Tag: Recruitment

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.

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Job vacancies rise to over one million to set new record

New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that employment has returned to pre-pandemic levels, with August payrolls showing a monthly increase of 241,000 to 29.1 million. The number of job vacancies in the three months to August has also risen above one million for the first time since records began in 2001.

Speaking to the BBC, ONS deputy statistician Jonathan Athow, warned that well over a million are still on furlough and the recovery is not even, with London still down, young workers disproportionately affected, and sectors like hospitality slower to recover. The biggest rise in job vacancies was in the food and accommodation sectors, up by 57,600 in August.

While the overall unemployment rate fell from 4.7% to 4.6% in the three months to July, this is against the backdrop of acute talent shortages. Various trade bodies, including the British Chambers of Commerce, blamed Brexit and Covid for declines in labour supply and warned that ‘the end of furlough is unlikely to be a silver bullet to the ongoing shortages’.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation said: “The Government has convened a cross-department forum to tackle these shortages, but this will only be effective if industry experts are involved as well. Government must work with business to improve training opportunities for workers to transition into the most crucial sectors and allow some flexibility in the immigration system at this time of need. And while businesses are raising salaries in many sectors, they must think more broadly about how they will attract and retain staff through improved conditions, facilities, and staff engagement, working with recruiters, who are the professional experts in all of this.”

Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo, added: “The fact that pay has returned to pre-pandemic levels at last is a positive sign for the economy, however, we are seeing employers simply needing to increase remuneration as staff shortages continue to impact hiring activity. The increasing dearth of talent that businesses across the country are reporting is a real concern to the recruitment sector.”

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Despite new IR35 regulations and guidance in April, and the Department of Work and Pensions and Home Office hit with fines of £87m and £29m, respectively. HM Courts and Tribunal Service has fallen victim of CEST misuse with a total fine of £12m.

Commenting on the latest Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) casualty, Dave Chaplin, CEO of IR35 Shield said: “HMRC’s CEST tool is failing fast and now we are hearing of yet one more government department, HM Courts and Tribunal Service, hit with a high tax bill to the tune of £12m because it has relied on CEST to assess its contracting workforce. One of CEST’s major flaws has been its over-reliance on substitution, which any defence expert knows is folly. Over the last few years, many industry experts have pointed out CEST’s failings to HMRC but those messages were ignored and now we are witnessing the fallout and financial damage.

“My advice to anyone who has used CEST is to revisit your determinations and if they rely on a valid right to substitute then seek advice on the correct interpretation of the law. Also, recheck the status with the assumption that the substitution clause is not valid, to make sure you have not also been badly exposed due to the flaw.

“Moreover, it is crucial that once you hire a worker on an “outside IR35” basis that you continue to monitor the status throughout the engagement. Regular checking and gathering contemporaneous evidence are crucial in forming a pre-emptive defence.  Poor assessment decisions left alone, without any evidence to back them up, can prove costly as we are seeing with these recent governmental departments.”

The FCSA, the membership body dedicated to raising standards and promoting supply chain compliance for the temporary labour market, responded saying that it had expressed its concern to HMRC about the validity of the CEST tool. “The current fines perhaps demonstrate that the CEST tool needs re-visiting in terms of a valid SDC determination. In the light of the current outcomes, it would be silly for HMRC to simply press ahead without stopping and reviewing the tool.

“In the interim, marketplace experts, including many FCSA members, have developed alternative tools that can assist the sector in creating more accurate determination tests. So far, there is an ironic pattern emerging here in that one government department is taking money from another and so the government balance remains at zero. The real threat comes when other non-government bodies start to fall victim to huge fines because of using a government promoted test. That will not sit well with a sector that is working hard to support the government to ‘Build Back Better’.”

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The new partnership has solidified the place of video conferencing in the talent recruitment industry.

Global recruiter Hays has partnered with specialist tech provider Odro to deliver video interview and engagement technology to over 1,800 recruitment professionals across the UK and Ireland (UK&I).

