Tag: Leadership

  1. Four Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned as a Recruiter

    I established my own search agency over 20 years ago and over the course of my career, I’ve encountered a multitude of experiences that have shaped my approach and taught me invaluable lessons. Here are four key takeaways that have significantly influenced my journey as a recruiter, that I hope will be of interest:

    1. Communication is Key

    One of the most fundamental lessons I’ve learned is the importance of effective communication throughout the recruitment process. From initial outreach to final negotiations, clear and timely communication is essential for fostering positive relationships with candidates and clients alike. Whether it’s providing feedback after interviews, managing expectations regarding job roles, or simply keeping candidates informed about the status of their application, transparent communication builds trust and credibility. Moreover, active listening plays a crucial role in understanding the needs and aspirations of both candidates and hiring managers. This allows you to tailor your approach accordingly and ensure alignment between all parties involved.

    1. Adapt but Focus

    The recruitment landscape is constantly evolving, driven by technological advancements, shifting market trends, and changing candidate expectations. As a recruiter, adaptability is not just a desirable trait but a necessity. Embracing new tools and methodologies, staying updated on industry best practices, and being willing to pivot strategies in response to emerging challenges are all critical aspects of staying ahead in the game. But be smart, not all new techniques and technologies are all they are cracked up to be and some may well have little impact on your ability to achieve your goals. Don’t always believe the hype – evaluate what will increase your effectivity and enable you to deliver better results. Don’t be afraid to dismiss products and new technology which will have little or no impact on your success.

    1. Build Meaningful Relationships

    Recruitment is not just about recruiting; it’s about connecting with people and making a positive impact on their lives and careers. Building meaningful relationships with candidates and clients goes beyond the transactional aspects of the job; it’s about understanding their goals, motivations, and aspirations on a deeper level. Taking the time to cultivate genuine connections will foster long-term partnerships built on mutual respect and trust. Commit to working with people that value you and what you do, and this will help you achieve a high success rate.

    Furthermore, maintaining a strong network of professionals within the industry not only expands opportunities for sourcing top talent but also facilitates knowledge-sharing and collaboration, enriching your own growth.

    Keep in mind that your relationships are with people and not necessarily with organisations. Always treat your candidates as customers – they could turn out to be your next client.

    1. Know your value and don’t be afraid to walk away

    There will be times when hiring managers or candidates don’t value you and what you do.  These are unlikely to be people you can help so it’s better to walk away.

    Don’t work on roles you are not confident that you can successfully appoint to. Why would you? It’s a waste of everybody’s time and effort and will ultimately damage your reputation and affect your ability to achieve a high success rate.

    Make sure you trust the client and ensure they are serious about the recruitment process. I’ve had the occasional experience of being asked to work on a role when it was obvious it wasn’t going to work; either because the client already had a candidate in mind or were struggling as an organisation and so would be difficult to work with as a recruiter.  Always ask yourself, is this is a suitable opportunity with a suitable organisation that I should recommend to my candidates?

    Stay true to your principles and focus on how you can increase your success rate getting as close to 100% as you can.

  2. Are your employees struggling with mental health and work?

    Panic attack in public placeMental health in the workplace has been given a lot of airtime in recent years, and rightly so. Each year more than 300,000 people lose their jobs due to mental health issues when the right intervention at the right time could have helped them thrive. Mental health and work is something that employers need to take extremely seriously for the wellbeing of their staff and business.

    For years the stigma around mental health was a barrier to it being addressed in the workplace. But this is changing. Recent research has found that 88% of employers and 87% of employees agree that it is OK not to feel OK at work.

    However, people still prefer to discuss mental health issues with people outside of work than to bring it up with their employer. This raises the question about why and how you can help employees struggling with their mental health.

    A government report into mental health has given business owners plenty of guidance on how to address this, making wellbeing at work even less of a taboo topic.

    Here’s some of the actions employers can take from this report in order to make their workplace more supportive and understanding:


    Employees with mental health issues will be much happier about discussing them if there is already a culture of openness within your organisation. Hearing senior managers discussing mental health in a positive way and pointing people to the support available will make them feel more comfortable about talking about their own feelings.

