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Identify fraud poses major security risks for businesses

The US government has reported that North Koreans are hiding their identities in order to get contract jobs in the global technology sector and subsequently warned that such workers pose major security risks to businesses.

The US Department of State, the US Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued the advisory for the international community, the private sector, and the public to warn of attempts by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, a.k.a. North Korea) IT workers to obtain employment while posing as non-North Korean nationals. It’s said that there are reputational risks and the potential for legal consequences, including sanctions designation under US and United Nations authorities, for individuals and entities engaged in or supporting DPRK IT worker-related activity and processing related financial transactions, the advisory stated.

The Government stated: “The DPRK dispatches thousands of highly skilled IT workers around the world to generate revenue that contributes to its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, in violation of US and UN sanctions. These IT workers take advantage of existing demands for specific IT skills, such as software and mobile application development, to obtain freelance employment contracts from clients around the world, including in North America, Europe, and East Asia.”

In many cases, DPRK IT workers represent themselves as US-based and/or non-North Korean teleworkers. The workers may further obfuscate their identities and/or location by sub-contracting work to non-North Koreans. Although DPRK IT workers normally engage in IT work distinct from malicious cyber activity, they have used the privileged access gained as contractors to enable the DPRK’s malicious cyber intrusions. Additionally, there are likely instances where workers are subjected to forced labor.”

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Half of workers spend time on video calls now than a year ago

According to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work Report, workers in the US are overwhelmed by their notifications with almost two-thirds (63%) of US workers continuously checking their emails outside of work hours — the highest percentage across the board in the international study.

The software company’s research team surveyed workers from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. At 62%, workers in the U.S. were the most likely to report feeling the need to reply to emails straight away. This rate was even higher among Generation Z and millennials. The US participants reported that they’re overwhelmed by the breadth of their digital interactions with colleagues with 34% stating they struggle to respond to important messages, with the rate being even higher for millennials and Gen Zers.

Just under half (41%) of respondents reported that they spend more time on emails now than a year ago with 43% stating that they spend more time on video calls than one year ago.

More than half (52%) reported that more efficient meetings could effectively reduce the number of notifications, and 48% of respondents said clearer responsibilities could also limit the number of notifications. Gen Zers, millennials and those in C-suite roles were most likely to emphasize the importance of well-outlined expectations.

Debbie Walton, Editor at TALiNT Partners commented: “The move to working from home means that there is no option to display an ‘out of office’ or to switch off from work. I have made the decision to remove all work apps from my cell phone so as not to be bombarded by endless notifications after hours. It’s supported a healthier work/ life balance.”

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A framework that solves talent access challenges with an outcome-first approach

Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), a provider of global workforce solutions, announced the publication of a new book for business, human resources (HR) and procurement leaders that takes them on a journey to harmonised workforce strategy and management.

“The Universal Workforce Model™: An Outcome-First Guide to Getting Work Done” talks about the three transformational yet complementary concepts – the Workforce Business Partner, Task-Based Workforce Design and the Intelligent Workforce Platform. The book lays out why organisations must challenge current models for acquiring and accessing talent now and what steps they can take to create an agile business fit to thrive in the new world of work.

Authored by AGS’ Vice President of EMEA Simon Bradberry and Global Head of Strategy Bruce Morton, with contributors John Boudreau (senior research scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Southern California), Ewan Greig (AGS senior manager of workforce solutions), Jessi Guenther (AGS vice president of client delivery) and Sarah Wong (AGS vice president of APAC), the book refocuses on the work itself before jumping to talk about workers, roles and vacancies, offering readers an alternative way to rethink work through outcome-based workforce acquisition.

Bruce Morton, Global Head of Strategy commented: “Current models for acquiring and accessing talent are outdated and flawed. Companies compete for talent they may never fully use, overspend or underspend on contractors based on limited data, and may forfeit budget and quality as a result. This is why the Universal Workforce Model starts with the outcome first, applying a workforce planning model that breaks down siloed resource channels, so organisations can secure the right resource every time, and work most efficiently and effectively.”

