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Winning the war for talent is less about money, titles and job security and more about employee experience in the post-pandemic era, according to a major study commissioned by Microsoft.

And according to the resulting six-part report entitled The Definitive Guide: Employee Experience, produced by the Josh Bersin Company, organisational culture is the top driver for creating an excellent employee experience (EX).

Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with HR and business leaders from companies such as Deutsche Telekom, IBM, Kraft Heinz, Microsoft and Unilever, taking in views from more than 950 organisations for the report.

They said EX had emerged as one of the key factors to adapting to the business and workforce challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the area having evolved from niche engineering projects to strategic, enterprise-wide initiatives.

The researchers said there were six key findings that emerged from studying organisations with superior EX. These were: a focus on trust, transparency, inclusion and care; that a supportive culture plays a big role; that innovation and sustainable growth depend on equitable rewards and building communities at work; that consistent, mission-first people investments in any business climate improve business performance; that EX excellence directly leads to business outcomes; and that HR capabilities and the right technologies are vital.

The researchers devised an EX Maturity Model to help assess where organisations currently stood in terms of their EX. Organisations were given a ranking between one and four, with the former being least impactful and the latter most impactful. Overall, 55% of the companies represented were found to be at the lower two levels of the model.

The report said that technology played a vital role in feeding into employee experience and also in determining a company’s level of maturity.

Kathi Enderes, vice president of research at the Josh Bersin Company, said: “EX is multi-faceted, complex and multi-layered. No single project or technology solution will create EX excellence. Our research delves into the many different factors and dimensions involved in EX, as well as various strategies and programmes. While technologies and services alone don’t drive great EX, they absolutely are correlated to EX maturity.”

Strong leadership vital

However, Josh Bersin, CEO and global industry analyst, added: “Without the right leadership, capabilities and behaviours, any progress in EX will be short-lived and unsustainable. It’s a choice to make: are you prioritising business-centred leadership in which the business is first and people are second or emphasising human-centred leadership that prioritises your people? Above all, remember that the journey to a world-class employee experience is an ongoing process enabled by close listening to your people.”

A big part of what the most successful leaders do is drive company culture, according to a separate study from Heidrick and Struggles released last week.

It surveyed 500 CEOs across nine countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and the US – and found that globally, 11% of CEOs were ‘culture accelerators’, leaders who were “significantly more intentional in the way that they focused on culture than others”.

It reported that companies led by such individuals showed double the compound annual growth rate of others surveyed for the same study.

Ian Johnston, co-author of the report and partner in Heidrick and Struggles’ London office, said: “The global pandemic caused turmoil within many organisations and it seems those who have maintained a focus on culture during the uncertainty will be better positioned for future success.”

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Workers across Britain are missing out as the UK lags the rest of the world when it comes to public holidays, with the lowest number in a comparison of more than 170 nations.

This was the finding of research by digital coaching firm Ezra, which cross-referenced the number of public holidays on offer with average daily net income to work out where workers received the most amount of money per year for not working on public holidays.

Taking both measures into account, the UK moved significantly up from the bottom of the table, but it still failed to make it into the top 30, with workers having an average income of £570 for bank holidays.

Switzerland, on the other hand, offers the biggest benefit to workers. With the average person in the country earning a net income of £130 per day and with 24 public holidays per year, the average public holiday pay check is an impressive £3,131.

Luxembourg came in second, with its 15 public holiday days per year and average earnings of £120 per day equating to £1,802, while in Israel, the 24 days of public holiday led to a total of £1,796 in earnings for time off.

Commenting on the findings, Nick Goldberg, Founder of Ezra, said: “Public holidays are a great way to boost national sentiment and offer an opportunity to come together and celebrate as a nation, whether it be in memory of a historic moment or simply a long weekend.

“It’s interesting to see that those nations offering some of the highest levels of income also offer a good level of public holidays and it goes to show that motivation and productivity aren’t solely dependent on working all hours of the day.”

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People analytics solution will support recruiters managing hybrid & home working teams

Access Recruitment has added to its growing portfolio of staffing industry SaaS solutions with the acquisition of Bristol based NorthStar, whose solution brings appraisal, recruitment analytics and businesses mapping together in one place.

