Tag: Hiring

Separations decline as demand for workers remains robust

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, seasonally adjusted data released today reveals that job openings in April surpassed those in March, reaching their peak since January. Conversely, separations, including both quits and layoffs, decreased in April compared to March and reached their lowest levels since 2021.

ABC News reported that the unexpected surge in job openings highlights the robustness of the US labor market. Nick Bunker, research director at the Indeed Hiring Lab, stated, “Demand for workers remains strong, and the labor market continues to perform well.”

In April, the US witnessed a total of 10.1 million job openings, reflecting an increase of 358,000 positions from March. However, when compared to the same month last year, there were 1.65 million fewer job openings.

The sectors experiencing growth in job openings were retail trade, healthcare and social assistance, as well as transportation, warehousing, and utilities.

Total separations declined by 4.8% in April compared to March, with a year-over-year decrease of 7.6%. These figures marked the lowest level since May 2021. Separations encompass both voluntary resignations (quits) and layoffs or discharges.

In April, quits amounted to nearly 3.8 million, representing the lowest level since March 2021. This indicated a decrease of 49,000 from the previous month and 704,000 from the previous year.

Meanwhile, layoffs and discharges in April totaled 1.58 million, indicating a decline of 264,000 from March. However, the number of layoffs and discharges increased by 239,000 compared to the previous year.

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Education and healthcare industries make the top five

According to a report by The Business Standard, the staffing industry in India is experiencing significant demand for fresh graduates. Data from foundit, a company formerly known as Monster India, reveals that the staffing industry currently represents 22% of the overall demand for fresh graduates with less than two years of work experience. Following closely behind are the IT software and software services sector, accounting for 19%, and the business process outsourcing sector, accounting for 10%. The education and healthcare industries also make the top five list, with market shares of 5% and 4% respectively.

Foundit also highlights Bengaluru as the city with the highest demand for freshers, holding a substantial market share of 12.4%. Bengaluru also offers the most competitive salaries for fresh graduates. Interestingly, recent trends indicate a growing preference for in-office work. As of May, a significant majority of job postings (92%) across various industries were for in-office roles, with 4.2% of job postings for hybrid models and 3.8% for work-from-home roles. This suggests a shift away from remote work arrangements among companies.

It is important to note that the staffing industry has emerged as the top sector for fresh graduates in India, as per the latest data. Bengaluru stands out as the city with the highest demand and best remuneration opportunities for newcomers. Additionally, the prevailing preference for in-office roles among employers reflects a noticeable shift from remote work practices.

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Online recruitment in India faces decline and uncertainty

According to the latest findings from foundit Insights Tracker, online recruitment in India experienced a 6% decrease in hiring activity during April 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

The Tracker’s analysis highlighted the volatile nature of India’s job market, attributed to economic uncertainty and the ongoing appraisal season when companies conduct performance evaluations. In April 2023, the Tracker index declined from 295 to 276, indicating a month-on-month drop of 4%.

The report further indicated that e-recruitment is currently facing a delicate situation. Among the 27 industries monitored by the Tracker, six witnessed improvements in online hiring over the year. Notably, the Retail industry saw the highest growth rate at 22%, closely followed by the Tourism sector at 19%. Conversely, the IT-Hardware and Software industry experienced a decline of 22% compared to the previous year.

In terms of job functions, out of the 12 functions monitored, only one function observed growth over the year. The Sales and BD (business development) function reported a 2% increase, while the HR and Admin function remained stagnant with 0% growth. The Customer Service function encountered the most significant decline at 28%.

Among the 13 cities monitored, online recruitment surpassed the levels of the previous year in only two cities. Ahmedabad reported a modest increase of 3% compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, start-up jobs displayed a notable growth rate of 19% when compared to the previous year.

Considering the experience level of jobseekers, entry-level positions with 0-3 years of experience witnessed a 9% decrease in demand. Intermediate roles with 4-6 years of experience experienced a decline of 20% in hiring. Mid-senior level positions with 7-10 years of experience reached an all-time low in hiring, recording a decrease of 25%. Senior level roles requiring 11-15 years of experience had a more moderate decline of 15%. Leadership roles with 16+ years of experience saw the most significant drop of 34% compared to the previous year.

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Online job vacancies continue to decline

The ONS has released its latest labour market report and it’s revealed that UK employment figures rose to 75.9% in January to March 2023, which is an increase of 0.2% from October to December 2022. This growth was primarily driven by part-time employees and self-employed individuals.

