Category: news

35% of employees leave for more money

Energy business Gazprom Marketing and Trading released the results of its recent survey which have enabled the company to create a profile of the average UK job hunter, discover the most common reasons for moving job, and determined how important company reputation really is.

Findings stated that 60% of respondents look for a new job because they want new challenges and better progression which a bigger motivator than more money (24%). Despite this, the biggest factor for workers accepting their current role was revealed to be an attractive salary (35%). With culture being the third reason employees seek out new roles.

Three quarters of candidates said a company’s reputation is important when looking for a job, which emphasises the importance of employer branding. A staggering 84% of job seekers find a new role within the first six months of beginning their search with almost half (49%) finding one in the first three months.

We’ve heard time and again that the onboarding process is key to retaining staff and the survey revealed that 95% of applicants attend fewer than five interviews during the selection process before securing a new role, while only 5% attend six or more. Employers need to ask themselves if five interviews are too many interviews because remember, while you’re interviewing a potential candidate, so are other employers.

Interestingly, more jobseekers use employer websites directly (57%) than job posting sites (54%), with only 12% working directly with recruiters. Professional networks (40%) and social media (26%) also play a role.

A Resourcing Partner at GM&T commented: “If a business effectively builds its reputation, their dream candidates will soon start knocking on their door. And while this takes time, it’s a worthwhile investment that will ensure relevant, high-quality candidates, while helping to lower an organisation’s recruitment overheads in the long-term too.”

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Will this emotive move backfire and result in an increase of absences?

This week, IKEA’s decision to cut pay for unvaccinated staff who have to self-isolate because of COVID-19 exposure, and in some cases for those who contract the virus as well, will come into force. The move comes as firms struggle with mass staff absences and rising related costs due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Sick pay cuts will be implemented at Wessex Water.

But is the move about mitigating staff shortages? Or is it discrimination against the unvaccinated?

Employment lawyer Sarah Ozanne, of CMS, believes it is about tackling staff shortages: “This action [by IKEA] seems more of a reaction to staff shortages and how to manage them than any intended ‘discrimination’ of the unvaccinated,” she said. However, she also warned of complex legal issues and said striking the right balance is difficult.

She made further comment: “…employers should consider whether their actions are proportionate as a means of achieving the aim of getting employees back into work.”

According to news reports, unvaccinated workers at IKEA, who do not have mitigating circumstances, who test positive will be paid in line with company sick pay. Unvaccinated workers, without mitigating circumstances and required to isolate after being identified as a close contact, could now receive as little as £96.35 a week which is the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) minimum. With average weekly wages at IKEA between about £400 and £450 (location dependent), staff get enhanced sick pay. This massive gap in weekly pay could lead to staff not reporting a close contact and attending work, therefore exacerbating the staff shortage issues by potentially transmitting the virus anyway.

In a statement defining ‘mitigating circumstances’, the retail giant that employs about 10,000 people in the UK said: “Fully vaccinated co-workers or those that are unvaccinated owing to mitigating circumstances which, for example, could include pregnancy or other medical grounds, will receive full pay. Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances that test positive with COVID-19 will be paid full company sick pay in line with our company absence policy. Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case will be paid Statutory Sick Pay.”

TALiNT International reached out to Olivia Sinfield, a partner at Osborne Clark LLP for comment. She said: “Cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff required to isolate due to ‘close contact’ is being considered as potentially a more viable measure to address the issue of staff absences than issuing of vaccination mandates in the UK.  Vaccination mandates remain, in the UK, largely a legal no go zone except in outlier cases involving health and caring professions.  If anything, the mandating of vaccinations is trickier to justify now on health and safety grounds since the Omicron variant swept the nation over the festive period infecting and being transmitted by the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.”

“When considering cutting sick pay for unvaccinated employees who are self-isolating, employers need to look carefully at what’s in black and white in terms of any contractual sick pay scheme and how this has been operated in the past. Where there is a genuine built-in discretion which has been relied upon in the past then arguments of breach of contract and – worst case scenario, resignations and constructive unfair dismissal claims may be avoided (provided a decent process is followed in rolling out the new rules). In contrast, where sick pay has been paid out historically without much thought around the ‘why’s’ and the ‘for whom’ then hands may be tied, and legal claims follow any attempts now to fetter circumstances where sick pay is paid.”

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50% of workers taking leave in December
According to the latest from CV-Library, a UK independent job board, Government’s advice to carry on with Christmas plans is welcome news to UK professionals.

