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Latest in the Region: Ireland

Government has received only 27 applications for temporary work visas

In response to the Government’s announcement regarding the granting of temporary visas to workers in the transport industry, Marian Khaliq, Partner and Head of Immigration at law firm Bishop and Sewel, said that the Government’s hostile post-Brexit immigration policies are responsible for prolonging the shortage of HGV drivers.

Khaliq said: “The Government was forced to act quickly after the shortage of HGV drivers recently resulted in fuel shortages, panic buying and the closure of some petrol stations.

“Other sectors, such as the food industry, have also been affected by labour issues, resulting in shortages of food supplies to supermarkets and restaurants, leading to fears of some foods being unavailable at Christmas.

“To deal with this, the Government will be issuing 4,700 ‘Seasonal Worker’ visas for drivers in the food haulage sector (expiring on 28 February 2022) and 5,500 ‘Seasonal Worker’ visas for poultry workers (which will expire on 31 December 2021). In both instances, the period of visa free access offered appears far too short to incentivise workers to come to the UK.”

Boris Johnson confirmed earlier this week that the Government had only received 27 applications. Other visas in the temporary seasonal worker category are usally granted for six months. Currently it’s estimated there is a labour shortfall of around 100,000 lorry drivers – triggered by an exodus of foreign nationals during the pandemic, coupled with post-Brexit immigration rules, and self-isolation requirements. The huge number of driver vacancies has been compounded by more general labour shortages affecting meat packing and fruit picking jobs – jobs previously done by EU nationals ­– which have impacted stock levels in supermarkets and fast-food chains.

Mariam continued: “The retail industry warned the government that, unless it took immediate measures to alleviate an acute shortage of haulage drivers, significant disruption was inevitable in the run-up to the Christmas season. In our new post-Brexit world, it is likely we will see the same labour shortage issues occur in other industries, unless the UK Government ceases with its inherently hostile attitude towards immigration.”

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London reports lowest job vacancies with highest number of unemployed

The ONS’s most recently published labour market figures show that vacancy numbers have reached another record high with the number of payroll employees up by 207,000 having surpassed pre-pandemic levels. This is 122,000 higher than levels seen before the pandemic hit in February.

The UK’s employment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points last quarter to 75.3%, while the unemployment rate was down 0.4 percentage points to 4.5%.

The ONS stated that the number of job vacancies increased by 318,000, with all industry sectors above or equal to the levels seen between January to March last year, before the first lockdown.

Record vacancies may not be good news

According to analysis of job listings by Adzuna, people looking for work may not be in the right areas to fill them, with different regions facing different employment challenges. London is by far the worst place for workers to be in if looking for employment, with more people looking for work than jobs advertised. The capital city had 13.4% of over 16 unemployed or furloughed which was the highest in the country. Vacancies were 104% of what they were pre-pandemic, but this was the smallest growth nationally.

The opposite is true in Northern Ireland, where vacancies grew 154%, the second steepest in the country, but there are comparatively fewer people looking for work.

This location phenomenon could result in continuing crisis for businesses battling to find staff as the economy grows.

Pay increases on the rise but not enough to secure candidates

Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 7.2% and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6% among employees for the three months June to August 2021.

Darren Morgan, Director of Economic Statistics at the ONS commented: “The jobs market has continued to recover from the effects of the coronavirus. The latest earnings continue to show growth on the year, even after taking inflation into account. However, the figures are still being affected by special factors that make it hard to read underlying trends.”

Matthew Percival, Programme Director for Skills and Inclusion at the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Companies have found hiring difficult this autumn and the official data is beginning to tell the same story, with the number of people on payroll exceeding pre-COVID highs and record vacancies.

Responding to the ONS earnings and employment figures, Matt Weston, UK Managing Director of global recruitment firm Robert Half, said:

“We’re currently seeing demand above and beyond pre-pandemic levels, and despite the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ creating a tsunami of turnover, we are still experiencing a saturated market where the demand for skilled talent outstrips the supply. The competition is evident with the increase in median monthly pay showing the strength of candidates’ influence when agreeing terms with a new employer.”

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Gender pay gap in the UK is 16.01%

New research from William Russell revealed the countries around the world that are the most empowering countries for women to live and work – and the UK didn’t make the list.