    Work-life balance

    Offering a range of flexible working options and even making it known that it’s OK to take time off when your mental health requires it, will help to create a positive working environment for your staff.

    Line manager training

    Make sure your senior staff meet regularly with their teams, offering one-to-ones and annual appraisals as well as an open door policy for those who need to speak ad hoc. They should also be able to identify when someone is showing signs of stress and know how your company can help.

    Employee Assistance Programme

    As an employer, you should be able to offer in-house or external support to your employees in the form of counselling and advice on a wide range of work and personal issues. These could be problems at home, a relationship on the rocks the worry of retirement or debt – all common life occurrences that can adversely effect mental health. 

    Being aware of your employees’ mental health issues will help your staff remain in work and well, increase their productivity and reduce presenteeism. It’s also an important recruitment and retention tool for top performing staff and will make you a more desirable employer.

    Ocean Edge offers recruitment consultancy services to the affordable housing sector. We have teams in London and Southampton who are ready to help you recruit to your organisation. Contact us at Ocean Edge by calling 023 8000 1153 or emailing info@oceanedge.biz

  3. How to create excellent working relationships with your team

    Staff looking happy at workDid you know that half of people quit their jobs because they have a poor working relationship with their boss? You don’t need to be everyone’s best friend, but you don’t want to lose stars from within your business by taking your eye of what’s important to them.

    If you want to avoid being the reason why your best employees quit, then here’s how to keep them onside:


    Speak with your team and the individuals within in it regularly. This might be through team meetings, one-to-ones or ad hoc events to update everyone on things happening within the business.

    The more available you are for your team the less likely they are to bottle up issues or feel isolated from the management of the organisation.

    Foster skills

    No-one wants a job where they feel their skills are being overlooked. This breeds unhappiness and dissatisfaction, which could lead to good employees looking elsewhere.

    Play to your team’s strengths; create new roles where staff can focus on what they do best and then use this to your business’ advantage.

    Recognise and manage personality clashes

    People feel more satisfied at work if they have at least one friend among their coworkers. On the flip side, if there is one person making their life a misery it could be reason enough to quit.

    Keep a look out for personality clashes within your team and work with these individuals to manage their relationship. Getting human resources involved at the right time will help to give a neutral and balanced view on how the relationship can be mended.

    Empower your staff

    You will feel the benefits of a trusting work relationship if you give your team the freedom to suggest new projects and decide how they are going to work, whether that’s flexibly or from home.

    Staff will work harder when they are empowered to make their own decisions. And they will have more respect for you as their boss.


    Don’t let good work go unrecognised. Giving praise and reward where it is due is not just a motivator for the individual concerned, but also for the whole team. Staff are less likely to move on if they know their efforts are appreciated in their current job.

    If you take maintaining the talent in your business seriously, then also read our blog post about the ways to retain top employees.

    Are you an employer in the affordable housing sector? Ocean Edge can help you grow your team. We have offices in Southampton and London offering recruitment consultancy services.

    For more information about how we can support your organisation get in contact: call 023 8000 1153 or email info@oceanedge.biz.

  4. The best ways to motivate your team

    Group of people making star shape with their fingersIt’s common for an individual’s motivation to crash at some point during their career. This could be for a number of work-related or personal reasons. A good manager needs to be on the look out for low motivation within their team and know how to reignite work place happiness in the interests of their staff and business.

    The benefits of having a happy, motivated team are many. Motivated staff are more engaged, productive and valuable team members. But when it comes to finding the best ways to motivate your team they may not be what you’d expect.

    Happiness vs pleasure

    A pay rise might be the first thing that comes to mind when you are thinking of ways to motivate your team. However, the chances are this will provide a short-lived boost before motivation dwindles again.

    It’s important for you to understand the difference between happiness and pleasure when you are trying to motivate staff to work towards a shared goal.

