Category: news

Work flexibility widens the talent pool

According to president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia, hybrid work arrangements are here to stay; but adds that organisations shouldn’t forget that we had offices for a reason.

Thomas Barkin made the comments in a speech this week with the key takeaway being that companies need to reinvent the office for hybrid working and that while it will look different organizations must focus on making the most of the time workers still while working in person in order to maintain connectivity.

While remote work has positive aspects ­– employees value flexibility, it pulls more people into the workforce and it improves hiring pools – there are certain trade-offs.

“Offices evolved into the dominant model for good reasons, and companies are rightfully hesitant to lose those benefits,” Barkin said.

Efficiency and productivity rank among those benefits; however, offices provide much more, he said.

Companies need to be more “intentional” when it comes to connectivity among workers.

“Enabling more connectivity may require rethinking spending,” Barkin said. “Some companies are reconsidering their physical footprint and lowering real estate costs as a consequence. They should be thinking about redeploying some of those savings into connectivity spend, including meals and social events in the office and occasions to bring people together outside the workplace.”

He went on to say that if we are honest with ourselves, we aren’t optimizing the hybrid environment today.

“To make it meet its full potential, we need to leverage the power of technology while innovating to recreate the benefits which the office once provided.”

Take Google for instance. The company is opening its newest campus in Mountain View, California, and executives say they aim to make it a place where employees in the company’s advertising division feel more comfortable returning to the office for decades to come.

It’s also the company’s first ground-up developed campus. Google’s other campuses are pre-existing buildings that had been modified by the company, a spokesperson told CNBC.

Google’s VP of Workplace and Real Estate David Radcliffe commented: “As we started with a blank canvas, we had to ask ourselves another set of questions, and that was simply ‘what will work look like in 20 years, 30 years, 50 years, 100 years? And I’ll be honest, the conclusion we came to was ‘we have no idea.’ But what we did know was it meant we had to be extra, extra focused on flexibility. This building had to be able to transform itself over its lifetime in order to respond to the demands being put on by the business.”

 

 

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Only 41% of women negotiate salaries for new roles, research reveals

Only 41% of women negotiate their starting salaries for new roles, compared to 61% of men, leaving women at a greater risk of a cost-of-living crisis. This is the finding from new research commissioned by Reed.co.uk.

The study also found that 27% of women are uncomfortable discussing their salary with employers. In comparison, only 13% of men felt the same. Yet, 90% of employees who did negotiate their most recent salary said that they were successful in receiving an increase.

The research among 250 hiring managers and 2,000 job seekers indicated that 51% of people have never negotiated wages for a new job. The ‘ask gap’ is obvious in these statistics, too, with 59% of women saying they had never negotiated salaries when offered new roles, compared to 39% of men.

When it comes down to the money, the most common salary increase in salary was between £1,000-£2,499 (42%). A further 27% received a raise of between £2,500-£4,999. Of these numbers, 42% of men were more likely to secure these pay increases than 31% of women.

The research indicates that salary negotiation is a sought-after skill. Seventy percent of workers agree that salary negotiation should be taught in school. Minority workers particularly value education on the subject, with 74% of women stating that salary negotiation should be taught in school, compared to 65% of men. Similar results were seen with:

  • 78% of LGBTQ+ vs. 70% of straight respondents
  • 83% of BAME vs. 77% of white respondents
  • 82% of disabled vs. 69% of non-disabled respondents

In support of this, 77% of employers look upon candidates positively when the candidates negotiate their salaries during the recruitment process.

When looking at age-related responses, the trends relating to salary discussions seem to be changing. Younger employees are much more open to discussing their salary, with 91% of employees aged 18-34 disclosing their earnings to someone, compared to only 26% of older workers (aged between 55-64).

Between partners, 58% of job seekers share salary details, and 44% share their salary with their families.

Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, commented: “The latest Reed.co.uk data sheds new light on how the gender ‘ask gap’ is perpetuating unequal pay. While the government has taken important strides through the pay transparency pilot, the research shows that more needs to be done to address the disparity in confidence between men and women when discussing salary.”

“By introducing salary negotiation skills into school education, future generations across society will be able to understand and implement negotiation strategies during the hiring process – and across other life experiences such as purchasing a house or car. This will enable them to secure a higher starting salary and help close existing pay gaps.”

