Ricky Martin - what to do during the coronavirus pandemic

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic means uncertain times ahead for all of us. Many individuals are already seeking new jobs as a result of COVID-19's arrival in the UK, and businesses of all sizes - including recruitment companies - are fighting to stay afloat.

Whether you're a jobseeker, an employer looking for new staff, or a recruiter wondering how to respond to this crisis, we hope that these videos from HRS founder Ricky Martin will help you through this unprecedented period of turbulence.


Coronavirus tips for jobseekers

Even though we're in uncharted territory right now, you don't have to put the brakes on your job search. In this video, Ricky shares his 3 top tips for maximising your chances of securing a new role.

  • Be patient. The current situation may mean that the recruitment process takes a little longer than usual right now. Just because you haven't heard anything yet doesn't necessarily mean you're out of the running.

  • Be positive. A positive attitude makes a huge difference when you're looking for a new job. It may be difficult to smile right now, given everything that's going on, but rest assured that your positivity will come across in job interviews (even if those interviews are conducted by phone or over the Internet).

  • Be proactive. While you're waiting to hear back from an application, don't rest on your laurels - continue applying for positions, practise answering some common interview questions, and talk to your recruiter to find other ways to keep your job search moving forward.


Tips for hiring new staff during the COVID-19 pandemic

This is a challenging time for business owners, and now may not seem like the best time to take on new employees. But suspending your recruitment process entirely will have negative consequences in the long term. In this video, Ricky offers his advice for hiring new staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Don't pull the plug. If you cease recruitment now, you will only fall behind the competitors who are still snapping up talented new starters. And that means you'll be at a disadvantage when things start to pick up again.

  • Get creative. You may have to adjust your established recruitment process in order to keep things going right now, but this is a great chance for you to try something different and maybe even find a better way of doing things.

  • Stay positive. Whether you're speaking to potential employees, colleagues in the office, or even your own friends and family members, it's important to maintain a sunny outlook and be a positive ambassador for your company.


Tips and advice for recruiters

If, like us, you work in recruitment, you may be feeling a little bit anxious at the moment. What's the best way to keep things moving right now? What can we do to help our clients - jobseekers and employers alike - to weather this storm? And how can we be ready for when the market recovers?

In this video, Ricky offers his answers to the above questions. It's a must-watch for all recruitment consultants!

The key points for recruiters are:

  • Add value. Keep talking to your clients throughout this crisis and make sure you're offering helpful advice (e.g. helping them transition to video or telephone interviews) and adding value to their experience wherever you can.

  • Remain positive. Nobody asked for this pandemic, but it's important for us recruiters to be positive right now as this will instill confidence in the businesses and the jobseekers who rely on us. We have a great opportunity to make things better for people and to help them through this challenging time - don't shy away from that opportunity!

  • Be prepared. The coronavirus crisis will evenutally pass, and the market will recover. Putting a bit of investment in now will make sure you're in pole position to take advantage of that upswing when it does arrive.


COVID-19 tips for employers: conducting remote interviews

With the UK government currently telling us to stay at home, many businesses are now using phone calls and video conferencing software to interview new talent.

If you're new to remote interviews, the prospect may seem a little bit daunting, but don't worry - help is at hand. Here are Ricky Martin's tips for telephone interviews:

And if you're preparing for a video interview, here is Ricky's advice for you:


Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Another big side effect of this coronavirus outbreak is that lots of workers are now working at home instead of going to the office every day. In this video, Ricky shares his advice for staying productive while working from home:

Looking for more home working tips? Be sure to read our recent blog post How to Work from Home: 10 Tips to Keep You Productive.

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For more videos on hiring, interviewing, writing CVs, and making the most of every working day, visit www.recruiterricky.com today!

Ricky Martin's top 5 tips for working from home

Most of us have found ourselves in the position of having to work from home. For many this will be a new experience. So how do you get the best out of your day, maximise what you are doing and optimise performance while you’re working from home? Here are my five top tips to help.

