Category: Blog Post

Vacancies record high, candidates record low

A buoyant UK job market creates a record number of vacancies – it’s in the news everywhere! But where are all the candidates? We hear from our clients and, also companies with their own recruitment teams who normally source direct, that they are really struggling to find quality candidates. They say “We’ve posted the role on Indeed and CV Library, we use to receive 20 plus applications before, and we’ve received only 5 – what is going on? Can you help us please find some quality candidates?”

At SFR Recruitment Solutions we’re hearing this a lot and, you know what, we’re experiencing this too. Candidates seem to be hiding in the sand and, for some reason, not as many people are actively seeking new roles, and are seemingly apathetic towards job change right now.  So, why are available candidates in such low supply at the moment? While the job market is overflowing with opportunity?

What is causing the hiatus in candidates’ job searches?

According to WaveTrackR, it has recorded a downward trajectory in applications in nearly every industry over the past couple of months and the average number of applications per job has been decreasing for 5 consecutive months. 

WaveTrackR explains that jobs are 235% above the 2020 monthly average and leading economists have revised their forecasts now predicting that the UK economy will recover by the end of 2021 – a full year earlier than originally anticipated. The market has picked up across most industries and business confidence is soaring but candidate confidence is not.

Many are hesitant to make a change job whilst there remains uncertainty in the market. There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ still, which is discouraging passive job seekers from considering a move to a new role. This really hits the nail on the head when it comes to explaining the general lull in available candidates – people are just not looking!

Factors driving job move uncertainty right now

There’s still market uncertainty due to covid – infection rates in the UK are soaring again which is a worry for most people as life returns to normal there is an undercurrent of uncertainty. Why throw the stress and uncertainty of a new job into the mix? There’s less need to earn more money – less desire to go on holiday abroad, to buy a new car etc.

More demands on parents at home – pressures of intermittent home-schooling due to periods of isolation associated with school bubbles, parents feel that they cannot rely on school for childcare and are still juggling work and childcare.  

Contentedness – the pandemic has encouraged employers to embrace homeworking; employees have proven their effectiveness at working remotely and most are happy for this to continue. Employees are enjoying a more relaxed and balanced work/home life. It’s a concern that a new job might not allow homeworking.

Loyalty – people feel more loyal towards their employers who supported them during the pandemic, allowed them to work from home and cope with the upheavals of covid life. How do they know a new employer would do the same?

Trapped by furlough – a selection of people is on furlough and are therefore unavailable.

Lack of overseas workers – 1.3 million overseas workers are estimated to have left the UK since the end of 2019

Early retirement – lots of people have chosen to take early retirement and have left the job market.

Industry side-stepping – a number of workers made redundant from industries, that were particularly hard hit by the pandemic, have found jobs in other industries leaving yawning gaps in the ones they left behind.

Retraining and upskilling – many workers who have re-assessed their lives and careers during the pandemic, have been furloughed or made redundant, or have made the decision to retrain. 

How to help regain candidate confidence

Naturally, the best available candidates who are looking for a new role will be drawn towards the best companies who have great reputations, brand recognition and goodwill.

Employers should work on their own PR in order to be seen as an attractive employer, with above average salaries, that has great promotion prospects, offers stable employment and great benefits, always winning new contracts, a friendly place to work that celebrates employees’ achievements, treats people well and has positive employee reviews. Ask yourself: why should people work for your company? What are the real incentives? There are websites where employees can see employers’ reviews such as Glass Door and magazines who rank companies (top 100) based on their financials.

Candidate confidence will be restored overtime. The advice we would give is to focus on being clear in your job advertisements and people specifications. Be very precise on the role and benefits you are offering, including the flexibility you are prepared to offer and your attitude towards home working which is seen as a big perk right now.  By considering homeworking employers are also able to cast their net a lot wider on a national scale capturing more talent.  Use a sector-based recruitment partner to help you find passive job seekers – more about this below.  At SFR we are trusted advisers that are keen to talk to industry talent about their specific career goals and aspirations, so we can carefully match them to future roles.

