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Job Interview – The follow up

With employers interviewing multiple candidates for one position it is important that candidates interviewing make a great first impression but that first impression is just as important as the follow up after your interview.

The interview is complete, you felt it went well and you are keen on securing the position so what do you do now. We have included a quick template for you to send to the employer, following your interview.

If you would like further tips then get in touch with one of our consultants, we would love to support you on your journey in securing your dream role.

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Key signs it’s time to look for a new job!

It happens to all of us, and we are all entitled to an off day at work but what’s the difference between one of those off days to a mere sign you need to start looking for a new job!

  1. You complain about your work:

You often find yourself complaining about work to either colleagues, friends, or family. When you talk about work there seems to be more negatives than positives. If you are finding it hard to feel positive about work in general and feel you constantly need to let of steam or complain then perhaps its a sign to look for pastures new.

  • Those Monday Blues:

We all have them; you have just had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend then reality hits and its back to work for another week. Everyone experiences this from time to time but if you are dreading going in to work each Monday and you feel anxious about the prospect of going to work each week then maybe it is something more than those Monday Blues.

  • The challenge:

Everyone needs to be kept motivated in their job role, its that motivation that makes us ensure we do a fantastic job but what if that is lacking and simply you find you are not being challenged enough. If you are finding the position boring or find yourself twiddling your fingers a lot throughout the day perhaps a new challenge is in order.

  • The almighty career ladder:

Are you wanting to build on your career, build your skillset and gain more experience and feel you have learnt everything you possibly can in your current position? Maybe progression is on the cards, but what if there is no progression in your current job. Lack of progression or lack of a clear path to your career goals could mean its time to switch up and change.

  • Company Struggles:

You love your job and your colleagues and you enjoy going in to work each morning, but the news your employer is financially struggling. It is one of those catch 22 moments, on one hand you absolutely love your job but on the other having job security is majorly important to you. Weighing up the options on this one is a must but if job security is at the top, then maybe jumping ahead of the game and looking for a new job before redundancies kick in may be on the cards.

There could be many reasons and signs which say its time to move on and jump ship but if this is something you are unsure on then, speaking to a local agency could help. An agency can assist talking you through the current job market, help you with your CV and assist you in applying for jobs ultimately giving you more options.

Agencies can also assist with negotiating new employment contracts for you and supporting you through handing in your notice, being an ear to listen to and offer advice when needed.

If you would like support in finding a new job or want to test the waters, then have a chat with one of our friendly and confident consultants here and Direct Response and see how we can help.

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The Perfect Interview

In today’s highly competitive job market, facing an interview is more vital than ever. The difference between landing your dream job and returning to the drawing board often lies in your ability to navigate the interview process effectively. But what does the perfect interview look like?

1. Preparation is Key

In the context of an interview, preparation is not merely about researching the company or the role but understanding how your skills, experience, and personality align with the company’s values and job requirements.

Research the Company: Understand their mission, values, culture, and recent accomplishments. This will help you tailor your responses to show how you can contribute to their goals.

Understand the Role: Analise the job description thoroughly. Identify the key skills required and prepare examples from your past experiences that demonstrate these skills.

Prepare Your Questions: Asking thoughtful questions reflects your genuine interest in the role and the company.

2. First Impressions Matter

Your arrival time, attire, and initial greeting can set the tone for the rest of the interview.

Arrive Early: Aim to arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time.

Dress Appropriately: Research the company culture and dress accordingly. When in doubt, err on the side of formality.

Be Polite and Positive: Begin with a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, and don’t forget to smile.

3. Mastering the Art of Communication

The perfect interview isn’t just about answering questions correctly; it’s about communicating effectively.

Listen Actively: Before responding, ensure you understand the question. If unsure, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Answer Concisely: Provide clear, concise, and structured responses. Use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to frame your answers.

Show Enthusiasm: Your passion for the role and the industry should be evident in your responses.

4. Be Yourself

Remember, the interview is not just about assessing your skills and experience. It’s also about seeing if you’re a cultural fit for the company.

Show Authenticity: Be honest about your experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. Authenticity resonates with interviewers.

Showcase Your Personality: Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Companies value diverse teams with unique perspectives.

5. The Follow-up

The perfect interview doesn’t end when you walk out of the room.

Follow Up: If you haven’t heard back within the stipulated time, don’t hesitate to follow up with the recruiter.

