Tag Archive for: Redundancy

How and Why did we come up with the idea of The Magic Hour?

You may have seen us posting about our new service – which we’ve called The Magic Hour. The name was coined by one of our candidates who we helped with some coaching and advice earlier on this year.

Essentially – The Magic Hour is an individually tailored, one to one coaching session where we review your CV and make recommendations on how to improve it, how to make it ATS friendly and how to show yourself off to the best advantage. We also look at your LinkedIn profile and make recommendations on how to change it and how to post to improve your visibility on the platform. We explain how recruitment in the UK works and how to navigate your way through it. We encourage you to work out and articulate what you enjoy about your role and home in on what exactly you are looking for next.  We also give some general advice around job searching and your individual job search plan.  We believe that it gives candidates a sound base from which to launch their job search and helps them secure their next role more quickly.

My Own Experience:

The idea for this came from my experience of being made redundant a few years ago. I felt like I had been cast out to sea – with no direction or understanding about how to best go about finding my next role. It left me feeling very vulnerable and exposed and the experience of this has been one that has been long lasting in my professional life. I wanted to be able to help candidates by providing a useful service to help them take back control of their job search in these very strange and unpredictable times. I wish I had had something similar – it would have saved me weeks / months of floundering about like a mad woman (read my redundancy post!).

In the normal run of things when we are briefed by a client for a role, we start by having a chat about which candidates on our database and network would be a good fit for the position, and who from that list might be ready for their next move.  Then we’d schedule a conversation and go through a very similar process to the Magic Hour, but obviously tartgeted to the new brief.  So we coach candidates through aligning their skills and experiences as closely as possible to the role profile to make sure that the most relevant strengths are easily apparent to the client.

At the moment we have very few ‘live’ briefs on the go!  But we want to keep talking to people and helping candidates to be as strong and focussed as possible in their job searches, so in order to be able to keep doing that we’ve streamlined and focussed our experience and advice and come up with The Magic Hour. This is a fixed fee service we have priced at £150 incl VAT.

We have talked to candidates across the private, public and third sectors in the UK and internationally – consultancies, agencies and in-house clients – and we have seen what works.  We’ve placed candidates in huge complex global businesses and smaller, owner managed companies, and we’ve been doing this successfully since 2012.  There are thousands of professionals on our database and we’ve talked to them all!

A Complete 360 degree view of recruitment:

Before becoming recruitment consultants we have both been candidates (obviously!) and hiring managers, so we really do have a 360 degree view of the process and we have consistently had positive feedback from our sessions.  In fact our business has grown precisely because our candidates often become our clients as they move through their careers and grow their own teams.  So we are confident that we add value.

We are partnering with some clients at the moment and working on some fantastic opportunities and our network of candidates can absolutely rest assured that we will be actively in touch about those as and when appropriate.  The idea is that you do not need to be a candidate for a specific role in order to benefit from our help and advice, or even a CX professional – The Magic Hour is relevant to candidates across any discipline and industry.

Those who do not undertake The Magic Hour will be at no less of an advantage for future roles with us as we are ONLY interested in fitting the right candidate with the right job. That approach will never change at CX Talent Ltd.

The Magic Hour is there to help keep you going in your job search. If you decide you’d benefit from our in depth advice and book a package – you’ll be helping us keep going too!

Here are some recent testimonials:
‘I’d recommend THE MAGIC HOUR, 100%. CX Talent Ltd care, that shows in the EPIC service they provide!’ –

“I found the conversation, tips and guidance extremely useful and it has given me the boost and motivation to focus my efforts in a constructive and disciplined way to search and secure that new opportunity which is out there somewhere for me!”

‘I loved my magic hour, it was not only informative it also motivated me to do things differently…. a real breath of air. Thanks Jo & Kate’.


As we’re emerging from lockdown and easing back into the world it’s interesting to look at the new behaviours that could improve our lives in the future – and what we’ll be happy to leave behind.


Remote working – this is the big one and there has been a lot of focus on it.  Companies can no longer claim that productivity has to suffer and many more people will be working for part of the week from home.  This will have a really positive impact not only on work / life balance for individuals and families, but also on the wider transport system and environment as collectively there will be a significant impact on the number of journeys taken each week.

But also…. the joys of office working – despite the advantages of working from home many workers are keen to get back to the office at least part time.  The company culture, camaraderie, feeling of teamwork and shared endeavour are all stronger and more accessible when we’re physically together.

