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
The economy has contracted in the wake of Covid-19, and so too have business budgets. We’ve seen a slowdown in recruitment activity around the world, with UK hiring halving in June 2020 compared to June 2019, and some organisations shedding staff or closing their doors entirely. Despite these trying times, however, we are also seeing many businesses emerge stronger from lockdown. Some industries are experiencing growth – the likes of pharma, e-commerce and digital communications are all thriving – and many organisations are now looking to the future. Part of this includes strengthening teams and adding value through the strategic hiring of A-player professionals.This raises an oft-asked question: Is in-house recruitment a better option than using a recruitment agency? With all eyes on budgets and the bottom line, some might argue that an in-house hiring process will save on cost – but does it deliver the same results, and how much is your internal team’s time worth? We’re exploring the pros and cons of in-house recruitment.Pro: It can seem more cost-effectiveWhen reducing budgets and trimming costs, the outsourced recruitment function can be the first thing to suffer. External expenditure on hiring is a cost some companies think they can no longer justify. Instead, some businesses take their recruitment in-house, relying on hiring managers, HR teams or dedicated in-house recruitment professionals to identify, attract and hire the right people. Aside from time, there are many hidden costs to recruiting inhouse that business leaders do not anticipate. " These can include: subscriptions to premium social media accounts, advertising on job boards and other platforms, recruitment software and having a presence at recruitment shows. If your business hires high volumes every year, then these costs may be justified, however this is limited by both the capacity and capability of your in-house team.Con: It can be extremely time-consumingNever underestimate the value of your team’s time. Specialist recruitment companies have vast networks of vetted candidates, both active and passive. They tend to be well-known in their fields, highly social and always making new connections. This means their potential candidate network usually far exceeds that of an in-house team, and they can contact pre-vetted candidates quickly. In-house teams can struggle to have this reach and impact and typically take longer to search for, vet and contact candidates.Within Marks Sattin, we’re seeing some companies choosing to take their recruitment in-house, only to get in touch down the line after realising how much time it takes to identify a quality shortlist of candidates. When you consider that one third of vacancies in the UK are considered hard to fill, it’s no surprise that teams often struggle when taking recruitment in-house. Writing and advertising vacancies, proactively headhunting and contacting passive candidates, responding to questions and applications and vetting CVs all takes an extraordinary amount of time – and that’s before you even start scheduling interviews. For in-house professionals who are also juggling other responsibilities, this can become too much and many businesses end up reverting back to an outsourced model.Pro: You can boost your employer brandingAn in-house function means you’ll own the end-to-end recruitment process and be solely responsible for the candidate experience. This presents a great opportunity to build your employer brand and take control of how you are perceived by potential employees.If you outsource your recruitment function to a specialist recruitment agency, you’ll be trusting them to represent your company appropriately and guarantee the best possible candidate experience. They will often act as the initial touch point and introduction to your role and company. This means a good recruitment agency will take the time to get a strong understanding of your company culture, requirements, role and business objectives.Con: You miss out on expert insightsIf you hire an in-house recruiter to your organisation, make sure they have a deep understanding of your industry and wider market trends. A good recruitment partner will not only understand what developments, opportunities and challenges are emerging in your industry – whether that’s a new technology making waves or new legislation creating qualification requirements – but also what the market is like for candidates and clients. Crucially, they need to know about the specific roles they are searching for.This is especially important for executive search, where passive candidates need extra incentives to change roles. Executive recruiters must understand their markets inside out, and know what will incentivise certain professionals to move, something which in-house teams may not always understand. In-house professionals usually recruit for roles across the whole business, whether that’s a marketing intern, CFO or diversity manager, and it can be challenging for them to get a deep understanding of each of these very different roles.Save time and get the best candidates with Marks SattinWe are proud to be recruitment specialist in our markets of financial services, commerce and industry, professional services, executive search, business change and technology. We have 32 years’ experience and pride ourselves on repeat business, excellent customer service and our candidate care, where we source, meet and screen every candidate ourselves. We build long-term relationships that allow us to understand your business and requirements, ultimately saving you time and money and delivering professionals we know will be successful. Register a vacancy with us to see how we can help you.
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.
