Category: news

The new TA landscape – more important than ever, more challenging than ever

On 18 November, TALiNT Partners hosted their annual Talent Acquisition Leaders Summit at The King’s Fund in London. TA leaders gathered to hear insights and findings of the Benchmark Report as well as listen to keynote speakers from LinkedIn and Diversity by Design.

Over the last five years the TALiNT Partners Benchmark Programme has been helping talent leaders to review their organisation’s capabilities to acquire and retain the people they need and we are excited to launch our findings in the Talent Acquisition Benchmark Report 2022.

This year TALiNT Partners reached out to Talent Acquisition and HR Leaders in over 400 single and multi-national employers, guiding participants through a rigorous review of their planning, processes, tools and technology to understand key talent trends and challenges.

This year’s Benchmark Report brings into sharp focus the challenges, opportunities and balancing act faced by TA Leaders in 2022.  and the significance of Talent Acquisition has never seen such universal priority.

Findings from the Report include:
• In 2022 talent scarcity has been the predominant theme driving creativity and collaboration but also frustration and uncertainty
• Post-pandemic, every EVP needs a re-fresh
• Internal talent has become a priority, with upskilling and development of existing employees taking centre stage
• Candidate aspirations have changed, necessitating a new approach to the employment relationship
• Several areas of TA have been deprioritised to free up time and resource to deliver essential changes
• Diversity is important, but not as important as filling the job
• Less enthusiasm for new tech (apart from onboarding and upskilling) and more focus on making what they have work better.

This is just a glimpse of what lies ahead in this thought-provoking and candid view of the 2022 talent acquisition landscape.

Each of the twelve categories has its own story to tell.

Download the report here – https://info.talintpartners.com/benchmark-2022

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National living wage increased

The wait for the much-anticipated Autumn budget is over. Millions are to pay more tax as the Chancellor cuts top-rate threshold in order to plug “black holes”. While saying he “tried to be fair”, disposable incomes are set to fall by 7.1% in real-term numbers – which equates to the lowest levels since records began in the mid-fifties.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt declared he is increasing the national living wage by 9.7% next year, from £9.50 an hour for over-23s to £10.42. This represents an annual pay rise worth over £1,600 pounds to a full-time worker.

But what do the announcements mean for employers? Will businesses face backlash if they’re unable to pay the living wage? The u-turns and amendments could dramatically affect the contractor workforce.

Alexandra Farmer, Head of Team and Solicitor at  WorkNest commented: “With the rise in the National Living Wage mentioned in the budget, I expect a number of businesses will assess their workforce. Do they need all the employees they have? Can they make efficiencies to allow them to reduce the overall headcount? If so, we could be looking at an increase in redundancies over the next few months. It’s likely businesses will want these completed ahead of the rise in April to limit costs (i.e. redundancy payments and notice payments would otherwise be calculated using the higher rate of pay once it comes into effect).”

Unfortunately, it isn’t all good news for everyone.

Matt Fryer, MD of Brookson Group, a People2.0 Company commented: “This Autumn Statement and last month’s reversal of the measures announced in the Growth Plan mean that everyone is paying more tax, but this is especially true of contractors and the self-employed. Due to the structure of their businesses, independent contractors are particularly hit by today’s cut to dividend allowances and the previously announced increase in corporation tax rates.

“This is short-sighted. The economy needs flexible talent to support growth, including the infrastructure and energy independence projects that the Chancellor has prioritised. Contractors are available to work as and when their skills are required and the personal risks associated with this flexibility should be reflected in the tax system.

“Some may decide to seek permanent employment as a result of this budget, but contracting is not just about the money; it is a flexible lifestyle choice. If the Government is not going to incentivise the flexible workforce, businesses need to consider what else they can do to continue to make contracting an attractive option. This might include access to improved services or benefits, in compliance with the off-payroll working rules.”