Busy = important?  Let’s leave this one behind.  I hope that the forced slower pace of the last few months helps us be more mindful about what we WANT to do and break the cycle of doing everything we CAN do just because it’s there.   Stress as a status symbol seems a very old fashioned pose when we are surrounded by the horribly real issues provoked by Covid-19.  Let’s keep focussing on productivity, not hours at the desk.

Customer service is JUST as important as we knew it was – as customers we’ve given companies the benefit of the doubt for months about long wait times for reduced support,  but all the signs are there that we have had enough of poor customer service and want our issues resolved now!  Businesses which acted with the best intentions to hastily adapt processes in order to keep afloat now need to accelerate when it comes to aligning those processes with customer satisfaction.  Customer loyalty is more important than ever and businesses that are doing well in terms of both customer and employee engagement are very visible – these actions now will be remembered!  Good Customer Experience is the KEY differentiator – and both successes and failures are widely shared.

Deliveries – I think we’ll all keep on shopping more online.  The extra billions enjoyed by Jeff Bezos over the last few months as a result of Amazon’s success reflect the trend for taking advantage of the convenient and efficient access to almost everything we need, delivered to our door.

Cleaning – the rise of the anti-bac!  I am sure that this will gradually relax and that hairdressers for example won’t need to ostentatiously wipe down each chair between clients – but it seems likely that we’ll all keep the habit of being more aware of keeping especially shared spaces a lot cleaner.

LinkedIn and virtual networking – LinkedIn particularly has seen a huge surge in networking as people use the platform to connect, build relationships and successfully find new roles.  It’s great to see the support being offered – and the positive results will keep us all coming back for more.

Raised profile for health and care workers – they’ve always been appreciated but now they are rightly celebrated.  Let’s hope (and lobby for) better pay and conditions for these sectors in the future.

Pets – lots of people have used the time at home as an opportunity to get a cat or dog, knowing they can spend the time training and socialising them.  I hope that the pets will adapt as we go back to work, they might find the adjustment difficult at first, but hopefully a new balance of home and office working will ensure success.

Community and creativity – we’ve found different ways to be sociable and communities have found many ways of supporting each other. From making phone calls, delivering food and prescriptions, timed celebrations on VE day and the clap for carers bringing us together, to hyper local seed swaps for people spending more time in their gardens – hopefully some of these links will endure.

Recruitment – we’re talking to people all the time in different sectors and waiting to see how this will change.  Many companies are coming to the end of recruitment freezes and looking to solve their own new problems.  Customer Experience looks likely to be more important than ever as people are more careful with their spending and each buying experience matters for products and services across the board.


If your company is recruiting in the CX space give us a call – we are expert specialist recruiters who have spent over 8 years building a network of customer experience candidates.  We understand the sector and will curate a shortlist of fantastic talent for your role, leaving your hiring manager and HR to get on with the many other demands of the complicated present.

If you’re a CX professional looking for your next role, get in touch – we are always happy to chat and make sure you are in our database.  We are actively working on roles and may have the right one for you.

Do you need some help with your job search? Jo van Riemsdijk at CX Talent Ltd gives her top 10 tips to get you started.

I hope that the tips I detail here will be of some help to Candidates looking for roles or thinking about their next move.

