Category: Employers

Nearly all major tech firms have slowed headcount growth

Microsoft Corp. has announced layoffs across multiple divisions, according to media reports, joining many other tech firms that have cut staff in the unsettled economy.

Microsoft declined to say how many jobs had been cut, but a source told Axios that the layoffs numbered under 1,000.

In a statement to Axios, the tech giant said: “Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly. We will continue to invest in our business and hire in key growth areas in the year ahead,”.

The move is yet another example of large tech companies cutting jobs after earlier moving to slow or freeze hiring as the broader economy cools, Axios reported. Nearly all the major tech firms have slowed headcount growth, with many freezing all but essential hires. A number of companies have already moved to cut jobs, including Snap and Flipboard.

Microsoft has not said how many people had been laid off, nor which departments were impacted. However, The Washington Post reported layoffs affected the wargame simulation division and the Xbox gaming division.

Microsoft had 221,000 employees as of June 30, an increase of 40,000 people or 22% from the same point the prior year, GeekWire reported. It was the largest annual increase in employment in Microsoft’s history, based on data tracked by GeekWire.

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New research reveals biggest time wasters among staff

In 2020, huge UK businesses took to remote work, and 78% of at-home or hybrid workers reported that their work-life balance improved.

A new survey by Reboot Digital PR Agency, was conducted to find out how much time people waste working from home versus in person. The survey looked at 5,265 UK workers aged 18-65.

According to the results of the survey:

  • In-person employees waste up to 4.26 hours per week on non-work-related activities.
  • People who work from home exclusively waste 41% less paid time than in-person workers, at just 2.5 hours per week.
  • Socialising takes up 19.89% of non-work activities, with in-person workers spending over 2.5 times more time socialising (14.32%) than their WFH peers (5.57%).
  • Social media is a top time waster across the board, making up 35.27% of non-work related activities. At-home employees use up 12.04% of their working hours on social media, while in-person workers use 23.23% of their work time scrolling.
  • At-home (11.09%) and in-person (19.91%) employees admit to shopping online, sleeping, playing computer games, and job hunting during working hours.
  • 6.49% of all workers admitted to sex during working hours. Those working from home said sex takes up 5.09% of non-work activities (approx. 3.4 minutes a week), while in-person workers spend 1.4% of their wasted time, or 3.6 minutes a week, engaging in sexual activity.

Debbie Walton, Editor at TALiNT Partners commented: “While I do feel I am far more productive while working at home, there is something to be said about the camaraderie of the team when we’re all together. Collaborating and catching up makes the world of difference to team morale and I do feel invigorated when I leave the office on the days we’re all in together. All working models have their pros and cons. It’s important that everyone finds what works for them and is supported by their leadership teams.”

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8% of women admitted having experienced sexual harassment at work

A workplace survey recently published by CareerWallet has revealed that 1 in 4 women (24%) are still experiencing inappropriate comments in the workplace or remotely via zoom and email from managers and colleagues. Only 10% of men said they have issues with similar comments meaning more than double the number of women are subjected to this. However, the survey showed that nearly twice as many men (10%) as women (6%) are experiencing homophobic behaviour and comments from colleagues or managers. According to the survey results, these toxic behaviours aren’t just happening in the office with many hybrid workers admitting to receiving comments on zoom calls or over email.

Survey results showed that nearly 1 in 10 women (8%) surveyed admitted having experienced sexual harassment at work and 28% of all women surveyed said they have experienced bullying from colleagues or direct line managers.

The extensive workplace survey gives a stark warning to employers across the UK as millions of workers are not only unhappy in their current roles but even worse are being subjected to aggressive, sexist and homophobic behaviour often from line managers. As firms struggle to recruit and keep the best talent due to mass skill shortages across so many sectors, it is essential employers offer positive and healthy environments for their staff to maximise staff retention rates.

Craig Bines, CEO at The CareerWallet Group, commented, “Our new workplace survey highlights how many employees are not only unhappy in their workplace but also being subjected to extremely toxic behaviour from line managers and colleagues.

