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Covid-19 Changing employee Motivations

A recent study has revealed 96% of job seekers questioned would now not consider working for a company with a poor Covid-19 record.

The study, conducted by online job board Zoek and Neil Harrison from NH237 employment consultancy, looked at if Covid-19 was affecting employees’ opinion regarding their current and future employers.

Results revealed a significant change in the priorities of employees, with how a company treats its staff now much more of a concern. An overwhelming 93% of the 1,134 part and full-time workers surveyed said they would now choose a less successful company that supported employees over a more successful one that did not. The study also revealed that people are much more likely to conduct their own research into prospective employers, with issues such as remote working and workplace social distancing now important factors.

Regarding the findings, Diana Campbell, managing director at Zoek, said;

It is really interesting to see how motivations on moving jobs have changed since the job market has started opening back up. It is more important than ever to provide flexibility and confidence to candidates, which is something we have seen a high volume of searches for on Zoek.”

The survey also revealed that 57% of people felt their employers had communicated well during the lockdown. However, 17% said they had not heard anything from their employers, and only a third knew their employers’ plans for the next six months. The impact of covid-19 will change relations, and expectations, moving forward between employers and employees.

The behaviour of companies during the lockdown was a hot topic, with 55% admitting to sharing stories on social media, both good and bad, regarding their employers’ behaviour. Neil Harrison, lead consultant at NH237 Consulting, said the findings revealed the need for companies to communicate better the good things they have done during the shutdown. He said,

“I truly believe that what an organisation presents to the outside world in terms of candidate attraction has to be born out of the internal employee experience and prevailing culture. This report has further proved that even in the current climate, candidates aren’t willing to go just anywhere to take the next step in their career.”

Businesses at Risk by Lack of Background Checks
September 2, 2020
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Cybersecurity threats and data breaches are on the rise and a lack of background checking could be putting global businesses at risk according to new research.

HireRight’s annual benchmarking survey found almost one third (32%) of participating global companies said they do not conduct checks on any of their extended workforce including temporary workers, contractors and interns.

Yet over half (54%) of those asked said they were finding discrepancies in candidates’ employment histories and 48% said that their safety and security had benefited from more consistent screening.

As the extended workforce may still have access to sensitive information, and more staff are currently working remotely where connections aren’t as protected, the report suggested that many businesses could be putting their security at risk.

“While there is currently still a stark difference in attitudes towards screening between the U.S. and the rest of the world, the gap is closing as more and more companies are starting to better understand the benefits of candidate and employee background checks, and are using background screening to help mitigate their hiring risk,” said Guy Abramo, CEO of HireRight.

Which Soft Skills are Important in 2020?

Article by Australian Careers Service.

With competition in the workforce fiercer than ever, the importance of softs skills has never been higher. In contrast to a formal qualification, soft skills — things you don’t typically learn at uni — can be what sets a person apart in the workplace.

Soft skills are considered to have more nuance, take longer to develop and are harder to acquire, making the key for customer or client retention. But which soft skills are the most important? A good place to start is to look at what others are learning.

Udemy hosts over 150,000 courses hosted by experts that can be taken anywhere, any time. A recent report looked at consumption of their courses between 2016 and 2019, to determine the top skills that have had the highest rank change. 

Along with the skills listed below, the report also includes storytelling, culture awareness, critical thinking, leadership and emotional intelligence in the top 10 soft skills. 

Growth Mindset 

A growth mindset promotes the idea that we can get better at or improve our ability in anything we put the effort into. Harvard Business Review says that ‘individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset.’  

A growth mindset goes hand-in-hand with ambitious goal setting and achievement, so it’s no surprise that it’s the number one soft skill for career progression in all industries and at all levels. Udemy currently has over 4,00 courses in the topic! 

Creativity 

What was once considered an innate skill of those in artistic professions, creativity has shown to be a key factor in all industries. The world needs innovative leaders with new ideas, and creativity is a crucial element in problem-solving. Creativity courses specialise in areas like innovation and business, idea generation, coding, lateral thinking and harnessing your imagination. 

