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Latest in the Region: UK

12% of employees believe HR doesn’t champion DE&I

New research from Cezanne HR has revealed that a staggering number of employees don’t trust their HR departments with 58% of respondents agreeing that their HR team champions DE&I, which evidenced strong HR leadership in this area. The same 58% also indicated better performance for HR when asked if they trusted their HR team more or less than before COVID-19. It was perceived that there is less favouritism by HR towards senior or junior staff in the business.

The industry is seeing the benefits that conscious DE&I brings to businesses when it comes to talent attraction and retention, but it seems most HR professionals and organisation leaders may not realise its ripple effects with almost a third of respondents (30%) didn’t know if their HR team champions DE&I, and 12% said their HR team didn’t.

For Cezanne HR’s new report, The Psychology of HR Relationship Building: Trust, visibility, and respect, 1,000 people across the UK and Ireland were asked about different factors that might influence HR’s relationships with the workforce.

For the last 18 months HR departments have grappled with how COVID-19 has affected the workforce and there’s been a definite increased focus on DE&I due to world events. The survey revealed that those HR professionals who are motivated and invested in DE&I showed a higher percentage of people who trusted them more before the pandemic (40% versus 32% for all respondents) than they do following the pandemic.

Shandel McAuliffe, Head of Content for Cezanne HR commented: “At a time when many employees are re-evaluating their career options, the relationship HR has with the wider workforce is critical. Trust is key to that. Employees that trust HR to help them grow with their current employer and create an environment that is fair and inclusive, are going to think twice before jumping ship.”

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Half of workforce looking to reskill

In the latest survey from CV-Library, it’s been revealed that ‘The Great Resignation’ is set to continue with more than two thirds of the UK professional workforce saying they’ll look for a new role in 2022.

More than half of the workforce (57.6%) is planning to reskill or retrain next year with belief that it will make them more employable.  Other factors driving the reskilling are a desire for a more meaningful career, better long-term job security and being unable to find a suitable job with their current skills.

The top five reasons for moving on in 2022, according to the CV-Library survey were:

  1. 1%: want/need a career change
  2. 3%: higher salary
  3. 7%: the uncertainty of the pandemic delayed an inevitable decision
  4. 9%: more flexible working opportunities
  5. 2%: burnout

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library commented: “Employers can take action to prevent increased staff turnover. Offering top salaries is the obvious choice but investing in training and upskilling, offering remote working opportunities, and building strong internal teams, look to be the smartest moves businesses can take in 2022.”

Ken Brotherston, Managing Director at TALiNT Partners doesn’t necessarily agree. He weighed in: “Whilst I might quibble about the percentage of people claiming they will look for a new job, I do agree that there are a range of underlying challenges for employers which need to be addressed and that there is no single solution.”

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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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People living with dementia is set to triple by 2050

According to a new survey conducted by HIVE360, more UK workers are having to combine full and part time work with caring for an unwell or disabled loved ones. The ‘sandwich generation’ now looking after young children and elderly relatives, needs more support from their bosses post-pandemic.

According to David McCormack, CEO at HIVE360, the company has recorded a steady climb in the number of employees accessing specialist carer support. This data has been gathered from its employee experience platform called Engage.

David commented: “This hidden workforce is under enormous pressure and feeling the strain and are seeking out telephone advice and online guidance on how to cope and manage the impact on their physical and mental health and wellbeing, 24-hours a day, seven days a week.”

In a complementary report published recently by Aon, it is predicted that by 2040 one in six UK workers will balance their job with caring responsibilities. This figure means that unpaid carers will provide around £132 million worth of care per annum with 2.6 million people having given up work to provide care at home. The report also found that almost half of workers with caring responsibilities describe their situation as stressful, with 20% falling ill themselves.

David made further comment: “This represents a 12% increase since 2013. The UK’s population is ageing; around one-fifth of the UK population (19%) or around 12.3 million people was aged 65 or over in 2019, or around 12.3 million people. And it is projected there will be an additional 7.5 million people aged 65 years and over in the UK in 50 years’ time.

“Furthermore, the population of people living with dementia is set to triple by 2050, according to recent data published by Alzheimer’s Society.

“The sandwich generation is likely to grow in step with this changing profile of the UK population, and in turn, the numbers of workers juggling caring for a loved one. The new right for employees to take up to one week of unpaid carer’s leave per year announced by the government this month, is a positive step in the right direction towards giving the hidden workforce of carers the support, understanding and flexibility they need.”

 

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72% of senior staff admit to lack of training and development  
Learning and development programmes need urgent attention according to CoachHub’s 2021 Global HR Survey.

To meet the demands of today’s workforce, companies need to adapt to the needs of individual employees and research has revealed that only two in five companies do this. Almost half (45%) of businesses only provide standardised offerings to all workers and employees aren’t happy with their current training programmes; with 72% of those in senior training and development roles admitting that their staff feel there is a lack of training and development initiatives.