To score countries and rank them, the team at William Russell looked at a number of factors to create the Female Empowerment Score including:

  • Gender Pay Gap
  • The proportion of women who achieve tertiary education
  • The length of paid maternity leave
  • Female representation in government

The 10 best countries for female empowerment: 

Rank Country Female Empowerment Score 
1 Iceland 7.64
2 Finland 7.62
3 Ireland 7.22
4 Belgium 7.12
5 Denmark 7.04
6 Canada 6.83
7 France 6.77
8 Norway 6.73
9 Sweden 6.67
10 Lithuania 6.64

 

  • Iceland topped the list as the most female-friendly place to live and work, with a female empowerment score of 7.64. This Nordic island nation is well known for its progressive views and welcoming culture with more than half of adult women having achieved tertiary education such as a university degree.
  • Finland took second place with a score of 7.62. Finland has achieved excellent representation for women in its government, with 50% of all ministerial positions occupied by women.
  • Ireland takes third place, with a female empowerment score of 7.22. Ireland has a relatively low gender wage gap of 7.99% and a very competitive 182 days of paid maternity leave for new mothers.

The research also revealed the following:

  • The average gender wage gap around the world is 28%, the UK is above that with 16.01%.
  • The length of paid maternity leave is different all around the world, the average is 6 days. The UK is less than half of that with 42 days, Slovakia gives the most with 238 days.
  • The % of women who achieved tertiary education in the UK (47.7%), is higher than the global average (40.7%). Israel is at the top with 88%.
  • The global average for the proportion of women in ministerial positions is 34.44%. The UK is beneath that with 23.81%, whereas Belgium comes out on top with 57.14%.

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Net employment outlook at third strongest in Europe

According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, employers across Ireland anticipate the highest level of hiring in 17 years, for the fourth quarter according to The Net Employment Outlook for Ireland stands at +34%, the third strongest in Europe. The powerhouse area behind this positivity is the manufacturing sector – up 53 percentage points from the previous year to +39% for Q4 2021.

Transport and logistics is also poised for headcount growth, with employment outlook rising to 39% for the coming quarter. The retail sector also intends to hire significantly, bouncing back with the promise of continued government employment supports for the industry remaining in place until March 2022.

Elsewhere, the finance and business service sector remains strong, up ten percentage points on last quarter to +20%. However, the construction industry is being hit by limitations to supplies and hiring plans and has contracted 19 percentage points from last quarters record high, yet the employers in the sector remain optimistic with a hiring Outlook of +20%.

  • Nationwide, employers in all industry sectors report positive hiring plans for Q4.
  • From a regional perspective, employers in Dublin are reporting positive hiring intent with an outlook of +39%, with Munster being the most positive province for the next quarter at +44%.
  • Larger-sized organisations (250+ employees) are reporting the strongest hiring confidence for Q4 with an employment outlook of +39%.
  • Currently 69% of employers are struggling to fill roles. This leaves us with a significant talent gap where employers need to be investing in recruitment drives, upskilling and retraining programmes as long-term solutions to filling roles.

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Personio, an HR software for SMEs in Europe, is ramping up its efforts to invest and expand its footprint in the UK with an upgrade to a new and larger office in London’s Soho, new senior hires, and plans to further grow the team.

Larger office space in today’s hybrid workforce landscape seems out of place but Personio is expanding its footprint globally with up to 500 new hires also announced in its Dublin offices along with expansions in Madrid and Munich. Personio clearly has increased headcount and company growth at front of mind. Hanno Renner, co-founder and CEO of Personio has said that the business is committed to a hybrid way of work, so the increase in office space globally will be geared for that.

The fast-growing HR tech company has experienced strong demand in the UK as businesses have recognised the need to automate and digitise processes, in order to boost productivity. Personio’s UK revenue in Q1 2021 was more than 10 times greater than the same period last year. It counts leading SMEs such as Mindful Chef, Tractable and Numan among its UK customers, as well as Premier Inn, Statista and SkyTeam internationally.

