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



The job skills special

As ever, we’re keeping a close eye on the job skills news. It’s vital that everyone involved in the recruitment process (candidates, clients and consultants included!) remains aware of the nation’s changing skills needs. Information that becomes all the more vital as the UK skills shortage becomes all the more prolonged…

What exactly is the skills shortage?

Quite simply, it’s the shortfall of suitable applicants for the number of job vacancies that the nation has to fill. It’s an issue that we’ve been exploring for more than 18 months.

The latest job skills news reveals that…

  1. Most businesses (79%) plan to increase their higher-skilled roles within the coming years. However, the majority of employers (66%) worry that they will struggle to find suitably matched employees.
  2. A Barclays LifeSkills survey shows that almost 60% of UK adults ‘lack core transferable’ job skills, including leadership and creativity. Differences are reported among demographic groups.
  3. 2/5 of people are being recruited for roles before discovering they do not have the right ‘soft skills’ required. More than 1/2 of workers have left a role on realising their personality or work style does not suit the position.
  4. SMEs face the worst of the skills shortage, with underperforming recruits costing an annual average of £39,500.
  5. Even when sources disagree on job vacancy figures, they agree upon these ongoing recruitment issues!

What are the solutions?

According to the reports, changes must be made at a formal education level. All future workers should be equipped with adequate skills for the modern workplace.

Alongside this, employers need to provide continued training opportunities. Therefore enabling existing workers to upskill on the job; aiding staff retention and business growth.

Businesses must also review their recruitment approach to ensure…

  • They are managing to attract enough applicants.
  • Employers also know how to best identify suitable skill-sets.
  • The job offering is additionally appealing enough to compete with those of other (perhaps better known) organisations.
  • Decision-making processes are swift enough to retain interested applicants.
  • While ample onboarding is provided to welcome new staff members.
  • Plus the list really does go on..!

What should you do now?

  • Employers & employees: keep reading articles such as these! We regularly share posts discussing the most sought-after job skills – useful insights whether you’re the one looking to fill these or the businesses competing to attract them! Re-read our skills shortage advice post.
  • Especially for job-seekers: do all that you can to ensure that you’re searching for the right jobs for you and you’re doing everything possible to highlight your skills. Follow these tips as closely as you can.
  • Especially for businesses: start working through that bulleted list above! Your Recruitment Consultant is the perfect person to call on to support you with this. For tailored recruitment advice, please call the office on 01225 313130.


Generation Z makes the recruitment news…

Generation Z has made it into the recruitment and HR news no less than 3 times within a week. And these are only the articles that we’ve spotted. So why are they hitting the headlines right now?

Who is Generation Z?

Millennials, Baby Boomers, and now Generation Z. It can all get somewhat confusing! While specific birth date ranges can vary by source, ‘Generation Z’ (also known as ‘Gen Z’ or ‘post-millennials’) refers to those born somewhere between the mid-90s and early-2000s.

Now let’s look at the news stories in question…

1. The workplace benefits Gen Z is hoping for!

Source: HR News

This first post discusses research conducted by Perkbox, which finds some significant group differences…

  • Over 1/3 of Generation Z consider staff benefits to be ‘one of the most important deciding factors’ when it comes to their career decisions. Possibly making all the difference in whether or not to accept a job offer.
  • They are the most likely to prefer small, frequent, year-round perks in lieu of one large annual offering. Again, this accounts for more than 1/3 of those surveyed.

Simple employee benefits prove most desirable, including: 

  • 86%: enjoying birthdays as annual leave
  • 85%: a ready supply of free hot drinks
  • 83%: flexible working hours (do you remember, this was also the top-rated benefit for Millennials?)

2. How SMEs can attract Generation Z talent

Source: HR Review

Employers are encouraged to use this time to attract the best post-millennial talent or ‘risk missing out’. After all, over 1/3 of this generation intends to commence a new job role or career path within the year.

Additionally, it’s this very month that is singled out as the time that many of the latest graduates will use to start their search.

