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Mobile makes up 80% of the working population, says Bersin Report

Research and advisory group, The Josh Bersin Company, has revealed that 80% of the current working population is “deskless”, this according to its latest report called The Big Reset Playbook: Deskless Workers.

This latest report is based on insights from the company’s ongoing Big Reset executive working groups. The report focuses on the recommended practices needed to create optimal work experiences for “deskless” employees in retail, healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, transportation, and other sectors.

The report also revealed that based on current research by multiple sources, it’s in fact hourly workers who take the lead in resignation statistics.

Josh Bersin commented: “Because so little attention has been given to the working and personal needs of deskless employees, companies are now seeing mass resignations, unionisation efforts, and scores of unfilled jobs.”

The seven critical components of deskless work according to The Big Reset Playbook are:

  1. Promote and enable human connections and time for creativity. Deskless workers are the closest to the customer, but a mere 6% of manufacturing companies and 7% of consumer companies design jobs to allow people time to rest, reinvent, and innovate, compared to 21% of technology firms and 29% of professional services companies.
  2. Train managers to better coach deskless workers. Many companies fail to adequately support managers in the training and development of their people. Just 11% of hospitality companies invest in developing leaders at all levels, compared to 75% of pharmaceutical companies.
  3. Make the commute easy and establish belonging at work. Because remote work is not feasible for deskless workers, they need extra support with easy and safe commutes. A sense of belonging is especially important in light of the current resignation trends and skills shortages. Leaders need to demonstrate that they are actively listening to employees and taking actions as appropriate.
  4. Support the deskless worker’s entire life. Work flexibility is often not an option for deskless workers, so they need backup for taking care of families and support for balancing finances. The vast majority live paycheck to paycheck, and only 13% of the 2.7 billion deskless workers worldwide have paid sick leave.
  5. Help deskless workers build fulfilling careers. Deskless workers – especially those who may be in jobs ripe for automation – need pathways to future-proof careers.
  6. Create a deskless-first culture. A sense of belonging and community is critically important for deskless workers, yet many are often disconnected from the overall corporate mission and values when communication channels are designed for deskbound employees.
  7. Provide tools and services geared for mobile. Deskless workers are often left behind with no access to communication, tools, or resources. Mobile-first or adaptable approaches should be implemented.

Josh Bersin, global HR trends analyst and CEO of The Josh Bersin Company, commented on the findings: “As we go into the second winter season of the pandemic, hybrid work continues to be especially important, and much work remains to be done to design a new paradigm. In parallel, we must not forget the 80% of employees around the world have a work reality that is drastically different from their managers. Work strategies must keep in mind the needs of shop floor employees, restaurant servers, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, teachers, truck drivers, and warehouse workers.

“Many things have changed since March 2020, and deskless workers are at the receiving end of many of the most difficult work challenges. In some industries such as transportation or hospitality, large numbers of people were furloughed or laid off. Healthcare employees had to face extreme health risk in coming to work. Designing a new work reality for these deskless workers is a lesson in empathy, listening, learning, and communication.”

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Workday, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire VNDLY, an industry leader in cloud-based external workforce and vendor management technology, it was announced on 18 November. With VNDLY, Workday will provide organizations with a unified workforce optimization solution that will help organizations manage all types of workers and support a holistic talent strategy, including insight into costs, workforce planning needs, and compliance.

Details regarding proposed acquisition of VNDLY
Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Workday will acquire VNDLY for consideration of approximately $510 million and is expected to close in Q4 of Workday’s fiscal year 2022, subject to certain conditions and regulatory approvals.

Pete Schlampp, Chief Strategy Officer, Workday commented: “As organizations expand the definition of their workforce to meet growing business and talent demands, they need solutions that provide a holistic view of all worker types – including contingent workers – so they can better plan for and meet the great opportunity in front of them.”

Shashank Saxena, co-founder and CEO, VNDLY commented: “VNDLY is at the forefront of the vendor management industry with an innovative and intuitive approach. The powerful combination of our technologies and talent will help customers better manage their evolving workforce dynamics, helping them keep pace with today’s changing world of work.

“By joining Workday, we’ll be able to expand the value we bring to customers, helping provide greater visibility, collaboration, and oversight to workforce needs and opportunities.”

