Category: Recruitment

Over 200 companies entered the survey from across the UK 

The UK’s ‘The Best Companies to Work For survey revealed earlier this month the 2022 Q1 winners ‘Best Companies to Work For’ regional, sectoral, and national league tables in a virtual event attended by representatives from the hundreds of participating companies.

St. Albans-based technology recruitment business, Understanding Recruitment was recognised in sixth position on the league table for ‘Best Small Companies to Work For’ in the UK, as well as receiving a 3-star ‘world-class’ accreditation for its commitment to workplace engagement. 

The event was hosted by TV and sports presenter, Dan Walker, and announced the Q1 rankings that highlighted the companies that scored high for employee engagement (across categories including leadership, personal growth, wellbeing and more), as voted anonymously by staff.  

In 2021, Understanding Recruitment reported a record-breaking year of commercial achievements and hiring and grew by over 30 new team members.  

With entries from over 200 companies across different regions of the UK, Understanding Recruitment ranked on all three Best Companies league tables the company qualified for (‘Small’, ‘Recruitment’ and ‘East of England’), with the following positions, all within the Top 10: 

Best Small Companies to Work For : 6th 

Best Recruitment Companies to Work For: 7th 

Best Companies to Work for – East of England: 6th 

Chris Jackson, Founding Director of Understanding Recruitment, commented: “An engaged team is something to be celebrated, and we are thrilled to see Understanding Recruitment further establish itself as a leader in tech recruitment and an employer of choice with this announcement. Ranking in all three categories is testament to the industry-leading workplace and practices we are working towards building every day here.” 

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He has appeared in SIA’s coveted 2022 Staffing 100 North America list. 

SIA has recognized Brian Salkowski, Chief Operating Officer of Guidant Global, as one of the most influential individuals in the recruitment sector.

SIA’s Staffing 100 North America list is positioned as a list of the ‘most influential leaders in the industry’, it comprises 100 individuals who ‘navigated the uncertainties of 2021’ and are ‘charting a course into the future of workforce solutions’. This is the fourth year in a row that Salkowski has received this prestigious recognition.

Guidant Global, a global talent acquisition and managed workforce solutions provider, has a footprint in over 80 countries, and manages 200,000-plus engagements annually for more than 125 clients. Leading the implementation of the firm’s strategic vision and operational delivery globally, in 2021 Salkowski and his team significantly moved the business forward, positioning Guidant Global and its customers for long-term, sustainable success during very challenging times.

Career highlights for Salkowski in the last two years include the introduction of automation technology that eliminates manual processes and inaccuracy concerns, as well as the expansion of proprietary tools for supplier benchmarking insights that more accurately model future scenarios, supporting better talent outcomes for their customers.

In response to the accolade, Brian Salkowski commented: “The last two years have been a uniquely challenging, but also phenomenally successful period for Guidant. Client growth, further geographic expansion, and rapid technological innovation have all helped to cement our position as a global leader in talent acquisition and managed workforce solutions – and I’m incredibly proud that this has been recognized and celebrated by SIA. At Guidant we are proud to do things in a better way, and to be recognized alongside the most influential, visionary, and successful recruitment leaders in this year’s Staffing 100 North America is a genuine honor.”

 

 

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The sector continues to report widespread skills shortages

According to a new collaborative report from APSCo and Broadbean Technology, the number of job applications in the healthcare industry have fallen consistently since April 2021, putting added strain on an already under-resourced sector.

According to the data, the number of professionals applying for vacancies in healthcare dropped 35%, 24% and 32% in Q2, Q3 and Q4 2021 respectively. With the sector reporting widespread staffing shortages as COVID-19 continues to place pressure on the medical profession, this suggests that, despite the U-turn on vaccine mandates which is under consultation, the number of healthcare professionals looking for work is dwindling to a worryingly low number. The Home Office has added various healthcare professionals such as carers to the skilled visa list, it seems in a bid to entice healthcare professionals from abroad to work in the UK.  

Across the regions, London reported the greatest demand for healthcare staff, holding the lion’s-share of vacancies last year, followed by the West Midlands, Surrey, Essex, West Yorkshire and Kent.  