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Anti Slavery Week

Anti-Slavery Day takes place every year on the 18 October. Anti-Slavery Day is part of Anti-Slavery week, a UK and European awareness week, which this year runs from 16 – 22 October 2023.

In 2010, an Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom introduced a national day to raise awareness of the need to eradicate all forms of slavery, human trafficking and exploitation. Today, we continue to raise awareness of these issues, highlighting good practice.

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Rolled Up’ Holiday Pay:

An Administrative Convenience or Legal Risk?


While the concept of ‘rolled-up’ holiday pay may seem perplexing, it still holds considerable relevance in today’s UK employment market. The idea revolves around including an employee’s holiday pay in their regular wage, rather than paying it separately when they take their annual leave.

This approach is often associated with flexibility and simplicity, particularly for contract or part-time workers. However, it’s not without its controversies and legal implications, thus necessitating a comprehensive understanding. Our aim in this article is to shed light on the concept of rolled-up holiday pay, its benefits, drawbacks, and its place in the contemporary UK market.

How does rolled up holiday pay function?

“Rolled-up Holiday Pay” is a practice where businesses encompass holiday pay within the regular pay of their workers, instead of disbursing it when the employees take their actual leave.

Despite the ruling in the Robinson-Steele v PD Retail Services case [2006] by the European Court of Justice, the practice of ‘rolled up’ holiday pay still endures in the UK market. The Court stipulates that payment for holidays should be made when the actual holidays are taken, technically rendering ‘rolled up’ holiday pay impermissible.

This ruling was instituted to ensure that workers are not dissuaded from taking their rightful time off due to concerns over finances. The continuation of ‘rolled up’ holiday pay, however, indicates a nuanced situation wherein the practicalities of the working world and the legislative guidelines seem to diverge.

The common critique against the usage of rolled up holiday pay is that it creates a financial disincentive for workers to take their rightful holidays, given they are not being compensated directly during their time off. The European Court encouraged EU member states to take decisive action to terminate this practice. Despite this exhortation, the UK government has yet to promulgate legislation expressly prohibiting the use of rolled up holiday pay.

However, in non-statutory guidance, the government has asserted that any contractual arrangements involving rolled up holiday pay should be subject to renegotiation. This demonstrates the ongoing tension between efforts to ensure fair compensation for workers and the practical considerations of payroll management.

Why is it still in use?

Businesses that employ casual and/or zero-hour contract workers often prefer to use the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system. The primary reason is convenience. The calculation of a flexible worker’s holiday leave entitlement, along with the corresponding pay, can be a complex and time-consuming administrative task. 

This complexity is amplified by the fluid nature of casual and zero-hour contracts, where work hours can fluctuate significantly from week to week. Furthermore, considering annual leave can create complications when scheduling work rotas. By incorporating holiday pay within the standard pay, businesses find a streamlined solution that circumvents these challenges, despite the potential legal ambiguities involved.

What risks do employers face when utilizing rolled up holiday pay?

Employers who choose to implement ‘rolled up’ holiday pay run the risk of potential double payment. If a worker is able to effectively demonstrate that the structure of their pay has discouraged them from taking their legally entitled holidays, they might be eligible for ‘just and equitable’ remuneration. Consequently, the employer could end up compensating the worker twice for the same holiday period – once within the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay and a second time as a compensatory measure.

An additional implication could be that workers are allowed to defer their holiday entitlement to the subsequent holiday year. If these workers then decide to leave the organisation, they retain the right to demand a payout in lieu of their unused holiday time upon termination of their contract. Hence, while ‘rolled up’ holiday pay may initially appear to streamline administrative processes, it also poses considerable monetary risks for employers.

Additionally, for workers with irregular hours, the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system may not always equate to an accurate reflection of their holiday pay entitlement. Factors such as fluctuations in their work hours can lead to miscalculations, resulting in either insufficient or excessive payment. This inconsistency can bring about the risk of claims against the business for unlawful deductions of wages. If a worker believes they have been underpaid, they may choose to take legal action, further complicating the scenario for the employer. 

On the flip side, if the worker has been overpaid due to inaccuracies in the ‘rolled up’ pay calculation, it creates a financial burden on the business. This highlights yet another risk factor employers must consider when opting to use the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system.

What are the necessary steps for businesses implementing rolled up holiday pay?

