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Latest in the Region: UK

Economic activity decreases again

According to the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) from the ONS, its estimated that for the period of January to March 2022 there was a decrease in the unemployment rate, while the employment and inactivity rates increased.

Even though the market is contracting, the employment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 75.7%, however this is still below pre-pandemic levels. According to figures, the increase in the employment rate was driven by the movement of people aged 16 to 64 years from unemployment to employment. However, there was also a record-high movement of people from economic inactivity into employment with total job-to-job moves also increasing to a record high of 994,000, driven by resignations rather than dismissals, during the January to March 2022 period – the Great Resignation continues…

The estimated number of payrolled employees for April 2022 shows a monthly increase, up 121,000 on the revised March 2022, to a record 29.5 million.

The unemployment rate for January to March 2022 decreased by 0.3 percentage points on the quarter to 3.7% and for the first time since records began, there are fewer unemployed people than job vacancies.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo commented on the skills shortages: “The skills shortages in the UK are reaching concerning levels and this latest data shows the scale of the pressure on employers and the staffing sector as demand continues to outstrip supply. We’ve seen some encouraging signs from the Government, including the highly skilled immigration visa which was announced by the Chancellor earlier this year.

“However, we are concerned that the absence of the Employment Bill in the Queen’s Speech is an indication that the immediate skills crisis has slipped off the priority list for the Government. At a time when the job market is growing at unprecedented rates and competition is rife, more appropriate regulation is needed for the modern labour market.”

Economic activity 

The economic inactivity rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 21.4% in January to March 2022 and this recent inactivity is believed to be driven by those aged 50 to 64 years.

The number of job vacancies in February to April 2022 rose to a new record of 1,295,000. However, the rate of growth in vacancies continued to slow down.

Kate Meadowcroft, Employment Partner at legal business, DWF, commented on the UK Labour Market figures regarding increased pay: “Undoubtedly the cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation will have a knock on effect on the labour market.  ONS figures have previously shown that although wages have risen, once you consider inflation pay is actually falling. Employees will be seeking out the most attractive rewards packages in order to combat the financial repercussions of the turbulent economy.

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Delays due to difficulties in finding quality candidates

According to 58% of HR managers, delays in hiring are negatively affecting business performance.

In Talent Work’s survey of 400 HR leaders, it was found that recruitment is taking double the time to hire talent when compared to 2019. Twenty-one percent of respondents agree that it is taking three times as long.

Twenty-eight percent of respondents agree that the delays are due to difficulties in finding quality candidates.

When looking at 2022 priorities, employer branding was noted as the key priority for HR in 2022. Thirty-one percent plan to relaunch or develop their employer brand, while a further 20% have already done this. Only 12% of respondents said they didn’t have time to focus on their employer brand.

Other priorities were employee retention at 21% and changing processes to allow speedy hire at 20%.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents believe that brand awareness impacts their hiring ability, and 42% don’t believe they have a strong awareness as an employer or don’t measure their brand awareness.

Neil Purcell, CEO, and founder of Talent Works, said: “These statistics clearly show that 2019 thinking isn’t going to work in the 2022 employment market, which is the most competitive we’ve ever seen. Companies need to get strategic about how they can speed up hiring to accelerate business performance, and as the research indicates, effective Employer Branding is the most widely recognised way of doing this. It’s great to see that companies are beginning to think differently in such an oversubscribed market, but over one in ten companies surveyed were still unaware of the Employer Brand concept, which shows that there is still work to do.”

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Companies need to build wellness culture into business

There is no doubt that the thought of returning to work-life after COVID-19 is filling many employees with dread. More than two years of pandemic related uncertainty and stress have taken their toll on employees’ mental health.

Lockdowns sent us into survival mode, and it is only now, as life starts to get back to normal, that we begin to process the reality of what we’ve been through. There may still be safety concerns. Cognitively, employees may feel safe, but they may not feel emotionally safe. In addition, new habits have had two years to develop, and they may be a challenge to break.

But there are practical reasons too. A recent survey of 1,000 workers conducted by messaging app Slack suggests that almost two in five workers are stressed or anxious about going back to the office after more than two years at home. Concerns about work-life balance, the cost of travel and food were among the reasons for their stress.