It is hugely upsetting to hear so many women being subjected to inappropriate and sexist comments from colleagues and managers, especially in the modern workplace.  It is clear that many employers across the UK need to address their work environments and also consider how staff are being impacted through hybrid working.”

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83% of workers want companies to reimagine corporate learning

According to new research from Executive Networks and NovoEd, the days of learning leaders presenting to an in-person group in a conference room are not over, but eight out of ten learning leaders (83%) reported that the burgeoning hybrid workforce is pushing companies to reimagine corporate learning to meet new ways of work. Nearly six in ten (59%) of the 515 learning leaders at large corporations who participated in the survey believe that hybrid learning is becoming a major part of the learning landscape, not just a temporary trend.

Christina Yu, CMO at NovoEd commented: “Learning leaders are preparing for profound changes as they redesign corporate learning with new delivery methods and rethink how to meet the needs of new audiences. The pivot to online learning and the availability of a greater range of technology and tools that can be integrated into learning initiatives, such as social and collaborative learning platforms, make it easier for real-time interaction between cohorts, experts, and mentors.

In addition, corporate learning organizations are shifting away from focusing on full-time employees with long tenures. Currently, nine in ten organizations (89%) are targeting learning to full-time internal employees. Yet just six in ten (62%) will focus learning opportunities on full-time employees in 2025. Notably, the learning and development audience will expand to include customers, external stakeholders, contractors, gig workers, freelancers, service providers, and workers’ dependents. The biggest jump in training offerings for new audiences will be digital automation workers, which will rise 23% in 2025.

Jeanne Meister, Executive Vice President at Executive Networks said: “The expectation that online and hybrid learning would be a temporary fix during the pandemic changed as hybrid and remote work became a permanent part of the business landscape. The corporate university is no longer a physical space. Learning and development needs to happen where work takes place and learning leaders must place a greater focus on creating blended learning experiences that mirror hybrid work models.”

With in-person corporate learning on the decline and corporate universities transforming into corporate academies, business leaders are re-evaluating how best to revamp their practices, communicate their business value, and repurpose facilities once used for in-person learning and development. When effective, strategic learning capabilities are aligned to the business needs of the organization, learning leaders can go a long way toward ensuring their organizations can compete in an unpredictable and fast-changing environment.

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The specialist TA group is offering consultative services to support clients’ resourcing strategies

Specialist energy talent acquisition group Petroplan has strengthened its Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) service offering across North America.

Petroplan is exploring a number of opportunities to support LNG development projects and operational facilities, concentrating on operations in the US Gulf Coast, Western Canada, and the Mexico Pacific Coast.

The service is being driven by David Waterfield, Managing Director for North America, supported by newly appointed Senior Client Development Manager, Adrian Kraeger.

With almost 30 years combined experience working on LNG projects in North America, David and Adrian are experts in the field and bring unique insight into the future challenges and demands for LNG operators.

Petroplan is offering consultative services to support clients’ resourcing strategy across all areas including organisational design, compensation, staffing and hiring strategies, immigration solutions, as well as recruitment itself. As LNG access, consumption and production continues to significantly increase and there is an unprecedented demand for staff on these projects, Petroplan’s expertise provides a vital solution to clients wishing to ensure success of their LNG projects.

Christopher Honeyman Brown, Petroplan CEO, said: “With the European energy crisis and ongoing conflict in Ukraine, there is an unprecedented dependency on the global LNG market. To support the increasing demand for LNG, we will continue to strengthen our ability to support clients to resource their operations around the world, and particularly in North America.

“We are delighted Adrian has joined us to support David and the North America team as they continue to provide our clients with our extensive global experience.”

Petroplan has 46 years of global experience in the oil and gas industry, including the delivery of LNG projects for clients in the Middle East and US. Recently, the talent acquisition group has expanded to support LNG projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

David Waterfield, Managing Director for North America, also made comment: “Our unparalleled level of expertise in LNG, in North America and globally, enables us to deliver the best quality services in the region as the world turns to the US for natural gas resources. We look forward to growing our service offering in the region, helping our clients to deliver their projects.” 

