Tag: Skills Shortage

New candidates less likely to work remotely

UK’s Net Employment Outlook has fallen to +25% for Q4, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS). This figure shows a decrease of eight percentage points compared to Q3 and six percentage points year-on-year.

The MEOS is the most comprehensive employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic indicator by the Bank of England and the UK Government.

The survey reveals that hiring confidence is still positive across all sectors, but new candidates have less bargaining power, with employers focussing on retaining their existing workforce.

In the survey, 2,030 UK employers were asked whether they intend to hire additional workers, maintain their current headcount, or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.

For the second quarter in a row, the Banking, Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate sector are in the lead with a Net Employment Outlook of +40%. This, however, is a decline of nine percentage points in Q3 and nine percentage points year on year.

Looking specifically at London, employers report an Outlook of +28% for Q4. This is a decline of 13 percentage points since last quarter. In Q1, employers in London were least likely to ask employees to work in the office full-time. Empty office space in London increased by 51% since the beginning of the pandemic, showing that working from home remains popular despite the increased cost of living, making working from home less affordable.

Chris Gray, Director at ManpowerGroup UK, said: “Employers are keen to get people back into the office, however employees still have a lot of bargaining power.”

“Over the last 12 months we have seen employers offer unprecedented benefits, from hefty signing bonuses to fully remote working, in order to attract skilled candidates. However, as demand for new workers cools, candidates are less able to secure these benefits – but many existing employees don’t want to give them up. One of our clients saw 75% of employees decline new contracts that didn’t guarantee fully remote work. This leaves employers engaged in a balancing act of keeping their existing employees happy while phasing out remote work for new candidates.”

“We’re seeing a shift from candidates holding all the cards to employers now having the leverage to ask candidates to come into the office – at least some of the time. Existing employees are more likely to have the bargaining power to retain their home working benefits, but new candidates will increasingly see pandemic-era benefit offers in the rear-view mirror.”

“As household energy bills hit record levels, trends may shift slightly with existing employees keeping their options open where possible to maintain their bargaining power. Decisions on whether to go back into the office will be based on individual circumstances. This is especially true for employees who moved away from big cities where commuting is most costly.”

“Despite the shift in power from candidates to employers, the fight for talent is still firmly underway, and employers need to meet candidates half-way to attract the best talent. That means offering sustainable benefits like increased annual leave and flexible working arrangements alongside increases in pay.”

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HR profession becoming a priority for recruitment 

Recent research from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has found that HR vacancies are likely to be up by 13.5% on 2021. The HR profession is becoming a priority area for businesses to recruit for.

According to the data provided by business intelligence specialist, Vacancysoft, internal recruiters are the most wanted specialists. Thirty-five percent of all HR vacancies this year have been for internal recruiters. Training/learning is sitting at 14% of total vacancies.

The specialism which is growing both in volume and share is HR generalists, at an increase of 64% as the monthly average between last year and this. The total share rose from 13% to 14.3%.

In terms of the sectors recruiting for HR, technology has had 3,994 vacancies so far, with 17.5% of the total number of HR jobs. Second on the list is Retail, with 3,833 roles so far (16.8%). Despite the importance of Banking to the UK economy, it is only responsible for 7% of HR vacancies in the HR sector. This is possibly linked to the cost-of-living crisis and the inevitable impact on the UK economy.

When looking at the different regions, London dominates with 8,995 vacancies this year, accounting for 39.6% of the total HR vacancies posted. The South East follows with  2,637 vacancies, accounting for 11.6% of HR vacancies.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, comments: “As the UK’s economic pressures mount, a decline in vacancies is to be expected. However, since the UK remains in the grips of a skills shortage, hiring teams and recruitment professionals alike will continue to be in high demand. While HR will have a key part to play in narrowing the skills gap, we will also need to call on the country’s policymakers to implement an internationally viable approach to boosting the UK’s access to skills, alongside building a more attractive entry route into the country for highly skilled self-employed professionals.”

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60% of companies said they need more employees to manage their workload

According to poll data released by Express Employment Professionals, companies are becoming more hesitant to hire amid worries about a possible recession and other concerns.

Nancy Reed, an Express franchise owner in Texas said: “In our market, the big fear is a recession. Businesses aren’t confident in the future, and recession talk has employers waiting to see what will happen next.”

According to Reed, employers have been tolerating more absenteeism, tardiness and less experience, but that is changing.

“Now, they are holding off to see what happens,” she continued. “Managers will hire that skilled employee who is ready to come back but are holding off hiring any extra help until they see what will happen with the recession.”

Businesses aren’t panicking yet, but there are signs of cautious hiring, said Chris Cary, an Express franchise owner in Virginia.