The study revealed that 75% of workers had experienced burnout, and one-third had put in extra hours.

The study also found that only two in five respondents think their employers value their mental health, indicating how essential it is for businesses to provide more help.

Employers need to recognise and empathise with the different reasons that workers may be reluctant or anxious to return to the office.

Seventy percent of respondents agreed that a four-day workweek would help their mental health and wellbeing. Almost 50% believe that a hybrid work situation is the best approach for mental health, yet only 25% can choose whether or not they will work in the office.

Chris Mills, of Slack, said: “An employee who is cared for and supported will be inspired to do their best work.”

“It’s positive to see UK workers highlighting that hybrid work and technology has an important part to play in their wellbeing.”

“To ensure technology continues to be an enabler of healthier workplaces, leaders can also set a good example. Building best practices, for instance on how to use features like ‘do not disturb’ and scheduled messages to avoid out of office messaging, can be a great place to start.”

Charlène Gisèle, High Performance Coach and Burnout Advisor: “It is more important than ever for employers to integrate and incorporate a wellness culture embedded within the company. Offering wellness solutions goes beyond a gym membership – instead fostering a wellness culture is what a company ought to aim for.

Instead of focusing on concerns employees can focus on the positive aspects of being back in the office: camaraderie, being able to see colleagues again, and having social work life back on the horizon are all great for mental health as opposed to social/work isolation which many employees have faced during lockdown.”

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A framework that solves talent access challenges with an outcome-first approach

Allegis Global Solutions (AGS), a provider of global workforce solutions, announced the publication of a new book for business, human resources (HR) and procurement leaders that takes them on a journey to harmonised workforce strategy and management.

“The Universal Workforce Model™: An Outcome-First Guide to Getting Work Done” talks about the three transformational yet complementary concepts – the Workforce Business Partner, Task-Based Workforce Design and the Intelligent Workforce Platform. The book lays out why organisations must challenge current models for acquiring and accessing talent now and what steps they can take to create an agile business fit to thrive in the new world of work.

Authored by AGS’ Vice President of EMEA Simon Bradberry and Global Head of Strategy Bruce Morton, with contributors John Boudreau (senior research scientist and professor emeritus at the University of Southern California), Ewan Greig (AGS senior manager of workforce solutions), Jessi Guenther (AGS vice president of client delivery) and Sarah Wong (AGS vice president of APAC), the book refocuses on the work itself before jumping to talk about workers, roles and vacancies, offering readers an alternative way to rethink work through outcome-based workforce acquisition.

Bruce Morton, Global Head of Strategy commented: “Current models for acquiring and accessing talent are outdated and flawed. Companies compete for talent they may never fully use, overspend or underspend on contractors based on limited data, and may forfeit budget and quality as a result. This is why the Universal Workforce Model starts with the outcome first, applying a workforce planning model that breaks down siloed resource channels, so organisations can secure the right resource every time, and work most efficiently and effectively.”

The Universal Workforce Model is structured as a journey to harmonised workforce management and has three defining features based on common areas of business transformation – process, people and technology.

Simon Bradberry AGS’ Vice President of EMEA commented: “Advances in AI and services-enabled architecture have given rise to technologies that bring all workforce options into view, making the journey to the Universal Workforce Model possible now. While changing the fundamentals of workforce engagement is not an easy move, the journey should not be a sacrifice to the business. Innovations in work design, evolving strategic relationships between companies and solutions partners and developing expertise to reconfigure work illuminate and make the path forward possible.”

Ken Brotherston, Chief Executive of TALiNT Partners made exclusive comment on the launch of the book: “Companies face immense pressures as they adjust to the ever-changing workforce. What’s important moving forward is that they treat workforce challenges as a priority across the entire business. The concept of the Workforce Business Partner doesn’t replace the work that HR, hiring managers, recruiters, and staffing and talent solutions partners do, but it provides the impetus that enables them to work smarter and with more agility on the journey to a Universal Workforce Model.”