The contract is a significant win for Odro, which has over 700 clients worldwide and more than 10,000 platform users. It comes just two months after the company announced an impressive £5.2m cash injection from UK investor, BGF.

Hays’ confidence in Odro is not only an endorsement for the business but the increasing importance of video software in the industry. The technology offers asynchronous and two-way interviewing, digital shortlisting, video sales messaging and content production.

Commenting on the partnership, CEO of Odro, Ryan McCabe said: “We’ve been really encouraged at signs that the industry is bouncing back and it’s great that video has firmly cemented its place as a must-have in the modern-day recruiter’s toolkit.”

Hays Group employs 10,000 staff in 33 countries and in the year to June 2020 placed 66,000 candidates into permanent jobs plus 235,000 people into temporary roles.

Roddy Adair, Director at Hays, said that it is constantly looking for ways to improve and upgrade their tech offering to support their staff in their daily operations. “We were really impressed with the implementation process and the approach by the Odro team from the outset,” he said. “Feedback from the pilot was incredibly positive, with great results and our existing clients have reacted really well to our new way of working, which has significant efficiency benefits for their businesses too.”

Odro has been shortlisted in four categories for the 2021 TIARA Talent Tech Star Awards, including the Optima Talent Tech Leader of the Year.

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The number of applicants per vacancy (APV) declined significantly across three key sectors in the first half of the year as vacancies have surged, according to data from Broadbean.

Across manufacturing and production, vacancies rose by 32%, while the APV was down 46%. Sectors experiencing the largest fall in applicant numbers were logistics & supply chain and retail, with the former seeing vacancies rise 85% and the AVP decreasing by 60%. The latter saw roles increase by 101% and applicant numbers dropped by 55% between quarter one and quarter two 2021.

Retail has been hit hardest by the so-called ‘pingdemic’, with large employers reporting that entire stores are being forced to shut because of staff needing to isolate.

“The fact that we are seeing applicant numbers fall and companies starting to really struggle to recruit is worrying and could hamper the UK’s ability to build back after the pandemic,” said Alex Fourlis, Managing Director at Broadbean Technology. “And while we expect applicant numbers to pick up once again in September after the usual summer lull, the next few weeks will prove a testing time for the employment market, particular given the huge numbers of people isolating.”

The latest Report on Jobs survey by the REC and KPMG showed that recruitment activity continued to rise sharply across the UK at the start of the third quarter, with permanent and temp billings both rising at near-record rates and starting salaries increasing at the quickest pace on record.

It found that that rising demand for staff as restrictions ended and a further marked drop in candidate supply have accelerated increases in permanent starting salaries, with the rate of salary inflation the sharpest seen in nearly 24 years of data collection. In contrast, temporary/contract staff hourly pay rates rose at the second-quickest rate since the survey began.

Overall, candidate numbers fell at the second-sharpest rate in the survey history, easing only slightly from June’s record, with Brexit cited as a key factor reducing the supply of workers, especially temporary staff.

“While companies want to invest in their business now that restrictions are lifting, demand for new staff still outstrips supply due to low candidate availability,” said Claire Warnes, Partner and Head of Education, Skills and Productivity at KPMG UK. “We know that reskilling and upskilling is needed to help people move between sectors, and there’s no doubt the ‘pingdemic’ has added an extra dimension to the recruitment challenge. Plus, with furlough due to end soon, there may be a downward pressure on pay to come.”

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Industry calls on HMRC to better enforce existing legislation to weed out non-compliant firms.

Frances O’Gradygeneral secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), has called for a ban on the use of umbrella companies, saying: “Employers shouldn’t be able to wash their hands of any responsibility by farming out their duties to a long line of intermediaries … It’s time for ministers to ban umbrella companies, without delay.”

