Category: Employers

90% of executives say skills are becoming the way their organizations are “defining work”

According to a recent report published by Deloitte, organizations that use skills-based practices, such as career mapping for skill sets and hiring that focuses on ability instead of degrees, outperform their peers that don’t do so. However, many organizations are struggling to make significant changes amid calls for workplace agility, Deloitte noted in its report.

Some of the changes mentioned in the report extend to the function of the job itself; with 60% of executives surveyed saying that “fractionalized work,” or work that allows workers to flow between tasks based on their skills or interests, would create better value for an organization. And a number of workers said that “broadened work,” or work that is structured around broad problems to be solved, would be the best way to organize work.

While almost 90% of executives surveyed reported that skills are becoming the way their organizations are “defining work, deploying talent, managing careers and valuing employees” — and 90% of organizations said they are “actively experimenting” with skills-based programming — 59% of workers surveyed said their organizations still value degrees and job experience over “demonstrated skills and potential.”

There was however a disconnect noted by various organizations, even as President Joe Biden made public calls for workers to consider “skills not degrees.”

According to a Cengage report from July, a majority of employers surveyed still require degrees for entry-level jobs, due in part to questions over the value of credentials and other nondegree signals of skill. But many recognized that removing that requirement would help them find workers.

Similarly, 72% of employers in Morning Consult survey data released in August reported that they didn’t see degrees as reliable signals for candidates possessing the right skills, but just over half admitted they still hired from degree programs because it felt less risky. Young workers are also wary of the risk; only 31% surveyed said nondegree programs were a better long-term investment than a degree, and 65% were worried about choosing the wrong path altogether.

Surveyed employers who have pushed for skills-first programming noted that it required a complete rebuild of their job descriptions and positions. But by doing so it helped them remove barriers to significant sources of talent, one organization said during a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs virtual event in July.

As agility once again comes into focus with employers entering the post-pandemic era, skills will likely remain a top priority for organizations, Deloitte’s report noted.

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Employees avoid working from home due to concerns over increase in energy costs

A new report published by Global expenses app, ExpenseOnDemand, shown that as the cost-of-living crisis starts to impact millions across the UK, travel expense claims are surging, as employees start to reduce time working at home to keep energy bills down. The data revealed that mileage and travel expense and claims have increased by 21% while entertainment claims by 15% showing that employees are spending more time out visiting contacts, clients, and colleagues.

According to the report, the trend for working from home is starting to shift as employees are leaving the house to keep energy costs down, however, the cost of the commute to the office doesn’t make going back to the workplace a viable option. Hence, many employees are focussed on meeting and entertaining clients and contacts as a way to spend time away from their home office during the working week. For those with cheaper commutes, many are heading back to the office for the majority of the week and this trend is expected to continue throughout winter.

Sunil Nigam, Founder at ExpenseOnDemand, commented, “We could be looking at a situation where workers want to spend more time meeting clients or in the office to better manage their domestic energy and electricity costs.

This trend is naturally causing a surge in employee expenses. Companies need to ensure they are equipped to manage claims and also monitor dubious expense claims, as employees may try to increase their income. We use advanced tech solutions to make managing expenses seamless, minimise bogus claims and help our clients ensure they aren’t overpaying on expenses.”

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69% of employees feel as though they have a good work/life balance

According to research from HR software company Personio, has found that HR teams are most at risk of budget cuts, with half (52%) of HR managers stating that their HR department often loses out most when budgets are trimmed, and a further 55% already having seen budgets cut, or expecting cuts, in the coming months.

As tougher economic conditions loom, contracting HR budgets could significantly limit UK businesses’ performance and their ability to remain resilient.

Also, despite much talked about concerns about staff retention, 50% of UK HR managers reported that their senior leadership team doesn’t prioritise their employees with 56% saying the business doesn’t place enough value on the HR function.

