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Job vacancies rise to over one million to set new record

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that employment has returned to pre-pandemic levels, with August payrolls showing a monthly increase of 241,000 to 29.1 million. The number of job vacancies in the three months to August has also risen above one million for the first time since records began in 2001.

Speaking to the BBC, ONS deputy statistician Jonathan Athow, warned that well over a million are still on furlough and the recovery is not even, with London still down, young workers disproportionately affected, and sectors like hospitality slower to recover. The biggest rise in job vacancies was in the food and accommodation sectors, up by 57,600 in August.

While the overall unemployment rate fell from 4.7% to 4.6% in the three months to July, this is against the backdrop of acute talent shortages. Various trade bodies, including the British Chambers of Commerce, blamed Brexit and Covid for declines in labour supply and warned that ‘the end of furlough is unlikely to be a silver bullet to the ongoing shortages’.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said: “The Government has convened a cross-department forum to tackle these shortages, but this will only be effective if industry experts are involved as well. Government must work with business to improve training opportunities for workers to transition into the most crucial sectors and allow some flexibility in the immigration system at this time of need. And while businesses are raising salaries in many sectors, they must think more broadly about how they will attract and retain staff through improved conditions, facilities, and staff engagement, working with recruiters, who are the professional experts in all of this.”

Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo, added: “The fact that pay has returned to pre-pandemic levels at last is a positive sign for the economy, however, we are seeing employers simply needing to increase remuneration as staff shortages continue to impact hiring activity. The increasing dearth of talent that businesses across the country are reporting is a real concern to the recruitment sector.”

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Employing older adults improves diversity in business 

A new study has shown that 10% of over 70s are choosing to go back to work or delay retirement as a result of the pandemic. This is a trend that could see billions of pounds poured back into the economy.  

According to the results from the study called “Back on Track”, by Retirement Villages Group slowing down is the last thing on the minds of older adults with one in three (36%) over 70s saying that they have spent the last 16 months reflecting on their life goals, leading to an increased desire to now make up for lost time in both their personal and professional lives. 

Going back to work, whether for financial reasons or in pursuit of a more purposeful and active lifestyle, has become important to many with 7% looking to return to work and 3% wanting to delay retirement.   

With skill shortages in mind, Retirement Villages Group has calculated that 10% of over 70s heading back to or staying in work could add as much as £1.8billion to the UK economy each year. Also importantly, as the older generation are overlooked during talent acquisition processes, this promotes a much-needed shift in perspective when it comes to the value and experience older candidates bring to a business.  

The study showed that continued employment for the older workforce comes with many personal benefits such as improving financial or mental health. Among those that have or plan to go back to work, over half (52%) agree that the main motive is to boost their finances, while a third would like to alleviate boredom and a 21% would like to continue to contribute to society.  

Over one in three (39%) said that seeing more age diversity in the workplace would give them greater confidence to consider working opportunities themselves. Yet, encouragingly, the research also found that one in four (27%) older adults believe the pandemic has led to a more widespread view that older people have valuable life skills that society can benefit from. 

Will Bax, CEO of Retirement Villages Group, commented: “Today’s research confirms that older adults have a critical role in ensuring the ongoing diversity and vibrancy of our society and economy. The pandemic has brought this reality into sharp focus, with many people over 70 forced to isolate for prolonged periods, curbing the active, independent and sociable lifestyles they would normally lead and temporarily separating them from communities. 

“It’s vital, as we unlock from the pandemic, that we continue to reappraise how we view the great contribution of people over 70 to our culture and economy. Independent, positive ageing matters – not only to the long-term health and wellbeing of individuals, by keeping people out of hospitals and care homes for longer – but also to our society which is enriched by older people playing an active part. 

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First in-person TIARA ceremony of 2021 

Winners of the 2021 TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards were revealed at a gala lunch for 120 guests at the Kings Fund in London today, attended by CEOs and founders of some of the UK’s leading HR and Recruitment Technology companies.

“As we emerge to a post-pandemic economy, business model transformation is a given,” said Ken Brotherston, MD of TALiNT Partners. “This, combined with an acute shortage of talent across every area of the job market, including recruitment itself, has created a perfect storm for HR Tech to show its value.” 

