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Skills-based hiring trends and challenges ahead

The adoption of skills-based hiring has been on the rise, as indicated by a recent report from LinkedIn. In 2022, 29% of paid job postings on the platform did not require professional degrees, compared to 21% in 2019. However, this shift has not necessarily translated into increased hiring of non-degree holders.

LinkedIn users, especially those using the paid Recruiter feature, have prioritised skills-based searches over degree-based ones. This change in user behaviour suggests a growing emphasis on skills when seeking candidates. However, the crucial question remains: Does eliminating degree requirements lead to more hires of individuals without degrees?

According to Greg Lewis, a senior content marketing manager at LinkedIn, the answer varies across industries and functions. While many industries have embraced the concept of skills-first hiring in their job postings, the actual hiring practices often lag behind.

In some sectors, job postings that do not require degrees are growing at a significantly faster rate than those that do. Notably, financial services, accommodation and food services, and technology, information, and media are among the sectors experiencing substantial growth in degreeless job postings.

Certain job functions also exhibit accelerated growth in degreeless job postings, with accounting leading the way. However, when it comes to actual hiring, the results are mixed. Degreeless hiring is increasing, but the rate of hires without degrees frequently falls short of the rate indicated in job postings.

In industries like accommodation and food services, there has been an 11% faster growth in hiring individuals without professional degrees compared to those with degrees. A similar trend is observed in financial services with 6% faster growth and in technology, information, and media with 3% faster growth.

Despite these variations, some industries, such as consumer services, entertainment, and government administration, are actively hiring more workers without degrees. Roles like project managers and administrative assistants are among the top positions filled by hires without degrees in these industries.

Across various job functions, there have been modest increases in the hiring of individuals without degrees, particularly in community and social services, media and communication, and legal specialties like paralegals.

However, Greg Lewis notes that the shift in hiring practices is less dramatic than the change in job postings. This suggests that while recruiters are increasingly searching for candidates based on skills rather than degrees, traditional degree requirements still heavily influence hiring decisions made by managers.

To bridge this gap, Lewis emphasises the need for recruiters to collaborate with hiring managers as strategic advisors to bring about real changes in hiring practices. He underscores that meaningful change requires time and effort, and merely talking about skills-based hiring is just the initial step.

Lewis also highlights the importance of including relevant skills in job postings on LinkedIn. Such postings tend to attract more applicants and enjoy higher conversion rates. Candidates can envision themselves in these roles, even if they lack exact previous experience.

Furthermore, organisations that adopt skills-based practices and hiring methods tend to outperform their peers, according to a Deloitte report. However, many companies struggle to implement significant changes, particularly in response to the growing demand for workplace agility.

To address this challenge, companies can focus on in-house training, apprenticeships, and other nontraditional approaches to build their talent pipelines and meet the evolving needs of the workforce.

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London has the most graduate jobs – but at the expense of a higher cost of living

A new survey has revealed the top 10 best UK cities for job-hunting graduates. Bradford came out as the top city – based on the cost of living and accommodation prices.  London came out top with the most job opportunities, with an average of 4,966 graduate jobs – but ranked bottom of the list for graduate cities due to the high cost of living.

Comparethemarket analysed which UK cities offer the best opportunities for graduates, taking into account; rental prices, job opportunities, living costs, the number of 21-30-year-olds within the community and not forgetting beer prices.

Bradford boasts low living costs in comparison to other locations analysed in the study, with average rent prices of just £463.12 a month and around 792 graduate jobs, a meal out at an inexpensive restaurant will set a graduate back around £10, with a pint of beer costing £3, and a cappuccino just £2.52.

Kingston-upon-Hull, ranked second, with the cheapest rent of all cities analysed, with an average of £391.25 a month – but only had 142 graduate jobs on offer, the city has a low cost of living, with beers costing £3 a pint and an average meal out costing £10.25.

In joint third place are Lancashire’s Preston and Blackpool, and rounding off the top five are Wolverhampton and Newport in terms of job opportunities. Following behind is Manchester, with 1,345 jobs, and Birmingham came in third with 914 graduate jobs.

Although London offers the highest number of graduate jobs, it ranks as the most unaffordable place to live due to the high cost of living. Average rent prices in the capital are around £1,442.38 a month, meals out costing an average of £17, beers priced at £6 per pint, and transport passes costing an average of £160 a month. Despite London’s high living costs, graduates won’t be alone with nearly 1.5 million (1,436,899) 21-30-year-olds living in the city.

