Tag: cost-of-living crisis

Tech and Telecoms challenged by migrations, inflation, and cost of labor

The ManpowerGroup Talent Solutions 2022 Total Workforce Index™ (TWI) has revealed the U.S., Singapore, and Canada as the highest-ranking labor markets across the globe for sourcing, hiring, and retaining talent. The ninth annual TWI report has analyzed more than 200 factors to evaluate skills availability, cost efficiency, regulation, and productivity. These findings were combined with big data and expert analysis to assess the workforce engagement of 69 global markets.

The current labor markets are characterized by intense competition for skilled workers, with 75% of companies globally reporting talent shortages and difficulty hiring — a 16-year high according to ManpowerGroup’s 2022 Talent Shortage Survey. This year’s revamped TWI places more emphasis on the impacts of remote work, the growing willingness and flexibility of employers to scale back education requirements and choosing to skill candidates on the job.

The ages of the workforce

There’s also heavier focus on the age of the workforce. As older workers leave the labor market, more companies are cultivating sustainable populations of talent by prioritizing the availability of large pools of Gen Z and millennial workers. Additionally, cost-of-living indices, wage inflation rates, and exchange rate volatility are new factors introduced into the TWI based on the significant impact of these issues on organizations and their workforces. This helps to provide a clearer picture of economic stability as companies make workforce mix and location decisions.

Dave McGonegal, Vice President of Talent Solutions Consulting & Advisory commented: “In a digital-first global economy, skilled talent is the new currency for business and economic growth. Organizations looking to separate from the pack turn to the Index to help them navigate change in real-time. This includes navigating new markets that will enable companies to compete for much-needed talent proactively and creatively, while still meeting business objectives. Companies need to become employers of choice, regardless of location, and factor in the needs most important to employees.”

When it comes to Technology and Telecommunications, organizations have been challenged by migrations, inflation, and cost of labor. This is causing them to heavily weigh a range of factors that contribute to long-term sustainability, productivity, and cost efficiency. In heavily regulated industries such as Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Manufacturing companies are finding challenges with cost efficiency and talent availability as specialized skill sets, certifications, and background checks are required for producing medical devices.

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25% of employees have received employer assistance, outside of annual salary increases

New research
from Randstad has revealed that workers want more support from employers to help them manage the growing cost of living crisis.

The research, which surveyed 7,000 people across five markets* showed that the strongest pressure is coming from the younger generations with the majority (57%) of Gen Z and Millennials placing responsibility for ensuring that they can afford increasing costs with government or employers, compared to only 44% of Baby Boomers.

Sentiment differs across continents, as three in five (60%) Germans and around half of British (53%) and Dutch (46%) workers placed primary responsibility on government, while only a fifth (21%) of Americans agreed. US workers were more likely to pinpoint their employers as the ones who should take action, with a fifth (21%) choosing them, compared to less than one in ten (9%) of Brits and Australians and only 5% of Germans.

Growing expectations of businesses

Only a quarter (25%) of employees have so far received employer assistance, outside of annual salary increases, but most workers say they want to see more action from their employers in the next six months. Close to half (45%) want a monthly cost of living pay boost, with other demands on employers including:

  • Over half (52%) wanting their employer to increase their salaries outside of the regular cadence of pay reviews
  • Nearly a third (30%) wanting subsidies for daily expenses like cost of energy or travel
  • Over a quarter (27%) wanting a one-off cost of living payment

Younger workers have the highest expectations

The level of employee expectation also differs by generation, with younger workers wanting the most help. Half (49%) of baby boomers said they themselves were responsible for managing the increasing cost of living, compared to just a third (33%) of under-35s.

These generational differences are also reflected in the fact that two thirds (67%) of Gen Z workers have received or expect to receive additional assistance from their employer to help them through the cost of living crisis, compared to only a quarter (24%) of baby boomers who said the same.

