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The roar of the war on talent continues as employees are switching jobs at record numbers and workforces continue to shrink. Together, these events have created an environment in which business and HR leaders are having to play catch-up. Today’s labor market, regardless of business type or location, is now faced with more job openings than available workers.

These market pressures are creating never-before-seen urgency around talent.

And for now, most businesses are reacting with the one tool that they can easily access: money. While wages in general haven’t skyrocketed as much as they have in hospitality and retail, a high salary remains one solid way to entice key employees to stay and to lure employees to their organization. And once you change that, there’s no going back. Unfortunately, the money bucket is not bottomless and SMEs don’t have access to the funds to support such high increases. The current cycle in the market can only go on for so long and leaders will need to act for the future in addition to reacting in the present. Here are three things to help drive retention in your organization.

Here are three key ways to attract and retain talent in the current marker:

  1. Ensure pay equity.
  2. Increase workplace flexibility
  3. Create a high-attention culture.

In the short-term, many organizations will continue to address talent shortages by increasing wages. At some time in the not-so-far-off future, the organizational tolerance for digging into the checkbook will wane. We don’t need to wonder what to do next. We know we also need to invest in proactive, long-term solutions that keep people from even entertaining leaving. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Start with embedding the practice of check-ins into your organization. Check-ins aren’t the only thing, but they are the fastest thing when it comes to creating a culture where people feel connected and less compelled to leave.

 

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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Effective communication with candidates can improve the hiring process

Skills and worker shortages are issues businesses continue to face but establishing effective communication during the recruitment process is a sure-fire way to increase recruiting efficiency.

In the US and many other parts of the world, employers are struggling to fill vacant positions. According to statistics from the National Association of Business (NABE), nearly half of American companies are short on workers.

Experts believe that communication apps can improve the hiring experience for recruiters and applicants. Unfortunately, many companies do not use communication apps in recruiting workers.

Globally, recruiting the right workers is now a herculean task for many employers. While some companies complain of receiving few applications, others say those who apply lack the requisite skills for the job.

The Importance of Effective Communication During the Hiring Process

Industry research has revealed that candidates preferred it when recruiters employ better communication during the application process. The most common communication channels for recruiters include phone calls, emails and text chats.

TALiNT International has put together a list of reasons highlighting why communication is important during the hiring process. Make your candidate feel like they belong, and chances are they won’t renege on offers or ghost you.

Benefits of effective communication during the hiring process include:

  • Saves time for the hiring teams and the candidates
  • Brings transparency into the hiring process
  • Gives positive experience to all the candidates
  • Prevents unnecessary communication between recruiters and candidates
  • Keep recruiters informed about job openings

Following on from benefits of solid communication. TALiNT International has compiled a list of the top communication apps that will help TA teams overcome communication issues that are inherent in recruiting process.

LinkedIn Recruiter

The LinkedIn Recruiter app enables companies to find the right candidates in record time. The app has communication features that let you contact candidates and schedule interviews through LinkedIn’s Inmail.

WhatsApp Business

The WhatsApp Business app provides a secure messaging channel for businesses to recruit candidates.

TextRecruit

TextRecruit is a text messaging-based app available on iOS, Android, Desktop, and web apps. TextRecruit has changed the way people communicate about job opportunities. The app allows recruiters to attract candidates, engage with existing talent and report on all recruiters to candidate text conversations.

TextUs

TextUs is another text messaging service provider that businesses can use to engage in real-time conversation with candidates.

JobAdder

The JobAdder app has agency panel management platforms that facilitate communication between recruiters and applicants. It also has a candidate matching tools that streamline the recruitment process and track the activities of the applicants.

Workable

The workable app, which operates on iOS and Android, helps companies of all sizes to hire at scale. The app enables hiring teams to collaborate in gathering feedback, assessing applicants and deciding on the best candidates. Workable has features that let you engage in bulk communication with candidates. Hiring teams can also create a structured interview process and schedule repetitive recruiting tasks and communication with candidates. This ensures that candidates have the same recruitment experience and go through the same evaluation for consistency.