With the research revealing that only just under a quarter (24%) of UK HR managers feel that they are prepared to help their business remain resilient in an economic downturn. In its report Personio advised businesses to avoid sudden HR department budget cuts and short-term decision making that could potentially damage organisational competitiveness, employee morale and productivity, just when businesses need it most.

Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio, commented: “HR should be even more of a priority now, not less. Successful businesses put their people and culture as central to critical business operations, one that will protect their company, and their customers in tougher times.

“We’ve just come out of a period when many employers have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at their people in an attempt to hang onto them. If they are not thoughtful before they rush to scale back efforts now, their teams will realise it was never really about making their business a great place to work at all. Businesses need to foster a sustainable, long-term approach to looking after their talent, one that works in both good times and more challenging periods.

“But this more strategic HR role can only be achieved when organisations have the technology, data and systems in place that free HR managers up to focus on their people while providing them with the insights they need to be effective. Budgets may be under threat, but people strategy is an area that absolutely must remain a focus.”

The research, which surveyed 500 HR professionals and 1,000 workers across the UK and Republic of Ireland, found that as businesses have prioritised the employee experience during the recent pandemic, positive progress has clearly been made by HR teams with 69% of employees feeling as though they have a good work/life balance, and 73% rating their company culture as good.

Yet the research also highlighted the HR functions’ concerns that budget cuts will be detrimental to employee performance, with 61% of HR managers concerned that budget cuts will negatively affect employees’ motivation and productivity – putting HR’s valuable work and progress at risk.

And with HR managers citing a good company culture (38%), a sustainable, long-term approach to people strategy (37%), and efficient processes (37%) as the top three most important factors in navigating an economic downturn, it’s clearly never been more important that HR departments are equipped with the tools and financial support that they need.

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The Top 100 Staffing Companies issue of TALiNT International is out now! This latest edition of the go-to read in the total talent ecosystem is a true collaboration that not only celebrates the incredible growth that staffing firms have yielded over the last year, but is also a culmination of commentary and insight from members of TALiNT Partners’ membership programme, guest contributors and more.

The jewel in this crown is most certainly the the Top 100 Staffing Companies rankings. TALiNT Partners ranked staffing firms in the UK according to turnover and they’re delighted to see several TALiNT Partners members come out on top!

We spoke to Ben Kaminsky, Founder and CEO of EVA.AI | Powering HR 4.0, and discussed the conversational and predictive AI that engages users from a friendly process automation platform that personalises the digital experiences of candidates.

Other features include Harnessing the hidden workforce which unpacks how recruiters can bring more marginalised talent into the workforce and help employers remove unnecessary barriers to more diverse, resilient, and loyal talent; how DE&I has become an important differentiator for recruiters and why ESG is fast moving to centre stage for recruiters and their clients and much more.

Read the full magazine here:

This issue of the magazine will also be printed in limited numbers and distributed to our members and delegates at the World Leaders in Recruitment Summit on 13th of October.

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Can employers help the UK sleep better?

According to Nuffield Health’s latest research, 74% of UK adults have reported a decline in quality sleep over the past 12 months and a further 10% are only sleeping for 2-4 hours per night. More than 50% don’t believe that quality sleep builds immunity.

The survey of 8,000 UK adults has highlighted that the number of people experiencing insomnia increased to one in four, following the pandemic. Google searches for ‘insomnia’ skyrocketed and most searches happened in the early hours of the morning.

The research revealed that 35–44-year-olds get the least sleep, with almost 50% getting only 5-6 hours per night. A mere 33% of respondents get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night.

Sleep deprivation is though to cost the UK economy £37 billion a year in lost productivity due to poor sleepers having reduced reaction times and trouble concentrating, increasing the likelihood of accidents and costly mistakes. Chronically disrupted sleep increased the risk of work absence by 171%.

