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Karoli Hindriks, founder and CEO of Jobbatical

Working abroad has always been a popular choice for many people around the world, and as part of their New Year resolutions, many individuals will be thinking about leaving everything behind and embarking on to new pastures. But what exactly would make people want to leave home and work abroad? There are many significant motivations for doing so; from working in a niche market that only specific countries can accommodate, to simply pursuing a fresh start, or exploring opportunities with the best talent in a given field.

Having already helped job seekers relocate to organisations from across Europe, Asia Pacific and the Americas, Jobbatical shares list of top 10 countries from around the world that are making the greatest efforts to improve the lives of their inhabitants. The list of countries provided below have become desirable places to live for those looking to bring a positive impact into their lives, the economy and future in the next decade.

1. Portugal

Since unveiling a €200 million fund for start-ups and foreign companies that relocate to the country, Portugal has quickly become one of the most vibrant start-up ecosystems in Europe. The Portuguese government has also recently announced a ‘start-up visa’ to attract entrepreneurs from outside the EU, encouraging them to relocate to Portugal with the promise of a resident visa.

2. Estonia

Thanks to the ease of immigration for foreign specialists, Estonia has become one of the best countries to relocate to for skilled workers. In fact, for workers looking to join start-ups and who are relocating from countries that do not require a visa, a work permit can be granted within 24 hours of digitally signing a contract with an Estonian company. This is testament to Estonia’s commitment to attracting the best talent and its booming tech scene, as the country now boasts an estimated 350 start-ups, making high-tech industries account for 15% of Estonia’s Total GDP.

3. Denmark

Consistently rated as one of the happiest countries in the world, Denmark has made it easy for foreign specialists to join a skilled – and cheerful – workforce. Certified employers can actually secure a four-year visa for new hires within the space of two weeks using a fast track system, leapfrogging the normal processing time of two months.

4. Finland

The Finnish government allows specialist employees from visa-free countries to work in Finland for up to three months without the need of a residential permit, even providing a streamlined process for residence applications for those looking to stay for longer. In fact, the government has set up Come2Fi, an organisation that helps people through the process of relocating to the country. A recent survey by Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce highlighted that 59% of companies surveyed, have hired multicultural employees in the past, which is a great example of the country’s open and inclusive culture.

5. Malaysia

Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, has been listed as the second best location for Internet start-ups, thanks to its multiracial and multicultural diversity. The immigration process for foreign specialist employees is fairly straightforward and generally takes two to four weeks to issue an employment visa.

6. Sweden

With a population of 10 million and GDP of $511 billion, Sweden is a high-tax, high-spend country that encourages its companies to give generous benefits and vacation time to employees. Similar to other countries on this list, Sweden has a fast track visa process that grants work permits quickly, allowing prospective employees to receive a visa in one month, instead of the usual six to twelve.

7. Singapore

Due to a strong technology ecosystem, excellent healthcare quality and high investment, it’s no surprise that Singapore was named the best start-up city in 2017 by Nestpick. While many South-Asian countries struggle to recruit engineers, Singapore continues to attract a cohort of young and proficient software developers.

8. Colombia

The Colombian government plans on giving out some $12 million to entrepreneurs across Colombia, in order to support them in setting up their own businesses. With the right investment, regulation and – of course – talent, the country could find itself in pole position to become Latin America’s first technology powerhouse.

9. Germany

Over the years Berlin has been consistently rated as one of the best start-up hubs in the world. Now, the city’s traditional rival has started to close the gap, with Munich joining the German capital in the top 11 European start-up cities according to the European Digital City index. Fortunately for both, the immigration process is simple and inexpensive, although a university degree is a requirement in order to work in Germany.

10. Japan

The combination of serene nature, rich cultural heritage and cutting-edge technology makes Japan an exciting destination to start a new chapter. For those looking to relocate to the island nation, the immigration process to move over to Japan is surprisingly simple. After an employer has submitted a work permit application, the approval process only takes 2-4 weeks. Once completed, employees can apply for a residential visa at the nearest Japanese embassy – which generally takes a further three business days to be issued.

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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Lucy Tarrant, managing director & solicitor of Cognitive Law

Pretty much every recruitment company I act for encourages its consultants to use social media to promote their business. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn; consultants seek out and make new contacts and connections as a fundamental part of their business activity on a daily basis. LinkedIn has even developed its Recruiter tool to capitalise on the way consultants now do business.

But what about if your consultant leaves? What happens post employment to all those LinkedIn contacts? Who owns what and what you can do to protect what you own?

When an employee leaves your company, LinkedIn could be a huge potential threat to you as your ex-employee can notify all their contacts at the same time of their new position, just by updating their profile. It would simply appear on their contacts’ LinkedIn news feed. There is no better or more immediate way for an ex-employee to simultaneously notify all their contacts of their new role, which could well be in direct competition with you.

