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40% rate healthcare benefits packages more important than salary

A survey by Aetna International has revealed that 88% of expats in key global markets want the choice to pick their employer health care package inclusions based on their own lifestyles and health concerns, promoting the need for personalisation.

Proactive self care, according to the survey forms a central part of expat lifestyles and those surveyed expressed a desire for more holistic benefits that supported wellbeing, mental and physical health. With 52% stating that having tailored benefits featuring wellbeing elements was more important now than pre-pandemic. Furthermore, the survey revealed that a quarter (25%) of expats thought counselling and therapy sessions should be included in packages. Overall, this was the largest endorsement for any well-being offer which respondents were surveyed on.

Of the markets surveyed, counselling and therapy topped the inclusions list in the USA and Singapore, ranked second in the UK and UAE, and fourth in Hong Kong. These findings underline a growing global recognition of the importance of mental health.

Interestingly, 40% of expats surveyed ranked a health care benefits package as the most important job offer consideration, compared to 52% who stated salary.

Fitness sessions and apps, life coaching and yoga and meditation sessions round out the top* inclusions respondents were keen on. Mindfulness app subscriptions followed closely at six on the list, overall demonstrating an appetite for a more well-integrated healthy lifestyle offer.

Dr Hemal Desai, Global Medical Director, Aetna International commented: “People are becoming more aware of all areas of their health. They are understanding that a healthy lifestyle amounts to more than just exercising and eating well, and that each person is different. Mental health is clearly growing in focus and more people are learning about how to manage it. There are plenty of tools available to help an individual with everything from mindfulness and sleep to calming and alleviating stress. We’re also observing that convenient access to these tools included as part of an employer’s benefits offer appears to be a growing priority for busy expats.”

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64% of workers will resign if not paid more in 2022

According to new findings in Robert Walters’ 2022 UK Salary Guide, two thirds of professionals have stated that they will actively be seeking work in the New Year, with 59% feeling ‘very confident’ about job opportunities in their sector. This, despite calls to return to working from home.

Robert Walters believes that the large majority of white-collar workers have held onto their December bonuses and January pay increases and that the Great Resignation is still on its way.

According to the findings in the survey conducted of 6,000 white collar workers, January appraisals could trigger a mass employee exodus if workers are not duly rewarded for their loyalty and hard work during the pandemic. It found that 72% of professionals are expecting a pay rise in the new year, where are a poll of 500 companies by Robert Walters revealed that less than 28% of employers plan to make changes to existing pay packages.

The stark difference between employee’s expectations compared to what employers are willing to pay – dubbed The Great Pay Divide – could result in the Great Resignation peaking in February/March 2022.

Toby Fowlston, CEO of Robert Walters & Walters People commented: “For firms that have performed well in 2021; the talks of your organisation ‘bouncing back,’ hitting record profits, or hiring in certain areas rapidly, will all be front of mind for employees in their upcoming appraisal. This conversation is a sensitive one – but it is exactly that, a conversation. Companies need to prepare their management teams on how to best articulate their company’s narrative around remuneration and career opportunities. Meetings should be face to face (where COVID-19 rules allow) to maximise a human connection. If this process isn’t managed correctly businesses will be faced with the challenge of high staff turnover in the first quarter of the year.”

Pay or we’ll leave

The survey revealed that two thirds (64%) of professionals have stated that they would leave their job if they are not offered a pay rise in 2022.

Toby continued: “Employers should not rest on their laurels assuming that an employee of 5+ years will not leave their business in times like these.

Professionals with the most in demand skill sets across legal, accounting and finance are achieving 20 to 30% pay increases when moving roles. In technology the pay rises are even higher, sometimes up to 50% for those with software development or cyber security experience.

More than ever organisations need to take the time to make detailed assessments of market rates and competitor pay to ensure their January pay and bonus meetings are aligned with their industry.”

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But will Omicron undo gains made in the economy?  