There are 3 core categories discussed as attraction and retention tools:

  1. Money saving tips: this isn’t something we’ve seen discussed anywhere else in recruitment and HR news, so we read it with interest. The feature explores how Gen Z has been faced with a unique set of financial circumstances, which have created an increasingly budget-conscious generation. To this end, SMEs are encouraged to find ways to promote money-saving offerings such as employee discounts or schemes. They additionally explore the idea of helping new and existing colleagues stay financially aware through reminders, such as using the benefits on offer, as they get closer to Christmas.
  2. Tapping into tech: this generation is incredibly tech-savvy and will connect well with ‘clear and punchy online portals’ as well as mobile-optimised platforms. The idea of motivational staff contests around active wearables (possibly even combined with a rewards scheme) is also discussed.
  3. Health-aware. Gen Z is considered a health-conscious group, with a deeper interest in the foods they consume than ever before. SMEs are encouraged to appeal to these interests by arranging expert speakers on nutrition and wellness, creating company sports days, and even offering workplace health checks. Mental health offerings should also be considered.

3. Generation Z may be missing out…

Source: HR News

In our third and final Gen Z piece, we return to HR News. This article also refers to Millennials, with new data suggesting…

  • 1/3 of these groups wish to work for an SME.
  • Only 18% hope to join a micro-business.
  • Currently, over 1/2 of these groups plan to join a large business or the public sector, with just under 1/2 hoping to work for a ‘global multinational’.

This contradicts previous research on Millennials, raising the question: is Generation Z accounting for a large proportion of these findings, or have perceptions shifted among Millennials?

Why are younger people wanting to work for big businesses?

  • 56% believe SMEs offer reduced job security.
  • 46% perceive they will receive a lower salary level from a smaller business.
  • 33% expect fewer career progression opportunities within SMEs.

And how might Generation Z and the Millennials actually miss out?

As the article states, the greatest majority of UK businesses are in fact SMEs. This is also reflected by the strength of our local business community. What’s more, 70% of UK SMEs are actively searching for new employees to fill ‘entry-level roles’.

All in all, these news items make for thought-provoking reading. We’d be fascinated to hear the insights of Generation Z employees and job-seekers themselves. Do you feel this data applies to you? Let us know via TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn!



Only for the money?

Do you only go to work for the money? UK workers are more motivated by pay rates than any other European country surveyed. What does this tell us about our culture of work; how could this affect your search for the perfect job or employee?

For the money: the research reveals…

  • For 62% of UK employees, pay is the primary driver to work.
  • This is the highest rate in Europe, where the average is just 49%.
  • UK workers are also the least likely to say they work because ‘they love what they do.’ (Accounting for 13%. This is half the number of respondents that proclaimed this in the Netherlands).
  • Additionally, UK employees remain the most likely to ‘feel like quitting’ their job, with almost 10% of those surveyed considering this ‘most days!’

What does this tell us about the UK work culture?

According to today’s source, HR Magazine, these stats reflect a low level of national employee engagement. Those most motivated by non-financial rewards consistently revealed greater ongoing engagement and job satisfaction.

Conversely, those driven to work for the ability to cover the costs of those things they want/need are actually likelier to experience frustration or disappointment on receipt of their pay.

There are some really interesting comments in the HR Magazine piece. It certainly provides food for thought, whether you’re a job-seeker or employer…

1) How this might affect your job search

If you truly want to find job satisfaction, it might be time to think beyond the money mindset. This is by no means to suggest you work for less than you deserve. Rather, you can really consider the ‘full package’ of a role.

What would it take for you to wake up and actually look forward to a Monday? What would inspire you to say ‘I love what I do’ and to get through a working week without considering moving on?!

This is such an individual consideration. It might include…

  • Entering a certain industry
  • Progressing to or taking on a particular role
  • Achieving your ideal work-life balance
  • Working with like-minded people
  • Being a part of a particular work culture/environment
  • Contributing to a greater purpose or joining a company with a shared ethos
  • Even just joining a business of a particular size or working closer to home

Naturally, these are just thinking points. You need to work out what really matters to you. Consider these factors as you peruse the latest vacancies and chat with your recruitment consultant.

To begin your job search, check out our current jobs listings and/or register your CV. We also have some excellent job hunting tips here.