Focus Mastery 

In a world full of distractions and technology at our fingertips, staying focused has never been more of a challenge — but while many of us are now working from home, it’s never been more important. Courses are available to help power through your to-do list and increase your productivity. 

Innovation 

As many businesses and individuals need to adapt their products and business models, there is an increasing need for innovation. According to Forbes, ‘innovation isn’t solely represented by new devices, ideas or methods, but also by the process of uncovering new ways to do things’. You can take courses in innovation that tie in with themes such as creativity, design thinking and leadership. 

Communication 

Encompassing many elements of work life, communication is a skill that can refer to public speaking, emails, one-to-one discussions, meetings and presentations. Good communication can build trust, propel projects forward and improve morale. At a management level, it’s essential for delegation, conflict resolution, and project management in general. You can improve your communication skills to improve your assertiveness, sharpen your business acumen or increase your confidence. 

Graduate Job Confidence Slides as Labour Market Shrinks

By Beau Jackson, of hrmagazine

Fewer graduates in 2020 are confident of working in their dream industry than they were in 2019.

According to graduate job site Milkround, 83% of graduates expressed this sentiment last year compared to just 62% in 2020. 

Attitudes about universities have changed too. In 2019, 15% of graduates said their university could have done more to prepare them for the workplace, yet in 2020 this has risen to 25%. 

The global labour market has become unstable due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In the most recent findings from the Institute of Student Employers’ (ISE) COVID-19: Global impacts on graduate recruitment report, the market for graduate jobs in England is expected to shrink by between one and 14% each year from 2020-2021. 

Although government response to the pandemic has differed from country to country, a similar percentage of shrinkage is expected across Australia, Finland, New Zealand and the United States. 

“While graduates often escape the worst impacts of recessions, the size and health of the graduate labour market is tied up with the wider economy,” said an ISE statement. 

“The magnitude of the current crisis means that it is impacting on workers of all skill levels and is likely to be particularly difficult for those entering the labour market for the first time and those working in the sectors which are feeling the worst effects.” 

Though Milkround’s findings suggest graduate confidence is waning, an optimistic 71% of respondents said the pandemic has not impacted their decision on which sector they will go into, and the NHS tops the list of respondent’s most desirable companies to work for. 

Georgina Brazier, graduate jobs expert at Milkround said that the decisiveness where areas of work are concerned demonstrates a continued resilience in the graduate population. 

She added: “Over the next few months, it’s essential that employers really understand what it is the next generation of workers are looking for as they enter the workplace, and work out how they can support recent graduates in realising their dreams despite the current circumstances.” 

Milkround’s Candidate Compass Report is based on a survey of 2,838 student and graduate candidates, conducted between 14th – 29th April 2020.

Availability of Temporary Staff Reaches Record High

The availability of workers in the UK throughout June rose at the quickest rate since the depths of economic recession in January 2009 due to redundancies and workers on furlough.

The latest KPMG and REC UK Report on Jobs found there were increases for both permanent and temporary staff numbers, with the latter rising at the quickest rate in the survey’s 23-year history. 

Starting pay for both permanent and short-term staff fell in June as demand for workers remained weak and the labour supply continued to increase. 

Rates of pay reductions were not as severe as May, yet there were still decreases for both starting salaries and temp wages. 

Employee earnings including bonuses rose by just 1% year-on-year in the three months leading up to April, according to the Office for National Statistics.

This was weaker than the 2.3% rate of growth for the previous three-month period and marked the slowest rise in pay since the three months to September 2014.

Permanent staff appointments fell across England, with the steepest reduction seen in London. 

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said the figures demonstrated a jobs crisis across the country.

He said: “While there are signs that the worst declines are behind us, today’s figures show that it will be a while yet before we see job placements growing month on month. That’s no surprise, as businesses are focusing on bringing furloughed staff back to work, or making redundancies where they cannot be avoided. 

“Recruiters will be key to helping those who lose their roles find new work – there are always vacancies out there for jobseekers, though they are at a lower level than normal right now.” 