According to the latest unemployment stats released by ONS, there were 29.4m employees in the UK. This is an increase of 257,000 on revised October 2021 figures and up 424,000 on pre-pandemic February 2020 figures.

However, ONS stated that redundancies made at the end of the furlough scheme could be included in the Real Time Information (RTI) data for a few more months. But responses to the business survey, stated that redundancy numbers are likely to be a small number of those employees still on furlough at the end of September.

The latest Labour Force Survey indicates that employment rose by 0.2 percentage points from August to October with the number of part-time workers decreasing dramatically during the pandemic.

Decreasing employment rates among young people (those aged 16 to 24 years) have been notable during the pandemic, with unemployment and economic inactivity rates increasing by more than for those aged 25 years and over. But according to the survey, there was an increase in the employment rate and a decrease in the unemployment rate to below pre-coronavirus rates.

Numbers of job vacancies continued to rise to a new record of 1,219m jobs – that is an astounding increase of 434,500 from pre-COVID figures of January to March of 2020.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), commented: “The issue of labour shortages is hugely challenging for employers right now, as vacancies continue to hit new highs and unemployment remains low. But the real elephant in the room is rising inactivity and a smaller UK workforce – people either not in the UK or not looking for work. Reflecting this, overall hours worked are still well below our pre-pandemic numbers. This is a huge challenge to business and government. New approaches to recruitment and workforce planning are needed – and genuine partnership between government and employers on skills, unemployment support and sensible immigration rules.

“We don’t know yet how the Omicron variant will affect the jobs market, but it is clear that supporting businesses to retain staff and maintain cashflow was a successful strategy in 2020, and we may need to dust off those plans again if we are headed for a longer period of restrictions.”

James Reed, chairman of Reed, also commented: “There’s been plenty of talk from doomsayers that the Omicron variant will plunge us back into economic despair, but the outlook appears much more optimistic now compared with the first COVID-19 wave we faced in March 2020.”

He continued: “While some may want you to think the omicron variant has tipped the battle against COVID-19 in the virus’s favour, the reality is that, according to our jobs data, there are better opportunities and better negotiations for workers to have with employers than ever before. It’s currently the best time in fifty years to look for a new job and I’d urge anyone thinking of a change in career to begin their search for a fresh start in the new year.”

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50% of workers taking leave in December
According to the latest from CV-Library, a UK independent job board, Government’s advice to carry on with Christmas plans is welcome news to UK professionals.

The survey revealed that just over 50% of UK workers are planning to take time off this Christmas with 38.5% of those doing so purely to make up for spending Christmas in lockdown in 2020. Workers want to make the most of the festive season and spend time with family, friends and loved ones, having been denied the opportunity in 2020.

Of the 2,000 respondents, 74% reported that they are not offered any incentive to work over the Christmas period with 55% admitting that they really don’t enjoy working at this time.

Respondents were asked what the pros and cons were and CV-Library has exclusively revealed the results:

Worst things about working over Christmas (based on top three answers) 

  1. 77% Missing out on spending time with family and friends
  2. 22% Missing out on Christmas parties
  3. 22% Having to stay in the festive spirit, even though you’d rather be at home
  4. 20% Irritable/stressed customers and clients
  5. 17% Working longer hours

Best things about working over Christmas (based on top 3 answers) 

  1. 40% Christmas bonuses
  2. 33% Christmas music
  3. 28% A more relaxed working environment
  4. 25% Staff social events
  5. 4% Jolly customers

Secret Santa has also been impacted by the pandemic. A mere 27% of professionals say they will be playing the game in their workplace this year, with 23% admitting they used to, but have stopped since the onset of the pandemic.

Lee Biggins, Founder and CEO of CV-Library commented: “Profits are vital, but a balance is required. The commitment and efforts of staff are key to success, and acknowledgment of this has never been more crucial. With staff retention a big issue, and much movement predicted for the 2022 job market, staff need to feel appreciated, motivated, and able to enjoy the festive period this year, where possible.”

