YOUR REGION: United States

Category: Recruitment

But youth unemployment rises

The latest labour market overview by the ONS has revealed a mixed bag of trends in the UK’s job landscape for May to July 2023. While employment rates remained resilient, youth unemployment surged, and labour disputes disrupted key sectors.

Steady employment rates
The report indicates that the UK’s employment rate stood at 75.5% during the period, though this represented a modest 0.5% decline compared to the previous quarter. This dip was primarily attributed to a decrease in full-time self-employed workers.

Payroll stability with a caveat
August of this year saw the estimate of payrolled employees holding relatively steady at 30.1 million, albeit with a minor drop of 1,000 from the revised July 2023 figure. It’s important to note that this August estimate is provisional and may undergo revisions once more data becomes available next month.

Youth unemployment up
A concerning aspect of the labour market was the 0.5% increase in the unemployment rate, which reached 4.3% during the same period. This spike was largely driven by a surge in individuals unemployed for up to 12 months.

Rise in economic inactivity
The economic inactivity rate also saw a slight increase of 0.1% during May to July 2023, reaching 21.1%. This uptick was particularly pronounced among individuals aged 16 to 24, while those inactive due to long-term sickness reached another record high. Conversely, individuals inactive due to family or home responsibilities hit a record low.

Declining job vacancies
Between June and August 2023, the number of job vacancies saw a significant decline of 64,000, totalling 989,000. This marks the 14th consecutive quarter of decreasing job opportunities.

Record pay growth
Despite these challenges, the labour market also saw record pay growth. Annual growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) remained strong at 7.8%, consistent with the previous quarter and the highest since records began in 2001. Annual growth in employees’ average total pay (including bonuses) reached 8.5%, largely influenced by one-off payments in the NHS and Civil Service during June and July 2023. In real terms, adjusting for inflation using the Consumer Prices Index, annual growth for total pay increased by 1.2%, while regular pay saw a year-on-year rise of 0.6%.

Labour disputes impact working days
Lastly, labour disputes led to 281,000 working days lost in July 2023. The majority of these strikes occurred in the Education and Health and Social Work sectors, underscoring ongoing challenges in these crucial areas of the workforce.

As the UK continues to navigate the complexities of its labour market, these statistics provide valuable insights into the dynamics shaping the nation’s employment landscape.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) commented: “The UK remains resilient, but the labour market often acts as a bellwether for wider trends. If vacancies are going unfilled and companies cannot hire the temporary resources they need, the impact will soon be felt across the economy. The recruitment market needs to be strengthened, but that will require dedication from Government officials and influencers to drive real change quickly.”

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Skills-based hiring trends and challenges ahead

The adoption of skills-based hiring has been on the rise, as indicated by a recent report from LinkedIn. In 2022, 29% of paid job postings on the platform did not require professional degrees, compared to 21% in 2019. However, this shift has not necessarily translated into increased hiring of non-degree holders.

LinkedIn users, especially those using the paid Recruiter feature, have prioritised skills-based searches over degree-based ones. This change in user behaviour suggests a growing emphasis on skills when seeking candidates. However, the crucial question remains: Does eliminating degree requirements lead to more hires of individuals without degrees?

According to Greg Lewis, a senior content marketing manager at LinkedIn, the answer varies across industries and functions. While many industries have embraced the concept of skills-first hiring in their job postings, the actual hiring practices often lag behind.

In some sectors, job postings that do not require degrees are growing at a significantly faster rate than those that do. Notably, financial services, accommodation and food services, and technology, information, and media are among the sectors experiencing substantial growth in degreeless job postings.

Certain job functions also exhibit accelerated growth in degreeless job postings, with accounting leading the way. However, when it comes to actual hiring, the results are mixed. Degreeless hiring is increasing, but the rate of hires without degrees frequently falls short of the rate indicated in job postings.

In industries like accommodation and food services, there has been an 11% faster growth in hiring individuals without professional degrees compared to those with degrees. A similar trend is observed in financial services with 6% faster growth and in technology, information, and media with 3% faster growth.

