Client Covid Questionnaire 2020

Client Covid Questionnaire 2020

2020 has been a year we will remember for a long time…

As we approach the end of the year, we have asked our clients to tell us how their businesses have been affected, about employee wellbeing and productivity, and how they feel about the support they have received to date.
Our clients are predominantly from West Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas, and while we are in an area that thankfully has not felt the worst effects of COVID-19, local businesses have had to endure the same economic difficulties as the rest of the country during the national lockdowns.

What did we learn?

Working from Home

The survey found that local businesses have adapted where they can, with 88% telling us that their employees have been working from home at some point. While most businesses found that they achieved the same output from their workforce during this time, nearly 1 in 5 businesses (19%) said that productivity was negatively affected.
The survey also shows that home working is not necessarily better for employee’s mental health. 50% of employers noticed no difference in the mental health of their employees, however more than twice as many employers reported the mental health had declined in comparison to those that reported it had improved. One employer commented that having had 15 employees return to work after Lockdown 1.0, only two took up the option to return to home working again in Lockdown 2.0.


Business Performance

Before giving the results here, it is important to clarify that we do not specialise in either retail or hospitality and so this particular survey does not include these sectors.
In terms of revenue and personal income, responses to the survey showed that just as many businesses had improved fortunes compared to those whose results were negatively affected, although we do not know by how much (a 5% increase for Company A does not offset a 50% reduction for Company B).
Over 2/3 of businesses surveyed made use of the furlough scheme and 1/3 had planned or made redundancies. Conversely 2/3 of businesses reported that they recruited new employees and over 3/4 of businesses said that they had not put off recruiting a planned role, something which is a surprise given the reduction in advertised vacancies during that period.

Support Received

The Government will be pleased to hear, that 5 times as many businesses said that they were positive regarding the overall financial support they had received to date compared to those who gave a negative response.
Interestingly however, more businesses reported being unhappy with the introduction of Lockdown 2.0 indicating that further restrictions and pain for business would not be received well in the region.




Beware falling into the “new normal” trap, and assuming that your employees are happier at home. Many will be lonely and will miss the camaraderie and friendships that come with working in a busy office or workplace.

Working from home does not suit everyone (or even most people). Spending less time commuting, and reducing expenses is great, but reducing social interaction and exercise can have negative consequences for many, not to mention working with young children and pets in the house can be very stressful and distracting.

Instead focus on a more fluid approach to flexible working. Give your employees the option to work at home when they want / need to in order to make their lives easier e.g. Home working during school holidays, flexible start and finish times around core hours to help with the school run, or a day at home if your Field Sales Rep has just done a 200-mile round trip. And if you do have people working from home, make sure you check in with them regularly (not just on their productivity but also their wellbeing).

The West Oxfordshire business community is strong and adaptable, and many companies (35%) have managed to improve their results during this very difficult time. That said, 40% have suffered financially during this period and would benefit from the local business community coming together to support them and rebuild our local economy.

While much of what the Government has done has been applauded, overwhelmingly the biggest complaint / criticism has been the “lasting uncertainty”, and “confused communication” that has resulted in unnecessary damage being done. It seems both anecdotally and through the results of the survey that additional lockdowns will not be supported to the same extent by our business community.


For businesses that are struggling with the effects of recent months, local support, guidance and advice on whether or not your business is eligible for additional support can be gained at OxLEP and GOV.UK

Enterprise Advisors – The Burford Recruitment Company

Enterprise Advisors – The Burford Recruitment Company


The Burford Recruitment Company are very proud to share with you that our two Directors, Chris and Jodie have completed their DBA checks and safeguarding training and are now officially Enterprise Advisors. They will both be working with the careers teams at Abingdon & Witney College (and other secondary schools), as well as OxLEP Skills and The Careers & Enterprise Company to link schools and colleges to employers and help them to deliver world class careers support for all young people by:

1. Building Networks
2. Supporting Careers Leaders
3. Backing the Gatsby Benchmarks

The Enterprise Adviser Network matches schools and colleges with senior business volunteers to help create powerful, lasting partnerships between schools, colleges, employers and careers programme providers and we are excited to be part of it!



How can you or your business help to support local schools and colleges?


Join the Enterprise Adviser Network!

What is the Enterprise Adviser Network?

The Careers & Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network matches schools and colleges with senior business volunteers to help create powerful, lasting partnerships between schools, colleges, employers and careers programme providers. As an Enterprise Adviser, you will take your passion for raising aspirations of young people and combine it with your skills and strategic thinking.