The evidence indicates that there is both a need and an opportunity to help workers improve their sleep hygiene. Nuffield Health advises employers who wish to enhance sleep quality amongst their workforce:

Outline expectations – Employers need to define expectations, such as work hours, to encourage better sleep patterns. Avoid scheduling early morning or late evening calls, and let employees know that they are not expected to respect to respond to emails outside of working hours.

Train for triggers – Managers need to learn to spot the signs of sleep-deprived workers, such as mood swings, poor attention, distraction, copious amounts of coffee and yawning. Once spotted, a line manager should be trained to guide co-workers to access the relevant occupational health services available. Understanding that sleep support is essential and should be incorporated into the company’s values.

Promote physical health – Employers must emphasise the benefits of exercise in regulating sleep patterns. For example, going for a run or brisk walk during lunch hours provides exposure to natural daylight which, in turn, promotes healthy sleep hormones.

Employers can also provide advice around nutrition and caffeine to help individuals make healthier choices.

Offer specialist support – The stresses of everyday life, such as finances, addiction, or family problems can negatively impact sleep quality.

When employees see signs of emotional difficulty, the affected individuals should be directed towards the relevant emotional wellbeing support available to them, such as cognitive behavioural therapy or employee assistance programmes.

Employers can also consider additional support, for example, inviting a sleep specialist to run an online seminar on best practice habits before bed, such as avoiding blue light devices and keeping the bed for sleep only.

Gosia Bowling, National Lead for Emotional Wellbeing Nuffield Health, commented: “Many businesses have adopted a ‘hybrid’ approach to working and it’s important to note this ‘new normal’ won’t automatically facilitate perfect sleeping patterns. That’s why it’s crucial employers ‘wake up to sleep’ and work with their healthcare providers to support their workforce.

“Taking a holistic view on health – including offering interventions that cover the full range of risks – is the only way to get back to maximum wellbeing and create a healthier nation.”

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Contractors will once again be responsible for determining their employment status

Big news came for the contractor workforce last week when Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng used the mini-Budget 2022 to repeal IR35 reform in both the public and private sectors, stunning and delighting the contractor sector in equal measure.

Mr Kwarteng said IR35 reform had imposed “unnecessary cost and complexity” for “many businesses,” so it will be repealed, “as promised by Prime Minister, Liz Truss.

In fact, during her campaign, Liz Truss only promised that the off-payroll rules would be reviewed, however that’s not stopping the contractor sector celebrating that all IR35 status decisions will be reverting to them from April 2023.

At chapter 3.44 of Mr Kwarteng’s Growth Plan, the government states: “From this date, workers providing their services via an intermediary will once again be responsible for determining their employment status.

“And [they will be responsible for] paying the appropriate amount tax and National Insurance contributions.

“This will free up time and money for businesses that engage contractors, that could be put towards other priorities.”

Matt Fryer, Managing Director at Brookson Group, a People2.0 company, commented on what this means for recruiters. He said: “The U-turn will be welcomed by recruiters as it removes a significant compliance risk form their business and their clients. This should help to unlock the potential of flexible workforces at a time of increasing demand for highly skilled temporary workers, particularly in industries such as IT, engineering and energy. It does not, however, remove all compliance risk from resourcing contingent workers.”

Neil Carberry, CEO at REC also commented: “It is not enough to simply tear things down though – we also need to build. On IR35, retained European regulation, investment zones and infrastructure there is hard work to do on replacement rules, and in some cases little time to do it. Business is ready to help – but we will need action from Government to make things happen. Nowhere is this truer than on skills, where the failure to reform the failed Apprenticeship Levy continues to hold back employer training investment. Reforming the Working Time Directive allows us the opportunity to preserve rights on holidays, breaks and working weeks while removing the administrative nightmare faced by firms in calculating how they comply with the current rules, which were not designed for today’s economy. But we need to move quickly to do this, given the chaos that has been created by some recent court judgements.

