Tips for Job Seekers Right Now

Here Colin Doree, Managing Consultant in our Marketing division shares his market insights and thoughts on looking for a new position as we move through these uncharted waters. They are relevant outside the marketing sector too. If you’re searching for a new job during this pandemic this is worth a watch.

He’s covered a few topics including:

  • Uplift on application rates and what we’re seeing in general 
  • How firms are hiring right now
  • Job boards – things to be mindful of to ensure you’re not wasting your time – plus a couple of boards he’d recommend having a look at
  • The ATS system, and short cutting the process to improve your chances when applying to end brands

It was his first ever vlog so please excuse the amateur nature!

The Recruitment Industry needs to change… (part 2)

If you’ve not already seen part 1, I’d encourage you to take a look as it will join up the dots with what you’re about to read.

How can a recruiter help right now?

Those who will be successful are those able to adapt.

If you’re an agency recruiter, selling what you did last week, month or year isn’t going to be effective. In fact, it’s probably insulting. You’ve got to be more considered, empathetic and looking at where your network of clients and candidates can help each other. Pre-empting need, not reacting to it.

Talk to and understand your client concerns and challenges, and if you know people who can help, look to do them a favour. Now is not the time to look for the quick win, or just chase the money. People are hurting and it’s important to understand what you do right now will be reflected upon later. So if you act badly, you’ll be remembered that way.

The challenge for many, in particular those working for or with big businesses, is how recruitment has evolved in recent years. There’s become too many layers between the recruiter and decision makers (or people with the pain).

In the past, you had conversations with decision makers all the way through a hiring process and maintained that contact even when they weren’t hiring. You built a relationship and got to understand and could pre-empt their need because of this. These days that’s becoming more and more rare, should you actually be on a firm’s PSL (supplier list).

Now, you can often be more nimble and solution focused if you’re NOT on that company’s PSL. As once you are, you’re often signed up to non-solicitation clauses which prohibits you from being pro-active on behalf of that business. Some even prohibit the ability to speak with a hiring manager, as the talent acquisition team want to be able to control the narrative and flow of information.

As such, being the job seeker, you may find you’re able to get better support from agencies who don’t have the market cornered with all the big PSL’s. As those agencies will be bound by those non-solicitation clauses, and so tied into only playing the reactive shape sorting game I mentioned in the previous post.

What if you’re an In-house recruiter?

In-house TA’s might be sitting on the sofa flicking through Netflix right now as they don’t have any live requirements. However, most get visibility of company ambitions and plans and can directly speak with C-Suite stakeholders. So they could (and probably should) be using this time to identify and engage with future talent. Or doing pro-active work based on knowing what pain their business has going on.

Keeping a close eye on the market, speaking with competitor talent to understand what steps they might be taking, and even speaking to people in firms your employer perhaps aspire to be like, see what they might be doing differently.

There’s also a lot to be gleamed by looking at competitor vacancies. As you could get the inside track on a path of investment or transformation a competitor might be about to embark on, or urgent projects they’re trying to get off the ground.

Speak to agency partners to understand what they’re seeing and hearing in the market (we’re talking to lots of people and firms all day long anyway). Utilise this information and take it back to your own leadership teams as insight to help your firm strategise and adapt.

Some examples, be you an employer, job seeker or in-house recruiter:

How other firms, who are continuing to hire, are adapting to the new norm of video screening and conferencing, as well as handle their onboarding and engagement of new people who might never have even seen an office – in particular we’ve seen digital businesses who have adapted quickly to this, even traditionally corporate pharma firms too.

Recruiters and/or job seekers – Find those who are struggling with change. Identify the cause and consider what can we do as recruiters to bring them the people they need who can help them adapt and do this at pace – for example a traditional law firm who haven’t invested in digital transformation (and there’s a few out there).

Where demand is still present – and there is – how can you adapt your approach to engage those markets? E.g. online gaming and gambling (like bingo, poker, casino) who are seeing an upsurge in customer spend and responding by increasing their media spend, looking to take advantage of the stay-at-home audience who want entertainment – what can you offer a firm like this, either as a recruiter or candidate, to appeal to them or help bring them a solution?

