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Latest in the Region: UK&I

Rapid growth in demand and shortage of talent creates tricky situation

Industry specialists continue to warn of challenges in finding the right candidates in the current buoyant software recruitment market.

The rapid upturn in demand and a talent shortage is creating a difficult situation for businesses that wish to expand. Specialists warn that companies need to invest sufficient time, money, and expertise in the employment process if they wish to succeed.

Experts say that one of the reasons for the current challenging situation is an increasing number of recruiters in the technology industry, resulting in candidates receiving significantly more cold approaches than before.

Additionally, remote recruiting has sped up recruitment procedures, even though companies have added layers and touchpoints to ensure that they’re hiring the right talent.

Tristan Heywood, Divisional Director at Oakstone International, commented: “I’m 21 years at Oakstone and I can’t remember a time when we have been busier. Literally every tech company is hiring at scale, which is not only driving salaries up, but also challenging candidates to make the right decision – and that situation is unlikely to change in the near future.”

“There are simply not enough qualified/experienced resources to deliver against the demand across every function – whether that’s technical, marketing, consulting or sales – the average candidate is overwhelmed with offers and for many, the primary metric for measuring an opportunity is on the salary rather than a holistic focus on earnings, culture and genuine career prospects.”

“Software is now driving everything – new banks are essentially technology platforms – and traditional industries are being fully automated by tech and therefore the demand for staff is constant and is only getting bigger and greater and more difficult.

“Companies will also have to think about how to sell their brand to attract the right people. Packaging your opportunity based on earning scope, leadership, personal development and culture will be critical. Otherwise you are in a straight salary shoot-out and if you don’t sell a vision then the risk is that highest payer will win”

Dan Hammond-Smith, Divisional Director at Oakstone International, added: “As we continue to move towards a hybrid working model, most clients who we partner with have adapted and adjusted.

“Those that haven’t – and those that aren’t willing to – will lose candidates because employees are more than ever calling the shots about when they want to be in the office. People’s priorities have changed.”

“There is probably a 20 per cent increase in terms of base salaries within senior technology roles from even where we were last year – coupled expectations of bonus, decent pensions, investment in people’s betterment, learning and well-being – and you have a pretty competitive landscape.

“At the start of 2021, the standard interview process within technology was 27.5 days – now, for most of my clients, it’s 14 days. That’s because they have now got to be even more competitive in the market to succeed.”

All indications are that UK businesses need to continue adjusting and extending sufficient resources in the recruitment process to thrive in the current challenging business climate.

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Employers’ confidence in the UK economy declines as inflation reaches record highs

New data from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) JobsOutlook survey advises of a decrease in employers’ confidence in the UK economy during the first quarter of 2022 as inflation numbers reach their highest levels in 30 years.

Although the measure of business confidence increased slightly in January, it soon fell back to the same levels as those in the final quarter of 2021.

But despite the decreasing confidence, most employers are still positive about their ability to hire. The survey found that UK businesses’ confidence in hiring was at net: +8 (1% lower than in the last quarter of 2021).

According to the survey, employers’ intentions to hire permanent workers have significantly increased by 9% over the past three months, despite the negative economic outlook. However, these intentions may be due to the current challenges in filling vacancies.

More findings from the survey include:

  • Medium-term hiring intentions rose by 7%
  • Quarter-on quarter, hiring intentions for temporary agency workers remained positive even though the numbers declined by 14% in the short term and 8% in the medium term.
  • In March, 18% of employers said that the increase in National Insurance contributions would reduce their ability to invest in their business.
  • 15% of employers said that the National Insurance contributions would discourage the creation of new roles.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, commented: “Businesses are seeing tax rates and uncapped energy costs rise, as well as pressure on salaries from staff who are seeing their own bills go up. So it is no surprise that firms are more concerned about the outlook. But British firms are resilient and investment in staff and growth remain on the agenda when employers think about their own business. We expect to see employers’ hiring plans decouple further from their economic outlook over the coming months as they face a tight labour market. Firms will need to find new, creative ways to attract candidates, as well as keep hold of the talented staff they have. Recruiters will play a vital part in helping them to do so.

“More employers are switching their hiring intentions towards permanent staff, as the urgent need for contingency staff to cover Covid absences decreases. But temporary workers remain vital to managing uncertain and fast-changing markets.”

All indications are that resilient British companies remain intent on growing despite a negative economic outlook.

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Employees ten times more likely to leave due to toxicity than compensation

With record numbers of resignations in the UK in 2021, new research has found that toxic workplace culture is the most significant reason employees leave their roles.

MIT Sloan Management Review analysed over 1.4 million anonymous employee reviews on the careers website Glassdoor to understand why people left their jobs. According to the research, employees in the US were ten times more likely to leave due to toxicity as opposed to compensation.

The research found that toxic work culture was described as:

  • Non-inclusive
  • Disrespectful
  • Unethical
  • Cut-throat
  • Abusive

According to Glassdoor, a toxic workplace is described as a hostile culture where the offence and intimidation of employees is almost normalised. This hostile environment negatively impacts employee engagement, productivity, and job satisfaction throughout the business and, ultimately, the company’s bottom line.

Glassdoor provides the following suggestions for employees dealing with a toxic work culture:

  • To not stoop to low levels of behaviour – employees should focus on neutrality and completing their work responsibilities.
  • Connect with colleagues who share similar feelings for support while avoiding gossip.
  • Not to allow stress at work to overtake their home life.
  • Protect mental health by taking time outside of work to focus on wellbeing.
  • Create an escape plan for removing themselves from toxic work situations responsibly.
  • Analyse what they don’t like about the role to ensure they do not find themselves in the same situation in their next role.
  • Read reviews of any potential companies to find out what it’s like to work there.

Glassdoor economist, Lauren Thomas, commented: “If 2021 was the Year of Quits for employees, 2022 needs to be the Year of Hires for companies. To do this, employers need to understand why workers are leaving. Toxic workplace culture is a major factor in the record number of resignations – but job seekers are also enjoying more choices than ever when it comes to selecting their next role. Putting employee engagement at the heart of the business is vital to retain staff and maximise productivity.”

With the market still seeing high levels of staff turnover coupled with the lack of skills, employers’ focus should turn to talent retention and internal mobility in order to prevent employees leaving.

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Talent Solutions

Acquisition strengthens Nash Squared as a major MSP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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