 

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Appointment of women CEOs doubles globally

Only 8% of the UK’s CEOs are women, according to the eighth annual Route to the Top report released by provider of executive search and leadership advisory services, Heidrick & Struggles. The survey analysed the profiles of 1,095 CEOs at the largest publicly listed companies across 24 markets including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, UAE, UK and the US.

The percentage seems low, but the share of newly appointed women CEOs has more than doubled globally to 13% over the first half of 2021; this compared to the last six months of 2020 which was 6%. The increase appears to indicate more progressive and inclusive policies inside the world’s top businesses. D&I continues to be brought into sharp focus, as made evident by the results shared at Talint Partners’ Benchmark Summit at The King’s Fund in London on 18 November.

While only 8% of UK CEOs are women, this is a 3% increase on last year and 2% more than both the European and global average (6%). At 14%, Ireland leads the world with the highest number of female leaders at the top of the corporate ladder.

Sharon Sands, partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ London office and co-lead of the CEO & Board of Directors Practice commented on the findings: “In the UK, the percentage of CEOs with cross-industry experience has risen to 34% in 2021 from 13%, as was found in the 2020 report. This shows that the skill set required is not-necessarily industry specific and can be transferred as required. Companies are also increasingly looking internally to fill available C-suite roles. At Heidrick & Struggles, we are strong believers in succession planning and the importance of developing a pipeline of diverse talent working their way up through the ranks.”

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Does your company suffer from toxic positivity?

A recent study by Leadership IQ, an employee engagement and leadership training company, found that an organization that pretends everything is fine or sends companywide memos avoiding topics that can’t be positively spun might be suffering from “toxic positivity”.

Toxic positivity in organizations is often seen when leaders avoid sharing or discussing the tough challenges they’re facing. The study showed that only 15% of employees believe that their organization always openly shares the challenges facing it. By contrast, 42% said their company never or rarely shares its challenges.

There’s a long-standing belief among many leaders that talking about tough issues scares people and worsens the situation where the reality is the opposite. The study found that if an employee believes their company openly shares the challenges facing it, they’re about 10 times more likely to recommend it as a great employer.

It’s not just sharing organizational challenges where toxic positivity appears, however.

In a complementary study, The State of Leadership Development, more than 21,000 employees were asked to what extent their leader responded well to hearing about problems. Disturbingly, a mere 26% of employees said that their leader always responds constructively when employees share their work problems.

Developing resilience

The key to developing resilience, optimism, self-efficacy, and a host of other emotional-wellness skills is to acknowledge reality, not to deny, avoid, or dismiss it. Wallowing in misery will, of course, increase negative feelings. But denying misery or tough challenges is even worse.

To avoid toxic positivity, leaders need to accept that their employees are not clueless and can’t handle reality. In fact, ignoring or dismissing reality is one of the fastest ways to undermine employees’ trust in leadership. Instead, leaders should acknowledge reality and then focus their efforts on developing and explaining plans to make that reality better.

“Toxic positivity is an excessive and distorted form of positive thinking. It’s putting a positive spin on all experiences, no matter how dire or tragic,” explains clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Burgio-Murphy. “For example, you could be experiencing toxic positivity when a friend or boss minimizes or refuses to acknowledge your negative feelings. Or perhaps they go further and try to spin your dire situation in a positive way, like ‘this is a blessing in disguise’ or ‘all things happen for a reason.”

Please share any newsworthy content with debbie@talintpartners.com 

 

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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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68% of white men ‘don’t feel they need more D&I education’

A study by Dynata has suggested that one in three employees fear that an unintended consequence of increased awareness around D&I would be losing their role.

The research polled over 1,300 workers from the UK and nearly 10,000 from countries such as France, Germany and the USA. It explored the attitudes and opinions of employees, managers and people leaders surrounding EDI programmes in organisations.

The study stated that, while one in three employees rated accountability and progress reporting as the most important element of a successful D&I strategy, the same amount also feared that the consequences of such reporting could endanger their chances of working for D&I-centric organisations.

A total of 68% of white men who responded to the survey believe that they don’t need any further education about the importance of D&I, yet a massive 46% believe that a greater emphasis of D&I may lead to their losing their own job.

According to the study, 66% of respondents noted that creating a safe environment and paying employees fairly for their work were the most desired and important outcomes of any D&I initiative.