The Universal Workforce Model is structured as a journey to harmonised workforce management and has three defining features based on common areas of business transformation – process, people and technology.

Simon Bradberry AGS’ Vice President of EMEA commented: “Advances in AI and services-enabled architecture have given rise to technologies that bring all workforce options into view, making the journey to the Universal Workforce Model possible now. While changing the fundamentals of workforce engagement is not an easy move, the journey should not be a sacrifice to the business. Innovations in work design, evolving strategic relationships between companies and solutions partners and developing expertise to reconfigure work illuminate and make the path forward possible.”

Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive of TALiNT Partners made exclusive comment on the launch of the book: “Companies face immense pressures as they adjust to the ever-changing workforce. What’s important moving forward is that they treat workforce challenges as a priority across the entire business. The concept of the Workforce Business Partner doesn’t replace the work that HR, hiring managers, recruiters, and staffing and talent solutions partners do, but it provides the impetus that enables them to work smarter and with more agility on the journey to a Universal Workforce Model.”

Arkadev Basak, Partner, Everest Group also made comment on the release: “For years, Procurement, HR and business leaders have been forced to struggle with an incredibly complex set of talent acquisition and workforce challenges. Applying a different mode of thought and a new model to rethink, reimagine, and redesign today’s workforce has the potential to bring the focus back on the work itself.”

 

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Companies offer or re-commit to championing parental leave

A resource from McKinsey and Company entitled Women in the Workplace 2021 has shared data suggesting that women were even more burned out as of late 2021 than they were in 2020. The research also revealed that burnout was ramping up faster among women than in men with childcare-related worker attrition remaining a human resource issue.

Around a third of women surveyed stated that they “have considered downshifting their career or leaving the workforce this year,” compared to the one-fourth of women who told McKinsey the same early on in the pandemic.

In a market that is talent-strapped, employers have had to be very creative when conjuring up ways to better retain parents. Many companies have offered or re-committed to championing parental leave so that workers aren’t forced to choose between caring for their families and nurturing their careers. Labor experts also have called attention to the nuance involved in such considerations, including regard for LGBTQ+ parents who need leave and further attention paid to mothers who are black and their higher rates of burnout.

According to the survey, some companies have taken a step further by offering stipends for in-home childcare or daycare. Others still have implemented “returnships” for caregivers — primarily, women or birthing parents — to become reacquainted with the workforce after a years-long childcare hiatus.

But flexibility in their workflow and scheduling remains one easily implemented solution that managers and HR teams can offer parents today.

McKinsey commented in its 2021 report: “More than three-quarters of senior HR leaders say that allowing employees to work flexible hours is one of the most effective things they’ve done to improve employee well-being, and there are clear signs it’s working. Employees with more flexibility to take time off and step away from work are much less likely to be burned out, and very few employees are concerned that requesting flexible work arrangements has affected their opportunity to advance.”

The one caveat? Ensure that employees are given clear boundaries along with their flexibility, to thwart an “always-on” approach to work. It’s important to not only offer flexibility but also to support staff wellbeing in order to avoid burnout.

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Company plans double headcount in five years

Harvey Nash Group has announced that they are being renamed Nash Squared, signalling their intention to grow rapidly over the next five years. The technology and talent company plans to more than double its global headcount from 2,500 to 6,000 by 2027.

The group, which currently incorporates six technology and talent businesses, grew strongly during the pandemic with acquisitions and expansion in Vietnam and Latin America.

They believe that this move positions them as an integrated technology and talent provider and allows clients to build and transform their technology capability in several ways.

The move also distinguishes Nash Squared from Harvey Nash, the company’s global technology talent acquisition brand.

Bev White, CEO of Nash Squared, commented: “The future for our clients lies in helping them build and transform their digital teams and capability in limitless ways, and the Nash Squared brand positions us strongly as a platform to deliver on this. It also supports our significant growth plans; as we expect to more than double our global headcount from 2,500 to over 6,000 over the next five years.”

