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39% of organisations reporting losing employees to companies who offer flexibility

Unit4, the cloud applications organisation, has announced the people and HR-related findings of its second annual Business Future Index.

The report surveyed 3,450 respondents across 12 global markets in order to understand how much people, policy and technology changes have accelerated over the past 12 months with the Index revealing significant concerns with flexible working strategies, despite a dramatic acceleration in its adoption. With competition for talent growing, there is a danger that failure to improve working policies and implement the right tools could lead to more employees choosing those employers who offer a more flexible approach.

The index found that 76% of respondents said that flexible working policies need improvement and 62% agreed that the tools to support flexible working are not adequate. A mere 18% of respondents said that they experience a flexible working policy without any restrictions with 39% of organisations reporting losing employees to companies who offer flexibility.

Attracting and retaining talent (62%) remains the biggest priority for organisations over the next 12 months, as talent shortages continue.

Flexibility important but implementation inconsistent

The Business Future Index found that 92% of respondents stated that their organisations have now adopted some form of flexible working policy. However, it also revealed that there is much work to be done to apply these policies more equitably and ensure employees have the right framework and tools to enable such approaches. For example, the Index discovered that 37% of people work flexible hours, such as working from 9am – 3pm, then made up time in the evening with 31% working a completely flexible hybrid model (office and home based). Of the respondents, 31% stated that they are mandated to spend a proportion of time in the office (for example, a certain number of days per week).

While the reasonably even split between the different types of flexible working is understandable given that not every organisation can offer complete remote working, other data suggests an imbalance in how such policies are applied. While 55% say flexible working applies to all employees, more than a third (35%) said it only applies to some employees dependent on job role, and 9% suggested it depends on the manager’s discretion applying only to some employees. Given that less than one fifth of employees experience flexible working without restrictions, there is still some way to go to improve such policies and, therefore, it is critical organisations move quickly to avoid loss of talent.

Big drivers for workforce strategies: recruitment, diversity and technology

According to the Index, attracting and retaining talent remains the top priority for all organisations across the globe in the year ahead, but the Index revealed further challenges impacting workforce strategies, that included staff retention, ESG credentials and diversity, with only 25% of organisations planning to improve diversity within the business.

Re-skilling talent (51%) and implementing a successful flexible/hybrid working policy (50%) also made it onto the list of top business priorities, compounded by 51% who believe that the real need to enhance talent strategies will hinder their ability to achieve their objectives.

Tania Garrett, Chief People Officer, Unit4 commented: “Given the need to attract a broad spectrum of talent into organisations from different demographic groups to meet demand for skills, the Business Future Index shows businesses must make diversity a higher priority. Along with investing more in reskilling their existing workforce to help meet future requirements, the Index clearly shows there is a close correlation between investment in innovative technologies and a positive impact on recruitment and retention.”

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Product usage surges in Europe and globally, UK lags

A new survey, released by product analytics provider, Amplitude, revealed that digital product usage has surged across industries, growing 16% year-on-year globally, despite an economic downturn. This figure increases marginally, to 18% in the UK. The UK however is lagging behind many other countries – including Germany (38%), France (33%) and Singapore (43%).

The global survey examined the evolution of the product landscape between August 2021 to August 2022. Executives in marketing, product, data, and growth management roles and across 12 industries and eight countries were surveyed.

The findings show the concerns and priorities of leaders during the current economic turbulence. The survey also revealed industry trends that reflect global shifts, such as The Great Resignation.

According to the survey:

  • 26% fear a potential loss in product strategy focus
  • 25% are concerned about not pivoting fast enough
  • 63% feel moderately or less equipped to shift their product strategy

However, despite fears, respondents are still doubling down on their product strategies. Their priorities include:

  • Customer retention (43%)
  • Product engagement (37%)
  • Product-led growth (37%).
  • Investments in competitive differentiation (25%)
  • Investments in product launches (22%)

The survey also revealed how global events such as Covid-19 and The Great Resignation shapes product landscapes. Staffing and job search products skyrocketed between 2021 and 2022 (118% globally), likely due to the upheaval global workforces faced following the pandemic.

Similarly, as workers seek to upskill themselves to become more employable, products related to continued education, language learning & skills coaching in adults also saw an increase of 48% during this 12-month period.