 

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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The recruitment specialist’s contractor order book is up 43% year-on-year

SThree, specialist recruitment firm reported “record performance” this week with net fees rising 19% at constant currency year-on-year to £355.7m – a reported all-time high for the business.

The London-listed firm reported “strong” global growth with 23% in Germany, 24% in the US, and 19% in the Netherlands. Those three are SThree’s largest markets and account for 74% of the group’s net fees.

Contract and permanent net fees were up 17% and 24% year-on-year, respectively, with contract net fees representing 75% of group net fees, compared to 76% in 2020, with the contractor order book up 43% year-on-year.

The group also reported a record adjusted profit before tax of £60m, up 111% year-on-year.

The board described the balance sheet as “robust”, balance sheet, with net cash totalling £58m at year-end on 30 November, up from £50m at the end of the 2020 financial year.

It proposed a final dividend of 8p per share, up from 5p a year earlier, taking the full-year dividend to 11p from 5p year-on-year.

That was in line with the company’s dividend cover target of between 2.5x and 3.0x, as previously communicated.

SThree reported that the strength of its contractor order book and recent trading was tracking ahead of expectations, with the directors now anticipating double-digit net fee and profit growth for 2022.

On the environmental, social and governance front, they said its renewables business – accounting for 6% of net fees – was up 22% from 2020, which was ahead of its target to double the share of that business from 2019 to 2024.

Timo Lehne, interim CEO of STHree commented: “Our record-breaking full-year performance reported today demonstrates that we have a robust strategy focusing on STEM and flexible working, implemented by a talented management team, and the hard work of our people globally. As the market rebounded in 2021 following the impact of COVID-19, we saw demand for STEM skills increase across all of our key markets.

“Whether it is engineers building green infrastructure, developers aiding digital transformation or the scientists helping to develop the next life-changing drug, we are proud to have placed more than 22,000 skilled people and, combined with our ESG efforts, we impacted over 33,000 lives this financial year.”

“We are well-positioned, we demonstrated our ability to navigate through unforeseen challenges, such as COVID-19, and we continue to evolve our delivery model.”

The CEO said it would further invest in its infrastructure and people in 2022, to enhance its platform and drive accelerated margins in future years.

 

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Over-specialization adding to skills shortage
Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent in technology continues to be a challenge as we enter the new year.  The resultant trends post pandemic that have enabled the necessity of a wide-spread workforce have become a Pandora’s Boz that will likely stay open forever.

Recruiting top professionals in technology is one area that has long been in flux. According to Ryan Kellner, Head of Data Science for Hudson Gate Partners, adjusting to talent needs in the sector should be nothing new.  He believes that, like in each year, there are some very specific trends that have come to light as well as some challenges that continue to be seen.  Mr Keller said, in reading the tea leaves of the technology world, that one thing is certain, and the recruitment industry must pay heed, and that is: many people are never returning to the office full time again.

“Growing up in Indianapolis in the 80s and 90s, all the tech firms were downtown, and everyone lived in the suburbs and made the commute back and forth every day,” said Mr Kellner. “Then some companies got wise and said, ‘We can get better talent by building our headquarters in the suburbs because we will get the talent that doesn’t want the long commute!’ They were right. All the good developers flocked to solid companies that were a five- to 10-minute drive from where they lived. They could get their kids out to the bus, participate in after-school programs, and everyone’s work/life balance got a bit easier.”

This same thinking is where we are at now post-COVID, he said. “The factor that seemingly dictates my response rate to recruiting calls and emails the most these days is not the company, it’s not the salary, it’s not the perks. It is whether the job is fully remote or not,” he said.

What you’re up against 

According to Mr Kellner, the job market is so hot these days for good people in tech that candidates seem to be looking for reasons not to continue with the interview process. “I was recently working with a strong developer with an MS in computer science and five years in financial software development who was interviewing with some of my clients,” he said. “I asked him where else he was actively interviewing and he listed every FANG company, Tesla, Robinhood, etc. If you want to hire some good developers in 2022, this is what you’re up against.”

To hire top talent, employers need a plan on how they are going to make that person pick their company over the current batch of trendy tech companies. “If you aren’t selling why your company is great in the first interview, it’s not happening,” said Mr Kellner.