“At a time when the cost-of-living is rising, the study also shows the value in employees pushing their future employers for a salary increase when being offered a new role and confirms that finding a new job is one of the best possible ways to secure a pay rise. Reed.co.uk has a wealth of career advice on the subject of salaries to help people get paid what they’re worth.”

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Recruitment sector among the fastest growing industries for entry-level roles

New data from LinkedIn has found that demand for recruiters is soaring in the UK. With the tightening labour market, LinkedIn’s data indicates that 2.9x more recruiter jobs were advertised on the professional networking site in April 2022 compared to January 2019.

The same trend has been noted across Europe during the same period with:

  • Germany (5.9x)
  • France (4.3x)
  • Spain (4.2x)

The recruitment industry is a great opportunity for entry-level talent. LinkedIn’s data regarding the fastest growing industries for career starters in the UK shows that the Staffing & Recruiting sector has grown by 65% year-on-year (2020-2021) for entry-level roles.

LinkedIn’s data showed that the fastest-growing entry-level roles in the UK were Recruitment Resourcer and Human Resources Administrator. Roles such as these require candidates with strong people skills, including sourcing, interviewing, and executive search.

Adam Hawkins, Head of Search and Staffing, EMEA & LATAM, at LinkedIn, commented: “It’s great to see that recruiters are in such high demand as the recruitment industry continues to play a vital role in helping businesses navigate a challenging economic and hiring environment. It’s a fantastic profession, particularly for those starting out in their careers, and presents endless opportunities for skills development.

In the UK, we’ve recently seen job adverts outnumber the amount of people unemployed for the first time since records began. As companies struggle to source the skills they need to succeed, recruiters will be more relied upon than ever to advise companies on how they can open up new talent pools and attract top talent.”

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61% don’t believe they have the skills to enter most sought after industries

After five years of falling outside the top three, engineering is now at the top of the list of most desirable sectors to work, overtaking IT & Communications (ITC), which held the top spot for the previous four years. Sixty percent of respondents, a 10% increase from 2021, said they were willing to work in the Engineering sector.

According to the new research from Randstad, surveying  163,000 working-age people, ITC has fallen to third place at 58%. The study also revealed that 70% of workers are open to job opportunities. Forty-eight percent are willing to quit their jobs if the work stops them from enjoying their lives. A further 34%  admitted to leaving a role because it didn’t fit within their personal life.

Second on the list of attractive sectors is the Automotive industry at 59%. In fourth place is the Agriculture sector at 57%, followed by the FMCG sector at 55%.

The study also found that different regions in the world have different views as to what the most attractive sectors are. For example, European respondents ranked the Automotive sector as number one (46%), followed by Life Sciences (44%) and Industrial (44%).

The Automotive sector was also in the top position (73%) in Latin America, followed by Industrial (68%) and FMCG (68%).

According to the study, even though workers are attracted to certain industries, 61% feel they don’t have the skills required to enter the industry. Sixty-five percent believe they lack the skills to work in the engineering industry. Some industries are even higher, such as the chemical sector, at 72%, and the construction sector at 69%.

On the other hand, 46% believe that the skills to work in the retail industry, and 43% believe they have the skills for the hospital industry. A further 42%  believed they had the required skills for the ITC sector. In addition, the research indicated that more white-collar workers (41%) feel that they have the skills to work in any sector, whereas only 34% of blue-collar workers feel this way.

The research also showed that 76% of employees agree that being offered the chance to reskill, while only 61% feel that their employers offer these opportunities.

Joanna Irwin, Randstad CMO, commented: “This year’s Randstad Employer Brand Research signals that the tides are changing in terms of which sectors are seen as the most attractive for employees. Increasingly, talent wants to work in sectors that make an impact in both the physical and digital world.

There’s still a job to do for employers in these sought-after industries to ensure that they are removing the barriers to entry for willing talent. Offering reskilling and upskilling programs can help employers stand out from the crowd and attract workers.”

No matter which sector is considered to be the most attractive, employers must offer compelling employee value propositions to ensure that they attract the best talent.

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Lack of salary increases and growth opportunities identified as top issues

Two new reports published by 360Learning have indicated that the Learning and Development sector has some challenges to deal with. The reports revealed that 42% of UK L&D professionals had not received a pay rise in recent months, and a further 23% believe they do not have opportunities to develop at work.