1.If you are in a job and thinking about moving – my first piece of advice would be – DON’T! Squeeze every last drop of experience you can out of your current role and be grateful you have a job – there are a lot of candidates out there who don’t! Don’t disengage either – you may find that you start to really enjoy where you currently are. By all means get your CV ready and your Linkedin profile ship shape – but please stay put!
2.If you are not in a job – do not despair. We will get through this and the market will pick up again. Contact us and we can have a chat about putting an action plan in place.
3.Spend no more than 2 hours a day (if that right now – probably 2 mins with the recruitment freezes out there) looking on job boards and applying for roles. Then for goodness sake go and do something entirely different. Just because you don’t apply for a role the minute it is advertised – does not mean that you won’t get it.
4.Your CV should be tailored for each and every role – WITHOUT FAIL!!!!!!!!! It’s a competitive market out there and will become more so. Absolutely no stretching the truth! Look at the areas the JD is really focusing on. If stakeholder engagement and influencing is one of the main themes – then emphasise this experience. If its customer experience communications – then bring this to the fore. Don’t assume that the person looking at your CV understands CX, has any interest in CX or your CV for that matter. You need to hit people in the face with your suitability for a role.  DON’T ASSUME PEOPLE READ BETWEEN THE LINES.
5.Come up with a CV that you can tailor quickly and effectively. Good CV’s have a personal statement at the top, a list of key skills and / or achievements. Then professional experience, education and other info. I also like to see training undertaken and any software packages you are familiar with (though this is job specific).
6.Your Linkedin profile is incredibly important. Do you have a picture? Please – DO NOT PUT ONE OF YOU WEARING SILLY GLASSES OR DRINKING ALCOHOL. This is a professional networking site – not Facebook! Linkedin should act as your shop window – does someone have your perfect job and is searching for someone like you? MAKE SURE THEY FIND YOU!! Be specific about your skills and describe yourself as your next ideal role – again telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth! The more specific you are on Linkedin about yourself – the more likely you are to be found. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to do a catch all profile – as it will become so generic that you wont be found for anything.
7.Utilise your network – talk to old bosses, get in touch with old colleagues. You never know – they could be looking for someone to run a programme or project short term. Getting involved in interim or contract roles during this time will do you no harm and conversations had about your job area, industry sector, areas of expertise in general can lead to great things.
8.Get involved in conversations on Linkedin about your industry or area of expertise. In our case this is Customer Experience – yes, I know do as I say not as I do! I am aware that we have not been the most vocal people on Linkedin but we are trying to change that! Post regularly, comment with at least 8 words and thoughtfully on relevant posts. Like posts that are relevant to your interests and skill set. Linkedin rewards people who use the platform by making you more visible. It will increase your exposure to people who might be looking for staff.
9.Is there an organisation you’d love to work for? Why not reach out to the Department Head or Director – for our world this would be CX Director or Head of CX, or the CEO if you are one of our more senior candidates. Don’t be afraid to show you are keen on working for an organisation – it’s terribly appealing to have a strong candidate approach you particularly when you decide you want to recruit either immediately or further down the line. Even if it results in a coffee and nothing more – it’s another contact made.
10.Talk to us – we’d love to be the ones to place you in your next job. But even if it’s not us who place you there, we are keen to help you find your next role. The more we talk to you – the easier you are to place and the easier it is to place for you when you need help with recruiting for your teams.

If you are preparing for an interview or even looking for your next role – take the time to have a think about how to present yourself on a video call – it will be worth it!


First and foremost, do your homework in the normal way.  Re-read the job description, research the company, prepare some questions as well as answers to standard interview situations like – why did you leave your last role?  What are your weaknesses?


Write down a list of your own strengths and successes and have this to hand.  Having these at the front of your mind will make it MUCH easier to bring out examples to illustrate your skills and experience.


Think about the technical side.  Make sure you are well lit – no on wants to interview a shadowy outline!  But not dazzled either as this will be distracting for you.  See if you can set up your computer in front of a window with a white or cream blind to even out the glare.


Make sure that the background for your call is neutral and tidy – again you want to cut down on distractions.  I would recommend a tidy room in your home as better than a Zoom background screen, you want to appear authentic.


Check your clothes.  It may be by video from home but it IS an interview so treat it as a formal meeting and dress accordingly.  No stripes, small graphics or neon colours, they will all distort on a screen.  Make sure to present yourself in a professional way.


Practise looking at the camera on your screen instead of at the interviewers’ eyes – you will make a better connection.  Remember that you’re only seeing (and showing) about 25% of each other on screen so you may want to ramp up non verbal engagement signals such as nodding, smiling and using hand gestures  (take it easy here!!).


Record yourself on a practise interview with a friend – it really is the best way to improve your delivery and well worth the time.


And finally, allow some extra time at the start of the interview to check your tech – check your camera is on, your audio is working, your son isn’t downloading a massive game upgrade which is likely to interfere with your connection (personal experience anyone?!), your wifi isn’t having a wobble – think of this as your journey to the meeting and leave time for a margin of error.  You don’t want to ‘arrive’ late or flustered – but calm, well prepared and in control!


Very best of luck with the job search and please do get in touch for more help and advice.

Businesses and recruiters who are able to empathise and act with (professional) personability will always do best – now more than ever when all brands are under scrutiny about how they are reacting to the COVID – 19 situation.


From a recruiters’ point of view, you are likely to get a larger than normal candidate pool of interest in any roles you are currently looking to fill.  This will of course add pressure to your Resourcing / HR team – but the candidate experience is still an important ‘touch-point’ with the wider world for you as a brand, and the process must still be handled with respect and integrity.