“We are passionate about innovating to help recruiters run and grow their businesses,” said Paul Vogel, MD of Access Recruitment. “The addition of NorthStar to our portfolio of recruitment software allows agencies to translate their data into meaningful action. With many businesses now operating hybrid home/office teams, it has never been more important to have full visibility of your business operations and also critically to support your consultants to develop their skills.

“We have a long history of working together, with NorthStar originally being built around our CRM product, Access RDB. The platform has evolved to support a range of recruitment agencies across the UK and ANZ and integrates with multiple CRMs, including our latest cloud-based offering, Access Recruitment CRM.”

A major challenge for agencies is managing a growing number of consultants as well as tracking key KPIs as they scale. Access NorthStar enables individual consultants to identify where they are performing well and show areas for improvement. Scores can be shared with their peers to create healthy competition and gives team leaders a ready-made appraisal tool to use with their consultants.

APSCO’s UK Recruitment Index, published in October 2020, highlighted that automation and better use of technology was a key area of improvement, with 40% of recruitment firms with net fee income (NFI) greater than £10 million scoring themselves below 7 out of 10 – and 35% of those with less than £2 million NFI scored lower than 5. The report also highlighted that the largest firms with NFI of £50 million+ gave themselves low scores for retaining talent.

NorthStar was created to solve these challenges by automating analytics to enable better staff performance and engagement by highlighting areas where productivity can be enhanced. The platform pulls data from within an agency’s recruitment CRM visualising it across configurable consultant, team and senior leader dashboards.

 

“We are so proud of the Northstar product and where the team have taken it,” said Darren Ryemill, founder of NorthStar. “For us, choosing The Access Group as an acquirer was a no-brainer, because we felt that they would be the best people to take the product even further and fulfil its full potential. We are really excited to see where they take to next.”

To find out more, visit www.theaccessgroup.com/recruitment/software/productivity-performance-software/

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The increasing trend towards remote working caused by the pandemic is leading firms to look further afield for contract workers.

According to a recent analysis by 6CATS International, in Q1 there was an increase in demand for contractors outside Europe, with opportunities booming in India and South Africa in particular.

Stefanie Cook, Sales Director at 6CATS International, said: “Destinations such as France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have long been hotspots of activity, but we’re increasingly seeing contractors, recruiters and end clients looking beyond Europe, with South Africa and India currently leading a significant proportion of the demand for contractor management solutions.

“Much of this shift has arguably been driven by the uptick in remote working options for contract professionals – meaning that recruiters and hirers are less limited by borders when sourcing temporary experts.

“Instead, we are increasingly seeing staffing businesses able to take a more strategic standpoint and focus on where the talent can be found, without concerns around in-country right to work regulations, immigration checks and visa requirements.”

On a sector basis, demand for contractors was highest in the pharmaceutical area, with oil and gas, engineering and IT also seeing a rise in activity in the first quarter of 2021.

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By Dawn Gibson

Major recruiters continue to report big profit slumps as permanent placement activity remains low across world markets.

The latest profit results for Hays, Kelly and RTC show that tough operating conditions relentlessly pounded profits through to the tail end of 2020, although there are signs trading activity is bouncing back in early 2021.

Hays

The Hays Group reported a 75% dive in operating profit to £25.1 million (2019: £100.1 million) on the back of a 24% decline in net fees in its half year report for the six months ended December 31.

In the UK and Ireland, the group recorded a £1 million operating loss, with temp fees down 21%, improving through the half, and perm declining by 35%.

In Australia and New Zealand, operating profit was down 42% on the back of a 34% drop in perm fees and a 18% drop in temp fees, while in Germany profit was down 76%, with perm down 34% and temp down 45%.

Trading in all major markets improved through the half, however, showing promise of a better 2021.

“With recovery in fees and our profits accelerating in Q2, this provides us with confidence to resume paying core dividends at our full-year results in August,” said Hays Chief Executive Alistair Cox. “We have also identified £150 million of surplus capital, which we also intend to return to shareholders in phases via special dividends, again commencing at our results in August.”

Kelly

Kelly Services reported an operating loss for the full year of 2020 of $93.6 million, compared to earnings of $81.8 million reported for 2019. On an adjusted basis, earnings from operations were $44.3 million compared to $90.8 million in 2019.

The group reported Q4 operating earnings of $9.5 million, or earnings of $13.9 million as adjusted, compared to earnings of $28.8 million in the corresponding quarter of 2019 as adjusted. Q4 revenue was down 7.2% year-over-year as the continuing effects of the pandemic impacted customer demand.

