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Reskilling workforce key to plugging skills shortage hole

The newest McKinsey Global Survey on reskilling has highlighted the urgency needed to address massive skills gaps across all industries. The accelerated move towards digitization and remote work has placed new demands on employees who now require different skills to support significant changes to the way they work and to the business priorities their companies are setting.

Most of the survey respondents said that skill building (more than hiring, contracting, or redeploying employees) is the best way to close skills gaps and that they have accelerated their efforts to reskill or upskill employees since the start of the pandemic. The results also pointed towards a shift in the most important skills to develop, which leaned towards being social and emotional in nature, for example, empathy, leadership, and adaptability.

The survey suggested that the need to address skill gaps is imperative with most respondents (58%) saying that closing skill gaps in their companies’ workforces has become a higher priority since the pandemic began. And of five key actions to close these gaps – hiring, contracting, redeploying, releasing, and building skills within the current workforce – skill building is more prevalent now than it was in the months preceding the pandemic. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that their organizations do more skill building now than they did before the COVID-19 crisis.

The redeploying of talent to new roles often requires some degree of skill building and has become more commonplace over the past year with 46% of respondents reporting an increase in redeploying talent within their organizations.

Additionally, the results of the survey suggested that this commitment to skill building represents more than a one-time investment. More than half of respondents said that their companies plan to increase their spending on learning and skill building over the next year, compared with their investments since the end of 2019.

 

 

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News channels negatively portray the community

According to new research by INvolve, 73% of the LGBT+ community believe they have witnessed discrimination because of unrealistic and negative media portrayals.

In the survey of 537 respondents, 369 of which identified as LGBT+, 50% report that the news is the platform that showcases the most negative portrayals of the community with 68% reporting unrealistic portrayals of the LGBT+ community. These figures were followed closely by Reality TV (47% and 60%) and TV Dramas (25% and 52%).

The research revealed that the way that the LGBT+ community is represented in media is having ripple effects on ‘real-world’ situations for LGBT+ individuals. Nearly 70% believe that the media affects the way they are perceived in the workplace, 60% within their family and 50% within their social circles. Over half of respondents (53%) believe that these perceptions are negative and only 16% believe they are positive.

It is clear from the study that there is a need for more diverse, realistic, and positive representations of the LGBT+ community within the media but INvolve believes this can only happen if there are powerful role models leading the way in the news media and in workplaces.

The annual OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model List has launched and it celebrates businesspeople who play a key role in breaking the glass ceiling for LGBT+ individuals in the workplace.  The OUTstanding Role Model Lists, supported by Yahoo Finance UK, is one of three sets of role model lists produced annually by INvolve.

Lex Chan, General Counsel at the Business of Fashion, is named number one of the Future Leaders list. They are named alongside two other British businesspeople, Bruna Gil, Channel Partner Lead at LinkedIn, and Jules Buet, Quantitative Developer at Citi.

Francesca McDonagh, Group Chief Executive Officer for Bank of Ireland Group, Beatriz Martin, UK Chief Executive & Group Treasurer of UBS Group AG, and Caroline Frankum, Global CEO of Kantar, take three spots in the Top Ten Advocates list.

Suki Sandhu OBE, founder and CEO of INvolve, commented:

“Positive role models in business are vital. They blaze a trail for change and inspire others to take action for inclusion.

“They are all working to dismantle systems and smash barriers to progress that can prevent the LGBT+ community from succeeding and thriving both in business and beyond. You can’t be what you can’t see so there is a great need for strong and meaningful role models to be visible in business, across the media and in society.”

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Anecdotes shared by former colleague

In the wake of the passing of Sir David Amess, MP for Southend West, recruitment industry members share fond memories of the animal-loving politician.

Sir David began his business career working in recruitment for Accountancy Personnel (AP), now called Hays, in the mid 1970s. One of TALiNT Partners’ TIARA Judges, Sue Cooper, Founding Director of Scoop Consulting and Non-Executive Chairwoman of Executive Insights Group worked with him in the early stages of her career and shared these anecdotes:

Sue said: “When I joined AP back in the very late 70s David was the manager of the very successful Moorgate office’s Temp Division. I was a fresh-faced trainee sitting next to him hoping to learn from the master.

I have two dominant memories of that time:

“The first memory is that he had an attaché-style briefcase and pinned into the lid was a giant photo of Maggie Thatcher. He was obsessed with politics way back then and he looked at that picture a lot!

Secondly, I asked a lot of questions and when he had had enough of me, I’d be sent down to the dusty basement to look for a candidate file and told not to return until I found it –  after hours of searching to no avail! Not finding the candidate file wasn’t surprising as it didn’t exist. It was just a tactic to keep me out of the way and to give him a break from my endlessly questioning!”

