Tag: Hybrid working

Mass exodus of workers expected by June

“The Great Resignation” continues to make the news with new research from talent solutions agency Robert Half finding that 32% of employees will search for a new role in the first six months of the year.

According to new research from the specialist talent solutions nearly a third (32%) of employees will search for a new role between January and June this year – the equivalent to 9.4 million workers across the UK.

Analysis of Robert Half’s internal data revealed that job applications surged in Q1 for the past five yearsand this year looks to be no different. According to findings, nearly a quarter of candidates (23%) will begin their new job search in the next three months – with trend data suggesting that the uptick usually begins in the third week of January.

The research found that around two fifths (42%) of workers seeking new employment are looking for a higher salary, but money is not the only factor they’re considering. In order to retain staff employers should focus on career progression opportunities and benefits which are triggers for 25% and 21% of jobseekers respectively.

Aquent, the innovative recruitment agency for creative, digital and marketing roles have announced the results of its 2021 Talent Insights Report and the key takeaway from the report echoes that of Robert Half’s research: There is going to be a significant impact on the post-pandemic supposed “Great Resignation” and the driving factors are access to flexible working and increased salaries.

Following the rise of hybrid working throughout the pandemic, 24% of those looking for a new role are seeking more flexibility in their working arrangements on a permanent basis. The findings reiterate what we already know that is that flexible working is an essential offering if employers want to attract and retain their talent.

But it must be stated that dissatisfaction with remuneration, opportunities and working arrangements are not the only push factors for employees, the study found. The pandemic had 23% of job-seekers saying lockdown gave them time to re-evaluate priorities, with more than one in five (22%) saying they want to change career path or move into an entirely different field. Aquent’s findings also reflect this and worryingly, job dissatisfaction increased to almost 33% in 2020 and 2021, compared to 22% in 2019. This unhappiness was most likely influenced by poor leadership and layoffs. While trying to find a new work-life balance in the middle of a global pandemic, talent was frequently expected to maintain the same level of production, if not more, especially for middle-management roles (VP, Director, Manager). Talent in this category are facing increased pressure from above and below, with 54% to 59% of middle-management employees considering leaving their role in the next three to six months.

It remains a candidates’ market with the industry seeing a dramatic shift in what talent expects from their employers. Over the past few years, the job market has seen an unprecedented shift towards employees expecting more from their employers, and they are showing more confidence to leave if they don’t get it.  Although the number of people actively looking for a new role in 2021 has fallen by 10% compared to a year ago, talent are clearly still in the driver’s seat as millions of job openings remain vacant.

Aquent’s survey revealed that candidates are now choosing flexible working arrangements almost as much as higher compensation (28%). Further, career advancement slipped from a high of 25% last year to 17%, indicating changing priorities post-pandemic.

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half, commented on the findings: “While we always experience a sharp increase in job applications at the start of each year, we are anticipating unprecedented levels of UK workers looking for a new job this year. Despite an uptick in the number of employees looking for a new role, demand from employers will still outstrip supply – placing the cards firmly in the hands of candidates.”

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58% of remote workforce believe resilience is a key skill  

According to a survey by workingmums.co.uk in partnership with The Changing Work Company, 80% of regular remote workers have not been promoted since beginning remote work with 44% having not been given access to changing.

The qualitative survey highlighted the experience of respondents who were working remotely or in a hybrid manner (half of whom did so before the pandemic) and its aim is to give those workers a voice on how to improve the new and different ways of working.

The study found that most respondents worked for smaller companies with under 250 employees with figures showing that smaller companies were more likely to offer remote working. Just less than half (41%) worked for companies with fewer than 25 employees and 20% for employers with between 26 and 250 employees.

The top reason for choosing to work remotely was better work/ balance according to 28% of respondents, with COVID-19 and carer responsibilities other reasons given. Just under a third of survey respondents (30%) said they found it difficult or very difficult (8%) to negotiate remote working.

Results also showed that employers didn’t ask advice from those who’d been working remotely pre-pandemic and could have benefited from doing so in order to do it better.

More than two thirds of respondents (68%) had not been asked about their experience of working from home to help others who switched during the pandemic.

Participants were also asked what helped them when it came to isolation at home. Keeping in touch, planning social interactions outside work and keeping to a routine were popular choices. To keep in touch one respondent had started a virtual lunch chat. Others had created Teams chats and other forums for communication.