Renner says, “The UK market is highly underserved in terms of HR software for SMEs. And appetite for this has only increased as a result of the pandemic, with businesses increasingly needing new ways to manage remote and hybrid workforces. With the UK representing one of our most important markets we’re keen to further invest in the UK and support the country’s six million SMEs as they get back on track and play a key role in fuelling the country’s economic recovery.”

As part of its growth, Personio has doubled the size of its London team over the last quarter. With the appointment of Sam Richards, Personio’s new Country Manager for the UK and Ireland, who joins Personio from Eventbrite, Personio has tapped into London’s tech talent pool to further strengthen its management team in the capital. Richards’ role will focus on increasing Personio’s UK and Ireland customer base and making Personio the leading HR solution for SMEs in the region.

New additions to the team also include Loretta Ediam as Head of Product Operations and Nick Peart as Vice President Marketing, who joins from Databricks and Zendesk, where he’s accompanied both companies on their journeys to their IPO. They will all join Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer and Ben Kiziltug, Head of Northern Europe in the new, larger London office recently opened in Soho.

Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio: “People are the single biggest influencer on the success of any business, and as such, we’re extremely committed to hiring top talent across all of our European offices to drive us forward. London remains one of the best places for tech companies to hire talented people, and Loretta, Nick and Sam all have proven skills and diverse experience and will be invaluable assets to our team here in the UK.”

Looking ahead, Personio is on track to grow its London presence almost fivefold by hiring an additional 40 new employees over the next two years. To make this happen, the company is hiring talent in all areas of the business, with a particular focus on sales and marketing as well as product analysts for its London team.

Offering SMEs recruiting, HR management and payroll support through its all-in-one HR software, Personio, which is headquartered in Munich, also operates from offices in London, Dublin, Madrid, with its new Amsterdam office set to open in autumn 2021.

 Allen Simpson, Acting Chief Executive, London & Partners said: “It is fantastic news Personio are growing their London footprint, demonstrating their commitment to the UK and their success so far in the UK market. We’ve seen the accelerated adoption of HR tech solutions over the last year as the world has adapted to new ways of working and Personio’s rapid growth in the UK is testament to their innovative offering for SMEs. London is a global hub for tech and innovation and Personio’s new Soho office right in the heart of London’s West End is a great place to be, an area home to some of the world’s fastest growing tech companies. We look forward to seeing Personio continue to grow in London and globally.”

In January this year (2021), Personio announced $125 million of new and pre-emptive Series D funding in an investment round that values the business at $1.7 billion, placing Personio among the most valuable private software companies in Europe. This latest funding came only 12 months after the company received $75 million of Series C funding in 2020, bringing its total funding to $250 million since launching in 2015.

 

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Businesses looking to engage tech contractors may need to rethink their pay rates and conditions, according to new research by Hays Technology.

A survey carried out by the specialist IT recruitment agency in May polled more than 600 contractors and hirers and was used to put together its UK Contractor Day Rate Guide 2021.

The research revealed that demand for technology expertise is increasing, but that skills shortages are hindering many firms’ efforts to hire talent. It reported a 21% increase in demand for IT contractors and a 17% increase in placements from H1 to H2.

Of the organisations polled, 42% said they did not have the required talent to achieve their current business objectives and more than 8 in 10 reported they had found it difficult to recruit contractors over the last year.

This supply and demand mismatch has led to day rate increases for many contractors, with some  project and change managers achieving increases of more than 10%. Overall, data gathered by Hays offices across the UK showed that technology day rates had increased by 0.8% over the last 12 months. Software developers had seen an average day rate rise of 2.4%.

James Hallahan, Director of Hays Technology in UK & Ireland, said: “Skills shortages abound in the technology sector and there are plentiful opportunities for tech contractors to be deployed within organisations that can’t find enough permanent employees with the right skills. Contractors with the most sought-after technical and soft skills, and those with a proven track record for successfully managing projects and leading change are going to expect assignments that deliver on flexibility and terms.”

Beyond pay

However, the Hays research also found that contractors wanted more than just pay increases: the majority now also wanted to be able to work remotely.

Many were already working from home for some of the time and more than half said their work-life balance had improved since March 2020, with almost three-quarters reporting that being able to work remotely was important to them.

Almost half (46%) now want greater flexibility with regard to hours and two in 10 said they wanted to change the expectation for them to work outside of their contracted hours to enhance their work-life balance.