Almost all (92%) respondents believe that training and development budgets will increase in the year ahead, which is creates great opportunities to grow and develop organisations.

Juliane Sterzl, Senior Vice president for EMEA at CoachHub said: “Currently, organisations do not appreciate the full potential of training and development programmes that are out there. While minor adjustments following widespread remote working were implemented, many solutions were simply digitally-adapted rather than being digital first by design. Today, workers need more sophisticated, personalised approach.”

Almost all leaders (97%) believe that it is important to adapt their employee training and development programme to the current business climate with 77% of respondents agreeing that there is a great need to invest in employee training and development post pandemic and remote working.

The survey results show that 70% of decision makers identify that their employees are interested in a return to face-to-face learning and training following a switch to digital during the pandemic. “The large proportion of people longing for face-to-face contact actually signals that we’re craving more human interaction and collaboration than some of the digital tools allow. It’s not about ditching digital development completely, but instead better marrying the convenience and increased accessibility that digital platforms provide, with the real interactions that we once associated with physically meeting with people,” commented Sterzl.

 

 

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Appointment of women CEOs doubles globally

Only 8% of the UK’s CEOs are women, according to the eighth annual Route to the Top report released by provider of executive search and leadership advisory services, Heidrick & Struggles. The survey analysed the profiles of 1,095 CEOs at the largest publicly listed companies across 24 markets including Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Mexico, UAE, UK and the US.

The percentage seems low, but the share of newly appointed women CEOs has more than doubled globally to 13% over the first half of 2021; this compared to the last six months of 2020 which was 6%. The increase appears to indicate more progressive and inclusive policies inside the world’s top businesses. D&I continues to be brought into sharp focus, as made evident by the results shared at Talint Partners’ Benchmark Summit at The King’s Fund in London on 18 November.

While only 8% of UK CEOs are women, this is a 3% increase on last year and 2% more than both the European and global average (6%). At 14%, Ireland leads the world with the highest number of female leaders at the top of the corporate ladder.

Sharon Sands, partner in Heidrick & Struggles’ London office and co-lead of the CEO & Board of Directors Practice commented on the findings: “In the UK, the percentage of CEOs with cross-industry experience has risen to 34% in 2021 from 13%, as was found in the 2020 report. This shows that the skill set required is not-necessarily industry specific and can be transferred as required. Companies are also increasingly looking internally to fill available C-suite roles. At Heidrick & Struggles, we are strong believers in succession planning and the importance of developing a pipeline of diverse talent working their way up through the ranks.”

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The retailer is on track to open another 1,000 stores

Lidl has announced a pay increase from next year and according to the supermarket chain, the rise in wage will make it the highest paying supermarket in the UK. The supermarket said higher rates will apply to the capital’s workforce. Lidl commented that “entry-level wages will increase from £9.50 to £10.10 an hour outside of London and £10.85 to £11.30 within the M25 from March 2022, with colleagues earning up to £11.40 and £12.25 respectively, depending on length of service.”

The increase represents a pay rise of more than 6% for some and this will benefit more than 80% of its staff. By comparison, the UK’s minimum wage for workers over 23 is set to rise from its current level of £8.91 an hour to £9.50 from April 2022.

It stated that the increase recognised “the hard work and dedication of frontline colleagues during the last 18 months of the pandemic.”

It comes after continued staff shortages in a market where employers are continuing to struggle to fill roles, affecting the hospitality and retail sectors.

Lidl is expanding and currently has more than 850 stores in Great Britain. According to reports it says it’s still on track to increase that to 1,000 by the end of 2023.

Nan Gibson, Lidl’s chief HR officer, commented to the BBC: “We do not expect to pass that on to customers in the form of price rises.” She said it was currently “very difficult” to recruit staff, adding: “We are competing for talent with all the other retailers and, indeed, other industries.”

Ms Gibson said Lidl’s pay rise was intended to retain existing staff “as far as possible”, but also to attract new workers.

Christian Härtnagel, chief executive at Lidl GB, said: “We have ambitious plans to grow our business across Great Britain, and to do that, we need to ensure we attract and look after the best talent at every level of our business.”

 

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69% of workers admitted to showering during work hours

New research from IvoryResearch.com has revealed the most popular work-from-home pastime – and it’s not work.

Since working from home, employees and employers have become somewhat relaxed in terms of the usual rules from the corporate environment, like dress code, longer lunch breaks and working flexible hours. But how have workers been filling the hours they’re not on video calls or sending emails?

One of the most common responses from those polled, with two thirds of respondents admitting to having sex while on the work clock! Surprisingly midday fooling around wasn’t the most unusual answer as one respondent admitted to taking a secret holiday without their employer knowing.

