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4 Key Trends for Recruiting #Talent in 2020
January 7, 2020


As the new year begins, many companies begin to review their policies and their employee retention – something that can prove challenging with today’s workforce who are less likely to be loyal to a business who doesn’t prioritise factors that are important to them.

In the hopes of improving and growing in 2020, businesses are beginning to formulate new recruitment strategies.

In light of this, Instant Offices has looked into the factors that companies and employers should consider when looking to hire in the new year.

Despite everything, members of staff are a significant contributing factor to the success of any company.

For this reason, employers are consistently looking to hire talented people who can bring more of an edge to the team and overall business.

Company loyalty is on the decline

In 2020, just over a third (35%) of the workforce will be made up of Millennials (generation Y), a figure that is likely to increase to approximately three-quarters worldwide. This generation, whose focus remains heavily on inclusion and diversity, will also occupy a growing number of leadership roles in the workplace.

In the next five years, generation Y – those born between 1981 and 1996 – will dominate the workforce, accounting for approximately 75% worldwide; also occupying a growing number of leadership roles in the workplace.

How to hire talent in 2020

The relationship between employee and employer is fundamentally changing as importance is placed on factors that create a better working environment, work-life balance and future-proof skills.

According to a recent global LinkedIn report, there are four key trends which are considered to be the most important when it comes to hiring in the new year:

4 Trends transforming the workplace% of talent professionals who think it’s important
Soft skills91
Work flexibility72
Pay transparency53
1. Soft skills

Soft skills, which includes the ability teamwork, communicate and problem solve, are far more desirable than ‘hard’ skills. 80% of professionals say soft skills are critical to the success of a company, as they are more future-proofed than technical skills, which advance rapidly and are not necessarily as transferable.

2. Work flexibility

Employers who offer flexibility in the interview process are more attractive to jobseekers who prioritise work-life balance. Once considered a perk, flexible working hours are becoming a standard expectation – job posts on LinkedIn mentioning flexibility have seen a 78% increase in the past two years.

3. Wellbeing

A company that places focus on wellbeing, communication and diversity is highly desirable to jobseekers who want a healthy and happy company culture. 90% of today’s job market is candidate-driven; prospective employees chose their employer more than companies choose them. Around half of all millennial jobseekers prioritise diversity and inclusion when choosing potential employers.

Year-on-year there has been a 71% increase in the amount of workplace harassment content shared on LinkedIn, and candidates are increasingly seeking out workplaces with policies to prevent, and combat, harassment and discrimination, as well as actively protecting their rights.

4. Pay transparency

Transparency and communication remain a necessity for 2020. Pay has always remained a confidential topic. Still, as more candidates look for companies who have transparency and remuneration, particularly with a significant focus on equal pay, more employers are starting to share salary information proactively. Over a quarter (27%) of those hiring say they share salary ranges with candidates earing on, while 1 in 5 say they are likely to start doing this in the next five years.

These trends will continue to shape the workforce throughout 2020. Not only will considering these create a more agile, flexible and inclusive culture – appealing to younger generations who a consistently place a strong focus on flexibility and values, but also help to retain talent going into the new year.

Why Remote Work Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon
January 7, 2020


A narrative has taken hold over the past few years that asserts that the future of work will be dominated by robots, AI programs, and other technological marvels that strip humans entirely away from the workplace. 

Despite all the hubbub being raised over certain new technologies, however, the future of work is increasingly going to be dominated by remote working, which is quickly taking hold around the globe thanks to the productive results it delivers to business owners.

Here’s why the future of work is remote, and why so many companies around the world are rushing to let their employees work from wherever works best for them.


The biggest driver of the pivot to a remote workforce that’s currently underway in our market is that remote employees simply produce better results than their traditional counterparts. While many critics of remote working used to assert that letting employees work from home would drain them of their productive spirit, the past few years have produced conclusive evidence that employees who spend a bulk of their working hours outside of the office are vastly happier and more productive.

