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A big headcount increase is planned for 2022

Arctic Shores, the psychometric assessment company, have announced that it has received £1.5m in venture debt funding from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

The raise is said to be used to support Arctic Shores’ aim of ‘changing the way the world sees potential’ in a time where 91% of employers are struggling to find talent amid the skills shortage. The investment will position Arctic Shores to enable employers see more in people that previous experience, with a platform that ‘is built to look beyond past experience, and uncover true potential at work.’

The funding will allow further growth and Arctic Shores is said to be increasing their headcount by a further 20 staff throughout the year.

Arctic Shores joins Wise, HelloFresh and GoCardless as the latest high-growth, tech-enabled organisations supported by SVB.

Robert Newry, CEO of Arctic Shores, commented: “The global skills shortage shows that it’s never been more vital to hire for potential. But, for employers, that requires one big step – scrapping the CV. It might feel like a tough ask. But unless we free ourselves from irrelevant and outdated experience, we’ll never unleash the vast potential of the untapped many, who have the quality but lack the experience. That’s why, with SVB’s support, we’re excited to show the world that it’s not only possible to see more in people, but, with our Talent Discovery Platform, simple and affordable too.”

Ben Tickler, Director of Venture & Growth at Silicon Valley Bank UK Branch, also made comment: “Arctic Shores is an exciting Manchester-based innovation company, and it has been great to be able to support them on their impressive journey of rapid growth. We look forward to a continued partnership with the team as they look to scale further.”

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The Group’s footprint has expanded in the UK, Europe and APAC regions

In a move to expand its international provision of its recruitment operating systems, The Access Group has announced the acquisition of Vincere, which is a global provider of technology to over 20,000 recruitment consultants around the globe. The acquisition is the latest addition to Access Recruitment’s unique service offering and has significantly expanded their international reach across the UK and Europe, as well as the APAC region.

The Access portfolio has been developed and grown over time, and includes a host of acquisitions of a number of players in the recruitment sector. These include Safe Computing, Microdec, Volcanic and First Choice Software. As a division of The Access Group, Access Recruitment, supports agencies from start-ups to scale-ups and large enterprises by providing them with their technology that incorporates the entire front to back-office ecosystem.

Paul Vogel, Managing Director of Access Recruitment commented: “Vincere has built an impressive business serving customers across the globe with their intuitive and pioneering recruitment software. We are excited to welcome Vincere to Access and we look forward to working collaboratively to deliver the best customer outcomes as we accelerate our vision to become the number one provider of recruitment technology in the world. The experienced talent and service capabilities within Vincere will certainly complement our existing wealth of recruitment experience in the Access team”.

Bernie Schiemer, Founder and CEO of Vincere made comment: “We have spoken openly about our ambitions for Vincere to become the clear leader globally in our space. To make that a reality and more than just hot air, we needed to partner with a heavyweight who shares our vision of providing a single operating system for the front, middle and back office of recruitment firms, on a global scale. Access Recruitment’s heritage in the temp space, plus their strength in key areas such as payroll and compliance, made them the natural choice and puts our current momentum on steroids.

“This acquisition puts the mighty Access machine behind us and turns Vincere into an unstoppable force. There are now no limits on how far we can take the platform and the experience we can provide to our customers. The entire Vincere team here is thrilled to join the Access Group.”

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Employers rigid in hiring criteria despite skills gap 

Over half of employers (60%) are receiving more applications from candidates who have come from different industries new research by Reed.co.uk has revealed.  

The commissioned researched canvased over 250 hiring decision-makers across the UK and reflected an increasing awareness of transferable skills with an appetite for reskilling among jobseekers. The news comes after Reed.co.uk reported 140,000 courses were purchased in the first half of November – a 786% rise year-on-year – as workers reevaluate their skillset in light of the pandemic.  

Some employers remain rigid in their requirements of applicants, despite this wider range of talent that has become available to businesses with over half (60%) of hiring decision-makers still feeling it is important for applicants to have a university education, which immediately limits the size of their candidate pool.  