President and CEO Peter Quigley pointed to sequential quarter-over-quarter revenue improvement in Q4 as a sign of gradually improving economic conditions. “We’re optimistic that we’ll benefit from a recovery that gains momentum throughout 2021, with pipelines for both organic and inorganic growth strengthening,” he said.

RTC

For the year ended December 2020, RTC reported a 14% drop in group revenue to £81.4 million, down from £94.9 million for 2019, and a 45% slump in profits from operations to £1.1 million, down from £2 million in 2019.

However, net cash inflow from operating activities rose 76% to £5.1 million and net cash increased to £1.9 million, up from net debt of £2.8 million in 2019. No final dividend is proposed.

Commenting on the results, CEO Andy Pendlebury pointed to the impact of the pandemic as the story behind the numbers. “Given the seismic impact of the closure of large parts of our economy, I believe our results are extremely respectable and our cash position significantly enhanced,” he added.

Staffing 360 Solutions

Staffing 360 had some positive news with its preliminary fourth quarter results for the year ended December 2020. The company predicted unaudited Q4 revenue of $53.8 million, an increase of 11%, over Q3, citing rises in gross profit and demand.

The company has raised approximately $19.7 million (approx. $18 million net) in a public offering of 21,855,280 shares of its common stock at $0.90 per share. Since June 2020, Staffing 360 has reduced $55 million of debt to $26.8 million, a reduction of $28.3 million, or 55%.

“Completing this raise of $19.7 million gross proceeds is the latest step forward toward improving our balance sheet, setting the stage for further growth and progress in 2021,” said CEO and President Brendan Flood.

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Ryan Bridgman, regional director, UK and Ireland at Jobrapido

Some of you may be familiar with a quote from the writer Dr Samuel Johnson ‘Change is not made without inconveniences, even from worse to better’. Certainly, throughout history, with the dawn of each Industrial Revolution, many workers and bosses alike will have nodded their head in agreement. After all change can be unsettling and there can be a resistance to any development which poses a threat to one’s job and livelihood. Yet, if you look back at all the Industrial Revolutions, it has always paved the way for more net jobs and more efficient working processes.

We’re now fully embedded in the Fourth Industrial Revolution – which is largely about the rise of smart technology and automation and connectivity – it’s a period where in some quarters there has been apocalyptic talk about the robots coming to get our jobs,  even though conversely such developments are creating an abundant stream of jobs and  ticketed with high salaries.

As technology developments gather pace, the workplace landscape looks set for further change.

Recently there’s been talk that we are actually leaving the Fourth and making way for the Fifth Industrial Revolution – which has been described as the rise of artificial intelligence.

The Fifth will be about the integration and the partnership (as this is how I think we should approach it) of AI and human intelligence. It’s about understanding and not fearing the unique attributes AI has such as non-bias, accuracy and data so that recruiters and employers can make even better and informed decisions for their organisations.

The Fifth Industrial Revolution will actually place MORE weight on the importance of human intelligence than ever before and how these unique human traits, when harnessed in tandem with the accuracy of AI lead to greater outcomes.

We are already seeing the advantages of this partnership – AI allows recruiters the ability to capture far better profile matches when they are seeking the right candidate. The war on talent isn’t going away and AI supports the challenges the industry has been facing for a while. Plus, it means recruiters will have more time freed up from the manual aspects of their job.

One of the core advantages is that AI provides and acts upon rich data insights. This can only be a huge benefit for recruiters in terms of getting across the right messages which will resonate with candidates and create better engagement between them, in an age where the industry needs to provide a compelling candidate experience and, as far as possible, a personalised ‘journey’ for their job search and ongoing career. That is a big focus for us, at Jobrapido, where we put the jobseeker at the centre of what we do.

To give you an idea of how this is working in practice, we recently partnered with a national recruiter of healthcare workers – where there are significant skills shortages in the UK.  By using Smart Intuition Technology to identify skilled Healthcare Workers within both its internal communities and the wider internet as a whole with the result being that a much higher range of qualified healthcare workers have been made aware of the recruiters’ opportunities and have consequently applied for the roles. This has enabled the recruiter to significantly increase its volume of hires and gain a competitive edge.