Asked what skills respondents believe are needed to work remotely successfully:

  • 85% answered that self-motivation is a vital skill
  • 68% answered that independent thinking is important and
  • 58% responded that resilience is a key skill.

The majority of respondents (74%) said they had honed these skills through remote working and 22% had developed them due to homeworking.

The survey asked what would improve their situation and respondents stated that better communication and appreciation of what they do would do so, while 58% felt as valued and listened to as office-based people, the rest mostly didn’t or were unsure.

Gillian Nissim, founder of WM People, the umbrella group for  workingmums.co.uk,  workingdads.co.uk  and  workingwise.co.uk, commented: “We know that employers who seek feedback from their employees through employee network groups or other forums, listen to what they are saying and take action are the most innovative and attractive and have the highest engagement scores. Too often remote workers have been left to their own devices to make the best of remote working, but this one-sided approach means neither the employee nor the employer overcomes the biggest challenges or reaps the full benefits.”

Bridget Workman of The Changing Work Company also commented: “68% of those surveyed said their employers had not asked them to share their knowledge to help colleagues suddenly switching to homeworking nor have they been consulted for their special insights on how to make the hybrid mix of office, home and remote working work. Although usually provided with equipment, the majority had to learn the hard way, through trial and error, having received no training. They know the pitfalls and have learned the necessary skills and tricks through their own resourcefulness and resilience.”

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Two thirds of businesses intend to increase tech spend 

According to the Digital Leadership Report, a collaborative study by The Harvey Nash Group, CIONET and Massachusetts Institute of Technology CISR, the positive economic growth in the UK tech sector is under threat as massive skills shortages continue. This comes as companies signal their intentions to increase technology investment (61%) and headcount (66%) – record levels – but have limited talent to support it.

The study found that the UK’s tech skills crisis is at its highest with 8 in 10 digital leaders reporting that following the pandemic, new life priorities of staff is making retaining talent even more difficult. Forty percent of leaders in the UK admit they can’t keep key people as long as they’d like because they’re being lured away by offers of more money. Only one in three organisations (38%) have redesigned their employee offer to make it attractive to staff in the new hybrid working world.

Other findings included:

  • There has been record tech investment and headcount growth rising by over a third (36% and 37% respectively) since 2020.
  • The impact of skills crisis on business growth means that 66% of digital leaders in the UK are now unable to keep pace with change because of a lack of the talent they need.
  • Cyber security is the most sought-after tech skill in the UK with 43% indicating a shortage, followed by big data/analysts (36%), and technical architects (33%).
  • A lack of developers (32%) has been identified amongst the three jobs with the worst skills shortages in the UK behind HGV drivers and nurses. Harvey Nash Group says that this shortage correlates with the report’s finding that companies are focusing on creating new products and services, and therefore need developers to do that work.

Bridging the skills gap 

Bev White, CEO of Harvey Nash Group commented:  “With businesses planning record levels of digital investment, we could be standing on the verge of a ‘second renaissance’ for technology. Organisations are looking to push their digital transformations further and faster than ever before, putting technology at the very heart of how they operate. This will take them beyond being merely ‘tech-centric’: technology will literally be dispersed throughout the business, everywhere.

“But these ambitions are coming under threat from the acute skills shortages that are now worse than ever before. In fact, businesses face a triple whammy. They lack the supply of skilled resource they need; they have not yet evolved a new and effective employee proposition for the hybrid working world; and the skills they need are themselves changing as technology develops at pace. Digital leaders need to rapidly assess their needs and find solutions if their plans are not to be derailed by this potent cocktail of challenges.”

Bev White will be sharing some of these insights and what that means for recruiters at the TALiNT PointSix Lunch & Learn: Post-pandemic tech priorities for recruiters: How to build the best business case for the next phase of tech transformation on 24 November.

 

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Employers must provide Apple devices

A study by Ivory Research has revealed the list of priorities a typical Gen Z worker will consider before accepting a new role.

Much like all workers in the current market, hybrid working tops the list of Gen Z requirements, with a whopping 87% of those surveyed stating they wouldn’t accept a role that was 100% office based. However, having the option to move between the office and home is important too, with 74% saying the ideal home/office balance is three days in the office and two at home. Two-thirds of Gen Zs would expect their company to provide subsidised travel or season ticket loans, and 72% would expect some sort of free food or drink, with ‘desk drinks’ on a Friday being a key wish for 65% of the respondents.