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Tech and Telecoms challenged by migrations, inflation, and cost of labor

The ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions 2022 Total Workforce Index™ (TWI) has revealed the U.S., Singapore, and Canada as the highest-ranking labor markets across the globe for sourcing, hiring, and retaining talent. The ninth annual TWI report has analyzed more than 200 factors to evaluate skills availability, cost efficiency, regulation, and productivity. These findings were combined with big data and expert analysis to assess the workforce engagement of 69 global markets.

The current labor markets are characterized by intense competition for skilled workers, with 75% of companies globally reporting talent shortages and difficulty hiring — a 16-year high according to ManpowerGroup’s 2022 Talent Shortage Survey. This year’s revamped TWI places more emphasis on the impacts of remote work, the growing willingness and flexibility of employers to scale back education requirements and choosing to skill candidates on the job.

The ages of the workforce

There’s also heavier focus on the age of the workforce. As older workers leave the labor market, more companies are cultivating sustainable populations of talent by prioritizing the availability of large pools of Gen Z and millennial workers. Additionally, cost-of-living indices, wage inflation rates, and exchange rate volatility are new factors introduced into the TWI based on the significant impact of these issues on organizations and their workforces. This helps to provide a clearer picture of economic stability as companies make workforce mix and location decisions.

Dave McGonegal, Vice President of Talent Solutions Consulting & Advisory commented: “In a digital-first global economy, skilled talent is the new currency for business and economic growth. Organizations looking to separate from the pack turn to the Index to help them navigate change in real-time. This includes navigating new markets that will enable companies to compete for much-needed talent proactively and creatively, while still meeting business objectives. Companies need to become employers of choice, regardless of location, and factor in the needs most important to employees.”

When it comes to Technology and Telecommunications, organizations have been challenged by migrations, inflation, and cost of labor. This is causing them to heavily weigh a range of factors that contribute to long-term sustainability, productivity, and cost efficiency. In heavily regulated industries such as Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Manufacturing companies are finding challenges with cost efficiency and talent availability as specialized skill sets, certifications, and background checks are required for producing medical devices.

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Amazon joins big tech companies in staff cuts

EmployBridge, the largest industrial staffing firm based on US revenue, is laying off 171 employees across the US, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN notice, filed with the Georgia Department of Labor. Amazon is also reportedly laying off personnel, while Twitter is adding to its previously reported staff cuts.

Citing according to a source familiar with the EmployBridge layoffs, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that the affected employees are a mix of full-time and part-time workers who have back-office support roles such as in information technology support, accounting or human resources.

EmployBridge this month announced it completed its acquisition of Bluecrew, a Chicago-based online provider of industrial workers on a W-2 basis. Atlanta-based EmployBridge places more than 450,000 temporary associates annually via 446 offices in 48 states. It was acquired by Apollo Global Management Inc. in 2021.

Amazon this week also began cutting jobs across the company. Managers have begun informing employees that they have two months to find another role inside the company or accept severance, according to media reports.

TechCrunch reported that the company allegedly plans to lay off 10,000 – comprising roughly 3% of its corporate workforce. The figure would mark the largest “workforce reduction” ever undertaken by the e-commerce and cloud computing giant in its nearly 30-year history.

And Twitter has laid off 4,400 of its 5,500 contractors, CNBC reported. The move follows the layoffs of approximately half of its internal staff. According to a report from Quartz, counting Twitter and Amazon, major tech companies will have laid off 33,000 workers over the last month.

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A third of workers plan to look new roles in 2023

According to iCIMS’ “2023 Workforce Report”, one in three workers are planning to look for a new job in 2023, this amid business disruption and new outlooks on work. However, the Report found that another third of workers plan to stick with their current roles and take on more hours and responsibilities.

Meanwhile, three out of four business leaders feel retaining talent in 2023 will be a bigger challenge than hiring talent.

In terms of remote work, nearly 60% of people believe they are more likely to get training or learning opportunities in an in-person environment. Meanwhile, 41% of women and 32% of men feel they will unlikely get promoted if they work remotely.

The Report revealed that training remains a priority for a majority of workers (78%) when making career decisions. Non-traditional work perks, such as gym memberships, play a role in the decision to accept a job offer for just 16% of respondents.