2) How this might affect your search for a new employee

The savviest businesses can benefit from these insights. Firstly, understanding how many UK employees work for the money alone is an excellent driver to ensure you have a competitive salary offering. Perhaps you may also consider other financial incentives such as reward/bonus schemes.

However, you also want to be thinking beyond the money mindset! How can you communicate the additional benefits of working for your business?

Is there additional groundwork to do to ensure your team is actually on-board with a shared mission, that you have an enjoyable working environment, and that you demonstrate how much you value your staff?

Do you ask your team for (anonymous!) feedback on why they choose to work, what their experience of your company is, and what else would improve their workplace engagement, job satisfaction and similar?

Further reading:

For expert advice on attracting and recruiting the right team members for your needs, please call the office on 01225 313130.



Staff rewards: realistic ways to show thanks

You may remember that an increased focus on staff rewards appeared in our 2018 recruitment predictions – and it’s made the national news multiple times since!

We’ve already discussed how important it is for businesses to promote their work perk offering. The UK skills shortage certainly makes it all the more vital for employers to hone their staff attraction strategies.

In addition, we’ve compared the most sought-after (non-monetary!) benefits against those that employees are currently receiving.

Realistic staff rewards…

Well, today we’ll consider a number of realistic employee benefits that businesses might be overlooking. The rewards in question come from an HR Review article, featuring LondonOffices.com.

1) Increased annual leave

The article references the growing trend towards unlimited holiday offerings. (When we say growing, HR News recently reported on this and state that 9% of global businesses are using such an incentive. So, it’s right at the emerging sense of the word).

However, as they suggest, few SMEs will feel able to factor this into their benefits package. Yet they are far more likely to be able to offer an additional day or two of leave. Whether that’s as thanks for another year’s service, a well done for hitting a particular target, or appreciation of efforts made.

Let’s not forget that this perk also came number one on the most desired of all non-monetary benefits.

2) Healthcare packages

Private healthcare is a reassuring bonus for single workers and those with families alike. It is also said to benefit businesses, by helping to minimise absenteeism.

3) Fitness incentives

Our city’s offices aren’t all set up for on-site gyms (however lovely they may sound!), yet budgets can often extend to a monthly gym membership or similar. CIPHR has an excellent article on why this is so worthwhile for employers.

4) Free food!

This suggestion often crops up in the news, as we all appreciate the easy availability of some fresh food and drinks on a busy working day. There are a variety of companies that offer fresh fruit and snack boxes throughout the area… Google ‘Office fruit bowls Bath’ and you’ll soon see!

5) Flexible working opportunities

When we said increased annual leave came top of the work perk wish-list, the number one spot was also shared by sabbaticals and flexible working hours.

This is an element that is widely considered to enhance staff attraction and retention while increasing employee happiness.

6) Home working opportunities

The HR Review piece suggests this can help ‘break the monotony of the working week and increase levels of productivity‘. It can be healthy to get a change of scenery from time to time. Plus, this is about as realistic as staff rewards come, as it shouldn’t cost the company anything if work is still being completed.

7) Letting the weekend start early

Research suggests Friday afternoons are the least productive time of the working week, so it’s surely the best day to allow employees to finish work an hour or so sooner. If this wouldn’t work for all staff on a weekly basis, you could experiment with a fortnightly or monthly incentive. Or perhaps a rota for early finishes in micro businesses.

8) Team outings

Featured suggestions include regular staff drinks or meals or even trips further afield. Simply offering employees the chance to let their hair down and interact outside of the standard business setting.

9) Staff training 

We know ongoing training is imperative for the success of businesses as we look to the future world of work. Offering individual training budgets is also an excellent way to show appreciation for your staff – and express a continued interest in their personal development and future with your company. Tailoring training to individual needs takes this a big step further.



Report: 10 years of changing workplace trends

How workplace trends have changed, according to the findings of a 10-year study…

The purpose of this study is to explore how ‘Alternative Workplaces’ have influenced and impacted today’s businesses.

About ‘Alternative Workplaces’:

  • This label applies to any “non-traditional work practices, settings and locations that supplement or replace traditional offices.” For instance, the flexible working, remote working and shared office spaces that we’re all now familiar with.
  • This research commenced in 2008 when Alternative Workplaces (‘AW’) really were alternative.
  • The 2018 report marks the fifth biennial study of its type.
  • These latest findings come from 130 companies, employing in the region of 2.3 million employees worldwide.