Bristol also ranks toward the bottom of the list, due to a high cost of living. The average rental price for a one-bed apartment in Bristol is around £888 a month, while the average pint of beer costs £4.50 and a meal out is around £15. Rounding off the bottom five are Reading, Edinburgh, and Southend-on-Sea.

The full report can be found here:

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AI interview coach helps jobseekers secure entry-level jobs

Gen Z, IT, Healthcare and Social Care workers are most likely to use AI to help them prepare for a job interview, according to new data.

Since launching in June, Adzuna’s free AI interview coach tool Prepper has gained momentum among jobseekers, with daily users topping 2,000 just 10 days after the tool went live. Based on the advances in large language models (LLMs) alongside Adzuna’s proprietary data and expertise, Prepper allows jobseekers to prepare for job interviews at any UK or US company, by generating questions, based on information from the job ad, as well as coaching them on how to best respond.

The research analysed Prepper users to reveal which sectors are most likely to use AI within their job search, as well as which companies those job seekers are interviewing for. Workers within the IT sector are most likely to use AI to prepare for a job interview, with Software Engineers, Product Managers, Software Developers, Data Analysts, and Data Scientists all featured within the top 20 roles using the tool. The Tech sector has been widely affected by the recent downturn, with June 2023 seeing 101,768 IT vacancies in the UK, down -41.3% year-on-year, fuelling jobseekers’ interest to get ahead of their competition.

Gen Z is becoming more reliant on AI to make up for their lack of interview experience and secure entry-level roles ahead of their competition. Previous Adzuna research found that around 44 graduates will be vying for every available opportunity in summer 2023, up from 36 graduates per role a year ago, with 570,000 UK students set to graduate this year according to figures from HESA.

Health and Social Care workers are also proving to be early adopters of AI for job search, with Care Assistants, Hospital Porters, and Healthcare Assistants among the top 20 roles using Prepper.

Prepper users were most likely to simulate job interview questions for Amazon, the NHS, and Google. The Civil Service and the UK Police also ranked among the top 10 companies for simulated interview questions.

Adzuna data also reveals an explosion in employers seeking job seekers with generative AI skills in the last year. The US currently boasts the highest number of generative AI vacancies, with 3,575 job openings requiring related expertise in June 2023, up from 1,698 a year ago. Germany (819 in June 2023) and the UK (353).

James Neave, head of data science at Adzuna, said: “Jobseekers are jumping on new AI tools to help them get ahead of the competition and land a job. Interviewing in particular can be one of the more stressful processes when finding a new role, so AI tools like Prepper that can help jobseekers build their confidence and prepare for tricky questions ahead of an interview are proving popular. In an increasingly competitive jobs market, this can help set jobseekers apart from other candidates.”


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Discrimination dropped from 24.1% to 8.2.%

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) revealed encouraging statistics that demonstrate a positive trend in the reduction of discrimination experienced by job seekers and employees. According to MOM’s research, the proportion of job seekers facing discrimination during their job search dropped for the second consecutive year, reaching 23.8% in 2022. This is a significant decline from 25.8% in 2021 and 42.7% in 2018.

Similarly, discrimination against employees in the workplace continued to decline, with only 8.2% experiencing discrimination in 2022 compared to 8.5% in the previous year and 24.1% in 2018.

The data also highlighted the specific areas where discrimination was observed. In 2022, age, race, and mental health were the more common forms of discrimination during job searches, with 16.6%, 7.1%, and 5.0% respectively.

Within workplaces, mental health discrimination ranked as the most prevalent form in 2022, affecting 4.7% of employees. Age discrimination followed closely at 3.7%, while race discrimination was reported by 2.6% of employees.

The positive shift in these statistics can be partly attributed to an increase in employees seeking help when they encounter discrimination at work. The proportion of those seeking assistance almost doubled to 35.3% in 2022, compared to 20.0% in 2021. Additionally, more firms took proactive measures to address workplace discrimination, with 59.8% having formal procedures in place in 2022, up from 54.0% in 2021.

Overall, the concerted efforts of MOM, TAFEP (Tripartite Alliance for Fair & Progressive Employment Practices), and other tripartite partners to promote fair employment practices have contributed to this positive development. The Ministry expressed optimism that this progress will lead to even greater improvements in workplace fairness in the future. It is evident that the collective actions taken from 2018 to 2022 have significantly reduced discrimination and are helping to foster a more inclusive and equitable job market in Singapore.

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Research reveals impactful benefits and risks involved

According to research conducted by Persol, approximately 26.5% of third and fourth-year university students have utilised ChatGPT for job hunting. The study revealed that the primary purpose for using the service during job searches was to “create reasons for wanting to work at a company,” cited by 63.6% of the respondents. Additionally, 60% of students mentioned that they used ChatGPT to save time.