Additionally, 60% of workers rank their company’s DE&I initiatives as effective. However, most respondents feel these practices are missing at their workplace, such as pronoun usage, celebrations of different cultures, unconscious bias training or allyship programmes.

The survey includes responses from job seekers, HR and business leaders. The report also contains market data from iCIMS’ recruitment platform.

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39% of organisations reporting losing employees to companies who offer flexibility

Unit4, the cloud applications organisation, has announced the people and HR-related findings of its second annual Business Future Index.

The report surveyed 3,450 respondents across 12 global markets in order to understand how much people, policy and technology changes have accelerated over the past 12 months with the Index revealing significant concerns with flexible working strategies, despite a dramatic acceleration in its adoption. With competition for talent growing, there is a danger that failure to improve working policies and implement the right tools could lead to more employees choosing those employers who offer a more flexible approach.

The index found that 76% of respondents said that flexible working policies need improvement and 62% agreed that the tools to support flexible working are not adequate. A mere 18% of respondents said that they experience a flexible working policy without any restrictions with 39% of organisations reporting losing employees to companies who offer flexibility.

Attracting and retaining talent (62%) remains the biggest priority for organisations over the next 12 months, as talent shortages continue.

Flexibility important but implementation inconsistent

The Business Future Index found that 92% of respondents stated that their organisations have now adopted some form of flexible working policy. However, it also revealed that there is much work to be done to apply these policies more equitably and ensure employees have the right framework and tools to enable such approaches. For example, the Index discovered that 37% of people work flexible hours, such as working from 9am – 3pm, then made up time in the evening with 31% working a completely flexible hybrid model (office and home based). Of the respondents, 31% stated that they are mandated to spend a proportion of time in the office (for example, a certain number of days per week).

While the reasonably even split between the different types of flexible working is understandable given that not every organisation can offer complete remote working, other data suggests an imbalance in how such policies are applied. While 55% say flexible working applies to all employees, more than a third (35%) said it only applies to some employees dependent on job role, and 9% suggested it depends on the manager’s discretion applying only to some employees. Given that less than one fifth of employees experience flexible working without restrictions, there is still some way to go to improve such policies and, therefore, it is critical organisations move quickly to avoid loss of talent.

Big drivers for workforce strategies: recruitment, diversity and technology

According to the Index, attracting and retaining talent remains the top priority for all organisations across the globe in the year ahead, but the Index revealed further challenges impacting workforce strategies, that included staff retention, ESG credentials and diversity, with only 25% of organisations planning to improve diversity within the business.

Re-skilling talent (51%) and implementing a successful flexible/hybrid working policy (50%) also made it onto the list of top business priorities, compounded by 51% who believe that the real need to enhance talent strategies will hinder their ability to achieve their objectives.

Tania Garrett, Chief People Officer, Unit4 commented: “Given the need to attract a broad spectrum of talent into organisations from different demographic groups to meet demand for skills, the Business Future Index shows businesses must make diversity a higher priority. Along with investing more in reskilling their existing workforce to help meet future requirements, the Index clearly shows there is a close correlation between investment in innovative technologies and a positive impact on recruitment and retention.”

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Product usage surges in Europe and globally, UK lags

A new survey, released by product analytics provider, Amplitude, revealed that digital product usage has surged across industries, growing 16% year-on-year globally, despite an economic downturn. This figure increases marginally, to 18% in the UK. The UK however is lagging behind many other countries – including Germany (38%), France (33%) and Singapore (43%).

The global survey examined the evolution of the product landscape between August 2021 to August 2022. Executives in marketing, product, data, and growth management roles and across 12 industries and eight countries were surveyed.

The findings show the concerns and priorities of leaders during the current economic turbulence. The survey also revealed industry trends that reflect global shifts, such as The Great Resignation.