Key workplace trends:

The primary motivations for implementing AW have changed dramatically over the past 10 years.

  • In 2011, soon after the recession, Cost Savings came joint top of the list alongside Business Agility (72% each). Cost Savings then plummeted by 34%, yet returned to second place in the latest survey (63%).
  • Employee Productivity is now in first place (64%).
  • The authors recognise that the core drivers tend to reflect the economic picture. In other words, today’s focus on staff depicts an improved economy and employment market.

Yet drivers also vary by the formality of the arrangement.

  • Businesses with formal AW programmes are vastly more likely to value Cost Savings (first place/76% versus 9th place/28% for informal programmes).
  • Also in the top five, businesses with formal programmes state that collaboration, attraction/retention, health/well-being and productivity are their most important motivations.
  • Conversely, productivity comes in first place for 86% of Informal AW programmes. This is followed by work-life balance, attraction/retention, agility, and health/wellbeing.
  • This reflects the tailoring of aims towards business goals as programmes mature and develop.

Internal mobility is on the increase!

  • The practice of ‘internal mobility’, where employees don’t have a designated seat yet rather work in and around a set building, has increased by 10% in four years, taking this up to 1 in 5 businesses.
  • External mobility (where the person doesn’t have a designated seat and also works on the road or spends 1-2 days each week working from home/client offices/satellite offices) has, however, reduced by almost the same amount in this period.
  • The number of people working from home 3 or more days a week has also reduced, although by just 3% (to a total of 6%).
  • Almost half of all employees still have their own designated workspace (48%).
  • It is suggested that businesses are making their workplaces more appealing. And, as the authors say, ‘people are happy to be mobile but they still want a place to call home.’

Employees may not be involved as much as they should be.

  • Respondents were asked how their employees were incorporated into planning, implementing and evaluating AW programmes. The results were as follows:
  • Ongoing evaluation, such as surveys (61%).
  • Choice of specific AW offerings, such as remote working (50%).
  • Planning the programme, including work styles and places (36%).
  • Choosing supportive technologies (22%).
  • The report states that the reduced involvement at the planning stage ‘could be a dangerous trend towards trying to shortcut the AW implementation process’. It’s recommended that involvement is increased via the use of champion groups (compiling feedback from others).

 Employees are no less productive! 

  • Previously, employers have worried that remote workers will not be as productive as in-house staff. However, this concern is now only shared by 5% of businesses.
  • That said, overworking has become the primary AW problem; an issue affecting 56% of respondents. Past surveys have also reflected this to a lesser degree, yet it may have been amplified by the increased ‘attention to people factors’.
  • Respondents are also increasingly struggling to obtain feedback from their managers. It is speculated that this may relate to the fact managers are also adopting AW ways!
  • The authors recommend that both managers and employees are, therefore, trained in how to work in AW settings. In addition, they say ‘stop worrying whether your remote employees are actually working. Like everyone else, they should be measured by results and outcomes’.

These are only some of the fascinating findings on how workplace trends have evolved over the past 10 years; as a result of the AW offerings at our disposal. You can download the full report via the Advanced Workplace Associates website.

7 of the latest features on shifting workplace trends:

  1. The empathy economy
  2. Training for the future
  3. Your future job – and reasons to feel optimistic about it!
  4. Why customer service employees will be most in-demand
  5. The career skills you’ll need by 2020
  6. Measuring your soft skills
  7. The secret of success: for job-seekers, colleagues, managers & bosses!

Source: 

This year’s research comes courtesy of Advanced Workplace Associates, Global Workplace Analytics and Haworth, with the support of Workplace Evolutionaries. Research from 2008-2014 was conducted by New Ways of Working in association with Haworth.



Share your staff benefits!

Why employers need to be clearer about their staff benefits. Plus one major perk you want to weave into your 2018 employee retention plans…

So, what’s on offer?

If you’re looking to recruit this year, make sure staff benefits are at the centre of your advertising approach. 85% of employees are more attracted to organisations who do so. A figure that rises to 94% among 25 to 34-year-olds (according to Canda Life & HR Magazine).

