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Latest in the Region: Americas

Nevada, at 5.2%, had the highest unemployment

According to the US Bureau of Statistics, Utah had the lowest jobless rate among all US states in December at 2.2%. The next lowest rates were in North Dakota and South Dakota at 2.3% each.

In addition, Alaska and Pennsylvania posted their lowest job rates since 1976 at 4.3% and 3.9%, respectively.

Nevada, at 5.2%, had the highest unemployment rate among all states in December.

The state with the largest year-over-year decrease in its jobless rate was New Mexico, down two percentage points. The next largest decreases occurred in California and New Jersey, down 1.7 percentage points each. Meanwhile, the largest year-over-year unemployment rate increase occurred in Oklahoma, up 0.6 of a percentage point.

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81% of HR professionals believe having a degree positions for success

According to US publishing house John Wiley and Sons, the skills gap in the US appears to be getting worse, not better.

Its “Closing the Skills Gap” report found that 69% of US human resources professionals surveyed said their organization has a skills gap. That is up from 55% in a similar survey in 2021.

Todd Zipper, Executive Vice President at Wiley said: “This widening of the skills gap is concerning and not likely to end soon,” said. “The demand for skills keeps evolving faster, and it’s increasingly hard for companies and higher education institutions to keep up, particularly when it comes to soft skills.”

Lingering effects of the Great Resignation may exacerbate the skills gap, as more than 40% of respondents said it takes more time than before to find suitable job candidates. A nearly equal percentage said they must offer higher pay and additional benefits.

Training may be one way to reduce the skills gap, and some firms reimburse employees’ tuition costs for training or partner with colleges or technical schools. The proportion of respondents who said more than 5% of their workforce used tuition assistance rose from 61% in 2021 to 69% in 2022.

Wiley’s report also suggests alternate credentials are gaining on the college degree as a way to validate job skills. While 81% of respondents believe earning a bachelor’s degree positions an individual for success, 62% place less value on whether applicants graduated from college, with most saying they would interview non-graduates who have five years of relevant work experience, certificates from colleges or universities, and digital badges or micro-credentials.

Wiley surveyed 600 US human resources professionals for the report.

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Construction recruitment firm Skillit announced a $5.1 million seed round led by Building Ventures

It’s been a big month in Big Tech with Microsoft Corp. announcing its multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, the startup behind ChatGPT. Skillit also reported a $5.1 million seed funding round, Spotify announced layoffs, and employer-of-record platform Deel reported revenue…

Microsoft

Microsoft announced the third phase of a long-term partnership with OpenAI, the San Francisco-based artificial intelligence research firm, through a multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment to accelerate AI breakthroughs. OpenAI is the startup behind ChatGPT, an AI tool that enables users to ask questions everyday language and delivers responses that appear as if humans wrote them. Some see ChatGPT has having an impact on the workforce solutions ecosystem.

Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft said: “We formed our partnership with OpenAI around a shared ambition to responsibly advance cutting-edge AI research and democratize AI as a new technology platform. In this next phase of our partnership, developers and organizations across industries will have access to the best AI infrastructure, models, and toolchain with Azure to build and run their applications.”

The agreement follows Microsoft’s previous investments in 2019 and 2021 and extends its ongoing collaboration across AI supercomputing and research. It also enables commercializing of the resulting advanced AI technologies.

Skillit

Skillit, a recruiting platform for skilled, full-time construction labor based in New York, announced a $5.1 million seed round led by Building Ventures with participation from MetaProp, Holt Ventures, Great North Ventures, 1Sharpe Ventures and Takeoff Capital.

Fraser Patterson, CEO and founder of Skillit commented: “Deskless workers make up 80% of the global workforce. In construction, they are the foundation of the built world and make the $1.6 trillion in annual construction spending happen. Yet we know almost nothing about them because there have been very few purpose-built solutions that meet the needs of skilled workers and hiring managers.”

Skillit provides contractors with vetted candidate profiles, custom matching, automated workflows and data-driven compensation and labor market insights.

Spotify

According to CNBC, Spotify announced that it is cutting 6% of its global workforce as the music streaming company contends with a gloomy economic environment that has seen consumers and advertisers limit their spending. Spotify has a workforce of around 9,800 people, meaning the layoff impacted about 600 employees.

Deel

Employer-of-record provider Deel has announced in a blog post that it had annual recurring revenue of $295 million in 2022, became EBITDA-positive and hit a valuation of $12 billion.