Once again, this highlights the importance of the employer brand and is a trend to watch in 2022.

Double-edged sword for recruiting

Mr Kellner reported another noticeable trend of the last two years and that is those with traditional software engineering backgrounds increasingly wanting to specialize into fields like data science, machine learning, AI, blockchain etc. Keller believes that this variety of specialization options is a double-edged sword for recruiting because while it’s creating a great number of hyper-specialized individuals, it’s also draining the core demographic of pure software developers.

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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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Will this emotive move backfire and result in an increase of absences?

This week, IKEA’s decision to cut pay for unvaccinated staff who have to self-isolate because of COVID-19 exposure, and in some cases for those who contract the virus as well, will come into force. The move comes as firms struggle with mass staff absences and rising related costs due to the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Sick pay cuts will be implemented at Wessex Water.

But is the move about mitigating staff shortages? Or is it discrimination against the unvaccinated?

Employment lawyer Sarah Ozanne, of CMS, believes it is about tackling staff shortages: “This action [by IKEA] seems more of a reaction to staff shortages and how to manage them than any intended ‘discrimination’ of the unvaccinated,” she said. However, she also warned of complex legal issues and said striking the right balance is difficult.

She made further comment: “…employers should consider whether their actions are proportionate as a means of achieving the aim of getting employees back into work.”

According to news reports, unvaccinated workers at IKEA, who do not have mitigating circumstances, who test positive will be paid in line with company sick pay. Unvaccinated workers, without mitigating circumstances and required to isolate after being identified as a close contact, could now receive as little as £96.35 a week which is the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) minimum. With average weekly wages at IKEA between about £400 and £450 (location dependent), staff get enhanced sick pay. This massive gap in weekly pay could lead to staff not reporting a close contact and attending work, therefore exacerbating the staff shortage issues by potentially transmitting the virus anyway.

In a statement defining ‘mitigating circumstances’, the retail giant that employs about 10,000 people in the UK said: “Fully vaccinated co-workers or those that are unvaccinated owing to mitigating circumstances which, for example, could include pregnancy or other medical grounds, will receive full pay. Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances that test positive with COVID-19 will be paid full company sick pay in line with our company absence policy. Unvaccinated co-workers without mitigating circumstances who have been identified as close contacts of a positive case will be paid Statutory Sick Pay.”

TALiNT International reached out to Olivia Sinfield, a partner at Osborne Clark LLP for comment. She said: “Cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff required to isolate due to ‘close contact’ is being considered as potentially a more viable measure to address the issue of staff absences than issuing of vaccination mandates in the UK.  Vaccination mandates remain, in the UK, largely a legal no go zone except in outlier cases involving health and caring professions.  If anything, the mandating of vaccinations is trickier to justify now on health and safety grounds since the Omicron variant swept the nation over the festive period infecting and being transmitted by the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike.”

“When considering cutting sick pay for unvaccinated employees who are self-isolating, employers need to look carefully at what’s in black and white in terms of any contractual sick pay scheme and how this has been operated in the past. Where there is a genuine built-in discretion which has been relied upon in the past then arguments of breach of contract and – worst case scenario, resignations and constructive unfair dismissal claims may be avoided (provided a decent process is followed in rolling out the new rules). In contrast, where sick pay has been paid out historically without much thought around the ‘why’s’ and the ‘for whom’ then hands may be tied, and legal claims follow any attempts now to fetter circumstances where sick pay is paid.”

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App has placed 100,000 workers in nine months

Jobandtalent, a workforce marketplace that matches workers with temporary roles, has announced that it secured $500 million in equity investment from Kinnevik and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 to facilitate its expansion into the US. The move will significantly increase the size of its tech and sales teams over the next 24 months.

Jobandtalent’s app matches workers with temporary roles at companies in a range of sectors including logistics, e-commerce, warehousing, and manufacturing. As the marketplace grows, the AI learns and makes even more precise matches which means even more workers finding and staying in jobs and reducing a company’s attrition rate.