Among the students who used ChatGPT, the most significant benefit they experienced was the realization of new perspectives that they wouldn’t have thought of on their own, with 77.5% acknowledging this advantage.

Regarding its practicality in the job search process, slightly over half of the students (53.3%) found the service “somewhat helpful” in tasks like document screening and interview preparation. On the other hand, a notable 40.8% considered ChatGPT “extremely helpful,” while a small percentage of 5.8% found it “not helpful.”

Looking ahead, when asked if they would use ChatGPT in the future for job searching, 63% responded positively, indicating their willingness to continue using the service, while 37% expressed their intent not to use it.

Shinya Okamoto, Editor-in-Chief of Doda Campus, a Persol subsidiary, highlighted that the use of ChatGPT is not limited to student job hunting. However, he also raised concerns about the lack of clear policies or guidelines established by the country or society, leading to potential risks and uncertainties. In particular, he emphasised that personal information and privacy data might be at risk of being converted into data without proper safeguards.

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Unemployment rates showing positive trends

The most recent data from the Department of Statistics Malaysia reveals that Malaysia’s unemployment rate in March stood at 3.5%, reflecting a decrease of 0.6% compared to the previous year.

When compared to February 2023, the unemployment rate remained stable in March.

Throughout March, the number of individuals without employment continued to decline, registering a 0.5% drop to 588,700 persons. This represents a substantial decrease of 12.0% compared to the same period last year.

On a positive note, the number of individuals with employment displayed an upward trajectory, experiencing a 0.2% increase (+33,700 persons) in March. The total number of employed persons reached 16.22 million, compared to 16.19 million in February. Over the course of the year, this figure grew by 2.9%.

Moreover, the labor force expanded in March, witnessing a 0.2% growth (+30,500 persons) to reach 16.81 million individuals. In February, the labor force stood at 16.78 million persons. Comparatively, this represents a 2.3% increase over the year.

Conversely, March’s labor force participation rate remained steady at 69.9% compared to the previous month, but demonstrated a positive growth of 0.7% over the year.

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Ex-Hyland workers band together after layoffs

Following the layoff of 20% of its staff, Hyland, a technology company based in Westlake, Ohio, a group of those affected by the job cuts came together to enhance their job search skills. The former colleagues gathered at Doki Doki Kawaii Shop, a hobby store in Lakewood, Ohio, owned by a former Hyland employee, to process their emotions and figure out how to proceed.

Two former senior talent acquisition partners, Lisa Weingart and Jay Jakovina, provided insight on resume writing, job searching, interviewing, and what to expect during the hiring process. Weingart explained that many former Hyland employees had no intention of leaving the company and did not know where to start. Therefore, she and Jakovina provided their ex-colleagues with a list of do’s and don’ts, as well as information on various resources available and one-on-one assistance.

According to Weingart, several employees had been at Hyland for an extended period and planned to stay, but they were unsure how to apply their skills to outside roles. Jakovina added that managers who had been in hiring positions shared the types of interview questions they asked, while workers who had been laid off a year before provided insight on what to expect in the coming months.

The gathering allowed the workers to mourn their job loss but also support one another. It was the first time many of them met in person as they had been working remotely since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual session is also being considered to reach remote workers who are not in proximity to Hyland’s headquarters outside of Cleveland.

Apart from the informal workshop, the ex-Hylanders launched a Slack channel to stay in touch. Several hundred people have joined, and members share job opportunities and exchange job search tips with each other.

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Singapore workers demand fairer compensation packages.

A recent report by Randstad’s Salary Bonus and Expectations indicates that over half of employees in Singapore believe they are not being paid enough for their work. The survey was conducted between February and March and involved 306 individuals who had recently worked in Singapore. The findings suggest a “mismatch” between the salary expectations of employers and workers. This could lead to a potential loss of top talent for employers, who are already facing challenges due to the current global economic landscape, pandemic recovery efforts, and inflation.

The report highlights that job seekers who are switching employers this year are asking for a 20% salary increase, which is seen as a “reasonable starting point for negotiations.” Among the 35% who switched employers in February and March, 37% of them received a salary hike of more than 20% from their new employers.

While a higher salary is a crucial factor for job seekers, respondents also value other factors, including flexible work arrangements, medical insurance, career development, and a positive work environment. Employers who can meet these expectations may be able to secure top talent despite offering lower salaries.

The report also emphasizes the importance of bonuses in motivating employees and retaining top talent. While 55% of respondents received a bonus, 37% received one or less than a month’s worth, and 22% did not receive any bonus at all. Bonuses are seen as a “determining factor” in motivating employees to perform well in their roles and creating a positive work environment.

