Category: Employers

Hiring young talent with no experience can be an overwhelming process. JobTeaser may have the answer

For many employers, hiring and nurturing early talent is a key part of their overall talent strategy especially in the current environment where hiring experienced candidates is so challenging. Growing your own talent is now key to a successful long-term resourcing strategy. As we know, Gen Z has its own specific requirements and expectations, so how can you best adapt to this target audience?

Our partner JobTeaser has produced a six-step guide to building the perfect job listing in order to attract young talent! In it you’ll find out:

  • How to explain what a job entails to someone with little or no previous job experience
  • How to differentiate between what information is necessary and what is optional in your advert and,
  • What kind of information is most appealing to recent graduates.

Click here for the download: https://info.jobteaser.com/template-job-ad

The TALiNT Partners Emerging Talent Summit is back!

If you’ve not already booked your seat, you should! Please join us on the 23rd of June in London for our annual Emerging Talent Summit! We’re getting together to meet peers, share challenges and learn about potential solutions to improve early careers hiring! The event is exclusively for HR, TA and Early Careers leaders.

Contact andy@talintpartners.com for any further information.

 

Share this article on social media

What can companies do to retain talent instead?

As the frantic search for talent continues in the UK, new research has shown that 95% of UK employers are focusing their recruitment efforts on bringing back former employees to fill vacant roles.

Organisations can reduce recruitment and training costs and increase productivity by bringing back “boomerang employees” to fill job vacancies. But this raises a question of what organisations could have done to retain these employees in the first place.

In a recent survey of over 2,000 leaders around the world by HCM vendor Ceridian, the indication is that succession planning provides just such an opportunity for employers, but they might be missing the gap:

  • 88% of respondents report that their company uses succession planning
  • 74% of respondents say that they often or always hire external candidates for leadership roles instead of promoting from within.

Even though 53% of employers provide learning and development opportunities to retain talent in the UK and Ireland, only 38% give flexibility in job roles and responsibilities. A further  42% are pursuing DEI strategies to ensure that they gather different perspectives.

The key to retaining talent and attracting the “boomerang employees” will be to identify key workplace issues and use the tools and technology available to align talent decisions with employee ambitions and company goals.

Steve Knox, VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Ceridian, comments: “Staff retention has become a pain point for businesses with employers looking at increasingly innovative ways beyond pay and benefits to retain employees. With 95% of employers seeking ‘boomerang’ employees to fill their recruitment gaps, one proactive solution is to encourage retention strategies which would see fewer employees leaving organisations to begin with.”

“When key people do leave it’s vital to provide remaining employees with clear career development and ensuring plans are in place for succession when key people do leave are both vital. Ceridian’s 2022 Executive Survey highlights some common succession planning pitfalls, for example where firms might fail to put in place impactful succession planning strategies that put their people and their career development first. With over one third of employees saying career advancement opportunities would convince them to leave their current role, there is much at stake for businesses which don’t give key people a clear career development plan.

“In turn, a data-driven, holistic talent strategy that develops an organisation’s current workforce and positions key people as future leaders, as well as hiring new talent simultaneously to fill the talent pipeline, helps the business’ overall resilience and longevity, as well as bringing a variety of wider benefits to the organisation.”

Share this article on social media

Employment trends index shows slowdown in positive job growth

Following the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment bulletin report, the Conference Board Employment Trends Index was released on 6 June 2022. The employment index indicated a slowdown in job growth in the months ahead.

Despite job growth remaining positive, the measure moved downward from a reading of 120.60 in April to 119.77 in May.

Sectors involving leisure and hospitality as well as in-person services have not yet completely recovered from their Covid-linked job losses. However, with consumers likely to move from spending on goods to services, these industries will likely see some employment growth.

Agron Nicaj, Associate Economist at The Conference Board, commented: “The labor market may have less room for more growth with overall employment down only 0.5% compared to the pre-pandemic level.”

“The labor market remains strong amid high inflation, and the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its focus on stabilizing prices as a result,” but “a strong response by the Fed risks higher unemployment rates by the end of 2022.”

Share this article on social media

Job market appears to be slowing down as we head deeper into 2022

Recent data from Broadbean Technology indicates that job numbers are beginning to slow following the spike in vacancies during the first quarter of this year.