For businesses choosing to implement the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system, transparency and clear communication with their workforce is paramount. An initial step in this direction would entail introducing the usage of rolled up holiday pay as part of the recruitment process. Prospective employees should be made aware of this practice from the onset, and written confirmation must be obtained from them indicating their understanding and acceptance of this payment model.

It is essential to emphasize here that, while workers can choose to accept their holiday pay being rolled up into their standard pay, they retain the right to opt for paid annual leave at any point in the future. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that, as per the European Court of Justice, workers cannot completely waive their holiday pay rights. No matter the pay structure in place, these rights remain inviolable and mandatory, thereby ensuring that workers are not disadvantaged in any way.

In essence, while the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system may provide administrative convenience for employers, its use necessitates open dialogue and mutual agreement with employees to avoid misinterpretation, ensure compliance with the law, and maintain industrial harmony.

As a crucial step towards transparency, employers using the ‘rolled up’ holiday pay system must ensure that payslips issued to workers clearly distinguish between holiday pay and basic pay. This distinction is not merely for clarity’s sake; it is a legal requirement for employers to provide itemised payslips. The payslip should explicitly break down the payment, stating the specific amount attributed to basic pay and the sum designated as holiday pay.

This practice helps to avoid any confusion or disputes regarding payment, enabling workers to fully comprehend their compensation structure. Moreover, it allows for better tracking and validation of whether the holiday pay component aligns accurately with an employee’s entitlement based on their working hours. It is, therefore, paramount for businesses to incorporate this step into their payroll process, ensuring a more transparent and just system.

Lastly, under no circumstances should businesses prevent workers from taking their annual leave. In fact, businesses should ideally adopt a proactive approach in encouraging their flexible staff members to take their holidays. The significance of this cannot be overstated. Holidays are an essential part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance; they provide workers with the opportunity to rest, recharge, and return to work with renewed vigor. As such, businesses must foster a culture that promotes and values time off.

This could involve periodically reminding workers of their remaining holiday entitlement, or perhaps even implementing a system that highlights upcoming periods of lower workload, when taking leave could be most beneficial. Ultimately, the aim should be to create a supportive environment where workers feel comfortable taking their earned leave without fear of repercussion or negative impact on their job security.

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The Recruitment Struggle

It has been reported today with surveying of businesses across the UK that a whooping 76% of UK companies are struggling to hire new staff.

Recruitment being a hot topic in the news at the moment with 3 in 4 companies struggling to recruit and retain staff which is a massive number and with the market still being candidate led, what can companies do to attract and retain staff.

Years back candidates went where the money was but now we are finding although having a great salary and benefits, company culture is what is important, staff stay or go where they feel most valued and respected.

So what can you implement in your business to ensure you attract and train your staff?


Culture is everything and ensuring staff feel happy, valued and respected within the business and amongst colleagues is key, so what can you do to ensure your staff are happy within the work place. Having open door policies, staff want to be able to address and raise concerns without feeling penalised, likewise they want to ensure they can share ideas and thoughts openly and feel they are being listened too. Offering staff flexibility, work life balance and not to feel micro managed. Having team events / team building exercise and most importantly, have a work hard play hard culture, get the job done but ensure staff can laugh and enjoy along the way.

Salary and Benefits:

Of course this one will be up there in key ways to attract and retain staff and its a pretty simple one to navigate, having an attractive salary within a job role of course will attract candidates to the role. Go above the average for that role, pay staff their value along with additional incentives such as increased holiday entitlement, discounted perks, life style benefits, bonuses and ensure these are regularly reviewed. You will be surprised the return you will get from an employee when you pay they what they deserve with additional incentives.

The Recruitment Process:

So you have had a lot of candidates apply for the job role, don’t wait around to short list as good candidates won’t stay on the market for long, so get interviews lined up in your diary. There is nothing worst to candidates than a lengthy and drawn out recruitment process, if you are taking a long time to get back to candidates or having a extremely long interview process such as multiple interviews / tests and so on, it can put candidates off. a one or two stage interview process we thinks works well in keeping candidates engaged, anything longer than this, you may risk loosing candidates interest.

If you want to have a chat with one of our friendly consultants who can work with you in offering advice on ways to improve candidate attraction and retention then get in touch today.

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3 ways a Recruitment Agency can support your business!

3 Ways a Recruitment Agency can support your business.

When it comes to recruitment and hiring it can often become a stressful and time-consuming process with some businesses not knowing where to start or simply not having enough time to sift through applications, arrange interviews and ultimately find the right person for the job.

