Tag: Employee

Covid outbreaks seem to be deterring jobseekers from applying for new roles, with new data showing employers are having to offer higher salaries to attract applicants in areas where cases of the Delta variant are rising sharply.

According to job board CV-Library, there is a “clear pattern” of pay increases in areas where infection levels are high, such as the North West and the Midlands.

Liverpool topped the table for increases in the average pay offered in June compared with the same period last month, with salaries up 10.3%. Wolverhampton, Derby, Coventry and Nottingham also featured in the top 10, with increases of 4.7%, 4.7%, 4.6% and 2.6%, respectively.

Portsmouth, where Delta variant cases increased sevenfold between June 2 and June 9, recorded the second highest salary increase at 7.5%.

Lee Biggins, CEO and founder of CV-Library, said: “Businesses are fighting harder than ever to make it to the end of lockdown restrictions. Recruitment is the cornerstone of both survival and longevity and it’s clear to see that, in the most competitive areas, businesses are rising to the challenge and stepping up their efforts.

“With news that restrictions will continue for an additional four weeks, offering enhanced salaries and the most competitive packages will do much to entice the many jobseekers that remain hesitant in these uncertain times and give businesses the chance to hit the ground running on 19th July.”

Other factors at play
However, it’s clear that while Covid is one issue leading employers to have to work harder to attract new talent, it’s not the only one.

According to Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at job boards network Broadbean Technology, there are a number of factors at play.

“We’re experiencing a talent drought at the moment that is being impacted by multiple issues. An ongoing reluctance to leave the security of current roles is certainly one factor that’s hitting application numbers, but for industries like retail where job losses were reported during the height of the pandemic, the reality is many people have left for other, more secure, sectors.

“What we’re also seeing is the impact of Brexit really playing out across those industries that have historically relied on international talent. The decline in applications for logistics, for example, will no doubt have been exacerbated by the UK’s exit from the Bloc.”

Broadbean reported a further fall in application numbers in May, despite an increase in job vacancies during the same month. The retail and logistics sectors were especially impacted by  mismatches between supply and demand.

According to the Broadbean data, vacancies across retail increased by 55% in the three months to May, but over the same period the number of applications per vacancy fell by 52%.

The number of openings across logistics, distribution and supply chain were up 79% in May compared to pre-pandemic levels in January 2020, but the number of people applying for these roles fell 76% over the same time frame.

Broadbean said that this reflected a consistent trend seen in 2021 so far, with vacancy numbers more than doubling (up 133%) since January this year, but the number of applicants falling further each month since then.

Young the key to filling ‘vacancies vacuum’?
One solution offered up to alleviate the skills shortages in industries such as logistics and also hospitality – where the dearth of workers has been widely reported in recent months – is to bring more young people into the workforce.

That was the suggestion of West Midlands-based recruitment specialist Pertemps last week, which called on the government to take action to encourage young people into the jobs market.

Carmen Watson, Chair at Pertemps, said there had been a rise in both permanent and contingent vacancies, especially in sectors such as hospitality, food manufacturing and logistics.

However, she added there had been a “sea change in candidates’ career choices as a result of the pandemic” and that a change in strategy was needed.

“An ongoing concern is the economic inactivity rate of young people and we would urge employers to consider greater use of apprenticeships and traineeships to grow our future talent. This will undoubtedly need support from central government if we are going to fill this vacancies vacuum.”

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Employees now legally entitled to carry up to 20 days leave to the next two financial years

Changes to working time regulations to help employers and their staff adapt to the coronavirus pandemic have been designed to remove the “use it or lose it” rush to take annual leave before the end of the relevant year. Many workers have delayed taking time off because of limited holiday options, being on furlough, fear of redundancy, working in front line roles or covering sick or absent colleagues – so they have accrued most of their annual leave.

Kate Jones, an employment lawyer and associate at Midlands firm mfg Solicitors, said: “The working time regulations have been relaxed due to Covid-19 and if an employee didn’t manage to take all their leave within the employer’s holiday year, they can now carry over up to 20 days to use over the next two years. This is a big change because, until recently, that annual leave would have been lost at the start of a new holiday year, unless there was a specific reason, such as sickness or maternity leave.