The thorny issue of the IR35 reforms that were introduced in April remains a sticking point between contractors and hirers, found Hays.

“Most contractors want to stay outside of PAYE, presenting a potential shortage for organisations seeking to secure their skills. So, while the increase in activity means there is great demand for tech contractors, organisations are having a difficult time engaging with them. They may need to take an assignment-by-assignment view in order to attract the right skills and work with a recruitment specialist to help them secure the best talent,” said Hallahan.

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Finance, farming and transport hit hardest by pay cuts, according to Randstad research

Randstad’s latest analysis of the salaries of over 9,000 UK and Ireland workers, and data from 700 placed jobs, highlights the roles, industries, and demographics with the highest salaries or biggest drops over the last year.

The losers

According to the 2021 Randstad salary guide, Irish finance professionals were hit hardest, with part qualified group accountant seeing salary decline of -8%, followed by finance manager (-6%) and part qualified management accountant (-6%). In terms of sector, those working in agriculture and transportation saw the largest decreases in salary for new roles – reduced by 44% and 43% respectively. The East of England saw the biggest fall in remuneration as a region, with 28% changing jobs with a pay cut compared to just 14% in London.

The older demographic saw the biggest decline, with nearly half (48%) of 55-64-year-olds surveyed reported a decrease in their salary.

The winners

Demand for developers and specialist tech roles pushed their salaries up by 9%, according to Randstad’s Employer Brand Research (REBR), with the East Midlands the best region to find qualified tech workers. Despite the tech boom in the East Midlands, the West saw higher than average vacancies (up 11% overall) while the East fell to 2% below average.

HR assistant salaries rose by 6% in the North East and by an average of 4.5% across the North West, with salaries for other HR-related roles rising by nearly 3% on average across the country. London saw the biggest rise, with 15% of Londoners, across all sectors, received a pay increase of between £2,000 and £5,000 – and a further 15% reporting a pay rise of over £30,000 when switching jobs.

The three highest ranked roles by salary rise were: Software Developer (9%) followed by Marketing Assistant (7%) and HR Manager (5%).

Rise of the marketing assistants

With firms focused on competition, differentiation and positioning themselves for the upturn, marketing is in higher demand. Pay rises for marketing assistant roles now vary from a 1.5% increase to 13% in Yorkshire, to over 18% for newly qualified marketers based in the North-West of England. All marketing function roles in the UK have seen an average 5% increase on 2020 figures.

“With organisations over the past 18 months seeing a long list of changes — from new privacy policies, the accelerated digitalisation of brands, altered consumer behaviour due to the pandemic — marketers are working harder than ever, essentially, being asked to do more and with less,” said Adrian Smith, Senior Director of Operations, Randstad. “Acknowledging the importance of the central marketing function and the role it plays in supporting business objectives, the more junior marketers are getting the recognition they deserve.”

Not all about salaries

A new study by borofree highlights The importance of company benefits to attract and retain talent during a major talent shortage across all sectors has been highlighted in a new study from Borofree, a UK salary advance start-up that helps people avoid debt by providing free access to a proportion of their next pay cheque in advance.

The online survey of 2009 employed adults, conducted by Censuswide between 28th May – 2nd June 2021, found that 68% believe company benefits and perks have an important role in driving staff recruitment and retention. However, one in five of UK employees have had their packages reduced or cut completely in the last 12 months – including 28% of 16-24 year olds and 29% of those aged 25-34 years. As a result, 15% of 16-24 year old’s have considered leaving their job.

The study claims that employers are too focused on the short term and not enough on long term perks, with 25% of employees stating that they don’t think the perks being offered are relevant or tailored to them – such as fertility treatments or sailing trips – and 15% revealing they have never received any perks from the company they currently work for.

Benefits packages that provide financial wellbeing support are in highest demand, with pensions the most popular for a third of respondents but 18% want the option of being paid weekly and 14% want an interest free loan. “Too many companies approach company benefits as a PR exercise, failing to consider what’s going to make a real difference to their employees workplace wellbeing and happiness,” said Minck Hermans, CEO and Co-founder at borofree. “Evidently, the fads and outrageous corporate packages are no longer ticking the boxes for staff, who are looking for perks that are both relevant and useful for them.”