Why the best candidates aren’t even looking!

The best candidates are the passive job seekers, whom are not actively looking for a new role; they are waiting for the perfect opportunity, albeit unknowingly! These types work hard, earn their bonus, hit their targets, are doing really well in their role, feel respected and appreciated by their employers. It would take an exceptional opportunity to persuade them to consider a move.   

Because ‘passives’ instinctively know the companies they would like to work for but aren’t actively looking – they therefore need to be headhunted. The perfect opportunity needs to be presented to them, on a silver plate with fairy lights – flaunting an attractive opportunity that they simply can’t ignore! A good recruitment partner will take a comprehensive brief from their client and will use their networking skills to uncover the best talent and find the perfect match. Reputation is also important for recruiters in order to attract the best talent the recruiter needs to be well-respected, engender supportiveness during the process and follow ethical recruitment practices.

Finding candidates right now is not impossible, it just takes a lot longer and companies need to be proactive in attracting and finding the best talent.

How to get the most out of using a recruitment partner

At SFR as well as really knowing our sector, we also work closely with our clients, listening to them and taking down a precise brief. Getting the most out of a recruitment partner is all about 3 things:

Detail – make sure your recruitment partner has all the details of the type of person you are looking to attract, don’t be vague– be the opposite – the more thorough the better! Candidates are generally put off when there is an absence of a job description, but also consider if the job specification is too complicated, full of company jargon and excessive responsibilities that can put people off. Don’t forget to mention the benefits of working for your company!

Trust your recruitment partner – allow them to do their job. By using a recruitment partner, you can reach a pool of, otherwise, inaccessible (passive) talent. A good recruitment partner will know what questions to ask you in order to find perfect candidate(s). 

Period of exclusivity – it’s best to give your recruitment partner a period of time to work exclusively on finding you candidates for your role. Choose a partner who has sector experience, already has contacts and positive testimonials.  Going to more than one agency at a time can demonstrate that you’re not committed to the partnership and dilutes the effort; generally lowering the overall success rate.

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we’re employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries. If you are struggling to find candidates right now, why not reach out to us for advice? Similarly, if you are a passive job seeker that is looking for something ‘just right’ it’s worth registering your interest with us so we can be on the lookout for you. 

matthew@sfrrecruitment.co.uk  mobile 07512 602431  www.sfrrecruitment.co.uk 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

This is a tricky interview question to answer!  The reason it feels so difficult is because you do not want to come across to too keen for advancement or not motivated to achieve. In attention to this you don’t have a crystal ball and may, or may not, have considered this depending on your situation and level of ambition.

So, how should you answer?

Our 3 tips to consider when answering this question.

Tip 1

Make sure that you highlight that you strongly believe you will still be with the business in 5 years’ time. Remember that the business must train you up in the role and may have already gone through a lengthy recruitment process. The last thing they want is for someone to leave the business within 12 months of starting.

Tip 2

You could tell them you plan to be fully competent in the role and a highly respected and trusted member of their team.

Tip 3

You could say that in 5 years’ time you hope that you will be able to help train and mentor new starters, as and when they join.  This shows you still plan to be with the company and are willing to share your expertise to help others develop and improve.

Here are our example answers:

In 5 years’ time I plan to be working with you either in the same role or having gained advancement to a higher-level position as a high performing and productive member of the team.

I plan to be a well-respected member of the team and someone that is seen as trustworthy, reliable, and capable of doing a great job on time and to a high standard.

I would also be willing to help train up new members of the team when they join by sharing my knowledge, experience and expertise – if you would like me to do so.

We hope that this advice helps you with this tricky interview question! If you need more advice just reach out to us we’re happy to advise you further.

Preparation, Professionalism and Personality – the 3 things to Remember for Interview Success

So, you’ve got an interview lined up – so what now? Interviews are opportunities that offer great rewards if successful (new jobs can even be life changing) and we often only get one chance to impress! So, you owe it to yourself to give it your best shot!

In this blog, we aim to give tips to job seekers and candidates on achieving job interview success by remembering the 3Ps – Preparation, Professionalism and Personality.