An Enterprise Adviser is a volunteer from business who works closely with the headteacher or Senior Leadership Team of a school or college to provide strategic support. An Enterprise Adviser uses their business experience and professional networks to help develop and implement an effective careers strategy that puts opportunities with local employers at the heart of a young person’s education. Over 2,500 individual senior business volunteers now support the new workforce of Careers Leaders in schools and colleges. A recent survey of Enterprise Advisers indicated that 82% of Enterprise Advisers intend to continue next year with their role, and 92% believe they have built a new skill through the work with schools and colleges.

How can you help?

Research shows that performance against the Gatsby Benchmarks, a framework of eight guidelines that define the best careers provision, is stronger in schools and colleges who are in the Enterprise Adviser Network and working with an Enterprise Adviser, than whose who receive no support.

An Enterprise Adviser adds value by:

  • Providing an employer’s perspective on what businesses are likely to be willing to do and what opportunities businesses would value;
  • Supporting the school or college’s senior leadership team to develop a school or college strategic plan to ensure every young person receives meaningful employer encounters and workplace experiences – you are not expected to be an expert in the Careers landscape to do this!
  • Engaging with local businesses and employers in your network to encourage their involvement in activities at the school or college;
  • Helping schools and colleges to focus efforts on programmes and activities that are most effective in motivating young people, supporting independent choice and enabling positive outcomes for young people.

What will I need to do?

Our Enterprise Advisers come from different industry sectors and professional backgrounds, be that employed, self-employed or recently retired. As an Enterprise Adviser you can use your unique business experience to inspire young people and prepare them for when they leave education. Careers education is improving everywhere – research from The Careers & Enterprise Company’s State of the Nation 2019 report shows that 2 million secondary aged children are now engaging with employers regularly in 3,800 participating schools and colleges. Ofsted has reported improvements: “The current picture is much more encouraging than has been the case in the past…We saw evidence of integrated, coherent and effective careers strategies in more schools.” Your input could help shape the careers education strategy in your local school or college, better preparing young people for the world of work.

You’ll gain new skills working with the senior leadership in a school and use your network to bring the right people together. The typical time commitment is circa 8 hours per month, over the academic year.

I have never done anything like this – who can I speak to?

You will be supported throughout the journey by a local Enterprise Coordinator, who will help to build the relationships with local schools and colleges.

How do I get involved?

If you would like to help support your local school or college in delivering world class careers guidance to students, getting involved is simple – to register your interest, click here.


WOBA WINNERS – Cally Robson Award 2020

WOBA WINNERS – Cally Robson Award 2020

Four years ago, when we were preparing to launch the business, we had a conversation about what we wanted to achieve in the first 5 years. Many of the things we spoke about have now been achieved. We have steadily grown, moved into our own office, employed our first member of staff, and importantly remained profitable. However, the very first thing on our founder Jodie’s list was to win a West Oxfordshire Business Award (WOBA)…

A number of our clients, and many of the best and well regarded businesses in West Oxfordshire are either previous winners or have been involved in the awards in some other way during the 10 years they have been running, whether that is through sponsoring  an award or being part of the WOBA judging team.

We were therefore really excited to be finalists this year in not one, but two categories (New Business Award and Micro Business Award). The virtual awards ceremony took place on Friday afternoon, and I have to admit we were disappointed not to take either of those awards home.

That disappointment was short lived however and we were delighted (and stunned as you will see if you watch the video clip below!) to be presented with the prestigious Cally Robson Award! This award in particular is incredibly special for a number of reasons…

The Cally Robson Award commemorates an inspirational former member of the WOBA Team. It is not an award that you can enter, this award is presented by the WOBA judges to the finalist that best represents the WOBA values of entrepreneurship, innovation, and a sense of community. With so many great businesses in the finals to be recognised in this way was just amazing.

I would recommend that any business in the West Oxfordshire area should get involved in the WOBAs when they return in 2022 (after 10 years they are having a year off). I certainly hope that there will be an opportunity for us to contribute going forwards in some capacity. To get involved or find out more about the awards visit or to watch the award presentation you can visit




Flexible Recruitment for our Clients

Flexible Recruitment for our Clients

Flexible Recruitment Solutions in a Changing Market

Whatever your need, we have the recruitment model to suit your business…

I am sure that we have all heard the expression “we are all in the same boat” when it comes to Covid-19 but that just isn’t the case! We may all be bobbing about in the same storm, but each boat is a different shape and size, with a different cargo and crew…

Whatever the size and shape of your business, it is likely that the economic consequences of the lockdown have impacted in some way, and with the economy likely to take some time to recover, businesses are going to need to to be agile in order to maximise their opportunities and not only survive but thrive!