“The 35 Talent Tech Stars shortlisted this year are solving the talent challenges that employers and recruiters must address in a constantly evolving market,” added co-host Alex Evans, Programme Director of TALiNT Partners. “The winners demonstrated the value and impact of their solutions to a respected panel of judges, making a TIARA Talent Tech Star Award a powerful endorsement.” 

The judging process for the TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards is designed around the expectations of buyers and investors, based on key performance metrics, case studies and testimonials. An impressive and influential panel of judges from companies including LinkedIn, ManpowerGroup, SThree, Thames Water, AMS and the FCSA was chaired by Martin McCourt, former Dyson CEO and now Chairman and Non-Executive Director of companies including Weber, HeadBox, Lightfoot, FreeFlow Technologies and The learning Curve Group. 

“The 2021 Talent Tech Star Award finalists represent challengers, disruptors and transformers across the spectrum of business growth, from high potential, early-stage start-ups to scaling SMEs,” said Martin McCourt. “What they all have in common is great focus, execution, and ambition. They have also validated game-changing innovation and excellent customer service with some solid case studies and testimonials. 

“It was difficult for the judges to choose winners from such strong shortlists and even harder to choose a Champion of Champions from 13 very strong contenders. It has to be exemplary to inspire others to aspire to greater ambition and impact. That’s what transforms industries.” 

Odro was the biggest winner this year, winning the Talent Tech Customer Service Award, Leader of the Year for CEO Ryan McCabe, and ultimately crowned TIARA Champion of Champions to top a game-changing year for the video tech specialist. 

“It has been a great year for Odro, with big client wins including Hays and a £5m growth investment from BGF,” said Alex Evans. “Winner of this year’s Customer Service and Leader of the Year awards, Odro has demonstrated excellence, leadership, and growth to make it a worthy Champion of Champions for 2021.” 

The TIARA 2021 Talent Tech Star Awards campaign was supported by partners Deloitte, Marriott Harrison and Optima Corporate Finance. 

“Optima Corporate Finance is delighted to sponsor the Talent Tech Leader of the Year Award,” said Optima founder Philip Ellis. “This year more than ever, strong leadership was required as businesses had to combine the implementation of their vision with the challenges of lockdown. All of this year’s finalists demonstrated strong leadership in adapting, transforming and driving growth.”

“Marriott Harrison is delighted to be part of the TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards and to recognise the significant value HR and RecTech solutions bring to the recruitment industry and the wider economy,” said Chris Mooney, Partner at Marriott Harrison. “We commend the innovation and impact shown by this year’s finalists for Candidate Experience Solution of the Year.”

“Achieving scale in a challenging economy is doubly impressive and finalists for this year’s award have adapted and transformed to build strong foundations for growth,” said Kiren Asad, Director, FA – Advisory Corporate Finance, Deloitte LLP. “Deloitte is proud to partner with TALiNT Partners and the TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards to recognise and support scale in HR Tech.” 

The full list of TIARA Talent Tech Star Award winners and highly commended finalists is as follows: 

The Workforce Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: Pixid 
  • Highly Commended: TalismanTech 

The Contractor Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: My Digital 
  • Highly Commended: Parasol Group 

The Candidate Experience Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: 360 Resourcing Solutions 
  • Highly Commended: TribePad 

The Recruitment Marketing Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: Paiger 
  • Highly Commended: TalismanTech 

The D&I Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: Arctic Shores 
  • Highly Commended: Get Optimal 

The Compliance Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: My Digital 
  • Highly Commended: People Group 

The Onboarding Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: CA3 & Eli Onboarding 
  • Highly Commended: LearnAmp 

The Learning Solution of the Year 

  • Winner: Clear Review 
  • Highly Commended: Hoxo Media 

The Talent Tech Customer Service Award 

  • Winner: Odro 
  • Highly Commended: Clear Review 

The Talent Tech Scale Up Award 

  • Winner: Sonovate
  • Highly Commended: Paiger 

The Talent Tech Innovation Award 

  • Winner: Mercury xRM 
  • Highly Commended: Idibu 

The Best Talent Tech Company to Work For  

  • Winner: Firefish Software 
  • Highly Commended: TribePad 

The Optima Talent Tech Leader of the Year 

  • Winner: Ryan McCabe, CEO, Odro 

The Talent Tech Champion of Champions 

  • Winner: Odro 

Register for updates on the TIARA 2022 Talent Tech Star Awards campaign at https://talenttech.tiara.talint.co.uk/register-for-2022-updates/ 

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Collaboration and communication are key skills  

According to new research from LinkedIn, 87% of UK business leaders stated that young workers have been plagued by a “developmental dip” because of long periods of time working from home during the pandemic.  