With all the talk about AI, it might seem slightly ironic to stress the increasing importance of human intelligence in the industry. Recruiter and human resources teams have a fundamentally important role to fulfil and a pivotal role in how organisations can perform: released from the bulk of daily administration, they will finally be able to fine-tune and meet the talent requirements to ensure their organisations can meet the own goals in terms of growth and productivity.

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Aidan Cramer, co-founder and CEO of JobLab

It won’t surprise you to learn that a bad hire can be expensive. Traditional recruitment agencies can take up to 30% of the final salary of any incoming employee. If that employee is paid the national average, that’s more than £5,000, and it climbs quickly if the person in question is taking a senior role.

But even this fails to tell the whole story. A report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found that although more than a third of companies believe hiring mistakes cost their business nothing, a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 due to the accumulation of costs relating to training, lost productivity and more.

Low morale

What’s talked about far less is the cost of a bad hire in non-monetary terms, and this is especially relevant in small teams with flat hierarchies, such as those found in the start-up space. Bringing someone into your company who isn’t the right fit — due to their temperament, attitude to the job or skill set, for example — can have a devastating effect on the day-to-day functioning of the business.

The ‘wrong’ people sap the collective morale of the entire team, and naturally this has an impact on their productivity: as WIRED has reported, happy people are about 12% more productive.

Staff turnover

The logical end to falling morale is turnover. The threshold of unhappiness at work will vary from person to person, but everyone has a critical point at which they feel they have no choice but to leave. Successive departures begin to give off the impression that a business is poorly run or — much worse — a sinking ship, from which other employees may suddenly want to flee. It’s one of the most remarked-upon qualities of working millennials that they ‘job-hop’, or abandon companies which fail to fulfil certain professional needs, from money to purpose. You can rest assured that young people today will not feel a sudden rush of loyalty if their colleagues (and friends) start to get itchy feet.

Spread too thin

And then there’s the damage to the functioning of a business which, if it’s a start-up or a small company, relies upon the ability of its team members to work autonomously and responsibly, and to take care reliably of whatever tasks it is their role to perform. The ‘borderlessness’ of start-ups can mean that there will be someone who can take on the responsibilities of a bad hire, but this is hardly a long- or even medium-term solution: the quality of that someone’s own work will naturally diminish if she or he is spread too thin, and their morale will suffer, too.

Those responsible for hiring — often the founder herself in a start-up — will have to take themselves away from valuable activities to find a replacement for the bad hire. Soon you can find that there isn’t enough labour to go around.

Broken recruitment

It’s worth remembering that a bad hire can simply be the wrong fit even if they have the necessary skills for the job. An incoming employee may fail to assimilate into the company culture or have an approach to work that jars with those of everyone else.

The traditional recruitment model doesn’t help matters at all by relying heavily on a tired system of paper CVs and cover letters which benefits the privileged and contributes to the UK’s ultra-low productivity, by directing people to jobs for which they’re poorly suited. It’s also painfully slow, which exacerbates the problem of urgency that comes about when a company realises it has made a bad hire and tries to rectify the wrong.

Anyone who has braved the world of traditional recruitment will have experienced the frustration of having infrequent, impersonal communication or being put forward for the wrong jobs.

Hiring mistakes cost UK businesses billions each year, and recruitment fraud continues to be a problem. Both the candidates, who are denied meaningful work, and businesses, who are denied the people they need, lose out. In times of economic uncertainty, it’s especially important that businesses can find the people they need quickly and in such a way that the chance of making a mistake is dramatically reduced. If they fail to do that, the impact can be devastating.

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Danny Brooks, CEO of VHR

With just six months to go until the UK leaves the European Union, and no deal yet in place, 61% of employers are worried about leaving the EU. How will Brexit affect UK recruitment?

How will Brexit affect hiring candidates?

Although 25% of UK businesses currently employ staff from the EU, an August 2018 survey reveals that over 50% UK business leaders would be put off employing someone from the EU after Brexit changes the UK’s immigration laws.

Recruiting EU nationals currently working in the UK – In July the Home Office published the new mandatory registration scheme for EU nationals. After Brexit occurs on 29th March 2019, all 3.8 million EU nationals living in the UK and EU nationals wanting to enter the UK will need to register for ‘settled status’ to continue to work and live in the UK. Settled status, with its supporting technology still in the testing phase, aims to protect the rights and jobs of EU nationals currently working in the UK, but what about recruiting EU nationals after Brexit?

