Brexit creates ongoing uncertainty In addition to the usual seasonal trends we see within HR – such as a downturn in the market during holiday periods – Brexit is creating significant amounts of uncertainty.
Clients and candidates alike in the human resource development space are telling us that Brexit is contributing to changes in activity, particularly within manufacturing and other industries that operate on a large scale. These companies are on limited production and many are stocking up on materials to bulk-store in warehouses ahead of any Brexit decision. This caution and preparation is being felt throughout the country, with UK factory output accelerating in September as firms rushed to buy goods and materials to avoid border delays. SMEs and large organisations are holding their supplies in warehouses, with some – such as
In addition, the permanent side of the HR market is being increasingly reserved as the Brexit outcome remains unclear. There is little movement from either candidates or clients, with caution encouraging workers to stay put in their jobs and employers to avoid adding too many new permanent roles. However, we expect that as soon as there is a clear outcome, activity will return to pre-Brexit levels and it will be full steam ahead in the fixed-term contract and permanent HR space.
Companies are focusing on rewardClients are no longer looking just at salaries, with their focus shifting towards bonuses, benefits, pensions and flexibility. While our 2019 Market Insight report shows that 72% of respondents received a pay increase at their most recent pay review, we know that pay rises have slowed across the board. Because of this – and indeed in a bid to not just attract top talent, but retain them - employers are being creative with benefits. Our respondents rate holiday leave, pension and bonus schemes and flexible working as among the most important benefits, and this is certainly being reflected by our clients.
Salaries have stabilised this year, rebounding after a period of low rates. In order to make these packages more appealing to both existing employees and new candidates, organisations are investing much more into pension packages, annual leave and provisions around home working. Competition for top talent is fierce, and with candidates reluctant to move on from roles until a Brexit outcome is determined, HR professionals are finding it harder than ever to lure people away from their current jobs and into their business. Because of this, we’re seeing huge demand for reward professionals within HR.
We’re moving from Human Resource Managers to Human Resource Business PartnersOutside of small SME clients, we’re seeing a decline in demand for human resource management (HRM) professionals. Medium and large organisations are increasingly looking to recruit human resource business partners who can provide significant strategic and operational benefits to organisations. While HRMs and HRBPs perform similar roles of connecting the HR department to management, HRBPs are more commercially aware and tend to work more closely with organisational leaders to develop and direct HR agendas. Organisations want business partners who can contribute to strategic meetings, are commercially savvy and understand how HR activity can impact and contribute to the bottom line. This doesn’t mean traditional HRMs are out of work, however – instead, they’re staying put in their existing roles while HRBPs are moving into new roles.
Salaries remain high in LondonSenior HR posts continue to generate higher salaries in London compared to the rest of the country, but many HR shared services are moving to more regional locations. For example, HSBC has transitioned from its Canary Wharf base to Birmingham. This move from London to the regions is reflected in the wider UK business market as real estate costs in London have soared.
Across the board, salaries have remained stable in 2019 as the bigger focus has been on the reward and benefits package companies can offer. Company and personal performance bonuses, however, have been much more competitive.
Fixed term contracts and permanent roles will gain steam in the new yearWhere IR35 is applicable we will likely see an increase in fixed term contracts and permanent roles in the new year, and we can expect to see Brexit playing a part in how this pans out. Larger complex organisations such as financial services and utilities firms still have contractors in place, but conversations with Heads of Resourcing suggest they will move towards more permanent roles and fixed term contracts rather than extending day rates as IR35 takes hold.
Interested in your next HR role? We can helpAt Marks Sattin, we have a deep knowledge of the senior HR market and work with high calibre organisations and professionals across the UK. Take a look at our current HR jobs here or get in touch to see how we can help you.
** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **HR
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Restructuring, rebuilding and transforming are high on everyone’s agenda and will continue to be, especially when considering further lockdown restrictions being put in place across the UK and Ireland. The current crisis has put extreme pressure on cash flow, workflow and staffing, pushing decision makers to make tough calls to plan for the future. While some organisations may be able to restructure and redeploy teams to other areas of the business, there are lots that will need to become more lean in order to weather the storm and arise from this challenge in a strong position. It’s crucial that any employee transition is managed in the right way so you can minimise business disruption, ensure employees leave with dignity and respect and re-assure remaining employees, helping you protect your employer brand and reputation and put you in a strong position for when you are looking to hire again in the future. . On this note, our sister company, Intoo UK and Ireland specialise in outplacement solutions and can offer advice and support. They have produced a guide called ‘Supporting your organisation through change and redundancy’, which provides useful information and support to HR or managerial teams responsible for leading change and managing the redundancy process. It works as a roadmap for employers to implement change in a way that minimises business disruption and, most importantly, protects employee wellbeing. You can download Intoo’s guide here. The guide covers:Assessing the need for redundanciesCommunicating changeThe redundancy process (including; preparation, evaluation criteria, consultation and legislation)Career transition support
** DEFAULT postresults.teaserlabel - en-GB **HR
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The past few months – and indeed, years – have demonstrated just how important diversity and inclusion are in modern society. Through the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, a light has been shone on the inequality and injustice that persists, not just in our day to day lives, but also in the workplace. We can no longer ignore how important diversity and inclusion are to businesses, nor can we expect things to get better without actively working to improve conditions and outcomes for everyone. And while promoting diversity and inclusion is absolutely the right thing to do for employees, there are also business benefits to doing so. What is diversity and inclusion? Diversity and inclusion aren’t just a priority for HR departments – it should be a key business strategy for all organisations. Workplace diversity can be defined as the understanding, acceptance and promotion of differences between people. This includes those of different genders, races, ages, sexual orientations, disabilities and religions, as well as people who have different educational, socioeconomic and experiential backgrounds. Meanwhile, inclusion is about creating a supportive and respectful work environment that values collaboration and participation of all employees, helping everyone to feel included. Together, diversity and inclusion make companies more welcoming, accessible and harmonious for everyone, not to mention more profitable and competitive. Why is diversity and inclusion important? First and foremost, diversity and inclusion are essential to make workplaces better for everyone. Purely from a compassionate perspective, it’s the right thing for employers to create environments where people feel comfortable to be themselves and can succeed without limitation. Commercially, diversity and inclusion have a significant number of benefits. Firstly, a strong focus on D&I can significantly widen the candidate talent pool , giving you access to more candidates who may be excluded by non-diverse hiring strategies. With 70% of job seekers looking for a company’s commitment to diversity when applying for new roles, it’s clear that you may be missing out on top talent if you neglect to address D&I in your organisation. On top of that, diverse organisations have better business results, higher employee satisfaction and are more innovative, according to Business in the Community . McKinsey research shows that executive teams in the top quartile for gender diversity were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than those companies who perform poorly in terms of executive-level gender diversity. This figure jumps to 36% when analysing teams with ethnic diversity. Diverse teams have also been proven to be more innovative, solve problems faster and have more engaged employees. Small steps to move the dial on D&I in your organisation The current emphasis on working from home presents a key opportunity for employers to rethink their D&I hiring strategies, with current conditions potentially opening up more flexible, part-time opportunities for those who may not have otherwise been able to commit to a 9-5 office job. To welcome more working parents and caregivers, disabled people and those with neurodiversity requirements, consider whether vacancies could be flexible, remote working or on part-time hours. Now is the perfect time to rethink your workspace and how it can be made more accessible to more people. A dedicated diversity and inclusion policy, taskforce or officer can help to highlight its importance within your business. You could perform a D&I audit, examining the levels of diversity that exist within the company and specifically at the executive level, and set goals to achieve a more balanced, inclusive environment within a certain time period. Have open conversations with your team members about D&I and ask them what would make them – and new team members – feel more welcomed. It’s also important to acknowledge the diversity that already exists in your company, such as by celebrating different cultural and religious events, greeting bilingual employees in their mother tongue or inviting families into work. Finally, while diversity and inclusion should be championed at the very highest levels of your business, it’s crucial that every single team member feels safe to contribute to these discussions and voice their opinions and stories. Prepare to tackle some difficult topics and be questioned. While subjects like the gender pay gap, lack of executive-level diversity and opportunities for progression can feel difficult to address, they are important conversations that need to be had in the process of making real change. Marks Sattin can help to diversify your talent pool. By partnering with a specialist recruitment agency which has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion , you’ll benefit from having access to more candidates and guidance on how to actively recruit from diverse talent pools. At Marks Sattin, we can help you identify, attract and retain exceptional people across financial services, technology, change management and more. Contact us here to have a chat about how we can work together.