Employers are beginning to make this a priority

There are some signs of employers beginning to help workers manage the current economic climate. One in ten workers (9%) have received a one-off cost of living payment and 8% are receiving monthly cost of living pay boosts. This is more common in Germany, where 14% of workers have received this assistance, compared to only 7% of Americans.

Sander van ‘t Noordende, CEO of Randstad, said: “As talent shortages continue across many industries around the globe, employees are now facing a fresh challenge of the increasing cost of living. Against this backdrop, workers are looking to employers to offer the complete package – flexible, inclusive and financially stable employment. While the economic environment may encourage people to stick with their employer, causing a slowdown in the “Great Rotation” businesses mustn’t miss out on the unique opportunity to create a more content and productive workforce. Those who feel supported now, are likely to remain loyal even when times aren’t as tough.”

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Christmas job openings include: Reindeer Handlers, Christmas Decoration Installers and Christmas Elves

According to new research from Adzuna this year’s Christmas hiring remains resilient, with close to 28,000 temporary Christmas positions currently available, despite concerns over the cost-of-living crisis.

Adzuna analysed over 1.1 million jobs available in November to reveal the top Christmas jobs hiring now. There are currently 27,694 Christmas jobs on offer across the UK, up 5% from 26,307 this time last year. By comparison, there was a 93% year-on-year increase in the number of advertised Christmas jobs between 2020 (13,668 jobs) and 2021, suggesting that last year’s significant upturn in Christmas hiring has softened this year.

Topping the list of companies still looking for seasonal staff are supermarkets Tesco (2,226 jobs), Sainsbury’s (1,103 jobs) and Marks and Spencer (684 jobs). Hospitality chain Loungers (488 jobs) and fashion retailer Next (308 jobs) are also still advertising for hundreds of open Christmas roles.

Two sectors dominate seasonal hiring: Retail and Hospitality & Catering. The majority of roles available are customer-facing sales roles, stockroom assistants or servers. Interestingly, Christmas hiring in the Logistics and Warehousing sector — one of the sectors with the biggest demand for seasonal workers last year — has cooled in 2022, with only 1,630 openings up for grabs. The drop in ranking could be spurred by the plunge in the total vacancies in the sector. Adzuna data shows the sector experienced a 33.4% year-on-year drop in advertised vacancies, from 117,500 in October 2021 to 78,290 in October 2022. On a separate note, Royal Mail, the third-biggest Christmas employer of 2021, announced plans in October to axe as many as 10,000 jobs in the upcoming six months.

In total, ten of the largest seasonal employers are hiring 234,700 workers this Christmas, up 74% from 135,000 workers last year. The growth is largely driven by Amazon, which alone takes on an additional 150,000 workers. Take the e-commerce giant aside, there are five companies — Sainsbury’s, Tesco, John Lewis, Boots and Domino’s — offering 10,000 or more seasonal jobs this year.

Festive and fabulous Christmas jobs

An online search of roles revealed openings for Reindeer Handlers to bring Santa’s ride to different locations throughout the UK (at £9 – £12 per hour), and for Christmas Tree Decorators and Christmas Florists to help companies and homeowners to make their offices and homes Christmassy (paying £12 – £18 per hour).

For those who love skating, go for openings for Ice Rink Marshalls at historic sites such as Warwick Castle, paying up to £11.21 per hour. For those that love dressing up, there are over 400 openings for Santas and Christmas Elves including at theme parks such as Gulliver’s World, paying up to £15 an hour.

Other festive and fabulous Christmas jobs include openings for Seasonal Gift Wrappers, Turkey Pluckers, Christmas Tree Harvesters, Festive Nursery Practitioners and Seasonal Chocolate Packers.

The most lucrative winter position is for Christmas Chefs, who are responsible for crafting the Christmas menu and preparing food for private homes or restaurants, paying up to £300 per day.

Best relief perks for the cost of living 

Employers are trying their best to help employees cope with the rising cost of living. There are currently 12,185 advertised jobs covering free meals. Recruitment company Siamo Group is offering new starters one free meal per day from November to the end of December.