Before the world of social media and networking sites such as LinkedIn existed, the position regarding ownership of a company’s contacts and databases was fairly straightforward. On the whole materials created during the course of employment were of a confidential nature and deemed to be the employer’s proprietary information. However, when it comes to contacts made via social media the position has not been so clear cut.

As with other social medial services, when an individual opens a LinkedIn account it requires them to enter into a contract with LinkedIn agreeing not to transfer ownership to any other person and to keep the password confidential. Your employee will therefore own the LinkedIn account and is not permitted to give ownership to you as their employer. The question is not therefore who owns the account, that’s clear – it’s your employee, but who owns the contacts. Are the contacts obtained during employment classed as confidential information owned by the employer? Or are they owned by the employee because it’s their account?

The first case in the UK to bring to the fore the risk of appropriation of company confidential information via online networking sites was Hays Specialist Recruitment (Holdings) Ltd and Ions [2008].

Ions was employed by Hays from 2001 to 2007, when he left to set up his own rival agency. He was suspected of using confidential information concerning clients and contacts copied during his employment from the social networking site, LinkedIn and breaching restrictive covenants in his contact of employment. Hays inspected Ions’ email account once he had left and found evidence that he had invited two of Hays’ clients to join his LinkedIn network and they had well-founded suspicions that there were more.

Hays sought an order from the High Court for pre-action disclosure of Ions’ entire database of, and communications with, business contacts made whilst employed by Hays. They claimed that this information was confidential. In response, and in relation to contacts he had made on LinkedIn, Ions argued that once the contact had accepted his invitation on LinkedIn it ceased to be confidential. The Court rejected this argument and ordered Ions to disclose all his LinkedIn business contacts as requested by Hays, plus all emails sent or received through his LinkedIn account from Hay’s computer network. The view taken by the Court was that even if the contacts were uploaded with the consent of Hays, such authorisation was likely to be limited for the purposes of employment.

In this case the law made a clear distinction between ownership of an account such as LinkedIn and ownership of the information within the account, the latter of which was retained by Hays.

Another similar and more recent case, albeit outside of recruitment, is Whitmar Publications Ltd v Gamage, Wright, Crawley and Earth Island Publishing Ltd [2013]. This looks not just at contacts made on LinkedIn but at Groups too.

The Defendants Gamage, Wright and Crawley left Whitmar Publications to pursue their own business – Earth Island Publishing Limited. In its case against them, Whitmar alleged that the individual Defendants had taken steps to compete against the company while still employed by it. Whitmar alleged that they had misused Whitmar’s confidential information, its database rights and breached their terms of employment. Within that confidential information fell LinkedIn Groups which had been managed by one or more of the individual Defendants.

In relation to the LinkedIn Groups, Whitmar claimed that whilst they had been managed by Wright on behalf of Whitmar during her employment, the Defendants had used the Groups for the benefit of their competing business (Earth Island) while still employed by Whitmar. Whitmar sought an order from the High Court for an interim injunction to prevent the Defendants from using, exploiting or divulging to any third party any of the information contained in these LinkedIn Groups.

The Court agreed that Whitmar had a strong case that the individual Defendants had been actively competing against Whitmar while still employed by it, in breach of the terms of their employment.  Further, the Court rejected Wright’s claim that the LinkedIn Groups were personal to her and merely a hobby. Wright was responsible for dealing with the LinkedIn Groups as part of her employment duties at Whitmar. The groups were operated for Whitmar’s benefit and promoted its business, as evidenced by the fact that Wright had used Whitmar’s computers to carry out her work on the LinkedIn Groups. The Court also agreed that information contained within the LinkedIn Groups appeared to have been used as the source of the email addresses used to publicize an Earth Island launch event.

Ultimately, the court granted an order requiring the Defendants to facilitate the exclusive access, management and control of the LinkedIn Groups to Whitmar. It ordered the Defendants not to access or do anything that would prevent Whitmar from accessing the Groups. The order prevented the Defendants from using, exploiting or divulging to any third party any of the information contained in the Groups. So we can see that the contents of Groups created by employees on LinkedIn during employment also amount to confidential information belonging to the employer.

The cases above demonstrate that as different online networks become more and more important to certain businesses, employers should make it clear to employees which LinkedIn and other social network resources, blogs and online forums are operated by the employees solely in the course of their employment; and to what extent the information in such accounts belongs to the employer, in contrast to what remains personally owned by the employee.

So what can you do to prevent your recruitment company from suffering like Hays or Whitmar? We have established that the law states that private contact information gained during the course of employment can constitute confidential information belonging to the employer, as opposed to general contact details available from the public domain cannot.