What are companies doing with their existing, under-utilised resource, re-allocating it to be useful in these challenging periods. For example:

  • Using analytics teams to study the impact of remote working on productivity and delivering the right customer outcomes in customer service functions.
  • HR projects to look at processes to support the long-term impacts of remote working on morale, a sense of being part of the company, the impact on culture and company beliefs – especially if you’re with a firm who are now considering the long-term potential benefits of a remote workforce
  • Moving acquisition marketing teams to support customer marketing teams, rather than needing to hire in contract resource to deliver customer communications at pace at a time of crisis
  • Helping to move vulnerable and non-tech savvy customers online so they can continue to transact and not be cut off – e.g. online banking

What to take from this

What we’re experiencing now is just a pause button moment. A moment’s breath in an all too hectic life lived at breakneck speed. A chance to reflect and reinvent. Globally, this sparked as a health crisis, not a financial one. It’s important to remember that.

There’s going to be casualties, but many aren’t because of Covid-19.

The Reinvention of Everything

There’s a theory surrounding the ‘reinvention of everything’. How Cassette were replaced by CD, CD replaced by iTunes, and how iTunes is being replaced by Spotify.

How VHS was replaced by DVD, replaced by Blu-Ray, replaced by Netflix.

More recently, BrightHouse being pushed out by Klarna.

This moment could be the opportunity for all involved in a recruitment environment to re-invent either themselves, or the industry.

For employers

  • To re-shape their organisations and approach to engaging future talent. If remote working works, do they need so many offices? Can they engage people from farther afield and trust good people to deliver good work without needing to be tied to any proprietary location?
  • Can they save a fortune on fully remote customer service operations with what they’re learning and applying now?
  • This is their chance to reinvent their services (or at least update them). Many a traditional multi-channel firm has been challenged with trying to become more ‘digital first’, experiencing resistance from customers. Maybe now’s the right moment to be bold and push this agenda forward at pace. When the world doesn’t have a choice but to transact digitally, and likely will have the time to get used to operating that way too
  • If you’re a remote service tech firm, how can you re-package your solution to be risk free and attractive to those scared by change? (like the law firm example) Maybe change the service model to reduce client risk? Make it free to companies of a smaller size and pay as you use model?

Job seekers

  • Think about what you do and how you do it could be a solution to a particular type of business. So if you’ve been in digital transformation and helped a business engage with the digital economy, how might you identify those firms challenged right now and package yourself up as a solution to this? E.g. the law firm, who are forcing their people to still come to offices because they’re either frightened of just don’t have the knowledge in how to adapt… how can you help them? One thing’s for sure, if you keep trying to sell yourself as something people won’t or can’t buy right now it’s not going to be effective.
  • If you’re on a furlough, how about volunteering your services to firms who are struggling to adapt, or need support putting in place strategies for when this is all over. If your firm doesn’t need you right now, it’s best to keep sharp and be pro-active about things by continuing to apply your trade to firms who could use the support to get through. You’ll be doing good, helping others to keep their jobs at the back end of this and keeping busy. There’s only so much Netflix or Disney+ one person can handle.
  • Use this time to up-skill and train. To come back from this stronger and more valuable to an employer. There’s a number of providers giving free learning over this time, including KEITS – Keeping Excellence in Training Standards & Open University

Talent Acquisition Teams

  • Engage future talent to suit the ambitions of your firm. Step in to support HR colleagues with projects they may need to undertake at pace as your business adapts to supporting people remotely.
  • Engage your recruitment partners, stop seeing them as competition or CV factories. Recognise the broader value they may bring with insight to support them and their business. Encourage more pro-active working practices. We’re not here just to fill holes when they appear with suitably shaped blocks. We have a broader knowledge and value you can tap into. We can, if you’ll let us, help you look good too.