Despite these variations, some industries, such as consumer services, entertainment, and government administration, are actively hiring more workers without degrees. Roles like project managers and administrative assistants are among the top positions filled by hires without degrees in these industries.

Across various job functions, there have been modest increases in the hiring of individuals without degrees, particularly in community and social services, media and communication, and legal specialties like paralegals.

However, Greg Lewis notes that the shift in hiring practices is less dramatic than the change in job postings. This suggests that while recruiters are increasingly searching for candidates based on skills rather than degrees, traditional degree requirements still heavily influence hiring decisions made by managers.

To bridge this gap, Lewis emphasises the need for recruiters to collaborate with hiring managers as strategic advisors to bring about real changes in hiring practices. He underscores that meaningful change requires time and effort, and merely talking about skills-based hiring is just the initial step.

Lewis also highlights the importance of including relevant skills in job postings on LinkedIn. Such postings tend to attract more applicants and enjoy higher conversion rates. Candidates can envision themselves in these roles, even if they lack exact previous experience.

Furthermore, organisations that adopt skills-based practices and hiring methods tend to outperform their peers, according to a Deloitte report. However, many companies struggle to implement significant changes, particularly in response to the growing demand for workplace agility.

To address this challenge, companies can focus on in-house training, apprenticeships, and other nontraditional approaches to build their talent pipelines and meet the evolving needs of the workforce.

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Experienced leader takes the helm in key North American market

NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 2023: PageGroup, a global recruitment giant listed on the FTSE 250 and renowned for its flagship brand, Michael Page, has just announced the appointment of Kurt Jeskulski as the Managing Director for the United States and Canada.

With nearly two decades of experience in leadership roles within the company, Jeskulski is stepping into his new role, succeeding Nicholas Kirk, who previously helmed the North American and UK operations before assuming the position of PageGroup’s CEO in January 2023.

Jeskulski’s journey in the recruitment industry commenced with positions at both Ajilon and Korn Ferry. In 2004, he joined Michael Page as a Manager when the firm was primarily concentrated in the Tri-state area, boasting a modest headcount of fewer than 70 employees, mainly focused on finance and banking. Since then, the company has witnessed explosive growth, establishing successful operational branches nationwide, spanning various sectors from real estate and construction to technology. Under Jeskulski’s leadership on the North American board, where he oversaw the East Coast operations, the recruitment company has continuously surged ahead, achieving record-breaking years in 2021 and 2022, contributing 11% of the Group’s global gross profit.

In his new capacity, Jeskulski will assume oversight of the North American board, tasked with charting the strategic course for one of the Group’s most promising markets. His deep-rooted familiarity with the North American recruitment landscape and a robust grasp of the company’s inner workings will ensure its pivotal role in the Group’s ongoing success.

Nicholas Kirk, PageGroup CEO, expressed, “Kurt’s influence on the development and prosperity of our business in the US & Canada is immeasurable. My new responsibilities and focus have created a vital opening in one of our key high-potential markets, and I have full confidence that Kurt will excel in steering the business here. I’m thrilled to maintain a close collaborative relationship with Kurt to further propel success in the region.”

Kurt Jeskulski, the newly appointed Managing Director for the US & Canada at PageGroup, remarked, “After two decades with Page, it is a privilege to embrace this role and lead our exceptional teams across the US & Canada. I eagerly anticipate collaborating closely with our local leadership team to continue building upon the achievements we have already accomplished here.”

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New survey: Younger employees are reluctant to commute post-pandemic

Data analysing how far people are willing to commute in 2023 questions whether businesses are at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing the best talent pools in the post-commuting era.

The latest survey on commuting habits, carried out by recruitment experts, Forward Role, compares data they carried out nearly a decade ago when 86% of the UK worked from the office five days a week.