 “It was very important to retain the Nash name in the group brand as it is a uniting factor to so much of what we do. In fact, many parts of the group call themselves Nashers! Becoming Nash Squared reflects the impact we see when our businesses work together. We are an incredible company that is even more powerful when we collaborate, and Nash Squared is the brand that will take us even further.”

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Talent shortages continue to hinder the market

According to the Institute for Supply Management’s “Services ISM Report on Business” activity in the US services economy expanded in April, but growth decelerated from March.

The report revealed that the Services PMI index fell to a reading of 57.1% in April from 58.3% in March. Readings above 50% indicate expansion.

According to Anthony Nieves, Chair of the ISM’s Services Business Survey Committee, a restricted labor pool is what impacted the index along with a noted slowing of new orders

Anthony Nieves made comment: “Business activity remains strong; however, high inflation, capacity constraints and logistical challenges are impediments, and the Russia-Ukraine war continues to affect material costs, most notably of fuel and chemicals.”

Data for the report is based on a survey of purchasing and supply executives across the US. A few firms surveyed for the report commented on labor concerns.

“Talent shortages continue to make it difficult to get work done at companies across many industry sectors,” said one firm. “Light industrial labor is in high demand, but supply gaps still exist. Wages continue to rise in nearly all labor categories, contributing to the rise in prices of goods and services.”

Another respondent commented: “Inflation, supply chain issues and access to qualified workers continue to be issues. There are still lingering effects from the pandemic, although those seem to be subsiding. The future impacts of the war in Ukraine are unclear.”

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But decreased in transportation and warehousing sectors

According to data released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings and quits in the US reached record highs in March.

Job openings were up by 205,000 to 11.5 million, the highest since records began in December 2000 while job openings in March increased in a number of industries, led by increases of 155,000 in “retail trade” and 50,000 in “durable goods manufacturing.”

However, the opposite happened in certain industries with the number of job openings decreasing in transportation, warehousing, and utilities by 69,000; in state and local government education by 43,000; and in federal government by 20,000.

Separations rose by 239,000. However, the quits component of separations reached a record high of 4.5 million. Quits increased by 88,000 in “professional and business services” and by 69,000 in the construction sector, fuelling the Great Resignation debate even further.

Meanwhile, according to released stats, the figures for hires hardly changed at 6.7 million while those for total separations edged up to 6.3 million.

There is much churn in the US market but still a large number of job openings which indicates the talent shortages are far from over.

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Employers are warned against ignoring value of wisdom and experience

A recent article by Andrea London has highlighted concern that the new world of remote working is resulting in increasing polarisation of the labour market in the UK and an increase in the “generational skills gap” and whether older workers can keep up with technical advances.

She mentions that even if people over the age of 55 don’t have the “skills of the future”, they do have valuable wisdom, experience, skills, and attributes that took years to develop and should not be ignored. These benefits influence all in the workplace, and she warns that companies may not realise the value of an age-diverse workplace until it is too late.

The writer goes on to warn of the likelihood of an increasing number of unfair dismissal incidents, such as the recent Williams -v- Lyons Holiday Parks [2022] case, where Mrs. Williams, a 60-year-old worker, was dismissed because she wasn’t receiving enough “likes” on social media.

According to London, a possible leveller is “proximity bias” – where those we see more often are looked upon more favourably. For example, in a hybrid working model, those in the office, such as more mature staff members, may be more likely to be presented with tasks as opposed to those working remotely. Unfortunately, as businesses adapt, proximity bias may disappear, and the benefits of this may be short-lived.

In her article, Andrea London, partner at Winckworth Sherwood, wrote: “When Mark Zuckerberg in 2007 (in)famously said to a room full of budding entrepreneurs that “young people are just smarter” – he maybe did not realise the damage his narrative would cause – that youth has become synonymous with technological skill and to be “old” is to be technically illiterate. This is a misguided belief – but unfortunately, in our increasingly technological workplaces, this is an increasingly held viewpoint.”