  • Those who want to survive will need to break with the past and put down the shape sorting game. Speak with people and companies, find out where their pain is and bring them pro-active solutions.
  • Learn from those firms you’re speaking with who have adapted quickly and those thriving, share those ideas, help others to overcome. Make the ‘Consultant’ in your job title mean something again!
  • Don’t go in with the hard sell. No-ones going to buy that right now and will think you’re a dick.
  • Don’t lie… We’ve only been at this for a few weeks, you’re not an expert in remote working. Sure, you’ve spoken with firms who potentially are, so be transparent in what advice you’re offering, and appreciate what suits one business may not suit another. Don’t do the classic recruiter thing of trying to run before you can walk and sell ‘consultancy’ on something you don’t fully understand yet. Stick to what you’re good at, but be empathetic with people.
  • Reengage with the community lost through layers of bureaucracy. Those people are all at home right now. What you do in the coming weeks and months will set out the kind of recruiter you want to be for future years. So, be someone good, someone useful and above all, don’t be a dick!

Here to help

Agencies like are still here and we’re keen to help where we can. So don’t discount us from your search process.

Even if there’s fewer live vacancies right now, we can advise, give ideas and knowledge share, much like these blog posts have been designed to do.

But if there’s something you would like further insight on. Or if there’s elements I’ve not delved deeply enough into for you. Please leave a comment below, or email me at

In the meantime, be safe and be kind.

The Recruitment Industry needs to change…(part 1)

This is a 2 piece blog, spelling out the challenges before the recruitment industry in its current state (part 1). Then some ideas on how the industry as a whole (internal, agency or job seeker) can find opportunity and adapt in these challenging times (part 2).

Recruitment is Broken

There’s no doubt from the comments and information I’ve seen these past couple of weeks, the recruitment industry like most, is reeling from the global impact of Covid-19. It’s highlighted just how fragile so many industries can be and just how quick things can go from good to (frankly) shit!

Many recruiters were likely sitting on fantastic pipelines and hoping for a brilliant year. Only to have it all stopped when this epidemic really took hold and we all had to act fast.

There’s also many who have unfortunately lost their jobs or been put on furlough because their firms don’t expect the situation to change soon.

But this post isn’t to talk about that. It’s instead to highlight and explore what recruitment, as an ecosystem, could do to help each other out in a time of crisis, like we have now.

The Game

Putting the current climate aside, the recruitment industry model for most agencies, is becoming a law of diminishing returns. A race to the bottom driven by a perception of utility service with little differentiation. Hence why so many new client prospect conversations begin with, and principally focus on, ‘the fee’.

Not the quality of the service, the knowledge of the consultant, evidence of past successes. No, just ‘how much is your fee?’ and if that’s acceptable, the conversation will continue.

The challenge is amplified by its transactional nature, as recruitment typically translates to the early learning game of shape sorting.

This is because it’s a client led model. The client already has the realised and recognised need and so engages the recruiter to fill said need. It’s almost 100% reactive. With tight specs and strict requirements on candidates’ experience.

Indeed, if I, as an agency partner were to think outside the box and bring a round peg for a square hole, I’d run the risk of being chastised for not following the brief. Even when I could evidence and justify why a round peg maybe better suited to the client problem at hand.

This restrictive and reactive nature is further amplified by the evolution of the client/agency relationship.

Past vs Present

In the 2008/9 economic crisis, recruitment was a little different. LinkedIn wasn’t as widely adopted as it is now and the in-house recruiter (TA) role was very much in its infancy.

MSPs (Managed service providers) were the big thing – for those not in the industry, these are recruitment agencies who provide on-site resource to manage a firms’ recruitment needs.

But it was certainly easier to have conversations and maintain relationships with decision makers because not everyone had an MSP. But it seems even the newest start-ups get a TA (Talent Acquisition) onboard early doors and the TA’s control the process and communications with the agencies. They also have a business objective to reduce agency spend and usage by utilising the tools out there like LinkedIn to direct attract.

So as an agency recruiter myself, whilst it used to be ‘we’ve got a PSL’ as the No1 objection I’d hear when prospecting for business; recruiters are now more commonly getting ‘we’re hiring that direct only. No agencies!’

