Debbie Walton
Debbie Walton

HR profession becoming a priority for recruitment 

Recent research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has found that HR vacancies are likely to be up by 13.5% on 2021. The HR profession is becoming a priority area for businesses to recruit for.

According to the data provided by business intelligence specialist, Vacancysoft, internal recruiters are the most wanted specialists. Thirty-five percent of all HR vacancies this year have been for internal recruiters. Training/learning is sitting at 14% of total vacancies.

The specialism which is growing both in volume and share is HR generalists, at an increase of 64% as the monthly average between last year and this. The total share rose from 13% to 14.3%.

In terms of the sectors recruiting for HR, technology has had 3,994 vacancies so far, with 17.5% of the total number of HR jobs. Second on the list is Retail, with 3,833 roles so far (16.8%). Despite the importance of Banking to the UK economy, it is only responsible for 7% of HR vacancies in the HR sector. This is possibly linked to the cost-of-living crisis and the inevitable impact on the UK economy.

When looking at the different regions, London dominates with 8,995 vacancies this year, accounting for 39.6% of the total HR vacancies posted. The South East follows with  2,637 vacancies, accounting for 11.6% of HR vacancies.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, comments: “As the UK’s economic pressures mount, a decline in vacancies is to be expected. However, since the UK remains in the grips of a skills shortage, hiring teams and recruitment professionals alike will continue to be in high demand. While HR will have a key part to play in narrowing the skills gap, we will also need to call on the country’s policymakers to implement an internationally viable approach to boosting the UK’s access to skills, alongside building a more attractive entry route into the country for highly skilled self-employed professionals.”

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First firm to achieve status for entire company

Digital media and marketing recruitment firm, Aspire, is the first staffing company to put its entire team through the APSCo Inclusive+ Recruiter training programme.

The course deals with the challenges that recruiters face in supporting their clients to attract and retain a more diverse workforce, including:

  • Building confidence and making the business case for ED&I
  • Supporting clients on their ED&I journey
  • Unconscious bias and how it impacts the recruitment process
  • Attracting diverse and underrepresented talent through inclusive job ads and building an inclusive brand
  • Inclusive recruitment practices, what they are, and how to implement them
  • An introduction to the Equality Act and the most important elements to consider before and during recruitment.

The training programme is designed for the recruitment sector and delivered by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). Adam Tobias from Inventum Group designed it.

Paul Farrer, Founder of Aspire, commented: “As a business, diversity and inclusion is part of our core. Not only have we inserted diversity clauses into our client terms, but we’ve also built diversity into our own people development and culture. As a sector that is so heavily involved in, and responsible for, building diverse workforces, it makes absolute sense that recruiters themselves should have an understanding of diversity, inclusion, biases and equality. Historically we’ve had a diversity task force in place to both audit our business and keep ED&I at the top of our agenda, for this reason our new starters are also required to go through our own diversity training. We also support the APSCo Embrace Forum to help drive diversity across recruitment and I am sure those members will take a lead and follow suit.”

“While diversity training is a must for recruiters working directly with candidates, we put all staff forward for Inclusive+ Recruiter as it is our responsibility as business leaders to embrace and encourage diversity for all, therefore all our UK people regardless of level or job role are now accredited. I would highly recommend this training for others in the staffing sector. It’s tailored specifically to recruiters, which means it’s not only highly targeted, but it also provides tangible takeaways that staff can implement. Hats off to Adam Tobias and APSCO for developing this practical initiative.”

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo added: “Recruiters have a crucial role to play in improving diversity, equity and inclusion in global workforces. We developed this training to help equip staff in the sector with the tools to be more diverse and I’m delighted with the response we’ve had since Inclusive+ Recruiter was launched. To see Aspire put its entire business through the training is testament to the firm’s commitment and passion to the cause.”

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81% of employers have implemented sign-on bonuses

According to the WTW 2022 Mid-year Compensation Survey, employers are using a number of strategies to attract and retain employees. From increasing flexibility to sign-on bonuses, employers are having to think out of the box as the hiring market remains tight.

The survey found that 71% of employers have difficulty attracting and retaining employees with digital skills while 66% said the same for professional employees. For hourly roles, 61% of respondents said they are having difficulty hiring and keeping workers.