In 2014, 72% of respondents were willing to commute more than 20 miles to work – In 2023, the figure dropped to just 26%. Only 1 in 100 of 2014 respondents said they would only be willing to travel 10 miles or less for their commute. This has rocketed up to more than a third (34%) of people in 2023. On the other end of the spectrum, more than 1 in 6 people (16%) were willing to commute over 40 miles to work in 2014, but in 2023 it was ten times less at just 1 in 60 (1.5%).

The survey revealed that 25-35-year-olds were the least likely to travel more than 40 miles for work in 2023 (<1%), while over 55s were the most likely (33%). In 2023, respondents are more likely to travel between 30 and 60 minutes for work, but less likely to commute longer than this than they were in 2014.

Negative attitudes towards commuting have accelerated due to the pandemic and a 6% price hike in train fares in March – the biggest increase in a decade.

In 2014, 28% of employers offered home working options to their staff. In 2023, the figure jumped to 79% of respondents working from home at least once a week, with 1 in 20 working completely remotely. 34% would prefer to work from home “twice a week.” The survey revealed 66% of respondents felt pressure to work from the office more often than they currently do.

Brian Johnson, Managing Director at Forward Role, said, “The pandemic has had a lasting impact on the UK jobs market, putting flexibility and remote working right at the top of the list for both those established in the workforce and those entering it. Employers who can recognise the new landscape have a chance to capitalise on it — but only if they’re willing to compromise.”

The Forward Role study is available here

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Enhanced personalization and targeted outreach efforts

LinkedIn has unveiled two new tools enhanced by AI capabilities, aiming to empower talent acquisition professionals in their search for suitable job candidates and strategic outreach efforts, according to the company’s recent announcement.

The first tool, incorporated into LinkedIn Recruiter, is the Likelihood of Interest feature. This innovative tool employs AI algorithms to pinpoint potential candidates who are more inclined to engage with recruitment specialists regarding available positions. Additionally, the AI-Assisted Messages tool leverages generative AI technology to craft personalized InMail messages directed at candidates.

LinkedIn’s Talent Blog recently featured an entry by Bruce Anderson, a content marketer and editor, who noted that a significant 74% of hiring professionals anticipate that integrating generative AI into their recruitment processes will streamline repetitive tasks, enabling them to dedicate more time to higher-value strategic endeavors. These expectations are gradually coming to fruition, Anderson observed.

Emphasizing the importance of personalization in LinkedIn recruitment, Anderson highlighted that while effective, tailoring messages requires dedication and time. Recruiters adopting personalized InMail messages have observed a notable 40% surge in acceptance rates.

Through the AI-Assisted Messages tool, recruiters have the capability to compose distinct messages by drawing from a candidate’s profile details, encompassing skills, experience, and their Open to Work status. This information is then merged with pertinent company details and information about the open role, such as job title, responsibilities, location, and salary. Customization options are available, enabling recruiters to fine-tune the AI model’s selection of fields and even edit the message content directly.

The second tool, the Likelihood of Interest feature, equips hiring professionals with the ability to identify candidates who are highly or moderately likely to display interest in an available position. This indication is prominently displayed on a candidate’s profile card within the LinkedIn Recruiter platform. The AI-driven tool assimilates and interprets various LinkedIn data points, such as Open to Work status, acceptance of InMail messages, affiliations with companies that have undergone recent layoffs, and demonstrated interest in the hiring company.

Once suitable candidates are identified, recruiters can promptly send them customized messages, streamlining the outreach process and enabling recruiters to allocate more time to cultivating robust candidate relationships, as highlighted by Anderson.

In the current landscape, generative AI programs are gaining traction within the realm of human resources. Prominent industry players like Microsoft, IBM, and Google Cloud have introduced tools that facilitate HR-related tasks like formulating job postings, identifying potential candidates, and managing employee inquiries. Despite this technological progress, the significance of personalization in the recruitment process remains paramount, particularly in the pursuit of recruiting success.