With this in mind, we have developed a number of flexible recruitment models designed to make it easy for our clients to increase their headcount when they need to, whilst minimising any risk…



Like any business,  we too want to reduce our risk in the current times, so in addition to our standard terms for contingent recruitment services (competition with other agencies), we are introducing 2 new models that provide outstanding value for money and a win win for ourselves and our clients…


The Partnership Model – Our partnership terms provide a significantly reduced fee %, as well as monthly payment options (at 0% interest), helping minimise cost and cash flow concerns). They also include an extended rebate scheme, in exchange for exclusivity on vacancies for an agreed period.


The Retained Model – For companies needing more support in the overall recruitment process, clients can choose the retained model, and have access to their own internal recruitment team from as little as £250 a month. Your dedicated Recruitment Partner can assist you or your Hiring Managers with job description creation and salary bench marking as well as creating and managing recruitment campaigns, and supporting the interview and offer process, making recruiting the perfect addition to your team easy.


To assist those clients who require additional cover, but do not know how long that might be for, or perhaps just want to try before they buy, we are now able to support our clients with a full temporary recruitment service on a weekly or monthly time-sheet/invoice basis. Our Office & Professional, Marketing & Creative, and Accountancy & Finance specialists will ensure that they find you the right fit for your team, even if you only require them for a week.



For more information on any of the products and to see if we can help you visit our client services page or  contact us on [email protected]  


Woodgrove Farm – Our new home

Woodgrove Farm – Our new home

First Impressions Count – Protect Your Brand

When partnering with a recruitment agency, it is important to remember that to your candidates, the recruitment agency is an extension of your business.

Our offices, located in a converted stable on the outskirts of Burford, will provide a great first impression to candidates that come to register with us. Our aim is to provide a friendly and professional space where candidates can come to receive a consultative service, and one that differentiates us from the quick turnaround, revolving door that many see as the mark of the ‘high street’ recruitment agency.


Promotion News

Recruitment Partner – Accountancy & Finance


We are delighted to announce that Carla Humi has been promoted to Recruitment Partner – Accountancy & Finance!

Carla spent a number of years recruiting A&F teams within the creative sectors in London and across East Asia before relocating to the Cotswolds and joining The Burford Recruitment Company. Since then, Carla has been a fantastic addition to the team and we are delighted that going forward she will be managing all things Accountancy and Finance.

It is Carla’s friendly and professional style and her focus on client and candidate engagement that makes her the perfect fit for our team and our clients.

Contact: [email protected] or visit

Helping Candidates Adapt to a Changing Job Market

Helping Candidates Adapt to a Changing Job Market

Jodie, Carla and I wanted to share some thoughts on how recent events may impact on your search for a new role, what you need to do to give yourself the best chance of finding the role you are looking for, and how The Burford Recruitment Company can help you to adapt to the changing job market.


COVID-19 has already had a major impact on individuals and businesses, and it is likely that it will continue to cause major disruption for months to come. It remains unclear what damage will be done, however we have been warned that it is just not possible to “save every job and every business”, and that we should prepare for the fact that large numbers of people are likely to find themselves out of work, as businesses close or cut costs to stay afloat.

We must all accept that the job market is fundamentally changing. The number of people looking for work is going to increase significantly, while at the same time the number of available roles is likely to reduce, increasing competition and turning what has been a ‘candidate market’ on its head. You must therefore adapt or be left behind!

Increased competition, and increased applications for each available role means your CV needs to be of good quality, and your recruitment partners need to know your preferences in what is likely to be a changing market.


We have been working hard to make changes that will help you adapt, and ensure that they are in the best possible position to succeed in their search for a new role:

YOUR DATA – Our ‘Online Registration’ and ‘Yourdata’ process has been improved to make it as simple as possible for you to first register, and then keep us updated on your changing situation, ensuring you only receive information regarding roles that match your specific requirements.

ONLINE CV SERVICE – Your CV needs to be fit for purpose to get you the interviews you deserve and keep your career on track. We have just launched our Online CV service’ which through to August 31st will remain at an introductory rate of just £25, with a completed CV beling delivered via email within 3 working days. This package complements the ‘Professional CV Service’ which we have also temporarily reduced to £50.00.

SOCIAL MEDIA – Our community on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter continues to grow. Follow us any forum and receive updates with new opportunities, as well as tips and advice on successfully navigating the job market.

 Should you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to email us at [email protected].


Supporting clients through the COVID-19 crisis

Supporting clients through the COVID-19 crisis

How can we help?



Lets face it, whatever anyone says, this is not business as usual!

The schools are closed, many employees are not able to go to work and businesses large and small are worried about the future.

The Burford Recruitment Company is committed to helping businesses who are desperate to fill the gaps in their organisation but are worried about cash flow.