To help attract and retain workers, WTW found that employers are:

  • Hiring employees at the higher end of salary ranges, 86%.
  • Increasing flexibility in where employees work (for example, home versus office) and how they work, 84%.
  • Offering sign-on bonuses to attract talent, 81%.
  • Using retention bonuses to keep employees, 65%. Organizations that are enhancing the use of retention bonuses are most likely to target such bonuses to managers (82%) and professionals (80%).
  • Increasing training opportunities, 55%.

Lesli Jennings, North America Leader, Work, Rewards and Careers at WTW commented: “Employers are leaving no stones unturned in their battle to find and keep talent.”

The WTW survey also found employers are revising their salary budgets to hire and keep workers. Respondents said they are planning or considering:

  • Boosting their current salary budgets, 44%; 23% already have done so.
  • Adjusting salary budgets throughout the year on an as-needed basis, 46%; 22% already have.
  • Making more frequent salary adjustments throughout the year; 7% already have.
  • Adjusting salary ranges (i.e., minimums, midpoints and maximums) more aggressively, 46%; 18% already have.

The survey took place between May 23 and June 16. It involved 884 organizations in North America that employ more than 15 million people.

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Benefits of recruitment automation revealed

New data from Bullhorn has revealed that recruitment firms who make use of automation are reaping benefits which include:

  • A 64% higher fill rate
  • Submission of 33% more candidates per recruiter
  • 55% more likely to report major revenue gains in 2021

Bullhorn has reached a milestone of one billion total automated tasks and has released a chatbot that uses automation and AI to provide information to talent at any time of day by integrating with recruitment firms’ websites.

According to the data, recruitment firms currently automate over 20,000 emails, texts, updates, notes, and tasks each year. This represented an estimated saving of 2.5 million employee hours in 2021, or up three hours per recruiter daily.

The data also revealed that contract and temp recruitment firms that use automation could redeploy 20% more of their talent when assignments end. In addition, firms that use automation for talent communication report 20% higher click rates and 30% higher open rates than the industry averages.

According to the company’s findings, the three most common use cases for recruitment automation are:

  • Talent engagement: Automation allows recruiters to manage communications more effectively and keep candidates informed at every step of the process
  • Data health: Automating data management and compliance functions, such as anonymising records and updating job, company, and contract status for all the records within the applicant tracking system (ATS)
  • Internal operations: Automating simple tasks such as creating notes and alerts.

Jason Heilman, SVP, Automation and AI at Bullhorn, says: “One billion automations is a huge milestone for the recruitment industry, Bullhorn, and the companies that leverage automation to drive their business. We are thrilled to have given recruiters so much more time to focus on building relationships and connecting people with opportunities.

“The adoption of automation has accelerated in tandem with some of the most turbulent market conditions in recent memory. During the pandemic, digital transformation presented much-needed opportunities for recruitment businesses as circumstances forced them to cut costs and operate as efficiently as possible.

“Today, automation can take on an incredible range of tasks, and we are constantly working on finding more ways it can further enhance the recruiter and talent experience. It already represents a way of overcoming common pain points, from poor communication to time-consuming scheduling and regulatory compliance, and the data clearly shows that firms that embrace it have a competitive edge.”

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Infinity Consulting Solutions has vast experience with interim professional placement offerings and expertise 

Korn Ferry has announced that it has acquired Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS).

Headquartered in New York, with nine offices throughout the United States, ICS offers substantial interim professional solutions expertise which will further enhance Korn Ferry’s industry-leading portfolio.

ICS is a widely regarded provider of senior-level IT interim professional solutions with additional expertise in the areas of compliance and legal, accounting and finance, and human resources.

The firm brings to Korn Ferry a vast network of senior IT professionals, a rigorous data-driven recruitment process, and deep relationships with a diverse mix of clients across multiple industries. ICS has also been recognised with the Best of Staffing Diamond award for 10 consecutive years.

Korn Ferry’s brand, vast intellectual property and five decades of organisational consulting expertise are a firm foundation for growing scale in today’s highly segmented executive and professional interim solutions market.

Gary D. Burnison, CEO, Korn Ferry commented: “Infinity Consulting Solutions will be a great fit, with interim professional placement offerings and expertise that are highly relevant for the new world of work. Today, Boomers are retiring and career nomads are looking for change – early and often. Our clients have entered a new reality where shortages of skilled labour are projected to persist, particularly in high-demand areas such as IT. Korn Ferry’s acquisition of ICS echoes our commitment to scale our solutions and further increase our focus at the intersection of talent and strategy – wherever and however the needs of organizations evolve.”