“Despite the legal protections; ageism and its legal counterpart; age discrimination remains challenging for employers. What is really needed is a change in attitude and perception – such that age is part of any diversity and inclusion programs – but this will take time. Employers who are increasing their technology or operating any hybrid workplace model need to be aware that whilst in theory the future looks bright, they wouldn’t be there save for the past and should remember how they got there and whom in their workforce, assisted with that progress.”

The older workforce are an untapped talent resource as reported on in TALiNT International. At a time when employers are strapped for experienced professionals, employers should look to the over 55s to plug skills gaps in their businesses.

 

 

 

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Effective handling will determine future business growth

With the constant increase in cost of living and rising taxation, UK citizens are in for a very difficult time. But businesses are also impacted, and business owners may be at risk of forgetting the physical and emotional effect of this cost-of-living crisis on their workforce.

According to Sophie Wade, author of Empathy Works: The Key to Competitive Advantage in the New Era of Work, empathy is critical to assisting business leaders in understanding employees’ situations, adjusting their management styles, and providing them with appropriate support.

Wade provides the following tips for leading through this financial crisis:

  • Employers need to build a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive corporate culture where the workforce feels safe enough to share or reach out for help.
  • Leaders need to be empathetic, actively listen and show care and concern about their employees’ situations.
  • Create flexible workplace policies that help individuals improve their situations, for example, by reducing commuting costs by working from home.
  • Lead by example by embracing and demonstrating the benefits of cost-saving initiatives.
  • Provide benefits that help employees handle challenging circumstances, such as financial management talks and courses.

Sophie Wade, work futurist commented: “The pandemic catalysed significant changes in workplace environments. As leaders – whether at the senior executive level or as a team manager – we had to manage our businesses with a more human-centric orientation. Our corporate cultures have been transitioning from transactional to experiential, elevating trust and empathy as key values, as we recognize the challenges faced by the people we employ or work alongside and their greater emotional needs. While we are finally emerging from the COVID-19 crisis, the new cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on so many aspects of our lives. We are having to reconsider or limit how we light and heat our homes, commute to work and put food on the table with smaller pay checks as our contributions rise.”

“To manage this new crisis, we can learn from the last two years. As managers, we embraced empathy and practiced it with our teams to be more attuned to what they were going through. Now again, taking the same human-centric perspective, we need to listen to employees, understand their situations and needs, and nurture trust-based cultures that create a sense of belonging and community that can support them. We can recognise each person’s different points of view and circumstances as well as understand that some may be embarrassed to admit their financial and emotional struggles. The empathy that we elevated in our cultures and integrated into management practices during the pandemic should now be pervasive, ongoing, and consistent. Every employee should feel there is someone they feel comfortable to turn to, voice their concerns, and seek out the help they need.”

“I know many businesses are adapting to these new conditions. We must think about how our employees are coping as well. After the pandemic, workers are looking for stability not more strain. We must stop to consider what we can do to support our colleagues. Taking a human-centric, thoughtful, and empathetic approach, we can figure out how to improve workplace culture, benefits, and retention, and ensure the sustainable growth potential for our businesses.”

Clearly, leaders learning to empathise with their employees during this financial crisis is essential for ensuring a sustainable future for their businesses.

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Jody Robie, SVP North America at Talent Works talks about ‘the what’ and ‘the how’ of hiring talent, fast

The current recruitment market is like never before. It’s a war for top talent and employers need to sell themselves in a way that both attracts and retains the best of the best. Authenticity is also key here, to ensure that candidates make the right choice about the culture and expectations of the company. On top of this, everything is moving at a mile a minute, and recruiters want – and need – instant results. There is no room for a passive  approach to recruiting right now.

The what 

To compete today, companies need to modify their recruitment approach to create the most compelling Employer Brand. Then comes the challenge of communicating that employer brand to the right candidates via your Employer Value Proposition. 

