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Concerns that new bill could lead to increased litigation 

The New Jersey Senate has approved bill S. 511, increasing regulations on the staffing industry. This is according to a tweet by the bill’s sponsor, State Sen. Joe Cryan, D-Union.

Amongst other aspects, the bill provides for equal pay between contingent and directly employed workers. However, some believe that the new bill could lead to increased litigation.

The bill was previously approved in June, but the New Jersey Senate had to vote again due to a procedural issue.

Toby Malara, VP government relations at the American Staffing Association, confirmed that no changes were made to the bill in the new vote. With assistance from the ASA, the New Jersey Staffing Alliance led efforts to amend the bill.

Within the next 45 days, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy must either sign the bill, veto it or put forward a conditional veto by offering the bill with amendments back to the legislature for consideration. The ASA’s next avenue will be to urge the governor to issue a conditional veto with various changes to the bill.

The bill was opposed by the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

Alexis Bailey, NJBIA director of government affairs, commented: “While the intent of the bill is to create additional protections for temporary workers, the provisions in it range from concerning to completely unworkable for businesses which are often challenged enough to maintain their workforces.”

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CPI remains static

Although the previous week’s level was revised downward by 12,000, jobless claims increased by 14,000 last week. With this increase, the jobless claims level is now 262,000, according to the latest US Department of Labor reports.

According to a Reuters poll, economists forecast 263,000 applications for the latest week.

Other stats show that the four-week moving average of claims increased by 4,500 in the week ended Aug. 6 to 252,000. The previous week’s average, however, was revised downward by 7,250.

In related news, The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index for urban consumers was unchanged in July compared to the previous month. However, year on year, the index increased by 8.5% in July, this number down from 9.1% in June.

While the cooling of headline inflation is welcome at the Federal Reserve, economists warn that the Fed wants to see more months like this and that officials are also focusing on core prices, according to Market Watch.

Sal Guatieri, Senior Economist at BMO Capital Markets, commented: “The July CPI report might be the first clear indication that consumers are pushing back against high inflation in response to tighter monetary policy. It’s a sign that inflation is close to peaking, though the climb down the mountain will be slow due to rising wages and rents.”

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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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Employment trends index shows slowdown in positive job growth

Following the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly employment bulletin report, the Conference Board Employment Trends Index was released on 6 June 2022. The employment index indicated a slowdown in job growth in the months ahead.

Despite job growth remaining positive, the measure moved downward from a reading of 120.60 in April to 119.77 in May.

Sectors involving leisure and hospitality as well as in-person services have not yet completely recovered from their Covid-linked job losses. However, with consumers likely to move from spending on goods to services, these industries will likely see some employment growth.

Agron Nicaj, Associate Economist at The Conference Board, commented: “The labor market may have less room for more growth with overall employment down only 0.5% compared to the pre-pandemic level.”

“The labor market remains strong amid high inflation, and the Federal Reserve is likely to continue its focus on stabilizing prices as a result,” but “a strong response by the Fed risks higher unemployment rates by the end of 2022.”

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Dealing with distance in a post-pandemic workplace

Focusing on employee mental health in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent survey commissioned by Cigna among US adults has shown that employers need to pay attention to feelings of loneliness among their employees.

The survey of almost 2,500 respondents conducted by Morning Consult showed that employees experiencing loneliness were less likely than their colleagues to say that they could work efficiently and perform to the best of their abilities. They were also more likely to say that they were “mentally somewhere else” while at work during the last three months.

In 2020, an analysis by Cigna showed that loneliness costs employers more than $154 billion per year in lost productivity caused by absenteeism.

Productivity isn’t the only negative result. The survey also found that employees experiencing loneliness were three times more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs than their peers. A further 30% of lonely employees admitted feeling unwell or sick while at work in the past three months.

While the circumstances surrounding the pandemic may have led to more flexible remote working arrangements for many, isolation and loneliness were also side effects of the new working situation. Together with exhaustion due to blurred boundaries between work and home life, these feelings have added to the stress of many employees.

Cigna highlighted three areas that employers could focus on to address issues with workplace loneliness:

  • Regular activities that bring employees together, both in-person and virtually, such as town hall events, volunteer events, and employee resource group meetings.
  • Providing employee benefits that support mental and emotional well-being while remaining mindful of the barriers that may prevent employees from accessing the help they need.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives could also go a long way to creating a safe and welcoming environment for employees.
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Is a collaborative approach with employees the answer to labour issues?

With public unionization movements taking place at various Big Tech companies, Microsoft wasn’t to be left out. The tech giant announced last week that it planned to follow an “open and constructive approach” to union organization from its employees.

In their announcement on June 2, 2002, they emphasized that while it wasn’t a requirement for employees to form a union to engage with company leadership, employees have the legal right to create a union.

The company outlined four principles to guide their open attitude to unionization. Among these were that they were “committed to creative and collaborative approaches with unions when employees wish to exercise their rights and Microsoft is presented with a specific unionization proposal.”

Microsoft is currently acquiring Activision Blizzard in an all-cash transaction valued at $68.7 billion. This announcement comes on the back of a vote taken at the end of May by an Activision Blizzard subsidiary to form a union.

Right now, the tech industry seems to be lit up by unionization efforts, with Amazon in a heated battle against unionization at some of its facilities, including in New York and Alabama.