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Resilient tech sectors highlight big data and AI demand

During the second quarter (Q2) of 2023, the global landscape witnessed a downturn in employment opportunities as job postings dwindled by more than 15% compared to the previous year. Despite this trend, certain industries such as Retail, Technology, and Communications demonstrated noteworthy resilience. The drivers behind recruitment patterns were centred around prominent themes like Big Data, Cloud Computing, and Artificial Intelligence (AI), as reported by GlobalData, a leading data and analytics firm.

GlobalData’s recent publication, titled “Trends & Insights in Global Hiring Activity Q2 2023,” disclosed a consistent downtrend in global hiring activity, with posted job opportunities declining by 15% year-on-year and 6% quarter-on-quarter within the mentioned quarter.

Regions including the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Central America experienced an upswing in job postings. Notable countries showcasing substantial growth in new job openings were Japan, the Czech Republic, and Brazil.

Sherla Sriprada, an Analyst specializing in Business Fundamentals at GlobalData, commented on these trends. Sectors like Power, Healthcare, and Foodservice marked higher year-on-year growth in terms of job postings. Industries such as Pharmaceuticals, Retail, Construction, and Automotive also displayed increased hiring activity. Noteworthy recruiters during this period included Abbott Laboratories, Black & Veatch Corp, and Robert Bosch GmbH.

In terms of specialized themes, sectors such as e-Commerce, Social Media, Edtech, and 3D Printing saw elevated job postings. The introduction of advanced AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard resulted in a significant uptick in opportunities related to Artificial Intelligence.

Sriprada elaborated on this trend, highlighting an impressive 106% year-on-year surge in roles related to Enterprise Social Networking and Collaboration Platforms as indicative of the adoption of these innovative technologies.

Other sought-after skills included proficiency in Office Productivity Applications, Application Lifecycle Management, Application Platforms and Containers, Business Intelligence, Data Discovery Tools, and Database Management.

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Report on jobs: Pay pressures ease only slightly amid rising living costs

The latest KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) ‘UK Report on Jobs’, compiled by S&P Global, reveals a muted confidence around the economic outlook is driving a steeper drop in permanent placements.

The KPMG and REC report provides the most comprehensive guide to the UK labour market, drawing on original survey data provided by UK recruitment consultancies and employers to provide the first indication each month of labour market trends.

Key findings of the report reveal that;  hiring activity across the UK continued to be dampened by a weak economic outlook and reduced confidence among businesses and permanent placements contracted at the quickest rate for just over three years, while temp billings growth weakened notably from June.

The overall availability of staff increased at a substantial pace amid the slowdown in recruitment and reports of redundancies. The latest upturn in total labour supply was the steepest recorded since October 2009 when excluding the pandemic period. While there were signs of pay pressures moderating again in July, permanent salaries continued to rise at a sharp pace overall. Total vacancy growth meanwhile slowed further, hitting a 29-month low in July.

A weaker economic climate and reduced market confidence weighed on recruitment activity during July, according to the data. Permanent staff appointments declined at the steepest pace for just over three years, as concerns over the outlook made clients hesitant to commit to new staff. Concurrently, growth in temp billings edged down to a fractional pace that was the slowest recorded since last October.

The survey cites faster increases in the supply of both temporary and permanent workers drove the sharpest upturn in overall labour supply since December 2020.

Competition for skilled candidates and the increased cost of living placed pressure on rates of starting pay during July. Salaries for newly-placed permanent workers rose sharply – despite the rate of inflation slipping to the lowest since April 2021. Temp pay increased at the softest pace in 29 months, albeit solidly overall.

Growth of demand for staff continued to moderate at the start of the third quarter. Total vacancies increased at the slowest pace in 29 months. The latest upturn in demand for permanent workers was the weakest seen over the current period of recovery that began in March 2021. Concurrently, the rate of short-term vacancy growth was among the slowest recorded over the past three years.

All four monitored English regions posted a decline in permanent placements, led by London. Divergent trends were seen for temp billings, which rose in the Midlands and London but fell in the North and South of England.