What is happening in the UK’s HR market? The HR industry has undergone significant change in recent years, moving away from its previous image of being an administrative role to its current reputation as a key function in any high-performing organisation. With alternative workforces, disruptive digital business models and a focus on more meaningful work all taking hold, the HR profession is responding in turn, creating new opportunities for professionals across the UK. Here’s where the market is at currently: 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 asJaguar Land Rover – building brand new distribution centres in a bid to counteract Brexit pressures. 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.
Why should we bring wellbeing into the workplace? Wellbeing is in the workplace whether we like it or not, and the healthier your workforce the better your business will perform. Businesses in the FTSE 100 who have a robust wellbeing strategy are outperforming all of the others and evidence suggests that for every £1 invested in employee wellbeing your business will generate another £3. It’s hard to understand in 2019 how some boardrooms are still seeing employee wellbeing and mental health as a ‘fluffy subject’ and not seeing the direct links between employee energy and their business results. How do you open a conversation about mental health in the workplace? The stigma of mental health is the huge ‘wall of silence’ that exists around this subject. We choose not to speak about this subject because we fear saying something wrong and making someone feel embarrassed or awkward so we choose to say nothing. We don’t know how to open up the wellbeing conversation which makes us even less likely to start what could be a lifesaving conversation. The answer is in training your people on the right language to use in such circumstances. We should never say to somebody ‘I am very worried about your mental health’. They would go into a ‘shut down’ mode and find it far too invasive. If you say you have noticed a change in their energy levels (as part of a much wider conversation) they are far more likely to tell you what is going on in their life and the impact it is having on their wellbeing. As a counsellor I am trained to ‘notice, not interpret’ as it is far less judgemental and I share this with my clients. What can we do to encourage employees to proactively enhance their own wellbeing? Employees take on average six to eight years after the initial symptoms of poor mental health to seek professional advice. This is largely because they are not aware of the early indicators combined with the powerful stigma that prevents them from being honest and open about their mental wellbeing. To encourage employees to be proactive we need to invest time and resource into the workplace to help them understand their mental wellbeing better. We need to provide them with simple tools to measure their energy levels and create cultures where people want to flourish and live a healthier way of life. What are the business risks if we fail to address these issues? Teams that operate with high energy are successful, but teams that are not healthy and energised will never get anywhere near optimising performance. It feels like I am stating the obvious but the risks are high levels of absenteeism, poor employee engagement, high staff churn, inefficiency and reduced productivity. If your culture is not focussed on employee wellbeing, you will lose more staff to long term work related stress. It is evidence based that employees who have suffered stress related illness are very difficult to get back to work and businesses are exceptionally poor at dealing with these type of wellbeing issues. How do we create the right culture of trust to create a stigma free workplace? The tone has to be set from the very top of your organisation. My clients who realise the importance of senior executives sharing how mental health has touched their own lives are seeing a tangible cultural shift. When top executives talk openly about mental health it makes it much easier for all employees to feel safe to do so. All people managers should be trained on how to create a kinder culture that drives employee energy. It is evidence based that managers will not speak to employees about wellbeing because they do not feel qualified. The great news is they don’t need to be qualified but educated on the importance of becoming more personable and how to direct employees to get appropriate professional help. David Beeney is a mental health advocate and a business advisor. David brings his personal experience of struggling with mental health problems, commercial background and business knowledge to help organisations implement mental health & wellbeing strategies within the workplace. David is committed to reducing the stigma of mental health in the workplace. The 10th edition of our highly regarded Market Insight Report represents the views of over 1,100 professionals, and contains insights from our specialist consultants and key business partners on market and employment trends. If you’re looking to find out more on salary benchmarking and the motivations driving the modern workforce today, download our full report which contains key contributions from Western Union Business Solutions, Women in Fund Finance, Intoo UK & Ireland and Seddons Solicitors.