The best form of protection for an employer is to have clear provisions in its employment contracts and a Social Media Policy. Recruitment companies need to make it clear how their consultants should use such online tools in the course of their employment and implement clear policies that set out precisely what data they retain as their own property and confidential information.

Other provisions in the consultants’ employment contracts and the company’s Social Media Policy should include that all new LinkedIn contacts’ details will be uploaded to the company’s client database, that contacts made during the course of employment constitute Confidential Information belonging to the company, that the consultant must delete all LinkedIn contacts made as a result of their duties when they leave the company and that LinkedIn contacts cannot be used for the purpose of competing with the company. Those provisions can be reinforced in Job Descriptions that also state that an employee is to establish LinkedIn connections for the employer’s benefit.

Obviously none of this is fool proof and the cynics amongst you will recognise that even if all the provisions in the world are artfully crafted into employment contracts and handbooks there will always be a consultant who will flout them and run off with that data. That can’t be stopped. Unfortunately that will always be within human nature. What you can do though is make it a lot harder for the errant consultant to do that and a lot easier for you to stop them.

Cognitive Law’s solicitors fully utilise their wealth of experience gained working within the recruitment industry, and are well placed to assist if you think your Social Media Policy or Confidential Information provisions in your employment contracts require shoring up.

Cognitive Law T 0333 400 4499  lucy.tarrant@cognitivelaw.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

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By James Caan

Taking a job spec is a fundamental part of the recruitment process and in my view most placements that fall at the last hurdle do so because of the information, or lack of, that you received at this stage.

In this piece I’ll explain what techniques to use to identify a job opportunity and also how to qualify the brief too. If you ask the right questions, in a friendly and efficient manner, you will set yourself up for success.

One technique I’ve often found useful over the years is to compose a list of excellent candidates for your field of expertise and use them as a hook to open a conversation with a potential new client. For example, when a new client answers the phone, open with a friendly line and introduce yourself. Explain why you’re calling and outline the skillset of your ‘top grade’ candidates and explain that they are looking for opportunities with a business such as theirs. Then ask if they have any vacancies at present for candidates at that level. If they do not you can still make good use of the conversation by asking what levels they are looking for at the moment.

To be a successful recruiter, you must use each conversation as a means of expanding your network, and even if the client is too busy for you to take a proper brief then, ensure you arrange a time to call them back and spend at least 20 minutes so that you can understand as much as possible about the opportunity.

A client who will not take the time to discuss the brief properly with you might also not be worth the time you’ll invest in searching for the right candidate for them because you won’t have enough information to fulfill the brief and meet their expectations for the role. Transparency is key during this stage in the process.

Once they’ve agreed to give you the briefing slot you need to take all the details, you can then take the brief in detail.

Key things you’ll need to learn from this conversation include:

  1. Job Title
  2. Package: salary bracket and staff benefits
  3. Determine if the package meets current market trends and candidate expectations
  4. Check if the budget has been signed off for the role and whether they will consider more senior or junior candidates
  5. Ask what recent event led to position being open and if this is a new role then it’s an even more exciting opportunity for a candidate to consider

There are some more detailed questions you can cover too which will help find the right cultural fit for the organisation:

  1. Top five companies they would like to hire from
  2. Where have the last 3 hires come from and also ask why they were successful
  3. Working environment
  4. Team structure
  5. Chain of command
  6. Where does the new hire fit in?
  7. Is it a fast-paced role?
  8. What will they use to measure success?
  9. How many people work for the organisation?
  10. Information on the team:
  11. Size of department
  12. Mix of experience in the team
  13. Team dynamics
  14. The client’s ideal personality profile

The key thing here is to establish the key requirements for the role and this is the most important question you will ask when taking the job spec.

Don’t forget to ask if anyone else is involved in the hiring process. I’ve often gone through the entire process and then there is a final hurdle of an additional decision maker who I have had no contact with throughout the process who needs the same level of detail and time to ensure they feel happy with the decision to hire my candidate. This can cause delays and end up with them losing the candidate to another employer. Therefore it’s worthwhile ensuring you know who all the key players are from the beginning.

When you have all the information outlined above you can begin closing the call. Reassure your new client that you’re in a good position to find a candidate that will fit their requirements and the culture of the company. Also, don’t forget to cross sell within your business and offer the opportunity to hire a freelancer for the interim while you search.

While closing the conversation take down some final key details to help your search by asking what the candidate should expect from their interview process. Identify all the timings involved, number of interviews and agree next steps.  This is also the best time to agree or negotiate your fee.

Be sure you are familiar with your terms and conditions of business and send them over for the new client to sign before you conduct your search. Don’t forget to organise a client visit too, this will really support your search especially when cultural fit is so crucial for the hiring process today.