In this post-pandemic world, worker power appears to be on the rise in companies across the US, with unions seeing increased activity in numerous sectors. The retail industry is just one example, with Starbucks and REI, where a number of strikes broke out late in 2021.

In what is known as #striketober, workers made demands for improved benefits, including better pay, flexible hours and more time off.

When it comes to unhappy staff, prevention is better than cure. One solution to staving off strike action would be listening to and acting on employee feedback. A Perceptyx survey released in April revealed that employers who did this were 11 times for likely to retain staff than those who didn’t.

Interestingly, fewer employers in the healthcare and retail industries were “listening to employees” than in other industries. These industries have also faced strike and unionization activities, high staff turnover and labour shortages.

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Half of workers spend time on video calls now than a year ago

According to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work Report, workers in the US are overwhelmed by their notifications with almost two-thirds (63%) of US workers continuously checking their emails outside of work hours — the highest percentage across the board in the international study.

The software company’s research team surveyed workers from Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. At 62%, workers in the U.S. were the most likely to report feeling the need to reply to emails straight away. This rate was even higher among Generation Z and millennials. The US participants reported that they’re overwhelmed by the breadth of their digital interactions with colleagues with 34% stating they struggle to respond to important messages, with the rate being even higher for millennials and Gen Zers.

Just under half (41%) of respondents reported that they spend more time on emails now than a year ago with 43% stating that they spend more time on video calls than one year ago.

More than half (52%) reported that more efficient meetings could effectively reduce the number of notifications, and 48% of respondents said clearer responsibilities could also limit the number of notifications. Gen Zers, millennials and those in C-suite roles were most likely to emphasize the importance of well-outlined expectations.

Debbie Walton, Editor at TALiNT Partners commented: “The move to working from home means that there is no option to display an ‘out of office’ or to switch off from work. I have made the decision to remove all work apps from my cell phone so as not to be bombarded by endless notifications after hours. It’s supported a healthier work/ life balance.”

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According to the latest SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Indicator, hours worked in the US staffing industry increased by 20% year-on-year in the week ended Feb. 26. Hours worked continued the pattern of growth observed throughout 2021 and suggest a strong start to 2022. 

The SIA | Bullhorn Staffing Indicator measures hours worked. It comprises two sets of analyses: a year-on-year comparison showing how the most recent week compared to the same week 12 months previously and an indexed value that has been benchmarked against data from the week ended Jan. 19, 2019. 

Week ending Feb 26, 2022  Indexed value  Year over year  Week over week 
US staffing  112  20%  0.0% 
Commercial staffing  97  16%  0.4% 
Professional staffing  145  25%  -0.8% 

These findings are in keeping with numerous reports suggesting an increase in economic activity in the US.  

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According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate moved down to 3.8%, which was far ahead of expectations, as the US economy continues to rebound.  

The BBC reported that job growth across the US was widespread and led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, health care and construction with the number of new jobs added well above analysts’ estimates of around 400,000 new roles. 

Companies also added more jobs in January than previously estimated, according to revised numbers released on Friday with average hourly earnings rising by 5.1% over the past 12 months, although that figure is down from a 5.7% annual increase in January. 

According to reports, most of the rise in jobs came from the leisure and hospitality industries, which added 179,000 new roles, and at bar and restaurant companies, which filled 124,000 jobs.  

Employment in professional and business services rose by 95,000 jobs in February. 

However, the total number of jobs on US payrolls is still 2.1 million below where it was before the pandemic. 

Analysts predicted that the stronger-than-expected jobs market increased the certainty that the US central bank will raise interest rates at its next meeting which is something US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell was in favor of as quoted saying earlier this week.  

Neil Birrell, Chief Investment Officer at Premier Miton Investors made comment “It looks like rates up by 0.25 basis points will be coming this month, as noted by Powell yesterday. The outlook is too uncertain for more than that.”  

Seema Shah, Chief Strategist at Principal Global Investors, said an interest rate rise in the US was “all but baked in” to help control soaring inflation rates. 

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The roar of the war on talent continues as employees are switching jobs at record numbers and workforces continue to shrink. Together, these events have created an environment in which business and HR leaders are having to play catch-up. Today’s labor market, regardless of business type or location, is now faced with more job openings than available workers.

These market pressures are creating never-before-seen urgency around talent.

And for now, most businesses are reacting with the one tool that they can easily access: money. While wages in general haven’t skyrocketed as much as they have in hospitality and retail, a high salary remains one solid way to entice key employees to stay and to lure employees to their organization. And once you change that, there’s no going back. Unfortunately, the money bucket is not bottomless and SMEs don’t have access to the funds to support such high increases. The current cycle in the market can only go on for so long and leaders will need to act for the future in addition to reacting in the present. Here are three things to help drive retention in your organization.

Here are three key ways to attract and retain talent in the current marker:

  1. Ensure pay equity.
  2. Increase workplace flexibility
  3. Create a high-attention culture.

In the short-term, many organizations will continue to address talent shortages by increasing wages. At some time in the not-so-far-off future, the organizational tolerance for digging into the checkbook will wane. We don’t need to wonder what to do next. We know we also need to invest in proactive, long-term solutions that keep people from even entertaining leaving. It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Start with embedding the practice of check-ins into your organization. Check-ins aren’t the only thing, but they are the fastest thing when it comes to creating a culture where people feel connected and less compelled to leave.

 

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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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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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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