Fintech also continued to grow over the last year, hitting a 22% baseline between June and August 2022. The report revealed that several fintech apps have surged in popularity globally, including:

  • Italy-based Scalapay (123%)
  • France-based Qonto (75%)

Crypto, however, shows a more complicated growth pattern. After peaking at 78% growth in January, activity slowed significantly. Overall, crypto usage has still grown by 25.8% since August 2021 – greater growth than in the fintech category, indicating that a decline in crypto values doesn’t mean a decline in crypto users.

Daniel Bailey, Vice President EMEA, Amplitude, commented: “In today’s economic environment, the importance of investments in digital customer experience cannot be understated. Consumer spend will continue to decline over the next 12 months, and the businesses that do not invest in their digital product now risk losing market share to their competitors,”

 “If the past year proved anything, it’s that progress is not always linear. Despite market challenges, the companies included in our Next Hottest Product list like Paired, with 636% year-over-year user growth, are proof that investments in digital experience translate to increased engagement and sustainable growth.”

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Unemployment falls by 0.2%

According to the ONS’s latest labour market overview, the UK employment rate remained largely unchanged for July to September 2022 was 75.5%, and 1.1% lower than before the COVID-19 (December 2019 to February 2020). The data revealed that over the latest three-month period, the number of employees decreased, while self-employed workers increased.

Payrolled employees for October 2022 shows another monthly increase, up 74,000 on the revised September 2022 figures, to a record 29.8 million whilst the unemployment rate fell by 0.2% for July to September.

The big news of the week has been confirmed with the report stating that economic inactivity rate increased by 0.2% on the quarter to 21.6% in July to September 2022. During the latest three-month period, the increase in economic inactivity was driven by those who are long-term sick, who increased to a record high. In a recent article published by the ONS explored the economically inactive because of long-term sickness in more detail. It showed that over two-thirds of those becoming long-term sick in 2021 and 2022 were already economically inactive for another reason in the three months before interview.

Vacancies for August to October 2022, fell by 46,000 on the quarter to 1,225,000 but despite four consecutive quarterly falls, the number of vacancies remain at historically high levels. An increasing number of businesses are now reporting holding back recruitment because of economic pressures.

According to the report, growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 6.0% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 5.7% among employees in July to September 2022. This is the strongest growth in regular pay seen outside of the coronavirus pandemic period.

Average regular pay growth for the private sector was 6.6% in July to September 2022, and 2.2% for the public sector. Outside of the height of the coronavirus pandemic period, this is the largest growth seen for the private sector and the largest difference between the private sector and public sector.

In real terms (adjusted for inflation) over the year, total pay fell by 2.6% and regular pay fell by 2.7%. This is slightly smaller than the record fall in real regular pay reported in April to June 2022 (3.0%), but remains among the largest falls in growth since comparable records began in 2001.

Joanne Frew, Global Head of Employment & Pensions at DWF commented: “The latest ONS figures show a steady labour market despite the UK’s ongoing economic struggles. The UK economy is certainly facing a challenging period with soaring inflation and the Bank of England warning that the UK could be set for its longest recession since records began.  The Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, is due to deliver his Autumn Statement on Thursday 17 November and has already warned that tax rises are necessary to help tackle inflation.  Against this backdrop it is likely that the labour market will face a relatively turbulent time.  Despite the ongoing resilience of the market during the pandemic, it is likely that the economic difficulties will lead to more job losses over the coming months.”

Bev White, CEO of Nash Squared said: “Despite Big Tech recently putting a freeze on their recruitment plans or even shedding jobs, today’s ONS jobs figures show that UK Tech continues to buck this global trend by adding a further 92,000 jobs over the last quarter, and firmly cementing itself as the UK’s standout private sector job creator over the last three years – with almost 350,000 additional jobs created.

“This performance is even more startling when you consider that we’ve lost over three quarters of a million private sector jobs over the same three-year period in the UK.

Despite the downturn, there is little sign of a tech slowdown. Tech investment in the UK is expected to hit its third highest level for more than 15 years and over half (56%) of digital leaders running tech departments in the UK plan to increase their technology headcount this year.”

Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor’s UK Economist also commented: “As news of tech layoffs spreads, Glassdoor’s data shows that employees are increasingly anxious with discussion of layoffs doubling and mentions of recession up tenfold from last October. Hiring has also taken a hit, with mentions of hiring freezes up more than 450 percent.

