Tag: Hiring

London has the highest hiring demand despite increased cost of living

The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey has found that employers in the UK plan to increase headcount massively in the third quarter of this year. Based on responses from 2,030 UK employers, the survey looks at intentions for increasing, maintaining, or reducing workforce numbers in the next quarter.

Despite aggressively recruiting in the months post-pandemic, businesses are still struggling to fill vacancies.

According to the survey, UK’s employment outlook has tripled in the last 12 months. The Q3 outlook has reached a new high of +35%. This is a 22%-point increase from the third quarter of 2021.

The survey found that:

  • Banking, finance, insurance, and property are at the top of the list, increasing by 14% since the last quarter to +49%
  • London employers are also the most optimistic, increasing 10% in hiring confidence, moving up to +41%
  • The IT and technology industries are similarly committed to recruitment, increasing by 7% to +49% in the next three months
  • Manufacturing employers are also high on the list – the hiring intent is up by 27% to +38%
  • The hospitality sector was down by 9% to +25%.

Chris Gray, UK Director at ManpowerGroup, says: “These record hiring plans demonstrate the continuation of an employment trend, which sees businesses keeping their feet firmly on the gas, despite the familiar challenges with the UK labour market. Despite a shrinking workforce and with a large proportion of inactive workers, employers are still keen to recruit fresh talent to help them deliver their services, and to surf the wave of growth for as long as possible.

“We are seeing an active labour force confident enough to switch employers in the search for higher salaries, across both permanent and temporary categories. This is being driven by the rising cost of living and the need to chase higher wages to combat a dwindling disposable income. Demand for staff still outstrips supply, so the choice for candidates remains plentiful.

“On the other hand, we are seeing businesses work hard to bring in new talent but struggling to retain existing employees. Companies find themselves caught between a rock and hard place, in an effort to strike a balance between hiring new talent and being mindful of the needs and pressures felt by their existing employees.”

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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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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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Jody Robie, SVP North America at Talent Works talks about ‘the what’ and ‘the how’ of hiring talent, fast

The current recruitment market is like never before. It’s a war for top talent and employers need to sell themselves in a way that both attracts and retains the best of the best. Authenticity is also key here, to ensure that candidates make the right choice about the culture and expectations of the company. On top of this, everything is moving at a mile a minute, and recruiters want – and need – instant results. There is no room for a passive  approach to recruiting right now.

The what 

To compete today, companies need to modify their recruitment approach to create the most compelling Employer Brand. Then comes the challenge of communicating that employer brand to the right candidates via your Employer Value Proposition. 

Recruitment teams have to work harder than ever if they’re going to stand out to top candidates and tempt them to join their organization. But with everything moving so quickly, projects that typically take six months need to be ready for market in less than 2 months. Talent leaders need to ensure they can carry out these projects both quickly and effectively, while not compromising on the quality of talent.

The how

  1. Hire at speed

While taking the time to ensure a candidate is the right fit for your business is ideal, it’s becoming evident that a slow and steady approach is now a luxury few employers can afford. Long-drawn-out candidate experiences will only increase the number of applicants who drop out of your recruitment process. Even if your employer branding is ticking all the boxes, candidates want to move quickly. If you have a good feeling about a candidate, you need to snap them up before a competitor does. 

With speed and agility now crucial, how can we ensure this doesn’t come at the mercy of quality? Recruitment projects that would usually take months, are being squeezed into a matter of weeks. To ensure that you’re not compromising on the right talent, and that the talent you have hired will remain, you need to have  an authentic and relevant 2022 employer brand ready to go. 

  1. Create the most attractive employer branding

As such, having a strong employer brand is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a must. In fact, 72% of recruitment leaders agree that employer brand has a significant impact on hiring. Businesses need to adapt their recruitment approach to focus on raising brand awareness and excitement around your current openings.. 

This means recruitment and the role of recruiters is becoming  more complicated, and understanding how to sell and market your role and your organization is critical. We’re used to candidates having to sell themselves in an interview, but now recruiters are selling a business to a candidate before this can even happen. Just as marketing professionals promote products and services, recruiters are focusing on their organization’s unique selling points and strengths to convince candidates to take the role over another.

When positions are equal in terms of salary, development opportunities and the role itself, employer branding will differentiate one employer from the next. In turn, recruiters need to express enthusiasm for your employer brand right away, expressing the values, overall mission and culture they can expect. Simply saying it’s a “social office” and it has a “great culture” is not good enough in a market this crowded. Instead, look at your recruitment marketing materials and Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to discover what truly makes your workplace unique.

  1. Promote your EVP

This brings me to the final point. A strong employer brand must be supported by a clear EVP. Your EVP gives potential employees a clear cultural direction and something to buy into. Teamwork, principle fulfillment, recognition, rewards and being nice to people – these are all ‘nice-to-haves’, but they aren’t the makings of a successful EVP. 

Instead, here are a few questions companies should be asking when it comes to their EVP: Does your EVP resonate with your employees in their early careers? Is it meaningful and relevant for your employees whether they  have been there for 6 months, or 16 years? Does it say something unique and special about why people want to work for you? Will your executive team stand behind and embrace the messaging?