Meanwhile, one-time monetary incentives are also popular, with 7,421 advertised jobs promoting bonuses. There are myriads of one-off bonuses. Grocery and technology firm Ocado Group, private healthcare provider Bupa and hotel The Mayfair Townhouse are offering £500 welcome bonuses for e-scooter riders, senior care assistants and housekeeping room attendants. Sports retailer JD Sports offers a £560 attendance bonus for warehouse operatives. Hotel chain Marriott offers a £500 loyalty bonus for chefs, and construction engineering company M Group Services provides loyalty bonuses of up to £1,000 for engineers.

Paul Lewis, Chief Customer Officer at Adzuna commented: “Having nearly 28,000 jobs for one special occasion is very impressive amid challenging economic climate. As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, employers are eking out earnings by various cost-saving measures including trimming down recruitment budgets, and that’s why we’re seeing a halt in hiring growth momentum. That said, we’ve also noticed many employers are striving to support prospective employees through the rising cost of living, such as offering cash bonuses and free meals. To jobseekers who enjoy working with customers face-to-face, now is the perfect time to earn extra cash for the holidays as the retail sector is flourishing in this holiday season.”

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Remote jobs listed online falls by 4% 

In the midst of the current economic storm, business leaders are concerned about whether they need to wind back progress in various important areas of working life, such as flexible work (75%), skills development (76%), and employee wellbeing (83%). This is according to new research conducted by LinkedIn.

According to a new analysis of remote job postings on LinkedIn, remote roles are in decline. The data shows that hiring for remote roles peaked in January 2022, with 16% of jobs listed being remote. In September, this number dropped to just under 12%. Similar trends are noted worldwide, indicating that employers are now looking to get their teams back to the office.

The recent LinkedIn study of 272 C-level executives from large organisations across the UK, combined with LinkedIn jobs data, highlighted the growing disconnect between what professionals want and what employers offer. As hiring slows, the balance of power seems to be shifting back to employers.

LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report showed that flexible work is top of the list of priorities employees value in employers, with skills development and work-life balance also featured as top priorities. Unfortunately, these areas are all at risk of being scaled back due to the current economic uncertainty.

On the other hand, professionals are pushing back against the old ways of work. Even though 12% of jobs in the UK are remote, they received more than 20% of applications in September 2022.

UK leaders agree that keeping employees motivated and engaged is their first priority over the stormy months ahead. However, there is also a need to recognise that financial strains due to the increased cost of living (49%) and worries over being laid off (33%) are playing on employees’ minds.

While the current situation is turbulent, communication is key. Instead of avoiding tough conversations about difficult decisions, leaders are encouraged to “build bridges to their employees: and take them on the journey with them.

Becky Schnauffer, Head of Global Clients, EMEA & LATAM, at LinkedIn, spoke exclusively to TALiNT International: “As businesses continue to grapple with economic uncertainty, they simply cannot afford to lose out on top talent. With the current climate set to continue for the foreseeable future, business leaders are concerned that they will be left with no choice but to compromise on key value propositions that attracted and retained employees in the first place. In particular, scaling back on flexibility and professional development in response to this economic crisis could create a disconnect between companies and employees, and wind back progress made in the workplace over recent years.

Recent LinkedIn research shows that flexibility is the biggest priority for people looking for new roles in the UK, and our data shows that remote roles receive a disproportionate number of applications – making up less than 12 percent of job ads in the UK, but receiving more than 20 percent of applications. Flexibility is no longer just a nice to have, it’s become necessary for many. And it doesn’t stop there. Internal mobility is another top driver for talent. By providing employees with opportunities to develop their skills internally and focus on their unique career development, talent leaders will not only be better equipped to navigate economic and labour-market volatility – but they will also boost the engagement of existing employees.

Retaining employees is critical to building resilient businesses, and this has never been more important to weather this economic storm. By having a clear understanding of what motivates and inspires employees, employers can build out hiring and retention strategies that will effectively attract and retain top talent.”