But outside of these supply chain challenges, the issues we all face because of Covid-19 is the locking up of recruitment, even by firms not economically affected by the pandemic, as they look to assess and adjust strategies where necessary.

Grieving Process

The system is in a state of shock and acting cautiously about what next steps to take. Even those still hiring are treading carefully, recognising this is all still very new and they need to understand the bigger picture impacts (should there be any) to them.

What we’ve experienced seems to align to the stages of grief:

  • 1. Denial – “this won’t affect us, it’s not going to be that big” (I think we can agree we’re all past this)
  • 2. Anger – “this is going to be huge, it’s going to affect us so badly, what the heck is going on?” (most are either in this phase right now, trying to make sense of things. Others have moved to stage 3)
  • 3. Bargaining – “what are we going to lose, what are we going to keep?” – this is where those making redundancies are sitting, and those reflecting on their current position so have paused hiring
  • 4. Depression – Those who remain will potentially be feeling a sense of survivors syndrome as they convalesce on what was. What’s important is just how long individuals, teams and companies spend in this phase which will determine the path to recovery.
  • 5. Testing – this is an extension to the Kubler-Ross Model on the stages of grief, however this stage will happen as people and companies understand how to facilitate change.
  • 6. Acceptance – new plans get drawn up. Companies begin to look to the future and consider how the new norm has opportunity ahead of it. This is where opportunity is taken up, investment happens and the shoots of recovery will be found. The quicker firms can get here the better.

How do you get to acceptance quickly which inevitably will lead to areas of opportunity, and how can you play your part – be that as a recruiter, in-house TA or job seeker?

I’ll be sharing some ideas on that in part 2.

Here to Help

Agencies like Blue Pelican, are still here and we’re keen to help where we can. So don’t discount us from your search process.

Even if there’s fewer live vacancies right now, we can advise, give ideas and knowledge share, much like these blog posts have been designed to do.

But if there’s something you would like further insight on. Or if there’s elements I’ve not delved deeply enough into for you. Please leave a comment below, or email me at

In the meantime, be safe and be kind.

Interviewing, Sadistic Bosses & Putting the Employer Under the Spotlight

Practice makes prepared

Interviewing is hard work. It’s something, for most, we don’t practice often. Even those used to interviewing and hiring others every day will find it hard once the spotlight is pointed in their direction.

Being able to second guess what kind of questions, based on the role being interviewed for, will help a little. But you can never get it 100% right and there’s always a curveball to look out for. Like a brain teaser designed to make you think and show you can work through an unexpected problem.

Outside of the initial meet and greet, or screening interview. There’s 2 main forms used by businesses. They either look to measure Behavioural and Potential, or Experience and Evidence based. With the latter being the most popular.

These are typically under the form of competency based interviews.

The Experience and Evidence based interview asks you to provide evidence from your past to show how you have faced and handled similar challenges or issues. If you’re interested in learning about some examples of these types of questions, you can find them here.

Competency questions are designed to put you on the spot to reflect and consider your experience; drawing just one example to meet the brief, and do so in a pressurised environment.

It can be really hard, especially if you’ve not interviewed for a while, getting suitable and powerful examples to spring to mind, and to provide a variety of these to demonstrate depth of experience too is important.

This is why practice is so crucial.

Consider in reflection, some of the things you’ve achieved in your career. What challenges did you have to overcome? How did you do them?

At the time, many of the things you did could have been subconscious or instinctive. Or indeed, just natural to have done something that way. So they fall to the back of the mind and not reflected on critically, or in much detail.

However an interview forces you to become conscious of those subconscious actions, and to walk them through in a structured format, so someone not in your shoes understands what you did, and why.

Be a S.T.A.R.(L)

The typical best practice model to answer any question is to follow S.T.A.R.(L):

  • Situation – describe succinctly the issue at hand. Don’t be too verbose, it just needs to be one or two sentences long.
  • Task – This is the part where you make it clear exactly where you fitted in to the situation, and the specifics of the responsibilities you held.
  • Action – Now it’s time to explain what you actually did and why. Don’t be vague, showcase your contribution properly so the picture is clear to the interviewer.
  • Result – Time to shine, show the difference you made. Again, be specific.
  • Learning – This goes beyond the traditional model. But sometimes S.T.A.R. answers could have negative results, or outcomes you recognise could be improved upon. So you could explain what you learned and how you might apply this in future to achieve a better outcome.

