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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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The expansion builds on rapid success across Europe, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific

Enterprise-level talent assessment HR tech business, Sova Assessment, has announced the launch of the business in the US.

Headquartered in London, with international offices in Dubai and Melbourne and a global network of strategic partners, Sova is an end-to-end talent assessment SaaS platform that is aimed at enabling enterprises to make work better for their people.

Sova offers solutions that are as agile and unique as the organisation they partner with and the HR technology combines scientifically strong assessment tools, workflow management and predictive analytics in one fully integrated platform, helping organisations make fast, fair, and data-driven decisions throughout the employee journey.

Sova’s expansion in the US is being led by two industry-leading talent assessment experts. Dr. Charles Handler, internationally renowned industrial psychologist and CEO and founder of Rocket-Hire, will spearhead the US team as President. Based on his 20-year long career working with globally renowned brands like Nike, Fidelity Investments and Delta Airlines to develop effective, legally defensible employee selection systems, Handler has extensive expertise in technology-based assessments and selection science that will drive forward the vision of the business for the US market and beyond.

Dr. Charles Handler, President, Sova Assessment US commented: “Having spent over 20 years in the sector and critically evaluated over 300 firms, it’s clear there’s a tension between the old and the new when it comes to talent assessment. I believe that a more integrated approach that values both science and technology equally – and is truly effective at managing bias – is where the future lies. Sova and I share a passion and commitment to deliver talent solutions for organisations in the US that make no compromise on speed and rigour, to address the needs of a challenging labour market.”

Handler will be joined by Doug Wolf who will assume the role of Managing Director at Sova Assessment US. With a proven track record of leading and growing organisations in the HR technology and assessment space, including Select International, he combines deep industry knowledge and commercial expertise to establish and grow Sova in the US.

Alan Bourne, CEO and founder Sova Assessment also commented: “Sova’s entry into the US marks a significant milestone in our development. Having worked with organisations all over the world, we know first-hand the challenges they face in relation to talent and the need for a more strategic and data-driven approach. I am excited about growing our presence in the US led by renowned industry pioneers in Charles, Doug, and the team, delivering world-class talent solutions for our enterprise customers.”

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75% of employees feel salaries should increase in line with inflation

A recent study by Insight Global, a staffing firm, has revealed that 66% of American workers are concerned they will need to look for a higher paying job in order to keep up with inflation.

The survey took place in March and included 1,005 US workers who are employed full time.

The rise of inflation is also prompting some workers to ask their bosses for flexibility to work from home to save on fuel costs. The survey found that 26% of workers who said they are seriously considering looking for a new job also plan to ask that they be allowed to work from home with 24% of those already working remotely planning to continue doing so most or all of the time until gas prices go down.

Overall, 75% of workers believe employers should increase pay during economic inflation.

Bert Bean, CEO at Insight Global commented: “Leaders need to get ahead of this curve before they see some of their greatest talent leave to explore other career opportunities. The simplest way to ensure your employees are content in their current roles is to ask them. Find out what they need — is it a raise, the ability to work from home or are they feeling disconnected?”

Other findings in the survey included:

  • 56% of American workers feel there are many job openings, but few job opportunities offering pay that can keep up with the rising cost of living.
  • 61% of workers who say they are seriously considering looking for a new job feel there are many job openings, but few job opportunities offering pay that can keep up with the rising cost of living.

Flexible working remains key in navigating the skills shortage crisis as employees will continue to look for roles that offer flexible and support during turbulent economic times.

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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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The Social Media Recruiting Guide

According to talent attraction experts at Adway, they’ve cracked the code to simpler, smarter recruiting that gets you way more candidates and it’s a lot simpler than you think. In a talent-scarce market, isn’t that what recruiters are looking for?

It’s all about automated social recruitment marketing.

As the number of job vacancies in the U.K. continue to reach record highs each month (1.3 million) there’s never been a better time to test out recruitment strategies that truly work. 

Well-executed social media recruiting allows modern recruiters to dive into a talent pool of 4.6 billion+ candidates who are active users on social media. It elevates their employer brand so they can stand out against their competitors, it allows them to tell the story of what it’s like to work at their company! Recruiters can now reach their dream talent on any device.

Automated social recruiting marketing creates a candidate experience that draws from best-in-class e-commerce advertising tactics — with highly-intelligent, targeted ad campaigns that compel candidates to explore the employer’s potential, review job listings and apply on the spot.

Adway’s Ultimate Guide to Social Media Recruiting is a must-read tool for busy TA professionals who want to spend less time hunting for candidates and more time meeting them.

