are then transferred to the chassis line via an automated shuttle and the frame is then fitted. More components are then added – this includes the front forks, wheels, tyres, fuel tanks and the body work. Once the motorcycle has been built, a set of final tests are carried out including a cosmetic inspection. The fully built motorcycle is then placed into a packing crate, ready to be despatched to dealers around the world.

What are the three best things about your role?

I work with a good group of people and the money is good too. The agency, HSL, really look after me – they are very helpful and supportive, which is great.

What attracted you to this job and how long have you been working in this role?

It’s a practical role, which reflected both my skills and experience. I have been working at the motorcycle factory for 8 months and I am very proud to work for such a renowned company.

How did you find out about this role?

I popped into the HSL office and the team talked me through the role of Assembly Operative - it was just the job I had been looking for. I enjoy building engines, so the job really suited me.

At HSL, we’re currently looking for more Assembly Operatives. Our client is based in Leicestershire and is one of the UK’s leading motorcycle manufacturers. This is an excellent opportunity for motorcycle enthusiasts or experienced Assembly Operatives, although previous experience is not required. However, dexterity and attention to detail is a must.

Interested in becoming an Assembly Operative?

Using air tools for assembly, your role would involve the hand assembly of motorcycles in the main assembly plant. If you have a background in assembly and production within the automotive industry, this would be a bonus. The starting pay is £9.13 per hour, which rises to £11.60 per hour (on completion of a successful 12-week probationary period), and the hours of work are between 47.5 to 22.5 (depending on the build plan).

Our client has a first-rate reputation both locally and nationally. If your application is successful, you will be joining a well-established company with many career opportunities.

If you’re interested in applying to become a motorcycle Assembly Operative, then please contact us today, call 02476 327 602 or email: enquiries@hsl1uk.com.

Mar 18 : High Volume Recruitment: 10 Things You Need to Consider

When recruiting high volumes of staff, there are many things you need to consider if you’re going to choose the right people to work for your business. Without careful preparation and efficient selection processes, your organisation could run the risk of recruiting poor candidates leading to staff problems, poor productivity and high staff turnover. 

  1.  Preparing for recruitment - effective planning
    This is probably the most important stage of all – get this right and you will have a better chance of finding the right people. Start by creating a thorough plan of all the resources you need. Do you need staff on a short-term contract to fulfil certain tasks, i.e. summer warehousing jobs for Christmas goods? Are you expanding to a level where you need long-term workers to achieve certain business objectives, i.e. working on new factory lines? Once you have a solid recruitment strategy in place, you can start looking for staff.
  2. Attracting the right candidate
    If you have created a concise recruitment plan, you will be able to produce a clear job specification and description for each role. This is important if you want to attract the right candidates, as accurate job specifications and descriptions will enable you to match better candidates, thus saving you a great deal of time. You might be looking to fill a selection of different roles, so it could be worth seeking outside help by outsourcing your recruitment needs.
  3. Employment checks and immigration status
    In our last article, we discussed the importance of making sure any potential candidates have been thoroughly checked, which includes having the right to work in the UK. As an employer, if you hire someone who does not have the right to work in the UK, you could face a £20,000 fine for each illegal worker or 5 years imprisonment.

    Our advice is don’t run the risk when it comes to employment checks! At HSL, we’re the only local recruitment agency to use the Home Office compliant system uAthenticate to check the immigration status of every candidate before any interviews take place. We can authorise over 3,000 types of identity documents to see whether a candidate has the correct visa or work permit. We also provide this service to clients that need to check existing members of staff too.
  4. Pre-screening candidates
    When you’re faced with a pile of CVs, it can be very hard to tell whether a candidate is up to the job you’re recruiting for. This is very difficult when you’re recruiting large volumes of staff, as you won’t have time to study every single CV in minute detail. Therefore, it’s vital that you have an efficient pre-screening process – i.e. set criteria based upon the job specification and description. At HSL, we have designed a seamless process for sifting through large volumes of CVs, which helps us check multiple candidates in a quick and effective manner.
  5. Assessing candidates
    Depending on the roles you are trying to fill will depend on the way you assess potential candidates. If you’re recruiting large volumes of office-based workers, this is usually in the form of a series of tests – for example, Microsoft Office programs and practical tasks to check a person’s ability and aptitude, or possibly psychometric testing depending on the role. For industrial staff, you may not need to carry out specific tests, but you will need to know whether candidates are capable of doing the job you need them to do.