Cary said: “In one of our markets, we are not seeing this rear its head dramatically at the moment, but in speaking with business owners and leaders, there is a sense of what is around the next corner with inflation and chatter of a recession.”

According to a poll by Express Employment Professionals that took place in May, 60% of companies said they need more employees to manage their workload but don’t have the capacity to hire them. Of those who lacked the bandwidth to hire additional employees, 48% reported it’s because their company is adjusting its recruiting/hiring strategy. In addition, 42% said their company is waiting to see if the workload will level out before hiring additional employees.

Other concerns: 32% said upper management has not approved hiring of additional staff, and 32% do not have enough money in the budget this year to hire additional staff.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Express Employment Professionals by The Harris Poll and took place between May 3 and May 23. It included 1,003 US hiring decision-makers.

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The programme provides a full-time curriculum to train participants in a bid to stave off skills gaps 

SAP SE announced the launch of its Partner Talent Initiative. The initiative aims to identify and train new and existing talent in the SAP Partner Ecosystem in order to support increasing demand within the IT channel for skilled certified professionals.

Participants who complete the programme will graduate with three SAP certifications before re-entering the partner ecosystem as graduates who are ready for employment. The programme provides full-time curriculum designed to certify IT professionals in crucial and high demand areas including  RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud as well as an introduction to SAP S/4HANA Financial Accounting.

Two cohorts have already started the programme and following successful completion, graduates will begin a three-month intensive training program that will equip them with the professional and personal skills needed to become an SAP consultant.

SAP’s partners are in demand as the SAP EMEA North cloud services market is growing at CAGR of 16% which has resulted in a digital skills gap. The new programme is open to both recent graduates and those working in complimentary industries and will help address existing gaps in talent by equipping graduates with the skills and qualifications that they need to find employment in the partner community.

Participants will receive ongoing support and continuous feedback from delegates, instructors and the wider partner team throughout the training period and will also have an executive welcome and kick-off event upon joining. Participants will be given the option of attending a physical graduation ceremony upon completion.

SAP also announced that a business development fund (BDF) incentive to partners who recruit, train and certify new consultants under the Drive2Deliver partner capacity initiative.

The Partner Talent Initiative also includes:

  • Access to enablement content for members of SAP partner ecosystem
  • First-hand practice on live SAP software training systems
  • Expert-led and peer-to-peer learning environments
  • Opportunities to obtain SAP Global Certification digital badges and stay current with ongoing technology advances

Celine Cazali, chief partner officer, SAP UK & Ireland, made comment: “By launching the Partner Talent Initiative, graduates of the program will learn invaluable skills, helping customers and partners successfully become Intelligent Enterprises and provide high-quality services. Through a rigorous curriculum, combined with continuous feedback and support, our programme will equip the next generation of consultants with the mindset, skills and ambition needed to succeed in the channel and beyond.”

Paul Cooper, chairman, UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), also commented: “We welcome the creation of the Partner Talent Initiative as it will help address a potential skills gap in the future. Our most recent member research highlighted that many organisations are concerned a lack of available skills will impact the speed their organisation moves to SAP S/4HANA. A thriving partner ecosystem with more certified talent will be essential in supporting customers’ SAP S/4HANA journeys and developing the next-generation workforce.”

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Funding also channelled to skills development to counter skills shortage

According to new data, 54% of start-up businesses that have secured PE or VC funding in the last year invested capital in recruitment. This is up from 37% of start-ups that received funding before the pandemic.

According to Robert Half’s Demand for Tech Talent report, the focus on recruitment is a response to the current tight hiring market, with its challenges of securing top talent.

The research showed that businesses that have recently completed a funding round are looking to hire 206  new staff on average. This is why these start-ups allocate almost a quarter of their funding to hiring tech talent. This number is up from the pre-pandemic average of 18%.

To counter the skills shortage, many start-ups are also looking at upskilling existing employees to fill gaps. Fifty percent of tech leaders stated that their business spent at least some capital from a recent funding round on upskilling and training to ensure that talent shortages don’t stop them from achieving their goals.

The research went on to show that businesses that received funding in the past 12 months are more likely to invest in people than in mergers & acquisitions.

With scale, the priorities of small start-ups shift to hiring talent for business intelligence, leadership, and dev-ops roles. These help the new businesses find direction, develop a strategic growth plan, and ensure that their products are ready to handle rapid growth.

Larger enterprises with recent funding tend to focus on data management – which is essential for handling customer demand and protecting brand reputation. Large organisations focus their hires on information security (46%), cloud and infrastructure (44%), and business intelligence (43%) roles.

Robert Half’s updated 2022 Salary Guide showed that with the demand for business intelligence and data analytics roles, starting salaries in this area are currently the fastest growing in tech. Salaries have increased by 7.7 % over the past six months.