Although interviews are only approximately 30-90 minutes of your life, the pre-interview preparation (while it can feel a bit cringe) is what takes the most time and increases your chance of being successful. 


The first P is Preparation for the interview, which might seem a little daunting but it’s something that will stand you in good stead at the interview because it shows that you are generally interested in the company, and will help you come across as more professional, knowledgeable, and that you understand the job role, and what skills and experience you can bring to it. 

Most first interviews (post-covid) are now conducted over the video call so make sure you prepared – here is our blog on top six video interview tips.  

Check out this brilliant 11 item checklist from Indeed.com on how to prepare for a job interview.

When preparing for an interview – where do you start? Here’s a short summary of the key items that should be on your Preparation Checklist:

  1. Ensure you’ve looked over the job description
  2. Consider why you want the job and why you are the best fit
  3. Research the company to give context to your interview questions, research the role – what is involved? (especially if it’s a new role that you haven’t done before), what are the company’s culture and values? Look at reviews
  4. Develop a bit of an elevator pitch that quickly describes who you are, what you do and what you want. Consider answers to common interview questions more help here from Fish4.
  5. Practice your speaking voice and body language – pay special attention to your smile, handshake and stride
  6. Prepare at least 3 thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer
  7. Conduct mock interviews with friends and family as experiencing the interview situation will help you feel less nervous
  8. Print hard copies of your CV in case they are needed, know your work history and prepare explanations of any gaps or oddities.
  9. Prepare travel arrangements – aim to arrive early and allow for traffic, accidents and finding your way
  10. How will you sell yourself? Be aware of your skills, attributes and achievements.
  11. Prepare to follow-up afterwards – thank you, overview of what really interested you about the role/company, in the final paragraph invite them to ask you additional questions and close by saying you’re looking forward to hearing from them. 

Situation – Task – Action – Result  (STAR)

The STAR model is very useful tool and acronym to use to help keep your answers focused especially when explaining scenario-based answers to demonstrate key competences relevant to the role.  Also, it can help stop waffling and structure your answers, helping you to remember the key points such as: the situation, the task, the action you took and the results achieved.

More about the STAR interview response technique here from balancecareers.com.


Our second P is Professionalism – obvious right? No, many people overlook this so it’s best to swat up on interview etiquette.  Here is a great blog from work.chron.com on professionalism in an interview, which we have summarised below:  

  1. First impression – dress professionally, present yourself well, don’t arrive late, cover up tattoos – the interviewer is more likely to see you as competent and capable
  • Convey self-confidence – good posture, greeting people with a friendly smile, saying thank you, remember you have every right to be there and it’s a two-way process (you are also interviewing them), focus on being calm, natural and confident
  • Show respect – act professional from the moment you arrive (even if on video call), dress smart, no chewing gum, consider your backdrop and tidy your surroundings if your interview is over video call. Never ask about salary at your first interview
  • The small things –polished shoes, ironed shirts, and being well-groomed all shows that you would project a professional image to the company’s clients, and it goes a long way
  • The next step – remember that the interviewer is thinking beyond the 30-90 minutes and will be envisaging you in the job – ensure you speak politely, communicate professionally and show gratitude. 


The third P is Personality, which is what make the interview more engaging, allows you to connect with the interviewer and shows them the real you. Your true character, sense of humour and personal attributes are what can really make you stand out. Job interviews are formal situations and you should always be professional, but try not to be boring and remember showing your personality is welcomed.

The main thing is being yourself and coming across authentic and natural, pleasant to work with, and happy to be just you – this shows confidence.  Don’t let the nerves get the better of you or forget to smile; let your personality shine through, it will make you more memorable. 

Here’s some great pointers from megainterview.com on how to show your personality in an interview and more tips on preparation.  

More advice

The main gist of this blog is that preparation, professionalism and personality are key things to remember when tackling job interviews.  Practice makes perfect, and also makes you feel more relaxed, at ease, and confident. 