The TUC, which represents 5.5 million workers, estimates that half of all agency workers are employed through umbrella companies based on research it commissioned from the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group. It predicts a rise in the use of umbrellas to source agency workers fill post-pandemic talent shortages.

Clarke Bowles, Director of Strategic Sales at Parasol Group, commented: “After what I thought was a well written and balanced report from The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), it’s disappointing to see TUC still hold a view which in my opinion does nobody any good. Compliant and ethical providers, those who supported throughout furlough, those who ensure holiday pay is always paid are tarnished with the same brush as tax avoidance promoters and even fraudulent models.

“There is a place in the supply chain for compliant and ethical providers and many contractors choose to use an umbrella company for the benefits they receive, but I believe it is about contractor choice, regulation and enforcement.”

This view was echoed by Crawford Temple, CEO of Professional Passport, who said: “It is surprising to hear this call from Frances O’Grady as the Loan Charge APPG report commissioned by the TUC did not call for a ban. Whilst there is a lot of regulation already in place to address malpractice in the industry, a blanket ban is not the way forward and the call by the TUC serves to demonstrates a lack of understanding on how compliant umbrellas work to support workers.

“The Government needs to address the underlying issues and challenges that our industry faces as a matter of urgency, namely non-compliance, transparency and enforcement. Non-compliance is fuelled by the complexity of legislation currently in place. The lack of visible enforcement, the lengthy delays in taking any action, and targeting the workers for recovery all serve the interests of those seeking to circumvent, or disregard, the rules. HMRC holds all the data it needs to stamp out bad practice and it is simply not taking the proactive approach. This is where the real problem lies.”

Dave Chaplin, CEO of contracting authority ContractorCalculator adds: “Not surprisingly, the fraudsters aren’t scared by unenforced regulation – which is why some are happy to call for more of it – knowing that they can just carry on with limited (or no) oversight. Payroll transparency and monthly independent party auditing is where the market needs to head, and some are already leading the way on that.”

Phil Pluck, CEO of the FCSA, described the TUC’s call for a ban as ‘a knee jerk reaction to a sector that has come about through necessity’ adding that it is misguided in suggesting recruitment agencies be the provider of contingent labour.

“A contractor may move from contract to contract on almost a weekly basis with day rates for their work varying on each contract,” he explained. “Recruitment firms realised long ago that to have for example one thousand contractors on their books moving through thousands of variable rate contracts whilst actually being their employer was logistically impossible. The same contractors will then typically move from one umbrella to another around three times per annum.

“To employ a contingent worker through large numbers of contracts whilst also employing them whilst they are not actually working on a contract requires detailed knowledge in taxation, accountancy and employment law as well as a detailed understanding of highly complex software management systems. Recruitment companies are simply not equipped to properly manage and employ such a varying workforce. Hence the existence of umbrella firms. To simply suggest that umbrella firms be banned is not workable and ultimately will disadvantage the freelance worker.”

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Demand for recruiters is rising exponentially across the UK and Europe, according to new data from LinkedIn, which had 6.8 times more recruiter roles on its platform in June 2021 than the same time last year.

The research from LinkedIn highlights several talent acquisition trends in the recruitment sector that are making it more difficult for staffing and talent solutions firms to find the quality and quantity of consultants they need. It found, for example, that fewer are hiring from outside the industry than in previous years so ‘they’re increasingly competing for the same narrow set of candidates’.

It found that the number hired from previous recruiting roles has almost doubled from 33% in 2020 to 59% in 2021, attributing this in part to redundancies last year and a preference in hiring those who need less training. “The current hiring pace makes it more challenging to hire outside of recruiting because it takes time to bring newbies up-to-speed with recruiting-specific hard skills,” said Erin Scruggs, LinkedIn’s senior director of talent acquisition.

Of those that are sourced from outside recruitment, the top roles were HR (35%) and sales (12%), including account managers, project managers, and customer service representatives.