According to the survey:

  • 26% fear a potential loss in product strategy focus
  • 25% are concerned about not pivoting fast enough
  • 63% feel moderately or less equipped to shift their product strategy

However, despite fears, respondents are still doubling down on their product strategies. Their priorities include:

  • Customer retention (43%)
  • Product engagement (37%)
  • Product-led growth (37%).
  • Investments in competitive differentiation (25%)
  • Investments in product launches (22%)

The survey also revealed how global events such as Covid-19 and The Great Resignation shapes product landscapes. Staffing and job search products skyrocketed between 2021 and 2022 (118% globally), likely due to the upheaval global workforces faced following the pandemic.

Similarly, as workers seek to upskill themselves to become more employable, products related to continued education, language learning & skills coaching in adults also saw an increase of 48% during this 12-month period.

Fintech also continued to grow over the last year, hitting a 22% baseline between June and August 2022. The report revealed that several fintech apps have surged in popularity globally, including:

  • Italy-based Scalapay (123%)
  • France-based Qonto (75%)

Crypto, however, shows a more complicated growth pattern. After peaking at 78% growth in January, activity slowed significantly. Overall, crypto usage has still grown by 25.8% since August 2021 – greater growth than in the fintech category, indicating that a decline in crypto values doesn’t mean a decline in crypto users.

Daniel Bailey, Vice President EMEA, Amplitude, commented: “In today’s economic environment, the importance of investments in digital customer experience cannot be understated. Consumer spend will continue to decline over the next 12 months, and the businesses that do not invest in their digital product now risk losing market share to their competitors,”

 “If the past year proved anything, it’s that progress is not always linear. Despite market challenges, the companies included in our Next Hottest Product list like Paired, with 636% year-over-year user growth, are proof that investments in digital experience translate to increased engagement and sustainable growth.”

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Unemployment falls by 0.2%

According to the ONS’s latest labour market overview, the UK employment rate remained largely unchanged for July to September 2022 was 75.5%, and 1.1% lower than before the COVID-19 (December 2019 to February 2020). The data revealed that over the latest three-month period, the number of employees decreased, while self-employed workers increased.

Payrolled employees for October 2022 shows another monthly increase, up 74,000 on the revised September 2022 figures, to a record 29.8 million whilst the unemployment rate fell by 0.2% for July to September.

The big news of the week has been confirmed with the report stating that economic inactivity rate increased by 0.2% on the quarter to 21.6% in July to September 2022. During the latest three-month period, the increase in economic inactivity was driven by those who are long-term sick, who increased to a record high. In a recent article published by the ONS explored the economically inactive because of long-term sickness in more detail. It showed that over two-thirds of those becoming long-term sick in 2021 and 2022 were already economically inactive for another reason in the three months before interview.

Vacancies for August to October 2022, fell by 46,000 on the quarter to 1,225,000 but despite four consecutive quarterly falls, the number of vacancies remain at historically high levels. An increasing number of businesses are now reporting holding back recruitment because of economic pressures.

According to the report, growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.0% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 5.7% among employees in July to September 2022. This is the strongest growth in regular pay seen outside of the coronavirus pandemic period.

Average regular pay growth for the private sector was 6.6% in July to September 2022, and 2.2% for the public sector. Outside of the height of the coronavirus pandemic period, this is the largest growth seen for the private sector and the largest difference between the private sector and public sector.

In real terms (adjusted for inflation) over the year, total pay fell by 2.6% and regular pay fell by 2.7%. This is slightly smaller than the record fall in real regular pay reported in April to June 2022 (3.0%), but remains among the largest falls in growth since comparable records began in 2001.

Joanne Frew, Global Head of Employment & Pensions at DWF commented: “The latest ONS figures show a steady labour market despite the UK’s ongoing economic struggles. The UK economy is certainly facing a challenging period with soaring inflation and the Bank of England warning that the UK could be set for its longest recession since records began.  The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is due to deliver his Autumn Statement on Thursday 17 November and has already warned that tax rises are necessary to help tackle inflation.  Against this backdrop it is likely that the labour market will face a relatively turbulent time.  Despite the ongoing resilience of the market during the pandemic, it is likely that the economic difficulties will lead to more job losses over the coming months.”

