Recruitment News: Workplace Automation, Christmas Parties and Equality

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

67% of Britain’s Bosses Think Creativity is Key for Positive Business Results

Two thirds of employers in the UK say that a creative workforce is key in generating strong business results. A survey of 500 employers and bosses from multiple sectors, commissioned by Solopress, found that lateral thinking employees have a positive effect on business output.

The study shows that creativity in business is essential, with 81% of Britain’s bosses believing that fostering a creative environment is important for their employees. This is so much the case that 64% of respondents say that they’re likely to hire a new employee based on their creative abilities.

The survey has examined a range of sectors that aren’t typically associated with creativity, such as finance. Despite this, employers in the area advocated creativity in the workplace with 87% of them believing encouraging employees to think creatively in their role is important.

The Chief Innovation Officer at Solopress said: “It’s a common perception that people in certain business sectors are more creative than others – of course art directors are creative, but what about financial executives?

“We wanted to challenge the view that creative people only belong to certain sectors. Our study shows that creativity is valued across all sectors, and is important for business innovation and profitability, even if the industry area is not usually considered to be creative”.


85% of Employers Believe that Workplace Automation Will Create More Jobs than Replace

Capita Resourcing has released a new report that reveals that 85% of employers believe workplace automation will create more jobs than it’ll replace in their organisation in 10 year’s time. The main benefits to employees and businesses over this period are likely to be new skills development (54%) and enhanced productivity (76%).

The ‘Workplace More Human’ report launched on the 2nd of December and surveyed the attitudes of over 200 business leaders in medium to large organisations and 1,000 full or part time employees. The report revealed that the workplace is currently undergoing a rapid transformation with over half (54%) of employers already automating business processes that used to be performed by people. A further 39% plan to automate more processes in the next 12 months.

This is encouraging a well-documented fear amongst employees that automation will result in mass redundancies, whilst 67% of employees associate some level of benefit to the automation. 72% of workers express concern for loss of work and the ‘de-socialisation’ of the workplace (27%). Although, the research shows that the extent of the fear may actually be misplaced as business leaders believe that 80% of staff are either going to be deployed in other areas, work alongside automation, or their experience will have no change whatsoever.

The managing Director at Capita Resourcing, Jo Markin said: “Automation holds considerable advantages for companies and employees alike. Yet, employee fears and concerns could present a significant barrier to realising its full potential. In order to achieve the perfect blend between human and machine, organisations should involve HR in their automation strategy from day one. This will help to fully understand the potential impact on the workforce and ensure that employee concerns are addressed and managed. Open communication about automation, and reassuring workers of their unique role is critical.”

She continues “In an increasingly automated world, the million-dollar question will be how to use the efficiency gained through technology to differentiate your business. Adopting a creative approach to getting humans and machines to work together is paramount. In addition, robust skills mapping will become more important in order to attract, retrain and engage the right talent for the future. Savings from efficiency should then be invested to create innovation in the workplace and to tackle future challenges. Early movers that embrace and foster a combination of creativity and technology will gain a significant competitive advantage.”


5 Rules for the Firm Christmas Party

It’s that time of year again and I think we can all relate to doing something slightly embarrassing at the firm Christmas party. But, ABL are here to help. Here’s 5 rules we’re going to give you for your next Christmas gathering at the firm.

1.Don’t Boast About Your Bonus Prospects – There’s going to be staff there who get nothing or at least very little this year-end and hearing what you’re going to get is most likely going to make them feel bad. Or they might want to punch you. Don’t brag, this time of year isn’t for that kind of thing.

2.Don’t Reciprocate Advances from Married Colleagues – More on a personal level, this is a terrible idea. Remember that you’re going to have to spend the whole of the next year with them, as some might say – don’t defecate where you eat.

3.Don’t Talk About Work – This one might seem a bit strange but the whole purpose of a social work night means you don’t really talk about work and you keep it all ‘play’.

4.Don’t Ask for a Raise – The boss might be smiling for the first time since forever but this is absolutely no time to tell them about your increased salary expectations.

5.Don’t Drink Too Much – What seems like a no brainer can make or break your workplace environment. No amount of cheap wine is worth a week long cringe because you photocopied your bum to fit in. Do not. Drink. Too much.


Almost Half (48%) of Britons have Edited Their Social Media Post Before Applying for a Job

According to a new study of UK social media users, the majority of people significantly alter their online behaviour when they think a recruiter or potential employer might be watching. 81% of people will edit social media activity after applying for a job but 61% aren’t actually aware of how visible their social media activities are.