1. Get up, shower and get changed.

It might sound crazy but it’s really important to put yourself in your normal mindset of work. Set your alarm like you normally would, have a shower and get changed into fresh clothes. There’s no need to be in your full work attire, but don’t stay in your pyjamas, it won’t get you motivated or set for your day. Another positive, you won’t need to commute, saving time. So get up, have your coffee/tea, have your breakfast, get ready and get going.

2. Have dedicated work space.

It’s important to decide on a suitable workspace. If you keep it clean and minimised from distractions, you’ll create the perfect working zone. If you can, ensure it’s bright with plenty of light so you don’t feel too closed in. If your room has a lock, use it and put a sign on the door saying you’re working. It will mean if you have other members in your household, they will have to knock before they come in and disturb you. Keeping the door shut is also a great way to keep pets out.

3. Avoid social media

Unless you’re working in a role which involves social media - avoid it! The more we look at our socials, the more we will become distracted from what we’re actually meant to be doing. I would advise logging out of accounts, Because logging in is a pain, as we don’t always remember the passwords, it will make it harder to log back in. Another good idea to stop pointless browsing, is using an incognito search when you’re searching new web pages. This is an internet browser setting that prevents browsing history and windows you’ve opened before, thus saving more of your precious time.

4. Structure your day

If you don’t make a plan, you will allow yourself to lose concentration and you won’t get the most out of your day. Here are some suggestions; make sure you have a start and end time. Keep this consistent with your normal work pattern. Take your lunch break at the time you normally would. It’s really important to plan some extra breaks throughout your day. When you’re in the office you probably get up and make a hot drink every so often and speak to your colleagues by the water cooler. So make sure you fit those into your day. Set alarms if you need to. When you take a break, make sure you get away from your desk, go into another area of your home, like the living room, maybe watch TV. When you come back to your desk you will feel refreshed and ready to get going again.

5. Have regular people interactions

It can be lonely working from home, especially if this is the first experience. Take advantage of all the great technology that’s available. This could be Microsoft Teams, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype. Speak to your colleagues, have those conversations, pick up your phone and talk. That interaction will make you feel less isolated and lonely.

Good luck to anyone working from home. You might just find you actually get more done! Enjoy!

Watch my YouTube video for more useful tips 

Unemployment can be an extremely stressful experience. Panic is a perfectly natural response to being made redundant, but instead of throwing yourself straight into the hunt for a new job, it may be useful to pause for a moment, take a breath, and consider your options.

Perhaps you've heard that old factoid about how the Chinese word for 'crisis' can also mean 'opportunity'. This isn't really true, but it's a good way of looking at things: losing your job is a crisis, but a brief period of unemployment can also be a great opportunity to change your career trajectory and get closer to achieving your life goals.

To help you make the most of that opportunity, here are ten unemployment tips from the team here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions.


6 Things to Do While You're Unemployed

  1. Apply for JSA. Hopefully it won't be long before you find a rewarding new role, but it's important to keep some money coming in until then. If you live in the UK, you may be able to claim Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) to help tide you over until you get a new job - visit gov.uk for more information.

  2. Consider temporary / contract work. If JSA isn't enough to cover your cost of living, temp jobs can be a useful stopgap while you're looking for something more permanent. Get in touch with a temp agency and find out what sort of work is currently available. Contracting with HRS >

  3. Think about what you want from your working life. What do you want your career to look like? A period of unemployment is the perfect time to change the path you're on and start making progress towards your goals. Whether you want to win awards for your work or just make enough money to live comfortably, be sure to keep those dreams in mind as you consider your next move.

  4. Polish up your CV. If you're going to be applying for jobs, the first thing to do is look at your CV and make sure a) that it's up to date, and b) that it does your talents justice. For help with improving your CV, visit our CV Tips & Advice page.

  5. Get interview-ready. That smashing CV of yours will hopefully make lots of employers eager to get to know you, so make sure you're prepared for a job interview! Rehearse some common interview questions with a friend or family member, and ask them to make up a few questions of their own to keep you on your toes. You should also make sure you look the part: get a haircut if you need one, and keep your smartest clothes on standby just in case you hear from a potential employer.