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo commented: “It’s no secret that the healthcare arena is facing a significant shortage, but to see such a sustained decline in applicant numbers is concerning. While we believe that the recent announcement of plans to scrap the vaccine mandates for the sector may help bolster staff numbers, our data suggests that resources remain at a worryingly low level. With demand for medical staff set to increase as the Coronavirus continues to put pressure on healthcare, application numbers are likely to continue to drop. APSCo is working closely with its members and in its government lobbying to ensure the country has access to the skills it needs across all sectors, including healthcare.” 

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November 2021 saw five times more applications than the previous year 

A national job vacancy survey by CareerWallet has revealed detailed trends and insights into the UK job market. The report has highlighted the huge impact the pandemic has had on the recruitment sector in 2020 as job applications in the last quarter of 2021 were more than three times (369%) higher than the same time last year. 

According to the findings, the massive increase in applications is due to a renewed confidence in the job market and a backlog of employees who stuck out less than perfect roles due to furlough schemes or fears of leaving their roles in the midst of the pandemic. The report revealed that November 2021 was a record month for applications with almost five times as many applications as November 2020 with the surge continuing in December with over three times the applications during the festive period compared to last year. 

The report shows how the market has shifted over the last 12 months as jobseekers are less fearful of the economic impacts of the pandemic. 

Craig Bines, CEO at The CareerWallet Group, commented: “Our national report has highlighted how employees are returning to the job market in their millions across the UK and this number seems to be continuing to rise month on month. The skill shortage issues have been well-documented and as economic fears from the pandemic subside it is now clear that employees are becoming aware of the abundance of new potential jobs available to them.” 

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68% admitted that they are concerned it will have a negative impact on their career 

According to new research from people analytics company Visier, more than three quarters (76%) of Brits have admitted they’ve been ghosted by an employer or prospective employer in the past 18 months, despite over half (59%) having ghosted themselves.

The study asked 1,000 UK employees who have looked for work during in the past 18 months about their experiences with ghosting, using Psychology Today’s definition of the term as ‘abruptly ending communication with someone without explanation’ in association with the workplace from recruitment through to starting a new role.

The survey’s findings indicated that ghosting has become an accepted phenomenon in the workplace, with 37% of Brits admitting to ghosting an employer in the last 18 months, 30% ghosting a potential employer and 10% to both. This is despite more than a third of Brits stating that they’d be angrier if an employer or prospective employer ghosted them, than they would be if they were stood up by a date.

Hypocritical Britain 

Study results insinuate that employees are perpetuating the poor behaviours they hate from their prospective employer counterparts because when it comes to these behaviours, job seekers’ willingness to ghost increased steadily with job level seniority, which, the study suggests means that the more senior the worker, the more comfortable they are with ghosting their current or prospective employer.

According to results, the highest levels reported that they had ghosted a current or prospective employer within the last 18 months: C-Suite (95%), mid-level management (84%), first-level management (67%), entry-level (48%).

Professional ‘Ghosters’ 

The research also served as a stark reminder that ghosting is no new fad. It’s been around for some time and it’s a trend that is likely to pertain, especially as an increasingly buoyant labour market and skills shortages across almost every industry place more power into the hands of employees. In fact, some 61% of job seekers say they feel perfectly comfortable with ghosting an employer or prospective employer.

And, with more job opportunities available because of the hybrid working model (46%), a less personal recruitment process (45%) and the fact that ghosting is so common (37%), job seekers admitted in the survey that the pandemic has made them more likely to partake in ghosting.

The challenge for employers in the current candidate-driven market is that the right position, right salary and good company culture are not enough. The interview itself must be a top-notch experience to attract prospective candidates to a company. A negative first impression (25%) was cited as the number one reason job seekers have ghosted their employer or prospective employer, followed closely by the job role being inaccurate (24%) and a lower salary than expected (24%).

In spite of Brits’ willingness to engage in ghosting, the survey revealed that an overwhelming 68% admitted that they are concerned about the negative impact it may have on them and their career. It’s clear that a level of cognitive dissonance is at play. Despite understanding the potential negative impacts of doing this, job seekers at all levels are willing to do it anyway.