The private sector saw a larger decline in permanent vacancies compared to the public sector, yet the demand for short-term workers fell at a quicker pace in the public sector. 

Given hospitality has been one of the sectors worst hit by the impact of coronavirus, the steepest drops in vacancies were seen in hotels, catering and retail. 

There was also a decrease in nursing, medical and care roles. 

The UK Report on Jobs is compiled by IHS Markit from responses to questionnaires sent to a panel of around 400 UK recruitment and employment consultancies.

Employers Need Government Support to Hire Young People, Report Reveals

Employers need incentives if mass unemployment of young people is to be avoided, said The Institute of Student Employers (ISE).

It raised concerns about the number of young people who will miss out on career opportunities as the economy recovers post-coronavirus. 

In its plan for government, the ISE recommended ways to help employers hire and support young people and make sure the labour market continues to function. 

These include cutting national insurance contributions for all staff under 24 years’ old; securing opportunities in education, apprenticeships and work placements for young people who have been unemployed for six months or more; and bringing more flexibility to company spending of the apprenticeship levy.

ISE chief executive Stephen Isherwood said: “The labour market is breaking down. There is a looming youth unemployment crisis and employers are already facing pressure to slow down or stop entry-level recruitment and slash training costs. 

“These decisions will disproportionately impact young people.”

In May, an ISE report found that UK firms on average will cut entry level recruitment by around a quarter (23%) this year due to challenges related to the pandemic.

For 2021, 60% of firms are currently sure of their recruitment plans and 15% are anticipating a fall in recruitment.

The University Partnerships Programme (UPP) also voiced its concerns around the youth labour market by recommending the launch of a ‘civic army’ to provide work placements for 75,000 young people across the country.

Both organisations recommend government cover the costs of ‘ off-the-job’ study time for all new apprentices under 24-years-old to help support their development. 

Isherwood said: “Employers need support to invest in entry-level talent to recruit and develop young people. The public purse should be used to provide opportunities for young people rather than leaving them to languish unskilled, out of work and left behind.”

Deborah McCormack, ISE chair and head of talent for Pinsent Mason, said no single measure will prevent a loss of talent from the younger generation. “We need a pragmatic package of support from government to help employers and educators enable our early talent, future-proofing the UK economy.” ISE’s recommendations followed the government’s launch of an ‘Office for Talent’ to attract global academic expertise as part of its coronavirus economic recovery plan.

DWP Connected Community Recruitment Support
June 15, 2020
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DWP commissions partners across the country to support jobseekers and employers to come together. 

Each partner delivers a service that enables jobseekers to access sustainable work in a local area with an employer like you. 

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, this site will enable you to connect with your local DWP partner to quickly fill vacancies. 

They will help you identify jobseekers with suitable skills for your roles and prepare them to begin working for you.  To find out more visit https://www.dwppartners.co.uk

© The Prime Providers Partnership

Coronavirus: Job Interviews go Online as Candidates Stuck at Home
March 17, 2020
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BBC News reports that recruitment firms are going online to interview candidates who are working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Working from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

Tech giants Google, Amazon and Twitter are among the growing number of firms asking staff to work from home.

The strategy is part of social distancing efforts as businesses try to slow the spread of the virus.

Headhunters also say it’s now easier to contact candidates as they’re not in stuck in meetings or travelling.

“It was actually easier to get hold of many clients because they were at home, bored and on the end of a mobile phone than it was when they were in meetings, walking factories or flying somewhere,” said recruitment firm PageGroup’s chief executive Steve Ingham.

Worldwide travel restrictions also mean people aren’t travelling for business, one of the biggest challenges for recruiters trying to meet potential hires.

It comes as recruiters and hiring managers switch from face-to-face meetings to online interviews using apps such as Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp.

Online interviews also suit potential hires as they take up less time and are more convenient. 

“They are happy to use this approach as well because it saves them travelling time and minimises human contact amidst the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Charlene Tay at recruitment firm Robert Walters in Singapore.