“With summer holidays abroad still uncertain for many people, it’s worth remembering you have the right to carry over your leave and don’t have to spend it at home doing nothing just to use it up, unless of course you want to.”

Ms Jones urged employers to actively manage the change in regulations to ensure it works for both them and their staff. “For bosses, this means they won’t have to deal with lots of their employees all trying to book the same few weeks off at the end of their holiday year the way they might have been had they all been due to lose it.”

Employers are still obliged to do everything they reasonably can to allow a worker to take as much leave as possible in the current holiday year and must not unreasonably block a worker from doing so. Ms Jones added that employers must also allow an employee to use their carried over leave at the earliest opportunity, but can also give notice to an employee to take leave to ensure it fits in with the needs of the business.

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UK businesses are sleepwalking into a costly large-scale employee exodus if the results of two separate pieces of research are to be believed.

According to a survey of 1,000 office workers by software company Beamery, almost half (48%) of all UK employees are either leaving their job or hoping to do so this year.

Its findings were echoed by research for HR software solution Personio, which polled 500 HR decision makers and 2,002 workers across the UK and Ireland and found 38% of employees wanted to change jobs in the next six to 12 months.

The cost to businesses, according to Personio, could be as high as £16.9 billion, with SMEs alone facing estimated costs of up to £5.8 billion.

Drivers of dissatisfaction

According to the Beamery Talent Index, it was bad leadership, poor employee support and stagnant growth opportunities during the pandemic that had led to the potential enormous employee churn facing workplaces.

Of those wanting to move on from their employer, 63% said this was due to poor leadership and a lack of support during the pandemic.

More specifically, it was perceived ‘career regression’ that was an issue for employees. More than half (53%) said working from home had had a significantly negative impact on their development and progression at work.

Nearly four in 10 (39%) felt their skills had grown stale and that they were going backwards from a career perspective, with 48% reporting their employer had not offered any opportunities to learn new skills during the pandemic.

Many felt the issue was going largely unnoticed, with 82% saying their employer needed to address career progression better.

One in 10 said they only had the opportunity to discuss promotion and progression once a year, while 43% said a lack of 1:1 engagement with managers had affected their progression opportunities.

“Now more than ever, if you want to ensure you attract and retain the best talent in your industry, employee communication is key,” said Abakar Saidov, Co-founder and CEO at Beamery.

“Workers want a clear, objective way of understanding the skills they need to learn to progress in their career, and employers must provide the right training and mentorship opportunities to help them improve.”

‘Worrying disconnect’

While the Personio research also reported that lack of career progression was a key driver for employees to look elsewhere, it found there was a “worrying disconnect” between workers and their employers on this point.

While 29% of those looking to move on put progression as a big factor in them wanting to leave, of the HR decision makers polled, only 17% thought this was a significant reason for employees to move on.  Similarly, almost twice as many employees as HR decision makers said a toxic workplace culture was a significant factor (21% employees vs. 12% HR decision makers).

Employees and employers also did not seem to be on the same page when it came to how workers had been supported during the crisis.

HR decision makers were twice as likely as employees to rate their career development support as ‘good’ (64% versus 30%), and they were also out of synch when it came to thinking the work-life balance (70% HR vs. 53% employees) and mental/physical wellbeing (68% vs. 44%) support they provided was good.

Hanno Renner, Co-founder and CEO of Personio, said: “Falling out of touch with the workforce’s problems and priorities means that not only could people be more frustrated and ready to resign, but employers will be poorly prepared to prevent people leaving – resulting in lost talent and productivity, and damaged employer brand.”

Worryingly, the Personio research suggested employers weren’t doing enough to prevent lost talent. While nearly half (45%) said they were concerned staff would leave once the job market improved, only a quarter (26%) said talent retention was a priority for the next 12 months.

Young most unhappy

The Personio research found that those in the 18-34 year-old demographic were most likely to be looking for new opportunities, with 55% wanting to leave their job in the next six to 12 months.

The Beamery research had similar findings, with dissatisfaction about working from home seeming to be a key issue for younger workers.

Of those 18-34 year-olds surveyed for its report, 48% reported feeling isolated or undervalued by working from home, while 74% said it had hindered their personal development and progression at work.

Only 13% enjoyed working from home, with a large majority (84%) stating they wanted to return to the office.

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