Ultimately, the taking of a job brief will lead to a successful placement if you are thorough and build rapport. The more information you have, the quicker you will source the candidate. Cutting corners will only lead to delays and frustrations later in the process. Let your personality shine through, you will experience a much easier, more efficient and much more enjoyable road towards success.

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By Advance Systems

 

Diversity in the workplace is something that should be celebrated and not feared. There’s a tendency for some old fashioned businesses to hire people that are all similar. White, middle-class, males are typically the most hired people in the country. However, a business can benefit from having a diverse workforce.

 

By having diverse employees, a company can see an increase in workplace productivity. And, they can see their employees becoming more active at work too. Listed below are a few reasons that back up this point and prove diversity is brilliant:

 

More Lines Of Thought
If you have a company full of similar people, then they’ll think in similar ways. Everyone will have shared the same experiences and come from the same backgrounds. With a diverse workforce, you have a group of people from different backgrounds. As a result, you end up with a variety of brains that think in different ways. They can provide thoughts that you wouldn’t get with a workforce full of similar people. With more lines of thought comes new ways of doing things. New suggestions can be made to help improve workplace productivity. All in all, your office becomes more productive because there are so many new ideas flying about all the time.
Higher Staff Morale
When people come from different backgrounds, they tend to relate to one another quite well. They share a common goal; trying to make it in a world where they’re often overlooked. So, if a diverse workforce works together, then staff morale is very high. In turn, this leads to a happy workplace, which results in increased productivity. And, when everyone is happy and getting along with one another, it means they’ll stay in the business. Furthermore, they’re less likely to take time off and will come into work every day. Take a look at your workforce management software if you have a diverse workforce. I bet you’ll find that very few of your employees have had time off. Also, look at their time and attendance, I’m willing to bet they’ll be in work on time, every day of the week. High staff morale encourages people to work hard for a company and come to work on time.
Diverse Set Of Skills
Another great thing a diverse workforce can boast is an increased skill set. When you hire lots of different people, you get lots of different skills. It’s far better than hiring a bunch of people that can all do the same thing. What’s the point in that? You’re just taking up space on your payroll with a load of employees that are all providing the same skillset. Diversity means people will be good at certain things. You can have one person that’s an expert in one business area, like marketing. Then, you have another person that’s exceptional at closing sales and speaking to customers. What you end up with is an entire team of people that have their own unique strengths and skills. This results in high productivity levels and a more active workplace.
Greater Customer Understanding
Diverse workers provide you with greater customer understanding. When you have a range of people working for you, then you’ve got people that can relate to your target market. The more diverse your workforce is, the more they’re likely to understand your customers. By having a better understanding, it means they can get more work done and keep the customers flowing in. This leads to a productive business that retains customers all the time. If you don’t have diverse employees, then you don’t have a big chance of empathizing with the customer.
As you can see, having a diverse workforce will benefit every business. Not only do they lead to an increase in productivity, but they also make a company much better. It can improve your brand image if you’re seen to be hiring a diverse array of staff. People will start to look at your business as very forward thinking and modern. As a result, you find that consumers are more attracted to your brand and like what you’re doing.
So, it’s important that you try and hire a diverse team of workers. Take a look at your HR software and see your employee database. Companies like Advance Systems provide HR software that lets you see all of your employee’s details. This can let you see what type of people you employ. You may find that you don’t have a diverse workforce, so can work on hiring different people. Then, you’ll see a more productive and active business.

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Talent Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Reskilling workforce key to plugging skills shortage hole

The newest McKinsey Global Survey on reskilling has highlighted the urgency needed to address massive skills gaps across all industries. The accelerated move towards digitization and remote work has placed new demands on employees who now require different skills to support significant changes to the way they work and to the business priorities their companies are setting.

Most of the survey respondents said that skill building (more than hiring, contracting, or redeploying employees) is the best way to close skills gaps and that they have accelerated their efforts to reskill or upskill employees since the start of the pandemic. The results also pointed towards a shift in the most important skills to develop, which leaned towards being social and emotional in nature, for example, empathy, leadership, and adaptability.

The survey suggested that the need to address skill gaps is imperative with most respondents (58%) saying that closing skill gaps in their companies’ workforces has become a higher priority since the pandemic began. And of five key actions to close these gaps – hiring, contracting, redeploying, releasing, and building skills within the current workforce – skill building is more prevalent now than it was in the months preceding the pandemic. Sixty-nine percent of respondents said that their organizations do more skill building now than they did before the COVID-19 crisis.

The redeploying of talent to new roles often requires some degree of skill building and has become more commonplace over the past year with 46% of respondents reporting an increase in redeploying talent within their organizations.

Additionally, the results of the survey suggested that this commitment to skill building represents more than a one-time investment. More than half of respondents said that their companies plan to increase their spending on learning and skill building over the next year, compared with their investments since the end of 2019.

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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