If you need support with finding your next job role, or with help with interviews, get in-touch with us at SFR Recruitment Solutions we would be happy to help you. We wish you every success with your next job interview – go smash it!

Why Companies are Increasingly Seeking ‘Attitude and Character’ when Recruiting

We’ve observed lately a significant change in the way companies are undertaking candidate selection during the recruitment process.  We’ve seen an obvious shift in the attributes our clients are seeking when recruiting for new roles, and we wondered whether the pandemic is partially responsible for driving this change in approach when it comes to candidate selection. 

Employers are seeking certain ‘attitudes and characteristics’ to best fit their roles, not just the usual ‘quick-fix’ method (for example someone who has done the exact same job title previously).  Perhaps employers are looking for an injection (no Covid-19 pun intended) of fresh talent and new enthusiasm as an antidote to general post-pandemic ‘return to work’ blues. 

The Definition of Attitude and Character

Attitude.  There are many different attitudes that candidate can process, but what are the most important attitudes to look for? Small Business Chronical defines the top 5 important attitudes as:

  1. Respect for Others
  2. Infectious Enthusiasm About Life
  3. Commitment to the job
  4. Innovative ideas and finding new ways
  5. Helpfulness with others

Character. There are so many characteristics or ‘soft skills’ that a candidate can process.  According to Indeed, these are the top 14 employers are looking for right now

  1. Communication skills
  2. Honesty
  3. Loyalty
  4. Dependability
  5. Teamwork
  6. Flexibility
  7. Self-reliance
  8. Eagerness to learn
  9. Confidence
  10. Work ethic
  11. Determination
  12. Problem-solving skills
  13. Positivity
  14. Ambition

Why are Attitude and Character so Important Right Now?

The pandemic has caused employees to react in different ways perhaps resulting in employers re-evaluating their workforce, it has also fast-tracked digitalisation and caused a demand for new roles. Furlough has brought about change and caused some employees to rethink their careers, explore other opportunities and update their skills, for others it has demotivated them and caused resentment towards their employer and/or a general disinterest in work generally.

During times when attitude to work feels a bit deflated – keenness, a positive attitude towards work, enthusiasm and ‘fire in their belly’ are seen as a clear advantage.  See our blog 12 Months on from the Pandemic which discusses how employers are embracing change and hiring accordingly.

Quick Fix or Fresh?

The dilemma most companies face is should they recruit an experienced person? Someone who demonstrates solid experience, has done a similar role and holds the necessary qualifications – they can ‘hit the ground running’ so to speak, which has its advantages.

Or, do they recruit someone ‘fresh’? When we say ‘fresh’ we do not necessarily mean young, a university leaver or someone new to the sector. Fresh meaning that they may already work in the sector and really like it, however they are ambitious and keen to advance their career or switch role. 

It often boils down to what knowledge or talent a company feels it is lacking and needs to buy-in at the time of recruitment.

Here are some examples:

What is Driving this New Way of Recruiting?

Employers are thinking about the long-term, new skills and adaptability. A typical ‘quick fix’ placement may stay with the company approximately 12 months to 3 years, then move on to another competitor, or prove to be valuable and loyal employee staying for many years. It all depends on what the employer’s strategy is to recruit based on ‘experience’ or ‘freshness’, whether they need quick-fix, or if they’re willing to train and develop.  It’s about getting the right balance in the team of solid experience and knowledge, and also some fresh talent.

We’re seeing a trend of clients not wanting to recruit a like-for-like job role replacement poached straight from a competitor, but they are looking to adopt a different approach for certain roles. Recruiting someone without experience of a job role should not be considered lightly, as exemplary enthusiasm will only get the candidate so far. Employers need to have in place a support structure for the new recruit including a personal development plan to help them succeed. 

The Search for Gold Dust

At SFR Recruitment Solutions we’ve noticed a remarkable change in recruitment briefs seen of late.  Clients are asking us to look for ambitious and energetic candidates, someone with demonstrable keenness to grow and develop, someone who is really looking to make their mark and excel within their company.