But job-seeking candidates are being advised to practice ahead of an online interview. “Interviewing online and interviewing in person are two completely different experiences,” said Sarah Johnston, a professional interview coach.

“Job seekers share that it can be more challenging to connect with the interviewer online because there is often less small talk and it’s harder to pick up on non-verbal cues,” she added.

Recruiters also advise candidates to be patient as, although online job interviews can help speed up the process, there will still be delays as businesses come up with contingency plans and deal with coronavirus-related issues. “This is uncharted territory and we are all doing the best we can,” added Ms Johnston.

But online interviews don’t work for everyone. “Those roles which require client interaction and team management, an in-person interview is likely to remain an essential stage of the process,” added Paul Endacott, chief executive of GRIT Search.

Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Declining a Job Offer
February 26, 2020
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The following article By Suzie Finch. Founder of The Career Improvement Club may be of interest to clients who are uncertain if a job offer is for them.

Searching for your next big job can be a wild ride—exhilarating one moment, discouraging the next.

Why You Should Never Feel Guilty About Declining a Job Offer

Between scouring CV tips and CV designs, attending loads of interviews and negotiating over salaries, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment.

We spend so much time agonising over finding somewhere to work—often because we need it. We have bills to pay, people to support, food to eat.

But what if you’re lucky enough to get a few different job offers? You can’t accept every one, obviously. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and even if there was—no thanks. You’ve got to find a way to let the rest of the other guys down.

Turning down a job might seem daunting at first, but don’t let it feel like a bad breakup. You’re not disappointing anyone, breaking anyone’s hearts or wasting anyone’s time.

Got the Job-Declining Blues? Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t stress about turning down a job for something better.

Remember, an interview is not a promise

Interviewing is a lot like a first date. You exchange some small talk. You discuss your goals. You introduce yourselves, get a feel for each other and try to figure out how you’ll fit into each other’s lives. And if things don’t go as well as you hope, there’s no contract that says you have to see them again.

The same goes for a job interview. There’s no promise that you’ll be chosen for the job you interview for, no matter how amazing your CV looks. So it only follows naturally that there’s no promise that you’ll take that position you interviewed for. Don’t make it out to be more than it is.

Hiring managers don’t lose sleep over candidates

Sometimes turning the tables is the easiest way to put things in perspective. Hiring managers interview many candidates—and of course, they can’t hire them all. Rejection is a natural part of the process, and we can pretty much guarantee they don’t break a sweat when they call you to let you down—or don’t even contact you again.

Don’t stress over someone who wouldn’t do the same for you. Just keep things respectful, professional and keep it moving.

You have to do what’s best for you

When you’re assessing whether a position is going to fit well into your life, there’s plenty of things to consider. Will your work/life balance be good? Is the workplace culture one you can fit with? Does it come with a pay cut that will leave you in a tight spot? Is the commute simply too long? Is the position different from what you thought before you applied?

Collect the answers to all these questions (and more!). With all that info in mind, does this job meet your needs? We spend an awful lot of time at work—so if you’re going to be there, it better be good.

Never feel guilty about prioritising your needs beyond just needing to pay your bills. And understand that it’s okay to value yourself above all else. No job is going to do that for you.

Making the wrong choice could come at a price

Never let yourself get pressured into taking a job that just isn’t right for you. Maybe you don’t have the luxury of multiple offers; maybe this is the only one being offered but it still doesn’t feel right. Sure, you’ll be employed if you take it—despite all the cons. And sure, it will be uncomfortable and hard to decline a job offer after going through the process of interviewing. But ignoring your intuition can come at a high cost, even if it gets you ahead in the short term.

If you get yourself into a situation you know isn’t right, expect to have that discomfort spill over into other parts of your life. Misery at work can affect the way you interact with family at home, how often you take care of yourself and eventually take a major toll on your mental health.

Is avoiding the task of declining that job worth it? No way.

Facing slight conflict head-on can be uncomfortable at first. But growth requires uncomfortable moments—so bring them on.