Looking at incentives and key motivators for recruitment talent, the research found that work-life balance, compensation, and company culture were still most important, but job security increased to 21% as a priority followed by purposeful mission (up 19%), having influence over tasks and priorities (up 11%) and challenging work (up 9%).

“It’s positive to see that demand for recruiter roles is growing, a trend that we’re seeing around the world, and that demand has now surpassed pre-pandemic levels in the UK,” said Adam Hawkins, Head of Search and Staffing EMEA at LinkedIn. “After a particularly tough year, it’s perhaps unsurprising that job security is high on the priority list when recruiters consider new roles.”

With specialist consultants in such high demand, many of those made redundant or furloughed in 2020 have been tempted to start their own business. So are we likely to see a surge in staffing firms like the 46% spike in 2018 after nearly 8,500 new recruitment start-ups were registered at Companies House?

“A raft of talent tech solutions can help start-ups punch above their weight and it’s interesting to note from LinkedIn’s research that more want greater influence over their work, and perhaps more autonomy after a year and a half of working remotely,” said Alex Evans, Programme Director of TALiNT Partners and head of the PointSix network. “However, job security has increased as a priority for recruitment talent and work / life balance is hard to achieve as a startup founder. The best staffing and talent solutions firms to work for recognised by our TIARA programme this year have all invested in training, technology, brand and management to attract and retain recruiters – and prevent key people from becoming competitors.”

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Personio, an HR software for SMEs in Europe, is ramping up its efforts to invest and expand its footprint in the UK with an upgrade to a new and larger office in London’s Soho, new senior hires, and plans to further grow the team.

Larger office space in today’s hybrid workforce landscape seems out of place but Personio is expanding its footprint globally with up to 500 new hires also announced in its Dublin offices along with expansions in Madrid and Munich. Personio clearly has increased headcount and company growth at front of mind. Hanno Renner, co-founder and CEO of Personio has said that the business is committed to a hybrid way of work, so the increase in office space globally will be geared for that.

The fast-growing HR tech company has experienced strong demand in the UK as businesses have recognised the need to automate and digitise processes, in order to boost productivity. Personio’s UK revenue in Q1 2021 was more than 10 times greater than the same period last year. It counts leading SMEs such as Mindful Chef, Tractable and Numan among its UK customers, as well as Premier Inn, Statista and SkyTeam internationally.

Renner says, “The UK market is highly underserved in terms of HR software for SMEs. And appetite for this has only increased as a result of the pandemic, with businesses increasingly needing new ways to manage remote and hybrid workforces. With the UK representing one of our most important markets we’re keen to further invest in the UK and support the country’s six million SMEs as they get back on track and play a key role in fuelling the country’s economic recovery.”

As part of its growth, Personio has doubled the size of its London team over the last quarter. With the appointment of Sam Richards, Personio’s new Country Manager for the UK and Ireland, who joins Personio from Eventbrite, Personio has tapped into London’s tech talent pool to further strengthen its management team in the capital. Richards’ role will focus on increasing Personio’s UK and Ireland customer base and making Personio the leading HR solution for SMEs in the region.

New additions to the team also include Loretta Ediam as Head of Product Operations and Nick Peart as Vice President Marketing, who joins from Databricks and Zendesk, where he’s accompanied both companies on their journeys to their IPO. They will all join Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer and Ben Kiziltug, Head of Northern Europe in the new, larger London office recently opened in Soho.

Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio: “People are the single biggest influencer on the success of any business, and as such, we’re extremely committed to hiring top talent across all of our European offices to drive us forward. London remains one of the best places for tech companies to hire talented people, and Loretta, Nick and Sam all have proven skills and diverse experience and will be invaluable assets to our team here in the UK.”

Looking ahead, Personio is on track to grow its London presence almost fivefold by hiring an additional 40 new employees over the next two years. To make this happen, the company is hiring talent in all areas of the business, with a particular focus on sales and marketing as well as product analysts for its London team.

