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Facing Redundancy

31 Oct 2019

Facing Rudundancy? Brightwater’s Mairead McConnell discusses her success in placing candidates who were made redundant and sheds light on the steps to take when facing redundancy.

Unfortunately redundancy is something the people of Northern Ireland have become all too familiar with over the last few months.  We have seen the workers of Harland and Wolff fight to save their jobs, we have seen Thomas Cook staff left stranded and unemployed and more recently we have witnessed many of the staff in Wrightbus suffer the same fate.  My colleague Conor O’Hagan and I had the pleasure of offering our support to the Wrightbus workers at The Braid Job Fair, a hugely successful two day event organised by The Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.  I hope all who attended found the event helpful and that it provided some peace of mind.  There are many people who wish to help.  For anyone we didn’t get to meet or speak to, I hope you find the following information helpful.


What to do first:

  1. Speak to your Union representative and/or employer. Assess if you are entitled to redundancy and if so, how much redundancy you are entitled to. This information is vital if you have a mortgage, dependants, loan repayments, car repayments and so forth. You can use this information to budget properly in the coming weeks .A new job may take some time, you have to be prepared. Contact your local Jobs and Benefits office to find out if there are other benefits or further training you may be entitled to during this time.


  2. Take time out to update your CV. Set aside time where you won’t be distracted to do this and don’t rush it. Get all of the vital information required to secure a job onto your CV. We have received an alarming number of CVs with mobile numbers that haven’t been updated, email addresses that don’t work, an old home address and even a gap in employment where the most recent job has not been added. We have also received CVs with no dates of employment added at all, no education, no skills or further qualifications and short bullet points with no detailed information on what the job actually entailed. Without up to date contact information, businesses and agencies will not be able to contact you. Without dates of employment, the recipient won’t know if you are currently employed or unemployed which will affect availability. Without detailed information on the duties you carried out previously, you may not be shortlisted for a job that you know you can do. Remember, the person reading your CV may not have done your job before. By merely reading your job title they will not have all of the information they need to understand that you’re the best person for the job. Taking the time to perfect your CV is vital. For more information on creating a CV, please feel free to call any member of the Brightwater NI team to discuss further.


  3. Now that your CV looks new and you are ready to apply for jobs, it is so important that you don’t panic apply! It is likely you don’t have enough savings to keep you going for long and every employer and agency understands your urgency to find work. However, you are likely not going to be a suitable fit for every job advertised online! Take time to look through the essential and desirable criteria of the job. If you match all of the criteria, absolutely apply. However, if you don’t match all the criteria, it’s important that you pick up the phone and speak to the employer or the consultant. It is rare that an essential piece of criteria can be over looked but if it is a particular qualification, like a degree in Supply Chain, that you don’t have but you do have 5+ years’ experience in a similar job, the recruiter might just be very keen to speak to you. Always ask. If it looks like you don’t match any of the criteria, the job is much lower level than you have previously worked or it’s in the wrong location and has the wrong salary advertised, then do not apply! No matter how badly you need employment, applying for jobs that simply aren’t suitable for you will mean a huge influx of “Dear John” emails and letters. Constant knock backs and refusals become very hard to take and are incredibly deflating. They will become much more detrimental to you than the initial redundancy was. Take time to read the criteria, make sure location and salary are suitable and then apply. A phrase I have heard a lot recently is “Beggars can’t be choosers”. Remember you are not begging, you have a lot of experience and knowledge to offer and you absolutely should be selective. This is your future career so make your applications count.


  4. Keep a track of where you are applying. Keep details of what agency has your CV, what company and role you have permitted them to apply on your behalf. This is important for many reasons. Many agencies in Northern Ireland will work with the same companies. One agency may submit your details for a management role and put in your exact salary expectation on the application. Another agency may submit your CV for a junior role with a much lower salary expectation in order to get you on a shortlist (seeing only your urgency for a job).When the same company sees both CV’s they may question if you actually do have the skills required for the more senior role or if in fact you were more junior. They may not offer a salary as high as would have been offered had they not been made aware you will work for much less. You want to be in the best possible position when you sit before any potential employer. Know your consultant, speak to them until you are sure they know exactly what you require from your next job, ask yourself if you trust them and only give your consultant consent to send your CV out to jobs you would absolutely accept and enjoy for the following years to come.


  5. Accept interview preparation advice! Brightwater NI will meet with you and prepare you for interview regardless of when you last sat an interview. Interviews are always changing and it’s important you represent yourself well every time. I understand interviews can be an intimidating and scary process but please remember, this is your opportunity to learn about your potential future employer, just as much as it is their opportunity to get to know you. Preparing examples and questions relevant to the company and the job is key. For more interview information please call any member of the Brightwater NI team.

I hope you find these tips helpful and although this is a trying and difficult time, please try to remain positive and look for the happiest outcome. I recently placed a candidate who had worked with their employer for over ten years and was suddenly faced with redundancy.  Having found out information that they could start new employment before their official “finish date” and still be entitled to redundancy, the candidate got straight to work on their CV.  Taking my advice on opportunities at the level they had worked to, they are now working for a company much closer to home, on a higher salary and in an industry where they feel very secure.  Redundancy ended up being the best thing to have happened as they would have never sought out a change otherwise.  Try to look for the silver lining and if there is anything we can do to help 

Please contact the Brightwater NI office on 028 9032 5325 , email [email protected] or keep an eye on our website for up to date vacancies