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64% of candidates say that poor communication post-interview makes them less likely to accept a job offer

Data from research published by Breathe, HR software provider for SMEs has revealed interesting shifts in mindset amongst different workforce generations. Company culture is a top priority when job hunting, particularly amongst the younger generation of 18 – 34-year-olds, who are more likely to consider this than those aged 55 and over. It also uncovered people are focused on protecting themselves against burnout, with an overwhelming 81% stating they would not apply for a role that had unrealistic expectations. The younger generation of workers value strong communication, with 78% saying they would be put off a job listing that didn’t include salary expectations. Interestingly, 74% of over 55-year-olds cited no salary listing as an issue.

Key findings included:
Company culture a top priority

  • Workers aged 18 – 34 are more likely to consider company culture – 86%
    – Compared to those working aged 55 and over – only 66%
  • Interestingly, 18 – 34-year-old workers are more likely to ask about company culture in an interview than workers over 55
    – 81% vs 57%
  • 70% of UK workers say evidence of a good company culture is important when thinking about looking for another role
    – 83% say flexible working – a response to working habits formed during the pandemic
    – Interestingly, nearly a quarter of workers (24%) said that career development opportunities are not as important to them
  • Over three quarters of UK workers (76%) say they consider company culture to some degree when choosing where to work
    – 13% say it is the top factor for them
    – 41% say it is a key factor they consider

Lack of communication is a big turn off

  • A lack of communication post-interview was the top factor from an interview that would make workers less likely to accept any job offer from a company (64%). This was followed by:
    – Overly selling the company in the interview (57%)
    – Not meeting the people you would work with (51%)
  • 78% of 18 – 34-year-olds would be put off by a job listing that didn’t include a salary
    – Compared to 74% of over 55-year-olds

Protecting against burnout

  • An overwhelming 81% say they would not want to apply for a role if it had a job description with unrealistic expectation
    – This is followed by having no salary listed (77%) and non-specific descriptions of the role (75%)
  • 53% say they would be less likely/never would apply for a role that didn’t mention company culture

Rachel King, UK General Manager at Breathe, commented: “It’s no secret that company culture hasn’t always been a top priority when looking for a new job. Yet, following the pandemic and with hybrid and flexible working now the norm, more and more interviewees are placing emphasis on the type of workplace culture they want to be a part of.

“Our research found that the next generation of employees is entering the workforce with different expectations. Following a gruelling past few years they want to manage burnout with realistic job expectations and work for businesses that have a positive company culture – two areas which have not traditionally been priorities for previous generations.

“It’s more important than ever for SMEs to stay competitive in a candidate-led job market. They need to ensure they are supporting the needs of new people entering the business and fostering a strong company culture to attract and retain the best talent possible.”

Lizzie Benton, Company Culture Coach and Founder at Liberty Mind also made comment: “It’s becoming clear that getting paid every month is no longer the only draw to working. People want more from work than just a fair wage. Now more than ever people are seeking opportunities that provide a work-life balance and an enjoyable working environment.

“That’s why it’s up to businesses to build a culture that truly puts people-first in order to create the best workplaces possible. There are many simple, actionable steps that can be taken by SMEs to ensure they foster the right culture from the get-go. It’s never too late to start.”

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Planning staffing levels also appeared high on the list

According to a survey of CFOs by Gartner Inc, hiring and retaining staff are the most difficult tasks facing Chief Financial Officers over the next 12 months. The tight labor market is one of several factors – including inflation and supply chain disruptions – that are set to challenge corporate profitability through 2023.

Gartner surveyed 234 CFOs in July, and 54% cited hiring and retaining enough workers as their top challenge. It was followed by forecasting (36%) and cutting the right costs (35%).

Marko Horvat, VP, Research, in the Gartner finance practice said: “The data from CFOs align with what we are hearing from HR leaders, namely that competition for talent is expected to become fiercer over the medium term and retaining that talent will become more challenging. CFOs will need to deploy a variety of strategies to ensure critical roles remain filled while also protecting margins.”

Also on the list, “planning staffing levels across the company” was cited by 21% of CFOs.