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Businesses admit resignations due to mental health concerns

Research from FutureLearn has highlighted the importance of mental health first aiders in the workplace. A new survey of 1,000 key decision makers in business has revealed that over one in five (21%) business leaders state they are willing to re-evaluate their mental health policies, offering reassurance that steps are being taken to support their staff’s wellbeing in the wake of the pandemic and to curb the apparent “great resignation”.

Currently, there are no legal requirements for allocated psychological first aiders compared to the requirement for physical first aiders or fire marshals – despite being a business essential. However, with the employee experience now in sharp focus, businesses are proactively improving mental health support in the workplace to combat trauma felt post the pandemic. According to the report there has been an increase of 10% of businesses with support in place. This comes after 68% businesses admitted to not having mental health support for their staff pre-pandemic, with this number decreasing to 58% post-pandemic. With 12% of employees revealing they have left their job citing mental health as one of the main reasons for leaving, it is clear just how important mental health policies are when it comes to the retention of staff.

The report revealed that of the businesses who have made changes to their policies since the pandemic, 42% have already implemented online counselling for employees and 34% have already invested in mental health first aiders.

Yvonne Chien, Chief Growth Officer at FutureLearn commented: “We commissioned this survey to reinforce the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace. We’ve seen how the past 18 months have impacted mental health. This national shift has only strengthened our belief in the significance of businesses having access to the right support.”

Conrad Vivers, Mental Health Champion at FutureLearn said: “I’m proud to be a part of a team to help change the conversation we are having about mental health in the workplace. Being a mental health first aider has given me the skills and insight to not only give 1 to 1 support for those in need, but also to confidently bring mental health as a talking point to meetings where people are at the core of the discussion. Through supporting people in the workplace with mental health challenges we’re impacting the evolution and elevation of society. The ripple effects of these actions lead to a safer environment for employees and help FutureLearn fulfil its duty of care towards employees. In some form or another most people need support. Even if it’s just to say: “me too, it’s been tough.””

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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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Only 42% of tech companies offer training and development

Female employees have gained ground in the workplace, however large skill gaps still exist when it comes to opportunities for professional development and career advancement. This, according to findings released by Skillsoft in its 2021 Women in Tech Report.

The report revealed a misalignment between the workplace benefits women in tech are seeking and what is currently being provided. For example, while 86% of respondents cited that opportunities for professional development and training as extremely or very important to them, a mere 42% said their employers currently offer this as a benefit. Additionally, when asked about the top challenges they have faced while pursuing a tech-related career, nearly a third of women surveyed (32%) pointed to a lack of training.

Potoula Chresomales, SVP, Product Management at Skillsoft commented: “Organisations around the globe are looking for ways to address their skills gaps, and in many cases, the answer lies within via their existing workforce. Women make up less than 40% of the global workforce, and for that number to increase, female employees must be empowered with continuous training, professional development, and career advancement, as well as equal pay. The time is now for organisations to tackle gender disparity head-on. By doing so, we can build more inclusive, equitable, and competitive businesses.”

Skillsoft’s 2021 Women in Tech Report highlights a few ways organisations can better empower female employees. Here they are:

Provide and encourage opportunities for certification

  • When asked how certifications have helped advance their careers, respondents reported gaining more responsibility (52%), earning higher salaries (34%), and receiving promotions (32%), among other benefits.
  • Despite business analysis and cybersecurity being identified as leading areas of interest, just 22 percent and 18 percent of respondents, respectively, hold corresponding certifications. 19 percent report holding no certifications at all.

Make an effort to reduce gender bias in STEM

  • 70 percent of women surveyed reported that men outnumber them in the workplace at ratios of two-to-one or greater.
  • The highest percentage of men in leadership roles have 15 to 20 years of experience versus 26 or more years for women.
  • To encourage more women to pursue tech-related careers, respondents said organisations should provide opportunities for professional development and training (55%), childcare (47%), career coaching, mentoring, and counselling (43%), and an equitable work culture (41%).