“However, this isn’t 2008. Unlike the Great Recession, the current shortage of workers is much more acute and even a potential recession would be unlikely to result in the same peak of unemployment as we saw then. There are reasons to be hopeful – vacancies are likely to remain higher and both redundancies and unemployment are lower than before the pandemic.”

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Package helps ex-soldiers embark on new career paths

Career support is now available to those who have served in the Armed Forces. The programme, launched by employment support specialist, Steps To Work, is designed to help ex-Armed Forces people to embark on new career paths.

The scheme is aimed at providing employment support for veterans, reservists, and cadets, and includes:

  • helping with job applications
  • CV building
  • interview techniques
  • access to training and development opportunities.

Bhanu Dhir, Chief Executive Officer at Steps To Work, said: “Our support package is one of the ways in which we want to offer our appreciation to those who have given so much to serve the country.

“We feel honoured to be able to give back to soldiers and their families in this way. Through our programme we will be able to share our specialist knowledge to help make a real difference in communities.

“Many soldiers have transferable skills that we believe many employers will find valuable and we look forward to being able to support them as they embark on life outside of the forces.”

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What companies can do to boost the confidence of an older workforce

New LinkedIn research has shown that 72% of UK business leaders have actively been attempting to hire experienced workers who retired as a result of the pandemic.

However, despite companies trying to recruit from this demographic, the research also indicated that 38% of those aged 50+ felt they would be disadvantaged because of their age. Furthermore, 26% feel that they don’t have the right skills.

Additional LinkedIn data shows that, in the UK, “Baby Boomers” (those aged 58-76) and “Gen X” (those aged 42-57) have historically had, and continue to have, lower confidence in ‘getting/holding a job,’ compared to younger generations.

There are however steps that companies can take to attract experienced talent, promote inclusivity, and boost the confidence of these experienced individuals.

Derval Blehein, HR Leader for EMEA and LATAM at LinkedIn, commented: “Employers who actively invest in overcoming ageism in the workplace can unlock a wealth of talent –  we know diverse teams win, and diversity of thought gained through age and experience is a critical component of this equation. However there is work to be done to ensure that hiring processes are inclusive across all age groups.

Employers who take a skills-based approach to hiring can help diminish bias towards certain generations. By focusing on a candidates’ transferable skills, employers will broaden their talent pools and increase diversity in their workforce. Over time, this hiring approach will widen age profiles in industries that typically favour a certain age group.

Flexibility is vital to encourage all, and especially older, workers to remain in the workforce. LinkedIn data shows that flexible work is highly valued across all generations – allowing people to work productively, whilst protecting time to pursue other commitments such as family and caring responsibilities. However, these initiatives need to be matched with remote-first tech support for those who may be less confident in their ability to set themselves up for success while working from home.

Employers should consistently review, tailor and update their benefits packages so that each generation’s needs are met. A good example of this is offering flexible benefits which individuals can easily tailor to their own needs. Taking the time to adjust employee benefits and training to each life stage will not only help to boost employee satisfaction but will also positively impact retention across demographics.”

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Contractor rates spike amid skills shortages

New data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo)has revealed that UK businesses are paying more for contractors as skills shortages and economic uncertainty continue to drive demand for temporary support.

According to the data provided by Bullhorn, there was a 3% month-on-month increase in contractor roles in October. These figures were up 6% when compared to the same period in 2019.

The report went on to reveal that the amount invested in attracting these individuals has increased at a much higher rate than demand. In October 2022, staffing firms showed a 7% increase in contract revenue, compared to September. Annual comparisons showed a 14% increase in October.

The greatest increase was seen in pre-covid levels. Sales are up 48% since October 2019. With contractor costs inflated above the rates of demand, all indications are that the costs of employing contractors are increasing due to individuals being able to command higher rates in a tough skills climate.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented: “The contract labour market has been heavily relied on as skills shortages remain rife. With talent in increasingly short supply since Brexit and Covid, temporary staff have been hugely valuable in filling gaps. However, what we’re also seeing is a further reliance on these individuals in an uncertain market where fewer businesses are confident in committing to permanent increases in headcount. The spike in contract sales revenue does show the level of fees contractors are able to command in such a skills short market. While we fully expect rates to increase in a cost-of-living crisis, the pre-Covid comparisons show a significant increase which is being driven by more than just the economic climate.”