Presently only 37% of businesses ensure this information is readily available. So imagine the difference this could make if you’re recruiting at the same time as one of your competitors.

This tool isn’t only for staff attraction. In fact, staff retention can be significantly bolstered through reminders as to what’s on offer.

Tip: if you’re yet to see our piece on staff retention, pop it to the top of your reading list! It also contains further advice as to how to build a happier workforce. 

Talking of staff benefits…

No 2018 staff attraction plan should be without a discussion of work-life balance. Thought this was just another marketing buzzword that would fast disappear? It’s far more than this! Work-life balance forms the focus of international research and could make all the difference to your business success.

The UK is currently lagging behind many European employers, so there’s certainly a lot more that can be done in this area.

Top benefits include…

Again, we urge you to revisit our recent staff retention post for a list of features that employees want to hear more about. Alongside these, you’ll want to consider:

  • Promotion opportunities
  • Competitive pay structures
  • Voluntary schemes
  • Ongoing rewards/performance incentives
  • Healthcare & fitness plans
  • Training opportunities
  • Maternity & paternity support
  • Holiday allowances
  • Mentoring schemes
  • Flexible working
  • Childcare arrangements
  • Other internal perks, such as on-site facilities, retreats/outings and similar.

Naturally, what you can offer will vary by your organisation’s age, size and structure. Yet there’s always something you can do to make your business more appealing to prospective employees!

Want to do more to attract employees in Bath & nearby?

We are proud to have entered our 19th year as one of the top independent Recruitment Agencies in Bath! We’d welcome the opportunity to discuss your recruitment plans. You can find out more about what makes us special with (Recruitment Manager) Karen Everett in the latest Bath Life  – please see page 131.



Why retention matters

Why retention matters in recruitment…

It may seem odd for a recruitment agency to ever discuss staff retention rates. You may think we’d be wanting such levels to be poor so we could widen our candidate pool? Yet (while we always welcome interest from job-seekers!) this really isn’t the case.

Retention matters: to employers and employees

You could say it’s all about taking a long-term focus. Recruitment isn’t about making a quick placement. Instead, it’s about doing everything we can to find the best person for the job opportunity in question.

In the case of a permanent opening, this involves an awareness of what will attract a candidate to stay in the role over the longer-term.

Retention rates certainly matter to employees; few people want to work for an organisation where people are clearing their desks every few minutes. At the mildest level, this is unsettling to be around. And at the worst, it can fast garner a poor employer reputation (with everyone wondering why exactly nobody is sticking around!).

From the employer perspective, a strong retention rate also supports a positive atmosphere and productivity levels.

Retention matters: to the future of recruitment

We can also look further ahead. On the whole, the longer an employee enjoys working for the same company, the greater the skill-set they develop. They’ll naturally reach that point where they’ve outgrown their role.

When a business has a top team, they’re more likely to hit company goals and achieve growth. This opens the opportunity for businesses to create new roles and offer internal promotions.

Again, this may all sound counter to a recruitment agency’s interests. Surely in-house promotions don’t require external recruitment support? Yet it’s at this stage that the most qualified recruiters can assist employers in shaping their new teams.

To continue such a successful process, it’s all about finding the right candidate to fill the new vacancy created by the internal promotion. Qualified recruitment consultants will consider everything from working culture to team fit, experience, future ambitions, and more.

Retention matters: to our national economy

You can see how good employee retention rates are in everyone’s best interests – from the candidate to the employer and all of those supporting this process. Naturally, good business also strengthens our national economy. Which is why the REC (our accrediting body) is always championing such a focus.

With this in mind, let’s turn to our latest retention resources!

  1. Why 95% of top talent leaves their role, according to leading HR professionals. We shared this piece via LinkedIn. If you’re not already following our company page, it’s well worth doing so to stay on top of the latest business and career insights.
  2. Creating an experimentation culture. And explaining why workers want this!
  3. Encouraging employers to focus on staff wellbeing.
  4. Sharing more reasons why many UK workers leave their roles.

Looking for local recruitment support? Call our office today: 01225 313130.