Vacancy figures were down 55% between March and April 2022, and the data also suggested that job application numbers continue to decline. The statistics suggest that the lack of resources agrees the UK is impacting job market growth.

Further information from Broadbean also shows a 37% decline in the number of vacancies year-on-year between April 2021 and April 2022. This could be due to the hiring spike reported last year when UK businesses prepared for Freedom Day in 2021. Similarly, applications decreased by 75% month-on-month and 75% year-on-year.

Looking at the data by sector, the following industries saw significant drops in applications

  • Application numbers in the IT sector fell 72% between March and April of this year
  • The logistics sector saw a drop of 77%
  • Building & construction were down 75%

With talent shortages reported across all three of these sectors, these numbers come as no surprise.

Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology, commented: “The UK’s skills crisis is continuing to be a focal issue, and for good reason as our data shows that these shortages are impacting almost every business, across every sector. While the sudden rise in recruitment activity received a warm welcome at the beginning of 2021, we are beginning to see signs of vacancy numbers slowing down over a year later. Given the dearth of available resources, there’s a high chance that this drop in new vacancies is simply a sign that businesses cannot fill roles they’ve had open for some time and are unlikely to add any more roles if they cannot meet the current operational needs.”

“For employers and recruiters, now is a critical time. Businesses need to rebuild and nurture dwindling talent pools, utilise innovative technology and maximise partnerships with external talent suppliers in order to find the resources that are needed. Difficult times are ahead for the UK economy, and we need a recruitment market that can best support economic growth.”

Share this article on social media

Dealing with distance in a post-pandemic workplace

Focusing on employee mental health in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent survey commissioned by Cigna among US adults has shown that employers need to pay attention to feelings of loneliness among their employees.

The survey of almost 2,500 respondents conducted by Morning Consult showed that employees experiencing loneliness were less likely than their colleagues to say that they could work efficiently and perform to the best of their abilities. They were also more likely to say that they were “mentally somewhere else” while at work during the last three months.

In 2020, an analysis by Cigna showed that loneliness costs employers more than $154 billion per year in lost productivity caused by absenteeism.

Productivity isn’t the only negative result. The survey also found that employees experiencing loneliness were three times more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs than their peers. A further 30% of lonely employees admitted feeling unwell or sick while at work in the past three months.

While the circumstances surrounding the pandemic may have led to more flexible remote working arrangements for many, isolation and loneliness were also side effects of the new working situation. Together with exhaustion due to blurred boundaries between work and home life, these feelings have added to the stress of many employees.

Cigna highlighted three areas that employers could focus on to address issues with workplace loneliness:

  • Regular activities that bring employees together, both in-person and virtually, such as town hall events, volunteer events, and employee resource group meetings.
  • Providing employee benefits that support mental and emotional well-being while remaining mindful of the barriers that may prevent employees from accessing the help they need.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives could also go a long way to creating a safe and welcoming environment for employees.
Share this article on social media

Is a collaborative approach with employees the answer to labour issues?

With public unionization movements taking place at various Big Tech companies, Microsoft wasn’t to be left out. The tech giant announced last week that it planned to follow an “open and constructive approach” to union organization from its employees.

In their announcement on June 2, 2002, they emphasized that while it wasn’t a requirement for employees to form a union to engage with company leadership, employees have the legal right to create a union.

The company outlined four principles to guide their open attitude to unionization. Among these were that they were “committed to creative and collaborative approaches with unions when employees wish to exercise their rights and Microsoft is presented with a specific unionization proposal.”

Microsoft is currently acquiring Activision Blizzard in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion. This announcement comes on the back of a vote taken at the end of May by an Activision Blizzard subsidiary to form a union.

Right now, the tech industry seems to be lit up by unionization efforts, with Amazon in a heated battle against unionization at some of its facilities, including in New York and Alabama.

In this post-pandemic world, worker power appears to be on the rise in companies across the US, with unions seeing increased activity in numerous sectors. The retail industry is just one example, with Starbucks and REI, where a number of strikes broke out late in 2021.

In what is known as #striketober, workers made demands for improved benefits, including better pay, flexible hours and more time off.

When it comes to unhappy staff, prevention is better than cure. One solution to staving off strike action would be listening to and acting on employee feedback. A Perceptyx survey released in April revealed that employers who did this were 11 times for likely to retain staff than those who didn’t.