Deel also announced it was launching a global HR platform to enable companies to manage their entire workforce, including directly hired employees, international workers and contractors. In addition, it announced a set of HR Slack plugins and began offering an in-house payroll engine.

Earlier this month, Deel announced it acquired Capbase, a fintech firm based in San Francisco.

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Global Fintech market size is expected to reach $332.5 billion by 2028

PSR Group, a UK based recruitment specialist, announced today that it has successfully completed a strategic acquisition into the rapidly growing Fintech sector.

PCN, a fintech recruitment business with headquarters in Amsterdam, service the Fintech ecosystem including, Cybersecurity, eCommerce and SaaS sectors across the Netherlands, Germany and the US.

This investment launches PSR Group into the European market with further plans to expand across the US.

James Sanders, Managing Director of PSR Group, said: “We are delighted to have acquired PCN following a competitive process against other interested parties. Pioneers of the 4-day work week, their people-first approach has helped attract and retain a highly skilled workforce. PCN’s knowledge of the Fintech market is unrivalled, underlined by their ever-expanding and impressive client list. During the process, I spoke with numerous clients, who all highlighted the outstanding service levels supplied by PCN. The PSR business model is centred around people, focusing on personal development, wellbeing and providing support for all our staff. The businesses are very much aligned in terms of sharing similar values, this being central towards the investment. I look forward to welcoming the PCN staff into the group”.

Rogier Rouppe van der Voort, CEO of PCN said: “Venture Investment into Fintech companies in 2022 reached $81 billion, up from $20 billion in 2020. The global Fintech market size is expected to reach $332.5 billion by 2028, driven by the rapid adoption of digital services. As a recruitment agency we are in the middle of the industry and have big ambitions for PCN. We are excited to join the group and build on the wealth of knowledge already in the business. PSR’s experience of building a successful agency with over 150 employees across multiple offices and brands and being driven by a strong set of values, has given us the confidence that they are the right partners to fuel PCN’s growth ambitions”.

David Berks, Group Development Director at PSR also commented:  “The acquisition is aligned with our development strategy for the group and provides new experiences and opportunities for everyone within the business. The Senior Management team at PCN gave us great confidence in their vision of sustained growth in their current markets; this will be further fuelled by the vast experience of the contract market PSR will bring, thus offering this additional employment vehicle to clients and candidates”.

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A positive outlook for the tech industry in 2023

Tech roles are still in high demand. This is according to LinkedIn’s 2023 Jobs on the Rise list. The list highlights the 25 fastest-growing job titles over the past five years and the trends defining the future world of work. Machine Learning Engineers, Cloud Engineers, and other tech roles remain highly sought after.

With the rise of job cuts, this begs the question of whether the outlook is bleak for tech workers or does this list show that there are new opportunities for those with technical skills.

Tech learning platform O’Reilly looked at how to fill the demand and where the workforce is headed in 2023.

Laura Baldwin, President at O’Reilly, commented: “So much of the conversation over the last six months has been focussed on economic uncertainty and layoffs in the tech sector, and yet the recent Jobs on the Rise list from LinkedIn shows that there are many strong, in-demand tech and engineering roles. It’s refreshing to see the acknowledgement that the sky is not falling for tech workers. Every business is becoming a tech business in a sense, and the demand for skilled tech workers will continue to grow over the coming decade.

 “Business leaders need to be less focussed on the noise in the short-term and plan to set themselves up for long-term success. With the World Economic Forum and Korn Ferry both predicting significant shortages of skilled tech workers over the course of the next decade, leaders need to be focused on how they’ll be re-skilling or upskilling their teams to ensure they have the technology skills needed to keep their businesses competitive.”

 

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UK in top three countries to invest in

Global chief executives rank the UK as the third most important country for investment, jointly with Germany and behind only the US and China.

Despite recent political turmoil, chief executives are increasingly bullish about the UK, according to PwC’s 26th annual Global CEO Survey. Only 9% selected the UK as a market to grow revenue in 2020, compared with 18% who selected it this year.

Kevin Ellis, the Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC UK, said that strength in areas such as artificial intelligence and biotech, alongside a business-friendly environment, made the UK an increasingly attractive market.

He commented: “Chief executives don’t expand and invest on a whim — they’re choosing the UK as that’s where they expect to see returns. To keep the UK attractive, we need renewed focus on skills and regional growth, both of which will help unlock productivity.”