However, the more recent estimate for April 2023 shows a monthly decline in payrolled employees, dropping by 136,000 to reach 29.8 million, compared to the revised March 2023 figures. This marks the first decrease in total payrolled employees since February 2021, but it should be noted that this estimate is provisional and subject to revision when more data becomes available next month.

The unemployment rate for January to March 2023 increased by 0.1% from the previous quarter, reaching 3.9%. The rise in unemployment was largely influenced by individuals who had been jobless for over 12 months.

On the other hand, the economic inactivity rate declined by 0.4% in the same period, down to 21% in January to March 2023. This decrease in economic inactivity was mainly driven by individuals aged 16 to 24 years. Among the reasons for economic inactivity, the decline was primarily attributed to students or those inactive due to other reasons, while the number of individuals inactive due to long-term sickness reached a record high. According to Parliament UK, this figure has reached an alarming 2.5m.

Analysis of flows between October to December 2022 and January to March 2023 reveals a record high net flow of individuals transitioning from economic inactivity to employment. This shift was responsible for the increase in employment.

Between February and April 2023, the estimated number of job vacancies declined by 55,000 from the previous quarter, amounting to 1,083,000 vacancies. This marks the 10th consecutive quarterly decrease in vacancies, reflecting industry uncertainties as survey respondents cite economic pressures hindering recruitment.

In January to March 2023, average total pay growth, including bonuses, was 5.8%, while regular pay growth, excluding bonuses, stood at 6.7% for employees. The private sector experienced a higher average regular pay growth rate of 7%, compared to the public sector’s 5.6% in the same period. The public sector’s growth rate exceeded the private sector’s for the first time since August to October 2003 (5.7%).

Adjusted for inflation, both total pay and regular pay experienced a decline in real terms in January to March 2023. Total pay fell by 3%, while regular pay decreased by 2%.

Labour disputes resulted in 556,000 working days lost in March 2023, an increase from 332,000 in February 2023.

The report indicates that unemployment is still a concern, which remains above pre-pandemic levels largely because of those who have been out of work for over a year.

Dr Lindsey Zuloaga, Chief Data Scientist at HireVue (used by Aldi, M&S and Unilever) believes one of the main reasons for persisting unemployment is outdated practices in the hiring process that omit certain individuals from landing a job, resulting in long-term unemployment.

Lindsey commented: The unemployment rate in the UK has increased by 0.1% to 3.9%. There are now even more people out of work than before pre-pandemic employment levels. As it’s clear to every business, something is wrong either with the hiring process or with accessibility to jobs, as the number of jobseekers remains excessive, even though we are at a historically high vacancy rate. The question is: why are job seekers not attaining jobs while millions of roles sit empty? Our overattachment to the outdated CV, which is a mere indicator of employment history and not of skills or abilities, could be at the heart of these rising unemployment rates”.

Steve Sully, Regional Director, Finance & Accounting, at Robert Half also made comment: “While there may be a fall noted in jobs in the UK, the uptick in the number of people in self-employment is indicative of a continued growth in demand for highly skilled professionals in particular.

Candidate confidence and a need for better take home pay. Despite an overall growth in average pay noted by the ONS, the data does show that when adjusted for inflation, remuneration actually fell 3% for total pay year-on-year for Q1 of this year. With the cost-of-living crisis continuing to impact households across the country, this drop in pay could be driving more people into self-employment and contract work which can often be more lucrative for highly skilled professionals.”

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Anthony A. Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer at HireVue spoke exclusively to TALiNT International

HireVue, the video interviewing, assessments, and text-enabled recruiting solutions, announced it has acquired Modern Hire, the intelligent hiring platform. Modern Hire will become part of the HireVue family of solutions with immediate effect.

The acquisition of Modern Hire will provide organisations with an easier way to realise the full benefits of the most comprehensive and innovative platform for assessment, interviewing and end-to-end hiring automation. Solidifying HireVue’s position as the industry leader in modern hiring solutions powered by ethical AI, this will accelerate HireVue’s ability to help all organisations identify employee and candidate potential beyond resumes.

Anthony A. Reynolds, Chief Executive Officer at HireVue spoke exclusively to TALiNT International. He said: “The ethical use of artificial intelligence is changing hiring for the better, and HireVue’s acquisition of Modern Hire is the next evolution in just how great these tools can be for both clients and their candidates. HireVue and Modern Hire have both made significant investments in scientific research and have a history of pushing the HR technology industry toward greater transparency and a higher set of AI ethics.”

