Mental Health Awareness Week

Heidi Gibaut

Heidi Gibaut

May 18, 2020 6 min read

Mental health in the workplace is still a taboo subject for many employers and employees. The structure and productivity of work are good for our wellbeing. However, a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems. With Mental Health Awareness Week drawing to a close, we are sharing our knowledge of the recruitment process. By educating ourselves on mental health issues, we can help other people understand that there are steps we can take to make a real change.

Candidates

How do you know that you won’t thrive in a different role or environment unless you try? It’s hard to tell if the next move is the right one until you make the change and start that new role.

When looking to change jobs, you should look for roles that will showcase your abilities, especially ones you are interested in. ASL can match your strengths to available positions, as well as help you plan and discuss your career aspirations.

Researching the company you are applying to work at is an essential step for any job seeker, but is particularly significant for those with mental health issues. Getting an understanding of the work culture will give you more insight into the levels of stress you could encounter. You could also try to find out if they are an inclusive organisation who offer wellbeing support in their workplace.

As an applicant, your rights are protected, and you have the final decision in accepting or declining any role. Knowing there is external support from an agency like ASL could be the push you need to take the next step towards your goal.

Be kind to yourself during this process. You will not get every job, or even be shortlisted for an interview every time. But, by taking steps to improve and protect your wellbeing, you can mentally prepare yourself for any outcome.

Employers

When recruiting, you need to consider the ability of the person and how they might fit into your organisation, sometimes more than anything else. Someone who struggles in one business could flourish in another, so you don’t want to miss the opportunity to foster growth within your organisation. At ASL, we match candidates to roles that we think they will be an asset in, and never place a candidate into a position that is too much for them.

Being open about your process and promoting your wellbeing programmes during interviews will help candidates to relax more and let you get to know them better. Advocating for the health and safety of your employees will encourage candidates to be more open, which should make the recruitment process more accessible.

As an employer, you should never base your decision not to employee someone should on any disclosure relating to any medical conditions, including mental health. Candidates are protected under the Discrimination (Jersey) Law, so the decision for not hiring someone should be related to their skills and attributes.

Rejection can feel harsh and damage a person’s confidence, so it’s crucial to be kind when rejecting applicants. Although it can be time-consuming, providing feedback on why a candidate did not get the role can help them to secure a position in the future. Offering an observation on what could be improved shows that your business cares about the candidate, and can encourage them to apply again for a different role.

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact your GP as soon as possible. There are also a number of community and charity services available who can offer support and information on mental health:

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Heidi Gibaut

Heidi Gibaut

Managing Director

Heidi is a fellow of the CIPD and excels in matching skills and capabilities along with organisational development. She spent 3 years on the Education and Training subcommittee of IOD and 6 years as policy Advisor for CIPD.

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