Signs of a sadistic or narcissistic boss

The Brain Teaser

These evil little questions arise, and despite Silicon Valley giants like Google dropping them a number of years ago, there are firms out there who still love to throw in these curve balls. Often under the guise of wanting to “see how people think”, a study by the US Journal of Applied Psychology in 2018 showed these forms of questions were often preferred by hiring managers who also demonstrated sadistic or narcissistic personality tropes.

It’s been proven numerous times the ability to answer these types of questions doesn’t coincide with their ability to do a job well.

They can, however, show an insight to people’s general awareness, as without it sometimes you can’t answer these at all well. Especially with the limited amount of data provided in the questions themselves.

Take this example:

How much money does the London Eye make on average a day?

To approach answering it you’re going to have to make a lot of reasonable assumptions, which will connect with some element of commercial awareness, but unless you’ve seen or been on it, and have at least a basic understanding of Merlin’s business model (the owner), you’re going to come unstuck very quickly.

For example, if you’re not familiar with the, you will probably consider:

  • Opening hours/days
  • How many pods there are
  • How many people per pod
  • Hourly rotation
  • Seasonal variations on visitor numbers
  • Price of a ticket and maybe family discounts

But if you knew the venue and Merlin’s packages, and indeed business, you may also throw in:

  • Broader pricing and offer structure (since they sell stand alone, in advance, on the day and via package deals)
  • Merlin Entertainment’s annual passholder programme – and the fact most can go free, or for a £1 pre-booking fee per person
  • Corporate entertainment sell through rates, costs, etc.
  • Special events, e.g. weddings, fireworks
  • Fixed and variable costs – power, staff, maintenance, taxes, etc.

There’s more, but this gives a starting point to the idea of trying to give a rounded answer….

The trouble is, most will likely consider the first 5 points. Limited by their own knowledge of the venue and Merlin. It’s not their fault they don’t know the unknowns. But they will be penalised by not knowing more, as they can’t show really out of the box thinking.

The question is also ambiguous. It asks how much money is made, not just ticket sales. So you may need to include costs to give a rounded answer. Many people will forget this.

Interviewing – Throwing the spotlight on the employer

Of course, most feel the interview process is all about putting you under a microscope and deciding whether you’re the best cog to fit their machine.

But it is a two way street, and right now, we’re seeing very revealing evidence which shows some employers who would have been choice picks for people just a month or so ago, are now places people might want to think harder about whether to keep them on that pedestal.

There’s examples arising in this pandemic of employers who have spent decades building this external image of being the ultimate ‘employee centric’ operations, only to have immediately hung their staff out to dry, just as soon as the first challenges arose.

Then there’s others who have an untenable positions in front of them, yet have gone beyond the pale to retain staff on full pay. Despite areas of their business not being able to operate what may end up being months.

So consider asking a few questions of your next prospective employer, uncover how they really value their staff when the chips are down.

Leave those who turned their backs on their people when they needed them the most. Including those who had mechanisms available (certainly in the UK) to help, such as the Government funded Furlough, yet chose not to engage with them. So those people were left out in the cold at a time when few jobs were available, and indeed, many industries went into hibernation.

So ask questions like:

  • What was the biggest challenge you faced? How did you look to overcome it?
  • What actions and initiatives did you take to protect jobs and your staff during Covid-19?
  • What behaviours did your leadership team demonstrate when they had to make hard decisions?
  • Who challenged your leadership and how did they respond?
  • When did you take those actions? (i.e. immediately, tried to weather the storm, or waited too long)
  • How did you communicate important changes with your employees?
  • What business values did you/your business demonstrate during that period?
  • Did you offer a top-up to the 80% Furlough initiative so your staff could make ends meet?
  • How did you support your staff through those changes and look after their well-being?
  • Aside from those you chose to let go, how many other people left the organisation and did you ask why?