 

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Nearly 1 in 3 employees considering leaving their organization over response to overturning of Roe v. Wade

A recent survey by global nonprofit Catalyst, which works to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion, reveals that nearly one in three employees (30%) are considering leaving their jobs due to their employer’s response to the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Almost half of those surveyed (44%) said their organizations and leaders are not doing enough to ensure abortion access. One third (33%) said they want their CEO to advocate for abortion rights.

When organizations took action, employees noticed. Employees were nearly twice as likely (83% vs 45%) to say that their organization genuinely cares about addressing employee needs if their organization took action in response to Roe v. Wade being overturned.

Lorraine Hariton, Catalyst’s President and CEO said: “Employees are assessing their careers and making decisions based on how their leaders address this issue. Clear communication and meaningful action go a long way.”

Catalyst’s September 2022 survey of more than 1,000 adults working in the US examined how employers’ action or inaction around abortion access has impacted employees’ feelings about their workplaces and career pathways.

Employees say their companies are not doing enough when it comes to abortion access.

Two-fifths (44%) of employees said their organizations and leaders are not doing enough to ensure abortion access. That number is higher among younger employees, with more than half (52%) of employees ages 18-34 (57% of women, 48% of men) saying their organization is not doing enough to ensure abortion access for employees (by providing healthcare plans that cover abortion or covering travel expenses for abortion care, for example).

Employers are not communicating clearly with their workers about reproductive benefits and policies.

More than half (59%) of employees want more clarity and transparency about their organization’s policies on reproductive healthcare. That number is higher for younger employees, with more than two-thirds (69%) of employees ages 18-34 (70% women, 69% men) wanting more clarity on those benefits.

Employees want their organizations to provide abortion benefits.

More than half (52%) of employees aged 18 to 34 (57% of women, 47% of men) say they would likely use employer-provided financial or travel benefits to access abortion care if they or their partner needed them.

One in three (34%) respondents said they would not be able to afford to travel for an abortion without financial assistance from their organization. Additionally, 37% of respondents said they would not be able to get time off work to travel for an abortion without assistance from their organization, such as written policies, benefits, or manager support.

Younger employees are making career decisions based on how their employers address abortion access.

Younger employees ages 18 to 34 are particularly concerned about their career pathways post-Roe. Nearly half (46%) of employees ages 18-34 (47% of women, 44% of men) are concerned that they won’t have the career they planned because Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

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31% of the workforce sees themselves working from the office full-time in future

A study by Unispace has found that the pandemic and associated work-from-home guidance saw more men than women find a better balance between the office and home. This underscores the need for companies today to create spaces and flexible working approaches that drive equity across all genders. 

According to the Unispace study of 3,000 employees working across Europe, male office workers found a better work/life balance when working from home during lockdown than women (71% vs. 68%). When participants were asked if they feel they can prioritise family and loved ones more after the pandemic exactly the same proportion –  87% – of both groups said yes. That’s according to the new paper, Shifting the Gender Discussion, published by Unispace. 

When looking at those who were hesitant to go back to the office, the top concern expressed by male respondents was a preference to be at home to work around child and carer arrangements, with almost a third (32%) citing this explanation. Fewer women (29%) indicated the same sentiment.

Levelling the playing field

Unispace’s research also revealed that before the pandemic, female employees were more likely than their male counterparts to be completely office based (73% vs. 69%). Men were more likely to be working in a predominantly office-based hybrid way (25% vs. 18%), suggesting a pre-pandemic inequality in flexible working approaches among genders. 

However, when participants were asked about where they are likely to work in the future, exactly 31% of both groups foresaw themselves working from the office full-time, suggesting that there is an immediate opportunity for employers to create spaces and flexible working approaches that drive equity across all genders.