Recruiting EU nationals after Brexit – From 1st July 2021, EU citizens and any family members living with them must hold or have applied for UK immigration status to legally work in the UK. This new status could present a challenge for hiring managers and recruiters, who may have to adapt candidate selection processes to comply with new editions of immigration law in the next three years. The new status will require UK businesses to adopt a longer-term talent attraction strategy that either focuses on existing UK-based talent pools or accommodates the required time and resources to bring EU nationals to work in the UK for the first time.

Increased skills shortages – The effects of Brexit could be further exacerbated by existing UK skills shortages across industries. In Q4 2017, 22% of UK engineering business leaders and 42% of UK aviation industry leaders identified a labour shortage as the most urgent challenge they will face in the next five years. Global demand for aviation skills alone is set to overtake supply by 2027, and with skilled candidates already under-represented amongst a rapidly reducing workforce, skills shortages will become an increasingly dominant UK business issue.

Increased need for marketing and talent attraction – In May 2018, LinkedIn reported that 96% of hiring strategies had already been impacted by Brexit. The same study found that 44% of recruiters believe that working in the UK is becoming a less attractive prospect to EU citizens, with 39% seeing international candidates who are reluctant to move to London.

How can we mitigate against the effects of Brexit on recruitment?

Retain existing workforces – To protect against the possibility of losing employees who are EU citizens, business leaders can ensure employees are aware of their eligibility to apply for British citizenship or settled status before Britain leaves the EU and communicate the specific details and urgency of registering for settled status.

Build UK-based skills from wider talent pools – As 67% of UK graduates say that they now work in a role completely unrelated to their degree and 1 in 3 graduates are unhappy in their current job, fewer young people than ever are getting into apprenticeships and joining industries such as manufacturing, engineering, aerospace and automotive. VHR’s divisional director and aviation recruitment specialist, Ryan Abbot, advises on the UK skills shortage, “In a globally connected world where students are bombarded with choices, we need to shout louder to reach potential talent who are unaware of what our industries can offer. Business leaders and recruiters can partner with colleges and schools to directly engage with students and show them the variety of successful careers open to them across UK industries.”

Outsource from non-EU countries – The world is rich with talent just waiting to be found. Depending on local labour laws and specific remits, business leaders could turn their recruitment strategies towards candidates based outside the EU and secure the expat workers needed for business growth and success. VHR ethically recruits skilled and experienced candidates across 45 countries and four continents – find out more.

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Phaidon International has been acquired by Quilvest Private Equity, the private equity arm of the Quilvest group. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Phaidon International operates globally across offices in 10 locations including London, Zurich, New York, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Singapore. Founded in 2004 and headquartered in London, Phaidon has grown organically since its inception to over 500 employees and through its portfolio brands, DSJ Global, EPM Scientific, Glocomms, LVI Associates and Selby Jennings, identifies talent to place in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors.

Quilvest’s investment will continue the development of Phaidon International. Under its new ownership, Phaidon will remain focused on expanding its five brands into existing office locations, while maintaining its high standards of delivering hard-to-find talent and building long-term partnerships.

Harry Youtan, CEO of Phaidon International, said, “I’m very excited to be partnering with Quilvest for the next chapter of the Phaidon business. Quilvest stood out because of its international relationships and reach, as well as the quality of its team. I have no doubt that they will help us to fulfil our vision of becoming the go-to partner of choice for STEM partners worldwide. I would also like to pay tribute to our founder, Adam Buck, who will be stepping back from Phaidon following the transaction. Adam has been instrumental in building Phaidon into the successful business it is today.”

Jay Takefman, partner at Quilvest Private Equity, commented, “We are delighted to announce our investment in Phaidon International. We see Phaidon as a unique player in a highly attractive, fast-growing sector. We are excited to partner with CEO Harry Youtan and his impressive management team to continue building on the progress that they have made to date. Over the coming years, we intend to further support the company’s growth, both in existing and new markets internationally and across its portfolio of renowned brands whilst staying true to its values-based, meritocratic culture.”

Adam Buck, founder of Phaidon International, added, “I am proud of what we have achieved with Phaidon over the last 14 years. I wish Harry and team all the very best in the future, and look forward to hearing about their successes moving forward with Quilvest Private Equity as their partner.”

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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.

