Employers intend to invest in their teams

Two separate surveys highlight employers’ plans to invest in their teams; regardless of their economic expectations…

Survey 1: employers set to invest in new employees

Source: REC

Our first survey actually comes from our accrediting body, the REC. Confidence in the UK economy appears ‘negative’ for its fourth consecutive month. In figure terms, this equates to a survey score of -14.

However, despite this, hiring and investment plans remain positive and have even increased by a percentage point over the past month. Taking this particular score to +16.

  • 48% of businesses looking to hire permanent employees are worried that there will not be enough candidates available (+6%).
  • Likewise, 53% of those hoping to grow their temporary headcount are concerned about sourcing enough skilled staff.
  • The marketing, media and creative sectors are among the most affected by the skills shortage.
  • Overall, the number of companies planning to recruit agency staff within a short-term time frame has increased by 3% since October (to a total score of +19).

Neil Carberry of the REC suggests Brits are displaying their ‘pragmatic best’ in spite of their wider economic concerns – and are set to ‘invest in their own businesses to meet demand’.

These attitudes clearly reflect those of other sources, as recently discussed.

Survey 2: employers will continue to invest in staff benefits

Source: The CIPD via People Management

Looking to the next two years, most businesses (97%) additionally intend to either maintain or increase their employee benefits schemes.

  • 81% plan to spend the same amount.
  • 16% intend to increase their spend in this area.
  • Businesses predominantly wish to focus on professional development benefits (43%), including mentoring and secondments.
  • This is followed by health and wellbeing incentives, such as sick pay (29%).
  • 25% will mainly focus on financial schemes, including pensions and debt-related advice.

Once again, these figures are deemed promising when considering external economic factors.

Charles Cotton from the REC praises businesses for their efforts. He says ‘spending in these areas can help improve employee performance, and ultimately corporate performance.’

The two news items are extremely closely related, with benefits packages also providing valuable staff attraction tools.

Benefits also appeared in our last post, as we explored which Christmas gifts employees most hope to receive.

Looking to recruit permanent or temporary staff? Call the office on 01225 313130. Candidates can apply for new jobs via the website, or upload a CV as a general applicant



Measuring Job Quality

The first measure of Job Quality has officially been launched. What is it and what’s affecting job quality right now?

Who’s rating your Job Quality?

This measure comes from the CIPD in the form of a new annual survey. This means workers themselves will be rating their own job quality as well as its relative importance across a series of ‘seven dimensions’.

You may recall that the Taylor Review recommended such a measurement approach – and stated its importance across all job roles and arenas.

The results of the inaugural survey show:

  • Job satisfaction is relatively high at 64%. However, ‘low-level’ workers and middle managers are each facing high stress with poor support.
  • Furthermore, ‘low-skilled’ and casual workers are lacking development opportunities. 37% of this group has not received any training over the past year. What’s more, 43% say their ‘job did not give them opportunities to develop their skills’.
  • Middle managers are also experiencing the ill-effects of high stress. 35% report an excessively high workload, while 28% are facing mental health consequences.
  •  28% of middle management respondents are additionally struggling to maintain their personal commitments.

For further findings and the CIPD’s response, please refer to HR Magazine.

Thoughts from a recruitment agency…

It’s hard not to welcome any exploration of job satisfaction. This sits well with our recent report on the measurement of soft skills – something also proposed by the Taylor Review.

Both aspects are vital to the everyday functioning of our national workforce and place workers’ abilities and attitudes right at the heart of things.

The more that this is all discussed, the more employers will become aware of these topics. Hopefully leading to a happier and more productive workforce all-around!

What matters to you in your career or business needs? And what would you like to see more of on our news page? Tell us here.



Your smartphone, your health. What’s the connection?

Your smartphone, your health. How one global business expert draws the connection between the two.

Workers must “take better care of themselves than they do their smartphones” – Arianna Huffington. 

The name Huffington will ring a bell for many of you. Especially for anyone who has ever read a piece on the Huffington Post (now ‘Huff Post’) – which Arianna co-founded and previously ran as editor-in-chief. However, Huffington’s illustrious career and ‘work ethic’ truly caught up with her in 2007 when she collapsed in exhaustion, breaking her cheekbone in the fall.

Arianna is now a staunch wellness advocate and has already written a couple of books on the subject.

The smartphone + health connection…

The smartphone and health connection demonstrates how little attention many of us pay to our own wellbeing. Speaking to the HR Tech World convention, Huffington said:

“If I were to ask you how much battery your smartphone has, you would have some idea. “If my battery drops to around 13% I start looking for a recharging shrine. However, if you’d asked me the day I collapsed how much charge I had I would say I was fine. We’ve forgotten what fine is. We need people to take better care of themselves than they do their smartphones.”

Huffington later elaborates on this concept, reminding people of the need to take a tech break so as not to keep missing out on life’s finer details. It’s at this stage we should mention that she has also developed a notification-blocking app to help you achieve this!

Employees would perform better if they had more sleep

You need only open HRNews to find another article supporting these sentiments. It has been revealed that 74% of employees fail to sleep 8 hours a night.

Furthermore, respondents believe this is affecting their work, with 66% saying their performance would improve if they slept more. These findings were especially prevalent among workers aged 18 to 44 (reaching 73% for this age group).

Reassuringly, 74% of those surveyed do not blame their employers for their lack of sleep. Conversely, they say their management “does encourage them to take off when they need to take care of their health and wellness.”

So what steps should we be taking?

  • For employers: keep highlighting the need for your team to take time for themselves. There are so many resources out there to support your efforts, including the CIPD’s Well-being guide. Consider which new health initiatives you are in the position to introduce and remind your staff of what’s available to them. Finally –and perhaps most importantly!– make sure your actions match your intentions by managing overtime demands and minimising out-of-hours communications.
  • For employees: it’s time to take steps to reduce your load. Alongside reviewing tools such as those mentioned above, you can read our guide on reducing stress at work and/or check out our list of contacts and resources for anyone affected by mental health problems.
  • For job-seekers: the same advice applies. Frustrations with existing roles and/or concerns regarding your career path can further amplify your stress levels. Working closely with an experienced Recruitment Consultant can ease some of this burden. We’d also recommend reading ‘Your CV: and what to do before you write it‘ to remove some of the stress from the first stage of your job search.

[Quotes & stats: HR Magazine & HR News]