Anthony Klotz, Professor of Organisational Behaviour, UCL School of Management, said: “Leaders are caught between the allure of returning to old ways of working, and the challenge of looking toward the future and rethinking how they lead and how their employees work. As LinkedIn’s study indicates, some of those in positions of power are opting out of the opportunity that this moment presents. But it’s those that embrace the mantle of leadership and turn into reality the vision that so many workers can clearly see – a future in which employees’ relationships with their employers are a source of wellbeing – who will come out stronger. It is these visionary leaders who are positioning their companies and their employees to thrive in the long-term.”

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The latest ONS labour market figures remain stable

The highlights of the period between June and August 2022 show an employment rate of 75.5%, 0.3% lower than the previous quarter. The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.5%, 0.3% lower than the previous quarter and the lowest rate since 1974.  It is worth noting that the previous quarter (March to May 2022) had a notably higher employment rate than other recent periods meaning that the employment rate drop appears more significant.

The number of job vacancies in July to September 2022 was 1,246,000 a reduction of 46,000 from April to June 2022.  Vacancies fell by 3.6% in July to September and is the third consecutive fall.

Joanne Frew, employment law expert and Interim Global Head of Employment & Pensions at DWF, commented: “Although the so called ‘Great Resignation’ remains an issue for many employers, these figures indicate that the labour market is starting to slow down after a particularly volatile period.

“It will be interesting to see what impact the change of government may have on the labour market. With all EU-derived employment law under review following publication of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill and suggestions that the Government may be considering introducing “no fault dismissals” for higher earners, many employees may feel more hesitant to move jobs until it is clear what impact the new bill may have on workers’ rights.

“The ONS figures show a fall in regular pay by 2.9% for the period between June and August 2022. With the cost of living crisis biting, employers will need to consider new and innovative ways to help support their workforce during this difficult period – from increased flexibility to help reduce childcare costs to one off bonuses (where financially possible) to help with rising costs.”

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54% of organisations struggling to recruit say hybrid working models aid attraction and retention

Omni RMS has warned that financial incentives are not a long-term solution to the UK’s skills challenges, this in response to reports from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which have revealed a 6% increase in average total pay – including bonuses – between June and August this year.

Louise Shaw, Managing Director, Omni RMS commented: “While the ONS has reported a decline in vacancy numbers in September, these levels remain higher than pre-pandemic jobs, which suggests that competition for top talent is still rampant across the country. When recruitment gets tough, it’s easy to look at the financial incentives that can be offered to attract top talent. But on a longer-term basis and with general costs rising across the UK, this isn’t sustainable for all businesses.

“There will certainly be a need for pay rises as the cost-of-living crisis worsens, but for employers and HR teams there’s a range of other tactics that can be implemented to attract and retain top talent. In fact, in our own research with the CIPD we found that 30% of employers who had recruited in the past 12 months indicated that advertising roles as ‘open to flexible working’ is amongst their most effective recruitment method.

“More than half (54%) of organisations who have had recruitment difficulties are offering greater work flexibility to address this, while a further 49% say their use of hybrid/remote working has greatly or somewhat increased amid hiring struggles.

“There is a constant battle for top talent, and it’s important that businesses assess what they can realistically offer candidates and what they can improve upon to retain existing employees. Unrealistic salary inflation is not only unsustainable for employers, but will also have limited success long term, with retention rates likely to drop as financially-driven individuals jump ship to gain further pay increases.”

Vacancy numbers still up on pre-pandemic figures

While vacancy numbers have declined according to the ONS, APSCo agrees that the recruitment is still tough despite this fall.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo commented: “While there’s certainly a slowdown in hiring activity that doesn’t mean that the recruitment struggles the UK has been experiencing have eased. The continued decline noted in unemployment levels alongside vacancy levels which are still up on pre-pandemic numbers, shows that the labour market is still struggling through a shortage of highly skilled individuals.