Get the tips and tricks to:

  • Pinpoint where you are in the social media recruiting process
  • Determine the right metrics to track your strategic success
  • Measure your efforts so you can reach your goals faster

If you’re ready to benefit from one of TA’s best-kept secrets — and you need actionable steps to get started — download the Ultimate Guide to Social Media Recruiting today.

https://lp.adway.ai/guide-social-media-recruiting-campaign

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RocketPower’s reported revenue stands at $28 million

Kelly® has announced its acquisition of RocketPower, a provider of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and other outsourced talent solutions. RocketPower’s customers include rapidly scaling U.S. tech companies that are known for disrupting industries and changing the world. With headquarters in Silicon Valley, California, RocketPower will continue to operate under its own brand with its current leadership team and staff as part of KellyOCG, the outsourcing and consulting business of Kelly. Terms of the acquisition have not disclosed at the time of going to press.

RocketPower reported revenue of $28 million with year-over-year growth despite the pandemic. Its growth reflects the increased demand for leading RPO providers to help organizations augment and rebuild their talent acquisition capabilities and full-time workforce as they navigate the rapidly changing talent acquisition landscape.

Tammy Browning, president of KellyOCG commented: “The pandemic coupled with fluctuating talent acquisition trends are driving tremendous growth in the RPO market now more than ever. This acquisition significantly expands KellyOCG’s RPO solution and delivery offering across the globe and enhances our specialty RPO strategy and expertise and provides us with another entry point into the high-tech industry. We’re thrilled about the possibilities that will come from this partnership with RocketPower and elevating our position to become one of the top RPO providers in the market.”

Mathew Caldwell, founder and chief executive officer of RocketPower also made comment: “RocketPower is excited to join the Kelly team and take the next step to build upon our solid foundation for growth. Together, RocketPower and Kelly will be a force to reckon with in the RPO market. Kelly’s long-standing commitment to leadership in the RPO industry, its aggressive growth strategy, ongoing tech investments, and its deep expertise – combined with RocketPower’s unique delivery model and strong talent acquisition experience – will empower our collective team to unlock tremendous growth opportunities and continue delivering considerable value to our clients and to our team.”

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64% of employees will resign if forced to return to in-person work full time  

According to a recent study called “Adapt to work everywhere” by Topia, a global talent mobility company, has found that office workers overwhelmingly demand flexible work arrangements and will change jobs to get them. In the last year, remote work has evolved from a semi-temporary COVID-19 safety measure to a new normal and an expectation. While most HR professionals recognise the benefits of remote work, the data suggests that tax and immigration compliance remain a greater risk than they realise.

The Adapt study, the third annual one, aims to explore attitudes to remote work, what drives an exceptional candidate experience and how valuable mobility is.  Conducted by CITE Research on behalf of Topia, the study surveyed 1,481 full-time office workers between 22 December 2021 and 11 January 2022. All participants were employed by international firms, were evenly split between the US and the UK and included 299 HR professionals.

Its focus was on “flexible work arrangements,” with the term encompassing any work performed outside the traditional office environment. This included remote work from home, across state and country borders, and on business or leisure trips.

The key findings of 2022 Adapt study include the following:

  1. Failure to allow flexible work arrangements is driving the Great Resignation

Twenty-nine percent of respondents changed jobs in 2021, and 34% are planning to resign in 2022. Lack of flexibility is a major factor, and many employees are disappointed with their organization’s remote work policies.

  • 41% of employees say flexibility to work from home is or was a reason to change jobs. 35% also cited more flexibility to work remotely as a reason to find a new employer.
  • 64% of those forced to return to the office full-time say this makes them more likely to look for a new job.
  • Although 82% of employers have a remote work policy, 48% of employees feel that mobility policies are in place just to make remote work applications easier to reject.
  1. When choosing an employer, flexibility is a top priority

There is little interest in returning to the office full-time in both the UK and the US. Public health, originally the impetus for remote work, is no longer relevant. The freedom, technology, and autonomy to work from anywhere is central to the ideal employee experience.

  • Asked what they look for in a new employer, respondents rank flexible work arrangements as the third most important attribute—after high pay and a focus on employee wellbeing.
  • 96% of employees feel that flexibility in working arrangements is important when seeking a new job.
  • 56% of respondents say the flexibility to work in whatever location they want defines an “exceptional employee experience.”
  1. For most organizations, flexible work remains an unsolved compliance challenge

In 2021, 60% of HR professionals were confident they knew where most of their employees were located. That number fell to 46% in 2022. HR still has a blind spot in determining where employees are working and for how long. The resulting tax and immigration compliance risks are significant.

  • 40% of HR professionals discovered employees working from outside their home state or country.
  • 66% of employees admit to not reporting all the days they work outside their home state or country.
  • Nevertheless, 90% of HR professionals are confident that employees will self-report such days.

Steve Black, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Topia commented: “It’s clear that remote work is here to stay, and our Adapt study suggests that if companies say no to flexible work arrangements, they will lose talented people and struggle to replace them. To provide an exceptional employee experience, organisations need technology that welcomes employees to explore, request and pursue remote work opportunities. The back-end compliance needs to be automated and accommodating of employees who change locations frequently.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Talent Solutions

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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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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