It reveals that UK bosses are more upbeat than their international counterparts: only 4 per cent of UK chief executives expect the economy to decline significantly, while the proportion among global chief executives is 12%. However, only 21% of UK chief executives expect the global economy to improve in the next 12 months, down from 82% last year.

Despite this, UK chief executives are upbeat about their own companies’ prospects: 48% are ‘very or extremely confident’ about prospects in the next 12 months, compared with 42% of global chief executives.

In the longer term, almost one in four UK chief executives fear their companies will not be economically viable within a decade without significant changes to their business model.

Ellis said: “Businesses have already undergone massive change this decade. But this is the tip of the iceberg — many CEOs believe their current business models are unsustainable and this means more change ahead. This isn’t about tinkering but fundamental changes requiring big investment in people, skills and technology.”

More than a quarter (26%) of UK chief executives said that they were ‘moderately or extremely exposed to the threat of climate change over the next 12 months’, compared with 39% of chief executives globally.

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The decision comes after Amazon’s recent announcement of cutting 18,000 jobs globally

Amazon has announced its plans to close three warehouses in the UK and open two new major fulfilment centres. This decision may impact 1,200 jobs, but the company says all employees will be offered roles at other existing Amazon locations. The proposed closures include warehouses in Hemel Hempstead, Doncaster and Gourock, in the west of Scotland. The new sites, which are planned to open in Peddimore in the West Midlands and Stockton-on-Tees in the North East, are expected to create 2,500 jobs over the next three years.

A spokesperson for Amazon stated that the company is always evaluating its network to ensure it meets the needs of the business and improves the experience for its employees and customers. The closure of these sites, as well as the opening of new ones, is a part of this ongoing process. They also highlighted that employees affected by the closure will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other facilities.

The union representing some of the workers at the Hemel Hempstead site expressed disappointment with the decision, and is sceptical about the possibility of finding alternative work for all affected employees. The company has acknowledged that the Gourock location has less scope for alternative work within Amazon and says they will offer retraining and reskilling opportunities to affected employees.

Steve Garelick, GMB union officer for Hemel Hempstead, commented: “Disappointed for the workers and disappointed for the town and a deep concern this is the thin end of the wedge for the local area.

“Some workers may be offered alternative roles but decamping to Luton, Dunstable or Milton Keynes isn’t as practical as you might think.”

This decision comes after Amazon’s recent announcement of cutting 18,000 jobs globally and joins other tech giants in mass redundancies. Amazon has over 1.5 million employees worldwide, with 300,000 in corporate roles that are likely to be affected by the worldwide cuts.

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New York City office opening marks a significant step in River’s international plans

After eight years of working with clients in the United States, River Partnership is proud to announce the official opening of its New York City office. Emily Mackey, who was recently appointed as River Partnership’s US Director, will lead the firm’s ongoing efforts in North America, expanding support for clients across the region.

Emily has spent the last five years advising executives on recruitment and growth strategies within the commercial areas of their businesses. In addition to Emily’s extensive executive search experience, she is a champion of diversity, equity, & inclusion initiatives both nationally and internationally.

Emily Mackey, US Director, River Partnership commented: “From my first conversations with Jamie Stokes, Managing Partner & CEO of River Partnership and Alexandra Baskerville, London Partner, I felt aligned to the vision for growth and the culture at River Partnership. I’m thrilled to be part of expanding that vision and building the same culture here in New York. The opportunity we have in North America to build on the expertise from the London team specifically across climate & sustainability, biotech, and consumer goods & retail, is massive. I look forward leveraging the knowledge from our global team to drive growth in these key areas in the US.”

River’s mission is to build brilliant teams, within their firm as well as for their clients. Following the Singapore office opening in 2019, the New York City office marks a significant step in River’s international plans and ethos of operating globally with a nuanced understanding of local markets. Emily and Alexandra Baskerville will partner to accelerate the growth of the Strategy & Transformation business in the US across the professional services & advisory sector, financial services, corporates, and the burgeoning renewables sector.

Jamie Stokes added, “We have taken our first step in New York, and we are all excited about the journey ahead!”

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Automation and cyber security roles cited as the biggest concern

According to a new study commissioned by Intertrust Group1, three-quarters (75%) of private capital funds are struggling to recruit and retain new talent with skills shortages at their most acute in areas such as automation and cyber security. Other major problem areas were said to include the widening skills gap due to changing demands (44%) and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) related challenges (41%).