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According to Buffer’s 2019 State of Remote Work report, 99% of respondents admitted wanting to work remotely in the future. While that may have seemed like a distant reality for some, in what felt like an overnight transition, the majority of the workforce went from seeing their colleagues every day to communicating entirely online. Managers too had to adapt to this ‘new’ normal and familiarise themselves with hiring and onboarding remotely. In the first few weeks companies were caught up in the flurry of activity, but as things have started to settle, many employers are beginning to question what impact remote working will have on employee engagement. Most organisations have likely brought their daily stand up meetings into the virtual space but there’s much more that can be done. The following tips will help companies engage their remote employees by creating a positive working culture that not only works during the pandemic, but also in the post-coronavirus world. Create a distinction between home and work Buffer’s State of Remote Work report also shows that 22% of remote workers struggle with switching off from work, making it the top problem these employees face. Employers must help their team maintain good mental health by creating a separation between work and leisure time. Take inspiration from others: Good-Loop has offered each employee £50 to spend on their home office, inspiring them to create a space that helps them to concentrate. Meanwhile, advertising agency Merkle has sent out printable artwork for their employees to bring some life to their virtual background. This is also helpful for managers who want to conduct a video interview for maximum impact. Recognition According to O.C Tanner’s 2020 Global Culture Report, company leaders see an 83% boost in engagement when they recognise their employees. For recognition to be effective, leaders must ensure they celebrate those big achievements whilst also showing appreciation for the small wins. A learning culture Isaac Newton achieved some of his greatest mathematical breakthroughs whilst in quarantine and the modern-day workforce also has the opportunity to unlock their stores of creativity during times of limited social interaction. Virtual classrooms and content co-creation tools like online whiteboards are just two options for boosting workplace learning during Covid-19. Here are some other methods: Initiate a ‘learning from home’ hour Having employees block out a ‘learning from home’ hour in their calendar ensures they have the time to dedicate to improving their industry knowledge. This time can be spent taking a course, reading thought-leadership articles, or learning about anything that helps them feel more engaged in their work. Internal learning sessions Hosting internal learning sessions is a great way to encourage knowledge sharing within and across teams. Employers can either schedule fortnightly meetings where teams present insights from their ‘learning from home’ time or give employees the option to share thought-provoking ideas in the Friday wrap-up session. Involve external thought leaders Invite external industry experts to bring a fresh perspective into the business, either through a presentation or by collaborating with them on a webinar. Working alongside a thought leader can spark innovative thinking, boost motivation and help employees feel more engaged in their field of work. Use surveys and questionnaires This is a dynamic way for organisations to engage their team because it empowers the employees to generate fresh ideas, mention pain points and state what helps them feel more involved in their work. This method receives bonus points because it saves companies the time of trialling and testing engagement practices that have worked for other organisations and skip right to applying practices that are personally suggested by their team. It’s important to remember that what works for one employee or team may not for the next. Employee engagement organisation, Effectory, began surveying employees since the outbreak of coronavirus to gain insight into the new working pattern and what it means for productivity and wellbeing. The results show that 66% of the workforce are able to do their job effectively from home and though this is a majority it still leaves one in three people struggling with the new working culture. Effectory have created a free Covid-19 Workforce Pulse survey which enables organisations to gain fast feedback on their employees’ engagement levels during the pandemic. The aggregated data from the survey shows that the top-performing companies all have one thing in common – they actively involve their employees. Use values to cultivate a sense of community Involving employees in the decision-making process through questionnaires also creates a sense of community. To nurture this environment, employers should seek more ways of helping their teams feel connected, something that’s particularly important for remote workers with limited social interaction. Emphasising the company values will ensure that employees working remotely feel as though they are marching to the beat of the same drum whilst encouraging camaraderie. To ensure their team feel connected and engaged, GitLab is hosting virtual coffee mornings. Boasting the world’s largest remote workforce, GitLab understands the importance of bringing colleagues together and promoting a shared sense of purpose. From e-birthday cards to online quizzes, there’s a lot that organisations can do to create a positive and inclusive virtual office culture. Are you looking for advice that’s relevant and timely? Since our advent in 1988, Marks Sattin have gained the expertise and knowledge that enables us to source the very best talent for businesses at every level, from start-ups to global organisations. Our recruitment consultants are committed to staying on top of trends in their specialist markets meaning they're able to provide our clients with the most relevant advice. Contact us to find out how we can help you recruit the top talent in your industry or register a vacancy now.
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Interim HR Analyst required on a 3 month interim contract for a leading organisation in Birmingham City Centre.
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