This is where an agency comes in, an agency will work with you in finding out exactly what you need in terms of candidate skills, experience and personality fit. Taking the stress away from the recruitment process and freeing up your time to focus on your business.

Here are just 3 ways a recruitment agency can add value to your business.

Candidate Attraction – giving you access to a higher pool of candidates.

Direct Response will manage the whole process on attracting candidates for your job role. We will create an eye-catching job description, showcase what you have to offer and advertise these across a wide range of job boards and social media channels ensuring your job is seen by those looking for new opportunities.

At Direct Response we all have established a large database of candidates over the years meaning we have access to candidates who may not be active on the job market but could have the skills you are looking for, giving us a greater pool of candidates to approach on your behalf.

We Manage the process for you.

Having to sift through a large number of applications can be time consuming, but here at Direct Response we will handle all that for you. We will manage all applications and short list candidates who are suitable for the role. We will pre-screen all candidates, discussing the role in detail, salary expectations and so on before sending all suitable candidates over to you attached with a CV and profile detailing their suitability for the role.

Once you have selected which candidates you would like to interview, we will manage the interview process for you, scheduling and assisting with the all-important interviews.

Offer, Rejection and Negotiation.

So, you have found a candidate you would love to join your business and its time to make an offer, we will support your business in making that all important job offer.

Direct Response will assist with the whole offer, negotiating salary, carrying out references checks and supporting with the onboarding process of your new recruit.

We will also ensure any candidates you have been declined during your recruitment process   are informed within a polite manner so you can concentrate on what you do best within your company.

If you would like to find out more about how Direct Response can support your business, then get in touch with us today to see how we can help.

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Mental Health in the workplace.

World Mental Health Day At Direct Response

Mental health can affect us all at different times in our lives and with work being here we spend a lot of our time during the working week, its important that employers and colleagues alike to be able to support those who may be experiencing mental health in the workplace.

Its important that your employees are aware they can come to you should they be struggling or generally just need some time out or someone to talk to and it’s an employer’s job to ensure you have that open door policy to allow employees to do this.

However not everyone feels comfortable when it comes to talking about their feelings or asking for help, so how do we recognise if someone is struggling within the workplace.

Is you employee / colleague struggling with mental health and what are the tell tell signs to look out for.

  • Isolating themselves from other workers and being very quiet or not talkative. Now there are some people who generally are just not that talkative but if an employee or colleague who was once very talkative and social becomes distance and starts isolating themselves from how they normally behave it could be a sign they are going through some troubles.  
  • Having increased absences from work.
  • A person may become more aggressive and suffer from increased mood swings.
  • Having difficulty concentrating at work and no motivation to complete tasks.

Sometimes it can be easy t spot a change in someone’s behaviour or if someone is perhaps not in a good mood, we can pick these up easily but there are times where people who may be struggling and out on a go mask so to speak.

Which brings me on to what can we do in the workplace to encourage mental health awareness and what support can you provide?

  • Encourage employees to talk, ensure employees know you are there for them to discuss any problems they may be facing and ensure they feel welcomed in being able to express any feelings.
  • Have regular one to one’s with employees, it’s a great way to build a bound with employees, find out how they are getting on in the workplace and gives them the opportunity to express themselves to you.
  • Encouraging mental health support within the workplace such as mental health awareness training or workshops or having dedicated trained individuals or councillors or mental health champions being available, so employees know where to turn if they need that extra support.
  • Respect confidentiality. Remember mental health information is confidential and sensitive. Don’t pass on information unnecessarily – not least because this breach of trust could negatively impact someone’s mental health.
  • Offer flexibility or a free space employees can go to and take some take away from the workplace to have a breather and gather their thoughts.
  • Offer a 24/7 employee assistant program, which is an outside service which employees can access for a range of advice or support.

It is important to remember that an employee who is struggling can feel vulnerable or may be embarrassed to ask for help, so its important to raise as much awareness within the workplace.

Create a supportive and open environment and ensure mental health is not frowned upon and that your door is always open.

If you would like to take a look further about what training or work shops surrounding mental health which may health your organisation, then check out the links below.

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Is it all about the Salary?

Is it all about the Salary?       

The ball is very much in the candidate’s court at the moment as we are in a candidate driven market, so you may be wondering what you can do to keep current staff engaged and attract new talent?

There once was a time where it was very much all about the salary, candidates went where the money was and even though this is still high on a candidates list, there is so much more to it.