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Lack of resources and leadership support stifles upskilling efforts

According to new research from O’Reilly, the demand for digitally skilled workers in UK vertical industries, including technology, finance, e-commerce, and retail, is outgrowing the level of digital skills available.

Despite this, only 51% of British companies within these industries are willing to spend more than £25,000 on recruitment and learning and development to boost skills such as cybersecurity, software architecture, and data analysis.

Three hundred HR decision-makers within the technology, finance, e-commerce, and retail industries were surveyed to find out which digital skills are most in demand. The research, conducted by Censuswide in September 2022, also looked at the potential barriers to upskilling staff.

The research found that 27% of the HR decision-makers believe their organisation faces the biggest lack of skilled workers in cybersecurity, followed by software architecture at 15%, and data analysis at 14%.

Yet, only 33% are willing to spend more than £10,000 on recruitment and L&D to hire cybersecurity talent. Seventy-one percent of organisations will spend no more than £10,000 on recruitment and L&D for data analysis, and 68% said the same about software architecture skills.

On the other hand, 32% of organisations are planning to spend £20,000 or more on recruitment for AI and ML and 31% on cloud. More than a quarter of organisations will spend up to or more than £20,000 on AI and ML (29%) and cloud (28%) L&D to upskill employees.

The research also found that over the next 12 months, organisations will spend an average of:

  • £13,962 on L&D for Gen Z
  • £13,608 for Millennials
  • £13,495 for Gen X

The majority (83%) of vertical industries plan to spend between £25,000 – £50,000 on overall recruitment for skilled tech vacancies over the next twelve months; however, only 78% will spend the same amount on tech-related L&D.

Looking at each sector, the research revealed that:

  • The technology sector is planning to spend an average of £33,676 on recruitment and £31,651 on L&D.
  • The finance sector will spend an average of £33,075 on recruitment and £31,400 on L&D.
  • The retail and e-commerce sector will spend an average of £29,275 on recruitment and £28,801 on L&D.

The research found that the biggest barriers to upskilling current employees are : Insufficient resources (21%); lack of internal personnel (19%); lack of internal buy-in (17%).

In the tech sector, 21% of organisations agreed that lack of leadership support is a key barrier to upskilling current employees. Conversely, across all industries combined, 58% of HR decision-makers said that they are ‘significantly’ supported by leadership when it comes to investment in tech-related L&D.

Alexia Pedersen, VP of EMEA at O’Reilly, commented: “It’s encouraging that 80% of companies within the UK’s tech, finance and retail sectors have increased investment for tech-related learning and development over the past three years. However, our data suggests that further investment is needed to recession-proof the UK’s vertical industries.”

“With the pound currently at a 37-year low against the dollar, now is the time for companies to deploy upskilling programmes alongside ongoing recruitment efforts. Likewise, employees should prioritise L&D to safeguard their role and make themselves an invaluable asset to their organisation. This will be key to creating a highly skilled workforce that keeps British businesses at the forefront of their industries globally.”

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The redundancies equate to 13% of Meta’s headcount

Meta has laid off more than 11,000 employees thereby reducing its headcount by around 13 percent, in the most dramatic cull in its history. The social media giant is battling falling revenues and rising competition. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg emailed employees on Wednesday morning informing them of the redundancies.

He said: “I want to take accountability for these decisions and for how we got here. I know this is tough for everyone, and I’m especially sorry to those impacted.” Zuckerberg said revenue growth experienced during the pandemic had not been sustained, ad performance was down, and ecommerce had declined, all in an environment of economic downturn.

He added: “[These factors] caused our revenue to be much lower than I’d expected. I got this wrong, and I take responsibility for that.”

Michael McCartney, Employment Partner at Fladgate commented: “Meta’s announcement that it plans to make significant job cuts in response to the current macro-economic environment comes very soon after similar cuts were imposed by Elon Musk following his purchase of Twitter, demonstrating that there is a real impact on advertising revenues in the social media sphere. It would be surprising if either company adopted the approach P&O Ferries deployed recently when it sacked 800 seafarer without prior warning. This is because UK employment law requires an employer to consult with elected representatives (or Trade Unions if there are any recognised) for a minimum period of 30 days, where it envisages 20 or more redundancies and, for at least 45 days, if that number exceeds 100 redundancies. The company is also required to send a notice called an HR1 form to the UK government and if it fails to do this, its directors run the risk of criminal liabilities.