Finding ‘fresh’ candidates with ‘fire in their bellies’ who have the desired attitude, characteristics and will surely complement the company’s culture and values is like searching for gold dust. It is not something that is easily found just by looking at CVs and, that is why, companies are reaching out to recruitment partners for help. 

Ensuring Recruitment Success

The benefit of using a recruitment partner like SFR is that we get to know candidates on a professional and personal level.  They tell us more than what is in their CV. By talking to them we find out what their ambitions are, what type of person they really are, the type of companies they really want to work with – what ultimately makes them tick. 

We considerably reduce the search time for our clients by finding them excellent candidates to interview. At SFR as well as really knowing our sector, we also work closely with our clients, listening to them and taking down a precise brief.  Our clients have the advantage through using us that they can interview 2-3 exceptional candidates and not waste their valuable time on doing all the legwork required in finding them and interviewing unsuitable candidates.  At SFR we don’t hard sell our registered candidates because it’s easy for us, we work hard to find the perfect candidate, after all, it’s what we’re employed to do and best at.  Whether you’re looking for a quick fix, career advancer or role switcher we can help you find them.  Likewise, if you think you may have the right attitude and character for one of our current roles – see our vacancies here – get in-touch.

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we’re employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries. 

matthew@sfrrecruitment.co.uk  mobile 07512 602431  www.sfrrecruitment.co.uk. 

Recruitment: 12 months on from the Pandemic

In this blog we will be reflecting on the past 12 months and how it has affected us personally as a recruitment business in the architectural ironmongery sector, also the businesses supplying the sector and their employees, as well as job seekers.  What was impact for businesses? What is the impact of furlough? What should we expect to happen next? 

As we take a bold step hopefully out of the pandemic once and for all, with the most vulnerable people already fully vaccinated and a plan for everyone else to follow, we are feeling optimistic about putting the pandemic behind us.  Hopefully, by the time the summer comes, we will be back on track to living a more ‘normal’ life again; meeting friends and family, and visiting pub beer gardens for a nice draught pint again or whatever your tipple.

The impact for businesses

The past 12 months nobody could ever have predicted. Looking back to March last year when we experienced the first UK lockdown there was so much confusion surrounding whether businesses needed to fully close or to what extent they could continue to operate under the new restrictions.  Covid-19 has been inescapable for businesses and the construction sector was no different.  Obviously, retail, travel, hospitality and the beauty sector were hit the hardest, and unfortunately still remain in the dark a year on.  However, many manufacturing businesses supporting the construction sector, and indeed fenestration companies, as well as architectural ironmongers and builders merchants, closed their doors which impacted the sector as a whole.

Getting back to business

For most businesses in the ironmongery trade there was a period of adjustment and contemplation of how they can ‘get back to business’ or continue to trade at all, carefully meandering through the new restrictions, while keeping staff safe and protecting jobs by the use of the furlough scheme. 

On the recruitment side of the fence SFR Recruitment Solutions were massively affected by the first lockdown, with businesses closing and operating on skeleton staff, and furloughing staff there wasn’t much need for recruitment, in fact many plans to recruit were instantly put on the backburner.  All we could do was support our clients and candidates the best we could during the pandemic, and let them know we are here if they needed us.

Business as normal

Many construction projects remained open during the first lockdown and were hit with a shortage of supply of materials which triggered construction product manufacturers and trade suppliers to plan how they could remain open.  With limited staff onsite, trade counters open for collection only and deliveries direct-to-site, businesses in the trade soon realised that it was possible to operate.

The impact of furlough

Perhaps we all agree that the furlough scheme is one of the best things the Government has offered UK businesses. Many businesses used the furlough scheme to protect their themselves from the sharp decline in sales and counterbalancing with lower salary bills, reduced entertainment and travel costs. 

It wasn’t plain sailing, however, as none of us knew how long the pandemic would continue for and when the furlough scheme would end. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced in the Budget on 3 March 2021 that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), also known as the furlough scheme, will be extended for a further five months until 30 September 2021.

This is great news for businesses still needing to use the furlough scheme to protect jobs and support their businesses, however the peak of unemployment is ahead rather than behind us which is an unsettling thought.