“The uptick in the number of self-employed workers further supports the idea that there is a shortage of experts across the professional recruitment sector. While this will certainly be aided by the repeal of Off Payroll announced in the Chancellor’s Mini Budget, the full impact of this won’t be felt until Q2 2023 when the legislation itself is repealed.

“Reliance on the contractor market alone won’t be enough to fill the skills void being felt across the UK. Just this week we saw reports of the country facing a ‘brain drain’ of scientists and engineers as Brexit continues to drive highly skilled individuals out of the country over funding concerns.

“The UK’s labour market needs strengthening on a number of levels. Up-skilling the workforce is a long-term solution but it will take time and won’t help resolve the immediate challenges employers are facing. We need a dynamic, flexible workforce that recognises the nuances between self-employed contractors and agency workers on lower wages who require greater legal protection to prevent exploitation. International trade negotiations also need to focus on skills and services as much as products to allow UK firms greater and easier access to globally mobile talent.

“There also needs to be complete co-ordination between education institutes, employers, industry bodies and relevant Government bodies to drive a more sustainable and future-proof skills strategy for the country.”

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Employees avoid working from home due to concerns over increase in energy costs

A new report published by Global expenses app, ExpenseOnDemand, shown that as the cost-of-living crisis starts to impact millions across the UK, travel expense claims are surging, as employees start to reduce time working at home to keep energy bills down. The data revealed that mileage and travel expense and claims have increased by 21% while entertainment claims by 15% showing that employees are spending more time out visiting contacts, clients, and colleagues.

According to the report, the trend for working from home is starting to shift as employees are leaving the house to keep energy costs down, however, the cost of the commute to the office doesn’t make going back to the workplace a viable option. Hence, many employees are focussed on meeting and entertaining clients and contacts as a way to spend time away from their home office during the working week. For those with cheaper commutes, many are heading back to the office for the majority of the week and this trend is expected to continue throughout winter.

Sunil Nigam, Founder at ExpenseOnDemand, commented, “We could be looking at a situation where workers want to spend more time meeting clients or in the office to better manage their domestic energy and electricity costs.

This trend is naturally causing a surge in employee expenses. Companies need to ensure they are equipped to manage claims and also monitor dubious expense claims, as employees may try to increase their income. We use advanced tech solutions to make managing expenses seamless, minimise bogus claims and help our clients ensure they aren’t overpaying on expenses.”

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Millions are looking for higher-paid roles or pay rises

According to a recently published national employee survey showing trends and insights into the UK job market, 52% of UK employees say that the cost-of-living crisis is impacting their career by pushing them to look for a new role or a pay rise from their current employer.

The survey by CareerWallet, went on to reveal that 27% of UK employees are already looking for a new role to earn more money to survive the cost-of-living crisis. A further 25% have either asked or are planning to ask for a pay rise from their current employer.

The cost-of-living crisis has driven up the costs of food, petrol, and energy bills. Of the employees surveyed, those under 30 have been most impacted. Thirty-five percent of these are in the process of looking for a new role. Regionally, the North East is most affected, with 40% of all employees changing roles.

The survey revealed how many employees are impacted by the increased cost of living. It highlights that current salaries and pay rises need to cover these costs to retain their staff and prevent them from looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Craig Bines, CEO at The CareerWallet Group, commented:  “At CareerWallet, we process millions of jobs a day and this allows us to quickly see how the job market is being impacted on a daily basis.

Our national employee survey has highlighted how UK employees are already being impacted by the rise in the cost of living and are actively looking to counter this by pursuing a new role or a pay increase and it is important that all employers are aware of this and act quickly to keep their talented people in their businesses.”

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Cost of living crisis is taking hold

Research from jobs and careers site, Reed.co.uk has shown that 33% of workers have applied for or have considered applying for a new job. In addition, 65% of workers have changed job-seeking priorities in response to the cost-of-living crisis. A salary increase is becoming a common priority for 34% of workers.