The reports, which look at salaries, progression, and satisfaction in corporate Learning and Development (L&D) teams across the US and UK, have the following findings:

In the UK:

  • The most common annual salary range was found to be between £30-£39k a year
  • The average salary comes in at £31.6k
  • People working in voluntary sectors were likely to earn less than £39k
  • People in the private sector had the best chance of earning more than £80k
  • 25% of L&D Managers earned between £50-£59k
  • Administrators in the L&D environment earned the least at below £39k

In the US:

  • The most common salary range was $70-$100k
  • The mean salary across all roles was much higher than the UK average, at $91.2k
  • 41% of L&D Managers earned more than $100k
  • Instructional Designers and Learning Specialists in the L&D environment earned the least, at less than $70k

The gender pay gap is also clear in the results with:

  • One-third of UK women earn less than the national average (£31,285) compared to only a fifth of men
  • Half of the women in the UK earned less than £39k, compared to only 36% of men
  • Only a quarter of women said they earn more than £40k, versus 41% of men in similar roles

When looking at reasons for lack of advancement, in the UK, 6% of women report that childcare and family are stopping them from growing at work, compared to just 1% of men.

In the US, 4% of people cite personal or family reasons for preventing advancement.

The studies also looked at salary satisfaction. Interestingly, despite gender and role disparities, 53% of L&D professionals in the UK and US were satisfied with their salaries, with the satisfaction increasing per age bracket.

In the UK:

  • 56% of men and 55% of women were satisfied with their earnings
  • 58% of men and 59% of women between 25 and 45 were also happy with their incomes.
  • 42% of UK professionals haven’t had a pay rise in more than 12 months
  • Of the professionals who had not had a pay rise, 54% admitted that they’re not comfortable asking for one
  • Among the professionals who did receive pay rises, 52% were below the rate of inflation, with 45% as low as 1%-3% – half the rate of inflation

In the US:

  • 80% of professionals have had a raise in the past two years
  • 20% have had no raise at all or last had a raise three or more years ago
  • If they have had a pay rise, 38% saw a 1-3% increase
  • 10% of professionals had enjoyed a salary increase of 10% or more over the past 12 months. 41% were “comfortable” or “very comfortable” about asking for pay rises

As far as the impact of education and career experience on salary is concerned, the survey found that 74% of higher salaries across the UK went to people aged over 45; however, 73% of the over 45s surveyed had been in the L&D industry for less than a year.

It would appear that qualifications do not have much influence on compensation. Most of the UK respondents don’t have an L&D-related degree. Of the respondents who earned more than £70k a year – only 7% had degrees or higher. However, in the highest salary bracket, only 2% of people without an L&D-related degree earn more than £80,000 compared to 6% of respondents who do. Clearly,  L&D degrees can lead to higher salaries when it comes to senior roles.

In the US, where wages were higher than $70k, there were almost equal numbers of people with L&D degrees and those without, indicating that on-the-job training via mentors, upskilling, and learning management systems can be an effective route to progression.

The survey provided insights into the roles of mentors in earning potential. For example, the respondents who had a salary of more than $100k a year were more likely to have mentors than those earning lower salaries. Similarly, professionals with a 4% or higher salary increase in the previous 12 months were also likely to have had a mentor.

Generally speaking, mentorship numbers are higher in the US than in the UK. Of the US respondents, 65% of professionals agreed that they benefitted from mentoring, while only 47% in the UK said the same. These numbers could correlate with the fact that 20% of male and 21% of female L&D professionals in the UK feel that they lack opportunities to progress in their careers.

With 4% of US respondents and 22% of UK respondents saying they want to leave L&D, it is essential that L&D professionals feel empowered to effectively provide training and support to other employees.

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Parent of company of Facebook pays immigrants less

According to recent court findings, an IT professional filed suit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook, alleging it didn’t hire him because he was a US citizen.

According to the court filings, it’s alleged that the lawsuit said the company preferred visa holders — such as those on H-1B visas — at sites in the US because it could pay them less for the same tasks.

