Avatar
Hello
Guest
Log In or Sign Up
Bill Introduced to Make all Jobs Flexible by Default
July 19, 2019
0

Advertising all roles as flexible could help close the gender pay gap, assist parents to share childcare, and better support older workers say experts

A bill requiring employers to make all jobs flexible by default was introduced by Conservative deputy chairman and MP for Faversham and Mid Kent Helen Whately in Parliament on 16 July and was given approval to go to a second reading on 17 July.

Whately said that unless employers have a sound business reason for having specific working hours all jobs should be advertised as flexible.

It would help close the gender pay gap, assist parents to share childcare and help businesses retain staff, Whately explained.

“The 40-hour five-day working week made sense in an era of single-earner households and stay-at-home mums, but it no longer reflects the reality of how many modern families want to live their lives,” she said.

She added that a lack of flexible working reinforces gender stereotypes around work:

“At the moment too many women are reluctantly dropping out of work or going part time after having children because their employers won’t allow them flexibility. This entrenches the assumption that men are the breadwinners and women are the homemakers,” she said.

“As a result men don’t get to spend as much time as they might like with their children, women miss out on career opportunities, and the country loses out on the contribution they could and would like to make – if only they could do slightly different hours or work some days from home.”

Ella Smillie, head of policy and campaigns at the Fawcett Society, gave her backing to the bill.

“We urge MPs to give Helen Whately’s bill the support it deserves. Ensuring that employers offer flexible working would open up new jobs to a whole raft of people who want to work alongside carrying out caring responsibilities or simply achieving a better work/life balance,” she said.

“There are also clear benefits to employers: offering flexible working to employees creates a stronger, loyal and more diverse workforce, which pays dividends.”

Patrick Thomson, senior programme manager at the Centre for Ageing Better, said that the move could also be invaluable in supporting older workers, who may find it difficult to stay in work because of health problems and caring responsibilities. “We welcome calls to consider making flexible working the default for every job. The most common reasons people leave work before state pension age include managing caring responsibilities or health conditions, and flexible working is effective in helping balance these with staying in work,” he said.

“Office for National Statistics data out today shows older workers continue to be the fastest-growing age group, so we can’t afford to wait on this. There were a quarter of a million more over-50s in work last year,” he added. “But we know many people struggle with inflexible working practices that can result in them leaving work before they are ready. That’s bad for them as individuals – affecting their earnings and social connections – and bad for the UK economy as employers lose out on the skills and experience older workers can bring.

“We need to move towards flexible working being the default, and for employers to take action to support everyone to work in a way that suits them best.”

Joeli Brearley, founder and director of Pregnant Then Screwed, said it’s clear that flexible working is better for people and the economy: “This is good for our economy, good for business and good for humans. We know that 96% of employers already offer some form of flexible working, but only 11% of jobs state flexible working options. This means those with caring responsibilities, or other needs that require flexible working, feel unable to apply for positions that would otherwise make good use of their skills and expertise. It means we are not making the best use of our labour force and a lack of good-quality flexible working is the key cause of the gender pay gap,” she said.

“I don’t think there is a single employer that would argue that flexible working isn’t good for productivity. Time and time again the research shows this, we just need a culture shift – led by the government – to encourage employers to think about how a job can be done flexibly before they recruit.”

De-Biasing Language in Job Adverts
June 28, 2019
0

The wording in job adverts can discourage certain segments of the population, but here’s how to de-bias them

Are you looking to recruit a ‘dynamic leader’ or a ‘committed people person’? Chances are you’re just looking for the best person for the job. But the choice of language used in the job description could be alienating and dissuading the best – and most diverse – candidates from even applying.

Recent research from Adzuna revealed that 60% of businesses showed significant male bias in the wording of their job adverts. This research was based on a study by academics Gaucher, Friesen and Kay, which found that job descriptions with more masculine wording were less likely to appeal to female applicants. It wasn’t for themost part that female candidates assumed they weren’t up to the job, the research found. Rather they – consciously or unconsciously – were less likely to feel they’d belong at such an employer, and didn’t want to work for a company whose first impression was one of being biased in favour of men.