Alleviate the unique on-the-job challenges women face

  • More than a third of respondents list their biggest challenge as a lack of equity in pay. This is followed by balancing work and life (36%) and a lack of equity in opportunities (33%).

Ensure training is timely and topical

  • When selecting a training provider, women in tech seek scheduling capabilities (34%), relevant course availability (32%), and opportunities for hands-on practice (32%).
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Side hustles are a priority for the next generation

According to new data by business finance lender, Sonovate, flexible work culture is a key consideration for most young workers when choosing a job, with over half (53%) of 18 to 34-year-olds claiming that talented young people won’t join companies that don’t champion flexible working.

The data also suggested that portfolio careers will become increasingly popular among younger workers in the next decade with 59% of 18 to 34-year-olds agreeing and 54% of the same age demographic saying that having a portfolio career will be important to them at some stage in their career.

The majority (57%) of young respondents don’t believe they need to be in an office full time to learn what they need, and feel they are well equipped to do it all virtually. The survey indicates that young workers see the benefits of freelance work, giving them the flexibility to experiment with different career routes (57%) and to have a family or pursue their interests (50%).

Over a third (36%) of 18 to 34-year-olds have made a career change in order to work more flexibly during the pandemic and the report suggested that the pandemic prompted a shift in attitudes towards jobs among the younger working generation with 44% of 18 to 34-year-olds claiming they don’t want to work the way they did before the pandemic. This is why and over half (54%) of this demographic feel that a shift towards more freelance working is a good thing for graduates, school leavers and new entrants into the world of work.

Richard Prime, co-founder and co-CEO at Sonovate commented: “As the pandemic caused a significant proportion of the UK’s younger employees to lose jobs or go on furlough, young workers had more time than ever to consider what they want from their careers. Younger people’s preferences toward portfolio careers and multiple side-gigs are rooted in a desire for a better work/life balance and to make an income from what they are passionate about. Now, these preferences are being heard more loudly than ever, with people and companies learning to juggle accordingly.”

Lotanna Ezeike, founder and CEO at XPO, a platform that helps social media influencers get paid on time, also weighed in: “For young people today, the concept of what a ‘career’ should look like is a lot more malleable than for any past generation. A central priority for many is finding flexibility. But the idea of working on a contract or freelance basis isn’t, to them, just about being flexible to work less or hang out more. Instead, a more contract or part-time work life supports their desire for greater ownership over what they do and how they spend their working lives. Many creators and influencers want to work but it’s important to them to ‘own’ their time and retain their freedom to choose how they spend it doing things they love.”

Managing Director of TALiNT Partners, Ken Brotherston has been outspoken when it comes to the notion of the side hustle. He commented: “While the scenario of a portfolio of work holds true for a certain percentage of the working population, this isn’t so for large part of it. There is a significant portion of the workforce who aren’t influencers and need the certainty of a permanent job, as well as the need to supplement their income to pay bills. This scenario isn’t choosing a portfolio of work because it’s cool and flexible, they do it out of necessity.”

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Skills shortages reported in the Kingdom

A recent report by Hays, the global recruiting experts, has revealed that Saudi Arabia’s construction and real estate market is showing signs of recovery and growth following a period of subdued activity in response to COVID-19.

Lockdown measures and travel restrictions have limited workforce capabilities and drastically reduced the global demand for oil forced the government to make budget cutbacks resulting in many construction and real estate projects being put on hold. Eighteen months on however, the economy has bounced back.

Since the beginning of 2021, there have been positive signs of growth with statistics from Reuters showing that the economy grew by 1.5% year-on-year as of Q3, with the non-oil revenue sector returning to pre-pandemic levels, growing by 10.1%. These figures, together with the high vaccine rollout and easing of travel restrictions, have provoked much optimism in the Kingdom. It remains to be seen how the discovery of Omicron will affect global economic recovery in the coming months.