Craig Freedberg, Regional Director – Technology, at Robert Half, said: “Increasing headcount is crucial to being able to scale a business, but with start-ups looking to make mass hires after a funding round, adding to the existing demand in the market, it is becoming harder to secure skilled talent. Supply simply cannot keep up with demand, which is why businesses are investing more to find candidates and compete on salaries.”

“We work with businesses of all shapes and sizes, and their hiring priorities vary dramatically based on their ambitions for the future. While business intelligence and data roles are critical for identifying opportunities and threats wherever an organisation is on its journey, the demand for all tech roles is intense in today’s market.

“Everyone is playing the same game, and tech leaders need to think carefully about their strategy to ensure they have a competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and retaining great talent.”

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61% don’t believe they have the skills to enter most sought after industries

After five years of falling outside the top three, engineering is now at the top of the list of most desirable sectors to work, overtaking IT & Communications (ITC), which held the top spot for the previous four years. Sixty percent of respondents, a 10% increase from 2021, said they were willing to work in the Engineering sector.

According to the new research from Randstad, surveying  163,000 working-age people, ITC has fallen to third place at 58%. The study also revealed that 70% of workers are open to job opportunities. Forty-eight percent are willing to quit their jobs if the work stops them from enjoying their lives. A further 34%  admitted to leaving a role because it didn’t fit within their personal life.

Second on the list of attractive sectors is the Automotive industry at 59%. In fourth place is the Agriculture sector at 57%, followed by the FMCG sector at 55%.

The study also found that different regions in the world have different views as to what the most attractive sectors are. For example, European respondents ranked the Automotive sector as number one (46%), followed by Life Sciences (44%) and Industrial (44%).

The Automotive sector was also in the top position (73%) in Latin America, followed by Industrial (68%) and FMCG (68%).

According to the study, even though workers are attracted to certain industries, 61% feel they don’t have the skills required to enter the industry. Sixty-five percent believe they lack the skills to work in the engineering industry. Some industries are even higher, such as the chemical sector, at 72%, and the construction sector at 69%.

On the other hand, 46% believe that the skills to work in the retail industry, and 43% believe they have the skills for the hospital industry. A further 42%  believed they had the required skills for the ITC sector. In addition, the research indicated that more white-collar workers (41%) feel that they have the skills to work in any sector, whereas only 34% of blue-collar workers feel this way.

The research also showed that 76% of employees agree that being offered the chance to reskill, while only 61% feel that their employers offer these opportunities.

Joanna Irwin, Randstad CMO, commented: “This year’s Randstad Employer Brand Research signals that the tides are changing in terms of which sectors are seen as the most attractive for employees. Increasingly, talent wants to work in sectors that make an impact in both the physical and digital world.

There’s still a job to do for employers in these sought-after industries to ensure that they are removing the barriers to entry for willing talent. Offering reskilling and upskilling programs can help employers stand out from the crowd and attract workers.”

No matter which sector is considered to be the most attractive, employers must offer compelling employee value propositions to ensure that they attract the best talent.

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Economic activity decreases again

According to the latest Labour Force Survey (LFS) from the ONS, its estimated that for the period of January to March 2022 there was a decrease in the unemployment rate, while the employment and inactivity rates increased.

Even though the market is contracting, the employment rate increased by 0.1 percentage points on the quarter to 75.7%, however this is still below pre-pandemic levels. According to figures, the increase in the employment rate was driven by the movement of people aged 16 to 64 years from unemployment to employment. However, there was also a record-high movement of people from economic inactivity into employment with total job-to-job moves also increasing to a record high of 994,000, driven by resignations rather than dismissals, during the January to March 2022 period – the Great Resignation continues…

The estimated number of payrolled employees for April 2022 shows a monthly increase, up 121,000 on the revised March 2022, to a record 29.5 million.

The unemployment rate for January to March 2022 decreased by 0.3 percentage points on the quarter to 3.7% and for the first time since records began, there are fewer unemployed people than job vacancies.

Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo commented on the skills shortages: “The skills shortages in the UK are reaching concerning levels and this latest data shows the scale of the pressure on employers and the staffing sector as demand continues to outstrip supply. We’ve seen some encouraging signs from the Government, including the highly skilled immigration visa which was announced by the Chancellor earlier this year.

“However, we are concerned that the absence of the Employment Bill in the Queen’s Speech is an indication that the immediate skills crisis has slipped off the priority list for the Government. At a time when the job market is growing at unprecedented rates and competition is rife, more appropriate regulation is needed for the modern labour market.”

Economic activity 

The economic inactivity rate increased by 0.1 percentage points to 21.4% in January to March 2022 and this recent inactivity is believed to be driven by those aged 50 to 64 years.