Hiring managers within the Construction and Technology sectors – who report more labour shortages than those from any other industries in the survey – are also the most likely to believe a university education is important for candidates. Whereas employers in ‘real estate’ (17%) and ‘creative industries’ (33%) placed the least importance on applicants having a university education. 

Alongside a university education, the research showed that employers add much value to soft skills, such as teamwork and interpersonal skills, as a result of the shift to remote working with two-thirds (64%) of hiring decision-makers in agreement. 

While a university education and soft skills are desirable for a candidate, some employers may need to become more flexible about their expectations, especially as over half (55%) of the businesses surveyed reporting labour shortages.  

Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, commented on the findings: “It’s encouraging to see that many workers are already learning new skills to improve their career opportunities. However, employers should be more flexible when it comes to hiring, by looking at workers who haven’t got qualifications but who are willing to learn and have useful transferable skills for a modern working environment. By sticking to a rigid, old-fashioned approach to recruiting, you could be discarding talent that could help fuel your growth plans in 2022.” 

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Ethnicity pay gap reporting is not mandatory  

Research by People Like Us and Censuswide has revealed that workers from Black, Asian, mixed-race and minority ethnic backgrounds only earn 84% of what their white counterparts are paid. This is 16% less and equates to losing up to £255,000 pounds every year. 

The findings also revealed that people from racially diverse backgrounds are passed over for pay rises – and this happens more frequently the more senior they become with a third passed over at entry level. This figure is more than half at senior manager and director level.  

According to the research 59% of racially diverse respondents believe this ‘progressional glass ceiling’ is down to the colour of their skin. With the pandemic shining a spotlight on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, it’s important that HR teams need to review their pay structures.   

Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International commented:  

“The sheer fact that ethnic minority workers are paid 16% less than their white colleagues shows the reality that ethnicity pay gaps continue to exist in organisations. HR teams and business leaders in the UK have a long way to go. While it’s still not mandatory for ethnicity pay gap reporting, some organisations such as PwC are already publishing them to be transparent. The findings clearly show that HR teams must start doing ethnicity pay gap reporting as it will give them the push they need to review their pay structures and question themselves if they are doing enough to address the pay gap. Reporting is the best way to start improving racial equality in the workplace.   

“Organisations must understand the benefits of diversity and inclusion, and this means everyone, regardless of ethnicity, are getting paid their worth. For organisations to retain their best talent and ensure their business continues to prosper, it’s high time business leaders focus on addressing all pay gap issues, including gender and ethnicity. Business leaders ought to undertake unconscious bias and diversity and inclusion training to ensure everyone within their business are not under-represented and paid below their worth.” 

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REC says employers need to rethink hiring processes to mitigate skills shortages 

According to a survey conducted by the REC’s JobsOutlook, business confidence in the UK economy fell by 9%.  

This is the first time since February/ April 2021 that the barometer has fallen into the negative, indicating that confidence in the economy is waning. Uncertainty around rising inflation, labour shortages and the Omicron variant has increased over the past three months and this appears to the be the reason for the drop.  

Business confidence in making hiring and investment decisions continued to improve with a higher proportion of firms saying their prospects were still improving. However, that growth in confidence weakened slightly, falling by two percentage points to net: +11.  

According to the survey, growing uncertainty has led to an increase in demand for temporary workers increasing to net: +15 for the next three months; with demand for the next 4 to 12 months also rising by nine points to net to +14. 

Hiring intentions for permanent staff remained robust at net: +21, both in the short term and in the medium term. 

The survey also reported that in November, shortly after the end of the furlough scheme, 51% of employers had seen no change in the availability of candidates for vacancies.  