    Some larger organisations set up an Assessment Centre when they are hiring pools of staff. This is where you invite candidates in for the day and assess a group of people all in one go. Obviously, this can prove tricky if you are looking to hire more than 10 employees! Therefore, it will save you precious time and resources if you can rely on a trusted outside party to carry out any relevant assessments on your behalf, such as a professional recruitment agency.
  6. Communicating with candidates
    Even when you are recruiting for one role, communicating with potential candidates can take up a lot of your team’s time. However, a lack of communication could result in the loss of a valuable candidate, so it is important to make sure you have this area covered. When it comes to recruiting large volumes of staff, individual communication becomes nearly impossible. Unless you have a big HR/Personnel team, most businesses tend to outsource large-scale recruitment for this very reason. At HSL, we act as a liaison between our clients and candidates to avoid time-consuming, ‘tennis style’ communications.
  7. Making an employment offer
    When you are recruiting large pools of staff for more industrial roles, you will need a smooth process to confirm every job offer with each individual candidate. This includes contacting candidates to confirm salaries, any perks or benefits, and then issuing each person with an employee contract including holiday allowance, etc. You may find it easier to use a recruitment partner to manage the whole process on your behalf.
  8. IT systems and technology training
    Do you have any specific software systems or bespoke technology within your business that staff will need to be trained to use? This could include warehousing systems, factory machinery, and clocking systems. For example, at HSL, we use a system called Clock-rite, which we consider to be a highly effective time and attendance system.
  9. Briefing and Health & Safety
    Before your new employees begin working for you, it’s important to create a thorough brief of what’s expected of them when they start. It’s really important to include Health & Safety policies and procedures within any briefing documents, especially if your staff will be working in an industrial environment, such as warehousing or factory settings. Obviously, your Health & Safety guidance will be site specific, so make sure you cover any high-risk areas. Get in touch if you need any advice on this.
  10. Ongoing monitoring and management of staff
    Once your new employees have started, it’s essential that you set up regular monitoring processes. This should start with a full induction including a Health & Safety briefing, as well as advising staff of any Appointed First Aiders. Depending on the nature of your business, you may decide that you need to set up weekly or monthly briefings/meetings to keep staff up-to-date and to monitor their progress. At HSL, we provide a dedicated consultant for each of our clients to monitor employees, and this includes regular site visits.

To conclude, outsourcing high volume recruitment will save your organisation precious time, money and resources. Always choose a trusted recruitment agency to help you recuit large volumes of staff - bad employees could cause serious issues, disrupt your business operations and seriously damage your reputation.

At HSL, we do all the hard work on your behalf when it comes to high volume recruitment. We offer specialist Onsite Solutions, which include managing the entire recruitment process on your behalf - from candidate checks and assessments to inductions, training, staff briefings, timesheet collation, and even KPI reporting. For more information, please contact us today.

Feb 18 : Does Your Workforce Have the Right to Work in the UK?

As an employer, when you take on a new member of staff, do you know whether they have the right to work in the UK? Are you sure you have carried out the right immigration checks? Whether you’re an employer with a large workforce or a small company, this is a huge concern for any business. There are severe penalties for non-compliance with immigration checks.

If you are found to have employees who do not have the right to work in the UK, you could be fined up to £20,000 for each illegal worker or imprisoned for 5 years. Can your business afford this risk? We strongly advise that all staff are fully checked BEFORE they join your workforce.

Passports and ID cards: real or fake?

Forged passports and ID cards are becoming more sophisticated year on year, which means being able to spot fake documents is an increasingly challenging task. As a business, it’s vital your personnel are fully up to date with government guidance. What’s more, your employee checks need to be highly effective and secure to protect your business interests, as well as your reputation.

Stay compliant and avoid prosecution

At HSL, we are the only local recruitment agency to be able to offer immigration compliant workforce checks aligned to Home Office guidance. We use a system called uAuthenticate, which allows us to check and authorise over 3,000 types of identity documents. This gives you full peace of mind when it comes to the immigration status of your employees.

  • Instantly check whether employees have the right to work in the UK
  • Authenticate identity documents using a global database
  • Monitor employee immigration status and give warnings
  • Stay fully compliant with Home Office guidance
  • Avoid hefty fines and imprisonment

For more details, please watch our uAuthenticate video below:

Do you need to run checks for your workforce?


We work with many large firms across a wide range of industry sectors including logistics, automotive and engineering. When you use our recruitment services, your candidates’ immigration status will be checked using the uAuthenticate system, free of charge.

However, if you are just looking to check whether your employees have the right to work in the UK, we can help. We have three options available for our immigration checking service:

  • £25 per person
  • £20 for 50 people
  • £15 for 100 people or more

Our immigration checking service ensures you are compliant with the Immigration & Asylum Act 1999, Prevention of Illegal Working and the Immigration Acts of 2014/16, as well as the Equality Act 2010 to protect your business against any potential accusations of racial and cultural discrimination. The uAuthenticate system is continually updated in line with any changes to legislation and Home Office guidance.

If you’re worried about whether your employees have the right to work in the UK, please do not delay, contact us today! We would be happy to talk through your concerns and can offer checks for individuals or for your entire workforce. For more details on our recruitment services, please visit our Employers page.




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