The benefits of doing so, included greater feelings of confidence, productivity and belonging among workers.

It appears that there is a ‘significant’ gap between senior leaders and workers in measuring the success of D&I within organisations.

  • 60% of bosses believe that they are creating a ‘culture of belonging’
  • 41% of workers perceive their managers are, in fact, creating a culture of belonging

“A diverse workforce which brings together different perspectives, ideas and ways of thinking is essential for innovation in business, just as it is in wider society,” commented Samuel Kasumu, former advisor to the Prime Minister and Managing Director at Inclusive Boards.

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Over half of employees feel undervalued

Research released by Firstup, a digital employee experience company, revealed that employees are unhappier in the workplace now more than ever post-pandemic. The survey showed a mounting dissatisfaction among employees across the UK, US, Germany, Benelux and the Nordics, with talent feeling undervalued, uninformed, and un-unified.

Lack of communication from leadership was cited as a main contributing factor to unhappy employees with almost a quarter of respondents to the survey agreeing that better communication will lead to increased productivity and work satisfaction.

Nicole Alvino, founder and CSO of Firstup, said: “Businesses need to provide more valuable working experiences or remain responsible for the career reboot of the decade that some are calling The Great Resignation of 2021. This research is a clear and urgent call to action – an organisation’s employees are its most valuable asset with employee satisfaction having a direct impact on the bottom line. Business, HR and Internal Comms leaders must act now to stem this workforce dissatisfaction and engage their teams with personalised information that helps them do their best work.”

Research from the 23,105 workers found that 56% don’t feel valued in their role and 38% want employers to ‘create better lines of communication between executives and employees’.

It appears that remote workers seem to feel these complaints most keenly, with a growing tension between desk based and deskless workers. It found that 25% of respondents felt they get more attention from their employer when they are physically at the office, only 30% of deskless workers think that their employers listen to them, and 39% of desk-based workers felt that their deskless colleagues could learn from them about ‘how to communicate with colleagues and ‘how to work as a team’.

The great temptation

This comes off the back of research from Reed.co.uk which found that almost three-quarters of Britains are actively looking for a new job or are open to opportunities. The survey, which canvassed 2,000 employers attempting to attract new talent and retain restless employees, suggests that businesses will need to adapt their offering to align with new employee priorities that have been shaped by the pandemic.

Salaries remain a top driver with 39% of respondents stating that they would stay should their employer offer a high salary. Flexible working hours is also at the top of the list. Other suggested incentives from the survey included: more annual leave (25%), a promotion (21%), and 18% asked for increased training and development opportunities.

Commenting on the research, Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, said: “We are in the midst of a sea change in the labour market, with it very much having shifted from a buyers’ to a sellers’ market due to the sheer – and record-breaking – number of job opportunities available.

“After a challenging 18 months for jobseekers which gave rise to a culture of uncertainty in the labour market, workers are now mobilised by the prospect of new and exciting opportunities with better rewards. Employers must find creative solutions and adapt to the new market conditions following the pandemic in order to maintain the resurgent economy’s trajectory.”

Following LinkedIn’s recent research highlighting 6.8 times the number of recruitment roles posted on its site in June compared to the same time last year, is the Great Resignation spreading to the staffing sector?

“There is a lot of potential for ‘revenge resignation’ for all those who were put on furlough through successive lockdowns, in the wider economy but particularly in recruitment, but it’s less likely to impact employers who offer flexibility and authenticity with a client-centric culture,” said Tim Cook, Group CEO of nGage, who will be speaking on this topic at the World Leaders in Recruitment conference on 5th October.

Commenting on the growing debate about the Great Resignation, TALiNT Partners Managing Director, Ken Brotherston said: “In general it is always wise to treat dramatic headlines or simple phrases with a large pinch of salt. My general rule of thumb is this: does the person promoting the headline have an interest in it being true? If so, approach with caution.”

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By Dawn Gibson

Major recruiters continue to report big profit slumps as permanent placement activity remains low across world markets.

The latest profit results for Hays, Kelly and RTC show that tough operating conditions relentlessly pounded profits through to the tail end of 2020, although there are signs trading activity is bouncing back in early 2021.