The survey, which looked at the opinions of over 2,000, revealed that 22% have said they intend to look for a new job soon and 55% of workers are actively seeking or considering a new one. A further 17% admitted that the increasing cost of living made better work-from-home opportunities more of a priority.

Amongst active jobseekers, the data revealed that 30% of women are more motivated by a salary increase than men (27%). Furthermore, younger workers – between 18-34 – are more likely to consider changing jobs to secure a salary increase than other generations (45% compared to the 29% average).

Fifty percent of workers said that a salary increase is the most meaningful action an employer can take to retain employees, while 47% said that a low salary was the reason they’d want to leave their current employer. Forty percent of workers indicated that they would stay with their current employer if a better salary counter offer were made.

In terms of amounts, the survey showed that employers could retain some workers with moderate increases. For workers aged 55-64 and 65+, most (32% and 38% respectively) agreed that salary increases of less than £1,000 would be sufficient to convince them to stay. For workers aged 18-34 and 35-44, a salary increase of between £2,500 – £4,900 was required by most (33% and 30% respectively) to continue with their current employer.

James Reed, Chairman of Reed.co.uk, commented: “Due to runaway inflation currently at 9.4% and outstripping wage increases across many industries, millions will be on the move from this September onwards to secure a pay bump.

“Although the current economic landscape is challenging, amidst warnings of a looming recession from the Bank of England, UK workers should feel empowered to capitalise on the current labour market which continues to show high volumes of jobs being created.

“However, with inflation potentially rising to 13%, it could increasingly feel like workers are chasing after a galloping horse, with some workers having to take on a second or third job to keep up with the soaring cost-of-living increases. This could lead to a two-speed workforce with workers in some sectors falling behind others.

“It’s a tough situation where very few are benefiting, including employers who are facing a higher turnover of candidates than you’d typically expect in August with over 50% of workers considering a move.

“For employers, a failure to proactively ensure salary packages reflect current inflationary increases will have a significant impact on their business’s ability to attract and retain staff. Understandably, many may not feel in a financial position to deliver significant increases in pay. However, offering desired pay rises costs less than replacing workers and our research shows that the vast majority of candidates (87%) are poised to accept a counter offer from their current employer provided it meets expectations.

“During these challenging times, it’s clear that many workers – particularly those feeling the pinch from the cost-of-living crisis – deserve a pay rise. For most, the best way could be to secure a new job.”

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Government and healthcare workers amongst the most concerned

With the cost of living constantly increasing and real UK wages falling at the fastest pace on record, making ends meet is a priority for many workers.

Research from Glassdoor reveals that 22% of UK workers are concerned about finding a job that supports the cost of living at the moment and that anxiety around this issue is on the increase.

An analysis of words used on Fishbowl by Glassdoor showed that mentions of “cost of living”,

“inflation”, “rent”, “petrol”, “accommodation”, and “bills” have increased by 67% year-on-year.

Over 700,000 Glassdoor reviews by UK-based employees were examined. The data revealed that negative mentions of “salary”, “pay”, and “compensation” increased by 16% since 2020.

The biggest increase in salary complaints was among government workers – up 26% from 2021. In the past, these workers were less inclined to discuss salary negatively. But, with public sector wage growth falling far behind the private sector, this is no longer the case, indicating a possible future exodus of government workers. Similarly, complaints about salary have also increased among healthcare workers.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, employees in the hospitality industry(restaurants, food service, travel, and accommodation) have seen unusually high pay growth, and salary complaints have dropped.

Lauren Thomas, Glassdoor’s EMEA Economist, said: “The only constant in 2022 is change -and skyrocketing prices. Even with high wage growth and a tight labour market, workers are feeling the pinch as inflation emerges as the biggest winner. With real wages falling a record 3.0 percent thanks to inflation, the cost of living is a priority for many job seekers.

“Job vacancies, which have hit record highs month after month, have started to fall but even now employers can’t rest easy. Hiring will remain difficult, particularly in industries like hospitality and healthcare where employees’ Glassdoor reviews show they feel overworked and underpaid.”

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