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UK businesses are sleepwalking into a costly large-scale employee exodus if the results of two separate pieces of research are to be believed.

According to a survey of 1,000 office workers by software company Beamery, almost half (48%) of all UK employees are either leaving their job or hoping to do so this year.

Its findings were echoed by research for HR software solution Personio, which polled 500 HR decision makers and 2,002 workers across the UK and Ireland and found 38% of employees wanted to change jobs in the next six to 12 months.

The cost to businesses, according to Personio, could be as high as £16.9 billion, with SMEs alone facing estimated costs of up to £5.8 billion.

Drivers of dissatisfaction

According to the Beamery Talent Index, it was bad leadership, poor employee support and stagnant growth opportunities during the pandemic that had led to the potential enormous employee churn facing workplaces.

Of those wanting to move on from their employer, 63% said this was due to poor leadership and a lack of support during the pandemic.

More specifically, it was perceived ‘career regression’ that was an issue for employees. More than half (53%) said working from home had had a significantly negative impact on their development and progression at work.

Nearly four in 10 (39%) felt their skills had grown stale and that they were going backwards from a career perspective, with 48% reporting their employer had not offered any opportunities to learn new skills during the pandemic.

Many felt the issue was going largely unnoticed, with 82% saying their employer needed to address career progression better.

One in 10 said they only had the opportunity to discuss promotion and progression once a year, while 43% said a lack of 1:1 engagement with managers had affected their progression opportunities.

“Now more than ever, if you want to ensure you attract and retain the best talent in your industry, employee communication is key,” said Abakar Saidov, Co-founder and CEO at Beamery.

“Workers want a clear, objective way of understanding the skills they need to learn to progress in their career, and employers must provide the right training and mentorship opportunities to help them improve.”

‘Worrying disconnect’

While the Personio research also reported that lack of career progression was a key driver for employees to look elsewhere, it found there was a “worrying disconnect” between workers and their employers on this point.

While 29% of those looking to move on put progression as a big factor in them wanting to leave, of the HR decision makers polled, only 17% thought this was a significant reason for employees to move on.  Similarly, almost twice as many employees as HR decision makers said a toxic workplace culture was a significant factor (21% employees vs. 12% HR decision makers).

Employees and employers also did not seem to be on the same page when it came to how workers had been supported during the crisis.

HR decision makers were twice as likely as employees to rate their career development support as ‘good’ (64% versus 30%), and they were also out of synch when it came to thinking the work-life balance (70% HR vs. 53% employees) and mental/physical wellbeing (68% vs. 44%) support they provided was good.

Hanno Renner, Co-founder and CEO of Personio, said: “Falling out of touch with the workforce’s problems and priorities means that not only could people be more frustrated and ready to resign, but employers will be poorly prepared to prevent people leaving – resulting in lost talent and productivity, and damaged employer brand.”

Worryingly, the Personio research suggested employers weren’t doing enough to prevent lost talent. While nearly half (45%) said they were concerned staff would leave once the job market improved, only a quarter (26%) said talent retention was a priority for the next 12 months.

Young most unhappy

The Personio research found that those in the 18-34 year-old demographic were most likely to be looking for new opportunities, with 55% wanting to leave their job in the next six to 12 months.

The Beamery research had similar findings, with dissatisfaction about working from home seeming to be a key issue for younger workers.

Of those 18-34 year-olds surveyed for its report, 48% reported feeling isolated or undervalued by working from home, while 74% said it had hindered their personal development and progression at work.

Only 13% enjoyed working from home, with a large majority (84%) stating they wanted to return to the office.

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Talent Solutions

Manpower Group recently launched Talent Solutions, combining three of its offerings. TI sat down with Talent Solutions to learn more about the launch of their Talent Solutions Brand in 2021 and how it came about. Here’s what they had to say.  

TI: Can you tell me a little more about Talent Solutions (size, number of employees, locations served etc)? 

With 40+ years of experience delivering client-focused, technology enabled, innovative workforce solutions to the market, Talent Solutions delivers expertise to organisations across the talent lifecycle.  