Bev White, CEO of Nash Squared said: “Despite Big Tech recently putting a freeze on their recruitment plans or even shedding jobs, today’s ONS jobs figures show that UK Tech continues to buck this global trend by adding a further 92,000 jobs over the last quarter, and firmly cementing itself as the UK’s standout private sector job creator over the last three years – with almost 350,000 additional jobs created.

“This performance is even more startling when you consider that we’ve lost over three quarters of a million private sector jobs over the same three-year period in the UK.

Despite the downturn, there is little sign of a tech slowdown. Tech investment in the UK is expected to hit its third highest level for more than 15 years and over half (56%) of digital leaders running tech departments in the UK plan to increase their technology headcount this year.”

Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor’s UK Economist also commented: “As news of tech layoffs spreads, Glassdoor’s data shows that employees are increasingly anxious with discussion of layoffs doubling and mentions of recession up tenfold from last October. Hiring has also taken a hit, with mentions of hiring freezes up more than 450 percent.

“However, this isn’t 2008. Unlike the Great Recession, the current shortage of workers is much more acute and even a potential recession would be unlikely to result in the same peak of unemployment as we saw then. There are reasons to be hopeful – vacancies are likely to remain higher and both redundancies and unemployment are lower than before the pandemic.”

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Package helps ex-soldiers embark on new career paths

Career support is now available to those who have served in the Armed Forces. The programme, launched by employment support specialist, Steps To Work, is designed to help ex-Armed Forces people to embark on new career paths.

The scheme is aimed at providing employment support for veterans, reservists, and cadets, and includes:

  • helping with job applications
  • CV building
  • interview techniques
  • access to training and development opportunities.

Bhanu Dhir, Chief Executive Officer at Steps To Work, said: “Our support package is one of the ways in which we want to offer our appreciation to those who have given so much to serve the country.

“We feel honoured to be able to give back to soldiers and their families in this way. Through our programme we will be able to share our specialist knowledge to help make a real difference in communities.

“Many soldiers have transferable skills that we believe many employers will find valuable and we look forward to being able to support them as they embark on life outside of the forces.”

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What companies can do to boost the confidence of an older workforce

New LinkedIn research has shown that 72% of UK business leaders have actively been attempting to hire experienced workers who retired as a result of the pandemic.

However, despite companies trying to recruit from this demographic, the research also indicated that 38% of those aged 50+ felt they would be disadvantaged because of their age. Furthermore, 26% feel that they don’t have the right skills.

Additional LinkedIn data shows that, in the UK, “Baby Boomers” (those aged 58-76) and “Gen X” (those aged 42-57) have historically had, and continue to have, lower confidence in ‘getting/holding a job,’ compared to younger generations.

There are however steps that companies can take to attract experienced talent, promote inclusivity, and boost the confidence of these experienced individuals.

Derval Blehein, HR Leader for EMEA and LATAM at LinkedIn, commented: “Employers who actively invest in overcoming ageism in the workplace can unlock a wealth of talent –  we know diverse teams win, and diversity of thought gained through age and experience is a critical component of this equation. However there is work to be done to ensure that hiring processes are inclusive across all age groups.

Employers who take a skills-based approach to hiring can help diminish bias towards certain generations. By focusing on a candidates’ transferable skills, employers will broaden their talent pools and increase diversity in their workforce. Over time, this hiring approach will widen age profiles in industries that typically favour a certain age group.

Flexibility is vital to encourage all, and especially older, workers to remain in the workforce. LinkedIn data shows that flexible work is highly valued across all generations – allowing people to work productively, whilst protecting time to pursue other commitments such as family and caring responsibilities. However, these initiatives need to be matched with remote-first tech support for those who may be less confident in their ability to set themselves up for success while working from home.

Employers should consistently review, tailor and update their benefits packages so that each generation’s needs are met. A good example of this is offering flexible benefits which individuals can easily tailor to their own needs. Taking the time to adjust employee benefits and training to each life stage will not only help to boost employee satisfaction but will also positively impact retention across demographics.”

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