Chely Wright, Chief Diversity Officer at Unispace commented: “While the pandemic had catastrophic consequences for communities across the globe, it has also been a chance to press reset and shift the norm on many aspects of society – the conversation on work-life balance included. 

“When we know better, we do better. Our data shows that we have an opportunity to advance the discussion about equity in the office environment and flexible working policies from a gender-based lens. 

“The employers and companies today that are able to attract and retain the best and most diverse talent will be those that ensure their workforce strategies, working policies and office spaces provide the flexibility and equity needs of all genders. This is a chance for employers to reframe how people of all genders are encouraged back to work and experience their office environments.”

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More than 700 jobs are set to be created as a result of newly launched community regeneration initiative

Young apprentices are being given a unique training experience through a new collaboration between two world-renowned organisations.

Teenagers Ellis Doran and Tyler Lister have become the first Cumbrian control systems engineer apprentices at Jacobs, the global technology-forward solutions company, through a partnership with Sellafield which will see them join the current cohort of seven apprentices learning their trade at Sellafield’s Engineering Centre of Excellence.

As part of Sellafield’s plans to expand its annual training programme which welcomes a new intake of apprentices each year, Dave Jones, the company’s head of Operational Technology Group (OTG), approached Jacobs and asked if it would be interested in collaborating on its apprenticeship pathway programme, which would leverage the benefits each company can offer the students.

The apprentices will predominantly learn their trade at Sellafield’s Centre of Excellence facility at Leconfield Industrial Estate in Cleator Moor but will also benefit from training from experts at Jacobs throughout the course.

Dave said: “As part of our training programme, we have seven apprentices working from our centre of excellence facility so we thought it made sense to extend this to accommodate two more from Jacobs.

“The partnership is about growing the capabilities of businesses across West Cumbria, not just Sellafield, to help all local companies improve and develop their skill sets.

“This collaboration has many benefits as the apprentices will receive ongoing training from Sellafield, while also gaining specialist training from the brilliant team at Jacobs.

“It’s a very exciting partnership and it’s all about sharing resources and facilities to make sure local companies can continue to grow and expand their services.”

In the space of two years, the control system apprenticeship programme at Sellafield’s Centre of Excellence has more than doubled from four students to ten this year.

Mark Quin, Technical Manager at Jacobs, commented: “Working with Sellafield’s Centre of Excellence to provide our apprentices a more rounded and mature pathway is a huge advantage to our capability within Jacobs. Through excellent relationships with Dave’s team, we have been able to tailor the pathway to benefit both our new apprentices and improve the already market leading pathway that Sellafield has created through support from supply chain members and the varied project lifecycle offering.

“This collaboration creates an innovative culture where client-contractor relationships are uniquely improved to provide a more efficient and agile delivery model, by building early networks and improving stakeholder management and engagement.

“I am excited to see this collaboration grow and to raise the profile of the discipline where we are attracting the best talent to support the industry for years to come.”

More than 700 jobs are set to be created across West Cumbria as a result of the newly launched community regeneration initiative iSH (Industrial Solutions Hub).

The Copeland Borough Council-backed initiative will bring employment, skills and training opportunities to the area, and encourages collaboration between local businesses, organisations and education providers.

John Maddison, iSH Managing Director also commented: “This partnership between Sellafield and Jacobs is a perfect example of how companies can work together to upskill their workforce and provide innovative training opportunities to young people in the area. By sharing resources, businesses across West Cumbria can showcase the excellent capabilities of the local workforce and provide more solutions to industry problems across the world.”

A multi-million pound refurbishment of Leconfield Industrial Estate is planned as part of iSH’s vision to regenerate communities in West Cumbria.

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Developing and upskilling existing employees problematic for a third of hiring leaders

 A new report from Glassdoor has revealed the burning issues facing talent acquisition leaders across the UK. The findings suggest increased workplace transparency and authentic employer branding can slow employee churn and attract talent.