A great EVP needs to be transparent about your culture, remote policies, covid requirements, etc. In the hiring process, candidates will get a clear sense of the company’s values and self-select out of the application process in the early stages, saving time for HR and recruitment later down the line. While attracting top talent is the goal, laying out unique differentiators  and more intangible elements of the workplace from the start, is now more crucial than ever. 

Standing out in a candidate-driven market 

The power has shifted and candidates are now calling the shots. As such, finding the best possible approach to hiring at pace, but in a way that doesn’t compromise on quality, will be key in creating an effective and lasting Employer Brand. It might take a bit of time, but in the long term, it will be worth it.

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Businesses must hire carefully to find suitable candidates in today’s fast-paced market.

According to global software and fintech executive recruitment consultancy Oakstone International, businesses face a perfect storm due to massive growth and a shortage of suitable candidates.  

With most industries becoming automated by tech, the demand for staff is constantly growing. As a result, many new recruitment companies have appeared in recent years. In addition, remote recruiting, primarily due to the pandemic, has sped up recruitment procedures.  

The recruitment market is increasingly competitive, and potential candidates are getting many more job offers than they were just three years ago. Decisions are typically being based on immediate financial motivation instead of career prospects.  

Companies are encouraged to invest enough time, money and expertise to attract the right people. If different employers offer potential employees roughly the same money, the candidates will make decisions based on leadership quality, market position and working conditions. 

Tristan Heywood, divisional director at Oakstone, comments: “I’ve been in this business for more than 21 years and I can’t remember a time when I was busier. What is very clear is that everyone is hiring, which is not only driving salaries up, but leading to candidates to make poor choices – and that situation is unlikely to change in the near future. 

“The single biggest challenge is that with not enough people for the volume of roles across every function – technically geared, engineering-related and sales – candidates get many more offers and typically will make decisions based on instant financial motivations rather than career prospects. 

“Some recruiters just throw CVs at businesses in their haste to conclude a deal, but we consider that akin to ‘people trading’ and we don’t cut corners. We invest time in finding the right person for each role – putting the wrong candidate up for interview not only damages our reputation but slows or stops the process.” 

Oakstone International divisional director Dan Hammond-Smith, 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 competitive in the market to succeed.” 

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70% of employers agree that Ukrainian workers could ease UK labour shortage

In a new survey commissioned by UK career and jobs site Reed, research has shown that four in five UK businesses are willing to hire Ukrainian refugees with six in ten hiring managers stating that the government should make it easier for refugees to enter the UK.  

According to the research, UK employers believe the leading benefits of hiring Ukrainian workers are: 

  • An increase in Ukrainian workers could ease UK labour shortages (71%) 
  • The potential to increase workforce diversity (33%) 
  • The potential to increase cultural diversity (29%) 
  • Access to skilled and qualified candidates (27%) 

The language barrier is the biggest challenge, say 59% of recruitment decision-makers with other concerns including uncertainty about the Ukrainian workforce’s skillset (36%) and uncertainty about productivity (36%).  

In response to the research, Reed.co.uk has made some of its career advice pages available in Ukrainian to assist refugees in transitioning into the UK workforce.  

James Reed, Chairman of Reed.co.uk, commented:  “If Ukrainian refugees are to settle in the UK successfully, finding them employment will be the crucial next step to fully integrating them into society for the period that they remain here.  

“It’s encouraging to see such a positive response to this refugee crisis from UK employers. The majority are enthusiastic about the prospect of hiring Ukrainian workers and have identified a range of benefits they can bring to the UK workforce.”

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Skills shortage remains a concern in the market

According to background screening and identity services firm, Sterling, candidate communication needs to move up the priority list as the war for talent rages on.

With the latest labour market data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS),revealing a continued increase in vacancy numbers across the UK and concerns around talent shortages rife, the expert Sterling called on employers and HR teams to prioritise high quality and regular candidate communication.

In a recent Sterling Live discussion, experts discussed how the war for talent can often be won through simply communicating to candidates consistently, from the first engagement right through their first days on the job.

Tom Stokes, Director at Sterling EMEA, explained: “The skills shortage has been a concern for some time now and while there is certainly a need to broaden talent pools, far too often, potential new recruits are exiting hiring processes, due to the process itself. When we consider how tough it is to recruit at the moment, once an offer has been accepted it’s understandable that some hiring teams or managers may breathe a sigh of relief. However, candidates are increasingly disappearing in that crucial timeframe between the offer and the first day, and this is quite often due to a lack of communication.

“Employers need to remember that for an individual, a career move is a life changing event and after the excitement of getting the job offer, they can face a lengthy notice period where they are juggling their current role alongside the administration that comes with a new job, including employment screening checks.

“Communication is key during this time. Candidates need to know what to expect after the job offer is made, otherwise, they can feel lost or alienated, which leaves them open to being lured away by other businesses. Starting a new job and going through an employment screening process can be daunting for anyone. Celebrate your new hire and maintain the excitement of the job offer. The more they are communicated with and the more engaged they feel, the lower the chances of them being enticed elsewhere.”