Hays

The Hays Group reported a 75% dive in operating profit to £25.1 million (2019: £100.1 million) on the back of a 24% decline in net fees in its half year report for the six months ended December 31.

In the UK and Ireland, the group recorded a £1 million operating loss, with temp fees down 21%, improving through the half, and perm declining by 35%.

In Australia and New Zealand, operating profit was down 42% on the back of a 34% drop in perm fees and a 18% drop in temp fees, while in Germany profit was down 76%, with perm down 34% and temp down 45%.

Trading in all major markets improved through the half, however, showing promise of a better 2021.

“With recovery in fees and our profits accelerating in Q2, this provides us with confidence to resume paying core dividends at our full-year results in August,” said Hays Chief Executive Alistair Cox. “We have also identified £150 million of surplus capital, which we also intend to return to shareholders in phases via special dividends, again commencing at our results in August.”

Kelly

Kelly Services reported an operating loss for the full year of 2020 of $93.6 million, compared to earnings of $81.8 million reported for 2019. On an adjusted basis, earnings from operations were $44.3 million compared to $90.8 million in 2019.

The group reported Q4 operating earnings of $9.5 million, or earnings of $13.9 million as adjusted, compared to earnings of $28.8 million in the corresponding quarter of 2019 as adjusted. Q4 revenue was down 7.2% year-over-year as the continuing effects of the pandemic impacted customer demand.

President and CEO Peter Quigley pointed to sequential quarter-over-quarter revenue improvement in Q4 as a sign of gradually improving economic conditions. “We’re optimistic that we’ll benefit from a recovery that gains momentum throughout 2021, with pipelines for both organic and inorganic growth strengthening,” he said.

RTC

For the year ended December 2020, RTC reported a 14% drop in group revenue to £81.4 million, down from £94.9 million for 2019, and a 45% slump in profits from operations to £1.1 million, down from £2 million in 2019.

However, net cash inflow from operating activities rose 76% to £5.1 million and net cash increased to £1.9 million, up from net debt of £2.8 million in 2019. No final dividend is proposed.

Commenting on the results, CEO Andy Pendlebury pointed to the impact of the pandemic as the story behind the numbers. “Given the seismic impact of the closure of large parts of our economy, I believe our results are extremely respectable and our cash position significantly enhanced,” he added.

Staffing 360 Solutions

Staffing 360 had some positive news with its preliminary fourth quarter results for the year ended December 2020. The company predicted unaudited Q4 revenue of $53.8 million, an increase of 11%, over Q3, citing rises in gross profit and demand.

The company has raised approximately $19.7 million (approx. $18 million net) in a public offering of 21,855,280 shares of its common stock at $0.90 per share. Since June 2020, Staffing 360 has reduced $55 million of debt to $26.8 million, a reduction of $28.3 million, or 55%.

“Completing this raise of $19.7 million gross proceeds is the latest step forward toward improving our balance sheet, setting the stage for further growth and progress in 2021,” said CEO and President Brendan Flood.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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Ryan Bridgman, regional director, UK and Ireland at Jobrapido

Some of you may be familiar with a quote from the writer Dr Samuel Johnson ‘Change is not made without inconveniences, even from worse to better’. Certainly, throughout history, with the dawn of each Industrial Revolution, many workers and bosses alike will have nodded their head in agreement. After all change can be unsettling and there can be a resistance to any development which poses a threat to one’s job and livelihood. Yet, if you look back at all the Industrial Revolutions, it has always paved the way for more net jobs and more efficient working processes.

We’re now fully embedded in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which is largely about the rise of smart technology and automation and connectivity – it’s a period where in some quarters there has been apocalyptic talk about the robots coming to get our jobs,  even though conversely such developments are creating an abundant stream of jobs and  ticketed with high salaries.

As technology developments gather pace, the workplace landscape looks set for further change.

Recently there’s been talk that we are actually leaving the Fourth and making way for the Fifth Industrial Revolution – which has been described as the rise of artificial intelligence.

The Fifth will be about the integration and the partnership (as this is how I think we should approach it) of AI and human intelligence. It’s about understanding and not fearing the unique attributes AI has such as non-bias, accuracy and data so that recruiters and employers can make even better and informed decisions for their organisations.

The Fifth Industrial Revolution will actually place MORE weight on the importance of human intelligence than ever before and how these unique human traits, when harnessed in tandem with the accuracy of AI lead to greater outcomes.