Offering SMEs recruiting, HR management and payroll support through its all-in-one HR software, Personio, which is headquartered in Munich, also operates from offices in London, Dublin, Madrid, with its new Amsterdam office set to open in autumn 2021.

 Allen Simpson, Acting Chief Executive, London & Partners said: “It is fantastic news Personio are growing their London footprint, demonstrating their commitment to the UK and their success so far in the UK market. We’ve seen the accelerated adoption of HR tech solutions over the last year as the world has adapted to new ways of working and Personio’s rapid growth in the UK is testament to their innovative offering for SMEs. London is a global hub for tech and innovation and Personio’s new Soho office right in the heart of London’s West End is a great place to be, an area home to some of the world’s fastest growing tech companies. We look forward to seeing Personio continue to grow in London and globally.”

In January this year (2021), Personio announced $125 million of new and pre-emptive Series D funding in an investment round that values the business at $1.7 billion, placing Personio among the most valuable private software companies in Europe. This latest funding came only 12 months after the company received $75 million of Series C funding in 2020, bringing its total funding to $250 million since launching in 2015.

 

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With vacancy numbers hitting all-time highs in the UK since before the pandemic hit, online talent sourcing specialist, Talent.com, has warned employers that a lack of diversity in recruitment adverts themselves could hinder hiring strategies.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that there are more job vacancies now than before the pandemic as employers look to bolster resources as restrictions ease and business demand finally increases after more than a year of uncertainty. However, Talent.com has warned that an audit of hiring process – including job adverts and descriptions – is needed to ensure they appeal to modern-day diverse audiences.

Values and “must-haves” for job seekers have changed dramatically in the last few years with the workforce placing large emphasis on things that matter as opposed to higher pay. There is far more focus on sustainability and diversity and inclusion in the workplace and the Black Lives Matters movement has served to accelerate the much-needed evolution of hiring practices and other business policies.

Without a more diverse approach to hiring practices, businesses could see limited hiring success in the second half of 2021.

Noura Dadzie, Vice President of Sales UK and International Markets at Talent.com said: “With unemployment levels dropping as vacancy numbers rise, the war for talent is accelerating exponentially. The challenge for hiring managers now is not just to get in front of the right people before the competition, but perhaps more importantly, have the right content to push to these audiences. Job seekers are placing greater emphasis on diversity initiatives and employment culture in a post-pandemic world, but as businesses attempt to replace lost resources, too many are falling into the trap of pushing out pre-Covid ads and job descriptions that are arguably out-dated and irrelevant.

“Job seekers are more likely to apply for a position if they can easily identify with the job description and advert. If these do not reflect the diversity of the new talent landscape, employers will be on the back foot – a less-than-ideal scenario in a growing economy.”

Should you have interesting news stories to share, please send them to the Editor Debbie.walton@talintpartners.com

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Japanese engineering recruitment firm, Meitec, announced its results for the first quarter. According to Hideyo Kokubun, President of Meitec, during the first quarter of the current fiscal year (the three months from April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021), the economic climate remained challenging due to intermittent restrictions on economic activities caused by the re-issuance of a state of emergency due to the re-emergence of COVID-19 in some areas of the country. Although Meitec’s manufacturing clients showed signs of recovery as well as its order environment showing signs of recovery, the future remains uncertain.

As a result, consolidated net sales for the period under review increased ¥1,431m, or 6 percent, from a year earlier to ¥25,196m. Consolidated cost of sales increased ¥1,368m, or 7.8 percent, from a year earlier to ¥18,835m, due mainly to an increase in labour expenses associated with a growth in the number of engineers. Consolidated selling, general and administrative expenses increased ¥288m, or 8.2 percent, from a year earlier to ¥3,807m, due mainly to an increase in hiring-related expenses. As a result, consolidated operating profit decreased by ¥225m, or 8.1 percent, from a year earlier to ¥2,552m.

If you have any interesting news to share, please email the Editor at Debbie.walton@talintpartners.com

 

 

 

 

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