Social media firms (even more so than a travel company) are bound to be conscious of the negative publicity for any failure to comply with employment laws even if the financial penalty (which amounts to 13 weeks’ pay per employee) alone is not enough of a disincentive.”

Florence Brocklesby, Founder of Employment Law Specialists Bellevue Law also commented: “Redundancies are, sadly, a fact of life, and delivering difficult news is never easy. But how a restructuring is conducted is hugely important, not only for those leaving the business, but also for those who remain and the company’s wider reputation. Good processes combined with humanity are key to navigating a challenging time safely and with dignity.

“Twitter’s handling of its current restructuring has shone a light on how redundancies in the tech sector should – and should not – be handled. Just a few days ago Twitter announced plans to let go of 50% of its staff, with swathes of employees finding themselves suddenly locked out of company systems. Meta needs to avoid making those same mistakes today.”

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25% of employees have received employer assistance, outside of annual salary increases


New research
from Randstad has revealed that workers want more support from employers to help them manage the growing cost of living crisis.

The research, which surveyed 7,000 people across five markets* showed that the strongest pressure is coming from the younger generations with the majority (57%) of Gen Z and Millennials placing responsibility for ensuring that they can afford increasing costs with government or employers, compared to only 44% of Baby Boomers.

Sentiment differs across continents, as three in five (60%) Germans and around half of British (53%) and Dutch (46%) workers placed primary responsibility on government, while only a fifth (21%) of Americans agreed. US workers were more likely to pinpoint their employers as the ones who should take action, with a fifth (21%) choosing them, compared to less than one in ten (9%) of Brits and Australians and only 5% of Germans.

Growing expectations of businesses

Only a quarter (25%) of employees have so far received employer assistance, outside of annual salary increases, but most workers say they want to see more action from their employers in the next six months. Close to half (45%) want a monthly cost of living pay boost, with other demands on employers including:

  • Over half (52%) wanting their employer to increase their salaries outside of the regular cadence of pay reviews
  • Nearly a third (30%) wanting subsidies for daily expenses like cost of energy or travel
  • Over a quarter (27%) wanting a one-off cost of living payment

Younger workers have the highest expectations

The level of employee expectation also differs by generation, with younger workers wanting the most help. Half (49%) of baby boomers said they themselves were responsible for managing the increasing cost of living, compared to just a third (33%) of under-35s.

These generational differences are also reflected in the fact that two thirds (67%) of Gen Z workers have received or expect to receive additional assistance from their employer to help them through the cost of living crisis, compared to only a quarter (24%) of baby boomers who said the same.

Employers are beginning to make this a priority

There are some signs of employers beginning to help workers manage the current economic climate. One in ten workers (9%) have received a one-off cost of living payment and 8% are receiving monthly cost of living pay boosts. This is more common in Germany, where 14% of workers have received this assistance, compared to only 7% of Americans.

Sander van ‘t Noordende, CEO of Randstad, said: “As talent shortages continue across many industries around the globe, employees are now facing a fresh challenge of the increasing cost of living. Against this backdrop, workers are looking to employers to offer the complete package – flexible, inclusive and financially stable employment. While the economic environment may encourage people to stick with their employer, causing a slowdown in the “Great Rotation” businesses mustn’t miss out on the unique opportunity to create a more content and productive workforce. Those who feel supported now, are likely to remain loyal even when times aren’t as tough.”

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50% of organisations considering practical training for financial planning in cost-of-living crisis

Research* from DeltaNet International has shown that learning and development professionals believe mental health and wellbeing is the most important eLearning topic for the next 12 months.

In a close second came stress management training for employees, with nearly nine in 10 (88%) employers saying they are worried about how the cost-of-living crisis is affecting employees.  

These areas are ranked as more important than diversity and inclusion, cybersecurity, health and safety, and sustainability training.  

Half of those surveyed (50%) revealed that their learning and development budgets would not change despite the current economic climate putting increased pressure on businesses to support employees further with one in five (21%) stating that a reduction in their budget would be one of the biggest challenges affecting learning and development in the workplace. 

Regarding specific training to help employees navigate the cost of living, almost two-thirds (65%) said this isn’t something they have yet given. But half (50%) are considering implementing practical training such as financial planning.  