And so debate on the issue is hotting up. The UK government recently announced a trial of gender-neutral language to define science, technology, engineering and maths apprenticeships to encourage more women to apply. A pilot will apply gender-neutral language to 12 apprenticeship standards.

But while most HR leaders are aware that biased language exists in job descriptions, many don’t know how to fix this. Part of the problem is an inability to identify biased language because of its subtlety. Words that seem innocuous are often rooted in societal conditioning.

A 2017 analysis of 77,000 UK job adverts by Totaljobs revealed ‘lead’ to be the most common male-gendered word used in job specs, while ‘support’ was the most used female-gendered word. According to Gaucher, Friesen and Kay, popular recruiting adjectives such as ‘ambitious, assertive, decisive, determined and self-reliant’ are male gendered. While words like ‘committed, connect, interpersonal, responsible and yield’ are considered female gendered. For instance, in a male-gendered job description a company might be described as ‘a dominant engineering firm that boasts many clients’. Whereas the female-gendered version could read ‘we are a community of engineers who have effective relationships with many satisfied clients’.

So how can HR de-bias a job description to make the language gender neutral? According to Andrea Singh, HR director of BAM, the first step is to focus on gender-coded words. Job titles should be neutral and descriptive language should give equal weighting to male- and female-coded descriptors, she explains. However, Singh also points out that de-biasing a job description goes beyond replacing adjectives. Employers need to make sure that the requirements listed are actually necessary, because “women will typically only put themselves forward for a job when they meet 100% of the criteria”.

But with unconscious bias ever present there are questions around whether it’s possible for humans to conduct this de-biasing. Singh believes that with the right training it is. But she admits the best results come when software and learning are combined. “Technology brings information and suggestions to the fingertips but job specs need to feel authentic. The people writing and editing specs need to be trained to spot the bias too,” she says.

However, Richard Marr, co-founder and chief technology officer of Applied, doubts whether training a person to remove biased language can be as effective as relying on dedicated software. “The evidence is pretty weak that training is effective,” states Marr. “Processes trump training and tools trump processes. With training you’re just expecting people to do the right thing.”

That said, the trouble with using software is that neither Applied nor its competitors AdPro and Textio currently extend their job description analysis beyond gender to include other demographics such as BAME, LGBTQ+, disabled or economically-disadvantaged candidates. Applied is working with Google to expand its analysis tool to incorporate ethnicity (and other dimensions). But until such tech is available removing gendered language from job descriptions can still have a positive impact on other diverse groups, Singh believes.

“I think language can be looked at in the same way. Masculine phrasing might also be off-putting for candidates from particular BAME backgrounds where their culture doesn’t typically fit with this type of approach,” she says.

It’s a view shared by Marr. He explains that a job analysis tool will also assess the readability and density of a job description, scoring it for how many syllables, words and sentences it contains. His thinking is that the more readable the job spec, the more inclusive it is likely to be.

“There are heavy socio-economic correlations,” notes Marr. “If you look at people who have low incomes they will have less access to desktop computers and are more likely to rely on their phones and to live in a distracting environment. Each of those things adds a cumulative layer that results in something quite substantial.”

So there are certainly steps that can be taken. But, in an age in which many urge the need to move away from binary definitions of men and women, is so-called male and female language really meaningful anymore? Or is it just another theory to get bogged down by?

Adrian Love, recruitment director for the UK and Ireland at Accenture, certainly feels male and female language is still a ‘thing’. He points to Accenture figures showing an increase in female job applicants from 34% to 50% since 2014, thanks in part to the de-biasing of job specs.

“The impact has been very positive. But there are no silver bullets here. It has to be part of a wider inclusion and diversity programme,” he says.

It’s a similar story from Applied, with Marr reporting that the tool has helped trigger an estimated 10% to 15% swing towards female candidates. Singh also reports a significant increase in female applicants since implementing de-biasing.

“This shows that [using] gender-neutral language is affecting the talent we can attract,” she says, adding that de-biasing could now be taken further. “We now need to delve into the data in more detail… and analyse the next stages in the process to see if we have more women being shortlisted, interviewed and ultimately selected.”

After all a gender-neutral job description can only go so far if, when a candidate is successful or unsuccessful in their application, the language in the feedback or job offer sees a return to bias.