The survey revealed that just over 50% of UK workers are planning to take time off this Christmas with 38.5% of those doing so purely to make up for spending Christmas in lockdown in 2020. Workers want to make the most of the festive season and spend time with family, friends and loved ones, having been denied the opportunity in 2020.

Of the 2,000 respondents, 74% reported that they are not offered any incentive to work over the Christmas period with 55% admitting that they really don’t enjoy working at this time.

Respondents were asked what the pros and cons were and CV-Library has exclusively revealed the results:

Worst things about working over Christmas (based on top three answers) 

  1. 77% Missing out on spending time with family and friends
  2. 22% Missing out on Christmas parties
  3. 22% Having to stay in the festive spirit, even though you’d rather be at home
  4. 20% Irritable/stressed customers and clients
  5. 17% Working longer hours

Best things about working over Christmas (based on top 3 answers) 

  1. 40% Christmas bonuses
  2. 33% Christmas music
  3. 28% A more relaxed working environment
  4. 25% Staff social events
  5. 4% Jolly customers

Secret Santa has also been impacted by the pandemic. A mere 27% of professionals say they will be playing the game in their workplace this year, with 23% admitting they used to, but have stopped since the onset of the pandemic.

Lee Biggins, Founder and CEO of CV-Library commented: “Profits are vital, but a balance is required. The commitment and efforts of staff are key to success, and acknowledgment of this has never been more crucial. With staff retention a big issue, and much movement predicted for the 2022 job market, staff need to feel appreciated, motivated, and able to enjoy the festive period this year, where possible.”

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Businesses admit resignations due to mental health concerns

Research from FutureLearn has highlighted the importance of mental health first aiders in the workplace. A new survey of 1,000 key decision makers in business has revealed that over one in five (21%) business leaders state they are willing to re-evaluate their mental health policies, offering reassurance that steps are being taken to support their staff’s wellbeing in the wake of the pandemic and to curb the apparent “great resignation”.

Currently, there are no legal requirements for allocated psychological first aiders compared to the requirement for physical first aiders or fire marshals – despite being a business essential. However, with the employee experience now in sharp focus, businesses are proactively improving mental health support in the workplace to combat trauma felt post the pandemic. According to the report there has been an increase of 10% of businesses with support in place. This comes after 68% businesses admitted to not having mental health support for their staff pre-pandemic, with this number decreasing to 58% post-pandemic. With 12% of employees revealing they have left their job citing mental health as one of the main reasons for leaving, it is clear just how important mental health policies are when it comes to the retention of staff.

The report revealed that of the businesses who have made changes to their policies since the pandemic, 42% have already implemented online counselling for employees and 34% have already invested in mental health first aiders.

Yvonne Chien, Chief Growth Officer at FutureLearn commented: “We commissioned this survey to reinforce the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace. We’ve seen how the past 18 months have impacted mental health. This national shift has only strengthened our belief in the significance of businesses having access to the right support.”

Conrad Vivers, Mental Health Champion at FutureLearn said: “I’m proud to be a part of a team to help change the conversation we are having about mental health in the workplace. Being a mental health first aider has given me the skills and insight to not only give 1 to 1 support for those in need, but also to confidently bring mental health as a talking point to meetings where people are at the core of the discussion. Through supporting people in the workplace with mental health challenges we’re impacting the evolution and elevation of society. The ripple effects of these actions lead to a safer environment for employees and help FutureLearn fulfil its duty of care towards employees. In some form or another most people need support. Even if it’s just to say: “me too, it’s been tough.””

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Older households in the UK spend more

In new reports published by the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC), it’s found that longer lives could be crucial in European pandemic recovery and highlight the economic opportunities of longer lives across Europe.

According to the reports, older people’s contributions across the European region are significant, and growing:

  • In Germany, 77% of people aged between 50 and 64 are in employment
  • In France, nearly 1 in 3 workers are aged 50 and over.
  • By 2035, almost 3 in 5 (59%) of workers could be aged 50 and over in Italy
  • Over 6 out of every 10 euros in the Spanish economy were spent by households led by those aged 50+ in 2015
  • By 2040, 63p in every pound in the UK economy will be spent by older households.

According to the report, however, there is a key barrier to realising these opportunities and that is poor health which limits people’s ability to stay active as they get older.

Comparing countries across the G2o, the “Health equals wealth” reports highlight that:

In countries that spend more on health, older people work, spend and volunteer more.

Increasing preventative health spending by just 0.1 percentage can unlock a 9% increase in annual spending by older people and an additional 10 hours of volunteering each year.