We manage over £10 billion of spend in our Managed Service Programmes; we deliver 250+ Recruitment Process Outsourcing solutions to clients around the world; and we’re supporting some of the world’s largest organisations on their journey towards Total Talent Management. 

Our ability to capitalise on new thinking, new workforce models and new possibilities has made us the most recognised and respected workforce solutions provider in the world – as benchmarked by leading industry analysts. 

Across the UK, we have over 550 people working for Talent Solutions, with offices in Altrincham, Bristol, London, Edinburgh and Southampton, as well as client sites throughout the UK. 

TI: ManpowerGroup recently launched Talent Solutions (combining three of its offerings). What was the company’s reasoning behind that? 

Talent Solutions combines three of ManpowerGroup’s global offerings – RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), TAPFIN MSP (Managed Service Provider) and Right Management – providing innovative solutions and end-to-end, data-driven capabilities across the talent lifecycle through one brand.  

TI: What opportunities does the new offering bring to the group? 

This new combination of offerings will leverage deep industry expertise and a strong understanding of what talent wants, delivering new solutions to address organisations’ complex global workforce needs. 

TI: Were there any challenges when it came to launching it? 

Talent Solutions was introduced in the UK on the 31st March 2020, a week after the UK was put into lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we took the decision to adjust our plans in the UK, taking a much lower-key approach to the introduction of the new brand.  

Whilst this wasn’t how we envisioned sharing the new brand, it was appropriate given the difficult times everyone was facing. Since then, we have been working on raising awareness of our new brand and the value we can bring to our clients.  

TI: What makes this offering unique? 

With the combination of RPO, TAPFIN MSP and Right Management, Talent Solutions is able to provide seamless delivery of end-to-end workforce solutions that help clients to navigate risk, cost, efficiency and quality while facing changing and uncertain markets.  

Employer brand 

TI: How has the company been developing its employer brand in recent years? 

With the launch of Talent Solutions, we’ve introduced new imagery which focuses on learnability and the opportunity for individuals from all backgrounds to progress in the organisation. Across the wider business, we highlight the breadth of opportunity for new experiences across the organisation, whether that’s with our different ManpowerGroup brands, or working directly with our clients across the UK. 

TI: What role does employer brand play in the attraction and retention of talent? 

An effective employer brand strategy is one of the most important aspects of a successful recruiting function and we believe that this will become even more important in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To build a compelling employer brand, you should focus on being authentic in sharing communication of your purpose and the connection that you develop with your candidates, and being consistent in your communication and approach with every candidate. 

Attracting and retaining talent 

TI: What are you looking for in a potential member of staff for your team? 

Whilst knowledge of the industry is an important attribute, with any new employee, we look for individuals with high levels of learnability and adaptability. This increases the likelihood that they can adapt to new opportunities and changing environments and job requirements. 

Given the size of our organisation and the different brand structures, it’s also vital that a potential member of staff demonstrates a positive attitude to team working. A collaborative approach helps to drive better results in our business. 

We also don’t just recruit those with experience working for recruitment organisations, considering the relevance of their external knowledge to our market and the market of our clients. 

TI: How does the company go about attracting emerging talent? 

We have a wonderful Talent Team that operates across ManpowerGroup, helping us to attract the right talent for our organisation. In 2021, we also launched our internal talent academy, designed to bring people with no experience of recruitment into the business, put them through an initial training programme and support them as they start their career with ManpowerGroup. 

TI: How does the company use training and development to retain staff? 

We’re very fortunate that ManpowerGroup puts a considerable amount of investment into training and development to help employees progress in their careers.  

As well as having access to an extensive library of online training, we also offer our employees access to Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships as well as leadership programmes with organisations such as Harvard Business School and INSEAD. 

Outsourced hiring 

TI: What benefits does outsourced hiring bring to a company? 

Run correctly, outsourced hiring can offer companies a number of benefits. At Talent Solutions, we focus on providing customers with greater predictability and flexibility of costs, a more efficient recruitment process, an improved candidate experience and importantly, improved talent quality.  

TI: How do you ensure you’re delivering maximum value to your clients? 