The number of job vacancies in February to April 2022 rose to a new record of 1,295,000. However, the rate of growth in vacancies continued to slow down.

Kate Meadowcroft, Employment Partner at legal business, DWF, commented on the UK Labour Market figures regarding increased pay: “Undoubtedly the cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation will have a knock on effect on the labour market.  ONS figures have previously shown that although wages have risen, once you consider inflation pay is actually falling. Employees will be seeking out the most attractive rewards packages in order to combat the financial repercussions of the turbulent economy.

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Over-specialization adding to skills shortage
Finding, attracting, hiring, and retaining top talent in technology continues to be a challenge as we enter the new year.  The resultant trends post pandemic that have enabled the necessity of a wide-spread workforce have become a Pandora’s Boz that will likely stay open forever.

Recruiting top professionals in technology is one area that has long been in flux. According to Ryan Kellner, Head of Data Science for Hudson Gate Partners, adjusting to talent needs in the sector should be nothing new.  He believes that, like in each year, there are some very specific trends that have come to light as well as some challenges that continue to be seen.  Mr Keller said, in reading the tea leaves of the technology world, that one thing is certain, and the recruitment industry must pay heed, and that is: many people are never returning to the office full time again.

“Growing up in Indianapolis in the 80s and 90s, all the tech firms were downtown, and everyone lived in the suburbs and made the commute back and forth every day,” said Mr Kellner. “Then some companies got wise and said, ‘We can get better talent by building our headquarters in the suburbs because we will get the talent that doesn’t want the long commute!’ They were right. All the good developers flocked to solid companies that were a five- to 10-minute drive from where they lived. They could get their kids out to the bus, participate in after-school programs, and everyone’s work/life balance got a bit easier.”

This same thinking is where we are at now post-COVID, he said. “The factor that seemingly dictates my response rate to recruiting calls and emails the most these days is not the company, it’s not the salary, it’s not the perks. It is whether the job is fully remote or not,” he said.

What you’re up against 

According to Mr Kellner, the job market is so hot these days for good people in tech that candidates seem to be looking for reasons not to continue with the interview process. “I was recently working with a strong developer with an MS in computer science and five years in financial software development who was interviewing with some of my clients,” he said. “I asked him where else he was actively interviewing and he listed every FANG company, Tesla, Robinhood, etc. If you want to hire some good developers in 2022, this is what you’re up against.”

To hire top talent, employers need a plan on how they are going to make that person pick their company over the current batch of trendy tech companies. “If you aren’t selling why your company is great in the first interview, it’s not happening,” said Mr Kellner.

Once again, this highlights the importance of the employer brand and is a trend to watch in 2022.

Double-edged sword for recruiting

Mr Kellner reported another noticeable trend of the last two years and that is those with traditional software engineering backgrounds increasingly wanting to specialize into fields like data science, machine learning, AI, blockchain etc. Keller believes that this variety of specialization options is a double-edged sword for recruiting because while it’s creating a great number of hyper-specialized individuals, it’s also draining the core demographic of pure software developers.

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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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Hiring teams find better ways to keep candidates engaged 

JobAdder, the global recruitment software provider has released a new integration with LinkedIn Recruiter System Connect (RSC) to improve hiring workflows, time to hire and the candidate experience – at a time when the war of talent is raging.  

The integration provides a seamless process for recruiters and candidates that connects users to the RSC platform and JobAdder without switching platforms.  

This functionality adds to JobAdder’s offering. It allows recruiters to find quality candidates quickly, know instantly which candidates from LinkedIn are already in their JobAdder account and engaged with, see all In Mail messages from both platforms in one place and cross-reference data from both sources. 

Rob Brodie, Head of Corporate Sales at JobAdder believes this new integration will speed up hiring processes at a crucial time for employers. He said: “With skills shortages rife, hiring managers need real time information quickly in order to fill resourcing needs and keep applicants engaged. The challenge for many is that information is often hosted in numerous locations – with communication going out via emails, LinkedIn, company applicant tracking systems and much more. By integrating LinkedIn RSC, we can help save recruiters time in shortlisting candidates, aid the nurturing of a database of high-quality candidates, maximise efficiency across hiring processes and enable hiring teams to continue using the tools they already value, all in one place. This not only improves efficiencies for employers, but also enables hirers to get to the best talent quickly – a critical benefit given the limited availability of top skills at the moment.” 

Adam Gregory, Senior Director, Talent and Learning Solutions at LinkedIn said: “We are delighted with the JobAdder integration into LinkedIn Recruiter. Businesses are looking to fill roles as quickly and effectively as possible, and this integration provides recruiters better visibility across the entire candidate process in a single view and can reduce placement time.” 

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