Both Singh and Love concede that their job description writing tools are unable to analyse interview feedback. But this is where training comes into play, they say.

“Software raises awareness and can point out bias that people may miss,” says Singh, but it’s also important teams are trained to spot it elsewhere in recruitment materials.

Love agrees: “[It’s] not just about one action, it’s about looking at every element throughout the recruitment process. There are opportunities to drive inclusivity end to end, but job descriptions are important because they’re a gateway for candidates.”


Analysing bias in the Bank of England governor job advert
Later this year Bank of England governor Mark Carney will stand down. He’s the 120th white man out of 120 individuals to have ever filled the role, and so the institution has been heavily criticised for embodying a ‘stale, male and pale’ image of finance. By its own admission it will fail to meet any of its diversity targets this year. So with calls to appoint a female to the position for the first time is the language in the role’s job description gender biased?

Not according to Applied’s job description analysis tool. Following the appointment of diversity specialists to head up the search for Carney’s replacement, HR magazine analysed the job description to see if the bank’s commitment to diversity extends to its recruitment materials. It scored a respectable 84% for inclusivity and contained an equal amount of male-gendered and female-gendered words.

Marr says that language falls into two categories: agentic and communal. Agentic language is considered male coded. In this advert agentic traits found were words like ‘confidence, decision, lead and determination’. The communal traits were female-coded words such as ‘responsibility, commit, communicate, and understanding’.

Marr argues that performance evaluation and leadership development should also be defined in a way that balances both sets of traits. “Companies often define success for leaders along agentic lines and measure performance and promotion that way, even though communal traits are just as valuable in leaders,” he says.

Brexit Inhibiting Foreign Interest in UK Finance Jobs
June 24, 2019
0

A staffing crisis in the financial sector may be on the horizon, as Brexit causes a decline in interest in City jobs

Foreign interest in UK banking jobs has fallen by 12% since 2015, according to Indeed.

Initially interest fell most sharply among prospective candidates from Europe. Between the first quarter of 2015 (when the likelihood of a referendum on the UK exiting the EU started to grow) and the first quarter of 2018, EU jobseekers’ share of all clicks on London finance jobs on the Indeed website fell from 7.8% to 5.9%. Read more

Employer Confidence Plunges as Uncertainty Over #Brexit Bites
March 29, 2019
0

New data from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) shows employers’ confidence in economic prospects for the UK have dropped again, by eight percentage points from last month to net: -28.

This is the lowest level since the JobsOutlook survey began measuring sentiment about the economy amongst Britain’s businesses and is 54 percentage points lower than in June 2016.

Falling confidence in the economy is now affecting hiring decisions in respondents’ own firms. Employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions declined by six percentage points from the previous month to net: -1, the first time this measure has dropped into negative territory since the survey started in 2016.

Despite this weaker outlook, it is clear that employers are ready to hire in some areas – especially where there are skills shortages. More employers planned to increase, rather than decrease their permanent headcount in the short-term, at net: +17. Over the medium-term, forecasts for permanent hiring fell three percentage points this month, but remained positive at net: +22.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:

“A year of falling business investment and weeks of Brexit inertia mean no-one should be surprised that employers’ confidence in hiring for their own business is now dropping. For months, businesses have told us that they were concerned about the general outlook for the economy – it is clear to us that this concern is now closer to home. Lower use of temporary labour is a sign of lower demand.

“But our jobs market is robust. Even now, recruiters are finding people new jobs and helping companies to compete. The fact that permanent hiring plans are still positive is a sign that the economy will deliver, if the fog of uncertainty is lifted from British business.

“The extension to the Brexit deadline gives us some space to find a pragmatic deal that will give the UK’s businesses the certainty they need to invest and create jobs. And it avoids a no deal, which the majority of recruiters – in line with the majority of all British businesses – see as deeply problematic for the economy and the jobs market.

“But we cannot delay forever. It is in politicians’ power to make the weaker data we see today a blip. Our labour market is strong. Giving firms certainty about a future deal that supports trade, jobs and investment would get the UK back on track.”

