The recent economic downturn provided the catalyst for a record growth in the number of recruitment entrepreneurs eager to go it alone, according to MacKenzie-Cummins Communications, Wales’s leading specialist public relations consultancy for the recruitment industry. 

Despite the last two years being one of the most challenging periods the recruitment industry has faced, with 1 in 5 recruitment consultancies throughout Wales and the rest of the UK forced to shut up shop permanently, the number of people starting their own recruitment agencies has more than doubled (up 117 per cent) since 2005. 

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Creative and digital media specialists are fast-becoming some of the most sought-after workers for human resources departments throughout Wales as employers struggle to keep up with the pace of technological advancements that are rapidly changing the way they attract and retain staff irrevocably, according to a leading recruitment specialist. 

Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, one of the UK’s leading employment and careers experts and director of Newport-based MacKenzie-Cummins Communications – Wales’s only and the UK’s second biggest PR firm specialising in the recruitment industry, has found that there is a significant lack of creative and digital talent available to help HR departments meet the challenges of recruitment in the increasingly tech-driven era.

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1 in 3 workers reveal redundancy fears

A new report published today has revealed that almost 1 in 3 (31 per cent) of all workers in the UK still fear the loss of their jobs through redundancy. Yet it would seem that many employees continue to put their own career at risk. 

The research commissioned by Abbey Legal Protection and conducted by The Protection Gap also found that over a third (36%) of senior managers and almost half (42%) of executives without management responsibility identified redundancy as an existing concern. But what strikes me is that although more than half a million British workers will be ‘let go’ from their jobs every year and the air of uncertainty that still lingers in the current climate, why are some people seemingly playing a waiting game rather than proactively taking steps to safeguard their jobs if and when redundancy strikes?

There are an umpteen number of career advice articles offering a plethora of job search techniques that you can utilise to maximise your employment opportunities – I should know because I’ve written a large proportion of them for the likes of Monster, TotalJobs and CareerBuilder et al. But few talk about how to actually keep hold of the job you already have.

Yes, I know that job boards are money-making machines whose sole purpose is to create a ‘must get a new, different job’ mindset, however, there is the criticism that they are actively encouraging people to jump ship and swim to the land of milk and honey that is a new job rather than getting people to take a look at their present situation and helping them to consolidate and build upon what they already have – why create a need when there isn’t one?

So without turning this post into some kind of Tolstoyesque-length rant, here are my top tips for safeguarding your job against redundancy: 

  1. Have a clear goal for what you want out of your career and where you want to take it – researchers at the University of Pennsylvania interviewed 350,000 executives and discovered that the top 10 per cent performers worked to a plan and as a result, were also the happiest workers.
  2. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that you are not irreplaceable, because you are – identify our key skills and position yourself as an expert in a particular aspect of your job and be good at the things others are bad at. 
  3. Lead by example – If you have demonstrated that you are a solid performer who can be relied upon to meet your targets, position yourself as the person your boss can turn to when new starters join the company. Act as a mentor and offer to help them to find their feet, accompany them on meetings for example, and be the person they can turn to without them having to go to the boss. This will raise your profile in the office and will earn the appreciation of your manager who has a busy enough schedule as it is. 
  4. Brush up on your networking and social media skills – if the recession has taught us anything it’s that business is very much a case of who you know. So put yourself forward as the person who will happily mingle with the key players in your industry both online and offline.
  5. Avoid the office neg-heads like the plague and don’t allow yourself to be drawn into their sphere of negativity – keep your own attitude in check and focus on the things that make you happiest instead of dwelling on the bad elements at work.