Arkadev Basak, Partner, Everest Group also made comment on the release: “For years, Procurement, HR and business leaders have been forced to struggle with an incredibly complex set of talent acquisition and workforce challenges. Applying a different mode of thought and a new model to rethink, reimagine, and redesign today’s workforce has the potential to bring the focus back on the work itself.”

 

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Good management key to staff retention following the Great Resignation

New research from people analytics company, Visier, has revealed that 43% of UK employees admit to having quit their jobs due to bad management. A further 53% are currently seeking new roles due to their current manager.

In the study of 2,100 workers, 85% agree that good management is key to their happiness at work. Four in ten said they stayed in jobs longer than they planned because they had good relationships with their managers.

The majority of employees surveyed believe that flexible working is beneficial for both workers (74%) and businesses (69%). But while staff enjoy flexible hours and remote work,  it is clear that lack of face-time has been damaging for employee-manager relationships. The main contributors to this are:

  • Lack of face-to-face meetings (51%)
  • Increased working from home (44%)
  • An over-reliance on emails (44%)

Only 48% of workers are comfortable discussing their personal lives with their managers, indicating that leaders are struggling to build strong relationships with their teams.

Daniel Mason, VP EMEA of Visier, commented: “The old cliché – people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers – rings true, and the pandemic has made it harder for leaders to develop personal relationships with employees.”

“This isn’t a case of leaders becoming bad managers overnight, but instead, they are making difficult decisions with less information available to them.”

“The move to remote and hybrid working has starved managers of the opportunity to observe and meet with team members. Face-to-face interactions and other natural moments to develop a rapport are fewer, so managers should look to enhance their toolkit with data and insights to better understand and anticipate employee needs.”

When asked to identify the most valuable traits of a good manager, the most popular responses were as follows:

  • Treating people well (47%)
  • Listening to workers (47%)
  • Showing respect to all members of staff (47%)

On the other hand, the attributes of a bad manager were:

  • Failure to listen (49%)
  • Being unapproachable (47%)
  • Treating other members of staff differently (43%)
  • Shouting at the team (42%)

The most important factors for happiness in the workplace were:

  • Enjoying their work (45%)
  • Good pay (39%)
  • Good colleagues (35%)

Further data revealed that:

Sixty-two percent of the respondents felt that they currently had a good manager, and 45% believed that they could do the job better themselves. This group was questioned as to how they would improve, and their responses were:

  • 53% said they understood the concerns of other employees
  • 46% would treat all members of staff with equal respect
  • 36% would make an effort to get to know the people they manage better

Mason continues: “Businesses have spent the past few decades using data and other innovations to improve customer relationships and increase revenues. Many organisations are yet to harness these methods to better understand their most important asset – employees.”

“Every organisation already has a wealth of people data scattered throughout. Modern tools and analytics can find and organise this data to generate people insights to help you better understand and manage talent. When these insights are combined with other types of data from across the organisation, the result can drive more impactful business outcomes and unlock the next wave of growth and success.”

With employers struggling to fill vacancies and retain key talent following the Great Resignation, it’s clear that good management is essential to staff retention.

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74% feel unsupported as wages aren’t keeping up with increasing cost of living  

In CV- Library’s survey of over 4,000 workers by website, it was revealed that 89% of employees either don’t know whether they will receive a pay increase or have already been told that they won’t receive one.

With increasing pressure on budgets and wages not matching the increasing cost of living, the study found that only 11% of employees know that they will get a pay rise. Eighty-one percent believe that the topic is being ignored, and 8% already know that they will not receive a pay increase.

As a result, almost 74% feel unsupported and believe that their employers are unsympathetic regarding the rising pressure on household budgets.

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library comments: “There is no doubt that rising costs and global uncertainty are beginning to impact the job market. Whilst businesses need to balance their own increased costs with the salary needs and expectations of their staff, it’s vital that they take action and at least open lines of communication with their employees.”

“With unfilled vacancies still high it will be tempting for professionals to look elsewhere if they don’t have any clarity and continue to feel unsupported. We’re beginning to see evidence of this with number of new CV’s registered on CV- Library last month up 13.4% year on year.”