Other statistics from this month’s JobsOutlook include:

  • Half (49 per cent) of UK employers expressed concern about the availability of permanent-hire candidates, with a lack of Engineering & Technical and Health & Social Care workers continuing to cause most concern.
  • At net: -7, the balance of sentiment for hiring agency workers in the short-term was 13 percentage points lower than a year earlier. Sentiment in the medium term was 21 points lower than last year, at net: -8.
  • Following this quarter’s decline in anticipated demand for temporary workers, 35 per cent of employers intending to hire temporary workers expressed concern over the sufficient number of agency workers with the necessary skills they require. This is the same proportion as a year earlier. Employers are expecting the most severe skills shortages among construction workers, followed by education workers and drivers.
  • Four in five employers (82 per cent) had either no surplus workforce capacity, or such a small amount that they may need to hire more staff if demand increased.
  • Around half of hirers highlighted using agency workers to manage uncertainty (47 per cent), and access to short-term skills (51 per cent), as important reasons to use temporary agency workers.
  • Four in five (83 per cent) employers highlighted that the geographical and/or skills sourcing expertise of an agency was an important criterion when selecting their recruitment agency partners.

JobsOutlook is produced by the REC in partnership with ComRes. ComRes interviewed 600 UK employers involved in hiring by telephone between 11 December 2018 and 21 February 2019. Data were weighted to be representative of UK adults in employment by region, broad industry sector and public/private split. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

 

AI To Create 2.3 million Jobs By 2020
March 19, 2019
0

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is slowly taking over our day-to-day lives – especially when it comes to the workplace and using tech to enhance and fast-track tasks writes Alesandra  Berger.

There are many sectors in which AI can help improve services – specifically national health services, banking and legal  services.

Not only do some of the biggest names in technology debate over the future of AI, and how it continues to make life easier and better for many, but we are now seeing some of the biggest tech companies recruiting heavily in AI.

But, who is recruiting for AI roles the most whilst making big steps in looking toward the future?

With AI-related jobs more than doubling over the past three years and job postings related to AI increasing by 119%, RS Components has analysed job posts from some of the world’s biggest tech companies to discover who has the highest percentage of AI-related job openings.

A former Google Exec has predicted that AI will replace 40 per cent of jobs in the next 15 years. Kai-Fu Lee stated that AI will allow entire new industries to be built from the ground up, with automation in mind. AI will be cheaper than human employees, however, it will also create new roles, as well as replace current ones.

As AI progresses beyond development stages and into regular usage, more and more companies are looking to recruit machine learning talent, develop the AI skills of their existing workforce, and begin to use the technology throughout various sectors of their business.

However in a Ernst & Young poll last year, 56% of senior AI professionals argued that lack of talent and qualified workers is the greatest single barrier to the implementation of AI across business operations.

Similarly, the 2018 survey by O’Reilly named ‘How Companies Are Putting AI to Work Through Deep Learning also revealed that the AI skills gap is the largest barrier to AI adoption, but that company culture, company resources and data challenges also contribute to this.

Our academic and training programmes are also struggling to keep up with the pace of innovation and development of AI, further widening the existing gap. But whilst recent research found that only 1 in 4 workers strongly agree that their company equips employees with the skills needed to take advantage of AI, it is suggested that advanced technical education might not be necessary to bridge this gap.

So how can you get ahead and help close the AI skills gap many workplaces are currently experiencing? And how might future career training initiatives be affected by this skill gap?

AI is expected to create 2.3 million jobs by 2020, with job titles such as machine learning engineer, computer vision engineer and data scientist being amongst the most in-demand AI jobs. According to research by Indeed, the most in-demand AI skills include machine learning, Python, R programming, data science, Java programming, and data mining.

These skills, which are currently in significant shortage, beg the question – will the curricula need to change to prepare children for the future workforce?

A recent report by Raconteur describes how Miles Berry, a key architect of the national curriculum for computing, introduced to replace ICT four years ago, is disheartened at how few schools have exploited the new programme fully.

“AI is difficult to teach and schools either lack relevant resources or don’t know how to apply them, but in order to plug the technology skills gap, we must give our youngsters time to experiment with creating rudimentary chatbots for example,” Miles says.

Whilst growing numbers of primary and secondary schools are now teaching students how to code, this only covers one small element of AI, and a skill which is predicted to be “old hat” by the time they’re old enough to enter the workforce.