Recruitment teams have to work harder than ever if they’re going to stand out to top candidates and tempt them to join their organization. But with everything moving so quickly, projects that typically take six months need to be ready for market in less than 2 months. Talent leaders need to ensure they can carry out these projects both quickly and effectively, while not compromising on the quality of talent.

The how

  1. Hire at speed

While taking the time to ensure a candidate is the right fit for your business is ideal, it’s becoming evident that a slow and steady approach is now a luxury few employers can afford. Long-drawn-out candidate experiences will only increase the number of applicants who drop out of your recruitment process. Even if your employer branding is ticking all the boxes, candidates want to move quickly. If you have a good feeling about a candidate, you need to snap them up before a competitor does. 

With speed and agility now crucial, how can we ensure this doesn’t come at the mercy of quality? Recruitment projects that would usually take months, are being squeezed into a matter of weeks. To ensure that you’re not compromising on the right talent, and that the talent you have hired will remain, you need to have  an authentic and relevant 2022 employer brand ready to go. 

  1. Create the most attractive employer branding

As such, having a strong employer brand is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a must. In fact, 72% of recruitment leaders agree that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. Businesses need to adapt their recruitment approach to focus on raising brand awareness and excitement around your current openings.. 

This means recruitment and the role of recruiters is becoming  more complicated, and understanding how to sell and market your role and your organization is critical. We’re used to candidates having to sell themselves in an interview, but now recruiters are selling a business to a candidate before this can even happen. Just as marketing professionals promote products and services, recruiters are focusing on their organization’s unique selling points and strengths to convince candidates to take the role over another.

When positions are equal in terms of salary, development opportunities and the role itself, employer branding will differentiate one employer from the next. In turn, recruiters need to express enthusiasm for your employer brand right away, expressing the values, overall mission and culture they can expect. Simply saying it’s a “social office” and it has a “great culture” is not good enough in a market this crowded. Instead, look at your recruitment marketing materials and Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to discover what truly makes your workplace unique.

  1. Promote your EVP

This brings me to the final point. A strong employer brand must be supported by a clear EVP. Your EVP gives potential employees a clear cultural direction and something to buy into. Teamwork, principle fulfillment, recognition, rewards and being nice to people – these are all ‘nice-to-haves’, but they aren’t the makings of a successful EVP. 

Instead, here are a few questions companies should be asking when it comes to their EVP: Does your EVP resonate with your employees in their early careers? Is it meaningful and relevant for your employees whether they  have been there for 6 months, or 16 years? Does it say something unique and special about why people want to work for you? Will your executive team stand behind and embrace the messaging?

A great EVP needs to be transparent about your culture, remote policies, covid requirements, etc. In the hiring process, candidates will get a clear sense of the company’s values and self-select out of the application process in the early stages, saving time for HR and recruitment later down the line. While attracting top talent is the goal, laying out unique differentiators  and more intangible elements of the workplace from the start, is now more crucial than ever. 

Standing out in a candidate-driven market 

The power has shifted and candidates are now calling the shots. As such, finding the best possible approach to hiring at pace, but in a way that doesn’t compromise on quality, will be key in creating an effective and lasting Employer Brand. It might take a bit of time, but in the long term, it will be worth it.

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Talent Solutions

TALiNT Partners has announced the finalists for the 2022 TIARA Talent Solutions Awards with 22 of the United States’ best Talent Solutions, MSP & RPO firms shortlisted across eight award categories.

The finalists for the 2022 Talent Solutions Awards US, which spotlight MSP, RPO and Talent Solutions providers delivering excellence in recruitment and talent acquisition across the US, are the top of the crop and represent the very best in providers in the industry.

Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive of TALiNT Partners made comment: “Following the inaugural TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US last year, I am delighted to see many of our 2021 finalists return to celebrate their achievements, as well as a number of new entrants this year. The 2022 Awards are a true celebration across the market, from the large global players to newer entrants and niche RPO organizations, all demonstrating excellence in their impact for employers and their own employees.”