In light of these findings, Jaya Dass, Managing Director of Permanent Recruitment in Asia Pacific at Randstad, suggests that employers need to update their compensation packages and revise their internal salary bands to meet today’s talent expectations. Failure to do so may lead to a loss of top talent and a potentially negative impact on the organization’s success.

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Indeed introduces new payment options for employers.

Starting next month, the majority of employers in the US and UK will have access to Indeed’s two new pricing models, pay-per-application and pay-per-started-application. Later this year, these options will be available to employers in other parts of the world. These pricing models were previously available to smaller employers since last fall.

The CEO of Indeed, Chris Hyams, stated that as a company that aims to assist people in finding jobs, they want to be paid when they provide qualified candidates. Thus, they are offering new payment options that cater to the needs and preferences of employers.

The pay-per-application model charges employers that directly post jobs on Indeed only when they receive a completed application, rather than when a job ad is clicked. Employers can set an application limit based on their budget and review the price per application. Moreover, employers can automatically reject applications that don’t meet their predetermined requirements. They will also have 72 hours to manually reject any application before being charged.

Employers who currently post jobs directly on Indeed can still use the pay-per-click model. However, the company will eventually transition to the pay-per-application model for all employers. New employers posting jobs directly on Indeed will only have the pay-for-results option available.

The other new pricing model, pay-per-started-application, is primarily for large employers and applies to jobs indexed by Indeed from various websites. Employers will only pay under this model when job seekers click the “apply” button and begin the application process.

According to Indeed’s research, a majority of employers (52%) preferred the pay-for-results pricing model compared to the pay-per-click (22%) and pay-a-flat-fee-per-job-post (22%) models. Additionally, 84% of employers believed they should only pay when they receive a quality candidate from an online job site.

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Accounting is the most desirable financial sector to work in

A new study from CMC Markets, an online trading platform, analysed monthly Google searches using Ahrefs for jobs within the financial industry to see which career is the most in demand. They also extracted the number of UK-based listings for each finance role from the job site Indeed during the month of December 2022.


Rank Job Title Total global Google searches 
1 Auditor 222,500
2 Actuary 166,600
3 Corporate banking 96,280
4 Bank teller 43,250
5 Forensic accounting 39,650
6 Compliance officer 35,170
7 Client advisor 29,080
8 Loan officer 22,950
9 Branch manager 18,560
10 Risk manager 17,430

The survey revealed that searches for ‘auditor’ ranked number one on the list with 222,500 monthly Google searches. People are searching 5,000 times on average a month for ‘auditor jobs’ and 500 times for ‘auditor careers’. There are currently 785 auditor jobs in the finance sector on Indeed.

It was reported that actuarial careers came closely behind as the second most sought-after job in finance with a combined 166,600 searches per month for ‘actuary careers’ and ‘actuary jobs’. An actuary was the only career within the insurance sector to make it into the top ten. There are currently 1,030 actuary jobs within the finance sector on Indeed.

The third most desirable finance career is corporate banking which amassed a total of 96,280 Google searches per month, 1,200 of which were for the search term ‘corporate banking jobs’. There are currently 3,748 corporate banking jobs on Indeed.

Another banking career took the fourth spot with bank teller totalling 43,250 Google searches every month, 12,000 of these monthly searches were for ‘bank teller jobs’. At present, there are only 35 bank teller jobs on Indeed.

In fifth place came forensic accounting with 39,650 Google searches per month and the sixth most in demand career in finance was a compliance officer with 35,170 monthly Google searches.

Despite being one of the ten most desirable finance jobs, forensic accounting only yields 64 job openings in the UK, according to Indeed. On the other hand, there are currently 6,685 compliance officer openings in the UK on Indeed.

With 29,080 Google searches a month, a client advisor was the seventh most searched for finance career and there are 811 job openings for client advisor roles on Indeed.

Loan officers and branch managers occupied the eighth and ninth place on the list with 22,950 and 18,560 monthly Google searches respectively. There are 1,744 roles on Indeed for both loan officers and branch managers in the UK. 

The research found that the tenth most in demand job in finance is a risk manager with 17,430 monthly Google searches. There are currently 5,259 job openings on Indeed for risk manager roles in the UK. 

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets commented: “Despite the scarcity of jobs in some industries, it seems that there is a noticeable interest within different sectors of the finance world. It is interesting to see that a large proportion of this number is made up of searches related to the banking sector. And as a whole, financial careers are being searched for 2,935,840 times per month on Google.”

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