In a recent story published by TALiNT International, it’s believed the key to unlocking the skills shortage crisis is to upskill the older workforce.

The reports reveal the need for countries to better support older people’s economic contributions, particularly through greater investment in preventative health measures that support healthy ageing. It’s proposed that governments invest at least 6% of their health budgets on interventions, such as vaccines, screenings, early detection and management of disease.

Earlier this year, the European Commission adopted its Green Paper on Ageing, which set out a vision for countries to adapt to their ageing populations, including how to support healthy ageing.

However, to date, there have been no announcements of an intended White Paper or binding commitments. An open letter sent last week by the ILC Europe Network, a pan-European network on longevity, called on the Commission to ensure this is followed up by concrete and meaningful action.

“It’s vital that this Green Paper should not be put on a shelf to gather dust, but instead be a step towards a concerted European response to ageing. [We are] calling for an EU White Paper on Ageing that commits to making European policy and practice work for all ages”, call the signatories.

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Pandemic has exacerbated gender inequality

A detailed report, produced by Sharon Peake, founder and CEO at Shape Talent, has exposed why women in the workplace across Britain and Europe have been so severely impacted by COVID-19.

Sharon Peake, founder and CEO at Shape Talent, said: “The fact is: pre-existing gender inequalities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and many of the hard-earned gains in women’s equality in the workplace, particularly at leadership levels, have been eroded. Women, the world over, are exhausted by the impact of gender bias.”

Predictions by The World Economic Forum expect that the gender pay gap is not going to close for another 136 years, as a direct impact of the pandemic. This is an increase of 36 years on the previous Global Gender Gap Report, which predicted 99.5 years.

Peake explained: “Since time began, gender equality has been viewed as a women’s issue and the focus has been on how to ‘fix’ women. This report does not exist to tell us how unacceptable this is – it is here to provide business leaders with the insight that can focus their strategies on sustainable change and ultimately accelerate gender equality.”

The paper outlines the three barriers that are summarised below:

  • Societal barriers: Subtle and often unspoken cultural cues and messages that reinforce the ways that men and women ‘ought’ to think, behave and feel
  • Organisational barriers: The hurdles experienced in the workplace and a combination of systemic obstacles, cultures and norms which disadvantage women
  • Personal barriers: A diverse range of hindrances, including how women present in the workplace and how they manage the work-family interface.

The paper lists eight guiding principles companies can adopt to counteract the barriers; these are:

  1. Link inclusion and diversity to business strategy
  2. Set the tone from the top
  3. Make inclusion part of cultural change programme
  4. Take an evidence-based approach
  5. Engage men
  6. Build and accelerate the pipeline
  7. Enable a level playing field
  8. Narrow the focus
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Only 42% of tech companies offer training and development

Female employees have gained ground in the workplace, however large skill gaps still exist when it comes to opportunities for professional development and career advancement. This, according to findings released by Skillsoft in its 2021 Women in Tech Report.

The report revealed a misalignment between the workplace benefits women in tech are seeking and what is currently being provided. For example, while 86% of respondents cited that opportunities for professional development and training as extremely or very important to them, a mere 42% said their employers currently offer this as a benefit. Additionally, when asked about the top challenges they have faced while pursuing a tech-related career, nearly a third of women surveyed (32%) pointed to a lack of training.

Potoula Chresomales, SVP, Product Management at Skillsoft commented: “Organisations around the globe are looking for ways to address their skills gaps, and in many cases, the answer lies within via their existing workforce. Women make up less than 40% of the global workforce, and for that number to increase, female employees must be empowered with continuous training, professional development, and career advancement, as well as equal pay. The time is now for organisations to tackle gender disparity head-on. By doing so, we can build more inclusive, equitable, and competitive businesses.”

Skillsoft’s 2021 Women in Tech Report highlights a few ways organisations can better empower female employees. Here they are:

Provide and encourage opportunities for certification

  • When asked how certifications have helped advance their careers, respondents reported gaining more responsibility (52%), earning higher salaries (34%), and receiving promotions (32%), among other benefits.
  • Despite business analysis and cybersecurity being identified as leading areas of interest, just 22 percent and 18 percent of respondents, respectively, hold corresponding certifications. 19 percent report holding no certifications at all.

Make an effort to reduce gender bias in STEM

  • 70 percent of women surveyed reported that men outnumber them in the workplace at ratios of two-to-one or greater.
  • The highest percentage of men in leadership roles have 15 to 20 years of experience versus 26 or more years for women.
  • To encourage more women to pursue tech-related careers, respondents said organisations should provide opportunities for professional development and training (55%), childcare (47%), career coaching, mentoring, and counselling (43%), and an equitable work culture (41%).

