Issue 10 2021

CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 10 2021 5 New research* from Kadence (formerly Chargifi) has revealed that after a year of flexible working, almost two-thirds of US and UK office workers (62%) now feel more trusted to do their job effectively. Of those workers, half also feel more motivated to do a better quality job (51%) and go the extra mile (48%) thanks to their new working arrangements. Data from future of work specialist Kadence suggests employees are working more productively and efficiently thanks to the greater flexibility of time and place they’ve experienced outside of the traditional office. More than six in 10 workers said they feel an increased sense of trust because they’re not micromanaged as much as before the pandemic (64%) and are more free to do their work in a time that suits them best (63%). As workers embrace hybrid and flexible approaches to work, businesses need to support their staff to foster an appropriate work- life balance. Of the 2,000 workers surveyed, close to three-quarters (74%) reported an increase in their use of online communication tools, not only during their contracted working hours but outside of them too (71%). 31% have found that the prolonged use of these tools leaves them with less desire to socialise with friends and family after work, and makes it harder to communicate in real life. True hybrid working, which strikes the right balance between remote and face-to-face time, could help to retain the productivity benefits of being at home, while tackling the habits that lead to burnout, like the overuse of technology. In fact, over half of workers said they would prefer face-to-face meetings at least once a week (51%), and would rather have them in the office (52%). Having the tools to find and book meeting spaces easily was also a priority (40%). Dan Bladen, CEO and founder of Kadence comments: “It’s clear that a culture of trust is needed for businesses and individuals to thrive as we shift to hybrid ways of working. Employers must move beyond physical location and shape the future of work with employee experience in mind, ensuring it’s easy to coordinate remote and in-person time and that staff have resources tailored to their needs. “As offices open up, business owners should pay attention to the evolving needs and behaviours of their employees to understand how individuals prefer to work and where they flourish, so they can create a supportive hybrid environment. This also means encouraging a balance, where employees work productively but also know when to stop, to prevent burnout. “The pandemic proved that it’s possible for workers to be productive anywhere. Now it’s up to businesses to design work around their people, maintaining the flexibility they’ve become accustomed to, and enabling them to get the best work done, wherever they choose.” Businesses around the world are facing skills shortages and need a new way of approaching talent sourcing according to new research from Cielo, the world’s leading strategic Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) provider. The findings reveal more than a third (34%) of talent acquisition (TA) professionals feel their recruitment function is currently out of line with organisational objectives, while more than three quarters (78%) believe skills shortages are among the top three challenges facing businesses in the near future. All business functions have faced significant change over the last 18 months and TA is no exception. With interviews and onboarding becoming virtual and retention becoming more challenging with candidates no longer limited by geographic boundaries, hiring managers and TA leaders need to look for new ways to attract the best talent to fill those all-important skills gaps and help alleviate some of the issues caused by the rapidly changing employment market. The pandemic saw recruitment functions tested in ways they never had been before and it’s therefore critical that businesses have become more agile and responsive - focussing on how recruiting individuals with strong ‘soft skills’ could enable businesses to secure candidates who often would have been overlooked and in turn fill those important skills gaps. The international research, conducted by Cielo, included a quantitative survey of more than 300 senior TA and HR leaders plus over twenty in-depth interviews with key senior executives from multi-national companies across a range of industries. The interviews showed that, with the looming threat of a mass skills shortage, the highest performing organisations are placing a greater focus on more general ‘soft’ skills, such as communication and interpersonal skills, which can be nurtured to access a far wider talent pool than their competitors. For example, for many roles, companies can forego searching for industry specific skills and simply source desirable soft skills from another industry. Over a third of participants (36%) also cited quality of hire as a major challenge to the business – by utilising skills-based workforce planning organisations will have access to an increased and more diverse talent pool leading to improved productivity and business impact. Seb O’Connell, President Global Markets at Cielo, said: “Our research shows a clear pattern of change hitting the industry over the last year with gaps in skills becoming major concerns across all regions. Skills-based talent acquisition has the potential to solve a lot of these problems in terms of day to day hiring but also to review the strategic approach of TA and HR teams, driving real change in attitudes to encourage everything from hiring for potential, to early talent, to internal mobility.” In addition to an overall shortage of skills, 26% percent of TA professionals also reported that identifying the right skills to bring into the organisation in an uncertain and rapidly changing environment is a major issue. Other common issues include attracting (54%) and sourcing (46%) candidates with the relevant skills. O’Connell continued: “Instead of the traditional focus on capacity and headcount, our new world demands a new model centred on softer skills and competencies. Skills-based talent acquisition has been rising in prominence in recent years, and it’s well suited to uncertain times and rapidly changing industries. Some 15% of TA professionals have already decided upon skills-based hiring as their path forward, including many of the industry-leading multinationals we spoke with. “Over half of the organisations we surveyed are facing these issues attracting candidates with the required skills, so we also investigated the role of a cohesive employer brand and the ever-evolving role of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B). As the talent pool becomes more discerning of the values of their employer, organisations which broadcast their commitment to a skills-based approach will encourage applicants from a wider variety of backgrounds and make themselves more attractive to potential candidates.” RPO providers, such as Cielo, are leading the charge in supporting clients with the adoption of skills-based workforce planning. RPO is a distinct service from head-hunting or staffing. It involves embedding talent acquisition experts within an organisation to fully understand organisational objectives, implement cutting-edge technology, and meet staffing needs quickly and efficiently. Either by fully outsourcing the recruitment process or adopting a hybrid approach, a clear pattern emerged from the data showing that companies utilising RPO struggled less with quality of hire, were able to keep candidates more engaged through the hiring process and brought TA and HR functions more closely together. Further, they performed better in areas such as market mapping and DEI&B. To read the full Cielo report on the ‘Beyond the Skills Gap’, please visit: Workers feel more trusted and motivated thanks to hybrid working