Modern Hire, a marketplace innovator with its Virtual Job Tryout® role-based assessments and advanced selection science is committed to creating new and practical ways of measuring and understanding human performance. With offices in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific, Modern Hire’s customers include FedEx, Charter Communications, Humana and Delta Airlines. Broadening HireVue’s product family to provide solutions for organisations at any stage in the skills based hiring journey, the company will now serve over 1,150 customers around the globe and over half of the Fortune 100.

Karin Borchert, Modern Hire CEO also commented: “Together our global scale, commitment to customer success, unmatched technology and talented teams provide a tremendous opportunity to rapidly expand hiring solutions for customers and their candidates alike.”

With Modern Hire, HireVue will increase its expertise and scale to empower organisations worldwide with the goal of building top-performing teams by matching potential to opportunity with a faster and fairer hiring process. HireVue’s prides itself in its commitment to prioritising people and skills grows further and with this acquisition, they will ensure candidates develop and unlock their potential now and throughout their career journey.

HireVue intends to quickly accelerate the growth of both companies’ technology to create innovative solutions that allow organisations to understand and activate a candidate’s potential beyond just their background and experience.

Anthony made further comment: “Together we’re going to redefine what transformative talent experiences look like, and it starts with enabling more businesses to use AI where it’s best suited:

  • AI automates mundane tasks and gives talent leaders back precious time to focus on relationship building while giving candidates greater flexibility around when to interview and how they receive feedback
  • It also raises the bar on fairness, with auditable and explainable tools that are easier to hold to account than black box human decision making.

We’re at an inflection point in the global workforce – demographics are shifting, consumer demands are permanently altered, and skills shortages persist. It’s against all of these trends that hiring teams desperately need to find people who are qualified to fill open roles. It’s going to take every tool in the recruiter and hiring manager’s toolbox to thrive, and companies that give their skilled team members AI-driven tools will win the competition for top talent.”

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30% of non-customer-facing roles could be automated

A news story featured on Bloomberg News has reported that IBM’s CEO Arvind Krishna has said that the firm expects to pause hiring for new roles, alongside plans to replace roughly 7,800 jobs with AI systems.

Hiring specifically for back-office functions such as HR will be suspended or slowed, Krishna said, adding that 30% of non-customer-facing roles could be replaced by AI and automations in five years.

“I could easily see 30% of that getting replaced by AI and automation over a five-year period”, Krishna was quoted as saying in the publication.

Employees concerned about losing their jobs to AI

The leap forward in AI technology has for months been the subject of divisive discussion among professionals.

As reported in TALiNT International last week, tools such as ChatGPT are pushing the boundaries of technology’s place in society, and the ramifications for the future of human-centric jobs remains largely unknown – this could largely affect the HR industry. While experts have insisted that such tools are there to assist humans, not replace them, it seems that a huge portion of the workforce simply don’t believe this to be true.

In fact, a massive 42% of professionals believe that AI will replace jobs in their area of work, according to data from AtlasVPN.

It’s true that AI tools already help automate tasks, collect and analyse data, create graphic designs, or handle basic customer queries, yet many fear that the ability to scour masses of data at lightning speed and process it into reports or event copy will effectively make humans redundant.

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Survey shows optimism among HR professionals

A recent survey conducted by The Conference Board found that 65% of chief HR officers believe that artificial intelligence (AI) will be beneficial to human resources (HR) professionals in the next two years rather than being harmful to their jobs. The survey also revealed that 51% of CHROs plan to increase hiring in the next six months, up from 42% in the previous survey for the first quarter. However, in the current slower-growth environment, other measures are being taken such as eliminating non-business-critical travel (42%), freezing hiring for non-critical positions (36%), reducing or delaying employee development opportunities (22%), and conducting layoffs (15%).

Rebecca Ray, Executive VP of Human Capital at The Conference Board, stated that the challenge of hiring workers has become even more difficult in recent years due to acute labor shortages. Therefore, despite the weakening economic environment, CHROs are hesitant to resort to layoffs and are instead focusing on shorter-term actions to address the economic downturn. The Conference Board CHRO Confidence Index for the second quarter reached a level of 58, indicating more positive than negative responses, up from the first quarter’s index reading of 57. The survey was conducted from April 3 to April 17 and had 130 chief human resource officers participating.

Separately, the CEO of IBM announced plans to replace 7,800 jobs with AI over the next five years, with HR department functions such as employee verification or moving employees from one department to another being likely tasks to be taken over by AI.