Content TypeDiversity and Inclusion
How failing to recruit and retain a diverse workforce may lose you the next big mandate, a contribution from Chelsea Bruno and Meera Savjani on behalf of Women in Fund Finance. Although hard to believe, there are still some who do not understand the value of diversity. Despite countless studies providing strong evidence that the most successful companies are those that employ a diverse group of individuals, many maintain homogenous workforces with no intention of diversifying. Although this approach has long gone unchallenged, there is now a growing consciousness within many corporate cultures which is driving companies to hold their external counter parts and service providers accountable for failing to address the issue. It comes as no surprise that some of the more “traditional” industries such as law and finance have been slower to progress in building diverse talent pools, and the clients of these firms have started to notice. In January 2019, more than 170 general counsels and corporate legal officers in the United States signed an open letter to big law firms which criticised these firms for the lack of diversity at the partner level. The letter, which was signed by companies such as Heineken, Vox Media, and S&P Global Ratings, stated that going forward these companies (many of which operate globally) would prioritise their legal spend on those firms that commit to diversity and inclusion. The letter went on to state “we applaud those firms that have worked hard to hire, retain and promote to partnership outstanding and highly accomplished lawyers who are diverse in race, colour, age, gender orientation, sexual orientation, national origin, and religion and without regard to disabilities”1. Although the letter does not set out how these firms plan to measure such level of commitment, it’s clear that these firms are serious about holding their legal counterparts accountable, and when taking a closer look, it’s clear that emphasis on diversity does not stop at these 170 corporations. Across the Atlantic, industry groups in the UK are also pushing to hold big corporates accountable for failing to make meaningful progress when it comes to diversity. As reported by the Guardian in May 2019, the Investment Association (IA), a trade body which represents UK investment managers who in aggregate manage over £7.7tn in AUM, has confronted 94 publicly listed companies for failing to make sufficient progress on gender diversity. The IA has written to each of these companies and raised concerns about the lack of gender diversity in leadership positions. A list of companies which received the highest level of warning from the IA was recently published in the Guardian and confirmed by IA2 , and although some of these companies have responded with statements emphasising efforts to address such issues, it’s clear that shareholders and potential investors will be looking for measurable progress going forward. In line with such expectations, some investors are taking accountability into their own hands, as evidenced by a change implemented by ILPA (the Institutional Limited Partner Association), the global industry body that represents the interest of private equity limited partners. ILPA recently expanded its standard due diligence questionnaire (DDQ) to include a section related to diversity and inclusion, and requires firms fill in a template which aims to measure and report the gender and ethnic diversity of teams by seniority and role. It also includes a section of questions designed to help investors understand a firm’s policies and procedures in areas such as hiring, promotions, family leave, mentoring, and harassment and discrimination. When asked about the updated DDQ, CEO of ILPA Steve Nelson stated “ILPA believes that diversity and inclusion is a strength that all stakeholders within the private equity ecosystem should embrace and promote in meaningful ways,” said Nelson. “The due diligence questionnaire expansion and Code of Conduct guidance represent an opportunity for general partners (GPs) and limited partners (LPs) to have conversations about these important issues, in the spirit of a stronger and ever improving workplace for everyone. We look forward to advancing these ideals which serve as the foundation for a healthy, prosperous industry.”3 As with the other industry groups discussed herein, ILPA is sending a clear message that diversity is no longer an optional. Changes such as the updated DDQ make it increasingly difficult for firms to completely ignore the topic, and although the potential consequences are meaningful in all industries, the cyclicality of fundraising in private equity means the risk associated with failing to adapt could be both severe and expensive. While few would doubt that the conversation around diversity and inclusion has evolved significantly over the past two decades, many are now suggesting that the time has come for the conversation to expand into action. Although just a few examples are discussed herein, it's almost for certain that there will be more letters and questionnaires to come. With the rise of such accountability, the cost of failing to adapt may soon weigh heavy on firms and maintaining the status quo of a homogenous workforce may come to feel like a burden in itself. Thus, firms must ask themselves whether the status quo is worth the missed opportunity that will result. The 10th edition of our highly regarded Market Insight Report represents the views of over 1,100 professionals, and contains insights from our specialist consultants and key business partners on market and employment trends. If you’re looking to find out more on salary benchmarking and the motivations driving the modern workforce today, download our full report which contains key contributions from Western Union Business Solutions,Seddons Solicitors, Intoo UK & Ireland and Breaking the Silence. Cited https://www.law.com/americanlawyer/2019/01/27/170-gcs-pen-open-letter-to-law-firms-improve-on-diversity-or-lose-our-business/ https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/may/13/investor-group-warns-almost-100-firms-over-lack-of-gender-diversity https://www.pr-inside.com/ilpa-publishes-diversity-and-inclusion-resources-f-r4704476.htm