Following the boom in dog ownership during lockdown in 2020, new pets are a top priority for Gen Zs with nearly half (48%) of respondents claiming they’d need their new employer to welcome dogs into the workplace if they were to accept a role.

Other top priorities for Gen Zs looking for full-time employment include:

  • The provision of Apple devices
  • No face-to-face interviews
  • No previous industry experience
  • Early finish on Fridays
  • Training and mentorship programme
  • Active work-based social calendar

Maria Ovdii, Co-Founder of Ivory Research, commented: “We conducted this research to understand the current landscape for Gen Zs and job searches. For employers, it’s really interesting to see what they need to consider when hiring new employees – the hybrid working model is seemingly here to stay. It’s a candidate-driven market currently, and potential employees know they have power ­– time to start welcoming those pet pooches through the doors!”

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66% of senior leadership encouraged by burgeoning economy

According to specialist recruiter Robert Half, there is no better time to secure a new job with businesses growing in confidence and recruiting for new and vacant positions.

According to their 2022 Salary Guide, the improvement in the UK’s economic climate has boosted the confidence of top-tier leaders with 66% feeling ‘somewhat more’ encouraged about growth prospects over the next 12 months.

The job market is heavily in favour of candidates who now command higher salaries, benefits and working conditions that align with their desired lifestyle. This is proving difficult for employers who need to fill roles created by the post-pandemic working economy.

With this new-found power in a buoyant job market, candidates are free to consider their job options with more than a quarter (28%) of employees likely to look for a new job in 2022 –  and many are already searching.

 Working from home affects salary potential

Increased activity in the permanent recruitment space is expected in 2022 as 31% of businesses move to fill  roles. There is higher demand for talent with hybrid skill sets and digital skills that ensure businesses can keep up with the pace of transformation and automation.

In most sectors covered by the report, salaries are expected to remain static and 25% of employers say they have no plans for increases in the near future. However, with fierce competition in the market, intentions may not match reality, and increases in average monthly salaries show the strength of candidates’ influence when agreeing terms with a new employer.

Location of candidates still matters to employers when hiring for a remote post despite the rise in remote and hybrid working over the past year. Nearly half (47%) of employers believe where the candidate is based could limit salaries for those opting to work far away the office location.

Matt Weston, UK Managing Director at Robert Half, said: “While businesses may not intend to increase the salaries on offer, the booming jobs market means they may need to re-evaluate. With candidates holding multiple offers now, we’re finding that a competitive salary alone is not enough; businesses must review the benefits on offer and promote their values to set themselves apart.”

Rethink benefits to retain talent 

To gain that competitive edge, employers are balancing stable salaries by enhancing benefits packages. For example, more than three in five (62%) employers are now offering bonuses above or in line with pre-pandemic levels to counter stagnant salaries. Nearly half (45%) now offer remote working as standard, which is what candidates expect now.

One in five (20%) employees say they would consider leaving their current role if they weren’t offered their desired working arrangements. In such a candidate-driven market it’s imperative that employers meet these needs to retain talent.

Matt Weston continued: “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.”

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38% of employees are looking to change roles  

Almost all HR leaders are concerned employee turnover will skyrocket in the coming months, according to a Gartner survey of 572 HR leaders.  

Another Gartner survey of 1,609 candidates between May and June 2021 found that nearly half of today’s applicants are considering at least two job offers simultaneously. 

Talk of “The Great Resignation” is still dominating the news, despite no concrete evidence of its existence. According to data by Personio, close to two-fifths (38%) of employees are looking to change roles within the next six to twelve months.  

To gain competitive advantage in today’s war on talent, employers need to focus on retention strategies such as the following:   

  • Ensure career progression plans: empower your staff to be the CEO of their careers and ‘grow your own’ instead of hiring externally.  
  • Implement mentorship programmes. These foster a sense of belonging in the workplace.  
  • Emerging talent is very focused on diversity and inclusivity. Ensure your business is inclusive.  
  • Promote a work/life balance. Wellbeing is a key focus for employees now more than ever.  
  • Widen your business’s talent pool. Hire outside of the normal parametres of the preferred skillset. It’s not always about skills, it’s about potential, too.  
  • Offer flexible working that aligns to employee and work needs: flexibility is no longer a perk, it’s a prerequisite for employment since coming out of the pandemic. If you’re not prepared to offer your workforce flexibility, they will find an employer who does.  