There are fears among private capital fund leaders that the talent gap between vacancies and suitable candidates will only increase – 60% of private capital fund managers expect this to widen over the next five years.

The study, Introducing the Halo Framework, based on interviews with 150 senior decision-makers in private capital firms, hedge funds and private wealth managers with between US$12.5b and US$29.5b in assets under management, reveals that many fund managers are no longer insisting on specialist experience and are instead looking for people with a more generalised background who they can upskill or reskill across different function areas and rotate them as necessary.

As a result, more than 40% of respondents believe their existing training programmes will be insufficient and will therefore become a key challenge over the next five years unless they are upgraded.

Intertrust Group’s study highlights the talent gap is particularly acute in automation and cyber security, with over half (56% and 51% respectively) claiming they will need to develop workaround solutions to mitigate the skills shortfall.

The war for tech talent was cited as the biggest obstacle facing private capital firms looking to improve their data analytics and onboard next-generation technology, with almost two-thirds (64%) admitting that they struggled to recruit and retain suitably qualified staff.

Chitra Baskar, President, Fund Solutions, Intertrust Group, commented: “Most private capital firms are struggling to recruit into highly competitive technology-related roles and are increasingly seeking support from their strategic outsourcing partners to combat this. Sophisticated service providers invest a substantial amount in ongoing training and competency building within their teams and are well placed to plug in-house talent shortages.

“Our Halo Framework highlights the importance of ‘empowering your people’ as one of its core areas of focus – encouraging firms to recruit from all backgrounds, develop skills and knowledge with a tailored talent management strategy, rotate jobs so staff experience different value streams, and build a knowledge exchange system.”

A trend noted in the research is private capital firms finding it difficult to retain top talent. Firms are on a journey of business and technology transformation and to succeed, they will need people who understand next-generation technology systems, different alternative asset classes, regulations, risk management, data analytics, and mid-/back-office operational aspects. Post-COVID, developing an effective return-to-work policy and a robust hybrid working model is essential, with around 43% of the surveyed financial services firms who believe that more than a quarter of their workforce will work remotely in the future.

1 Intertrust Group’s study: Introducing the Halo Framework was conducted by Everest Group. The findings are based on interviews conducted between August 2022 and September 2022 with industry experts and a survey conducted among 150+ leaders and business heads of private capital firms, hedge funds, and private wealth managers based in EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

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Older workers are also reentering the candidate pool

According to the “2023 Workforce Planning Guide”, inflation will reshape hiring, not slow it down. This according to the report by Addison Group, a Chicago-based staffing firm.

The report reported that candidates are becoming more selective as inflation raises costs. And while there are some signs of relief at the gas pump — possibly prompting some workers to return to an office — inflation is still driving up salaries. Older workers are also re-entering the candidate pool.

It also revealed that candidates are looking for more than salaries, they are seeking a healthy work-life balance in addition to flexible schedules and increased health and wellness support, such as gym memberships and counseling.

Phil Gaddis, President of Finance and Accounting Search at Addison Group said: “Counteroffers remain at all-time highs, with candidates negotiating higher salaries, sign-on bonuses and flexible work schedules.”

The report also listed key roles in high demand — including national average pay — in administration, digital marketing, finance and accounting, nonclinical healthcare, human resources, and IT. Some included:

  • Financial planning analyst, $110,011
  • Controller, $137,908
  • Accountant, $79,823
  • Health information management director, $91,340
  • Utilization review specialist, $50,407
  • Chief diversity officer, $162,392
  • Information security manager, $115,956
  • Cloud engineer, $116,292
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Talent Solutions

Acquisition strengthens Nash Squared as a major MSP

Nash Squared, a provider of talent and technology solutions, has become a major force in Managed Service Provision with its recent acquisition of Het Flexhuis – a Managed Service Provider (MSP) of talent and recruitment services based in The Netherlands.

Het Flexhuis has a strong track record in delivering outsourced recruitment services for government, public services, and commercial organisations and will operate as an independent brand within Nash Squared’s recruitment business Harvey Nash.

Bev White, CEO of Nash Squared, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Het Flexhuis into the Nash Squared family. It is our vision to help our clients access talent and technology in every way possible, and offering a high quality MSP solution is an important next step for us. Het Flexhuis brings enormous experience and expertise with them, and I am excited by the potential.”