Other answers included setting up new businesses during work hours and creating OnlyFans content to make extra money. Many people also began online trading and investing in bitcoin, while a few even studied for a qualification for a new job.

On the tamer front, respondents admitted to visiting the hairdresser, binge watching entire Netflix series’, and some admitting to be completely hungover! Some even said they did actually work.

In contrast, some activities people admitted to meant leaving their desk for perhaps a little too long. These included; getting a bikini wax, going to football games, going to the gym and even online dating during work hours.

The top 10 most popular skiving activities include:

  1. Having sex – 76%
  2. Napping – 74%
  3. Scrolling on social media – 72%
  4. Showering – 69%
  5. Online shopping – 65%
  6. Cooking – 57%
  7. Tanning – 58%
  8. Going for a walk -55%
  9. Cleaning the house/ room -51%
  10. Hair salon/ hair cut – 48%

Maria Ovdii, research expert from Ivory Research, commented: “Our research has uncovered some very interesting truths about the UK workforce! From the subliminal to the ridiculous, people definitely didn’t hold back in these revelations. Perhaps managers need to surprise employees with a few additional meetings or calls!”

 

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17% of workers say employers are too flexible

Over a third (35%) of UK workers are willing to take a pay cut to work remotely permanently revealed research by Reed.co.uk, a UK jobs and careers site.

The researched canvassed 2,000 full or part-time employed workers and aimed to explore post-pandemic employee preferences and sentiment towards flexible working. It confirmed the strength of opinion in favour of remote working, with almost one in five workers (19%) believing their employer is not flexible enough with 17% of those surveyed saying their employer is too flexible. This implies that these respondents would prefer to be in the office more than they’re currently being offered.

The number of workers (36%) who believe their employer is not providing a fair balance between remote and office working is equal to the number of workers (37%) who say that their employer has got it “just right”. The findings indicated a clear divide between workers in their post-pandemic working preferences.

These differences are exacerbated among different demographics with 32% of workers aged between 18 and 34 wanting more office-based work, compared to less than 10% of over 45s. Results also revealed that men (21%) are more likely than women (12%) to feel that their employer is too flexible and workers 31% of workers in London wanting to work in the office compared with 9% in Yorkshire.

Flexible working is creating further tensions in the workplace when it comes to wages and career opportunities with over a quarter (26%) of respondents feeling that full-time office workers should be paid more than those working from home. Twenty-three percent of respondents said that full-time office-based workers should be prioritised for promotion over full-time remote workers, while over a third (37%) said that those working in the office should receive more perks.

Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, commented: “While flexible working can seem like an impossible challenge to get right, the key thing is to ensure employees have a certain level of choice and autonomy over how, when and where they spend their working day – keeping in mind the fact that what works for one group of people won’t necessarily work for another.

“In a competitive labour market, businesses must think creatively and listen carefully to their staff to provide a tailored approach that works on both an individual and collective level. This will help to improve their chances of attracting and retaining the best talent.”

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Half of employees don’t want to pay for activities themselves

According to a survey by Just Eat for Business, called The Lunch Break Bonding survey,  the majority of UK workers (82%) want their workplace to provide more team-building events.

Over 200 UK-based organisations were surveyed, and results were segmented by role (executive, management, CEO), region, and business size.

The survey reveals that after 18 months of largely remote working workers are desperate to reunite with their teams with 75% saying they would enjoy their workplace more with more regularly-scheduled team building events. According to results, larger organisations are interested in getting to know their colleagues better with 93% of organisations with 300+ employees wanting more frequent socialising opportunities.

The majority of workers (62%) said they’d enjoy their workplace more with increased team social events in order to create a friendlier working environment. When it comes to how workers like to socialise, the survey found team lunches were the favourite work perk (40%), followed by escape rooms (31%), team vs team competitions (31%), lunch & learns (26%), mixology classes (21%) and quiz or trivia nights (20%).

More than half of office workers (51%) said they were less likely to attend a team building event if they’re required to pay for all or a portion of the cost. Within teams, it’s management-level employees that are the most put off by having to contribute financially.

The study focussed on gaining an understanding of how team building events can improve the workplace. For CEOs and business owners, the most important outcome was creating a friendlier work atmosphere (67%), while executives valued showcasing company culture.

Robin Dunbar, Psychologist at the University of Oxford, comments on the study said: “This whole process of creating a bonded community depends on engagement in various activities, one of which is eating together, and that just creates a sense of belonging. It has huge knock-on consequences for your health, physical health and mental wellbeing, by virtue of forming friendships. In addition, it fosters a sense of loyalty to the organisation.”

Matt Ephgrave, Managing Director of Just Eat for Business also weighed in on the findings.  He said: “It’s encouraging to see that office workers at all levels are eager to increase the frequency and quality of team building activities, particularly given that many organisations are either heading back into the office, or learning to operate remotely.”

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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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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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