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31% of candidates have a negative application experience

Despite the war of talent challenging the recruitment market, new research commissioned by Reed.co.uk, has found that almost a quarter (24%) of workers that have applied for jobs since the start of the pandemic have had no response to their applications.

Long wait times were reported by those who did receive a response and transitioned through the hiring process, with 17% of workers made to wait more than two weeks between interviews.

Poor candidate experiences raise concerns for businesses

There were over 300,000 jobs live on Reed.co.uk at the end of September. This is a 158% year-on-year increase. In stark contrast to the hiring freezes at the start of the pandemic, the shift from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market has led more than one in ten (13%) workers to report receiving contact from companies they had previously applied to.

Reed.co.uk looks at how a poor candidate experience affects businesses:

  • 31% of workers are unlikely to apply to a company again after a negative application experience
  • 30% of workers are unlikely to recommend a company to a friend after a negative application experience
  • 23% of workers make perceptions of the company based on their experience with the recruiter

Reed.co.uk’s research also suggests ways to improve:

  • Streamlined hiring processes
    • 29% of workers are put off by the length of an application and interview process
    • 31% of workers are put off by the complexity of an application and interview process
  • Salary transparency
    • 50% of workers believe it’s important that employers list the salary in the job description.
  • Company culture transparency
    • 31% of workers believe it’s important for recruiters to give an impression of the company culture
    • 27% of workers believe it’s important for recruiters to provide information on development pathways in the company

Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, commented on the research: “The labour market has drastically changed since the start of the pandemic, with the shift in power transferring from employers to workers due to the sheer volume of job opportunities available. It’s therefore a concern that candidates are reporting negative experiences during the hiring process, especially for those businesses for which candidates are also potential customers.

“In the fast-moving world we live in, we’ve all become accustomed to high quality consumer experiences, instant access to goods and services, alongside seamless communication channels – and candidates’ expectations during their job search are no different. Therefore, businesses should prioritise delivering quality, timely feedback during all stages of the hiring process.”

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75% of women with dependent children are in employment

The gender pay gap among full-time employees fell from 9% in 2019 to 7.4% in 2020, but there is still a 20% salary discrepancy between working mothers and fathers. Bionic, a business comparison company, published data that revealed where in the UK has the biggest pay disparity.

Employment rates of mothers across the UK 

Around the UK (2019) Men with dependent children Women with dependent children Percentage difference between men & women in work with dependent children
Scotland 93.10% 77.20% 18.67%
Wales 89.90% 77.20% 15.20%
England 92.70% 74.80% 21.37%
Northern Ireland 93% 75.70% 20.51%

The number of employed mothers in Scotland and Wales is the highest in the UK with 77.20% of women reported to have children dependent on them while being in work. In Scotland the figure is at 18.67% more women with children dependent on them vs men with dependent children. In Wales this discrepancy is smaller at 15.20%.

The highest percentage difference throughout the UK was between fathers and mothers in England. Over 21% more mothers have dependent children on them in England vs fathers.

Employment rates of mothers fall 20% lower than fathers

Between April and June in 2019, three in every four mothers with dependent children (75.1%) in the UK were in work. This is compared to 92.6% of fathers with dependent children.

April to June 2010 to 2019, UK Men with dependent children Women with dependent children Percentage Different for Men and Women
April-June 2010 88.60% 67.80% 26.60%
April-June 2011 88.90% 67.40% 27.51%
April-June 2012 89.80% 68% 27.63%
April-June 2013 90% 69.30% 25.99%
April-June 2014 91.30% 69.70% 26.83%
April-June 2015 91.10% 70.80% 25.08%
April-June 2016 92.30% 72.10% 24.57%
April-June 2017 92.10% 73.80% 22.06%
April-June 2018 92.80% 74.20% 22.28%
April-June 2019 92.60% 75.10% 20.87%

Almost 30% of women with a child aged 14 years and under reported that they had reduced their working hours because of childcare reasons. This is compared to just 5% of fathers.

Glyn Britton, Chief Customer Officer at business comparison expert Bionic, offered some insight into what businesses can do to bridge this gap:

“As more businesses have been forced to adopt some form of remote working, more employees have come to appreciate the importance of a healthy work/life balance. None more so than parents.

“If businesses want to attract and keep the best talent, they need to offer more than a competitive salary, and having attractive maternity and paternity policies in place can make all the difference for prospective and current employees.

“As a minimum, mothers can take up to 52 weeks leave after giving birth, the first six of which must be on at least 90% pay. Fathers can take up to two weeks on the lower of £151.97 a week or 90% of their wages. If your business can offer more attractive terms, it could give you an edge over others.

“Other ideas include offering flexible, hybrid working and creating a maternity and paternity strategy to offer support and advice to parents. And, if you’ve not done so already, closing the gender pay gap will give the clearest indication of your support for equality in the workplace.”

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