Embracing change and hiring accordingly

At the moment getting people back to work is the priority and not recruitment for most companies.  However, there needs to be a longer-term view of how businesses plan to pick-up where they left off. The pandemic has fast-tracked digitalisation and we must plan to embrace this change and hire accordingly. For example, more people are buying online than ever before, cancelled holidays has led to a massive surge in the home improvement and DIY market.  The majority of businesses supplying this trade have already seen a fruitful comeback. 

How can companies best plan for the new skills they need to support growing demand and bring in-house any skills they have found themselves outsourcing during the pandemic such as assistance with online trading and marketing.  For many businesses they may find that there has been a shift in the required skillsets post-pandemic, and find themselves requiring assistance with recruitment. Businesses may also be considering whether external roles can become internal or perhaps homebased permanently. Companies who feel they would benefit from some recruitment advice should get in touch with us, or check out some of our useful blogs on our website. 

Top 6 Tips – How to identify the right recruitment partner. 

Top 6 Tips – Hiring the right person.

Keeping skills fresh

The furlough scheme has given many companies and their employees the opportunity to train and gain new skills. Providing staff with training whilst on furlough is a great way to enhance their skills without the pressure of their usual workload distracting from their studies. Companies should consider how they can take advantage of any new skills when bringing employees back from furlough. 

The Guild of Architectural Ironmongery have seen an increase in the number of people taking online courses and diplomas with the GAI. SFR Recruitment Solutions are partners of the GAI and proud to support other members with their recruitment needs, as well as assisting students with finding their next career move.

The employees’ / candidates’ perspective

Time to think and reflect while on furlough, or working part time hours or whatever the situation employees have found themselves in: volunteering, embarking on self-employment, retraining or otherwise, employees may feel they do not want to return to their current job.  For some the pandemic has brought about a need for career change, a desire to work remotely permanently, or newly acquired skills means they are now searching for a new role.  SFR can support candidates in whatever change they wish to make within the ironmongery, hardware and access control sector.

We have noticed that the number of sales and marketing positions has increased and are now at pre-covid levels.  There are lots of vacancies for internal sales executives and business development managers. Anyone considering a new role should check out our vacancies on our website at www.sfrrecruitment.co.uk.

Supporting candidates looking for work

We predict there is going to be a period of ‘displacement’ where employees decide to move on after furlough or unfortunately find that there is no longer a job for them.  It is likely that roles alter as businesses realise the full extent of change the pandemic has brought.   SFR are best placed to support candidates with their job search, we also offer help with CV writing, interview tips and preparation for video interviews.  See some of our useful blogs below:

Top 5 Tips – LinkedIn Profile.

Top 5 tips on making your LinkedIn profile stand out!

Coping with redundancy

Top 6 CV Tips!

Top 6 Tips – Covering Letters. How to product the most successful cover letters!

Top 6 Video Interview Tips! Check out our Top 6 Video Interview Tips!

Let’s climb out of the pandemic together

Now is the perfect time to be optimistic about reaching the end of the pandemic and putting it all behind us!  If we can get through this, we really can get through anything!  Let’s take our fresh perspective and get our business plans firmly back on track to take full advantage of the continuingly buoyant construction and home improvement market.

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions, we are employment specialists for the Architectural Ironmongery, Doors, Access Control and Window & Door Hardware industries. 

Companies looking to recruit for new roles, or candidates planning their next career move, should get in touch with us at SFR, we would be delighted to help. We can be reached here by email matthew@sfrrecruitment.co.uk or mobile 07512 602431. 

Working from Home (WFH) – The guide.

Hey there,

We understand as many of us have embarked on turning a room in our home into a makeshift office this year, working from home can be both stressful and socially isolating.

Yes, the commute may be much better, and we do love being able to wear jogging bottoms, however, we can experience a lack of motivation or distractions which can make WFH rather challenging.

However, help is at hand, here are our Top 6 WFH tips, to get you out of that slump!