Like the rest of the globe, hiring activity is back to pre-pandemic level and this is no different in the Kingdom while the next 12 months set to surge far beyond these levels. The local unemployment rate has hit a new 10-year low of 11.7% and is on track to reach the government’s target of 7% by 2030, although it seems the skills shortage is a global phenomenon.

Skills in demand

Saudi has not been immune to skills shortages. In line with the Kingdom’s vision to become a global leader within investment, tourism and trade, demand for the world’s very best talent is high. Hays has reported a demand for large-scale project experience in the following sectors:

  1. Design / Pre-construction
  2. Project delivery
  3. Digital technology

 

What candidates want

Talent attraction is key and Hays has reported that candidates are looking for competitive salaries with good benefits packages; job security; and efficient onboarding processes.

What employers want

Hiring trends in Saudi reflect its ambitious 2030 vision, with highly driven, highly skilled professionals being the most in demand. Employers look for candidates who have worked on major, multi-billion US$ projects which are similar in nature and end-use to those they will be working on.

According to Hays, candidates must also have experience working with innovative tech, demonstrate a track record of delivering projects / phases from inception to completion, and a proven success in senior leadership positions.

Hays says that being able to showcase this experience in a meaningful way is incredibly important too and they advise candidates to highlight how their skills and experiences align to the role they are applying for.

Aaron Fletcher, Business Manager – Saudi Arabia, Hays commented: “In line with the Kingdom’s vision to become a global leader within investment, tourism and trade, demand for the world’s very best talent is high and there is typically a shortage of supply of such talent in the region. As such, benefits paid in addition to salary are typically most generous in Saudi Arabia compared to the rest of the Gulf region. Relocation, housing and education allowances are offered as part of a standard employment package in Saudi Arabia.”

 

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US truck drivers offered $100k plus bonus

Research conducted by Smart Recruit Online has revealed that teaching assistant is the most searched for job in the UK, with more than 273,000 Google searches completed in the last 12 months. This search spiked in May 2021, likely as this is the last month you can register before the summer.

The top five jobs searched for across the UK include gig economy roles such as cleaner and driver jobs. The UK has seen a significant candidate shortage in these lower-skilled roles which has led to salary inflations and a more competitive and incentivised market. Coupled with the 2020 nationwide furlough scheme which left many out of work, these jobs may have very well seemed like the “easiest” to branch into with little training.

Medical roles such as counsellor and nursing also feature within the top ten, proving that even after the difficulties these professions have encountered during the pandemic, there is still a human interest in these healthcare roles with more than 78,000 Brits searching for each of these jobs in the last year across the UK.

Looking at the different regions of the UK, teaching assistant was the most popular job searched for in England, while in Scotland and Northern Ireland, driver jobs were the most in demand. The research revealed that there were 12,000 searches for driver jobs in Scotland, and just over 3,000 in Northern Ireland. In Wales, moulder jobs were the most searched for, with 10,350 searches in the last year.

A global view

With recent reports suggesting an extreme driver shortage the world over it’s no surprise that ‘driver jobs’ is the top job searched globally with over 1.2 million searches. In the UK, HGV drivers could earn up to £3,400 per month, while in the USA, one company was reported as offering a whopping $100,000 plus bonuses to potential drivers! The top country searching for driving jobs was South Africa, where a driver shortage can be linked to early retirements and lockdown restrictions making it more difficult to be licensed. Searches for driver jobs hit 128,500 in South Africa in the past year.

Engineering jobs make up the top three globally, with both mechanical and engineering jobs seeing close to a million searches per year, with other highly skilled careers such as graphic designer and accountant rounding out the top five with more than 800,000 searches for each. Canadians are searching for accounting jobs the most (54,201 searches), while it’s India that searches for engineering jobs (567,200) the most.