“The TIARAs are distinguished by the rigor of its judging process and the quality of its judging panel,” he added. “Entries will be assessed by our esteemed judges through six key metrics: excellence in delivery; innovation; DE&I impact; sustainable value; business growth; and purpose.”

What sets the TIARAs apart from other awards programs is their independent panel of expert judges and individual feedback given back to each finalist.

The judges for this year’s TIARA Talent Solutions Awards are drawn from the HR and Talent Acquisition community are:

  • Sachin Jain, Senior Director – Global Talent Management, PepsiCo
  • Andrew Brown, Director RPO and Recruiting, Cornerstone
  • Russell Griffiths, General Manager, Coleman Research
  • Rich Genovese, Global Head – Talent Identification & Discovery, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • Gregg Schneider, Senior Manager – Procurement Plus, Global Talent Marketplace and Innovation Lead, Accenture
  • Justin Brown, Talent Acquisition Project Manager, Gallagher
  • Chris Farmer, Global Program Owner, Salesforce
  • Kerri Arman, Former VP Global Head of Talent, American Express Global Business Travel
  • Saleem Khaja, COO and Co-Founder, WorkLLama
  • Fitzgerald Ventura, CEO, 1099Policy
  • Mike Wilczak, Chief Product Officer, iCIMS

Judges will convene in May to debate and decide the winner of each category Award as well as an overall Talent Solutions Provider of the Year. All winners will be announced at an exclusive virtual awards ceremony on Thursday June 9th, 18:00 EDT.

Winners will also be profiled in a special TIARA Awards supplement published with TALiNT International.

The TIARA 2022 campaign is supported by our headline partner Cornerstone, and sponsored by WorkLLama, 1099Policy, and iCIMS.

The full list of TIARA 2022 Talent Solutions Finalists can be viewed here.

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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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At the beginning of every new year, everyone wants to give their two-pennies worth when it comes to what to expect in the months ahead. Ken Brotherston, TALiNT Partners’ CEO has given us his.

I love reading new year predictions; they typically have a common theme of how this year will be the most important year ever for [enter your profession]…

For talent acquisition leaders this isn’t true – at least I hope it isn’t because 2021 was your most important year. It was where chronic and acute collided, creating demands on talent acquisition and resourcing teams like never before and the importance of what they were doing had an immediate impact on the economy and society. Hiring to get jabs into arms, bread into supermarkets and petrol into garages are just three examples that spring to mind.

However, whilst 2022 may not be as mission critical as the last eighteen months, it will still be hugely important. This will be the year where employers’ responses to the disruption of the recent past will become evident: policies on unvaccinated workers, flexible and remote working strategies, and the pivot to a focus on skills rather than experience and the how these impact attrition and attraction will all become evident. For those employers who have got it right (or at least not as wrong as many others), there will be a dividend in the form of a more stable employee base with a resultant increase in productivity and competitiveness.

The biggest question for many talent acquisition leaders will be: “How long is the current market going to last?” In the UK the Institute of Employment is already saying the labour market has stalled, despite low headline unemployment figures. Now, whilst there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, it does seem prudent to try and look beyond the current (quite possibly terrifying) number of open requisitions most organisations have and at least think about the implications for a slowing employment market.

My own guess is that we will run hot until the summer and then start to notice certain industry or job-family roles slow down more rapidly in Q3/4. Certain industries will have much longer to run – the green economy is only justgetting going and tourism and travel clearly have a long way to go to get back to pre-pandemic levels.

But nevertheless, the speed with which demand increased in late 2020 can easily go in the opposite direction if, for example, inflation really does take hold.

So, whilst we will hopefully avoid 2021’s relentless pressure to deliver, there is still important work to be done. Talent acquisition and resourcing functions more than proved their worth last year and will have another opportunity to do the same again this year, but perhaps with a more strategic approach. But whatever lies ahead I confidently predict it won’t be dull!

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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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