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Digital predictions for 2021
Experis CIO Advisory Council: Leading Through Crisis
CIOs are no stranger to pressure. However, organisations’ typically strong appetites for technology and innovation have turned insatiable this year, to meet the urgent workforce and consumer needs brought on by the pandemic.The CIO Advisory Council, comprised of CIOs across the globe brought together by Experis, met recently for a frank discussion about how to be an effective leader in times of crisis. Council participants shared the struggles they’re facing as technology and people leaders, what’s working to keep their teams on track and how they can persevere as leaders as the pandemic continues.Leadership in the ‘Next Normal’ has arrivedNow that we’re ten months into the pandemic, leaders and employees have moved from operating in a state of shock to acceptance of the ‘next normal’ and defining what that looks like in each organisation. When it comes to meetings, leaders need to resist the urge to bring everyone to everything. When the nature of remote work turns every interaction into a meeting, leaders need to be intentional about setting meetings and selective about who needs to attend. Leaders can also try the Ringi System of agreeing upon and delivering solutions in a bottom-up approach to keep meetings smaller and more efficient. Shortening 30-minute meetings to 20-minute sessions can help fight meeting fatigue by providing people with an opportunity to get up and walk around between meetings to decompress.To maintain a sense of community, Council members suggested:Drive-by video chats to mimic dropping by someone’s deskRecreating the “water cooler” with five minutes of chatter built into the front-end of team meetingsBeing deliberate about one-on-one conversationsEngaging in frequent town halls.Keeping high performers motivatedThe dust has settled, but the demand for IT resources has not. The group lamented the double-edge sword of leading high performers and, as a leader, sometimes feeling like you’re overloading your most valued team members. This predicament can feel compounded when leading a team in the public sector or an organisation facing lean times, where monetary rewards may not be allowed. When leading a team through times such as this, how do you recognise and reward these people in a way that is meaningful? The Council agreed the key is to know our people and their individual motivators.Soft skills for hard timesLeadership is about more than driving output. Below are three universal soft skills CIOs should practice (and encourage their teams to practice!) for leading in crisis.The pandemic has brought a level of intimacy between teams that didn’t exist before; we’re now in each other’s homes every day. As leaders, it’s ok to let your guard down a bit and connect with your team on a personal level. This will drive engagement and understanding.Resilience and endurance. Practice endurance and challenge yourself to lean into the discomfort a little bit longer. If you feel like you want to mentally check out of a meeting after 45 minutes, overcome and stay present. If you don’t survive the discomfort, you can’t grow.Optimism. Find people who can remain optimistic in the face of challenges, prop them up as leaders and set that example for your team. We cannot control the circumstances we face, but we can control how we react to them.
ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – Q1 2021
The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter 2021 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 1,306 employers in the UK.All survey participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of March 2021 as compared to the current quarter?”Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey findings for the first quarter of 2021 are likely to reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and may be notably different to previous quarters.The survey results for this quarter report that:UK employment Outlook least positive in EuropeOptimism returns in vital finance and business services sectorExodus of EU workers creates opportunity for UK workforce but skills shortagesloom in key sectors like ConstructionThe UK jobs Outlook has rebounded six points in the last six months to -6%, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, but the picture is disappointing compared to the rest of Europe and the labour market is increasingly divided. Sharp improvements in finance and business services and construction are offset by new falls in retail and hospitality, while the outlook in London has hit an all-time low.Mark Cahill, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup UK says: “The headline numbers are steadily moving in the right direction, and we are seeing a continued resurgence in key sectors like finance and business giving us reasons to be cheerful as we head into 2021. However, despite this positive trajectory, the UK remains the least optimistic in Europe, with continued uncertainty over Brexit and the effects of a second COVID-19 wave still looming large. Looking further ahead, our data also shows that only 49% of employers expect their hiring to return to pre-pandemic levels within the next 12 months.”Retail and hospitality is down two points to -13%, the weakest on record. Cahill continues: “The further decline of Britain’s high streets is deeply concerning. Shops, restaurants, and bars have remained mostly shut across the country, and the young people who make up a large proportion of workers in this sector have often borne the brunt. Stalwarts like Pret a Manger and TM Lewin are closing their doors as demand for quick lunches, smart shirts and suits has dried up, while Caffe Nero is on the brink of insolvency.”ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey ReportManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Infographic
ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – Q4 2020
The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter 2020 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 1,258 employers in the UK.All survey participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of December 2020 as compared to the current quarter?”Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey findings for the fourth quarter of 2020 are likely to reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and may be notably different to previous quarters.The survey results for this quarter report that:UK jobs Outlook for Q4 2020 at -8%, up 4 points from last quarter’s 28-year lowEarly signs of twin-track recovery as construction, finance and manufacturing all rise sharply while retail and hospitality are unmovedTwo-thirds of employers to overhaul workplace policies on remote working, flexi-time and new skills.COVID-19 continues to weigh heavy on the UK employment market but there are clear signs of improvement in the final quarter of 2020, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. While the Q4 UK Employment Outlook is -8% – a near-historic low – new data reveals a 4-point lift compared to the previous quarter. As lockdown eases and employers embrace new ways of working, the uptick is driven by stronger hiring intentions in utilities and agriculture as well positive momentum in several other key sectors.Mark Cahill, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup UK says: “The headline number illustrates just how tough the labour market is currently. This is still the second weakest Outlook we’ve seen since 1992. But the four-point national increase from last quarter, along with a positive trend in several key sectors, is cause for some cautious optimism. Despite the end of the furlough scheme in October and signs of a resurgence in the virus in some areas, employers expect the UK jobs Outlook to be tentatively heading in the right direction as 2020 ends.”The main bright spots among the sectors for Q4 are utilities (+4%) and agriculture (+8%) – the only sectors in positive territory. Elsewhere there are indications of progress. While still low compared to historic norms, finance and business services saw a nine-point upswing to -7% this quarter – its biggest quarterly bounce since 2005. Manufacturing and construction are up sharply, from -14% last quarter to -7% in Q4. In contrast, two key sectors stand out for their continued weak performance. Transport, storage and comms is languishing on -17%, up slightly from -21% in Q3, but still very downbeat. Retail, wholesale and hospitality remains on -10%, an equal all-time low.ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey ReportManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Infographic
The Future for Workers, By Workers: Making the Next Normal Better for All
A dramatic workforce transformation is happening in front of our eyes. COVID-19 began as a health crisis and is playing out as an economic crisis and a social crisis. Work literally left the building and whole industries are disrupting at speeds never seen before.Workforce demand is shifting too. Increased demand for cyber security experts, data analysts, software and app developers and new roles like contact tracers, distance monitors and temperature checkers are emerging as fast as others decline in aviation, hospitality and entertainment.Read the full report by filling out the form below:
Thinking differently about what workers want
The COVID-19 crisis has done little to slow the increasing appetite for flexibility among UK workers. While the transition to remote working has brought many challenges – balancing work and parental responsibilities, maintaining our mental health – it’s a change that many workers have embraced, and one that has them stating their claim for more flexibility in future. But how does flexibility stack up against the other factors when deciding on a role – a good salary, career progression opportunities, or working towards a strong societal purpose?We know from our research and the hundreds of thousands of people we put to work each year that what workers want varies by age, gender and geography, yet the biggest determinant is where someone is in their career lifecycle. This crisis has accelerated the move to understand what workers want, and in many cases there may be no going back. Now is the time for employers to think differently about what they offer, starting with the opportunity to blend work and home and creating clear career pathways to in-demand jobs.According to our What Workers Want data, the results are varied:GEN ZS (AGE 18–24) Gen Zs are ambitious, hungry for cash and career development. Women and men have differing priorities. When looking for a job, women look for competitive pay twice as much as their next priority – flexible hours – while men say a strong brand and diversity are most important.MILLENNIALS (AGE 25–34) Millennials want more pay, flexibility and challenging work. They understand they have a career ultramarathon ahead of them and want to achieve a One Life balance for the long run.YOUNGER XERS (AGE 35–44) Young Xers start to see balance kick in. Men prioritise flexibility as much as women. They want a flexible start and finish to their