250 C-level executives in the UK (from companies with 1,000 employees and more and with an annual turnover of £250+ million) who were surveyed for the study, found that almost 30% of business leaders feel that onboarding from home has been a challenge for young employees. A further 42% of leaders believe that young people’s ability to build meaningful relationships with colleagues while working remotely has been difficult. 

Out of practice  

A complementary survey of young professionals showed that they agree. 69% of young people (aged 16 – 34) believe their professional learning experience has been impacted by the pandemic. More than half of those asked to return to offices feel their ability to make conversation at work has suffered, and 71% say they’ve forgotten how to conduct themselves in an office environment. 84% of young workers ultimately feel “out of practice” when it comes to office life, especially when it comes to giving presentations (29%) and speaking to customers and/ or clients (34%).  

Missing out 

Business leaders say the key development experiences that young people have missed out on during the pandemic include learning by “osmosis” from being around more experienced colleagues (36%), developing their essential soft skills (36%), and building professional networks (37%).  

Skills to succeed 

Business leaders believe that for hybrid working to be a success, collaboration (59%) and communication (57%) are the two most important skills employees need. Nearly half (49%) of leaders say working closely with experienced team members is the best way for young people to catch up and build these soft skills.  

Janine Chamberlin, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, said:  It’s positive to see leaders recognise the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on young people as they consider their future workplace policies. To help young people develop the skills they need to succeed, companies must understand where the skills gaps are, introduce mentoring schemes and bolster learning experiences that cater for a hybrid workforce to help younger workers get back on track.”

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Starting salaries for permanent candidates rise 

KPMG and the REC’s latest UK Report on Jobs was compiled by IHS Markit and was based on responses to questionnaires completed by approximately 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.  

Due to a sharp rise in economic activity in the last few months, along with a solid demand for staff, a considerable increase in permanent placements took place, while the number of temporary placements also rose.  

The report revealed a decrease in candidate availability, which isn’t new news considering skills shortages. The reduction in candidates, according to the report, meant there was a dramatic increase in starting salaries for permanent staff and a large increase in salary for short-term positions.  

 Availability of workers falls  

The availability of candidates dropped to a record low this month and, according to the report, underlying data revealed that unprecedented falls in permanent candidate numbers and temp staff supply had driven the latest deterioration in overall availability. The declines were widely associated with a reluctance among employees to switch roles due to the pandemic, fewer EU workers, furloughed staff and skill shortages. 

The combination of Brexit and COVID-19 and the resultant skills shortages have led to increased competition for staff amid the dwindling labour supply. This placed upward on starting salaries. A notable finding in the report stated that salaries for newly placed permanent staff increased at the fastest rate seen in almost 24 years.  

Increased competition for staff amid shrinking labour supply placed further upward pressure on starting pay. Notably, salaries for newly-placed permanent staff increased at the fastest rate seen in nearly 24 years of data collection, while temp wage inflation was the second-quickest on record. 

Regional and sector changes  

All four regions monitored in England, recorded faster rises in permanent placements when compared to the latest survey period. The increase was led by London. Unprecedented upturns were also seen in the North and South of England. London registered the fastest rise in temp billings during August.  

The private sector continued to record much stronger increases in vacancies than the public sector halfway through the third quarter. The steepest increase in demand was signaled for permanent staff in the private sector.  

Claire Warnes, Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK, commented on the survey results:  

“Candidate shortages continue to plague businesses, who are all recruiting from the same pool of talent and struggling to fill gaps. While record high permanent placements and higher starting salaries mean it remains a job seekers market, recruiters and employers have seen the most severe decline of candidate availability in the survey’s history and will be thinking about how to attract and retain new staff.  

“This crisis isn’t going away, and the winding down of the furlough scheme at the end of September – while potentially bringing more job hunters to the market – could also add fuel to the labour shortage fire. Many businesses will have changed their business model during the pandemic, and so significant numbers of staff returning from furlough may need reskilling to rejoin the workforce in the same or another sector. 

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC also commented: “Recruiters are working around the clock, placing more people into work than ever as these figures show. Switching the entire economy on over the summer has created a unique demand spike, and a short-term crisis. 