  6. Don't fall out of routine. If you don't currently have a job to get up for, you may be tempted to fall into bad habits: sleeping in late, staying up until the wee small hours, keeping your pyjamas on all day, and so on. To keep yourself in a productive, work-ready frame of mind, we recommend sticking to a daily routine as much as possible - see our working from home productivity tips for more information.

If you are looking for a new job right now, Hyper Recruitment Solutions can help! We have a huge variety of scientific vacancies listed on our website - click here to browse and apply online.

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Woman working from home

Working from home wasn't exactly unheard of before the coronavirus pandemic, but if you were accustomed to leaving your work at the office, the recent shift to remote working probably came as a bit of a shock to your system.

With governments around the world still struggling to halt the spread of COVID-19, a large chunk of the global workforce is likely to be working from home for the foreseeable future. So let's brush up on a few do's and don'ts!


Challenges of Working from Home

If working from home has never previously been an option for you, the proposition might sound too good to be true: no morning commute, no meetings, no need to worry about ironing your shirt. A welcome relief from the stress of the office environment.

But home working comes with many unique challenges of its own. Depending on the type of work you do, you may find that:

  • It's difficult to focus on work when you're at home and surrounded by distractions

  • You work less effectively when you don't have access to certain pieces of software / equipment

  • The people you live with - as much as you love them - don't make ideal work colleagues

  • You get bored and lonely without any co-workers around

  • It's far too easy to fall into unhealthy habits

But don't fret. It's perfectly possible to work from home - even for an extended period of time - and continue to put in an outstanding performance every single day, just like you always do.

If you're working from home right now and it's proving harder than you expected, here are ten top tips from the team here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions...


1. Get dressed.

The opportunity to stay in your pyjamas all day can seem like a great perk of working from home, but as any seasoned stay-at-home grafter will tell you, it's actually quite difficult to get into a productive, professional state of mind when you're still wearing the clothes you slept in.

Wear comfortable clothes, by all means - there's no need to put on a suit if nobody's going to see it - but changing out of your PJs and generally making yourself look presentable (that means showering, shaving, etc.) will go a long way to helping you maintain your normal work rate.


2. Stick to a consistent routine.

Moving your work from the office to the home is always disruptive - the trick is to minimise that disruption. Stick to your normal routine as much as you possibly can: continue going to bed and getting up at the usual times, have breakfast before you start work, and so forth. The more you deviate from your usual routine, the harder you'll find it to sustain your usual productivity.

Of course, some things will have to change, but try to incorporate those changes into a new routine that you can adhere to until you're back in the office. For example, if you usually start the day with a team meeting, conduct that meeting via Zoom instead.


3. Shut out distractions.

Your home is probably where you keep all of your favourite things, and even when you've got a lot of work to do, it can be difficult to ignore the call of your games consoles, books, box sets, musical instruments, or whatever it is you tend to reach for when you're hanging around the house.

So willpower is critical when you're working from home. If you can't resist the temptation to play with your phone or watch TV, move those things to a different room so they're out of your reach during office hours. If you can't stop checking Twitter or Instagram, consider changing your password to something that's hard to remember. Put as many barriers as possible between you and those productivity-poisoning distractions!

And speaking of distractions...


4. Manage your contact with those around you.

If you live alone - or if the people you live with aren't home during the day - then you can skip this one. But if you're going to be working from home while your housemates or loved ones are also pottering about, it's important to lay out some ground rules right from the start.

This might mean asking them (nicely) to leave you alone during work hours, or at least keeping their fascinating conversation topics to themselves until you break for lunch. This can be an awkward conversation, especially if you're telling your children to keep out of the way, but interpersonal interruptions will do you no favours while you're trying your best to work.


5. Find a working space that works for you.

Working from home can be tricky if you don't have a dedicated workspace in your house or flat. The kitchen table can be a good substitute for a desk, but don't be afraid to try a variety of different places to find the location that's most suited to your productivity.