We’re hearing more often about companies ‘ghosting’ candidates with no feedback or replies at all, and hearing too about how unpleasant and even degrading this feels when someone has taken the time and care to apply for your role.  Doing the courtesy of sending a short reply is an easy win in terms of retaining credibility as a brand prepared to care for its’ employees going forwards.


Being open about the interview process and timeframe is another easy win – if you can manage candidate expectations from the outset it is much more likely that they will stay engaged (don’t forget, strong candidates will be applying to other jobs too!).  Especially as traditional processes of face to face interviews in physical offices are being discarded, it’s vital to set out your expectations in terms of interview rounds, assessments and virtual working frameworks. It’s such a shame to lose candidates to other organisations because they were quicker in their processes than you! By keeping candidates engaged in the process – even if you are not as quick as others, you are less likely to lose them.


For candidates – bear in mind that businesses are dealing with higher levels of applicants and be prepared to be patient.  Be extra careful to tailor your CV to each and every application to make sure that your skills and experience align as well as possible with the job description to get through that first stage  – the ATS system.


Also remember – skills and experience are vital of course, but approach and attitude count too!  Try and build in some ‘WHO YOU ARE’ as well as ‘WHAT YOU DO’ into your CV –  think about why you want this role and why you are interested in this particular company.  Mention both these things clearly in your covering letter.  And, walk the walk.  Think about what really drives you and then be proactive (and professional) on social media platforms.  Put together a list of all the things you’ve done in your career to date that you are particularly proud of. In our world of Customer Experience that would include VoC programmes that have worked well, examples of where you have personally improved the Customer Experience, examples of where you have shown excellent stakeholder engagement and influencing skills. Listing all of these examples down will mean you don’t forget them in interview.


The recruitment process can and should be a great start to a long relationship with a new employee and a fabulous chance to show the human face of a brand – it can provide a useful and insightful window into the business for a wider market.  In fact, don’t let it be anything else!  There is a lot of pressure out there at the moment and it’s more important than ever for everyone in the process to be kind and empathetic.  It will pay dividends.



Some further advice – for recruiters think now more than ever what an independent specialist recruiter can do for you in terms of understanding your needs and acting as your front line in finding the perfect candidate, and for candidates – stay positive and proactive!  We have more help at www.cxtalent.co.uk/the-magic-hour/

Have You Been Made Redundant? Lost your job? This is My Story:

I’ve seen a lot of posts recently about redundancy. About how people are feeling and what they should do next. In a previous life way before I became a recruitment consultant – I was working in a Media organisation and lost my job!

I hope that my own experience and insights might give any of you in this situation some solace and some notion that it WILL BE ALRIGHT!

I was somewhat younger than I am now but I have NEVER forgotten how I felt, what I did and the mistakes that I made. To say that I lost my confidence would be an understatement. It absolutely destroyed me! I was young and, in my mind, invincible and absolutely BRILLIANT (in my own opinion) at the role!! So how could this happen? What was it about me (and 3 others I might add) that led to this?!

I mean how could they get rid of SUCH an indispensable member of staff?! Why me? Why not Janet from Accounts or Cliff from IT? Well – this is an easy one! IT WAS A BUSINESS DECISION! It had NOTHING to do with me, nothing to with my skills or ability to do the job. The ROLE had been made redundant, not me as a person. This is so important to realise – it is not you, you are just as employable as you were before. The business has made a decision that THE ROLE cannot be substantiated and so the decision has been made to make THE ROLE redundant. In all honesty – It took me years to actually realise that and come to terms with it.

I realise now – with several years of hindsight – that work categorically defined who I was. Without the job – who on earth was I? Maybe that very question led me to feel so panicked and lost?! Before a husband and children – as a young person intent on having a great time with their friends, there was not much else in my mind that defined who I was. But, again with hindsight there was a lot about me that defined who I was and work was just one part of that and when I got a new role that would add to who I was – it would not COMPLETE who I was. I think a number of people do this – allow work to become such a huge part of their life that it becomes all consuming – keep perspective on this if you can.

The feelings I had after ‘the meeting’ were disbelief, anger, sadness, disappointment and panic! How could this be? What was I going to do? Quick – get a new job!!! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately for me – I let these feelings completely overtake me!