“But it would be a mistake for businesses to think of this as only a short-term issue. A number of factors mean that the UK labour market will remain tight for several years to come. Business leaders should be looking now at how they will build their future workforces, in partnership with recruiters, including the skills and career path development.”

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Increase to NI tax will hit lower earners hardest

The government announced yesterday that National Insurance will increase by 1.25% to fund health and social care reform. There will also be an increase in taxes on share dividends.

APSCo responded to the announcement by warning of the impact these increases will have on the workforce and businesses.

Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo commented: “While we recognise the need for social care and NHS integration and reform, this manifesto breach is a concern in more ways than one. With 1.25% payable by both worker and employer – 2.5% in total – this will only serve to drive umbrella and PAYE agency worker costs up, which will exacerbate the on-going shortage of workers that UK employers are currently struggling through.

“The increase in dividend tax will only add more pressure to already stretched businesses. While the worst of the pandemic may appear to be over, many organisations are still trying to find their way out of a deep financial hole that they’ve been stuck in for the last 18 months. And with skills shortages impacting the bounce back for firms, adding an extra financial burden too soon could have a detrimental impact on the recovery of a significant proportion of UK businesses.

The REC’s Chief Executive, Neil Carberry also weighed in on the decision:

“It’s vital that the social care system is properly funded – this has been a long time coming. But the 1.25% rise in National Insurance, the UK’s biggest business tax, is the wrong choice. As a tax on jobs, and a tax on activity rather than profits, rising National Insurance will fall more heavily on the labour-intensive sectors most affected by the pandemic. It also disproportionately affects lower earners. We all agree that social care needs more funding but increasing labour taxes as we try to recover from the pandemic is not the fairest way to do it.”

Have you got news to share with us? Please email debbie@talintpartners.com

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70% of employees unhappy with leadership  

The Adecco Group reported results of its global study called Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work. The report was said to examine the change in attitudes to work over the last year, as well as highlighting issues that companies need to address to stay agile in the current landscape. 

The study highlighted poor mental health as an emergent issue with more than half of young leaders (54%) suffering burnout. A third of workers also stated that their mental and physical health had declined in the last 12 months. The study stated that companies must re-evaluate how they support their staff and should provide wellbeing resources to their employees within the new hybrid working model.  According to the report, 67% of non-managers say that their leaders don’t meet their expectations for checking on their mental wellbeing.  

Leadership falling short  

Satisfaction with leadership is low, with only a third of non-managers feeling they are being recognised for the work in the business, and only half of all workers said that their managers encouraged a good work culture.   

Findings from the report stated that motivation and engagement is low with less than half of employees being satisfied with their career prospects in the company they work for with nearly 2 out of 5 considering new careers and moving to jobs with more flexibility.   

The Adecco Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Alain Dehaze, said: “For those who are not bound to being physically present to perform their work, it is obvious that we will never return to the office in the same way and that the future of work is flexible.  

Our research clearly shows that “one size will not fit all” when it comes to addressing employees’ needs and we’re increasingly seeing a leadership struggling to balance remote working and care for their teams. Now is the time to start bridging this gap by developing and equipping leaders and workers alike with the skills and capabilities they need to reignite motivation and build a cohesive company culture that maintains and develops a successful, resilient and healthy workforce.” 

In summary of the report:  

  • 82% of the workforce feels as productive or more so than before the pandemic 
  • Globally, 53% of workers want a hybrid working model where more than half of their time spent working is remote 
  • Long hours increased by 14% in the last year, with more than half of young leaders reporting that they suffered burnout  
  • 73% of workers and leaders are calling to be measured by outcomes rather than hours, while only 36% of managers are assessing performance based on results  
  • Satisfaction with leadership is low with an increasing disconnect with employees made evident. Only a third of non-managers are believed to be getting the recognition they deserve  
  • Anxiety about returning to the office is highest in Australia (53%), followed by the UK (52%) and Canada (51%). 

Do you have news to share? If so, please email debbie@talintpartners.com

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35% of millennials likely to take a pay cut  

A survey by Hitachi Capital UK revealed that over a quarter of office workers are willing to take an 8% cut in pay to switch to permanent home working, with 2% prepared to forgo 20% of their salary to work from home permanently.  

According to the survey, those earning in the lower salary brackets are driving the trend with a third of office workers earning less than £40,000 per annum most willing to accept a pay cut to work from home. This compared to 20% of those earning over £40,000.  