Surveying talent acquisition, employee experience and employer branding specialists, Glassdoor’s State of Employer Branding report found the most significant hiring challenges employers are faced with today are:

  • Salary expectations not aligning with what the company pays (32%)
  • Best candidates receiving multiple offers from other companies (32%)
  • The company receiving too few qualified candidates (27%)
  • Applicants lacking the skills specified in the job description (23%)
  • Building a quality pipeline of job candidates takes too much time and resources (23%)

Furthermore, hiring leaders across the UK agreed that conditions have become more challenging since the pandemic. Compared to 2019, retaining employees is more difficult for more than half of (55%) talent acquisition specialists. A further 50%  found sourcing candidates with the right qualifications harder and 47% could no longer make competitive offers.

Internally, developing and upskilling the existing workplace was problematic for a third (34%) of hiring leaders and 28% said adapting to a remote or hybrid workforce was also challenging.

EMPLOYER BRANDING CAN WIN THE WAR FOR TALENT

Glassdoor’s research reveals that companies with a clear mission and a strong reputation for being a great workplace find it easier to stand apart from the competition and attract and retain talent.

Before 2020, many employers benefitted from established recruitment plans and office perks. But the upheaval caused by the pandemic allowed employees to challenge in-office norms and demand more of their employers.

According to Glassdoor, today employees overwhelmingly expect more flexible work options; mentions of hybrid increased 1600% in UK employee reviews on Glassdoor this year, and 39% of job hunters say flexibility is a critical consideration of where to work**. In addition, work has also become more personal, with 1 in 5 surveyed wanting their own values to align with the mission and culture of their employer.

In the report, nearly 7 in 10 UK hiring leaders (68%) agreed that their employer brand gave them the edge over competitors when hiring new talent. Additional Glassdoor research*** reveals job seekers who see a company brand at least 10 times are 8x more likely to apply than those who saw the brand once.

Internally, three-quarters (75%) of talent acquisition and employer branding specialists say they are in tune with the wants and needs of their employees and 82% agree their executive team engages with building their employer brand.

But what physically is being done by teams to strengthen their brand? The most common employee experience and engagement tasks carried out are:

  • Delivering diversity and inclusion programmes (59%)
  • Engagement surveys (59%)
  • Developing employee engagement programmes (55%)
  • Taking action on employee feedback (54%)
  • 360 reviews (48%)

Jill Cotton, Glassdoor Career Trends Expert commented: “As we reach the end of 2022, a new employer-employee dynamic has emerged. Employees are holding companies accountable for promises made and choosing to work for organisations whose values align with their own. Record job vacancies may have given job hunters the upper hand when choosing where to work. But our research shows that successful employers listen to and deliver upon the wants and needs of their workforce. Cultivating a strong employer brand helps companies stand apart from the competition by answering the ‘why’ someone should want to work for you.”

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81% of digital nomads report being highly satisfied

According to new research by MBO Partners, the number of “digital nomads” with traditional jobs rose by 9% in 2022 to 11.1 million workers. Overall, 16.9 million American workers describe themselves as digital nomads, up 131% from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

Miles Everson, CEO at MBO Partners said: “Digital nomads are those who work remotely while traveling to various locations, and the rise in digital nomads is one more sign the workforce of yesterday is gone for good. The ‘work from anywhere’ trend is here to stay, and employers must take note that the power is in the hands of the worker, not the employer or client.

Employers need to consider creating a documented digital nomad policy and consider how to engage such talent, he added.

MBO’s report also found 81% of digital nomads report being highly satisfied, while 11% are “satisfied.” Only 3% were dissatisfied.

The “van life” segment of digital nomads — those who travel, live and work in RVs, vans or other vehicles converted in roaming residences — rose 19% in 2022 to a total of 3.1 million such workers.

MBO also found a growing support network for digital nomads with nomad villages such as Nomad Village Brazil and Digital Nomad Valley Zadar, Croatia.

However, MBO noted that only 8% to 11% of those who express interest in the digital nomad lifestyle will actually make the leap in the next two to three years.

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