More than 1,300 companies, including DHL, FedEx, XPO, Ceva Logistics, eBay, IKEA, Kuehne & Nagel, JD Sports, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Argos and GLS make use of the Jobandtalent.

Juan Urdiales, co-founder and CEO of Jobandtalent commented: “With temporary working increasingly becoming the norm, the opportunity to help workers find reliable, consistent jobs is growing by the day. The Jobandtalent platform has found the right roles at the right companies for more than 100,000 workers in the first nine months of 2021 alone, providing them with the benefits and security of full-time employment. We are excited to accelerate the expansion of our team and grow our presence in both new and existing markets – helping more workers find the jobs they want, and helping businesses fill the roles they need.”

Natalie Tydeman, Senior Investment Director at Kinnevik, said: “Jobandtalent’s workforce-as-a-service platform is disrupting the modern labour market and placing people back at the centre of employment. By offering a personalised service driven by data and proprietary technology, Jobandtalent is simplifying the experience of finding work for thousands of people and transforming it for the better. We’re proud to be working with Juan and the team to accelerate the growth of the business.”

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5.2% of Hispanics remain unemployed based on November stats

According to a recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment rose by 210,000 in November as the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.2%. This is well below the half-million gain that had been expected. The number of unemployed persons fell by 542,000 to 6.9 million and the market saw a marked increase in jobs in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, construction, and manufacturing while employment in the retail sector declined. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (4%), adult women (4%), whites (3.7%), blacks (6.7%), and hispanics (5.2%) declined in November.

Karen Fichuk, CEO of Randstaf North America and Randstad N.V. executive board member commented: “We’re continuing to see a surge in job postings, record low unemployment rates and historically high levels of workers changing jobs and careers. Together these trends are creating new opportunities for workers, as smart employers cater to workers who have come to expect a better work-life balance, higher salaries, and more flexibility. At the same time, the rise of the Omicron variant will renew employee concerns about health and safety measures and threaten to pump the brakes on the current acceleration of the job market.”

Detailed outlook on where jobs grew in November:

• Professional and business services added 90,000 jobs.

• Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 50,000 and is 210,000 above its February 2020 level.

• Construction employment rose by 31,000 jobs.

• Manufacturing added 31,000 jobs.

• Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in November (+13,000) and is 30,000 above its February 2020 level.

• Employment in the retail sector declined by 20,000 with job losses in general merchandise stores (-20,000); clothing and clothing accessories stores (-18,000); and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-9,000).

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Burnout continues to fuel the retention crisis

According to its latest study, McKinsey & Company has reported that more than 15 million US workers have quit their jobs since April 2021 with 40% of employees saying that they’re likely to quit in the next three to six months. This, because of burnout, the study revealed.

According to McKinsey, the pandemic has led to employee retention struggles that require serious reconsideration of how employers address mental well-being and they’re calling it the “Great Attrition”.

The largest-of-its-kind study released recently by leadership consulting firm DDI surveyed more than 15,000 employees and 2,000 HR professionals across 24 industries. The study found that nearly 60% of leaders reported feeling used up at the end of the workday.

Burnout has long been a concern for employers, and “leaders who are feeling burnout are now nearly four times more likely to leave their positions within the next year,” according to DDI. The length of the pandemic and the sustained effort required to keep companies afloat through uncertain times (and virtually) have increased exhaustion and stress. Meanwhile, the lines of work/life balance have blurred, families are facing increased financial anxiety, and the pandemic has put a strain on marriages and parents.

Staff need more support, but what does the ideal support system look like? 

In today’s mental wellbeing landscape, support typically starts with professional care but this model of care is problematic because according to Benefit News, in the US, those needing mental health support have to wait an average of 19 days to been seen and only “if one of the 12% of therapists accepting new patients are in the person’s network”. Stigma and fear of repercussions also play a role; 40% of first responders, for example, say they don’t seek help from workplace services because they are afraid of getting fired.