39% of Generation Z want a permanent work-from-home solution compared with 16% of millennials who also want to work from home permanently; this despite 31% missing interpersonal interactions in the office.  

Millennials are most likely to consider taking a pay cut (35%), followed by over 55s at 25% and 45 – 54-year-olds (24%) if it meant the reduction was less than their usual travel spend and were given increased flexibility by their employer. 

Meanwhile, the ability to balance household and family responsibilities alongside work is driving half of female decisions to work from home (49%) compared to 37% of men. 

Spending time with family is a key incentive for over a third of males (34%) to work remotely compared to 26% of females. 

The report revealed the following regions are most ready to return to the office: Yorkshire and the North East (21%), as the office environment and access to a conventional desk allows increased focus and productivity. While, Northern Ireland (37%), West Midlands (35%) and South West (31%) are the strongest supporters of the post-pandemic shift to hybrid working. 

Theresa Lindsay, Group Marketing Director at Hitachi Capital UK PLC said, “The pandemic has led to a seismic shift in the way people want to work to effectively manage their work and home life commitments. It’s clear that most employees have adapted very well to remote working whilst actually enhancing productivity.”  

 

Have you got news to share with us? Please email debbie@talintpartners.com

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Most secure jobs are medical practitioners   

Technology is expected to put 1.5 million people out of work as AI takes over roles performed by people. 

Research conducted by Utility Bidder analysed 369 jobs to determine which jobs are more likely to become automated.  

Routine and repetitive tasks in the workplace are easily replaced by AI as an algorithm is more likely able to carry out these tasks more quickly and efficiently than humans. Waiters are most at risk of losing their jobs; since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen restaurants implement online ordering directly from tables resulting in fewer waiters needed to take food orders.  

Shelf fillers can also be replaced by a robot counterpart as AI systems can easily be programmed to carry out repetitive tasks. Robots also don’t require an hourly wage.  

Gender inequality in the workplace continues as women are more at risk of losing their jobs to automation with 70.2% of the roles threatened by automation currently occupied by women.  

Young employees are also at risk as job roles for 20- to 24-year-olds are more likely to be automated than any other age group.  

The most secure jobs include medical practitioners, higher education and teaching professionals, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, dental practitioners, and psychologists.   

 

Have you got news to share with us? Please email debbie@talintpartners.com

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Staff wellbeing tops employee concerns  

A recent report called the Healthier Nation Index published by Nuffield Health stated that more employees are demanding that their employers take more responsibility for their physical and mental wellbeing.  

The research found: 

  • More than 21% of those surveyed (8,000 respondents) believed employers should implement mandatory reporting on the physical and wellbeing initiatives they have in place to improve the wellbeing of their staff 
  • 52% stated that they were aware of the measures they could take to improve their mental and physical health 
  • 37% stated that employers should take responsibility by making resources available on how to boost mental and physical wellbeing 
  • 46% said that free health checks for all staff should be provided by employers 
  • 54% said that work was having a negative impact on their mental health 
  • Half of those surveyed stated that their workload created a barrier to undertaking physical exercise. 

Darren Hockley, Managing Director at  DeltaNet International commented: “Improving both mental and physical health is rising up the corporate agenda. If employees feel overworked or stressed, then they won’t be as happy or productive. This will only lead to other issues for the company, such as sick leave or them resigning and moving to another organisation that prioritises wellbeing.   

“Mandatory reporting on physical and wellbeing initiatives is a great way for organisations to take more responsibility for their employees. Offering that support through wellbeing seminars, mental health and wellbeing training or even mental health support where staff can talk to a specialist can make a significant difference to employees.” 

Extra leave given in support of mental health  

Nike recently announced that their head office employees will be given a week’s holiday in support of their mental health.   

Suzanne Staunton, Employment Partner at JMW Solicitors, commented: “It is unlikely that (many) UK employers will provide their staff with a week’s mental health break. However, anecdotally, over the past 12 months, we saw that number of employers have given staff a day or two additional mental health days or an extra day holiday. Those employers who implemented such schemes reported an increase in morale and productivity.”  

Returning to work post “freedom day” 

Data published in the Supporting Your Remote Workforce in 2021 and Beyond report found that 40% of those who are returning to office-based working are concerned about contracting COVID-19 from colleagues.  

Data from CPD Online College reported that the top concerns for those returning to the workplace were: social distancing (60%), workplace safety (56%), and workplace cleanliness (55%) at the top of the list. 