Doug Klares, CEO, Infinity Consulting Solutions said: “Now, with Korn Ferry, we will have a world-class global network of colleagues, vast IP and client connections at every turn. Our track record of success and deep interim professional solutions expertise, combined with Korn Ferry’s expansive organisational consulting credentials, will give us even greater opportunities to deliver client and colleague impact. We’re excited to be joining Korn Ferry and look forward to what the future holds.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be immediately accretive to Korn Ferry’s adjusted earnings.

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More than a third of job seekers drop out of recruitment procedure

According to research published by Sterling, the majority (78%) of job seekers are dropping out or considering dropping out of the recruitment procedure due to lengthy and complex processes, exacerbating the skills crisis.

The data, which comes from a global survey of more than 1,200 HR professionals and perspectives from more than 3,700 recent job seekers, revealed that a third of those that dropped out said the hiring process was too complicated and 22% expressed an issue with the background screening process.

There is clearly a disconnect between employers and candidates as the research found that just 9% of HR professionals believed that candidates would find their hiring process complicated, despite a third of candidates exiting the process for this very reason.

According to Sterling, these results should be cause for concern at a time when skills are in increasingly short supply, with almost half of HR professionals surveyed revealing that they are unable to find enough candidates to fill roles.

Steve Smith, President International at Sterling, commented: “With skills in short supply across most of Europe, ensuring applicants have the best possible experience with a brand is of significant importance. However, this latest data indicates that a significant proportion of the candidate community is dropping out of hiring processes due to the complexity of requirements, suggesting the experience for the end-user isn’t as positive as it could be. There’s been a wealth of speculation that individuals are getting counter-offers which is leading to them dropping out of the hiring process due to opportunities elsewhere. While this may be the case, the insight from applicants themselves suggests there’s more to this issue that needs to be addressed swiftly. In the current economy, it’s simply not a viable option to overlook how important it is to provide an efficient and engaging hiring process for candidates.”

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NHS labour shortages force employers to target Caribbean healthcare workers

Job site caribbeanemployment.com has shared new trends showing that the international labour shortage is benefitting Caribbean Healthcare Workers.

A new report by MPs in the UK highlights that the NHS is in the worst workforce crisis in its history, needing 12,000 hospital doctors and more than 50,000 nurses and midwives. With this news, it is no surprise that employers in the US, UK, Canada, and other western countries are offering Caribbean healthcare workers opportunities to live and work abroad.

Nurses and healthcare workers are not the only employees leaving the region due to job prospects. Many US and UK employers are offering attractive relocation packages to Caribbean workers.

This is not a new phenomenon:  Over the years, many Caribbean countries have formed partnerships with governments in the United States, Canada, the UK, and elsewhere to attract skilled labour.

Joe Boll, Caribbean Employment CEO, commented: “We manage thousands of international jobs which allows us to quickly see trends across the global recruitment market. The huge skill shortages across many western economies is forcing employers to focus their efforts on attracting international workers and this is being seen in abundance throughout the Caribbean.”

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Stateside move to provide better service for US-based clients

Software and fintech executive search consultancy Oakstone International has opened an office in Chicago to provide better service for USA-based clients and candidates.

The US operation is led by Arran Campbell, Managing Consultant North America. Campbell has transferred from Oakstone’s Poole headquarters to the Illinois city. The move provides the consultancy with more US working hours and the ability to meet clients and candidates in person.

Campbell has been with Oakstone International for two years. Before Oakstone, he was an award-winning senior manager in the automotive industry for 20 years. He began his recruitment career after selling a vehicle to Paul Rayner, CEO of Oakstone.

Arran Campbell, Oakstone Managing Consultant North America, said: “There is a huge opportunity for Oakstone International here, with the amount of software companies which are looking for assistance and candidates who are seeking to change their lives.

“Oakstone having a greater presence in the USA and really cementing our global status as an international company is nothing but a good thing. It gives us visibility in the US, which is a huge market of clients and candidates.

“I’ve transitioned my workload to the US. I had started doing more and more US projects while I was in the UK – dealing with clients and candidates and doing searches – and found myself dealing almost exclusively with American roles.

