Recruitment News July 2016 Part 2

Hello there,

I am back again for your bi-monthly instalment of all the latest news affecting you whether you are looking for work, or simply just keen to keep on top of any new developments in the employment market since Brexit. I have also put a little extra coverage on gender equality, which I hope you find interesting. Covering all bases, I really hope you enjoy this instalment and I would welcome your thoughts on any other topics that you would like to see covered in the next newsletter.

Over 50% of Legal Firms Feel Talent Pool has Shrunk

Clayton Legal has revealed that over half of UK legal firms believe the skilled talent pool within the sector has shrunk over the last year. Over 2000 firms were questioned by the specialist legal recruitment consultancy and it was found that 52% have been finding it more difficult to find skilled professionals over the last year. Organisations have reported severe shortages in property and clinical negligence, conveyancing and there appears to be a shortage in newly qualified solicitors.

Lynn Sedgwick, Managing Director of Clayton Legal commented: “There are a number of reasons behind the fall, property experts, for example, left the sector in droves during the slump in 2008 and talent pipelines are still taking some time to recover.” she continues: “legal firms need to take a long term approach to identifying and building talent pools and pipelines as it’s not an easy time to recruit legal specialists, as our data shows. This is one of the reasons why we’re partnering with training organisations, as it allows us to identify these pipelines early on as well as any areas that could potentially be impacted by shortages.”


3 Tips for Employers on Protecting Confidential Information

In light of the Sunderland FC gross misconduct blunder, we decided we’d share our three top tips for protecting confidential information within your company or organisation:

1. Keep Confidentiality Provisions Centre Stage
Confidentiality provisions and restrictive covenants should be kept under review as the employee’s job role and the company’s business needs evolve over time. It’s important the safeguards for confidential details remain relevant and robust on a continual basis.

2. Training Is Important
Policies for confidential information should be communicated to all employees and supplemented with training on the company’s rules on regulating the disclosure and use of confidential information.

3. Supporting Policies
The technological age has created the additional hurdle of protecting confidential information within the digital landscape. Employers should put in place policies that cover the use of electronic communications, as well as providing clear guidance on social media conduct within the workplace. No employees should be left in the dark and there should be no doubt that misuse of confidential information by digital, social media or other means will amount to gross misconduct.


The Company That Pays Its Employees to Sleep

We read recently that staff at the US insurance group Aetna, get paid specifically £225 a year to get a good night’s sleep! The US firm has concerns about the impact of sleep deprivation on employee performance, so it encourage its workers to sign up to a scheme that rewards them for getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

The staff that participate in the scheme can earn $35 for every 20 nights that they sleep for 7 hour or more, which is up to $300 every 12 months! It was introduced in 2013 and 17,300 of the firm’s 49,500 employees participated in 2014. If you’re wondering how they track it, employees are trusted to manually record how long they have slept every night. When asked if she had any concerns about workers pocketing the cash without actually getting all the sleep she said “We’re not worried, it’s on the honour system, we trust our staff.”

Aetna’s Vice President of Employee Benefits, Kat Mooney says that the lack of sleep scheme is “one of many different healthy behaviours we wanted staff to track”. That’s not all – the company also donates extra funds if their employees do exercise! In the US alone, the average worker loses 11.3 working days of productivity per year due to sleep deprivation.


LinkedIn: The 25 Most Attractive Employers in the UK

LinkedIn has collated its data that examines the billions of actions of the site’s over 433 million members to define the 25 most attractive employers of the UK. The data looks at actions on the site such as new hire staying power, engagement, company reach and job applications, which it says indicates the most sought after and wanted companies by professionals. If you’re looking to retain top talent within your business then take notes from the UK’s top 25 who’re doing it right.

John Lewis comes in first on the list, which comes as no surprise as it is renowned for its treatment to its employees. Notable for its employee-owned partnership model it goes against the standard private-equity backed businesses. The company’s website states: “We are a democracy – open, fair and transparent. Our profits are shared, our partners have a voice and there is a true sense of pride in belonging to something so unique and highly regarded.” The partners of the business are the 91,500 employees and they all receive the same percentage payout which rises or falls in accordance to its financial fortunes. Pretty good.

Second on the list comes Virgin Media and several other US firms appear on the list such as Google, Facebook, Amazon as well as the prominent luxury London retailers selfridges and Harrods. Harrods has almost 100,000 followers of its LinkedIn company profiles which it claims has been largely accrued organically through its interesting content and long term engagement.

For the full list of the UK’s most attractive employers, head on over to the Recruiting Times

Why Language Matters to Female Entrepreneurs

We read a really great think piece on the Guardian this week by Sue Stockdale, executive coach, author and motivational speaker discussing her involvement in an initiative whose target market was women entrepreneurs running fast-growth companies. Her goal was to find women that identified with this description however the traditional advertising routes weren’t working. She wondered momentarily, if these women actually even existed.

She eventually discovered that there were many women who not only fit the description but whose revenues from their companies were well in excess of £250,000. But for some reason they didn’t actually categorise themselves as a “fast growth company”. In fact it took a while of conversation for them to recognise how successful they actually were. She began to get to know the business women on an individual basis and would then enquire what their future plans were, starting here they are now and slowly uncovering where they were moving towards.

We’re just setting the scene for you here, we’d prefer you to take a read yourself. But Sue makes a very interesting comment on the language that is used to discuss our business plans and whether using a different sort of narrative would open up a new way of thinking in our business planning as women. Check it out here.

Nobel Women's Initiative: Brexit Could Put Women’s Rights at Risk

It’s some unfortunate news we finish off on this week, but it has to be discussed. Britain’s decision to withdraw from the EU in a landmark referendum last month has led to the possible jeopardy of the stability of women’s rights in the UK. The EU is the law enforcing body that upholds so much of the equality legislation in Europe, and the UK’s decision compromises equal pay, workforce discrimination, and more. According to s TUC (Trades Union Congress) from May 2016, these are all set to change with the Brexit.

It states: “Many of the improvements in working women’s rights have come from EU case law – court rulings that then had to be followed in similar cases across all member states, but if Britain left the EU, the UK government would be free to override any judgement that improved workers’ rights.” Not only this, but the EU also dedicated 6.17 billion Euros between 2014 and 2020 towards gender inequality programming and has initiated several programs to combat violence against women.

The leader of the Women’s Equality Party Sophie Walker takes an optimistic stance despite all of this. She says: “I am more convinced than ever that the only way for Britain to thrive is to work across divides and put the intersectional experiences of all women at the heart of our new plans for growth.” We will continue to report on this in the coming weeks.


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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.