So, what did I do?! I would call it the headless chicken approach! I contacted and met over 26 recruitment agencies – surely, the more agencies I was listed with – the easier it would be to find a role?! WRONG! I was at that point under the false illusion that recruitment agencies would contact you to let you know about roles that they might have for which I was suited. Some did – but a great many did not. I also thought that they had hundreds of roles all the time that maybe they weren’t telling me about. WRONG! I had no idea how sales driven recruitment was, how jobs needed to be filled quickly, how the recruitment consultants were looking for their next roles all of the time! I was also under the illusion that the recruitment consultants would act as my advocate, helping to sell me into the client as a strong contender for the role. WRONG! I was often sent in with several other candidates often without any supporting evidence of why I might be the right person for the role.

The agencies I dealt with at THAT time – were not interested in me at all as a candidate. Fortunately – today, there are a lot of agencies that do care.

I’m not trying to turn this post into a massive sales pitch – but at CX Talent Ltd we genuinely care about our candidates. We do proactively contact candidates to let them know about roles we are working on that might suit them. We work really hard as candidate advocates. A great deal of our approach was borne out of the time that I was looking for a role and trying to provide a service that I would have found appealing and helpful as a candidate.

I applied for hundreds of jobs – using the same CV assuming that whoever saw the CV would READ it and automatically see that I had some good transferable skills if they read between the lines. WRONG! Resourcing teams usually only look at CV’s for about 6 seconds. They dont always read between the lines – some do, but most do not! And that’s assuming that my CV even got through the then very basic ATS systems! I used the scattergun approach – what an unbelievable WASTE OF TIME!!! I could have been spending my time being so much more effective!

When I lost my job it was a beautiful spring / summer – very much like it has been to date. But I didn’t go out and enjoy the sun, I didn’t read more books or meet with friends for coffee. I sat at my computer ALL DAY EVERY DAY – thinking that if I didn’t then I was not doing enough to get a job. Shouldn’t getting a job be like having a job – shouldn’t finding a job BE the job?! Well – again, with hindsight I would say no! Because I became OBSESSED with trying to find the next job and allowed the panic to set in and grow so I became desperate. I would go to interviews and almost terrify the interviewer with my keenness and would not necessarily present the redundancy issue as well as I could have. So I would come across frequently as a bit bitter.

I needed to accept and come to terms with what had happened to me. My headless chicken approach clearly delayed the acceptance stage for me. In fact I don’t think I really reached that until I had my next role. It took me about 4 and a half months of utter madness and sadly weight gain – before I got the next role. Thanks to an incredible MD and great senior management team – I rebuilt the confidence in my abilities and stayed for nearly 9 years!

Having this experience has given me a personal insight into what it means for someone to lose their job.

I have been both Hiring Manager, Candidate and now Recruitment Consultant so I have a 360 degree view of job searching. I wish I had had someone to give me a true insight into what it means to look for a role and how recruitment works.

CX Talent Ltd offers a bespoke tailored package for candidates for a fixed fee to help – if that level of support is required. It’s called The Magic Hour – (though its longer than that!). However, here are some tips from me to you – to help harness that panic and use it for positive action.

1.Write a CV that really emphasises your key skills and those skills that are transferable. BE PREPARED TO TAILOR IT EVERY SINGLE TIME!
2.Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and that you have SEO’d it so that people looking for someone like you can easily find you.
3.Do reach out to agencies if you see them advertising roles you might be interested in.
4.Do reach out to agencies who are specialists in your field. Independent Specialists are by far the best!
5.Dont register with 26 agencies – that is completely INSANE!
6.Make a job seeking plan and stick to it!
7.Spend no more than 2 hours a day looking for and applying for jobs – it does not matter whether you are the first or last person to apply for a role.
8.Get in touch with old bosses and your network and let them know you are on the look out for a new role
9.Dont be afraid to proactively get in touch with companies you might like to work for.
10.Keep perspective – there are a lot of people in your shoes at the moment. It will take some time – but you will PREVAIL!

Losing my role – was awful. But it made me the person I am today. I honestly believe it made me better as a person – more empathetic, more resilient. I developed an understanding that NO-ONE is indispensable – EVER! Without meaning to sound like my Mother – it was a very character building time! It’s definitely helped me in my role as Recruitment Consultant.

So PLEASE keep the faith – it will be OK! You will get through this! Be targeted in your job search, tailor your applications and TRY NOT TO PANIC! Good Luck!

If you need any help or advice please contact us at CX Talent Ltd – we will do what we can to help. 01279 550102