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The impact of AI on hiring and employment practices

The increasing use of generative AI tools, hiring algorithms, and productivity tracking software, among other AI applications, is transforming the employment landscape and creating new challenges for HR teams. Federal, state, and local regulators are struggling to keep pace with the rapid growth of AI, particularly in relation to its use in hiring decisions. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has expressed concerns about the potential for discrimination arising from the use of AI in recruitment. In response, New York City has enacted some of the most restrictive AI-in-hiring laws in the country, requiring local employers to audit and notify job candidates about the use of automated employment decision tools.

According to a survey by Pew, many job seekers are wary of employers that use AI to assist with hiring decisions, with two-thirds of respondents saying they would not apply for such positions. The reasons cited included concerns about the need for specific keywords on applications and the inability of AI to capture nonverbal information from candidates. However, among the remaining respondents, some felt that AI could be less prejudiced and more objective than human recruiters.

Pew’s survey also found that respondent sentiment about AI varied based on factors such as income level, gender, race, and ethnicity. Higher-income respondents were more likely to favor the use of AI in reviewing applications, while men were more likely than women to see both benefits and downsides to AI usage in the workplace. White and Asian adults were also more likely to see potential downsides for AI used to monitor workers.

Employers must carefully consider whether and how to integrate AI into their processes. Some experts suggest that employers should allow employee needs to drive the use of AI and automation in the workplace. However, a survey of information technology managers and workers found that most respondents had witnessed negative impacts from employers using surveillance technology. As public opinion about AI in the workplace continues to evolve, many people remain unsure of their positions on the issue.

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ManpowerGroup Q1 revenue falls, outplacement activity increases

ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN) has released their Q1 earnings report, revealing a 2.2% decline in revenue in constant currency or 7.6% on a reported basis, totaling $4.75 billion. The decline in revenue was attributed to a challenging operating environment in the US and Europe, despite labor markets remaining strong. Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising noted that employers are being more selective with new hires and focused on retaining their existing staff. ManpowerGroup will continue to adjust their cost base in areas where demand has decreased.

The company’s gross margin improved due to strong pricing discipline and increased outplacement activity in their Right Management business line. In terms of revenue by region, US revenue fell 13.4%, while revenue across Europe fell on a constant currency basis with the exception of France where it rose 2.5%. Revenue in the Asia Pacific Middle East operations increased by 7.3% in constant currency.

Looking at earnings by business line, the Talent Solutions segment, which includes ManpowerGroup’s Right Management and outplacement operations, fell 1% year over year on an organic, constant currency basis but was up 1% on a reported basis. The Manpower and Experis operations saw declines in revenue of 1% and 5%, respectively.

For Q2, ManpowerGroup forecasts a total revenue decline between 2% and 6%, with a decline of 8% to 12% in Americas revenue and declines ranging from 3% to 8% in Europe. Asia Pacific Middle East revenue is expected to be flat to up 4%. The company expects a gross profit margin between 17.9% and 18.1%.

ManpowerGroup’s shares were down 5.92% to $74.80 and the company’s market cap was $4.04 billion, according to FT.com.

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Overall unemployment rate falls to 2.1%

According to research conducted by Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower, the labour market improved in 2022 as compared to 2021. The unemployment rate declined, with the overall rate dropping from 2.7% in 2021 to 2.1% in 2022. The resident unemployment rate also fell from 3.5% to 2.9%, and the citizen unemployment rate decreased from 3.7% to 3.0%. These rates were all below pre-pandemic levels.

Total employment witnessed a significant increase of 227,800 in 2022, a record high that brought the total employment level 2.9% above the pre-pandemic 2019 level. Resident employment saw steady growth, with an increase of 26,300 in 2022, primarily in sectors like financial services and information & communications. By December 2022, the resident employment level had exceeded 2019’s level by 4.8%.

Non-resident (foreign) employment was responsible for the majority of the increase in total employment (201,600), with Work Permit Holders (WP+) hiring in sectors such as construction and manufacturing. This increase was primarily due to the significant relaxation of border controls in April 2022, allowing employers to fill positions left vacant during the pandemic.

Despite an increase in the last two quarters of 2022, the total number of layoffs for the year (6,440) was lower than pre-pandemic levels, with business reorganisation/restructuring being the primary reason for layoffs. The percentage of dismissed residents who found employment six months after being laid off increased to 73.1% in Q4 2022, the highest since Q2 2015 (73.6%).

However, the Ministry warns that global economic headwinds and slower growth may impact labour demand going forward, and employment growth is likely to ease from the increase in 2022 and be uneven across sectors. Nonetheless, hiring sentiments remain positive, according to December 2022 data.

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