We are already seeing the advantages of this partnership – AI allows recruiters the ability to capture far better profile matches when they are seeking the right candidate. The war on talent isn’t going away and AI supports the challenges the industry has been facing for a while. Plus, it means recruiters will have more time freed up from the manual aspects of their job.

One of the core advantages is that AI provides and acts upon rich data insights. This can only be a huge benefit for recruiters in terms of getting across the right messages which will resonate with candidates and create better engagement between them, in an age where the industry needs to provide a compelling candidate experience and, as far as possible, a personalised ‘journey’ for their job search and ongoing career. That is a big focus for us, at Jobrapido, where we put the jobseeker at the centre of what we do.

To give you an idea of how this is working in practice, we recently partnered with a national recruiter of healthcare workers – where there are significant skills shortages in the UK.  By using Smart Intuition Technology to identify skilled Healthcare Workers within both its internal communities and the wider internet as a whole with the result being that a much higher range of qualified healthcare workers have been made aware of the recruiters’ opportunities and have consequently applied for the roles. This has enabled the recruiter to significantly increase its volume of hires and gain a competitive edge.

With all the talk about AI, it might seem slightly ironic to stress the increasing importance of human intelligence in the industry. Recruiter and human resources teams have a fundamentally important role to fulfil and a pivotal role in how organisations can perform: released from the bulk of daily administration, they will finally be able to fine-tune and meet the talent requirements to ensure their organisations can meet the own goals in terms of growth and productivity.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Phaidon International has been acquired by Quilvest Private Equity, the private equity arm of the Quilvest group. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Phaidon International operates globally across offices in 10 locations including London, Zurich, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in London, Phaidon has grown organically since its inception to over 500 employees and through its portfolio brands, DSJ Global, EPM Scientific, Glocomms, LVI Associates and Selby Jennings, identifies talent to place in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.

Quilvest’s investment will continue the development of Phaidon International. Under its new ownership, Phaidon will remain focused on expanding its five brands into existing office locations, while maintaining its high standards of delivering hard-to-find talent and building long-term partnerships.

Harry Youtan, CEO of Phaidon International, said, “I’m very excited to be partnering with Quilvest for the next chapter of the Phaidon business. Quilvest stood out because of its international relationships and reach, as well as the quality of its team. I have no doubt that they will help us to fulfil our vision of becoming the go-to partner of choice for STEM partners worldwide. I would also like to pay tribute to our founder, Adam Buck, who will be stepping back from Phaidon following the transaction. Adam has been instrumental in building Phaidon into the successful business it is today.”

Jay Takefman, partner at Quilvest Private Equity, commented, “We are delighted to announce our investment in Phaidon International. We see Phaidon as a unique player in a highly attractive, fast-growing sector. We are excited to partner with CEO Harry Youtan and his impressive management team to continue building on the progress that they have made to date. Over the coming years, we intend to further support the company’s growth, both in existing and new markets internationally and across its portfolio of renowned brands whilst staying true to its values-based, meritocratic culture.”

Adam Buck, founder of Phaidon International, added, “I am proud of what we have achieved with Phaidon over the last 14 years. I wish Harry and team all the very best in the future, and look forward to hearing about their successes moving forward with Quilvest Private Equity as their partner.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Talent Solutions

PageUp, the global talent management software company has expanded its UK footprint by its acquisition of eArcu, a UK-based provider of SaaS hiring solutions, it was announced today.

eArcu was founded in 2009, and its talent acquisition suite enables well over 100 customers in the UK and around the world. The combination of PageUp and eArcu’s talent management offerings will allow the PageUp Group to accelerate its presence in the UK and European markets. It will provide existing and new eArcu customers access to an expanded portfolio of recruitment marketing and talent management solutions.

PageUp CEO Mark Rice commented: “We’re excited to bring eArcu into the PageUp family. We look forward to working with the team to build on their well-deserved reputation for innovation and world-class customer service.”

eArcu CEO Andy Randall commented: “After a period of sustained growth, we’re thrilled to join forces with PageUp, a major player in the global talent management space. This will be a fantastic time for our clients who will benefit from the synergies between us, and for our team to bring their thought leadership to an ever-growing audience.”

 

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