Kate Shoesmith, Deputy CEO of the REC, commented: “While the next few weeks are likely to be bumpy, we anticipate a highly competitive labour market in early 2022. There will be particularly high demand for temporary work, which helps businesses to manage uncertainty and keep people in work during tough times. Firms will have to look seriously at their recruitment process and their offer to candidates to attract the staff they need. Recruiters are ideally positioned to help with this.” 

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Mere 15% of employees believe company’s ESG initiatives are genuine 

New research released by PLAY, a product development studio, has found that 77% of workers would like the company they work for to be more transparent about their environmental impact.  

Climate change is front of mind with the study finding that employees are sceptical about their employer’s sustainability initiatives. Overall, only 14% of those surveyed believed that companies’ sustainability initiatives were ‘always’ impactful or genuine. This number fell to under one in 10 for general employees, compared with over a third (34%) of business leaders. This suggests that business leaders may be over-estimating the impact and value of their existing environmental initiatives for employees.  

PLAY’s report surveyed 1,000 UK-based employees, split between 750 general employees and 250 business leaders/Chief Sustainability Officers, about their views on sustainability initiatives in business.   

Are business leaders disconnected with their employees?  

The report seemingly revealed a disconnect between employees and business leaders where the impact of sustainability initiatives is concerned. However, the study showed a consensus between both groups when it came to how best to support the fight against the climate emergency. Business leaders showed a willingness to support in improving sustainability goals and initiatives, but the research revealed there is a disconnect between their actions and words. While 82% of business leaders say they agree that their organisation should support employees to make sustainable decisions and display sustainable behaviours, only 38% of employees said that their company provides them with the tools and resources to build sustainable habits, and 22% don’t know if those resources are available to them.  

Overall, 77% of respondents agreed that major behaviour changes are necessary to ensure individuals, companies and countries achieve their sustainability goals. This figure was as high as 90% of those in the legal sector, 88% of those working in finance, and 84% of those in IT. Business leaders (85%) were also more likely than CSOs (79%) and employees (75%) to agree, implying that behaviour change is a priority on companies’ radar.  

Marcus Thornley, CEO and founder of PLAY commented: “Our research shows the need for business leaders to take sustainability initiatives seriously. There’s a strong desire from employees to get involved in their company’s sustainability projects, but these initiatives currently lack transparency and credibility. Businesses need to support employees with valuable and measurable sustainability goals and approaches, if not they will continue to see these projects delivering little success.  Business leaders need to change this to keep employees engaged, reimagining their approach to sustainability and implementing more innovative means of behaviour change and measurement supported by technology.”  

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Companies in the creative sector looking for talent for growth

Data compiled by creative, digital and marketing recruitment specialists, Aquent, has shown that UK salaries are surging as the economy comes back to life.

The collated data from placements made in the UK during 2021 indicate that companies have engaged in the hiring ‘rush’ that has continued to gain momentum since spring and those working in creative industries have a glimpse into next year’s job market in Aquent’s 2022 salary guide.

The data from this year’s salaries paints a very different picture to the job market in 2020 where stagnating wages and impending redundancies were seen in the advertising and creative industries. According to the report, the recent ‘boom’ in wages is down to a number of factors, including a skills shortage which has resulted in midweight roles pushing for higher salaries.

Companies that have survived the pandemic are searching for talent for further growth; but in the current market, candidates often have multiple job offers and ask for higher salaries to sweeten the deal. Aquent’s data found that in order to make a move to a new role, 42% of talent wanted a 16% to 30% salary increase before tendering their resignation.

UX and CX continue to call the shots

Much like 202, those working in UX and CX design still hold the ‘golden ticket’ in terms of the most sought-after roles. Data from Aquent found that only 20% of UX, CX and Service Design talent are looking for a new role yet 65% would be willing to leave for the right offer.

Salary increases are as follows: junior UX designers and midweight UX designers have increased by 33%; while top-end senior UX designer salaries have risen by 50% (£80k to £120k).

In some cases, senior UX architects have seen salaries double, from 60k in 2021 to £120k, a 50% rise. Compared to data from five years ago, UX architects have seen a 150% increase and senior UX designers a 70% increase in wages since 2016.