Photo courtesy of Canva.com

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Collaboration and communication are key skills  

According to new research from LinkedIn, 87% of UK business leaders stated that young workers have been plagued by a “developmental dip” because of long periods of time working from home during the pandemic.  

250 C-level executives in the UK (from companies with 1,000 employees and more and with an annual turnover of £250+ million) who were surveyed for the study, found that almost 30% of business leaders feel that onboarding from home has been a challenge for young employees. A further 42% of leaders believe that young people’s ability to build meaningful relationships with colleagues while working remotely has been difficult. 

Out of practice  

A complementary survey of young professionals showed that they agree. 69% of young people (aged 16 – 34) believe their professional learning experience has been impacted by the pandemic. More than half of those asked to return to offices feel their ability to make conversation at work has suffered, and 71% say they’ve forgotten how to conduct themselves in an office environment. 84% of young workers ultimately feel “out of practice” when it comes to office life, especially when it comes to giving presentations (29%) and speaking to customers and/ or clients (34%).  

Missing out 

Business leaders say the key development experiences that young people have missed out on during the pandemic include learning by “osmosis” from being around more experienced colleagues (36%), developing their essential soft skills (36%), and building professional networks (37%).  

Skills to succeed 

Business leaders believe that for hybrid working to be a success, collaboration (59%) and communication (57%) are the two most important skills employees need. Nearly half (49%) of leaders say working closely with experienced team members is the best way for young people to catch up and build these soft skills.  

Janine Chamberlin, UK Country Manager at LinkedIn, said:  It’s positive to see leaders recognise the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on young people as they consider their future workplace policies. To help young people develop the skills they need to succeed, companies must understand where the skills gaps are, introduce mentoring schemes and bolster learning experiences that cater for a hybrid workforce to help younger workers get back on track.”

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70% of employees unhappy with leadership  

The Adecco Group reported results of its global study called Resetting Normal: Defining the New Era of Work. The report was said to examine the change in attitudes to work over the last year, as well as highlighting issues that companies need to address to stay agile in the current landscape. 

The study highlighted poor mental health as an emergent issue with more than half of young leaders (54%) suffering burnout. A third of workers also stated that their mental and physical health had declined in the last 12 months. The study stated that companies must re-evaluate how they support their staff and should provide wellbeing resources to their employees within the new hybrid working model.  According to the report, 67% of non-managers say that their leaders don’t meet their expectations for checking on their mental wellbeing.  

Leadership falling short  

Satisfaction with leadership is low, with only a third of non-managers feeling they are being recognised for the work in the business, and only half of all workers said that their managers encouraged a good work culture.   

Findings from the report stated that motivation and engagement is low with less than half of employees being satisfied with their career prospects in the company they work for with nearly 2 out of 5 considering new careers and moving to jobs with more flexibility.   

The Adecco Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Alain Dehaze, said: “For those who are not bound to being physically present to perform their work, it is obvious that we will never return to the office in the same way and that the future of work is flexible.  

Our research clearly shows that “one size will not fit all” when it comes to addressing employees’ needs and we’re increasingly seeing a leadership struggling to balance remote working and care for their teams. Now is the time to start bridging this gap by developing and equipping leaders and workers alike with the skills and capabilities they need to reignite motivation and build a cohesive company culture that maintains and develops a successful, resilient and healthy workforce.” 

In summary of the report:  

  • 82% of the workforce feels as productive or more so than before the pandemic 
  • Globally, 53% of workers want a hybrid working model where more than half of their time spent working is remote 
  • Long hours increased by 14% in the last year, with more than half of young leaders reporting that they suffered burnout  
  • 73% of workers and leaders are calling to be measured by outcomes rather than hours, while only 36% of managers are assessing performance based on results  
  • Satisfaction with leadership is low with an increasing disconnect with employees made evident. Only a third of non-managers are believed to be getting the recognition they deserve  
  • Anxiety about returning to the office is highest in Australia (53%), followed by the UK (52%) and Canada (51%). 

Do you have news to share? If so, please email debbie@talintpartners.com

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Staff wellbeing tops employee concerns  

A recent report called the Healthier Nation Index published by Nuffield Health stated that more employees are demanding that their employers take more responsibility for their physical and mental wellbeing.  