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Company plans double headcount in five years

Harvey Nash Group has announced that they are being renamed Nash Squared, signalling their intention to grow rapidly over the next five years. The technology and talent company plans to more than double its global headcount from 2,500 to 6,000 by 2027.

The group, which currently incorporates six technology and talent businesses, grew strongly during the pandemic with acquisitions and expansion in Vietnam and Latin America.

They believe that this move positions them as an integrated technology and talent provider and allows clients to build and transform their technology capability in several ways.

The move also distinguishes Nash Squared from Harvey Nash, the company’s global technology talent acquisition brand.

Bev White, CEO of Nash Squared, commented: “The future for our clients lies in helping them build and transform their digital teams and capability in limitless ways, and the Nash Squared brand positions us strongly as a platform to deliver on this. It also supports our significant growth plans; as we expect to more than double our global headcount from 2,500 to over 6,000 over the next five years.”

 “It was very important to retain the Nash name in the group brand as it is a uniting factor to so much of what we do. In fact, many parts of the group call themselves Nashers! Becoming Nash Squared reflects the impact we see when our businesses work together. We are an incredible company that is even more powerful when we collaborate, and Nash Squared is the brand that will take us even further.”

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Paid sick leave tops the list

HR and payroll software provider CIPHR recently polled 1001 people about which benefits, perks, and incentives are the most important for employees. According to the new research, 67% of employees said that paid sick leave matters most to them. Next on the list were flexible working hours at 57% and pension contribution matching at 46%.

Also important was mental health and wellbeing support, at 40%. This comes as no surprise after the pandemic and the ever-rising cost of living.

The order of importance depends largely on the individual being surveyed. For example, pension contribution matching is higher on the priority list than flexible working hours for those over 45 (59% vs. 45%). However, the opposite applies to respondents under 45 (57% vs. 42%).

Gender also played a role, where female respondents valued childcare assistance over a market value salary (27% vs. 21%). On the other hand, more men placed more importance on a performance bonus over a market-value salary (45% vs. 34%).

The top 15 benefits and perks were as follows:

  • Paid sick leave (67%)
  • Flexible working hours (57%)
  • Pension contribution matching (46%)
  • Mental health and wellbeing support (40%)
  • Performance bonus (39%)
  • Four-day work week on full-time pay (37%)
  • Extra holiday allowance (32%)
  • Employee discounts scheme (30%)
  • Flexible working location (27%)
  • Market-value salary (26%)
  • Childcare assistance (23%)
  • Health insurance or cash-back plans (21%)
  • Extra paid day off for birthdays (21%)
  • Extended paid parental leave (20%)
  • Death benefits (18%)
  • Unlimited paid leave (18%)

In a separate survey of 332 UK-based businesses, CIPHR found that employers only rated six of the 24 benefits in the same order as employees.

The top 10 benefits that employers think matter most to employees are:

  • Mental health and wellbeing support
  • Flexible working hours
  • Paid sick leave
  • Flexible working location
  • Performance bonus
  • Four-day work week on full-time pay
  • Extra holiday allowance
  • Health insurance or cash-back plans
  • Childcare assistance
  • Pension contribution matching
  • Market-value salary

Matt Russell, Chief Commercial Officer at CIPHR, commented: “It is surprising to see such a disconnect between the benefits that employees value and what employers think – especially given how important good rewards and benefits packages are to attracting and retaining top talent and for supporting a great employee experience.”

“There is no one model or benefits scheme that works for every organisation. Employers need to spend time listening to their own employees to understand their needs and priorities and what benefits they want and value. For example, things like employee discounts, childcare assistance, and health or dental insurance, can go a long way to helping employees through the current cost-of-living crisis. And, what was once more important, pre-2020, has now been superseded by other benefits that reflect the growing shift to remote working and the desire for more flexibility at work.

“It won’t always be possible to deliver on every specific benefits request but organisations that can act on employee feedback, wherever possible, and provide agile and flexible benefits schemes are more likely to have a happier and engaged workforce.”

The significant differences between what employees actually value and what employers think their employees will value, indicate that organisations may be missing valuable opportunities to improve employee experience and engagement.