Interestingly, fewer employers in the healthcare and retail industries were “listening to employees” than in other industries. These industries have also faced strike and unionization activities, high staff turnover and labour shortages.

Share this article on social media

Experts examine the pros and cons of the potentially game-changing pilot scheme

This week, more than 70 companies are kicking off a four-day work week. Over 3,000 employees will be working a shorter week, with no impact on salary, between now and December as part of a nationwide pilot project.

Between 2020 and 2022, the pandemic “moved the goalposts” on office life. As a result, many workers experienced the flexibility and work-life balance of remote working for the first time during this period. On the back of that, many organisations are now trying to work out new, more productive ways of working. If successful, this scheme is likely to completely change the working world as we know it.

Experts have examined the possible impacts of this change and question whether this change is a gimmick or a progressive move to the future. Before adopting the four-day work week, businesses are encouraged to examine their reasons for making this change and consider whether this development will truly solve any problems or simply plaster over bigger issues.

Laura Baldwin, President at O’Reilly, commented: “When it comes to work schedules, what people really care about is flexibility. It’s not about four days or five. Either is still very prescriptive and doesn’t account for the varied reasons many employees want flexibility – for example, to manage five-day-a-week school pick up hours. For the burnt out, overworked employees who went above and beyond during the pandemic, fewer hours, worked flexibly across five days is likely to mean more than a four-day slog.”

“For businesses, the four-day week can also create complicated scheduling nightmares – especially for smaller organisations. While some larger organisations can implement A/B schedules where, for example, half of the employees are off on the Friday and the other half, Monday, this won’t work for smaller teams that need cover all week. Instead, there needs to be more effort invested in creating real cultures of flexibility, which can best serve employees without forgetting the needs of customers.”

“Quite simply, customers expect (at least) a five-day-a-week service and until every organisation moves to four days as standard there will be a very hard balancing act to cut to four. Dropping the ball on customer experience to pay lip service to flexibility is a losing strategy for all.”

“If you’re thinking about a four-day workweek, use it as a prompt to ask, what is it that you are really trying to solve? Are you trying to create a shortcut to flexibility? Will this rather drastic move really create the flexibility your employees want? Will it enable work-life balance, but also get the work done? Could it be you are looking for a sticking plaster to bigger issues? Rather than embracing trust and flexibility for your teams, are you just seeking another way to exert control behind a facade of a four-day gimmick?”

In his recent blog on the subject, Ken Brotherston, CEO at TALiNT Partners also questions whether this was a situation of designing a problem to fit a solution.

He asked where the idea of working less originated. If society begins to work less and results in lower growth and higher national debt, we may be creating bigger problems for future generations.

Another concern is that while this new scheme could create an improved work-life balance for some workers, without clear boundaries, staff could feel more burnt out than before as they’ll have to complete five days of work in four.

Staff will need guidance to help them adjust to the change, to ensure that they’re not working additional hours in the four days that they are working. This creates more issues for leadership teams who are already having to deal with burnout among staff since working from home became a full-time gig. There is no divide between work and home.

Andrew Duncan, Partner and EMEA CEO, Infosys Consulting, commented: “Many businesses are acutely aware of the positive impact that location-agnostic policies can have on employee wellbeing. It is clear that flexibility-forward is the approach of the future, however, ensuring these policies are properly structured is key to making them a success.

“With the launch of four-day working week trials, outlining clear parameters around these policies will be vital. Failure to do so risks a downturn in quality as talent attempts to squeeze the same amount of work into a shorter week.

“This also poses risks from a people management point of view potentially resulting in burnout or staff working outside of agreed hours, setting back aims to improve work-life balance.”

Paul Modley, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at AMS, commented: “The flexibility of being able to work four days a week will certainly help create a better work-life balance for some workforces. However, this concept is new to individuals and businesses alike. The key hurdle to overcome if this is to be successful is the careful management of workloads. If staff are cutting their hours by 20% but their workload and delivery expectations remain the same, employers could face a scenario where people are struggling to meet expectations and failing to take breaks or working overtime during the new working week in order to gain an additional day off.”