READ MORE: How to Set Up Your Workspace

Four words of advice, though: don't work from bed! Everything we said about staying in your pyjamas all day goes double for staying in bed, plus it's far better for your posture to work in a place where you can sit up straight.


6. Stay in touch with the team.

Isolating yourself from your co-workers can be a depressing experience (or not, depending on what you think of your co-workers), but just because you're not in the same room doesn't mean you can't stay in the loop.

While you're working from home, try to keep up the chatter via email or instant messages. Make sure every member of the team has a rough idea of what their colleagues are doing, and this will help to keep everyone singing in harmony even while separated from one other.


7. Don't let work bleed into your downtime...

Just because you're working from home doesn't mean you no longer have a right to free time and privacy. Stick to your usual working hours. Don't answer emails or work-related calls in the evening if you wouldn't normally be expected to do so. And make time to relax!


8. ...but don't let your downtime bleed into your work, either!

Of course, tip number seven goes both ways. During the times when you would normally be in the office, it's your responsibility to stay focused and conduct yourself in a professional manner. Try to keep a clearly-defined boundary between your office hours and your private time, and don't let activities from one side cross into the other.


9. Ask your employer for the things you need.

If your job is reliant on a specific piece of software or a line of communication with another department, your boss should strive to ensure that these things remain available to you. Don't let your employer tell you that you have to produce the same quantity and quality of work as usual if they're unwilling to meet you halfway.

That being said, you won't get anything you don't ask for, so don't be afraid to send your boss a polite email containing a list of everything you'll need to work effectively at home.


10. Stay healthy!

As we mentioned earlier, it's easy to fall into unhealthy habits when you're no longer leaving the house for work every day. There are kitchen cupboards to raid, comfy chairs to spend all day slouching in, and no co-workers around to pressure you into getting up and making a round of coffees. If you usually walk to work, that might be quite a bit of exercise you're no longer getting.

All of which means you may have to make an extra effort to stay healthy during this period. So, some final tips:

  • Make time for regular exercise, even if you're self-isolating and can't go outdoors

  • Be mindful of your posture - sit up straight!

  • Try not to stay remain seated for more than an hour at a time

  • Stay hydrated

  • Look after yourself both physically and mentally

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Last updated 27 January 2021

Online job interview

A number of recruiters are using online interviews to find new staff during the coronavirus outbreak, the BBC has reported.

As a social distancing measure, a number of businesses have asked their employees to work from home and are beginning to use online interviews as a way of meeting potential hires. Taking up less time, online interviews are becoming a vital life-line for recruiters who still want to find staff during this pandemic.

Allowing for less travel and less face-to-face contact, these online interviews will not only help to slow the spread of COVID-19, they also appear to be more convenient for employers and prospective employees alike. While they may be missing out on some of the benefits of a traditional in-person meeting, could it be possible that they are trial-running what interviews of the future may look like?

COVID-19 Tips for Jobseekers & Recruiters


What will job interviews look like in the future?

By utilising modern technology, it's easier than ever for recruiters to reach out and conduct interviews with candidates. It's said that online interviews take up less time, so it may be beneficial for businesses to stick with this style of hiring even after the present pandemic. By eliminating the need for travel, video interviews may also reduce pollution and CO2 emissions, making them an attractive option for eco-conscious businesses.

The BBC report also mentions how much easier headhunting has become under the current conditions. With more people working from home instead of spending all day in meetings, it's easier for headhunters to reach applicants and offer them interviews and positions. Instead of waiting for candidates to respond to their emails or voicemails, recruiters now have a better chance of reaching them with a single phone call.

While many people will be looking forward to the end of social distancing, recruitment companies may be able to learn a lot from the measures we've adopted during this period. It will be interesting to see if video interviews make things fairer for candidates who live far away and/or have medical issues that would make it difficult to attend a traditional interview.

We're in uncharted territory right now, and as scary as it is, it will be exciting to see how recruiters can adapt and create new hiring solutions. It's important to take the lessons we learn in difficult times and move them forward into the future - and who knows what the future of science recruitment might look like?

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