The plaintiff in the suit is Purushothaman Rajaram, a naturalized US citizen who lives in Pennsylvania. He has 20 years of experience in IT and it’s reported that Facebook considered him for employment on two occasions in 2020. The first being May 2020 when he was contacted by Infosys Inc. for a position at Facebook, and the second being in June 2020 by Facebook directly. He was hired on neither occasion.

The suit, filed on May 17 and seeks class action status.

“By law, H-1B visa workers must be paid by their employer at least as much as other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific employment in question,” according to the lawsuit. “Thus, the only reason Facebook would choose to hire and relegate certain positions to visa holders is to pay them less than American counterparts, an unlawful practice that is known in the industry as ‘wage theft.’”

Meta hires H-1B visa holders directly, according to the suit, and has secured more than 20,000 H-1B visas with a vast majority for employees who will perform software engineer roles. It also said Meta is an H-1B visa-dependent employer in that 15% or more of its US workforce is on an H-1B visa.

In addition, the suit said Meta also brings in H-1B visa workers from third-party vendors such as Infosys and Accenture.

Rajaram’s lawsuit refers to legal action by the US Departments of Labor and Justice against Facebook in which the social networking giant agreed to pay $4.75 million to settle allegations of bias against US workers.

Rajaram’s suit seeks damages including punitive damages.

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Employers offer benefits to emerging talent

According to the National Associate of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the average hourly wage for bachelor’s-level interns from the class of 2020-2021 rose to $20.82.

“The average hourly wage for interns is the highest hourly wage that has been reported,” said Shawn VanDerziel, NACE’s executive director.

He made further comment: “Moreover, it is important to consider the context: The last two summers have been particularly challenging for employers as they grappled with managing their internship programs during a pandemic, but they wanted to remain competitive and raised wages. Our studies show that the market is hot right now for both full-time hires and interns. We expect that hourly wages for summer 2022 interns will reflect that.”

Many employers have reportedly also offered benefits to interns. Examples include planned social activities, offered by 79.0%, and paid holidays, provided by 55.1%. In addition, 23.2% offered their interns 401(k) plans.

VanDerziel said interns also receive work experience that can make them attractive to potential employers.

NACE reported nearly two-thirds of class of 2020 – 2021 interns’ time at work, 36.1%, was spent on a combination of analytical/problem-solving work and 27.3% on project management duties.

In a tight and talent scarce market, the ‘grow your own’ mentality is one that will not only support the retention of staff but will also ensure a solid talent pipeline for growing businesses.

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VC-backed companies under pressure with bleak macro-economic and geo-political outlook

Swedish “buy now, pay later” company Klarna has announced its intention to lay off 10% of its global workforce in a pre-recorded video message. Klarna CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited “the war in Ukraine unfold, a shift in consumer sentiment, a steep increase in inflation, a highly volatile stock market and a likely recession” as the reasons for the layoffs.

This news comes off the back of a report which emerged last week, stating that the Swedish company’s valuation fell by 30% from the $45.6 billion valuation it received last June.

Even with the decreased valuation and layoffs, Siemiatkowski reassured employees that “Klarna continues to hold a strong position in the market” and says he remains “relentlessly optimistic about Klarna’s future.

BNLP businesses boomed at the start of the pandemic, where lockdowns meant that customers had little else to do with their time but shop.

More than two years on, however, luxuries are just not in the budget of many consumers, and clearly, retailers are feeling the pinch. With ever-increasing fuel costs, utilities rising by 50%, NHI contributions increasing, food prices rocketing, and inflation expected to reach more than 10% by year-end, consumers are tightening their belts. BNLP businesses, such as Klarna, have insights into these sentiments, with their product being used by 17 million people in the UK.

Klarna is not alone in its troubles. Grocery delivery start-up, Gorillas, has also recently announced its intentions to cut 300 jobs – around half the employees at its Berlin headquarters. Gorillas are also looking at pulling out of Italy, Spain, Denmark, and Belgium. According to a TechCrunch report, the company has a large debt to suppliers, with a burn rate of $50 million to $75 million.

More venture capital-backed companies will likely announce layoffs and hiring freezes as they prepare for tough times ahead. Layoff tracker, Layoff.fyi reported that in Q2 of 2022, over 13,000 tech start-up employees had been let go.

