Posted by: Simon Hunt

Posted on: .

Beware the trains of August (or lack of!!….)

August can always be a challenging month in the recruitment calendar as all and sundry (with ankle biters) head off for their summer holidays. Processes grind to a painfully slow pace, decision makers are away and so delays in outcomes become a matter of course. It can be a frustrating time for all involved.

In August 2017, this annual phenomenon is due to be exaggerated thanks to much needed rail improvement works being carried out across the southern train network. Waterloo station will be undergoing significant improvements and a number of stations on the South West Train lines will be closed or partially closed. Waterloo’s 275,000 a day commuters are being advised to use a different station, travel by a different route, work from home, go on holiday or avoid the peak periods of travel to ease the congestion that is expected. During this time nine of the 25 platforms will close with up to half the usual South West Trains service cancelled on some lines.

To add to this chaos on the week of the August bank holiday (between Saturday 26 August to Saturday 2 September) there will be no Southeastern trains to or from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge.

It means that over August anyone commuting in from south London and southern home counties is likely to be heavily impacted in regard to working hours.

There are some obvious implications:

  • We are and have been consulting with clients to ensure expected start dates are managed accordingly – please think about when you need people to start and how unsettling a first week in a job can be if you struggle to get there or your immediate team/manager are not there for support.
  • It means that interview timelines are likely to be impacted with limited availability for certain individuals – slowing the entire process. Flexibility will be key.
  • We are advising employees here at Oakleaf to take holiday over the period – it is likely that other suppliers will be doing the same thing – get briefs out to market early so that they can be well managed.
  • With lots of people being forced to take leave over this period the candidate population will be harder to manage and so forewarned is forearmed.


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