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Talent Solutions

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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The combination of the large-scale downsizing of recruitment teams last year and the huge hiring surge this year has led to a significant increase in the number of companies using project RPO.

For a report commissioned by talent outsourcing and advisory firm AMS, Aptitude Research surveyed 342 TA and HR leaders at director level and above to understand the key drivers of project RPO.

Some 42% of survey respondents said needing help to face a hiring surge was the biggest reason for using project RPO. A similar percentage (40%) reported that their recruiting teams had been downsized in 2020.

“The challenge for many employers globally is that hiring hasn’t just increased slightly, many TA teams are dealing with significant spikes in hiring, while doing so with fewer internal resources in a highly competitive talent environment,” said Maxine Pillinger, Regional Managing Director for EMEA at AMS.

“We’ve been working with our RPO clients globally on a project basis for years, but now we’re seeing an increased level of demand for a partner to help them meet their short-term demands while they still support the ‘business as usual.”

Multiple secondary drivers

The second largest driver of firms’ decisions to opt for project RPO was reducing the time taken to fill vacancies, with 75% responding that with project RPO they were able to reduce their time to fill to less than 30 days.

Expanding into new markets (31%), supporting high growth (27%) and having fewer recruiters and resources (23%) were the other main drivers.

The report outlined that while traditional RPO partnerships often lasted more than two years, project RPO engagements are most commonly for less than six months, and for more than 70% of firms they are for less than six weeks.

But as is outlined in a new TALiNT Partners white paper, this lower level of commitment, combined with the current high demand, has led many RPO providers to become increasingly choosy about which projects they take on.

The report, entitled: The art of saying ‘no’ and the rise of ESG’, presents insights from an event co-hosted by TALiNT Partners and Cornerstone-On-Demand, with views from leaders at Gattaca, IBM, Lorien, Reed Talent Solutions, PeopleScout, KellyOCG, Hudson RPO, Green Park Interim & Executive Ltd, Aston Holmes, Armstrong Craven, Manpower Group Talent Solutions, LevelUp HCS, Datum RPO, Group GTI, RGF Staffing, Page Group, Resource Solutions and Comensura.

Providers get picky

A number of guests at the event said the high level of demand in today’s marketplace meant they were having to push back on some clients, either turning down work or tempering expectations about when projects could start.

Joanna Fagbadegun, Sales Director at Lorien, said: “The market is exceptionally busy, especially on the tech and professional side. We’re starting to notice more urgent requests from customers looking for recruitment team augmentation or a head to manage workload. Sometimes the ask is just for a price rather than a detailed proposal, which can indicate they may not have a clear idea of exactly what they need, just that they know they need help”.

Several providers said the sector’s own talent shortages have become a barrier to taking on all the work currently on offer. “The market challenge is always quality of workers in recruitment to support growth and enable the flexibility for new offerings. We haven’t learned from past downturns and upturns in demand,” said Adam Shay, Global Marketing Director of Resource Solutions. Nick Greenston, CEO of Retinue Talent Solutions agreed, adding that the industry has focused on growing outsourced juniors instead of attracting and retaining more experienced talent.

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New study finds that only 46% of businesses invest in anti-bias training for hiring managers 

A new report by global emerging talent and reskill provider, mthree, reveals that 54% do not use deliberately neutral job descriptions, and only 37% anonymise CVs by removing all potentially identifying information such as name, age, and educational history.

Less than a third (31%) said that they request diverse shortlists from recruiters and 9% of those surveyed do not currently have any anti-bias hiring practices in place at all. Of those that do, 88% have noticed some improvement and 49% said there has been a significant improvement.

“It’s really disappointing to see that so many businesses are still not using some of the most tried and tested anti-bias hiring practices,” said Becs Roycroft, senior director at mthree. “Lots of businesses are struggling with a lack of diversity, particularly on their tech teams, and implementing even just one of these tactics could make a real difference. In order to see the biggest difference, businesses should look to tackle bias at all stages of the recruitment process.

“If chosen carefully, recruitment consultancies and other talent partners can be an invaluable tool in the quest for diversity, as they should have their own comprehensive strategies in place to ensure inclusivity. Businesses must ensure that those responsible for recruitment are able to recognise their own unconscious biases, and given the tools to approach the process as objectively as possible, to ensure candidates do not face prejudice at the interview stage.”

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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