Recent research from Gallup, for instance, notes that those workers who spend about three to four days of the week working offsite are substantially more engaged in their jobs than traditional counterparts who are stuck behind desks all day. The logic behind this productivity boost is actually quite easy to understand; by giving workers more control over their personal lives and permitting them to schedule their work-life balance accordingly, companies are making them happier and more fulfilled as they enable Average Joes to become workplace superstars.


As Jacob Morgan recently posited in his book The Future Of Work, the IoT is driving companies everywhere to produce products and services which cater directly to consumers while they’re still enjoying the comforts of the home. Smart thermostats, AI home assistants, and interconnected electric systems have made the modern household a “smart home,” which is why it’s so easy for most workers to plug directly into their workspace while they’re sitting in their kitchens.

Morgan accurately noted that companies everywhere simply have an easier time of finding talent that’s willing to work from home right now than ever before; the big data revolution and the rise of the ubiquitous IoT effectively created the gig economy we’re all so familiar with these days. Now, if a small business or a major corporation needs to rely on a select expert, they turn to the web and start searching for an independent freelancer who can get them the information they need at an affordable price.


Thanks to the fact that more and more people are working remotely, consumers everywhere can say hello to a new era of convenience. With freelance workers and remote employees able to more precisely adjust their scheduling, customers will be able to find an expert on demand at any time of the day. While most businesses close their doors at 5 pm or shortly thereafter, the remote workforce is effectively always available. There will be some challenges to this, naturally; work-related stress may go upward, for instance, and employees who are working from home will need strict discipline to master work-life balance as the lines between the home and office get blurry.

Nonetheless, the benefits of the remote workforce mean that in the near future, we’ll likely see more leaders in a wide variety of industries embracing the concept, especially as automating technologies and cheaper software makes it easier for employees to accomplish great things from far away. Before remote working is universally accepted, however, business owners and everyday workers will need to come together to forge a new work style that accommodates the needs of a distributed workforce.


Organizations looking to implement a remote work policy for their company should start with a few basic steps. First and foremost, make sure your workers are equipped with the three things they need to succeed: adequate technology, disciplinary excellence and clear instructions.

Make sure your workers have a laptop, tablet or desktop that can help them tackle their tasks, and consider investing in a company-wide software sponsorship program that lets them install important software directly to their personal devices so that they can use them for business, too.

Next, it’s imperative that you stress disciplinary excellence; workers at home don’t have a manager peering over their shoulder, so they have to act as their own boss and maintain a strict schedule to get things done. Don’t try to dictate every aspect of their lives–remote work is effective because it offers workers flexibility, after all. Nonetheless, be sure that you’re requesting regular status updates, and that you have a system in place to measure productivity.

Finally, never let your workers wander alone–make sure they have clear instructions and achievable milestones that guide them as they work from the comfort of their home. This is perhaps the most important step for you, as it’s where you’ll be demonstrating your leadership by giving concise, yet clear, instructions that can be carried out even if you’re not present to immediately answer questions.

Do this while placing faith in your remote workers, and your business will soon be a thriving, cutting-edge organization.

This article originally appeared on Glassdoor 

The 8 Concerns Researchers Found at approved T-level Providers
January 7, 2020

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has published its second research report into T-levels reports FE Week.

The 8 concerns researchers found at approved T-level providers

It follows a roundtable event in October which included six providers due to deliver the new qualifications from September 2020, as well as government and sector body representatives.

The first report, published in June, was based on interviews with half of the first 50 T-level approved providers.

FE Week has pulled out the latest key findings…

1.Providers will have just six months to work out how to teach T-levels

The full specification for T-levels will not be available until March 2020, which leaves just six months for the first three pathways – childcare, digital and construction – to be made ready for teaching, including the summer break.

This was a “cause for concern” among providers and it was commented that while the childcare T-level will need less work to prepare, as it is similar to the CACHE level 3 diploma in childcare and education, the construction and digital pathways “included more content that was completely new for providers”.