“With the right communication and careful management a four day week can work, but without appropriate implementation, employees can become disengaged with a brand or even feel disgruntled with the forced reduction of days. In an economy where talent shortages are rife and retaining staff is a critical business priority, it’s important to ensure that any changes to work set ups are delivering against the needs of individuals as well as the company. At AMS all of our roles can flex to some degree so we have experience in making different working methods successful across the globe. It’ll be interesting to see the results of this trial, but the information that will be most valuable from my point of view will be the feedback of staff themselves, not just the productivity data from the businesses.”

Regardless of the outcome, this new way of working is sure to divide the workforce with flexible and hybrid working already becoming a bug bear to those employers who want their staff back in the office full-time, post-pandemic.

Share this article on social media

45% believe that employers should not do social media checks 

According to new research, job seekers in the UK and Ireland are concerned about social media background checks. The research from HR and payroll specialists Zellis revealed that 19% of job applicants hide their social media activity in order to pass background checks.

The research was carried out in May 2022 amongst recent job applicants and showed that job seekers across all age groups are concerned that their online activity may lead to missed employment opportunities.

Reports state that 70% of organisations perform background checks on applicants’ social media; however, many applicants do not understand the reasons for these checks. Online background checks are a tool to pick up risk factors, for example, discriminatory language or undisclosed criminal behaviour. On the other hand, it can also highlight positive attributes such as charity work or volunteering.

The research indicates that  45% of respondents believe that organisations should not carry out these checks. Many respondents feared that the company might be looking for too much information. Nine percent thought that social media checks could uncover confidential medical history. A further 12% felt that it could reveal characteristics such as age or sexuality.

The research also found that 27% lied in a job interview about experience or qualifications. Twenty-two percent of these said that not having the right experience for the job was their biggest concern when interviewing for roles.

Ian Howard, Co-Founder of Neotas, commented: “It’s a common misconception that social media searches are used to somehow illegitimately access or hack personal accounts, when in reality they are only used to retrieve publicly available information about a job applicant.”

“Social media background checks are now a vital tool for hirers, helping to review a candidate’s attitude, as well as aptitude, for the role they’re applying for. As a company, Neotas prides itself on helping organisations to understand potential employees better by empowering them to carry out AI driven background checks which help to identify red flags whilst maintaining the personal privacy of job applicants.”

David Crewe, Customer Operations Director at Zellis, said: “The job market has never been as competitive as it is today, but that doesn’t mean hirers can get complacent. Background checks should be commonplace for any organisation, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be mindful about how they feel for candidates.”

“It is crucial to offer candidates reassurance about the process, particularly the steps being taken to eliminate unconscious bias, or information about protected characteristics which should never be used in the hiring process. Background checking is not about catching applicants out or looking into their personal life, but rather about building confidence for the best candidates and ensuring a safe, accepting and positive workplace.”

Share this article on social media

Long journey ahead to embed diversity into the complete employment journey  

According to a recent study, one in three UK workers has felt marginalised or excluded at work conducted.

The survey for the forthcoming book ‘Belonging: The Key to Transforming and Maintaining Diversity, Inclusion and Equality at Work’ indicates that there is still a journey ahead for creating diversity in every area of the business – from recruitment to promotions.

While many workplaces in the UK are diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, age, and sexual orientation, others are not, and any diversity becomes scarcer in upper management and senior leadership.

Statistics show that:

  • White groups are the most likely to be employed at 79.3%,
  • Men have a higher employment rate in every ethnic group.
  • 41% of LGBTQIA+ job seekers would not apply for a job with a company that lacks diversity
  • The employment rate for disabled people sits at 52.7%.
  • Almost one in five FTSE 100 companies don’t have ethnic minority members.
  • Only two FTSE 100 companies have a female CEO.

Even though the UK has taken positive steps to create equality and diversity, there is much work to be done when looking at the overall picture.

Gerald Doran, Head of Recruitment and HRSS at Kura, has shared his tips for embedding diversity into the hiring process.

Create an equality and diversity policy

Diversity to needs to be enshrined in policy to be taken seriously. Laying out the company’s commitment to equality and diversity and how it will achieve them will ensure that it is enacted across all areas of the organisation.

A comprehensive policy should include

  • The purpose of the policy and the commitment to diversity in the workplace.
  • How diversity in the workplace will be increased
  • How discriminatory behaviour will be eliminated.
  • Details of the measures in place to ensure diversity within the business
  • The behaviours expected of all employees
  • A grievances procedure.