Aliza Sweiry, UK managing director, Aquent, commented: “The boost is salaries is welcome news for candidates on the look-out for a new role in 2022. The job market has been turned on its head from the situation last year becoming an ‘employees’ market.

“This is a great time for applicants with itchy feet to explore the job market, we’re seeing candidates ‘flex their muscles’ in terms of what they want and expect from a role and employers are responding with higher salaries and more flexible working options. As always, our salary guides always throw up interesting insights and this year has been no different. It will be fascinating to see how the industry responds this time next year.”

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Employers to carefully consider vaccination policies

New COVID-19 restrictions came into force on 13 December, effectively sending workers back to working from home, if they’re able. But can the businesses that need employees in the workplace force them to be vaccinated?

Damian Kelly, partner and head of the employment law practice at Lodders Solicitors weighed in: “Other than employers of care home staff, employers have no legislative right to require staff to be vaccinated. In other sectors, employers who try to mandate staff vaccinations are running a high risk of Employment Tribunal claims, including claims for unlawful discrimination.”

“Increasingly, employers are seeing value in introducing Vaccination Policies which, whilst falling short of requiring mandatory vaccinations, encourage their staff to get vaccinated and set out various means by which they will be supported in doing so.”

“For care homes and their staff, The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 were approved on 22nd July 2021, and made it mandatory for a person working or providing professional services in a care home to have the COVID-19 vaccine from the 11th of November 2021.

Damien added: “Employers should give careful consideration to the drafting of a Vaccination Policy and the way in which it is communicated and implemented across their workforces. Important issues for consideration are likely to include timing, confidentiality, time off measures and fair procedures for dismissals should they be necessary.”

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71% of employers believe pandemic will mean continued wellbeing support

The emergence of another COVID-19 variant has meant employers head in to 2022 with yet more uncertainty.

But GRiD, the industry body for the group risk protection sector, offers three employee benefit related New Year’s resolutions that make good business sense during the unpredictability of a pandemic:

  1. Think the unthinkable

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the old ‘it won’t happen to me’ attitude as most people have had to face up to the fact that it could. For an employer, unthinkable questions could be, ‘What will happen to the business if we lose a key person?’, ‘Can the business afford to pay out for a death or for long-term sick leave?’ and ‘What sort of help should the business provide?’.

If these questions set any alarm bells ringing then it is probably time to make some relatively inexpensive changes to an organisation’s benefits package or to the insurance in place to protect members of staff and the business against financial loss.

  1. Choose to be a nurturing employer

A valued employee will be engaged and productive which is good for business. Employers who take this approach to staff will have little to fear from the much talked about ‘Great Resignation’. However, if employees are re-evaluating what they want out of life and work, as many are, and if they don’t see their employer as having been particularly supportive during the pandemic, they may look elsewhere.

Three quarters (73%) of employers believe the pandemic will mean long-term changes in the way they support the health and wellbeing of staff, with 71% of employers believing the pandemic will mean a continued uplift in checking in with staff as a way to support them.

  1. Shout it out

If an employer has put measures in place to both protect and nurture its staff, it needs to be bolder in communicating this support so that staff can derive maximum benefit from everything that is in place.

If employees are pointed in the right direction and communications are little and often, then they remember to use the support and help when they most need it.

In addition, developing an external communications strategy is also important in order to win the attention of an organisation’s next generation of employees.

Katharine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD said: “If a business is doing great things for its people in terms of looking after them in the present and protecting them from unknown future events, then they need to shout about it. This, in turn, drives engagement and appreciation which aids productivity, attraction and retention.

“I’m sure all employers had hoped to be heading in to the new year without the ongoing threat from the COVID-19 virus but as it looks like we could be in for another bumpy ride in 2022, employers would be wise to focus their New Year’s resolutions around their virus-weary staff.”

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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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