1- Exercising frequently

So simple but so effective, exercising, stretching, going on a brisk walk will help you clear your mind and increase productivity. It is NOT normal to sit at your desk all day and in doing so you will not only endure backache and eye strain but also you might find that your productivity will lower if you slug it out all day.

2- Regular updates/ contact your team 

WFH can be so socially isolating and it’s ok to say that you feel isolated. That’s why it’s essential to keep team morale up. Ongoing communication via WhatsApp, Microsoft Teams, or Zoom can help departments support each other.

3- Separate your work from your relaxation 

This may be slightly difficult if you live in a house share, however, either tidying your work station away at the end of the day or keeping it in a dedicated room in which you shut away, keep your work and relaxation space-separated so you can switch off! Remember to look after yourself! Step away from social media, turn off the laptop, and do something which helps you unwind in the evening.

4- Stick to your routine 

Be strict with your routine. Ensure that you get up at the same time every day and switch off at the same time. During the time that you would normally set aside to commute why not read, or exercise?

5- Write LISTS! 

If you don’t already write lists every day, then this is the best time to start! The power of writing lists is unmeasurable! In the morning start with a list of everything which needs to be completed that day, including times for breaks and reminders to get up and walkabout. It’s not only satisfying being able to cross things off the list as you go through the day, but it also helps you prioritise what work you need to get done so no time is wasted!

6- Listen to music! 

Music is so underrated, but it really can help our mood! I personally find it challenging to work in complete silence, so if you’re like me pop on the radio to your favourite station and enjoy some music whilst completing your tasks! 

That’s it! Get in touch if you have any other WFH tips, we would love to hear from you!

Our Top 5 reasons to be cheerful about the arrival of Autumn!

Hint: It’s not all about the cosy jumpers and hot drinks 😉



This season brings colour! Amazing for those that love a bit of photography or simply enjoy the outdoors. Those warm toned colours contrasted with the usually cooler weather gives us a cosy feeling whether we’re cutting about outside in our coats or sat by the window in the comfort of our homes.

2- Dressing for the weather is slightly easier


Let’s face it, during British summer time it’s difficult to know whether we should be going out in a jacket or not. OR constantly having an umbrella by our side in case of a typical sudden downpour. However, Autumn usually guarantee’s slightly colder weather which means LAYERS! Putting on layers of clothes is great because it means you can take one layer off if you get too warm AND when in doubt just chuck on a jumper!

3- FOOD!


Now we’re not saying indulging in comfort food all the time is the best option, however the occasional treat is great! Autumn is actually the time where a lot of brilliant vegetables which we can incorporate into more seasonal meals are widely available! Get some inspo by checking out these healthy meals inspired by the comfort meals that we love!

4- Cosy nights in!


I suppose we’ve had many of these this year, however with the cold weather slowly creeping upon us we’re forced to stay warm in the comfort of our own home. However, we can make the most of this, whether that’s getting cosy under a blanket and reading a book or watching a tv series! Light a pumpkin spiced candle and get cosy!

5- It’s not long until the holidays are upon us!


The holidays may be slightly different for many of us this year, however we can make the most of a difficult situation. Whether you’re preparing to celebrate Christmas, or just happy to have a little time off, the holidays are something to look forward to so we can indulge in those long-forgotten hobbies from lockdown… Now where did I put that watercolour kit?

And that’s it! We hope this made you smile, or at least amused you slightly!

Stay safe, stay warm and look after each other!

Fire Door Safety Week 2020

This years Fire Door Safety Week ran from the 21st to the 27th of September. As a business we believe it is vital to spread awareness of Fire Door neglect in order to educate. This year we have had some brilliant webinars in support of Fire Door Safety Week from the likes of Halspan and Abloy.

Here at SFR Recruitment Solutions we have not only pledged our support but also spread awareness of how fire doors play an important part in protecting both property and life.

Please check out the brand-new Fire Door Safety Week website, pledge your support today and educate yourself on fire door safety to protect not only yourself but others too.