Hotel & Catering saw the steepest upturn in demand for temp workers of all 10 categories in July. Strong rates of vacancy growth were also noted for Engineering and Blue Collar personnel. The Construction and Secretarial/Clerical sectors saw modest drops in demand.

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33% of UK accountants plan to leave the industry in the next five years

Despite a faltering economy, rising interest rates, supply chain issues, and the ongoing impacts of Brexit, many businesses operating within the sector reported optimism about their recruitment plans as they entered the third quarter of 2023. 44% are expecting to recruit more workers, displaying a +29% net positive hiring outlook.

Brook Street, part of ManpowerGroup, releases its 2023 Salary Guide for Businesses. The guide explores  UK hiring trends and salary rates for permanent and temporary employees in the Contact Centre, Business Administration and Support, and Accounting and Finance roles.

Around 80% of UK businesses are experiencing talent shortages with more than 1,000,000 unfilled job postings. As businesses remain unable or unwilling to meet employee salary expectations, workers are becoming reluctant to pursue vacancies – leading to difficulties in hiring.

33% of current UK accountants plan to leave the industry in the next five years, hiring conditions are proving difficult on a national level, with 102 candidates per job posting.  However, there are regional variations, in Belfast there are on average, 21 candidates per post compared to Tunbridge Wells (Kent) where there are 207 candidates per post.

The Brook Street salary guide indicates some notable variance, including a +189% difference between a temporary and permanent median salary for Accountancy roles in London. It also finds UK salary ranges can differ by region – for example, the highest paid permanent median salary was £61,300 p.a (in Reading), compared to the lowest paid at £22,000 p.a. (in Newcastle).

In Contact Centres and Customer Support (CC&CS), more than 75,000 workers are missing from the sector, due to the current cost of living crisis and low to moderate pay scales.  With a national average of 342 candidates per vacancy, hiring remains difficult but regional supply differences and differing salary levels reduce this number further, giving the employer less choice.  It takes an average of 51 days to fill vacancies in CC&CS – a significant contrast to other sectors such as Finance and Accounting which reports an average of 36 days per post.

Despite a potentially large pool of candidates, the Administration and Business Support final talent pool needs to be narrowly spread after salary, job location, and working conditions are factored in.   With it taking 35-38 days to fill vacancies, 12% of businesses in the sector say they cannot secure the support staff they need.

Leigh Passingham, Brand Leader, Brook Street said: “Business leaders who better understand hiring trends and compensation rates will make better hiring decisions in what is currently a hyper-competitive labour market. While there is no magic bullet that will quickly fix the UK’s talent shortages and reduce the various pressures being placed on both employers and candidates, we’re advising employers to use originality, adaptability and speed. Hiring speed is really the key – those employers with speed to placement will secure the best talent.”

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Discrimination dropped from 24.1% to 8.2.%

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed encouraging statistics that demonstrate a positive trend in the reduction of discrimination experienced by job seekers and employees. According to MOM’s research, the proportion of job seekers facing discrimination during their job search dropped for the second consecutive year, reaching 23.8% in 2022. This is a significant decline from 25.8% in 2021 and 42.7% in 2018.

Similarly, discrimination against employees in the workplace continued to decline, with only 8.2% experiencing discrimination in 2022 compared to 8.5% in the previous year and 24.1% in 2018.

The data also highlighted the specific areas where discrimination was observed. In 2022, age, race, and mental health were the more common forms of discrimination during job searches, with 16.6%, 7.1%, and 5.0% respectively.

Within workplaces, mental health discrimination ranked as the most prevalent form in 2022, affecting 4.7% of employees. Age discrimination followed closely at 3.7%, while race discrimination was reported by 2.6% of employees.

The positive shift in these statistics can be partly attributed to an increase in employees seeking help when they encounter discrimination at work. The proportion of those seeking assistance almost doubled to 35.3% in 2022, compared to 20.0% in 2021. Additionally, more firms took proactive measures to address workplace discrimination, with 59.8% having formal procedures in place in 2022, up from 54.0% in 2021.