You’re not doing them any favours

Accepting a job you don’t want won’t benefit the employer. You won’t be doing them any favours by forcing yourself into something that doesn’t feel right. Ignoring your intuition almost never pays off in the long run—it just feels bad.

We guarantee that they’d rather have to continue interviewing to find the right candidate. Having you slug through something, only to leave later, is a way bigger pain. Just do the right thing, be upfront and own your decision.

Trust yourself

If you know that this job isn’t the one, say so. If you’re not happy with what they’re offering, say so. You have to be your biggest defender and take care of yourself—because your job is never going to care about you the way you do.

Trust your intuition, listen to your gut and put yourself first. You’re worth it. Never feel guilty about doing what’s best for you.

By Suzie Finch. Founder of The Career Improvement Club, Suzie Finch combines extensive experience in HR and CV writing to help job seekers. Her advice and beautiful CV Designs have helped thousands of charity professionals secure brilliant career moves.

Emotional Intelligence – the New Skills Gap
February 24, 2020
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By Nick Kirk – Managing Director at Michael Page.

Employers want to hire people with emotional intelligence skills but candidates aren’t listing them on applications

There has been a lot of buzz recently around emotional intelligence, often referred to as EQ. Back in 2016 the World Economic Forum named emotional intelligence as one of the most important workplace skills needed for success in 2020.

Emotional intelligence is being aware of one’s own emotions and being able to handle interpersonal relationships with empathy.

However, recent research by Michael Page has uncovered a worrying new trend in the UK jobs market: an emotional intelligence skills gap.

The key finding of our study shows that there is a clear disconnect between the skills employers want and those jobseekers are displaying when it comes to emotional intelligence.

Half of the employers surveyed cited emotional intelligence as increasingly important for those entering today’s workforce, ranking it higher than work experience or even holding a degree. However, this is rarely mentioned in candidates’ applications.

Despite emphasis being placed on emotional intelligence by those in hiring positions, just 0.4% of PageGroup applicants over the last year reference empathy in their CV – a key tenet of emotional intelligence – while just 0.81% mention listening as one of their skills.

Emotional intelligence skills are consistently being ranked higher than more traditional skills such as foreign languages or financial acumen.

Essentially emotional intelligence in the workplace comes down to understanding, expressing, managing good relationships and solving problems under pressure.

Our capacity for emotional intelligence is one of the most obvious ways humans have the edge over technological counterparts. What is worrying is that candidates are not highlighting these skills to potential employers, despite clear demand for them.

To help address this I urge companies to look at jobseekers who have clearly evaluated their skillset and highlighted the most valuable ones.

Introducing EQ into the recruitment and assessment process will help to identify the candidates with the right attitude and mindset to work well with colleagues, be advocates of change, and deliver against your organisation’s objectives.

For instance, self-awareness is key to emotional intelligence. Employees who spend time observing and reflecting on their emotional responses to different situations, and who pay attention to their physical reactions, can have a great impact on company culture.

Active listening skills and motivation are also two invaluable traits of EQ. People who possess them understand issues from different perspectives, demonstrate optimism and a desire to build valuable relationships with others, and continually improve their skillset.

However, just as it is important to seek new hires with emotional intelligence, it is vital for managers and other business leaders to operate in emotionally intelligent ways to meet the needs of today’s workers.

Stress can trigger irrational behaviour that is often attributed to low emotional intelligence. Consider the best way to reduce the stress levels within your business – whether that’s allowing employees to take a break from their desks, listen to music, or go for a walk.

Much as people would regularly exercise to stay in shape physically, they need to regularly work on their emotional intelligence skills so that they improve.

Investing in emotional intelligence will result in more engaged, committed employees who will help to move your business forward.

We need to ensure the potential emotional intelligence skills gap in the country is addressed before it becomes a major business issue.

Business leaders should focus on driving change from within their own organisations so employees can follow their example. As the importance of emotional intelligence becomes widely recognised, I hope we will see jobseekers adapt their applications to reflect the behaviour demonstrated by businesses – with both putting EQ high on their list of priorities.