01235 462 900
Abingdon - Head Office
01865 595 560
0207 186 0271

info@selective-group.com | Click here for locations




Today is officially the first working day of Christmas, woo hoo!

It’s a day when we start planning our presents, holidays and logistics, ready for the festivities in three weeks and the new year in four.

It’s also a day when traditionally a lot of businesses across Oxfordshire start to wind down for the holiday season, where potentially important decisions are shelved until mid January. Quite often these decisions cover the serious business of recruitment!

In recent years however, there has been a growing trend for forward-thinking Thames Valley companies to actually ramp up their recruitment activity in December. If this isn’t something you’ve considered before, here’s five reasons why you should!

1. You get the pick of the bunch
With not many businesses recruiting in December, the best available candidates have relatively few options to choose from. This means that firms who think outside of the box get the pick of the bunch!

2. It’s a great time for training
December is the perfect time to onboard new employees because the Christmas period is relatively quiet - ideal for a few weeks of comprehensive training without them being required at the coal face just yet. Colleagues will also have more time to assist with and answer questions referring to individual elements of the training course.

3. They can hit the ground running in January
If someone joins in January the likelihood is they’ll take until February to get up to speed. By this time the year and business plan is already almost 10% complete, so it’ll feel like they’re chasing their tail for the next few months playing catch up. If you get them in in December and get training under their belt, they can start the new year on day one firing on all cylinders.

4. Proactive rather than reactive
Despite the fact most companies know roughly what their attrition rate is, most will only hire when it’s too late. By this time it’s reactive rather than proactive, and panic can set in as it’s time sensitive - often resulting in a sub-optimal hire. Progressive organisations know that they can’t predict the future, so they ensure they always have a proper succession plan in place by hiring before the vacancy arises.

5. Recruitment times are sped up
There’s never a good time to be out of work, but Christmas is absolutely the worst time to be job seeking, for obvious reasons. This means that those who are looking for employment are incredibly motivated. Combine this with fewer offers from elsewhere and you can wrap up an appointment from first interview to start date in a matter of days!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the team at Selective Recruitment Group.


 Image result for national living wage


On Monday 29th October 2018, the Chancellor Philip Hammond announced the budget for the next financial year: April 2019 - March 2020. Amongst numerous areas covering things like tax, fuel, defence, healthcare, benefits and education came one that affects a huge proportion of society - those who are paid on an hourly basis. Whether you’re part time, contracting, studying, graduating or grafting, here’s five things you can say to you mates to make you look clever:

1. What is the National Living Wage?

 The National Living Wage is the minimum hourly wage for people over the age of 25. It is against the law to pay people under this value, which was set at £7.83 an hour for April 2018 - March 2019. It is reviewed every year, as is the National Minimum Wage (for under 25s). To check if you receive it, click here:


2. How much is it going up?

 From April 1st 2019 it will rise to £8.21 per hour. That’s a 4.9% rise, well over the current rate of inflation of 2.74% - so this is a ‘real-terms’ rise. For those working 40 hours a week, that’s an extra £790 per year. Not to be sniffed at!

3. Do under 25s get a pay rise too?

You betcha. Here’s a quick table of all the age groups (pay attention!)

Age group

This year

Next year

% increase

Annual extra

Apprentices aged 19 or under / first year





16 - 17 year olds





18 - 20 year olds





21 - 24 years





25+ years






4. Does this apply to everyone?

 Of the 2.4 million people this affects, there are some exemptions:

        • self employed
        • under 16
        • living and working with a family as an au pair or nanny, and not paying towards your accommodation or meals
        • in the armed forces
        • a volunteer or doing work experience
        • a prisoner
        • some trainees and interns
        • some farm workers



If you’re not sure, check here:


5. What should I do if my employer doesn't provide this?

According to Citizens Advice, if you're not getting the minimum wage when you should be getting it, your employer owes you the difference between what you should have been paid and what they’ve actually been paying you.

Try having an informal chat with your employer. Ask them to explain how they’ve worked out your pay, and to tell you why they think you’re not entitled to be paid minimum wage - or why they think you’re already getting it. You could print out your result from the National Minimum Wage calculator and show them it.

If your employer agrees they’ve made a genuine mistake, ask them to pay you what you’re owed immediately. Your employer might say they give you benefits that ‘top up’ your pay rate to the minimum wage, eg they give you meals or you get to keep all your tips. You should ask for the wage instead - you’ve got the right to be paid minimum wage on top of any extra benefits like these.

If you’re not getting anywhere, you can raise a grievance where you explain why you think you haven’t been paid enough and say you want them to pay the difference.

If that doesn’t work, the final option is report them to HMRC. They’ll decide whether to investigate your employer - there’s no guarantee that they will, but they’re more likely to do so if several people who work for your employer make complaints.

It could take a long time, so it’s best not to rely on this as a way to get the money you’re owed - unless you can’t go to a tribunal. If HMRC finds your employer isn’t paying the minimum wage to people who are entitled to it, they’ll take steps to force them to do so.


After spending hours perfecting your cover letter and tweaking your CV, you finally have an interview for your dream job!