Alleviate the unique on-the-job challenges women face

  • More than a third of respondents list their biggest challenge as a lack of equity in pay. This is followed by balancing work and life (36%) and a lack of equity in opportunities (33%).

Ensure training is timely and topical

  • When selecting a training provider, women in tech seek scheduling capabilities (34%), relevant course availability (32%), and opportunities for hands-on practice (32%).
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Burnout continues to fuel the retention crisis

According to its latest study, McKinsey & Company has reported that more than 15 million US workers have quit their jobs since April 2021 with 40% of employees saying that they’re likely to quit in the next three to six months. This, because of burnout, the study revealed.

According to McKinsey, the pandemic has led to employee retention struggles that require serious reconsideration of how employers address mental well-being and they’re calling it the “Great Attrition”.

The largest-of-its-kind study released recently by leadership consulting firm DDI surveyed more than 15,000 employees and 2,000 HR professionals across 24 industries. The study found that nearly 60% of leaders reported feeling used up at the end of the workday.

Burnout has long been a concern for employers, and “leaders who are feeling burnout are now nearly four times more likely to leave their positions within the next year,” according to DDI. The length of the pandemic and the sustained effort required to keep companies afloat through uncertain times (and virtually) have increased exhaustion and stress. Meanwhile, the lines of work/life balance have blurred, families are facing increased financial anxiety, and the pandemic has put a strain on marriages and parents.

Staff need more support, but what does the ideal support system look like? 

In today’s mental wellbeing landscape, support typically starts with professional care but this model of care is problematic because according to Benefit News, in the US, those needing mental health support have to wait an average of 19 days to been seen and only “if one of the 12% of therapists accepting new patients are in the person’s network”. Stigma and fear of repercussions also play a role; 40% of first responders, for example, say they don’t seek help from workplace services because they are afraid of getting fired.

Employers can be the leaders in making proactive mental health care accessible to Americans by doing the following:

  1. Implement meditation spaces and courses in the workplace is one solution. Sixty percentof employees experiencing anxiety in the workplace show marked improvement upon practicing meditation. Many workplaces are already introducing corporate mindfulness classes to their benefits, with stunning results.
  2. Champion overall health. Because stress has also been associated with poor eating behaviors and diet quality (both causing it and being caused by it), nutrition and exercise are key. It’s not reasonable to expect an employee working a nine-hour workday to have time to go to the gym after work, make a healthy dinner from scratch, and also spend time with his or her family without feeling burned out. If workplaces offered healthy meal options at work, and even nutrition courses, it could make a world of difference; it’s also important to create a culture that encourages physical activity during

The arrival of the pandemic brought with it isolation and real human connection is at the lowest point in history. Many family members live in different states or countries, and according to NPR, more than 60% of Americans say they are lonely.

McKinsey’s study revealed that this increase in loneliness has impacted people’s personal and professional lives and made workers more susceptible to burnout. This is especially true for non-White employees, who are “more likely than their White counterparts to say they had left because they didn’t feel they belonged at their companies.”

The bottom line

Workplaces can address the fundamental need for connection by acknowledging the connection between loneliness and burnout; rethinking workplace environments to allow for more socialization and communal working; creating peer-to-peer mentorship programs; introducing ways for employees to volunteer together for a company-backed social cause; or using a platform like Listeners On Call that enables employees to talk to trained listeners with a shared life experience anonymously and confidentially. Also, the platform has the ability to meet employees where they are today on their own personal journey of wellness.

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Side hustles are a priority for the next generation

According to new data by business finance lender, Sonovate, flexible work culture is a key consideration for most young workers when choosing a job, with over half (53%) of 18 to 34-year-olds claiming that talented young people won’t join companies that don’t champion flexible working.

The data also suggested that portfolio careers will become increasingly popular among younger workers in the next decade with 59% of 18 to 34-year-olds agreeing and 54% of the same age demographic saying that having a portfolio career will be important to them at some stage in their career.

The majority (57%) of young respondents don’t believe they need to be in an office full time to learn what they need, and feel they are well equipped to do it all virtually. The survey indicates that young workers see the benefits of freelance work, giving them the flexibility to experiment with different career routes (57%) and to have a family or pursue their interests (50%).