The research found: 

  • More than 21% of those surveyed (8,000 respondents) believed employers should implement mandatory reporting on the physical and wellbeing initiatives they have in place to improve the wellbeing of their staff 
  • 52% stated that they were aware of the measures they could take to improve their mental and physical health 
  • 37% stated that employers should take responsibility by making resources available on how to boost mental and physical wellbeing 
  • 46% said that free health checks for all staff should be provided by employers 
  • 54% said that work was having a negative impact on their mental health 
  • Half of those surveyed stated that their workload created a barrier to undertaking physical exercise. 

Darren Hockley, Managing Director at  DeltaNet International commented: “Improving both mental and physical health is rising up the corporate agenda. If employees feel overworked or stressed, then they won’t be as happy or productive. This will only lead to other issues for the company, such as sick leave or them resigning and moving to another organisation that prioritises wellbeing.   

“Mandatory reporting on physical and wellbeing initiatives is a great way for organisations to take more responsibility for their employees. Offering that support through wellbeing seminars, mental health and wellbeing training or even mental health support where staff can talk to a specialist can make a significant difference to employees.” 

Extra leave given in support of mental health  

Nike recently announced that their head office employees will be given a week’s holiday in support of their mental health.   

Suzanne Staunton, Employment Partner at JMW Solicitors, commented: “It is unlikely that (many) UK employers will provide their staff with a week’s mental health break. However, anecdotally, over the past 12 months, we saw that number of employers have given staff a day or two additional mental health days or an extra day holiday. Those employers who implemented such schemes reported an increase in morale and productivity.”  

Returning to work post “freedom day” 

Data published in the Supporting Your Remote Workforce in 2021 and Beyond report found that 40% of those who are returning to office-based working are concerned about contracting COVID-19 from colleagues.  

Data from CPD Online College reported that the top concerns for those returning to the workplace were: social distancing (60%), workplace safety (56%), and workplace cleanliness (55%) at the top of the list. 

With these employees concerns in mind, it is imperative that HR and employers think about how to properly support staff wellbeing when staff returns to the office, as well as how to help alleviate their concerns. 

Liz Forte, Health and Wellness Director at Compass Group Business and Industry, shared three top tips:  

  1. Embrace the hybrid office: the hybrid should be seen to inspire staff to work together again and reconnect. This could assist with easing staff back into office life. Because there is a clear shift towards employees wanting a hybrid way of working, offering this to staff is a great way to encourage them to split their time between home and the office, thereby getting the best of both worlds.  
  2. Be aware of anxieties: Forte explains that it is crucial to be aware of your employee’s anxieties and concerns. Employers should communicate cleaning protocols and implementing visible cleaning teams during working hours could put staff at ease.  
  3. Support staff lives: providing work perks that encourage living a healthy life outside of work and that also support health and wellbeing will help improve performance as staff return to their desks. Offering classes which give employees the opportunity to try new hobbies or skills add to a positive experience at work. Data has shown that this could also be a good tool for attracting and retaining talent. 

 

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Yorkshire has the fastest internet speed in the country

Many large businesses in the UK including PwC, ASDA, UBS, KPMG and Adobe have shared their intent to move to a hybrid of model of working permanently.

But which major cities in the UK offer the best lifestyles for the flexible workforce? Gazprom Energy, the business energy supplier, ranked each major UK city on the following: cost of living, wellbeing (average ratings of life satisfaction, happiness, and anxiety), commuting time (minutes), average salary (£), average internet speed (mbps), and coffee shops per capita.

Once rating was complete, Gazprom created an overall score called the Hybrid Working Score (out of 100) for each city. They then ranked the cities from best to worst.

Key findings from the study include:

  • London is the UK’s worst city for hybrid working (35/100), despite employers in the capital being among the first to instigate hybrid working and offering the most flexible policies
  • York is the best city for hybrid working (64/100), helped along by a moderate cost of living, a respectable wellbeing standard and a lower average commute
  • Surprisingly, Hull and St Albans enjoy the highest average internet speeds (both 138 Mbps) in the country by far, helping employees to get the job done – while those in Worcester (47 Mbps) and Exeter (50 Mbps) have to put up with the worst
  • The worst commutes employees can expect when travelling between home and the office belong to London (avg. 66 min), Nottingham (41 min) and Leeds (40 min)
  • Yorkshire has the fastest average internet speed overall at 85 Mbps, followed closely by the East at 82 Mbps. Northern Ireland and Wales tie on being the regions with the slowest internet connections, at 61 Mbps.
  • Regionally, Yorkshire is also the best part of the UK for hybrid workers, followed by the North West – with Wales and London being the worst.
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