2. Major work needed to raise awareness

“Delegates felt there remained significant work to do to raise the awareness and understanding of T-levels among young people, parents and carers, and employers,” the report reads.

This is despite the best efforts of the ‘NexT Level’, a campaign costing the taxpayer over £3 million to help recruit the first wave of learners for T-levels.

Providers said that without the detailed specifications they could not always answer students’ and employers’ more detailed questions about the qualifications.

3. WANTED: Learners for T-levels

Providers were positive about meeting their student recruitment targets, but this was because “they had set conservative targets which they felt were achievable”.

There were, however, concerns regarding school “protectionism” which is making it a struggle to promote T-levels in schools with sixth forms.

And learners could be put off by “the size of the qualification”: young people who rely on part-time jobs or had caring responsibilities would find it difficult to meet the 600 minimum guided learning hours requirement as well as the 315 hour minimum industry placement.

It was brought up that how those 600 hours would be spent, being instructed towards an exam-based assessment, would not attract students looking for workshop-style delivery and continuous assessment.

The question of how learners from rural areas could get transport to class and to their industry placement was also listed as a “concern”.

4. Industry placements need more flexibility

One of the most controversial aspects of T-levels is the requirement for learners to go on a 315-hour industry placement; the previous NFER roundtable found providers were concerned about a lack of viable placements.

Recognising the challenge, the Department for Education introduced flexibilities earlier this year, including allowing the placements to be taken with two different employers.

However, educators have called for further flexibility in what counted towards the industry placement; specifically, they wanted project-based learning and work-related learning to count towards it.

The NFER said: “This would enable the engagement of employers who lacked capacity to support a placement and did not have a physical base,” namely digital businesses.

5. WANTED: Staff for T-levels

Challenges in attracting staff from the construction, digital and engineering sectors will be “particularly severe,” says the report, because their industries can pay higher salaries.

Another hurdle providers spoke about was keeping staff’s industrial knowledge and skills up to scratch; an issue some providers have addressed by setting up a bank of freelance staff they can draw on to deliver part of the digital T-level.

6. Will completing a T-level enable learners to progress on to a level 4 apprenticeship?

T-levels’ “lack of” occupational competencies – the knowledge, skills and attributes for a vocational career – has raised doubts about whether learners completing the new qualification will be able to progress on to a level 4 apprenticeship.

This was particularly the case in technical and practically-orientated apprenticeships like construction and engineering, and will put a dent in “an important selling point for T-levels”: the size and scale of the industry placement.

It will also be up to universities whether they accept T-levels, which carry UCAS tariff points. There were questions over whether the Russell Group would accept them, which may influence other universities and could “tarnish” T-levels in the minds of parents.

7. Could T-levels be a block on social mobility?

The requirement for learners to have a grade four at GCSE maths and English was seen as a barrier to accessing T-levels, according to the NFER.

And the scale of the guided learning hours requirement and the industry placement is, as highlighted earlier, anticipated to be a problem for learners with part-time jobs or caring responsibilities.

As the specialist focus of T-levels and its exam-based assessment will not suit all learners, providers instead want the level 3 vocational and technical offer to “continue to provide young people with a range of options and learning styles, as well as broader vocational study”.

On that point…

8. Providers plea for BTECs and other AGQs to stay

“T-levels are heralded as ‘gold standard’ qualifications but applied general qualifications are an established route with a licence to practice,” the report reads.

Yet earlier this year the government launched a consultation on withdrawing funding for thousands of AGQs, ahead of T-levels’ introduction.

There remain “some concerns” around what is going to happen to BTEC/Cambridge Assessment level 3 vocational students “if some or all of these qualifications are discontinued and what might be the unintended consequences”.

It was felt at the roundtable, which was attended by a Department for Education representative, that the breadth and specialisation of AGQs and T-levels were different enough “that different types of qualifications can thrive alongside each other”.

When asked for a response, the DfE pointed out they had recently launched their T-level campaign to increase awareness and said it is working closely with HE providers and their decisions around admissions policies will be made in due course.