“Being in the UK made this challenging – time differences meaning only six hours a day of communications was possible – so when the opportunity came up for my wife and I to move to the US we thought it was perfect timing.”

“One thing I have noticed here in the States, which I have tried to relay to my client managers, is the speed of hiring. People are now going through processes in two weeks. Gone are the days when you might have up to 10 interviews

“People are being hired for high-paid jobs on one or two Zoom interviews. Here, it is generally a two-week notice period, a bit more fluid than much of the rest of the world

Paul Rayner, Oakstone Chief Executive Officer, said: “Arran is an experienced operator whose skill sets make him ideal for this position. I had no hesitation in backing this opportunity

“From a business perspective the benefits for Oakstone having a representative in Chicago is that a lot of the long-term clients he is working with all have their head offices in the city.

“With Arran as a full-time representative we not only have a better chance to communicate with and meet clients and candidates, but we are also better placed to meet existing and future prospects in person.”

“The clients who are flexible in terms of salary and remote working are the ones who are succeeding in winning the talent. Software companies which are stuck in their ways are no longer getting the best people.

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17.0% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” down from 19.5% in June

According to the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, consumer confidence fell moderately in July following a larger decline in June.

It marked the third consecutive month of declines in the index, which now stands at a level of 95.7, down from 98.4 in June.

Lynn Franco, Senior Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board said that the decrease was driven primarily by a decline in the Present Situation Index. The Expectations Index held relatively steady, but remained well below a reading of 80, suggesting recession risks persist.

Franco said: “Looking ahead, inflation and additional rate hikes are likely to continue posing strong headwinds for consumer spending and economic growth over the next six months.”

Inflation and surging gas and food prices remained top concerns for consumers and weakened their expectations, Franco went on to note. Meanwhile, purchasing intentions for cars, homes, and major appliances have softened further in July.

Present situation

  • Consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions was less favorable in July. 17.0% of consumers said business conditions were “good,” down from 19.5% in June. However, 24.0% of consumers said business conditions were “bad,” up from 22.8%.
  • Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was less optimistic: 50.1% of consumers said jobs were “plentiful,” down from 51.5% in June, and 12.3% of consumers said jobs were “hard to get,” up from 11.6%.

Six-month outlook

  • Consumers’ optimism about the short-term business conditions outlook was mixed in July; 14.0% of consumers expect business conditions will improve, down from 14.6% in June. Conversely, 27.2% expect business conditions to worsen, down from 29.7%.
  • Consumers’ optimism about the short-term labor market outlook was also mixed;15.7% of consumers expect more jobs to be available, down from 15.9% in June. However, 21.4% anticipate fewer jobs, down from 22.2%.
  • Consumers were more pessimistic about their short-term financial prospects. The index found 14.7% of consumers expect their incomes to increase, down from 16.1% in June, while 15.7% expect their income to decrease, up from 15.3%.
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60% of companies said they need more employees to manage their workload

According to poll data released by Express Employment Professionals, companies are becoming more hesitant to hire amid worries about a possible recession and other concerns.

Nancy Reed, an Express franchise owner in Texas said: “In our market, the big fear is a recession. Businesses aren’t confident in the future, and recession talk has employers waiting to see what will happen next.”

According to Reed, employers have been tolerating more absenteeism, tardiness and less experience, but that is changing.

“Now, they are holding off to see what happens,” she continued. “Managers will hire that skilled employee who is ready to come back but are holding off hiring any extra help until they see what will happen with the recession.”

Businesses aren’t panicking yet, but there are signs of cautious hiring, said Chris Cary, an Express franchise owner in Virginia.

Cary said: “In one of our markets, we are not seeing this rear its head dramatically at the moment, but in speaking with business owners and leaders, there is a sense of what is around the next corner with inflation and chatter of a recession.”

According to a poll by Express Employment Professionals that took place in May, 60% of companies said they need more employees to manage their workload but don’t have the capacity to hire them. Of those who lacked the bandwidth to hire additional employees, 48% reported it’s because their company is adjusting its recruiting/hiring strategy. In addition, 42% said their company is waiting to see if the workload will level out before hiring additional employees.

Other concerns: 32% said upper management has not approved hiring of additional staff, and 32% do not have enough money in the budget this year to hire additional staff.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Express Employment Professionals by The Harris Poll and took place between May 3 and May 23. It included 1,003 US hiring decision-makers.

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