Daniel Mason, VP EMEA of Visier commented: “As recruitment teams continue to rethink their hiring strategies in line with the ‘Great Resignation’ now is the time to also implement measures that can reduce the fallout of job seeker ghosting. Embedding people data into every stage of the recruitment and employee engagement process is one way that recruitment teams can interest potential candidates and retain them. For example, by using data to highlight at which stage a job seeker is most likely to leave the recruitment process, more emphasis can be placed on improving the overall experience based on what the data is telling us prospective employers expect”.

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The recruitment specialist’s contractor order book is up 43% year-on-year

SThree, specialist recruitment firm reported “record performance” this week with net fees rising 19% at constant currency year-on-year to £355.7m – a reported all-time high for the business.

The London-listed firm reported “strong” global growth with 23% in Germany, 24% in the US, and 19% in the Netherlands. Those three are SThree’s largest markets and account for 74% of the group’s net fees.

Contract and permanent net fees were up 17% and 24% year-on-year, respectively, with contract net fees representing 75% of group net fees, compared to 76% in 2020, with the contractor order book up 43% year-on-year.

The group also reported a record adjusted profit before tax of £60m, up 111% year-on-year.

The board described the balance sheet as “robust”, balance sheet, with net cash totalling £58m at year-end on 30 November, up from £50m at the end of the 2020 financial year.

It proposed a final dividend of 8p per share, up from 5p a year earlier, taking the full-year dividend to 11p from 5p year-on-year.

That was in line with the company’s dividend cover target of between 2.5x and 3.0x, as previously communicated.

SThree reported that the strength of its contractor order book and recent trading was tracking ahead of expectations, with the directors now anticipating double-digit net fee and profit growth for 2022.

On the environmental, social and governance front, they said its renewables business – accounting for 6% of net fees – was up 22% from 2020, which was ahead of its target to double the share of that business from 2019 to 2024.

Timo Lehne, interim CEO of STHree commented: “Our record-breaking full-year performance reported today demonstrates that we have a robust strategy focusing on STEM and flexible working, implemented by a talented management team, and the hard work of our people globally. As the market rebounded in 2021 following the impact of COVID-19, we saw demand for STEM skills increase across all of our key markets.

“Whether it is engineers building green infrastructure, developers aiding digital transformation or the scientists helping to develop the next life-changing drug, we are proud to have placed more than 22,000 skilled people and, combined with our ESG efforts, we impacted over 33,000 lives this financial year.”

“We are well-positioned, we demonstrated our ability to navigate through unforeseen challenges, such as COVID-19, and we continue to evolve our delivery model.”

The CEO said it would further invest in its infrastructure and people in 2022, to enhance its platform and drive accelerated margins in future years.

 

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Trials indicate increased productivity and employee wellbeing
Approximately 30 British companies will be taking part in a four-day work week trial has been launched in the UK as part of a global pilot organised by governments, think tanks, and the organisation ‘4 Day Week Global’. During the pilot, it’s said that employees will be offered 100% of their usual pay, for 80% of their time, yet maintaining 100% productivity. Studies have shown that the four-day week can boost productivity and employee wellbeing.
Harriet Calver, Senior Associate at Winckworth Sherwood, says that the four-day work week is not a new phenomenon. Many employees in the UK already work a four-day week, however, this is typically agreed on a case-by-case basis between employee and employer following a flexible working request. It tends to be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in pay, except in the case of “compressed hours” in which case the employee is simply squeezing the same number of hours into a shorter week.

BENEFITS FOR BUSINESS 

Gill Tanner, Senior Behavioural Scientist at CoachHub, believes that one of the key advantages is that employees would benefit from a better work/life balance and an extra day on the weekend would mean staff would have the opportunity to realise other ambitions outside of work and spend more meaningful time with family and friends, engage in more exercise or find a new hobby – all of which result in improved mental and physical health and higher levels of happiness. And this will result in less burnout and reduced levels of stress.

But in what ways could the reduced working week benefit employers? Improving employee happiness and well-being has many potential commercial benefits for employers such as increased performance and productivity, reduced absenteeism, recruitment and retention; and it could have a positive effect DE&I.

POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS

Gill Tanner believes that completing five days’ worth of work in just four days could be more stressful for some. Employees will need more focus and have much less time for lower productivity activities.  Additionally, some employers and businesses may find the four-day week detrimental to operations. For example, a decline in levels of customer support on days staff aren’t in the office. So, careful thought needs to be given to how this might be executed.

According to Harriet Calver, if an organisation is asking for 100% productivity from employees in consideration for a reduction in working hours, it is going to be critical to have the right support, technology and workplace culture in place to enable this.

Although the success of the four-day working week model relies on employees doing fewer hours, there is a danger that there may not be enough hours in those four days to complete the work. Therefore, working hours could creep up to previous levels if the workload is the same, resulting in longer and more stressful days for these employees.

In customer facing businesses, a potential pitfall of the four-day working week is not being able to properly service customers leading to poor customer satisfaction. For example, if an organisation shuts its office on the fifth day, when it was previously open, customers may complain they cannot access services when they want to, or previously could. Whilst this could be a potential issue for some organisations, it should be overcome fairly easily by most simply by keeping the business open for five days a week but staggering the days which employees do their four days so the entire week is still covered.

According to Gill Tanner, employers should consider the following before implementing a four-day week:

  1. What are your reasons for implementing a four-day week?
  2. Consult with employees and other stakeholders regarding a four-day week. What are their thoughts? How might it work?
  3. Provide clarity regarding what is expected in terms working hours, performance levels, days off, remuneration, ways of working etc.
  4. Ensure there is sufficient coverage to run the business as is required and to have continuity.
  5. Think about the situation from the customer/client perspective (and other stakeholders) and how they might be affected
  6. Consider the communication plan: who needs to be communicated to and by when?
  7. Reflect on your current company culture.  Is it one of trust and ownership, values that are key to this kind of working? If not, is it the right time to implement such a big transition?  Are there other steps you need to take first?
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New data released by CareerWallet, a recruitment and employment technology company has highlighted the massive impact the pandemic has had on the recruitment sector as job applications in the last quarter of 2021 were 369% higher than the same time in 2020.   

CareerWallet, who processes 10 million applications a day believes this increase in applications is due to a renewed confidence in the job market and a backlog of employees who stuck out less than perfect roles due to furlough schemes or fears of changing roles in the midst of the pandemic. According to the report, November 2021 was a record month for applications with almost five times as many applications as November 2020 and the surge continued in December with over three times the applications during the festive period compared to last year.  

Craig Bines, CEO at The CareerWallet Group, commented: “Our national report has highlighted how UK employees are returning to the job market in their millions across the UK and this number seems to be continuing to rise month on month. The skill shortages issues have been well documented and as economic fears from the pandemic subside it is now clear that employees are becoming aware of the abundance of new potential jobs available to them.” 

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Over-specialization adding to skills shortage
Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent in technology continues to be a challenge as we enter the new year.  The resultant trends post pandemic that have enabled the necessity of a wide-spread workforce have become a Pandora’s Boz that will likely stay open forever.

Recruiting top professionals in technology is one area that has long been in flux. According to Ryan Kellner, Head of Data Science for Hudson Gate Partners, adjusting to talent needs in the sector should be nothing new.  He believes that, like in each year, there are some very specific trends that have come to light as well as some challenges that continue to be seen.  Mr Keller said, in reading the tea leaves of the technology world, that one thing is certain, and the recruitment industry must pay heed, and that is: many people are never returning to the office full time again.

“Growing up in Indianapolis in the 80s and 90s, all the tech firms were downtown, and everyone lived in the suburbs and made the commute back and forth every day,” said Mr Kellner. “Then some companies got wise and said, ‘We can get better talent by building our headquarters in the suburbs because we will get the talent that doesn’t want the long commute!’ They were right. All the good developers flocked to solid companies that were a five- to 10-minute drive from where they lived. They could get their kids out to the bus, participate in after-school programs, and everyone’s work/life balance got a bit easier.”

This same thinking is where we are at now post-COVID, he said. “The factor that seemingly dictates my response rate to recruiting calls and emails the most these days is not the company, it’s not the salary, it’s not the perks. It is whether the job is fully remote or not,” he said.