Across ManpowerGroup, we focus on the 4 B’s – Build, Buy, Borrow and Bridge – when working to develop effective talent strategies and deliver maximum value for our clients. Each stage involves: 

  • Build – Invest in learning and development to grow your talent pipeline 
  • Buy – Go to the external market to find the best talent that cannot be built in-house in the timeframe required 
  • Borrow – Cultivate communities of talent outside the organisation, including part-time, freelance, contract and temporary workers to complement existing skills 
  • Bridge – Help people move on and move up to new roles inside or outside the organisation 

Enhancing hiring 

TI: Where do you think improvements are needed in the hiring process? 

One of the areas that we see most frequently which needs improving is how organisations manage their silver medallists through the hiring process. Whilst that individual may not be the best candidate for the specific role businesses are hiring for at the time, companies could benefit from reviewing whether there are any other suitable roles for them in the organisation. If nothing is available, then they should be kept on file (subject to data restrictions) for any future relevant roles. 

Crucial here, as with all hiring, is getting the candidate experience right. This is often something which is neglected in our busy work environments. Candidates are ultimately consumers too, so even if they’re not the right fit to work in your organisation, they may still be a customer, but only if you treat them with respect throughout the process. Introducing technology at the right stages of the hiring process can help you to streamline the process more effectively, allowing more time to provide the human touch.  

TI: How could technology be used to enhance hiring further? 

From Robotic Process Automation, to our Talent Solutions PowerSuite, which creates the flexibility to tailor our offerings to meet evolving client and candidate needs, we’re continuously developing our technology capabilities and working with our partners to provide clients and candidates with the best technology to support their hiring processes.  

Some of the key areas where we see further opportunities to enhance the hiring process using technology are through improved use of chatbots, On-Demand Interviewing and Search and Match technology. 

Hiring trends 

TI: What hiring trends has the company been witnessing recently? 

The most obvious trend having an impact on hiring at the moment are the talent shortages we’re seeing across the board. We’re seeing a continued increase in hiring intentions, with a 30 year high of +32% (ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, Jan 2022). However, in many cases, clients are unable to meet their hiring needs due to a shortage of talent. We’re working closely with our clients to help them find the skills they need, by thinking differently about their talent strategies.  

TI: How do hiring trends and patterns differ across the countries you operate in? 

Operations in each country are assessing the changing trends in every location to make sure they are aligned to the customer needs.  

TI: What is Talent Solutions doing to counter skills shortages in certain sectors? 

Talent Solutions has a number of different solutions to support clients facing skills shortages. We support our clients to develop talent pipeline management, to ensure they have the individuals they need, when they need them. This can be done through a range of techniques including bridging their current employees into other areas of the business through training or providing Employed Consultants. Employed Consultants are highly skilled specialists who are permanently employed by Experis (part of ManpowerGroup), and then supplied on an interim basis.  

We also work with clients to build Train to Fit programmes, taking individuals who already have a range of technical and functional skills which are valuable to their business, and have the aptitude to develop further. We create a training programme in partnership with the client, helping individuals advance their knowledge to the right level and meet the needs of the role over an agreed period of time.  

On top of these solutions, Talent Solutions also has the benefit of skills development programmes across the wider ManpowerGroup business, including the MyPath programme in Manpower, which helps associates upskill and develop along their career path. MyPath associates are provided with personalised guidance, career development, training and continuous access to jobs – helping them to achieve their ambitions and meet employers’ needs today and in the future.  

Diversity and inclusion 

TI: Are companies doing enough to be truly diverse and inclusive? 

There is always room for improvement in this area. But it’s clear that businesses are waking up to the need to be truly diverse and inclusive. It’s now on the agenda for every leadership team, with many businesses taking big steps towards active inclusion, rather than just paying lip service. At ManpowerGroup, we created seven steps to conscious inclusion in the workplace: 

  1. Change yourself first 
  1. Leadership has to own it; don’t delegate it 
  1. Flip the question – ask, “Why Not?” 
  1. Hire people who value people 
  1. Promote a culture of conscious inclusion: programmes alone don’t work 
  1. Be explicit; when and where?  
  1. Be accountable; set measurable and achievable outcomes 

Managed correctly, one of the potential opportunities to come out of recent turbulence could be the removal of some of the barriers to the workplace for more diverse groups. For example, the increased acceptance of remote working and flexible hours could help businesses to become more inclusive for those with care responsibilities. 