Should there have been a change of leadership since, it will be prudent to ask how they might have approached it differently. Or what planning they’ve put in place since, should another situation like that occur in future.

It will give you a great insight into whether that’s the kind of place you want to be part of, and whether the employer really does value their people.

An Insight into Public Sector recruitment during a Pandemic

Business as usual, kind of… 

Recruiting within Local and Central Government and the NHS can have its complications on a good day. Now we have found ourselves mid pandemic, overflowed with work and not entirely sure where the last 7 weeks have gone.

A lot has changed in the last two months, the Public Sector is still full steam ahead.

A lot of restrictions have been lifted within Public Sector recruitment, which makes the process that bit easier, less red tape and generally more freedom to place candidates without the restrictions of full tendering process and frameworks restrictions.

We personally have found that Central Government is recruiting as normal and adapting very well to remote onboarding. Local Authorities are still recruiting, some roles directly in response to support with the current pandemic, however with what seems to be a slower than usual response/turnaround time.

The biggest organisation which has been affected, as everyone knows, is the NHS.

Remote support

We have many contractors who work across the NHS, in a variety of trusts from frontline IT support staff to remote working Programme Management. Their safety has been paramount for us and something which we have had to monitor very closely as an agency. We have managed this by working with the trusts to ensure that where possible our contractors can work remotely and with regular update calls to check in on their wellbeing, we have addressed any issues quickly.

As for onboarding within the NHS currently, we have been working closely with the Hiring Managers to ensure safety procedures are in place to minimise exposure and remote onboarding where possible.

Increased demand

With increasing demands on the NHS, we have seen an increase in contracting vacancies, particularly for IT support and laptop rollouts to cover the demands which remote working has caused.

We also work across several technical projects and programmes and each Trust has reacted very differently, some have shut down projects and removed the contractors associated with the outstanding projects, to concentrate on other necessities. Whilst others have gone full steam ahead, several in particular with their windows 10 rollout (not overdue at all!).

We have even found several of our contractors are now being offered permanent placements within their trusts which we feel is extremely positive during this uncertain time, for them to be recognised as valuable and trusted members of the team is fantastic. Our contractors have accepted these offers, with the current circumstance that faces the NHS, this shows that the NHS is doing its utmost to look after its people including contractors to make them feel they have a future career in this great organisation. 

Pulling Together

On the flip side, we have found a vast number of private-sector contractors approach us to do pro bono work within the NHS to support where they can. This is fantastic to see, never have we seen so much generosity and the IT community pulling together to support the NHS. It simply is a sight to behold and something which we are grateful to be a part of and make happen.

Overall, we are working hard to simplify recruitment processes (whilst ensuring all compliance is still met) to give the NHS access to the support it needs in short time frames. We are working fully remotely and available out of hours to reflect the current pace of change, with a bank of qualified and vetted contractors across a range of skill sets.

If you’d like assistance with a project please don’t hesitate to get in touch. With existing frameworks already in place we can find you a solution.

Medical graph

Beware the Opportunists

It seems only in times of crisis you get to really see someone’s true colours.

After all, it’s easy to be generous when times are good. To paint the picture of being a saint. But when times get tough and the veil gets lifted you find out the true mettle of a person or company.

There’s a couple of things I’d highlight to any job seeker to be particularly wary of, should this thing we’re all experiencing persist.


Typically positioned as suitably senior enough to draw in people with credibility and track record. The brief will be tight – looking to just a few companies or a specific sector for people to come from. It will, on paper, look amazing and even offer an appealing remuneration and package.

It’s a hook after all, a fake prize in a contest no-one can win.

Sure, businesses claim this kind of thing never happens. But it does, and they’re tricky to spot. Since they usually blend in to the noise of other hiring going on either in market, or in the business itself. Plus, as a recruiter, it’s not unusual to be given a brief looking for specific sector related experience, or even be limited by a client just to people from their own sector.

The give away comes at interview. You may find you’re meeting with some curious people, asking lots of very pointed questions about your current company. About ideas and strategies, pricing and tactics, as well as what plans are in play. Really trying to rinse you for everything they can get.