Translator jobs were the most commonly searched for globally, by no less than 33 countries. This job is searched for the most in Central and South America, with 4,400 Brazillians searching for these roles the most in the last year. Second to Brazil is Mexico, where the job was searched for 3,990 times, while both Argentina (1,680) and Chile (600) featured in the top ten searches for this job.

While translator jobs were searched by most countries, it is driver jobs that were searched the most, with more than 336,880 searches from 21 countries.

Back on the continent

In Europe, the UK searched the most for teaching assistants – 273,700 times – and interestingly the UK was the only nation to search for that job title. The second highest search volume was in Switzerland, where chauffeur job searches topped 43,200 and Greece took up the third highest searches for lawyer jobs (28,800).

 

 

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Talent Solutions

The Great Escape and The Great Resignation result in mass exodus of workers
According to a new report by Kincannon & Reed, the disruption and upheaval caused by the pandemic during the last two years has resulted in a dramatic ripple effect across many industries, including those that ensure a safe, secure and abundant food system. Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, implementation of safety equipment and protocols, along with the fact that stay-at-home orders upended standard operating procedures and forced on-the-spot decision making for all levels of the workforce. This, coupled with endless Zoom calls and dealing with on-edge customers and consumers, and simply supporting teams manage the ‘new normal’ made for an environment that business leaders have never seen before. It’s enough to make a person throw in the towel. And many have.

The pandemic has forced members of the workforce to take stock and re-prioritize their lives and careers – leading to a mass exodus of staff that the HR industry has dubbed “The Great Resignation”.

Scott A. Scanlon, CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media, has called it the ‘Great Escape.’ Older workers have also taken advantage of early retirement as part of the normal employment work cycle. According to the New School’s Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, roughly two million more people than expected have joined the ranks of the retired during the pandemic.

With skills shortages and The Great Resignation hammering the market, questions we should be asking are: How should company leaders manage an unexpected exodus? How can they attract new talent while also retaining the great leaders?

Kincannon & Reed’s Carolyn Schubert, Managing Director, and Jim Gerardot, managing partner, say leaders should consider five key points as they navigate this constantly evolving environment:

1. Prepare Talent for Leadership

“Many senior leaders retire for various reasons,” said Ms. Schubert. “It’s a double whammy for an industry that has also been a victim of the Great Resignation. The problem is the industry hasn’t done a very good job of succession planning and preparing others within their ranks to take on leadership roles. Companies need to put a solid succession plan in place to train, keep and promote talent.”

2. Treat Recruits Like CEOs

Ms. Schubert says the fact that there simply aren’t a lot of people changing jobs has created a talent war. “To attract and retain the best of the best, you must be forthcoming with candidates and let them know what’s possible beyond the job you’re recruiting for,” she said. “Act like you’re recruiting for a CEO job because the candidate you’re interviewing could be your next one.”

“During the recruiting process, share your financials, strategic vision and long-term goals; give candidates an opportunity to interact with board members,” said Ms. Schubert. “Make them feel important and let them know they’ll be a part of the organization in a larger way.”

3. Show Them the Money

Mr. Geradot says that today’s candidates are looking at total compensation – short and long term. “They are seeking and comparing specifics on benefit packages, relocation incentives, signing bonuses, as well as long-term incentives – all considerations when looking to attract top candidates in today’s market,” he said.

4. Be Transparent

“Be fully transparent about company culture, structure, and benefits, and the future,” said Mr. Geradot. “The current war for talent means the brightest prospects are inundated with opportunities, so they’re being selective and doing their homework to better understand a company before they step foot in the door (or log onto Zoom) for an interview.”

5. Prepare to Sell Yourself

There was a time when companies, particularly legacy companies, had the attitude: “The top candidates will want to work for us,” said Mr. Geradot. But that’s not the case anymore.

“Instead of potential employees having to sell companies on the value they can bring, the tables have turned,” he said. “Companies are in the hot seat – having to prove themselves – and start-ups seem to have a leg up on speaking to culture, values, purpose, and perks.”

 

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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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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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