Over a third (36%) of 18 to 34-year-olds have made a career change in order to work more flexibly during the pandemic and the report suggested that the pandemic prompted a shift in attitudes towards jobs among the younger working generation with 44% of 18 to 34-year-olds claiming they don’t want to work the way they did before the pandemic. This is why and over half (54%) of this demographic feel that a shift towards more freelance working is a good thing for graduates, school leavers and new entrants into the world of work.

Richard Prime, co-founder and co-CEO at Sonovate commented: “As the pandemic caused a significant proportion of the UK’s younger employees to lose jobs or go on furlough, young workers had more time than ever to consider what they want from their careers. Younger people’s preferences toward portfolio careers and multiple side-gigs are rooted in a desire for a better work/life balance and to make an income from what they are passionate about. Now, these preferences are being heard more loudly than ever, with people and companies learning to juggle accordingly.”

Lotanna Ezeike, founder and CEO at XPO, a platform that helps social media influencers get paid on time, also weighed in: “For young people today, the concept of what a ‘career’ should look like is a lot more malleable than for any past generation. A central priority for many is finding flexibility. But the idea of working on a contract or freelance basis isn’t, to them, just about being flexible to work less or hang out more. Instead, a more contract or part-time work life supports their desire for greater ownership over what they do and how they spend their working lives. Many creators and influencers want to work but it’s important to them to ‘own’ their time and retain their freedom to choose how they spend it doing things they love.”

Managing Director of TALiNT Partners, Ken Brotherston has been outspoken when it comes to the notion of the side hustle. He commented: “While the scenario of a portfolio of work holds true for a certain percentage of the working population, this isn’t so for large part of it. There is a significant portion of the workforce who aren’t influencers and need the certainty of a permanent job, as well as the need to supplement their income to pay bills. This scenario isn’t choosing a portfolio of work because it’s cool and flexible, they do it out of necessity.”

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US truck drivers offered $100k plus bonus

Research conducted by Smart Recruit Online has revealed that teaching assistant is the most searched for job in the UK, with more than 273,000 Google searches completed in the last 12 months. This search spiked in May 2021, likely as this is the last month you can register before the summer.

The top five jobs searched for across the UK include gig economy roles such as cleaner and driver jobs. The UK has seen a significant candidate shortage in these lower-skilled roles which has led to salary inflations and a more competitive and incentivised market. Coupled with the 2020 nationwide furlough scheme which left many out of work, these jobs may have very well seemed like the “easiest” to branch into with little training.

Medical roles such as counsellor and nursing also feature within the top ten, proving that even after the difficulties these professions have encountered during the pandemic, there is still a human interest in these healthcare roles with more than 78,000 Brits searching for each of these jobs in the last year across the UK.

Looking at the different regions of the UK, teaching assistant was the most popular job searched for in England, while in Scotland and Northern Ireland, driver jobs were the most in demand. The research revealed that there were 12,000 searches for driver jobs in Scotland, and just over 3,000 in Northern Ireland. In Wales, moulder jobs were the most searched for, with 10,350 searches in the last year.

A global view

With recent reports suggesting an extreme driver shortage the world over it’s no surprise that ‘driver jobs’ is the top job searched globally with over 1.2 million searches. In the UK, HGV drivers could earn up to £3,400 per month, while in the USA, one company was reported as offering a whopping $100,000 plus bonuses to potential drivers! The top country searching for driving jobs was South Africa, where a driver shortage can be linked to early retirements and lockdown restrictions making it more difficult to be licensed. Searches for driver jobs hit 128,500 in South Africa in the past year.

Engineering jobs make up the top three globally, with both mechanical and engineering jobs seeing close to a million searches per year, with other highly skilled careers such as graphic designer and accountant rounding out the top five with more than 800,000 searches for each. Canadians are searching for accounting jobs the most (54,201 searches), while it’s India that searches for engineering jobs (567,200) the most.

Translator jobs were the most commonly searched for globally, by no less than 33 countries. This job is searched for the most in Central and South America, with 4,400 Brazillians searching for these roles the most in the last year. Second to Brazil is Mexico, where the job was searched for 3,990 times, while both Argentina (1,680) and Chile (600) featured in the top ten searches for this job.

While translator jobs were searched by most countries, it is driver jobs that were searched the most, with more than 336,880 searches from 21 countries.

Back on the continent

In Europe, the UK searched the most for teaching assistants – 273,700 times – and interestingly the UK was the only nation to search for that job title. The second highest search volume was in Switzerland, where chauffeur job searches topped 43,200 and Greece took up the third highest searches for lawyer jobs (28,800).

 

 

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