Overall, the concerted efforts of MOM, TAFEP (Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices), and other tripartite partners to promote fair employment practices have contributed to this positive development. The Ministry expressed optimism that this progress will lead to even greater improvements in workplace fairness in the future. It is evident that the collective actions taken from 2018 to 2022 have significantly reduced discrimination and are helping to foster a more inclusive and equitable job market in Singapore.

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70 of the UK’s finest staffing firms make up the finalists for the TIARA Recruitment Awards

In a celebration of excellence and adaptability, TALiNT Partners has unveiled the shortlist for the prestigious 2023 TIARA UK&I Recruitment Awards. Among an impressive array of staffing firms, 70 of the UK’s finest have made it to the final round, competing in 16 distinct award categories.

These contenders include top industry players who have displayed remarkable resilience, overcoming challenges posed by the recession and expertly navigating a more demanding economic landscape. Their success is attributed to strategic investments in talent acquisition, technological optimisation, and differentiation in client and candidate services, propelling them to a position of strength in the sector’s ongoing transformation.

Alex Evans, the Managing Director of TALiNT Partners, expressed admiration for the shortlisted firms, stating, “The best recruiters in the sector have defied recession and adapted to a more challenging economic environment by investing in the right talent, optimising technology, and differentiating their client and candidate service to compete more successfully. With a combined turnover of over £31 billion, and collectively employing 25,521 talented people, the 70 shortlisted staffing firms represent the UK & Ireland’s most resilient recruiters at the forefront of the sector’s transformation.”

The TIARA Recruitment Awards ceremony promises to be a remarkable event, attracting 500 industry leaders who will gather in person at The Brewery in London on Wednesday, 18th October. During the gala dinner, this year’s Hall of Fame recipient will be announced and honoured by their peers.

Katie Folwell-Davies, Investment Partner at Twenty20 Capital and Chair of Judges, expressed her enthusiasm about the competition, stating, “It’s great to see so many of the industry’s biggest brands and most successful challengers taking part in the 2023 TIARA UK&I Recruitment Awards. These market-leading firms are an inspiration to the sector, not only proving the success of new models and services but the return on investment in talent and technology to adapt to new client, candidate, and consultant expectations.”

Transformation, resilience, and inclusion serve as the core themes for this year’s TIARA Recruitment Awards campaign, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) as well as long-term growth across all award categories.

Jason Martin, Head of Strategy at Access Recruitment and Headline Partner of the TIARAs, emphasised the importance of innovation and technological integration, remarking, “It’s always impressive when past winners show that they’re still going above and beyond, being innovative and setting a great example as well. As always, I’ll be looking at how the best are using tech and automation to enable their business.”

Mark Kieve, CEO of Pixid and Campaign Partner of the TIARAs, highlighted the significance of a unified purpose and goal within teams, stating, “The best balance of tech and talent to deliver improvement but also how teams are uniting behind a shared purpose and goal – whether it’s to be the best recruiter in their market specialisation or to transform recruitment with new models, solutions, or approaches.”

The TIARA judging panel is composed of distinguished industry executives, Non-Executive Directors (NEDs), chairpersons, along with leading experts, advisors, and corporate heads of Human Resources and Talent Acquisition.

This year’s TIARA 2023 campaign enjoys the support of Headline Partner Access Recruitment, Campaign Partner Pixid, and various sponsors, including Sonovate, Vincere, ForeTwo Group, WorkWell, Qdos, 6CATS, Grant Thornton, Parasol Group, Sourcewhale, Twenty20 Capital, Saffery Champness, Blackwood Capital, Mishcon de Reya, and Mercury.

With anticipation building up, the industry eagerly awaits the TIARA UK&I Recruitment Awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements and contributions of the finest recruiters who continue to drive professional services and economic growth, attracting diverse talent and forging new paths in the world of recruitment.

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