Employers can be the leaders in making proactive mental health care accessible to Americans by doing the following:

  1. Implement meditation spaces and courses in the workplace is one solution. Sixty percentof employees experiencing anxiety in the workplace show marked improvement upon practicing meditation. Many workplaces are already introducing corporate mindfulness classes to their benefits, with stunning results.
  2. Champion overall health. Because stress has also been associated with poor eating behaviors and diet quality (both causing it and being caused by it), nutrition and exercise are key. It’s not reasonable to expect an employee working a nine-hour workday to have time to go to the gym after work, make a healthy dinner from scratch, and also spend time with his or her family without feeling burned out. If workplaces offered healthy meal options at work, and even nutrition courses, it could make a world of difference; it’s also important to create a culture that encourages physical activity during

The arrival of the pandemic brought with it isolation and real human connection is at the lowest point in history. Many family members live in different states or countries, and according to NPR, more than 60% of Americans say they are lonely.

McKinsey’s study revealed that this increase in loneliness has impacted people’s personal and professional lives and made workers more susceptible to burnout. This is especially true for non-White employees, who are “more likely than their White counterparts to say they had left because they didn’t feel they belonged at their companies.”

The bottom line

Workplaces can address the fundamental need for connection by acknowledging the connection between loneliness and burnout; rethinking workplace environments to allow for more socialization and communal working; creating peer-to-peer mentorship programs; introducing ways for employees to volunteer together for a company-backed social cause; or using a platform like Listeners On Call that enables employees to talk to trained listeners with a shared life experience anonymously and confidentially. Also, the platform has the ability to meet employees where they are today on their own personal journey of wellness.

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US truck drivers offered $100k plus bonus

Research conducted by Smart Recruit Online has revealed that teaching assistant is the most searched for job in the UK, with more than 273,000 Google searches completed in the last 12 months. This search spiked in May 2021, likely as this is the last month you can register before the summer.

The top five jobs searched for across the UK include gig economy roles such as cleaner and driver jobs. The UK has seen a significant candidate shortage in these lower-skilled roles which has led to salary inflations and a more competitive and incentivised market. Coupled with the 2020 nationwide furlough scheme which left many out of work, these jobs may have very well seemed like the “easiest” to branch into with little training.

Medical roles such as counsellor and nursing also feature within the top ten, proving that even after the difficulties these professions have encountered during the pandemic, there is still a human interest in these healthcare roles with more than 78,000 Brits searching for each of these jobs in the last year across the UK.

Looking at the different regions of the UK, teaching assistant was the most popular job searched for in England, while in Scotland and Northern Ireland, driver jobs were the most in demand. The research revealed that there were 12,000 searches for driver jobs in Scotland, and just over 3,000 in Northern Ireland. In Wales, moulder jobs were the most searched for, with 10,350 searches in the last year.

A global view

With recent reports suggesting an extreme driver shortage the world over it’s no surprise that ‘driver jobs’ is the top job searched globally with over 1.2 million searches. In the UK, HGV drivers could earn up to £3,400 per month, while in the USA, one company was reported as offering a whopping $100,000 plus bonuses to potential drivers! The top country searching for driving jobs was South Africa, where a driver shortage can be linked to early retirements and lockdown restrictions making it more difficult to be licensed. Searches for driver jobs hit 128,500 in South Africa in the past year.

Engineering jobs make up the top three globally, with both mechanical and engineering jobs seeing close to a million searches per year, with other highly skilled careers such as graphic designer and accountant rounding out the top five with more than 800,000 searches for each. Canadians are searching for accounting jobs the most (54,201 searches), while it’s India that searches for engineering jobs (567,200) the most.

Translator jobs were the most commonly searched for globally, by no less than 33 countries. This job is searched for the most in Central and South America, with 4,400 Brazillians searching for these roles the most in the last year. Second to Brazil is Mexico, where the job was searched for 3,990 times, while both Argentina (1,680) and Chile (600) featured in the top ten searches for this job.

While translator jobs were searched by most countries, it is driver jobs that were searched the most, with more than 336,880 searches from 21 countries.

Back on the continent

In Europe, the UK searched the most for teaching assistants – 273,700 times – and interestingly the UK was the only nation to search for that job title. The second highest search volume was in Switzerland, where chauffeur job searches topped 43,200 and Greece took up the third highest searches for lawyer jobs (28,800).

 

 

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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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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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