Other casualties of the current negative macroeconomic outlook include AI start-up BeyondMinds, which recently closed its doors, and healthtech business Kry’s reduced its team by 10%.

Siemiatkowski admitted that Klarna’s decision to reduce numbers was one of the “hardest” decisions in their history but a necessary move to stay “laser-focused on what really will make us successful going forward.”

“While crucial to stay calm in stormy weather, it’s also crucial not to turn a blind eye to reality,” he added. “What we are seeing now in the world is not temporary or short-lived, and hence we need to act.”

Ken Brotherston, TALiNT Partners CEO also made comment: “The US and European tech markets are very turbulent, inflation is high and the war in Ukraine and ongoing supply chain issues in China all create a perfect economic storm. The impact on employment/hiring is less clear as there are structural shortages in many markets but it’s clear that buyers are spending less and this results in diminished demand for retail staff.”

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Personality over professional and education, reveals survey

A new survey by small business lender iwoca has revealed the most sought-after skills that small business owners look for when hiring new employees and what impacts their hiring decisions.

With small business vacancies hitting record highs at 575,000 (a 72% increase from the same period last year), the survey revealed that more SME owners are looking for personal skills instead of professional ones when hiring.

The top five attributes were:

  • Honesty (44%)
  • Good personality (38%)
  • A skill set that matches the job description (37%)
  • Experience in a similar position (37%)
  • Good at verbal communication (34%)

According to the survey, the least important attribute was an undergraduate degree, with only 6% of small business owners believing that an undergraduate degree is important when recruiting.

When looking at the impact of recruitment on a business, 15% of small business owners believe that poor hires prevent future company growth and a further 11% agree that it leads to fewer sales.

Flexible working arrangements seem to be one way for new hires to meet their potential. Nearly half of the respondents who offer flexible working believed that these arrangements positively affected productivity. Only 7% said that it had a negative impact.

The survey results indicate that millennial business owners are more likely to offer flexible working arrangements, at 43%, compared to older generations, at 35%.

Seema Desai, Chief Operating Officer at iwoca, commented: “Small businesses employ over two thirds of the nation’s workforce. Some of the perceived barriers to applying for a job, such as having a degree, might not be as high as some job seekers think they are. Our research reveals the importance of strong personal skills when applying for roles, and the importance of hiring to the future growth of any business.”

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31% of financial services and banking professionals to leave the industry due to pressure

One third (31%) of financial services and banking professionals plan to leave their industry, and a further third (31%) are planning to stay within the industry but leave their current roles, reveals a new report.

According to the study by the digital accountancy platform, LemonEdge,  33% of financial service and banking professionals believe that working from home and hybrid working has increased burnout. Fourteen percent state that burnout has risen exponentially. The study also revealed that 23% of these professionals are worried about physical and mental health.

When asked why workers are planning to leave their positions, the following reasons were cited:

  • Heavy workload (42%)
  • Manual processes (36%)
  • Long working hours (32%)
  • Tight deadlines (26%)
  • Increasing demands from management (25%)

One in six of the financial services workers who were surveyed feel like they can no longer continue or no longer desire to continue in their role within the industry.

When asked what would help overcome burnout, 33% of financial services professionals agreed that a reduced workload would reduce burnout. Time off work (27%), support from management (25%), and faster, more efficient technology (23%) were also popular solutions.

Gareth Hewitt, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at LemonEdge, comments: “An exodus of industry professionals is a sure sign that levels of burnout have reached an unacceptable scale. Any experience of  burnout is serious and with thousands of employees planning to leave the industry as a direct result of high pressure, it should be a clear warning to firms before they risk losing valuable talent.

“The risk of burnout to employers is huge, and there are simple measures firms can introduce to reduce the risk of burnout, making the lives of their employees’ much simpler, easier, and with less stress. Firms need to be aware of the impact absenteeism and presenteeism will have on both their employees and business productivity. Just because you’re working from home, or in a hybrid model, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time off. With one in four (23%) asking for faster or improved technology to eliminate manual processes, firms need to look at their approaches to improve the lives of their staff. In this day and age, technology, not only can but should, provide the automation and flexibility that can contribute to reduced stress, reduced working hours, and lower risk of burnout. At LemonEdge we are passionate about providing the tools and technology that enable financial services professionals to get home on time.”

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