With these employees concerns in mind, it is imperative that HR and employers think about how to properly support staff wellbeing when staff returns to the office, as well as how to help alleviate their concerns. 

Liz Forte, Health and Wellness Director at Compass Group Business and Industry, shared three top tips:  

  1. Embrace the hybrid office: the hybrid should be seen to inspire staff to work together again and reconnect. This could assist with easing staff back into office life. Because there is a clear shift towards employees wanting a hybrid way of working, offering this to staff is a great way to encourage them to split their time between home and the office, thereby getting the best of both worlds.  
  2. Be aware of anxieties: Forte explains that it is crucial to be aware of your employee’s anxieties and concerns. Employers should communicate cleaning protocols and implementing visible cleaning teams during working hours could put staff at ease.  
  3. Support staff lives: providing work perks that encourage living a healthy life outside of work and that also support health and wellbeing will help improve performance as staff return to their desks. Offering classes which give employees the opportunity to try new hobbies or skills add to a positive experience at work. Data has shown that this could also be a good tool for attracting and retaining talent. 

 

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Talent Solutions

42% of companies allow buying and selling holidays
According to Gallagher’s 2021 Benefits Strategy Benchmarking Survey report, companies are changing benefit policies to align with post-pandemic priorities in a bid to attract and retain talent in a very competitive market.

More than 230 UK organisations responded to the survey, and almost half (46%) plan to change their current benefits offerings with 71% planning to enhance them.

 

“The pandemic has prompted a mass shift in working habits and companies are beginning to reflect this accordingly when it comes to their benefits strategy,” said Nick Burns, CEO of Gallagher’s Employee Benefits Consulting Division in the U.K. “As the survey reveals, areas such as health and wellbeing and ensuring a family-friendly approach to benefits are increasingly viewed as central to the employee experience.”

Key trends found in the report include:

Employee health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing continue to be a major focus as a resilient workforce will be more agile when adapting to change. That said, one-third of organisations added new benefits in this space.

  • Three quarters of organisations (76%) reported offering an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP).
  • There has been an increase in fitness-related benefits such as a discounted gym memberships (69%) in order to accommodate the different ways people have been exercising during the pandemic.
  • Annual leave has become more important to support employees’ mental wellbeing.
  • Holiday or annual leave is a statutory benefit in the UK (minimum of 20 days plus eight bank holidays for a full-time employee) and just over half of organisations (51%) have applied the same holiday entitlement to all employees.
  • The ability to buy or sell holidays (36%) is up slightly compared to last year.
  • Of those who offer flexibility, around 42% allow both buying and selling of holidays.
  • It is most common by far to allow five days to be bought or sold where trading is offered, although a few organisations allow 10 days. The highest cited response was 15 days.
  • In addition, organisations are offering different kinds of leave packages outside of family leave, including: bereavement/compassionate leave (93%), study leave (58%), volunteering leave (36%), carers’ leave (22%) day off on birthday (10%).

Equalisation and fairness of benefits

Organisations are endeavouring to provide more family-friendly benefits.

  • Accordingly, maternity and paternity pay has improved – with 88% increasing enhance pay compared to 62% two years ago.
  • Forty-one per cent of respondents offer shared paternal leave on the same basis as maternity, with paid paternity leave increasingly becoming the norm.
  • The extended duration of leave has also risen among 32% of respondent organisations, compared to just 17 per cent two years ago.
  • The adoption policy matches the maternity policy for the majority of organisations (88%).
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Talent solutions industry supports economic recovery 

The winners of the 2021 TIARA Talent Solutions Awards Europe were revealed in a glittering live ceremony attended by over 250 senior leaders of Europe’s leading Talent Solutions, RPO and MSP companies. 

The Awards evening also saw the presentation of a very special award – the first TIARA Talent Solutions Europe Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises a leader who has made a long-term and significant contribution to the industry. This was presented to Rosaleen Blair CBE, Chair of AMS. “It is hard to understate Rosaleen’s contribution to the sector. From AMS’s relatively modest beginnings in 1996 to a global leader with over 4,500 employees, operating in 100 countries, Rosaleen has been at the helm” said Ken Brotherston, Managing Director of TALiNT Partners. 

Following the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award, 11 winners were crowned, with seven highly commended finalists, which highlights the high standard of the entries this year. 