With the ever-changing market, working from home and the increase in the desire to have that work life balance, candidates are looking at the overall package as opposed to what they would take home at the end of the month.

So, what exactly are candidates wanting and view as high or musts on their check list when looking for a new position?

We have asked the question and created a list of what candidates have said are important when looking at their next role.

Number one on the list…… Flexibility!   

Work life balance is key and what was the norm a few years back, working 5 days a week 9-5 has changed, having that flexibility is a must, especially when it comes to the working family.

So what flexibility are they looking for?

Working 4 days a week.

Having school hours or the flexibility to start a bit later or finish early.

Early finish on a Friday.

The flexibility to work from home if they have the technology / capacity to do so.

For the working parent having a company that is understanding when it comes to childcare, such as doing the school run, having time off if the child is poorly or generally being flexible with working around school holidays, school performances is a real must.

If it has been a while since you looked at how the company views flexible working, it may be worth having a look at what your company can do to support your workers.

Company Culture:

That’s second on the list. What is your company culture like? Do you have an open-door policy? Are employees made to feel they can express feelings / ideas and do you offer a friendly working environment?

The last thing you want is an employee that dreads coming in to work, so what can you do to build that team spirit and ensure employees are happy?

Listening is key, try not to micromanage and let employees have the freedom to complete their job knowing they have support if needed.

Create team building exercises, make the office / workspace fun and have a laugh while you work. Yes, get the job done but nobody wants to work in strict environment.

We spend a lot of time with our colleagues so having a team which feels friendly and supportive makes employees enjoy being in work.


Here it is, Salary! Third on the list as being the most important when looking for a new opportunity.

Candidates need to feel they are being paid what they are worth and offering a fair salary for the job is just as important as the other added additional benefits.

There are a number of points that companies can do to make sure they are remaining competitive.

  • Regular bench marking, have a look at what your competitors are paying.
  • Regular salary reviews, if a candidate is doing well then why not show appreciation and offer that pay rise.
  • Bonuses and commission, is this something you could offer employees?

At the end of the day, if an employee feels valued they will go the extra mile and productivity is key with business performance.

Holiday Entitlement

Fourth on the list is Holiday entitlement, a lot of companies are still offering the standard 28 days (Normally 20 days plus 8 bank holidays) holiday, which is the minimal legal entitlement. So, can this be classed as a benefit when you are offering the standard, as let’s face it, legally you have to give this amount to candidates, so where is the added benefit?

While most companies will offer an increase with years of service, perhaps it is worth looking at offering an increased entitlement from the very beginning of the candidate staring work.

Having enhanced holiday, is a must for companies to look into, along with some companies offering the option to also buy or sell additional holiday.

Additional Benefits:

We have also listed some additional benefits below which may make the package a little sweeter for your employees.

  • Enhanced pension contributions.
  • Health Insurance / Free Gym membership.
  • Discounts on products / vouchers / money off on the high street / perk box.
  • Rewards for service / performance such as money, holiday vouchers etc.
  • Training and Development.
  • Enhancing skills and qualifications with paid courses.

So, whilst salary is an important factor when a candidates employee looks at another job or is considering leaving, Employers need to be looking at the whole benefit package.

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How to Register with an Agency

 The job market is changing. According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS)*, job vacancies are reaching record highs.

With employers recruiting again following the impact of COVID-19, many employers are leaving the recruitment process in the hands of the recruitment agencies. This means it is a great time to register with a recruitment agency so that you’re first in line to hear about a new job.

Direct Response Employment Services is your local recruitment agency, finding the right people for the right jobs in Wiltshire, somerset and nationally. We recruit for permanent and temporary positions from warehouse, production, and industrial, transport and office and technical jobs.

With lots of people realising that recruitment agencies are the best way of job searching, how can you make sure that you are the first person that springs to mind for a recruiter?

The key is in a successful registration.

 A registration with Direct Response Employment services includes a 45-minute appointment with one of our friendly Recruitment Consultants. We also need some necessary details to be able to help you on your job search like your personal details, ID check and GDPR form so that we’re complying with our legal requirements. It doesn’t take long to complete online.

This is an opportunity for us to meet you face to face and have an informal conversation with you. This enables us to get a better feel for the types of jobs and employers that would be the best fit for you and your interests and skills. We are looking for the right person for our clients and a job for you that you will be happy in.