Recruitment News August 2016 Part 2

Hey! It’s a new week so I’m here to bring you your next round-up of news and resources! Enjoy!

Tragedy Avoided?

Speaking to the European Parliament, businessman George Soros has suggested that the Leave campaign’s win may not be as bad as first imagined. Having weathered the initial economic storm, it’s the reaction to a possible Brexit that he says inspires hope.

“People on both sides of the referendum, and most importantly those who didn’t even vote—particularly young people under 35—have become mobilized. This is the kind of grassroots involvement that the European Union has never been able to generate before.”

For instance, we have seen a 4 million strong petition demanding a second referendum, and whilst this is unlikely to materialise, these voices are being heard both nationally and on the continent. Gaining a great deal of media coverage, Soros argues that,

“This approach could then be replicated in the rest of the European Union by forming a movement that would seek to save the EU by profoundly restructuring it.” Which could go someway to resolving the rift that has divided the country and has lead to a Leave voters taking legal action against bullying Remainers.

Working in an international environment at ABL, we have already seen the impact of worry and uncertainty in both employers and employees. And whilst the Brexit process isn’t set to start any time soon, those considering their long term career prospects are looking further afield for job security. We can only hope that Mr Soros’ optimism is contagious.


Stressed workers? Recruit more staff!

A recent survey by MetLife Employee Benefits has revealed that stress in the workplace could be dramatically reduced if businesses were to simply hire more staff. The company, which endeavours to offer employees financial security and programs and products, found that many workers suffered from stress induced anxiety. Although there are companies which are doing there best to help:

1)50% of employees have access to medical care, gyms, counselling and flexible working hours.
2)42% found that their workplace actually attempts to help staff cope with pressure and stress.
3)20% of businesses have assistance programmes which provide staff with counselling services if required.

Even though there are care systems put in place, 40% of respondents stated that stress could be reduced in the first place simply by hiring more staff and sharing the workload. Decreasing pressure and responsibility, leading to happier and more productive staff is a win all around.


Are migrant workers set to be replaced by robots?

And back to the Brexit. Whilst George Soros might be optimistic about the future, the thinktank ‘The Resolution Foundation’ has released a report outlining the key industries that will be moving towards automation. Called the “Robot Wars: Automation and the labour market”, the study focuses on the reduction of migrant workers post-brexit and what this means for UK business. The answer is robots. Lots of robots.

“In any case, what the UK needs – with its high employment, terrible productivity performance and low investment – is more robots. And public policy may be adding to this need. The welcome National Living Wage is increasing labour costs at the bottom, while the – as yet unclear – nature of Britain’s exit from the EU may lead to reductions in low-skilled immigration. Looking at those sectors with the highest proportion of EU migrants, we find that some (such as cleaning and domestic staffing) face relatively low prospects for automation, while others (such as agriculture, food manufacturing and food and drink services) may see new pressures (or opportunities) to automate.”

On the surface this might seem like another reason to be depressed about the future jobs market, with those of the unskilled laborers being taken by machines. But there is another, more optimistic way to look at it. With the rise of robots taking over manual, monotonous tasks, we can focus on human services which improve quality of life and creating more rewarding jobs. And the report has shown that overall employment is not at risk, but rather certain job roles. However, new positions are likely to appear in the company to fill the void.

So the robots may be taking our jobs. But they might be making some too.


Now Hiring? Stay Grounded!

And now for the cold hard slap of realism. What do people actually think about your business? The other day I came across an article from a recruitment consultant who found that many of his clients often thought of themselves as one thing, but were perceived in a totally different way by the outside world. And, though I don’t want to say it, I’ve come across the same.

You see it’s easy for a business owner or employee to convince themselves, in their little bubble, that they’re projecting the image they want. But without gaining an objective perspective on things, you can become convinced of anything. In many cases this leads to employers not hiring the suitable staff, because they don’t believe they’re in fitting with the ‘company image’.

So what can be done to ensure that you don’t fall into the same trap? Get people’s opinions! Ask around and find out what your staff think about you, what your friends and family, your customers think. This is not only a good exercise for marketing, but in figuring out what kind of staff you need to bring in. By being aware of how your company is perceived and how it can realistically grow, you can identify the right traits in the right candidates that can help you make your wins.


Half of women in Britain face sexual harassment at work

Shockingly it has been revealed that 50% of women has suffered either physical or verbal harassment at their job, according to a recent survey carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC). Perhaps most worrying, a quarter of respondents claimed that they’d been the victims of unwanted touching and a third the victims of sexualised jokes.

Published in conjunction with the Everyday Sexism Project, the excuse of ‘banter’ once again reared its ugly head. The survey of 1,533 women was met with a remarkable and frankly saddening reception online with the hashtag #HarassedAtWork trending on Twitter. Used to share their personal accounts of sexual harassment, women from around the world took to sharing their own stories, the size and impact of the issue is there for everyone to see.

Often dismissed as the ‘harmless fun’, the work environment needs to offer a safe space to everyone, free from discrimination of any kind. And as such, employers need to be treating all incidents, regardless of how minor, with a seriousness that will stamp harassment out for good.


Citizen’s Advice Bureau reveal rise in maternity leave discrimination

Sadly, the second story unfortunately reeks of the same intolerance. According to records from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau there has been a 60% rise in women reporting discrimination as a consequence of them taking maternity leave.

With 3,300 new mothers approaching the charity last year, complaints ranged from slashed hours, zero hour contracts or even loss of the job itself. At a time at which many families will be feeling the bite of an extra mouth to feed, this disturbing practise simply must be eradicated. Though herein lies the problem.

Whilst mothers are legally protected from such changes to their employment, the enforcement of this law is complicated. The responsibility falls to a plethora of governmental departments with no one agency charged with protecting them from the actions of nefarious bosses.

Contributing to a massive rise in pressure upon people who may be in vulnerable positions, the evidence once again points to a much needed reevaluation of employment law and how mothers are protected.


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About the author…

Nicole Debson
Director & Founder

With 30 years in recruitment, a genuine interest in people and a desire to help forge careers, Nicole has built ABL on the principle of making businesses better and that little bit more international. Seeking to help candidates navigate their career path; to help clients find the ideal employee, her hands on approach is what has moulded our company. Fluent in French, with good Spanish, and a Masters in Industrial Relations & Personnel Management, you’ll find Nicole thumbing through her well-worn copy of Jack London’s White Fang, her all-time favourite book.