What you’re up against 

According to Mr Kellner, the job market is so hot these days for good people in tech that candidates seem to be looking for reasons not to continue with the interview process. “I was recently working with a strong developer with an MS in computer science and five years in financial software development who was interviewing with some of my clients,” he said. “I asked him where else he was actively interviewing and he listed every FANG company, Tesla, Robinhood, etc. If you want to hire some good developers in 2022, this is what you’re up against.”

To hire top talent, employers need a plan on how they are going to make that person pick their company over the current batch of trendy tech companies. “If you aren’t selling why your company is great in the first interview, it’s not happening,” said Mr Kellner.

Once again, this highlights the importance of the employer brand and is a trend to watch in 2022.

Double-edged sword for recruiting

Mr Kellner reported another noticeable trend of the last two years and that is those with traditional software engineering backgrounds increasingly wanting to specialize into fields like data science, machine learning, AI, blockchain etc. Keller believes that this variety of specialization options is a double-edged sword for recruiting because while it’s creating a great number of hyper-specialized individuals, it’s also draining the core demographic of pure software developers.

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The Great Escape and The Great Resignation result in mass exodus of workers
According to a new report by Kincannon & Reed, the disruption and upheaval caused by the pandemic during the last two years has resulted in a dramatic ripple effect across many industries, including those that ensure a safe, secure and abundant food system. Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, implementation of safety equipment and protocols, along with the fact that stay-at-home orders upended standard operating procedures and forced on-the-spot decision making for all levels of the workforce. This, coupled with endless Zoom calls and dealing with on-edge customers and consumers, and simply supporting teams manage the ‘new normal’ made for an environment that business leaders have never seen before. It’s enough to make a person throw in the towel. And many have.

The pandemic has forced members of the workforce to take stock and re-prioritize their lives and careers – leading to a mass exodus of staff that the HR industry has dubbed “The Great Resignation”.

Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media, has called it the ‘Great Escape.’ Older workers have also taken advantage of early retirement as part of the normal employment work cycle. According to the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, roughly two million more people than expected have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic.

With skills shortages and The Great Resignation hammering the market, questions we should be asking are: How should company leaders manage an unexpected exodus? How can they attract new talent while also retaining the great leaders?

Kincannon & Reed’s Carolyn Schubert, Managing Director, and Jim Gerardot, managing partner, say leaders should consider five key points as they navigate this constantly evolving environment:

1. Prepare Talent for Leadership

“Many senior leaders retire for various reasons,” said Ms. Schubert. “It’s a double whammy for an industry that has also been a victim of the Great Resignation. The problem is the industry hasn’t done a very good job of succession planning and preparing others within their ranks to take on leadership roles. Companies need to put a solid succession plan in place to train, keep and promote talent.”

2. Treat Recruits Like CEOs

Ms. Schubert says the fact that there simply aren’t a lot of people changing jobs has created a talent war. “To attract and retain the best of the best, you must be forthcoming with candidates and let them know what’s possible beyond the job you’re recruiting for,” she said. “Act like you’re recruiting for a CEO job because the candidate you’re interviewing could be your next one.”

“During the recruiting process, share your financials, strategic vision and long-term goals; give candidates an opportunity to interact with board members,” said Ms. Schubert. “Make them feel important and let them know they’ll be a part of the organization in a larger way.”

3. Show Them the Money

Mr. Geradot says that today’s candidates are looking at total compensation – short and long term. “They are seeking and comparing specifics on benefit packages, relocation incentives, signing bonuses, as well as long-term incentives – all considerations when looking to attract top candidates in today’s market,” he said.

4. Be Transparent

“Be fully transparent about company culture, structure, and benefits, and the future,” said Mr. Geradot. “The current war for talent means the brightest prospects are inundated with opportunities, so they’re being selective and doing their homework to better understand a company before they step foot in the door (or log onto Zoom) for an interview.”

5. Prepare to Sell Yourself

There was a time when companies, particularly legacy companies, had the attitude: “The top candidates will want to work for us,” said Mr. Geradot. But that’s not the case anymore.

“Instead of potential employees having to sell companies on the value they can bring, the tables have turned,” he said. “Companies are in the hot seat – having to prove themselves – and start-ups seem to have a leg up on speaking to culture, values, purpose, and perks.”

 

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