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New research reveals which jobs are at risk

According to new research, 37% of employees believe that their current job is threatened by automation and digital transformation. Based on survey results of over 1,000 UK workers, HR software provider CIPHR has released a list of the occupations that are the most and least likely to be replaced by technology or machines.

In the survey, respondents were asked to rate the likelihood that their occupation could become automated. Thirty-three percent of women and 43% of men believe that it is very likely that automation could replace their jobs. Further findings revealed that 54% of respondents aged 18 – 24 believe that their jobs may not exist in the future compared to 27% of those over 45.

To measure how closely people’s perceptions were to the likelihood of automation making people’s jobs redundant, CIPHR compared the survey results to a report Office for National Statistics (ONS). Across all the occupations included in the study, the findings showed a notable difference between workers’ perceptions and ONS researchers’ predictions.

A significant number of people vastly underestimated or overestimated the probability of their work becoming automated, suggesting a misconception about which jobs and associated tasks are susceptible to automation.

According to the research, 60% or more of jobs such as kitchen and catering assistants, cleaners, and sales and retail assistants are at risk of automation. Still, many people in these roles believe that the likelihood of this happening is relatively low.

Of the jobs considered to have a low risk of automation (30% or less), such as nursing, IT directors, and accounting, many people doing these jobs fear that their roles are at risk.

The research showed that, on average, people in more labour-intensive, non-desk based roles are more likely to underestimate the impact of automation (69%) than desk-based workers (49%).

There were similar results findings when looking at salaries. Many more people earning over £40,000 a year are more likely to overestimate the likelihood of automation taking over their jobs compared to employees earning under £31,285 (76% vs 29%).

The occupations with the smallest difference between perception and probability included:

  • Human resource managers and directors (29% think their job is likely to be automated)
  • IT user support technicians (27%)
  • Programmers and software development professionals (27%)
  • Restaurant and catering managers and proprietors (38%)
  • Bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks (55%)

Claire Williams, Chief People Officer at CIPHR, comments: “Almost every industry has been transformed in some way by technology. And while digitalisation and automation have brought many positive benefits to organisations, such as improved efficiencies and productivity, streamlined processes, and reduced costs and timesaving, there is still much uncertainty about how it will impact people’s jobs in the long term.

“The challenge is to get the right balance of technology and people. Employees need to feel valued, that their roles have been enhanced by technology rather displaced by it. People often underestimate the human skills that they bring to their roles – the many parts of their jobs that can’t easily be replaced by algorithms and AI. The workplace and job roles will continue to evolve with technology, so employers need to consider the best ways to upskill and reskill their existing employees to keep up with these changes – making sure that they have the capacity, skills and capabilities to do their jobs and progress in their careers.”

Based on the survey results, many employees are unprepared for the changes ahead in their working lives. But even if occupations can become fully automated, it doesn’t mean they will. Instead, more than likely, roles will evolve, and new roles will be created.

 

 

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New survey looks at popular issues facing the future of work

According to Emburse’s new YouGov survey of 1,000 British office workers, it was found that 68% of British office workers would consider working from the office full-time if their commute was fully paid for. However, 27% of respondents wouldn’t consider coming back into the office full time, even if costs were covered by their employers.

The survey revealed that two-thirds agreed that Wednesday was the best day to work from the office if given a choice. On the other hand, Friday was the least popular office day at only 10%.

The top incentive to go back to the office was a four-day workweek (59%). Other findings related to incentives included:

  • Fully-paid commute: 52%
  • More paid holidays: 51%
  • Employer-paid lunch in the office: 30%
  • Reimbursement for lunch expenses: 24%
  • Paid childcare on workdays: 14%

The survey also found that most are not concerned about proximity bias, but 24% worry about career prospects.

Kenny Eon, GM and SVP EMEA at Emburse, commented: “The impacts of COVID and the Great Resignation mean that companies need to be more employee-centric in their approach, and humanising the workplace has never been more important. Part of this means ensuring team members get the best possible work environment. Whilst working remotely is certainly convenient for employees, there are clear benefits of having in-person interactions, as well as the cultural importance of bringing teams together. Data clearly shows that they are more productive than audio or video meetings, so there needs to be a balance between convenience and productivity. A relatively small investment from employers could have a significant impact in driving more in-office collaboration.”