One way to increase the AI skills gap would be to continue to increase resources for digital, math and technical education in schools – as a sole focus on driving more students in to computer science will not solve the issue.

Devising technology-specific education or training schemes will also help develop the skills of the future workforce. For example, last year the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced plans to have an AI-focused college built by 2022.

Closer to home, tech giants such as Amazon have an AI-focused lab near the University of Cambridge and there are plans to build a technology University in Milton Keynes which will “focus on skills for the future” by 2023.

The University will be designed as an education institution for the 21st century, delivering a STEM- focused curriculum in key areas including digital, cybe, autonomy, robotics and AI.

Until there are new graduates with the appropriate level of AI skills to step into these roles, many companies should currently be focusing on upskilling and retraining present staff. The future of work will require employees to be ever-more agile and change their skills to keep up with technology, which is constantly developing.

Alexandra Berger, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications EMEA region, RS Components

About Alexandra: With over 18 years’ experience across an international business-to-business environment, working for companies including Unilever, SC Johnson, SealedAir and Rexel, Alexandra’s experience includes global, regional and country leadership roles in Marketing and Business Management.  Alexandra’s broad experience has seen her lead digital transformation programmes, brand development initiatives and customer experience programmes. Most recently Alexandra joined RS Components as Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications for the company’s EMEA region, where she is leading the transformation of the marketing function. RS Components is the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. Supporting & inspiring generations of engineers since 1937.

8 Entry Level Jobs in Industries You Might Not Have Heard Of
March 12, 2019
0

With influencers, YouTubers and Artificial Intelligence drastically switching up the career landscapes, there’s no end to the amount of jobs currently available that haven’t been before.

1. AI Ex­pert8 entry level jobs in industries you might not have heard of

Entry level role: IT Support Technician

From voice assistants and chatbots, to smart home devices and robot nannies (yes, really!), AI is reshaping our modern lives and the world as we know it. Scary or exciting?

Either way, artificial intelligence is fast becoming a popular degree choice, and as demands for revolutionary technology increase – and we become more dependent on smart devices – so too will careers in this dynamic field. As a result, AI and machine learning experts will play an increasingly important role in the future of our digital world. Watch this space.

Routes in: You could either start work with a technology, data or AI firm, as a support technician for example, after doing GCSEs or A levels. Alternatively, a higher or degree apprenticeship in IT would point you in the direction, as it means you could continue studying for further qualifications in the industry while also being paid. Read more

New National Recruitment Campaign Aims to get People into Caring Role
February 14, 2019
0

The Every Day is Different campaign, launched on 12 February 2019, features a new website giving lots of information about the wide range of career options available in the adult social care sector.

It also links to a job finder page to help anyone looking for work to find vacancies in their area.Carer dancing with old person

Read More Here

Care Leaver Internship Scheme – Civil Service Jobs – GOV.UK
September 12, 2018
1

The Care Leavers Internship Scheme supports the cross-government Keep on Caring strategy.

Logo order to apply to the Care Leaver Internship Scheme you must have been eligible for a leaving care support package when you left care.

In order to qualify for leaving care support, you must have been in care for a minimum of 13 weeks, some of which must have been after your 16th birthday’. You must also be aged between 18 and 30 by 1st November 2018 and have the right to work in the UK. If you apply for a Care Leaver Internship and are invited to interview, you will need to provide evidence that you meet the essential criteria by showing a letter from the local authority that provided your care prior to interview and appropriate ID.

Locations

Read more

Civil Service Fast Stream Careers
August 29, 2018
0

The Civil Service Fast Stream will open for applications at noon on Thursday 20 September 2018 at www.faststream.gov.uk.

The graduate programme is currently ranked No.2 in the times Top 100 Graduate Employers.

If you have clients interested in applying to the Fast Stream, they are warmly invited to do some window shopping on the website, ahead of applications opening.

They will be able to see which of the 15 schemes can best support their progression into a rewarding career and pre-register their details ahead of the application window. Read more

National Careers Service Promotes Summer Jobs
August 7, 2018
0

There are currently over 28,000 Jobs on the DWP Find A Job website including “summer” or “seasonal” vacancies. Search Here