Then there’s the ‘presentation task’. Either asking for very specific ideas, strategies or ‘how would you approach x problem’ type topics. They’re usually directly applicable to the business you’re interviewing with, or even a business challenge they’re facing.

Sure, it’s relevant to the role you’re interviewing for and plays to your experience – but that’s why they’re meeting you after all.

One such firm, I’ve since parted ways with supplying, asked me only to find CRM people from their sector. Then, following a brief screening call, set interviewees a scenario question related to managing churn within their sector. To come up with new ideas and strategies they could talk through at interview.

The emphasis was on ‘new and innovative’ – i.e. show us something we’ve not thought of ourselves, or share your company’s new ideas.

Suffice to say I was clear with the client I wasn’t happy sharing the topic and asked for a switch. Maybe keeping it relevant but change the company it was about. Certainly don’t make it about them!

It all smelt too much like a fishing expedition and happened to be for a firm who had very publicly been called out in recent years for a lack of innovation in CRM vs their market competitors.

When the topic switch was declined, I shared my concerns with the candidates and each agreed to cancel their interviews and retract candidacy.


There can be nothing worse than spending hours and hours trawling the internet trying to find that hidden gem, or amazing looking vacancy only to find out it’s no longer live.

I’ve shared in a previous post about a couple of sites who seem to be doing the right thing and checking every advert is genuinely going to hire. These are:

Also our own, as we’re having those conversations with businesses before taking the briefs on.

However there are those who don’t. Which I will now example.

Having seen the news Dixons Carphone have seen a 166% increase in sales since lockdown, I was curious to see if they were continuing with some of the hires being made prior to the announcement of closing the Carphone business.

Landing on their careers page, you’re greeted with a clear ‘we’re not’ notice. So that’s that, couldn’t be clearer…

But that doesn’t stop ‘Google for Jobs’ aggregating a third party site who says they are. Over 100 jobs in fact…

The rat you smell becomes immediately apparent, as the first response is for Carphone Warehouse – a business they’re closing.

Then the majority of the rest seem to be retail opportunities – in an environment where all their stores are closed.

Some are for adverts dating back to November 2019 – so 5 months old!

So be cautious of aggregators like Indeed and Google for Jobs. They’re populated principally by automated bots trawling websites to do the leg work. So there’s no quality control. The sites they list aren’t necessarily the reputable ones, and include sites which seem to be reposting old content in an effort to maintain search rankings.


The balance of power will unfortunately shift from job seeker to employer, should this deepen and we sadly say goodbye to more companies who struggle to keep lights on.

The last time this last happened was following the financial crisis.

Many firms in the months which followed saw the balance of power move, and took the opportunity to deflate salaries and benefits for new hires.

It started with just a handful of firms, testing the waters. But when it proved successful, others followed.

It’s an unfortunate situation to realise we may end up with history repeating itself.

I’ve already experienced clients trying to take advantage of a weakness in the recruitment market by trying to reduce rates – that happened too in the financial crisis. But where it’s not warranted and is just opportunistic, I’ve taken the same stance as before and said ‘sorry’ and walked away.

I’d encourage you, if you’re a job seeker to do the same. Should you find a potential employer looking to take similar advantage. Even if it’s tempting to lower your salary just to get a foot in the door. Doing so just means you don’t value yourself and lack the confidence to stand by your years of experience and track record to know, you’re worth it!

That said, if you’re concerned about how the market is shifting. Reach out for advice and speak to recruiters, principally agency ones. As they have the market exposure and are talking to firms all the time. So can give you some advice which will help with how to position yourself and what to expect as the employment market continues to evolve.


We are still here and we’re keen to help where we can. So don’t discount us from your search process.

Even if there’s fewer live vacancies right now, we can advise, give ideas and knowledge share, much like these blog posts have been designed to do.

But if there’s something you would like further insight on. Or if there’s elements I’ve not delved deeply enough into for you. Please leave a comment below, or email me at

In the meantime, stay safe and be kind.

Blue Pelican

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