The results also revealed an underinvestment in training line managers. Just 27% of L&D professionals said they plan to provide line managers with training linked to the rising cost of living, such as helping managers to spot the signs of those in their teams who may be struggling. 

Chris Chappell, Head of Content at DeltaNet International, said: “Given the current economic situation we find ourselves in, it’s unsurprising that mental health support and stress management are topping the agenda for learning and development priorities.  

“Businesses must support colleagues as best as possible to maintain a contented and productive workforce, but many still have not acted. Whilst good rates of pay and benefits schemes are key to helping people through the cost-of-living crisis, there is much more we can do to support employees, and training plays a key role in this.” 

Employee engagement with L&D also remains a big challenge. 27% of those surveyed revealed this is currently their primary obstacle. Most HR and training professionals are trying to overcome this by asking employees for written feedback on training, with 77% conducting post-training evaluation – only 12% request verbal feedback. 

 

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Talent Solutions

Acquisition strengthens Nash Squared as a major MSP

Nash Squared, a provider of talent and technology solutions, has become a major force in Managed Service Provision with its recent acquisition of Het Flexhuis – a Managed Service Provider (MSP) of talent and recruitment services based in The Netherlands.

Het Flexhuis has a strong track record in delivering outsourced recruitment services for government, public services, and commercial organisations and will operate as an independent brand within Nash Squared’s recruitment business Harvey Nash.

Bev White, CEO of Nash Squared, commented: “I am delighted to welcome Het Flexhuis into the Nash Squared family. It is our vision to help our clients access talent and technology in every way possible, and offering a high quality MSP solution is an important next step for us. Het Flexhuis brings enormous experience and expertise with them, and I am excited by the potential.”

Occo Lijding, MD of Harvey Nash The Netherlands, commented: “This represents a step change in how we can help and support our clients in talent and technology. I have long admired the team at Het Flexhuis, and when we met I was struck by how similar our values and ambitions were. They are the perfect fit for us, and I look forward to working with them.”

Frederieke Schmidt Crans, Managing Director, Het Flexhuis commented: “We are thrilled and excited to become part of Nash Squared. Our company was established ten years ago with a mission to create a world-class MSP with great people and processes at its core. We see joining Nash Squared as the natural next chapter in that success story.”

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Search engines combine forces to accelerate Adzuna’s growth in the US

On Tuesday, 14 June, Adzuna announced their acquisition of the US job search engine Getwork.

The Getwork team, under the leadership of Brad Squibb, will be working alongside the Adzuna team, intending to accelerate Adzuna’s growth in North America.

Getwork links job seekers with vacant roles at North American companies by indexing millions of verified jobs daily directly from tens of thousands of employer career sites.

Adzuna, with headquarters in London, UK, Indianapolis, IN, and Sydney, AU, uses AI-powered technology to match people to jobs. The company has recently launched in Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, and Mexico. Their operations now cover 20 markets globally.

The two companies will operate as independent brands with their own established communities.

Doug Monro, CEO, and Co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “Adzuna acquiring Getwork will help us supercharge our growth in North America. The Getwork team’s stellar reputation for great service and delivery has led them to be trusted by an impressive roster of household name companies in the US. It’s also a great fit as their team and mission are so aligned with ours. The US enterprise market is crying out for strong alternatives to existing offerings and we’re looking forward to combining Adzuna’s marketing expertise, global footprint and programmatic job matching technology with Getwork’s deep industry knowledge and reputation to deliver even better for our customers. The US is the fastest-growing part of our business and this acquisition will accelerate our profitable growth trajectory.”

Brad Squibb, President of Getwork, comments: “Adzuna is a truly global business, operating across 20 countries, which creates an exciting opportunity for us to scale into new markets with the help of a brand that has already paved the way for international expansion. We can’t wait to join Doug and the team on this journey.”

 

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Despite efforts there is still massive room for improvement in UK management and reporting

In research released today, findings reveal a lack of focus on progressing diversity in the workplace. In the study conducted by SD Worx, it was found that while 68% of UK companies are committed to removing unconscious bias in the recruitment process, many have failed to implement a reporting system to track progress on meeting ED&I objectives.

The survey revealed that only 26% of UK companies evaluate managerial commitment to achieving ED&I-related objectives. A further 32% admitted having no systems allowing employees to report discrimination.

The UK ranked third in its commitment to removing unconscious bias at 68% when it comes to ranking. Ireland ranked first at 74%, with Belgium coming in second, at 69%.