    Happiness is a state of mind – it cannot be bought like pleasure. The downside of trying to motivate your team with pleasurable things – such as money, gifts and treats – is that the feelings these spark are fleeting and will not breed long-term happiness.

    So what will bring your team happiness and make them more motivated to work with you to build your business? Here’s where to focus:

    Good leadership

    Be a good leader by sharing your vision for the team and making sure everyone knows how they contribute to the business’ overall success.

    Empower your staff

    Share control of business decisions with your team and empower them to shape their own work schedule. This might involve flexible or home working to create a better work-life balance.

    Also, encourage your team to stop thinking about work in their personal time, like at lunch or the weekend. This will make them more productive, accurate and motivated in the normal working day.

    Job security

    Give your team reason to feel secure in their jobs. Share your organisation’s business plans, how it is investing in the future and the positive impact this will have for staff.

    The opportunity to grow

    Your staff will feel motivated to stretch themselves if there are opportunities to grow within your business. This may involve training to help them master their role or the opportunity to take a step up within the business.

    Read more about how to retain top performers and develop leaders within your business.

    Motivating your team

    To sum up, the best ways to motivate your team are strongly aligned with investing in their long-term happiness. Quick fixes may generate a momentary buzz, but are unlikely to keep your staff performing at their peak.

    Ocean Edge offers recruitment consultancy services to the affordable housing sector. We have teams in London and Southampton who are ready to help you recruit to your organisation. Contact us at Ocean Edge by calling 023 8000 1153 or emailing info@oceanedge.biz.

  5. How to develop future leaders in your business

    Team brainstorming in meeting - future leadersGood leadership makes for successful organisations. This is because well led employees are more motivated and productive. They deal better with change and are more likely to be satisfied in their roles. So when a gap appears in your leadership team how can you develop future leaders to help move your business forward?

    There is no doubt that some people are more naturally predisposed to leadership roles – they seem to have what it takes to be a leader. You may have spotted these people in your business already.

    But it is also possible to create leaders within your organisation with the right investment. Here’s how:

    Lead from the front

    Leadership starts at the top and filters down. An organisation that has clear objectives and a strong ethos delivered by a dynamic senior management team is far more likely to create leaders from within.   

    Identify potential

    It’s important to recognise individuals who have a natural aptitude for inspiring others to get things done. These are the future leaders of your organisation.

    Carry out annual appraisals, recognise those who go above and beyond their job specification, and reward this behaviour. This will motivate your high performing staff and keep them loyal until the ideal leadership opportunity becomes available.

    Understand and harness different leadership styles

    There are many leadership styles. Some leaders work well in a crisis; others to achieve long term aims. When identifying potential leadership talent it’s worth remembering two different approaches can work equally well. Having leaders with range of different styles can enhance an organisation.

    Set up mentoring

    Having identified those with potential, it’s important to invest time in them to prepare them for increasing levels of responsibility. Providing a mentor – a role model who has already succeeded – may provide the support and motivation they need to take on larger challenges.

    Coaching them and monitoring their goals will also provide a road map to guide the potential leader along their journey.

    Invest and develop

    Leadership skills can be learnt. There are a huge range of courses and training opportunities that can be explored, such as task-based leadership activity days, mindfulness and personality awareness, and even academic study.

    Talk to the future leaders in your organisation to see what type of development they would prefer and which they think would be of benefit to their team. Investing in their potential at the right time will help you retain your top staff.

    Provide challenges and take calculated risks

    Leaders flourish in difficult situations. Be sure to empower them to make decisions and trust their abilities, allowing them to achieve their own successes. There may be a big project coming up in your business that needs someone to spearhead it – this is the ideal opportunity for a developing leader to step up.

    Ultimately they will become the mentors and role models for the next generation of leaders in your organisation.

    Find out how a specialist recruitment agency can help you find the best employees to grow your business.

    Ocean Edge offers recruitment consultancy services to the affordable housing sector. For more information about how we can support your organisation with external and internal recruitment get in contact: call 023 8000 1153 or email info@oceanedge.biz.