day, the ability to work remotely some, if not all of the time, and they want their share of parental leave.BOOMERS (AGE 55+) Boomers are also driven by pay, challenging work and flexibility. The boss they work for and the people they work with matter a great deal too. Older workers want to pay it forward: those over 65 are also motivated by purpose.What does this mean for businesses?Work has literally left the building. For years we’ve heard the growing chorus of calls for more flexibility, while maintaining productivity, and this has been realised overnight. We predict offering remote work will continue to be the fastest rising non-wage benefit: people value it and it’s cost effective for companies. The organisations that demonstrate they live their values and deliver on their purpose, especially in these challenging times, will be those that attract, retain and motivate the best skilled talent for future growth. Leadership has been redefined. Leadership today needs to be in service of the emotional and physical wellbeing of people first, and then in service of the business. This isn’t just your direct team; this is everyone. Ask yourself: what is it that you can uniquely bring? No-one has a playbook for this. Agility and authenticity are key.What does this mean for workers?Performance finally outweighs presenteeism; the way work gets done has had to shift to accommodate children being out of school and family members needing more support. We are increasingly living One Life (that blends work and home) at one time. Before this global pandemic, flexibility was growing in favour and part-time work was on the rise, enabling companies to manage their balance sheets and people to better blend work with home and other interests. The proportion of part-time roles have almost doubled and demand for contractors is on the rise.Keep your focus on women and diverse groups that might be negatively impacted by the pandemic. In the UK, women and ethnic minority groups have historically been the most impacted by rapid rises in unemployment. Employers need to work hard to avoid re-marginalising those that have worked hard to engage – women, parents, carers, older workers and other underrepresented groups.If you’re interested in learning more about candidate preference and the latest from the world of work, please find the eleventh edition of our Human Age newspaper: https://www.manpowergroup.co.uk/the-word-on-work/human-age-eleventh-edition/
Maintaining a strong employer brand in a candidate flooded market
As the Bank of England recently set out its yearly annual economic forecasts, its projection that unemployment would reach 7.5% by the end of 2020 casts a very different picture to the one we saw pre the global health crisis. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the UK was experiencing the tightest labour market in a generation, with talent shortages in key skills across a range of industries, it was without doubt a candidate-led market. Fast-forward to today and candidates from all sectors are on the job hunt and employers are looking for the right fit.The number of candidate applications have soared in past months. In the third week of March when the crisis was unfolding, we saw a 250% year-on-year increase in applications for roles in the Driving and Logistics sector. Across Q2, we witnessed a 58% increase in external applications across all engineering roles when compared with the previous quarter. For one client, where we had a large order for Administrative Officers with skills in customer service, decision-making, and empathy & compassion, we saw a record number of applications with over 40,000 candidates.For employers, whilst a greater volume of candidates does grant access to wider availability of talent, it does also present challenges. First and foremost, evaluating the quality of all applications is an increasingly larger undertaking for hiring managers. The focus has shifted to how organisations are screening and matching the right candidates to the right roles.As a business, we’re helping candidates apply for roles by enabling more self-selection. This focus means we’re being more explicit in our job postings, while also applying filter questions to assess skills demanded versus supplied and suitability for each role. Putting these safeguards in place will enable jobseekers to progress with roles to which they are most suited and leave employers with a more targeted group of relevant candidates with the greatest potential to stay and succeed. This will be a win-win scenario, the applicant has a greater chance of being called for interview from the early stages of the application process, and the employer avoids being inundated with applications that do not correspond to the advertised role.As part of our guidance, we always encourage our clients to be clear and conscientious when communicating with candidates. As well as applicants self-selecting and taking the time to personalise an application, the employer should also take the time to explain the outcome of their application – successful or unsuccessful – this is an important measure not only for your employer brand but also to support candidates whether progressed through the hiring process or not. A negative candidate experience now is likely to deter these candidates from applying to your business in future, and potentially put them off from buying your products – so maintaining a positive experience is vital for employers.Want to hear more insights on the latest issues impacting the world of work? Download the eleventh edition of our Human Age newspaper.