As far as rankings for equal access to training, the UK is slightly lower than other countries, with 64% of companies investing in equal access to training and development. Ireland (72%), Belgium (71%), and Poland (69%) topped the list.

While 64% of UK companies include transparency about ED&I goals and actions to attract a diverse workforce in their mission statement and corporate values, only 60% of the UK companies surveyed said that they promote ED&I in job advertisements, social media, and their websites.

The survey also revealed that countries vary in their level of focus concerning educating and involving managers in their ED&I policies. For example, in the UK, 60% of companies stated that they actively involve their managers in ED&I policies, and 60% provide internal training on the topic.

Colette Philp, UK HR Country Lead at SD Worx commented: “It’s no longer enough for businesses to say they prioritise diversity and inclusion. Instead, they must prove their commitment to achieving a more diverse workforce, both internally within their business and externally to attract talent.”

“There is more awareness than ever before regarding diversity in the workplace and it’s a deciding factor for many when it comes to searching for a role or staying with a business. A diverse workforce brings new experiences and perspectives and an inclusive environment allows individuals to thrive. If businesses aren’t already putting ED&I as a top priority, it’s essential they act now to do so.”

Jurgen Dejonghe, Portfolio Manager SD Worx Insights, added: “It’s important that companies start investing in an active reporting system about their actions concerning diversity, equality and inclusion. On the one hand, that data offers a strong basis for optimising the diversity policy with concrete and consciously controlled actions. On the other hand, such a system also provides clear evidence whether companies are effectively putting their money where their mouth is and not making false promises to (future) employees.”

For ED&I initiatives to be successful, change needs to come from the top, with proper rollouts and reporting system to track their progress.

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TALiNT Partners has announced the finalists for the 2022 TIARA Talent Solutions Awards with 22 of the United States’ best Talent Solutions, MSP & RPO firms shortlisted across eight award categories.

The finalists for the 2022 Talent Solutions Awards US, which spotlight MSP, RPO and Talent Solutions providers delivering excellence in recruitment and talent acquisition across the US, are the top of the crop and represent the very best in providers in the industry.

Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive of TALiNT Partners made comment: “Following the inaugural TIARA Talent Solutions Awards US last year, I am delighted to see many of our 2021 finalists return to celebrate their achievements, as well as a number of new entrants this year. The 2022 Awards are a true celebration across the market, from the large global players to newer entrants and niche RPO organizations, all demonstrating excellence in their impact for employers and their own employees.”

“The TIARAs are distinguished by the rigor of its judging process and the quality of its judging panel,” he added. “Entries will be assessed by our esteemed judges through six key metrics: excellence in delivery; innovation; DE&I impact; sustainable value; business growth; and purpose.”

What sets the TIARAs apart from other awards programs is their independent panel of expert judges and individual feedback given back to each finalist.

The judges for this year’s TIARA Talent Solutions Awards are drawn from the HR and Talent Acquisition community are:

  • Sachin Jain, Senior Director – Global Talent Management, PepsiCo
  • Andrew Brown, Director RPO and Recruiting, Cornerstone
  • Russell Griffiths, General Manager, Coleman Research
  • Rich Genovese, Global Head – Talent Identification & Discovery, Jazz Pharmaceuticals
  • Gregg Schneider, Senior Manager – Procurement Plus, Global Talent Marketplace and Innovation Lead, Accenture
  • Justin Brown, Talent Acquisition Project Manager, Gallagher
  • Chris Farmer, Global Program Owner, Salesforce
  • Kerri Arman, Former VP Global Head of Talent, American Express Global Business Travel
  • Saleem Khaja, COO and Co-Founder, WorkLLama
  • Fitzgerald Ventura, CEO, 1099Policy
  • Mike Wilczak, Chief Product Officer, iCIMS

Judges will convene in May to debate and decide the winner of each category Award as well as an overall Talent Solutions Provider of the Year. All winners will be announced at an exclusive virtual awards ceremony on Thursday June 9th, 18:00 EDT.

Winners will also be profiled in a special TIARA Awards supplement published with TALiNT International.

The TIARA 2022 campaign is supported by our headline partner Cornerstone, and sponsored by WorkLLama, 1099Policy, and iCIMS.

The full list of TIARA 2022 Talent Solutions Finalists can be viewed here.

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