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London reports lowest job vacancies with highest number of unemployed

The ONS’s most recently published labour market figures show that vacancy numbers have reached another record high with the number of payroll employees up by 207,000 having surpassed pre-pandemic levels. This is 122,000 higher than levels seen before the pandemic hit in February.

The UK’s employment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points last quarter to 75.3%, while the unemployment rate was down 0.4 percentage points to 4.5%.

The ONS stated that the number of job vacancies increased by 318,000, with all industry sectors above or equal to the levels seen between January to March last year, before the first lockdown.

Record vacancies may not be good news

According to analysis of job listings by Adzuna, people looking for work may not be in the right areas to fill them, with different regions facing different employment challenges. London is by far the worst place for workers to be in if looking for employment, with more people looking for work than jobs advertised. The capital city had 13.4% of over 16 unemployed or furloughed which was the highest in the country. Vacancies were 104% of what they were pre-pandemic, but this was the smallest growth nationally.

The opposite is true in Northern Ireland, where vacancies grew 154%, the second steepest in the country, but there are comparatively fewer people looking for work.

This location phenomenon could result in continuing crisis for businesses battling to find staff as the economy grows.

Pay increases on the rise but not enough to secure candidates

Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 7.2% and regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6% among employees for the three months June to August 2021.

Darren Morgan, Director of Economic Statistics at the ONS commented: “The jobs market has continued to recover from the effects of the coronavirus. The latest earnings continue to show growth on the year, even after taking inflation into account. However, the figures are still being affected by special factors that make it hard to read underlying trends.”

Matthew Percival, Programme Director for Skills and Inclusion at the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Companies have found hiring difficult this autumn and the official data is beginning to tell the same story, with the number of people on payroll exceeding pre-COVID highs and record vacancies.

Responding to the ONS earnings and employment figures, Matt Weston, UK Managing Director of global recruitment firm Robert Half, said:

“We’re currently seeing demand above and beyond pre-pandemic levels, and despite the so-called ‘Great Resignation’ creating a tsunami of turnover, we are still experiencing a saturated market where the demand for skilled talent outstrips the supply. The competition is evident with the increase in median monthly pay showing the strength of candidates’ influence when agreeing terms with a new employer.”

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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Net employment outlook at third strongest in Europe

According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, employers across Ireland anticipate the highest level of hiring in 17 years, for the fourth quarter according to The Net Employment Outlook for Ireland stands at +34%, the third strongest in Europe. The powerhouse area behind this positivity is the manufacturing sector – up 53 percentage points from the previous year to +39% for Q4 2021.

Transport and logistics is also poised for headcount growth, with employment outlook rising to 39% for the coming quarter. The retail sector also intends to hire significantly, bouncing back with the promise of continued government employment supports for the industry remaining in place until March 2022.

Elsewhere, the finance and business service sector remains strong, up ten percentage points on last quarter to +20%. However, the construction industry is being hit by limitations to supplies and hiring plans and has contracted 19 percentage points from last quarters record high, yet the employers in the sector remain optimistic with a hiring Outlook of +20%.

  • Nationwide, employers in all industry sectors report positive hiring plans for Q4.
  • From a regional perspective, employers in Dublin are reporting positive hiring intent with an outlook of +39%, with Munster being the most positive province for the next quarter at +44%.
  • Larger-sized organisations (250+ employees) are reporting the strongest hiring confidence for Q4 with an employment outlook of +39%.
  • Currently 69% of employers are struggling to fill roles. This leaves us with a significant talent gap where employers need to be investing in recruitment drives, upskilling and retraining programmes as long-term solutions to filling roles.

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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With job vacancies hitting record levels in July, according to ONS, and Broadbean Technology revealing that application numbers have consistently dropped over the last three months, employers are turning to those candidates who came a close second in the hiring process in a bid to address talent shortages, according to talent outsourcing and advisory services provider AMS.

 

Those who have previously made the hiring shortlist are an appealing esource to employers but eraching out to them and attracting their needs needs to be handled with care.

 

Steve Leach, Regional Managing Director, UK & Ireland, at AMS commented: 

 

“Tapping into this talent pool is certainly a strategic move that we’re pleased to see organisations embrace, after all, these individuals have already engaged with the brand and have some connection to the business. However, how these individuals are engaged does require careful management. Their prior experience in the recruitment process and how their rejection was handled could impact the success of this interaction – and certainly highlights the critical importance of a positive candidate experience for future-proof businesses.

 

“The process of re-engaging with this talent community in order to fill resourcing gaps needs to be both personalised and streamlined. They can’t just be approached as a warm lead or even as a brand-new connection. They need a tailored approach that speaks to their prior experience with the business and convinces them why they should give the firm another chance. Technology can certainly play a key role in streamlining engagement with these individuals and, if implemented correctly, will provide a positive experience for these silver medallists, but the key to successfully enticing this group back to a brand lies in tailored engagement strategy designed solely for their needs and prior interaction.”

 

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.com

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