“Given the sharp increase in the cost of living, businesses should consider how they can support staff by reducing the financial burden of attending the office in-person. Reimbursing travel and lunches can certainly help do this. It also doesn’t have to mean endless time on paperwork, as expense apps can make the process easy for both the employee and the finance team.”

With inflation reaching a 30-year-high of 7% and national insurance hikes, clearly, commute costs are deterring workers from returning to the office.

Employers will need to observe and respect their employees’ preferences to create a hybrid working arrangement to shape and maintain a productive workforce.

 

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Talent Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Trials indicate increased productivity and employee wellbeing
Approximately 30 British companies will be taking part in a four-day work week trial has been launched in the UK as part of a global pilot organised by governments, think tanks, and the organisation ‘4 Day Week Global’. During the pilot, it’s said that employees will be offered 100% of their usual pay, for 80% of their time, yet maintaining 100% productivity. Studies have shown that the four-day week can boost productivity and employee wellbeing.
Harriet Calver, Senior Associate at Winckworth Sherwood, says that the four-day work week is not a new phenomenon. Many employees in the UK already work a four-day week, however, this is typically agreed on a case-by-case basis between employee and employer following a flexible working request. It tends to be accompanied by a corresponding reduction in pay, except in the case of “compressed hours” in which case the employee is simply squeezing the same number of hours into a shorter week.

BENEFITS FOR BUSINESS 

Gill Tanner, Senior Behavioural Scientist at CoachHub, believes that one of the key advantages is that employees would benefit from a better work/life balance and an extra day on the weekend would mean staff would have the opportunity to realise other ambitions outside of work and spend more meaningful time with family and friends, engage in more exercise or find a new hobby – all of which result in improved mental and physical health and higher levels of happiness. And this will result in less burnout and reduced levels of stress.

But in what ways could the reduced working week benefit employers? Improving employee happiness and well-being has many potential commercial benefits for employers such as increased performance and productivity, reduced absenteeism, recruitment and retention; and it could have a positive effect DE&I.

POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS

Gill Tanner believes that completing five days’ worth of work in just four days could be more stressful for some. Employees will need more focus and have much less time for lower productivity activities.  Additionally, some employers and businesses may find the four-day week detrimental to operations. For example, a decline in levels of customer support on days staff aren’t in the office. So, careful thought needs to be given to how this might be executed.

According to Harriet Calver, if an organisation is asking for 100% productivity from employees in consideration for a reduction in working hours, it is going to be critical to have the right support, technology and workplace culture in place to enable this.

Although the success of the four-day working week model relies on employees doing fewer hours, there is a danger that there may not be enough hours in those four days to complete the work. Therefore, working hours could creep up to previous levels if the workload is the same, resulting in longer and more stressful days for these employees.

In customer facing businesses, a potential pitfall of the four-day working week is not being able to properly service customers leading to poor customer satisfaction. For example, if an organisation shuts its office on the fifth day, when it was previously open, customers may complain they cannot access services when they want to, or previously could. Whilst this could be a potential issue for some organisations, it should be overcome fairly easily by most simply by keeping the business open for five days a week but staggering the days which employees do their four days so the entire week is still covered.

According to Gill Tanner, employers should consider the following before implementing a four-day week:

  1. What are your reasons for implementing a four-day week?
  2. Consult with employees and other stakeholders regarding a four-day week. What are their thoughts? How might it work?
  3. Provide clarity regarding what is expected in terms working hours, performance levels, days off, remuneration, ways of working etc.
  4. Ensure there is sufficient coverage to run the business as is required and to have continuity.
  5. Think about the situation from the customer/client perspective (and other stakeholders) and how they might be affected
  6. Consider the communication plan: who needs to be communicated to and by when?
  7. Reflect on your current company culture.  Is it one of trust and ownership, values that are key to this kind of working? If not, is it the right time to implement such a big transition?  Are there other steps you need to take first?
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