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51% of HR pros are concerned about it

According to a poll by the Society of Human Resource Management, more than a third of HR professionals (36%) say “quiet quitting” is happening in their organizations with 51% of HR pros are concerned about it.

Quiet quitting has become a buzzword, referring to employees only doing what is necessary for the jobs and not going above and beyond.

Of HR professionals who say their organization is experiencing quiet quitting, 60% report their organization’s culture enables this behavior. Qualitative data from the survey point to issues such as lack of engagement, communication difficulties or poor management of people. Remote and hybrid work was also cited as a concern because of poor supervisor support and lack of accountability.

Johnny Taylor, Jr., President and CEO of SHRM commented: “With a slowing economy, employers can’t afford to have employees loudly or quietly quit. Organizations must ensure they have strong, healthy cultures that are communicated clearly to their employees. Employees who are culturally aligned will thrive; those who aren’t happy with their organization’s culture and way of work should find more ideal employment.”

Other findings:

  • Of HR professionals concerned that quiet quitting will negatively impact their organization, many believe it will decrease employee morale in the workplace (83%), decrease employee productivity (70%) or decrease the quality of employee work products (50%).
  • Of HR professionals who report their organization is experiencing quiet quitting, 72% say they are witnessing millennial employees (those 26-41 years old) quiet quitting within their organization.
  • 43% of HR professionals agree that employee productivity is a big concern at their organization right now.

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There were 184,000 searches a month for ‘Amazon jobs’

New research by marketing training hub School of Marketing analysed the top searches for jobs and careers on Google, to determine which private sector companies Brits are keenest to work for currently.

Tesco came out as the most popular company, with the multinational supermarket seeing more than 362,000 searches a month on average for openings. There are, on average, 232,000 searches a month for ‘Tesco jobs’ and 130,000 a month for ‘Tesco careers’. It’s by far the most popular company to work for at the moment, with more than 150,000 searches over second place Amazon.

Amazon takes second place, with more than 184,000 searches a month for ‘Amazon jobs’ and more than 12,000 monthly searches for ‘Amazon careers’, adding up to an average of 196,000 searches a month for Amazon opportunities from Brits.

Coming in third place with more than 138,000 searches a month for openings is Asda. This is thanks to more than 114,000 searches for ‘Asda jobs’ and 24,000 searches monthly for ‘Asda careers’.

Sainsbury’s comes in the fourth position on the list, with 111,000 monthly searches for ‘Sainsbury’s jobs’ and 17,000 searches a month for ‘Sainsbury’s careers’, totalling 128,000 searches a month.

Royal Mail comes in fifth place as one of three entries in the top ten that aren’t supermarkets. On average, there are 116,000 searches a month for ‘Royal Mail jobs’ and 11,000 searches for ‘Royal Mail careers’ adding up to a total of 127,000. 

  Company “Jobs” searches “Careers” searches Total monthly searches
Tesco 232,000 130,000 362,000
Amazon 184,000 12,000 196,000
Asda 114,000 24,000 138,000
Sainsburys 111,000 17,000 128,000
Royal Mail 116,000 11,000 127,000
Morrisons 71,000 9,300 80,300
Waitrose 64,000 4,400 68,400
Lidl 44,000 18,000 62,000
Aldi 50,000 10,000 60,000
10  Primark 41,000 13,000 54,000

Ritchie Mehta, CEO of School of Marketing, said: “It’s clear where the interest in the private sector job market lies now, and it’s in supermarkets. Additionally, some supermarkets are much more popular for job prospects than others.

“With major brands at the top of many people’s minds when they begin a job search, smaller businesses need to work harder to find and attract skilled employees. One extremely effectively way to do that is to take advantage of initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Levy scheme to bring in new staff or train current ones in digital and data-led programmes, with the vast majority of the training cost covered by the levy.”

The study was conducted by the School of Marketing, which offers leading digital and data marketing apprenticeships.

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