Matthew Robinson, SFR Recruitment Solutions Director said “We’re incredibly proud to be supporting this years Fire Door Safety Week campaign. From both a business and public point of view it is so important that we educate ourselves on Fire Door Safety neglect, to spot the signs and help to protect life!”

Fire Door Safety Week may be finished for this year; however, their message must stay strong. We ask you to check out Fire Door Safety Week’s website today!

Further information;

Take a look at the 5-step fire door check which can help you quickly assess whether a fire door is fit for purpose!

5 Step Fire Door Check

Show this infographic to anyone day you know that lives in a flat to give them advice on how to assess the Fire Doors!

10 Top Tips for Fire Doors in blocks of flats

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How to manage your mood during the Autumn & Winter months.

Autumn is here!

Now, the sun will begin to rise later and nightfall will arrive sooner.

As the seasons change and we find ourselves swapping out flip flips for scarves we can feel our mood starting to dull.

During the colder, darker months many experience Seasonal Affective Disorder – also known as SAD. However there are ways in which we can manage our mood during the colder months. Here are our top tips.

1- Go and seek out some sunshine!


This is easier said than done, however it’s incredibly important to get as much light as possible. Go outside, open all curtains and blinds and perhaps invest in a light therapy box which is aimed to tackle SAD symptoms. Even a simple walk in the park everyday can help boost your mood.

2- Go and socialise!


Many of us find that as the colder months draw in we find ourselves run down, tired and therefore less motivated to engage in social activities. However this can only lead to us feeling isolated. Therefore make plans with your friends and family! Talking to people always helps!

3- Keep to a balance diet!


I know this is quite difficult. Naturally during the colder months we desire those ‘comforting’ foods such as pasta, pizza, etc. However sticking to a high carb and sugar diet causes spikes in your blood sugar levels and the crash can impact more on your mood. So ensure to have a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and omega 3-rich food.

4- Try and exercise!


I know, I can sense your laughter! However keeping active really does boost your mood! From doing at home exercises, going to the gym or even a stroll in the park! Also – exercise will help for better nights sleep!  

5- Keep track of your habits and emotions!


Keep a diary of your habits and emotions during the colder months. By keeping track you can get an idea as to what habits have a positive or negative affect on your mood.

6- Declutter and organise your home!


Keep your home organised! This helps declutter your mind. Also, ensure that both your home and office is at a comfortable temperature.

For further information and support on Seasonal Affective Disorder: Mind

Check out more of our articles: Our blog

We hope these tips were helpful! 💫

How To Prevent Burnout

Since lockdown I think many of us have had the mindset of ‘GO! GO! GO!’ and pushed ourselves to get lots of things done in both our professional and personal lives which have previously been put on halt. However we should remember to take time for ourselves in order to prevent burnout. Check out our top 5 tips and remember to look after No. 1!

1- Take Some Time Off

Book a holiday, get a change of scenery and SWITCH OFF! No phone, no social media (hard, we know), chill out and focus on yourself!

2- Reevaluate Priorities

Take some time to reflect on what is really important to you. Learn to say no, focus on what makes you happy and what you should be putting your time and energy into.

3- Add Better Structure Into Your Day

Every morning set out time to write down everything that you want to get done in that day. Add how much time allowance you are going to give each task and prioritise them accordingly. You’ll find that you’ll waste less time on tasks that need less focus and you’ll likely feel more satisfied with what you’ve got done in a day.

4- Listen To Your Body

This is easier said than done but, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Nourish it! Eat food which has a positive affect on your mood and energy levels. Drink plenty of water, drink alcohol in moderation and try to aim to exercise every week. It’s insane how much food and drink can affect your energy and mood for the day + exercise is great to boost your mood!

5- Take Time For Yourself

Self-care isn’t all about taking a Lush bubble bath, or making some super healthy smoothie, it’s so much more! Take time out to enjoy the little things, a tea break, a gentle nature stroll – any small thing that makes YOU happy!


6- Nurture Your Hobbies

Nurture and nourish your hobbies and develop new ones! Having things that are completely separate from work are so good to do! Fun projects, big or small which give you joy should be given time and attention!

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