Unless your Donald Trump, you have to be qualified for the role in hand and showcase your skills and experience.

You may have read our previous blog on why first impressions matter, but there’s much more to it!  So below, we take a look at the key things not to do in a job interview:

Don’t be late

Did your car break down or did the bus not show up? If you’re late for an interview it doesn’t really matter why and the interviewers may write you off before you’ve even spoken. Leave with plenty of time, plan your route and aim to show up 15 minutes early. It’s better to be early than late!

Don’t fidget or slouch

Having good body language and posture will go a long way in creating a good first impression. Don’t slouch when you sit down and avoid fidgeting as this will make you appear nervous and lacking in confidence. How can you expect an employer to believe in your abilities when you don’t believe in yourself?

Don’t dress inappropriately

You may be excited to wear your new dress, but if it’s not appropriate for an interview, you probably shouldn’t wear it. Whilst many workplaces will not require you to wear full business wear into the office every day when it comes to interviews, proper business attire is expected! So even if you are interviewing for a warehouse role, you still need to look the part!

Don’t criticise
Although you may not be happy in your current job, it’s important not to appear bitter or resentful. Avoid bad mouthing your current or previous employers during a job interview. Interviewees who are quick to share information about the internal goings-on within their current company will appear indiscreet and disloyal – neither of which will help you secure a new job!

Combining our advice with a good dose of common sense will help you make a great first impression and increase your chances of landing your dream job.

If you are looking for a new role or advice, please get in touch on with us on 01235 462 900 or email us at info@selective-group.co.uk.


When we’re young, we all grow up dreaming of our perfect job - usually a footballer, an astronaut, singer or actor - you get the drift!

But for every one of us that makes it, thousands don’t and we have to look for something else to do - not easy when it’s likely that you’re suffering the disappointment of not being lucky enough in your preferred job.


When you break down the numbers, many people spend more time at work than with their families or even asleep, so it’s crucial for a healthy work life balance and general happiness to enjoy what you do.


Given recent events, where very famous, affluent people have been taken ill or sadly passed away, it all goes to show that no-one is immune from fate playing it’s final hand.


Which got us thinking, it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or what you have, life can be far too short, so it’s imperative that you enjoy your life as much as possible whilst you can, and work is a huge part of that.


So if you’re in a job that doesn’t fulfil you, then do something about it. Sure, you might need to study outside of work to get extra qualifications, or work harder in your current role to get that promotion you want, but it’ll be worth it.


Because life is too short not to be in a job you love!


If you are looking for a new role or advice to take your career into orbit, please get in touch on with us on 01235 462 900 or email us at info@selective-group.co.uk.


We all know that saying goodbye is a difficult thing, especially for Theresa May and the European Union!

Leaving your job is also a difficult process, something that needs to be handled carefully to ensure there is no bad blood.

There are many reasons that people find this uncomfortable, such as not knowing how their employer will react, fear of confrontation and appearing disloyal. What is important throughout is to remember why you are leaving and plan your exit carefully.

We take a look at the key things that you should bare in mind when planning your resignation:

The Exit Strategy

The Chequers Deal hasn’t gone to plan and we may even delay our departure from the EU. However, when leaving your employer it's important to make a clear plan and stick to it.

First things first, find out what your notice period is and plan accordingly. It may be tempting to take an extended notice period if they ask nicely, but think carefully about what’s best for you.

The next step is to write your letter of resignation - but don’t worry, you won’t have to carefully craft a well-written document, as there are many templates available online.

Handing in your Notice

Handing in your notice can be uncomfortable for both you and your employer - but not as uncomfortable as May’s dancing! Can anything be?

It’s important to be clear and explain your reasons well, giving genuine feedback. Before going into the meeting, it’s best to reflect on why you’re leaving so you can give a full picture.

Many of us have had a hot head of a boss! It’s also important to keep your cool and remain professional - if things do get heated.

Counter Offer

A counter offer is a dangerous game and something that needs to be handled with care. While a new offer must seem attractive, it’s important to remember why you wanted to leave in the first place.

If your present employer offers you a pay rise or a promotion in order to keep you, should you be flattered? Not always!

If these things were always available, why are they only being offered now that you want to leave? Will this short-term solution fix the reasons that made you want to leave? Probably not. Think about your future at the company, can you see yourself there long-term or will this offer only delay the inevitable?

Exit Interview

You may be invited to an exit interview with your current employer. Do not mistake this for an opportunity to vent or rant about what has irritated you during your time with them. You still need to remain professional and polite at all times.

An exit interview is to help the company understand why you are leaving, why you have taken another offer and for them to look internally for ways to rectify this in the future.

Don’t burn any bridges as you might run into some of your colleagues or managers in the future. Do your best to make sure you preserve the relationships you’ve built as you may come into contact again. 

If you are looking for a new role or advice, please get in touch on with us on 01235 462 900 or email us at info@selective-group.co.uk.

Contact Us

01235 462 900 - Abingdon - Head Office
01865 595 560 - Oxford
0207 186 0271 - London