Conducted on behalf of Online Spy Shop, there are a few other key findings from the report:

-70% admit falsely ‘fluffing up’ their social media profiles to impress recruiters

-A third (34%) admit ‘virtue signalling’ on social media to impress potential employers

-Going dark – 29% stop posting on social media when applying for jobs, and 8% have deleted or suspended accounts to avoid scrutiny

Google UK autocomplete data suggests candidates are concerned employers or recruiters may check their Facebook profiles.

Of the 1,000 UK adults who have one or more social media account and have been through a recruitment process in the last three years who were questioned, 70% of them said they’d added activities and interests to their social media profiles in order to make themselves more appealing to potential employers. One worker, in the digital marketing industry commented: “I retweet content from industry influencers a lot. Things like industry insights, reports, analysis and news, but I rarely read it all first. Sometimes I’ll just read the headline and add a comment when retweeting. But I do trust the people who are producing the content that I share.”

34% of respondents said they’d performed some sort of online activity in order to appear ‘virtuous’ to potential employers. Of the people who admitted doing this, 41% said they’d shared news or articles that reflected positively on them. In other news, 81% of Britons have actually completed a social media ‘audit’ to remove any content that might reflect badly on them. Interesting stuff!


WEP Calls for Government Reform on ‘Historic Inequalities’ in Tax System

Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party has called on the Government to create an economy which addresses historical inequalities which so often penalise women. Millions of women around the country are combining caring responsibilities with work and are struggling to make ends meet. Women in London are facing the greatest hardship.

At the party’s first conference, Walker claimed that benefit cuts are having an overwhelming impact on women while raising the threshold at which tax is paid is benefiting men the most. “It is a gender-blind economy that prioritises raising the personal allowance on income tax, benefiting a very small group of people, most of whom are men,” she said. “And for the handful of women that do stand to gain, their momentary freedom is tempered by a lifetime of reduced benefits, lost pension contributions and shrinking public services.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced his Autumn Statement that the income tax-free personal allowance will increase from £11,000 to £12,000 over the course of this Parliament. Ms Walker called for a single flat rate of 25p for pension tax release – there is currently a second, higher rate – which she said would provide a boost for up to 95% of working women. She also criticised the Government’s handling of changes to the state pension age to bring women into line with men which have left some in financial limbo on the verge of retirement.


The Lack of Progress On Equality Has Left UK Women Angry

One of the largest women’s aspirations surveys ‘What Women Want 2.0’ has been completed. Supported by partners such as Refuge and the Young Women’s Trust, the survey shows that women are feeling angered and let down by the lack of progress towards gender equality. They’re also alarmed by the intense and increased objectification of their bodies, and those of their daughters.

It has been 20 years since the first ‘What Women Want’ survey that was launched in association with Cosmopolitan Magazine, the TUC and The Body Shop to give women a voice at the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women and it turns out women still want a lot of the same things.
In 1996, women were concerned with equal pay, equitable pensions and affordable childcare. The freedom to feel safe anywhere at any time also factored highly on the list at the time. 20 years later, it seems like these needs are still not considered ‘mainstream’ enough to take priority in Westminster.

As part of their 2016 campaign, the Women’s Equality Party canvassed cities across the UK including Brighton, Oxford, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Just like with the 1996 campaign, women were invited to write their concerns on postcards – to which 10,000 women responded and you can find them at the Women’s Library at the London School of Economics. Tibbals, who also ran the original survey said “It is striking how similar women’s wants are twenty years ago and today. The biggest difference is in women’s tone of voice. Women today feel they were promised equality and it isn’t being delivered.”

Another concern from these women was the rise in casual sexism that they see fueled by 24 hour media and online pornography. Back in 1996 women wanted to get rid of page 3 and while this happened in 2015, it has since been replaced with even more explicit imagery on even more multimedia programs.

Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said: “It is appalling how little ground has been covered in twenty years since women in the first survey sought equal pay and workplace opportunities, an end to sexism and safer streets. And it is shocking to see the extent to which the media’s hyper-sexualisation of women feeds through to daily experiences of harassment, violence and intimidation for this generation and the next.”

She continues “This week we will hear for the first time what our new PM is prioritizing for her government and the economic prosperity of the United Kingdom. We urge the government to consider why UK women are still waiting for full social, political and economic participation – and pledge to ensure the next 20 years will be different.”


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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.