TI: What is Talent Solutions doing to support improvements in this (both internally and for clients)? 

We’re working with our clients to share advice around implementing the seven steps to conscious inclusion. We’re also advising them on strategies for reaching and attracting diverse groups when advertising for new roles. 

We’ve also recently strengthened our commitment to inclusion and diversity globally, committing to: 

  • Reaching our primary global diversity goal of 40% female leadership by 2024 
  • Investing in our inclusive culture to retain and develop diverse talent 
  • Advancing employment security for the long-term; reskilling, upskilling and improving wellbeing and employability for all 

In the UK, we’ve also launched our Supplier Diversity Initiative, a commitment to developing relationships with diverse suppliers who enhance the solutions we offer to our clients. We will be supporting diverse suppliers to accelerate their growth and ability to succeed in the marketplace, as well as helping others to become more diverse and inclusive. The result is optimal client solutions and partnerships within a world of diverse and high-performing talent. 

Looking to the future 

TI: What are your plans for the company over the year ahead? 

As building talent increases in importance in workforce planning and development, we will continue to support our clients and candidates through the further development of our Academy offerings – ensuring that we are upskilling individuals for the jobs of the future and providing the skills that our clients need to grow and progress. 

Using our expertise in ESG, we’ll enhance our support for clients around Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, helping them to improve in these vital areas at the same time as accessing potentially untapped talent pools as part of the strategy for overcoming skills shortages.  

In response to ongoing volatile market conditions, we’ll also continue to increase the flexibility of our solutions, using our Centres of Recruitment Excellence (CoRE) to ramp requirements up and down as needed and supporting across the Total Talent Management lifecycle. Our Agile RPO solutions will continue to expand, meeting the need for short to medium term support for internal recruitment teams. 

We will also continue to work with our new and existing clients to help them meet changing workforce requirements post COVID-19.  

TI: What outsourced hiring trends do you expect to see in the year(s) ahead? (Will there be an increase in in-house hiring?)  

With the increased pace of change in customer demands impacting upon workforce strategies, we anticipate an increased need for businesses to speak to external experts for advice to help them continue to run their organisations as efficiently as possible. This will provide them with an outside in perspective from people who have a view of the wider market.  

Understandably, we also expect to see demand for flexibility from candidates continue, as many will have experienced the potential benefits during lockdown.  

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Pandemic has exacerbated gender inequality

A detailed report, produced by Sharon Peake, founder and CEO at Shape Talent, has exposed why women in the workplace across Britain and Europe have been so severely impacted by COVID-19.

Sharon Peake, founder and CEO at Shape Talent, said: “The fact is: pre-existing gender inequalities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and many of the hard-earned gains in women’s equality in the workplace, particularly at leadership levels, have been eroded. Women, the world over, are exhausted by the impact of gender bias.”

Predictions by The World Economic Forum expect that the gender pay gap is not going to close for another 136 years, as a direct impact of the pandemic. This is an increase of 36 years on the previous Global Gender Gap Report, which predicted 99.5 years.

Peake explained: “Since time began, gender equality has been viewed as a women’s issue and the focus has been on how to ‘fix’ women. This report does not exist to tell us how unacceptable this is – it is here to provide business leaders with the insight that can focus their strategies on sustainable change and ultimately accelerate gender equality.”

The paper outlines the three barriers that are summarised below:

  • Societal barriers: Subtle and often unspoken cultural cues and messages that reinforce the ways that men and women ‘ought’ to think, behave and feel
  • Organisational barriers: The hurdles experienced in the workplace and a combination of systemic obstacles, cultures and norms which disadvantage women
  • Personal barriers: A diverse range of hindrances, including how women present in the workplace and how they manage the work-family interface.

The paper lists eight guiding principles companies can adopt to counteract the barriers; these are:

  1. Link inclusion and diversity to business strategy
  2. Set the tone from the top
  3. Make inclusion part of cultural change programme
  4. Take an evidence-based approach
  5. Engage men
  6. Build and accelerate the pipeline
  7. Enable a level playing field
  8. Narrow the focus
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Mobile makes up 80% of the working population, says Bersin Report

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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