Consider a blind hiring process and an interview panel

Seventy-nine percent of HR employees have admitted that unconscious bias exists in recruitment in the UK. British job applicants with black or ethnic minority backgrounds must submit 60% more CVs to receive call-backs from employers,  even if their skill set matches white jobseekers.

A blind hiring process may eliminate this. Candidates can submit their CV and cover letter in a manner that does not provide any demographic information such as gender, heritage, age, and location.

At the interview stage, these personal identifiers may be revealed. In addition, if the interview panel comprises employees from diverse backgrounds and various levels of seniority, bias can also be removed from the interview process and final decision.

Another option is to use sample tasks to help the recruitment panel look at the candidate’s skills rather than the demographics.

Recognise the benefits of diversity in your workplace

To best understand the benefits of having a diverse workforce, look into the benefits that it already offers. For example, women in leadership may be more empathetic. Leaders from different ethnic backgrounds can provide new perspectives for consideration.

Shakti Naidoo, HR Business Partner at Kura South Africa, commented: “At Kura South Africa, we have inductions and monthly sessions where we directly address conscious and unconscious bias.

As well as sessions on addressing conscious and unconscious bias, we created ‘Kura-Queens’, a space for women in the business to meet and discuss any issues around gender inequality in the workplace. Kura-Queens has led to “a team of strong women who support, motivate, and raise each other.”

We have a very equal gender split across all levels of seniority in our business. This gives us a unique, balanced workplace that values differing viewpoints and allows everyone to offer insight based on their personal experiences.

As well as creating equal opportunities for promotions within your organisation, highlighting the achievements of senior leaders from diverse backgrounds is important. They will be role models for other employees as well as prospective employees. We interviewed a number of our women in leadership for International Women’s Day and shared their inspiring words on LinkedIn in order to inspire others.

The UK has made positive steps when it comes to equality and diversity in the workplace but there is still a long way to go. Not only are marginalised groups still underrepresented in the workforce, but they also report feeling isolated and discriminated against. We have faced this challenge head-on at Kura and have a number of initiatives, from our comprehensive equality and diversity policy to Kura-Queens and beyond. Having a truly diverse workplace and recruitment process takes time to enact, but these are great places to start.”

Share this article on social media

Internet stats show increasing awareness and demand for change

Recent research about internet search habits has revealed that there has been a consistent increase in diversity and inclusion issues over the last three years. For example, the search for ‘gender pronouns in the workplace’ has risen by 500% between April 2020 and April 2022.

Whether these searches are being conducted by employers trying to be aware of issues or whether it is employees who are trying to find out their rights is unclear.

The data also showed an increase of 58% in searches for ‘unconscious bias at work’ during the same three-year period. There was also a spike in March 2022, which coincided with International Women’s Day. The 2022 theme was based on ‘breaking the bias.’ March was also a big month for diversity and inclusion related with organisations completing their mandatory Gender Pay Gap reports before the Government reporting deadlines.

The data also showed that search results had increased for certain types of discrimination:

  • ‘bullying, harassment, and discrimination at work’ searches grew by 62.5%
  • ‘disability discrimination at work’ searches grew by 51.25%
  • ‘racial discrimination at work’ searches rose by 40.3%
  • ‘age discrimination at work’ searches grew by 30.6%

The same pattern has also been seen in Employee Tribunal Data. According to data from employment law and HR advisory firm, WorkNest, nearly half of the Employment Tribunal Claims received between January 2019 and December 2021 included some form of discrimination, with disability being the protected characteristic most relied upon by Claimants. 

 During the same period, they also saw increases in the following types of claims:

  • Disability-related discrimination claims (17.9%)
  • Sex-related discrimination claims (52%)
  • Race-related discrimination claims (27.3%)

There was also a large spike of racial discrimination claims during 2020, a 42.9% increase, compared to 2019.

Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International, commented: “The data reveals that discriminatory issues continue to rise in the workplace; business leaders and HR teams are responsible for tackling these issues to provide a safe and welcoming working environment for all employees to thrive in,”

“We believe that diversity and inclusion must be at the core of an organisation; we want to help employees and employers evolve from a compliance-based model to embracing true cultural change.”

Evidently, issues of diversity and inclusion are not a “passing storm to be weathered.”

Share this article on social media