Occo Lijding, MD of Harvey Nash The Netherlands, commented: “This represents a step change in how we can help and support our clients in talent and technology. I have long admired the team at Het Flexhuis, and when we met I was struck by how similar our values and ambitions were. They are the perfect fit for us, and I look forward to working with them.”

Frederieke Schmidt Crans, Managing Director, Het Flexhuis commented: “We are thrilled and excited to become part of Nash Squared. Our company was established ten years ago with a mission to create a world-class MSP with great people and processes at its core. We see joining Nash Squared as the natural next chapter in that success story.”

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Search engines combine forces to accelerate Adzuna’s growth in the US

On Tuesday, 14 June, Adzuna announced their acquisition of the US job search engine Getwork.

The Getwork team, under the leadership of Brad Squibb, will be working alongside the Adzuna team, intending to accelerate Adzuna’s growth in North America.

Getwork links job seekers with vacant roles at North American companies by indexing millions of verified jobs daily directly from tens of thousands of employer career sites.

Adzuna, with headquarters in London, UK, Indianapolis, IN, and Sydney, AU, uses AI-powered technology to match people to jobs. The company has recently launched in Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, and Mexico. Their operations now cover 20 markets globally.

The two companies will operate as independent brands with their own established communities.

Doug Monro, CEO, and Co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “Adzuna acquiring Getwork will help us supercharge our growth in North America. The Getwork team’s stellar reputation for great service and delivery has led them to be trusted by an impressive roster of household name companies in the US. It’s also a great fit as their team and mission are so aligned with ours. The US enterprise market is crying out for strong alternatives to existing offerings and we’re looking forward to combining Adzuna’s marketing expertise, global footprint and programmatic job matching technology with Getwork’s deep industry knowledge and reputation to deliver even better for our customers. The US is the fastest-growing part of our business and this acquisition will accelerate our profitable growth trajectory.”

Brad Squibb, President of Getwork, comments: “Adzuna is a truly global business, operating across 20 countries, which creates an exciting opportunity for us to scale into new markets with the help of a brand that has already paved the way for international expansion. We can’t wait to join Doug and the team on this journey.”

 

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Despite efforts there is still massive room for improvement in UK management and reporting

In research released today, findings reveal a lack of focus on progressing diversity in the workplace. In the study conducted by SD Worx, it was found that while 68% of UK companies are committed to removing unconscious bias in the recruitment process, many have failed to implement a reporting system to track progress on meeting ED&I objectives.

The survey revealed that only 26% of UK companies evaluate managerial commitment to achieving ED&I-related objectives. A further 32% admitted having no systems allowing employees to report discrimination.

The UK ranked third in its commitment to removing unconscious bias at 68% when it comes to ranking. Ireland ranked first at 74%, with Belgium coming in second, at 69%.

As far as rankings for equal access to training, the UK is slightly lower than other countries, with 64% of companies investing in equal access to training and development. Ireland (72%), Belgium (71%), and Poland (69%) topped the list.

While 64% of UK companies include transparency about ED&I goals and actions to attract a diverse workforce in their mission statement and corporate values, only 60% of the UK companies surveyed said that they promote ED&I in job advertisements, social media, and their websites.

The survey also revealed that countries vary in their level of focus concerning educating and involving managers in their ED&I policies. For example, in the UK, 60% of companies stated that they actively involve their managers in ED&I policies, and 60% provide internal training on the topic.

Colette Philp, UK HR Country Lead at SD Worx commented: “It’s no longer enough for businesses to say they prioritise diversity and inclusion. Instead, they must prove their commitment to achieving a more diverse workforce, both internally within their business and externally to attract talent.”

“There is more awareness than ever before regarding diversity in the workplace and it’s a deciding factor for many when it comes to searching for a role or staying with a business. A diverse workforce brings new experiences and perspectives and an inclusive environment allows individuals to thrive. If businesses aren’t already putting ED&I as a top priority, it’s essential they act now to do so.”

Jurgen Dejonghe, Portfolio Manager SD Worx Insights, added: “It’s important that companies start investing in an active reporting system about their actions concerning diversity, equality and inclusion. On the one hand, that data offers a strong basis for optimising the diversity policy with concrete and consciously controlled actions. On the other hand, such a system also provides clear evidence whether companies are effectively putting their money where their mouth is and not making false promises to (future) employees.”

For ED&I initiatives to be successful, change needs to come from the top, with proper rollouts and reporting system to track their progress.

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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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