“In only our second year, our Talent Solutions Awards Europe have established themselves as the pre-eminent recognition campaign in the sector and are a perfect platform to showcase the best work the sector has to offer. All of the finalists shortlisted for the TIARA Talent Solutions Awards Europe are an inspiration to the talent solutions sector, from nimble, fast moving new scale ups looking to re-imagine what is possible, to the world’s largest and most successful players delivering game changing work for their clients and a range of mid-market operators with a clear focus and high levels of agility. They all showed why they are so important in helping their clients find and keep the people they need” commented Ken Brotherston, Managing Director of TALiNT Partners. 

“The quality of entries across each category was very high, with the winners’ entries being nothing less than outstanding. This makes a TIARA Talent Solutions Award a powerful and prestigious endorsement.”  

The judging process for the Awards was designed around the varied and complex demands of employers based on key performance metrics, case studies and testimonials. The 2021 judging panel brought together some of the leading practitioners in talent acquisition from organizations such as Balfour Beatty VINCI, Rolls-Royce, NatWest, MindGym and Tetra Pak.  

“The Talent Solutions sector has shown itself to be resilient and innovative throughout the pandemic. Our finalists have shown that they can not only respond to rapidly changing client requirements, but in a way that is commercially viable for their own sustainability and long-term success. The sector has a big part to play in how we recover from the pandemic, and I am excited in what the future holds.”  

Reed Talent Solutions was crowned the overall winner and received the Talent Solutions Provider of the Year Award, having also picked up the Candidate Experience Award and the Long-Term Partnership Award – Enterprise. Judges praised Reed Talent Solutions for “excelling and having a positive impact across each key area of service delivery.      

The TIARA Talent Solutions Awards Europe 2021 campaign was supported by headline sponsor Cornerstone OnDemand and award sponsors eTeam, Sonovate, giant group, iCIMS, Parasol, Horsely Analytics and Nétive.  

The full list of Talent Solutions Award winners and highly commended finalists is as follows:   

The Best Early Career Initiative 

  • Winner – Bright Network 
  • Highly Commended – AMS 
  • Highly Commended – GTI Recruiting Solutions 

The Horsefly Employer Brand Award 

  • Winner – Hays Talent Solutions 
  • Highly Commended – Cielo 

The Parasol Candidate Experience Award 

  • Winner – Reed Talent Solutions 

The Nétive Diversity & Inclusion Award 

  • Winner – AMS 
  • Highly Commended – Bright Network 

The Cornerstone OnDemand Best Use Of Technology Award  

  • Winner – Guidant Global 

The Sonovate Best Talent Solutions Firm to Work For 

  • Winner – AMS 
  • Highly Commended – Join Talent 

The eTeam Client Service Award 

  • Winner – Lorien 
  • Highly Commended – Gattaca 

The Giant Group Best New Talent Solutions Provider 

  • Winner – Join Talent 

The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award – Challenger 

  • Winner – Page Outsourcing 

The iCIMS Long-Term Partnership Award – Enterprise 

  • Reed Talent Solutions 
  • Highly Commended – Gattaca 

The Talent Solutions Provider of the Year 

  • Reed Talent Solutions 
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COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, and workplaces are reopening, but recent research reveals that three-quarters of UK workers fear going back into the workplace because it poses a risk to their health and safety. David McCormack, CEO of employee benefits and outsourced payroll provider HIVE360, says employers should take a simple seven-step approach that will support effective management of the workforce’s return to work.

Seventy three percent of workers admit they fear a return to the workplace. Responsible employers need to take action to support workers and ease their worries, to ensure they feel secure and comfortable whenever in the workplace, and know they have their employer’s support and commitment to maintain a safe environment.

The foundation to this is our seven-step return-to-work action framework:

  1. Communicate: Ensure workers know it’s ok to feel anxious about the return to the workplace. Encourage them to talk about their feelings so you can reassure them and take any additional action to ease any worries.
  2. Stay in touch: Make a point of checking in with staff regularly and ask how they are coping.
  3. Be flexible: For those feeling uncomfortable about being in the office, give them the option to continue working from home some days each week. For those anxious about a busy commute to work, be open to an early or late start and finish time for the working day.
  4. Be safe: People are counting on their employers to help them get back to work safely, and by putting employee health, safety and wellbeing at the heart of the return-to-work planwill help reduce any stress or anxiety:
  • Be COVID-19 aware, safe and secure. Employers have statutory duties to provide a safe place of work as well as general legal duties of care towards anyone accessing or using the workplace
  • Carry out a risk assessment of the entire workplace and implement measures to minimise these risks
  • Create a clear policy of behaviour in the workplace and share it with all employees. Policies should include the rules on wearing facemasks, social distancing, hand washing and sanitising, with the relevant equipment available to all. Include clear instructions on what people should do if they or someone they live with feels unwell or tests positive for COVID-19.
  1. Be caring: With concerns about the effects of COVID-19 on society and the economy, mental health is a growing problem, but people continue to feel uncomfortable speaking about it. This is unlikely to change, so make time to show you are an employer that recognises and understands by introducing and communicating the tools, support and measures available to them to help address any fears. Give them access to specialist healthcare resources, information and health and wellbeing support.
  2. Encourage work/life balance: Poor work/life balance reduces productivity and can lead to stress and mental health problems, so build-in positive steps to help the workforce achieve it by encouraging sensible working hours, full lunch breaks, and getting outside for fresh air and exercise at least once a day.
  3. Tailor solutions: Show that you understand that everyone’s personal situation is different and that you will do your best to accommodate it. Remind people of their worth as an employee, and the positive attributes they bring to the team.

Added benefits

Employee health and wellbeing support and benefits are a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have’. Onboarding and career progression, reward and recognition policies, training and development, employee benefits, work/life balance initiatives, financial, mental health and wellbeing support, are all essential components of an effective employee engagement strategy. Together, they improve and maintain a positive working environment.

HIVE360 is an expert in recruitment agency PAYE outsourced payroll. Our HMRC-compliant solution guarantees a speedy, transparent service, with no nasty fees for workers. It also delivers efficiency gains from payroll, digital payslips, pensions auto-enrolment and pay documentation support.

HIVE360 goes further. Our unique, customisable employee pay, benefits and engagement app Engage is provided as a standard element of our outsourced payroll solution. It gives workers access to an extensive range of health and wellbeing benefits and employee support services, including:

  • 24/7, confidential access to mental health support, counsellors and GPs
  • Thousands of high street and online discounts
  • Huge mobile phone savings
  • Online training resourcesand access to the HIVE360Skills Academy
  • A secure digital payslips portal
  • A real-time workplace pension dashboard to support employees’ financial wellbeing.
  • An incident reporting system to ensure the safety of employees in the workplace, which allows workers to – anonymously – raise serious issues or concerns with their employer directly through the app.

HIVE360 is a GLAA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority) license holder and is championing a new model of employment administration, redefining employment and pension administration processing. Visit: www.hive360.com

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With vacancy numbers hitting all-time highs in the UK since before the pandemic hit, online talent sourcing specialist, Talent.com, has warned employers that a lack of diversity in recruitment adverts themselves could hinder hiring strategies.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that there are more job vacancies now than before the pandemic as employers look to bolster resources as restrictions ease and business demand finally increases after more than a year of uncertainty. However, Talent.com has warned that an audit of hiring process – including job adverts and descriptions – is needed to ensure they appeal to modern-day diverse audiences.

Values and “must-haves” for job seekers have changed dramatically in the last few years with the workforce placing large emphasis on things that matter as opposed to higher pay. There is far more focus on sustainability and diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the Black Lives Matters movement has served to accelerate the much-needed evolution of hiring practices and other business policies.

Without a more diverse approach to hiring practices, businesses could see limited hiring success in the second half of 2021.

Noura Dadzie, Vice President of Sales UK and International Markets at Talent.com said: “With unemployment levels dropping as vacancy numbers rise, the war for talent is accelerating exponentially. The challenge for hiring managers now is not just to get in front of the right people before the competition, but perhaps more importantly, have the right content to push to these audiences. Job seekers are placing greater emphasis on diversity initiatives and employment culture in a post-pandemic world, but as businesses attempt to replace lost resources, too many are falling into the trap of pushing out pre-Covid ads and job descriptions that are arguably out-dated and irrelevant.

“Job seekers are more likely to apply for a position if they can easily identify with the job description and advert. If these do not reflect the diversity of the new talent landscape, employers will be on the back foot – a less-than-ideal scenario in a growing economy.”

Should you have interesting news stories to share, please send them to the Editor Debbie.walton@talintpartners.com

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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