We are therefore providing SMEs in West Oxfordshire and the surrounding areas with the following offers,  until the schools reopen and we can all return to ‘business as usual’:

  1. 10% fees for ALL clients for both Fixed Term Contracts as well as Permanent Placements (on an exclusive / sole agency basis)
  2. Affordable monthly payments over the length of the contract (up to a maximum of 12 months)

West Oxfordshire has a strong business community and it is in all of our interests that as many local businesses make it through the current situation as possible in order to keep our local economy strong.

If you need support with your recruitment please do not hesitate to contact us on 01993 225055 or email [email protected] 

For a little light relief in these difficult times, check out how easy we make making a video look on our Facebook page

West Oxfordshire Business Awards 2020 – Finalists

West Oxfordshire Business Awards 2020 – Finalists

Double Finalists

As many of you know in December last year, The Burford Recruitment Company were delighted to be shortlisted in both the New Business Award and Micro Business Award categories in the West Oxfordshire Business Awards (for the second year running).

January was incredibly busy for us here at The Burford Recruitment Company, with the interviews with representatives of the sponsors and organisers (including Blenheim Palace, Timms Wealth Management, NGI Finance and Witney Business & Innovation Centre) all coming within days of moving into our lovely new home at Woodgrove Farm in Fulbrook, Burford, and Carla joining our team.

The tight schedule and extra work has however proved to have been well worthwhile.

At the Celebration of Business held at Cokethorpe School on Thursday night we were included in the final 3 businesses in both categories.

The awards ceremony itself will be held at Heythrop Park on March 27th and we are greatly looking forward to enjoying it regardless of the outcome!

Hopefully we may see some of you there!

If you want to know what we do differently and why the Judges thought that we deserved a place in the finals, please do get in touch.


[email protected]


How Does Your Business Manage Its Brand When Outsourcing Services (Like Recruitment)?

Brand is Critical

I am always being told that maintaining a positive brand is crucial!

As a business owner, I am very aware that our reputation helps to attract candidates and clients to work with us, and I am certainly not alone in understanding this principle. Most companies in fact will go out of their way to demonstrate to potential employees how much they care, and how wonderful it is to work for them. But how do these companies ensure that their brand is being represented in the way that they would like it to be when they outsource first contact with potential future employees to a recruitment agency?

The answer is by doing their homework.

It goes without saying that if you were looking to outsource a critical marketing campaign, you wouldn’t put your company’s reputation in the hands of the first marketing agency that happened to call, or to someone with only 6 months experience cold calling you from a company 50 miles away. And I very much doubt you would choose the agency who’s only selling point is to undercut all the other marketing agencies with a low budget “fixed fee” campaign. Instead you would do your research and pick the agency that has the experience and skills that you are looking for…. right?

It seems however, when it comes to outsourcing recruitment it is not so unusual to find that basic research is not carried out despite the fact that it can be done pretty quickly by looking online,  or even more effectively by actually visiting the company that is about to handle first contact (at the very least) with potential future employees.

Be in no doubt that choosing the wrong recruitment partner can damage your reputation and your company’s brand so if you are outsourcing please consider the following:

If you can, visit them…

  1. Do they have an office?
  2. Is it clean, modern, professional?
  3. Where will candidates be interviewed?
  4. How are people greeted when they arrive?
  5. How would you feel being interviewed there?
  6. Does it reflect your company brand?

Visit the company website…

  1. Has it been updated this decade?
  2. What is the quality of the job adverts they produce?
  3. Do they do what they said they do?
  4. Are there any references or testimonials?

Ask about the candidate experience…

  1. Do all applicants receive a good service?
  2. Even the unsuccessful ones?
  3. How is their data managed?
  4. Do they have a functioning GDPR process?

Remember, that to a candidate, your recruitment partner is an extension of your company. Don’t allow your brand or your reputation to be tarnished.



At The Burford Recruitment Company, we treat all candidates with respect. Successful or not, all applicants will receive a friendly and supportive response within a few days of applying for a role.

Our candidates meet with a Recruitment Partner in a comfortable and professional setting, and once registered all candidates can update their preferences any time day or night through the innovative Yourdata form on our website, ensuring they only receive details of roles that match their requirements.


Each member of our team has over 15 years’ experience in the industry and with it the knowledge and expertise to manage your recruitment campaign.

If you would like to pop in for a chat about how we can help your business please do not hesitate to contact us on 01993 225055 or email [email protected]

We might not be the right recruitment agency for everyone, but if you are looking for a friendly team with a shed load of experience, based in a lovely stable conversion then we could well be the right agency for you!

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