I attribute the positive impact I’ve been able to have on the teams I work with and the business itself on leading from a place of authenticity. Being openly gay in the workplace is an important part of that.
The concept of authenticity, and bringing your true self to work, has been the subject of much discussion in recent years. There is often a fear of showing vulnerability in leadership, leading many to feel as if they cannot be honest about who they truly are.
I have been fortunate to experience the opposite effect – being my authentic self has helped me feel less vulnerable and more impactful at work. As an openly gay man, I experienced the difficulty and immense reward that can come from this, particularly as a leader.
The stress around ‘authenticity’
Staying true to oneself in the workplace is not always easy and I’ve found it has often been a tough climb. When I was hired as a consultant by McKinsey out of university, I was thrilled to have my dream job. But I was then faced with the decision of whether I should be openly out in the workplace or do what many have done and refrain from being myself to avoid the judgment of others.
Remaining in the closet throughout my time as a student had taken its toll on me. Everyday life felt high-risk. Not knowing if I could discuss the life that I shared with my partner at the time made it difficult to truly connect with those around me. Casual Monday morning conversations left me unsure as to whether it was appropriate to bring up my personal life with my partner if, for example, we’d gone away for the weekend. The lies and vulnerability placed immense stress on my soul.
Leading with courage and integrity
My experience at university and the problems caused by being closeted led to me making a personal pact to be truly open about myself at McKinsey from day one. I became the firm’s first openly gay consultant in Germany when I joined in 1993. This experience of being able to be a truer version of myself in the workplace has been an undeniably positive one as my honesty meant I was able to truly feel connected to others around me, instead of feeling like a fraud.
The direct link between my own honesty and successful leadership is clear to me. Inspiring others to follow you and having a clear view of how to shape the future are key ingredients of leadership, and by being open about your identity, you encourage honest connection with your team which helps build a strong foundation. I truly believe that people are quick to spot leaders who try to represent themselves as something they’re not, and that lack of authenticity can lead to toxic workplace culture.
In my own situation, I found that being genuine about my life to my team members and colleagues led to them seeing me as someone with courage and integrity – qualities that are invaluable in leaders. Whatever their views on homosexuality may have been, everyone saw me as both real and relatable.
A leadership challenge for everyone
Regardless of your sexuality, exhibiting authenticity can be challenging for any leader. Our goals at the C-suite level may well feel at odds with being vulnerable about our authentic selves. To the skeptics, I’ll offer that the points of commonality that openness facilitates can generate real business value.
While working with a client’s CFO, I noticed a rainbow flag on the wall behind her chair. The mutual respect we quickly felt resulted in a successful partnership, which may not have been solely due to her allyship, but it was a shared bond that helped make negotiations more productive.
I won’t pretend that this process has always been easy. Due to my sexuality, I’ve faced my fair share of setbacks. For example, I once reported to a boss whose homophobia created a lot of problems. I eventually found a way to report to a different executive, choosing to focus on areas in which I could succeed, rather than getting caught up with forces I couldn’t change. But it was tough having to deal with a person who did not accept who I was as a person.
On the other hand, I’ve been fortunate to have had some amazing moments too, where it was clear to me that authenticity was the right choice in the grand scheme of things. On a visit to a delivery center, I noticed a cubicle decorated for a wedding and offered my congratulations to the associate. Unaware of who I was, he proudly showed me the photo of himself and his husband, saying, “we have this CFO who is out, and it sends a wonderful message.”
More often, rewards are smaller in nature. Employees who see open and authentic leadership feel more comfortable bringing forward both the bad news and the good, which can improve buy-in for programs and strategies. Not only this, but it encourages a positive workplace culture, one built on empathy and understanding.
The bottom line is faking it doesn’t cut it – and it can even interfere with the ability to lead. Authenticity isn’t the only quality that helps leaders make a difference. Integrity, fairness, commitment, and being approachable and able to share all help us to have a greater impact. My experience has shown me that my team members and other colleagues have concluded “I can work with this guy because I know who he is” and that’s truly the highest praise a leader can get.
By Jan Siegmund, Chief Financial Officer at Cognizant.
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I attribute the positive impact I’ve been able to have on the teams I work with and the business itself on leading from a place of authenticity. Being openly gay in the workplace is an important part of that.
If you have read any business website or career publication lately, you have likely heard about “quiet quitting.” This ubiquitous hashtag that originated on TikTok features employees proudly touting their rejection of the hustle-culture mentality that blurs the lines between work and personal life. The online community quickly found its new cause to champion, and the next viral trend was born.
For years, these employees were simply known as “disengaged,” not willing to cater to employers that demanded far more than the duties printed on job descriptions. But add an alliterative name and a little hashtag heroism and suddenly, hundreds of videos and millions of views are generated by those willing to put employers on blast for trying to squeeze a few extra drops of productivity at employees’ expense.
Deprioritizing work/life balance in order to maximize profits is nothing new. Additionally, the pandemic normalized remote work, and where work life had once occasionally bled into home life, it began hemorrhaging. Quiet quitting is simply the next step in the post-pandemic work evolution, riding the Great Reshuffle’s coattails.
While the benefits of quiet quitting are more predictable, the drawbacks are less frequently mentioned, particularly with regard to future job prospects. Once the trendy buzz wears off, what’s in store for employees and job seekers? Let’s look at both sides.
Two more topics that have taken center stage since the pandemic are burnout and mental health, both prompted in part by employee overwork and fatigue. For years, we’ve looked to the startup culture of Silicon Valley as the pinnacle of success. We’ve heard about the 130-hour workweeks and watched 20-somethings become billionaires after dropping out of college. We’ve heard stories of young professionals literally being worked to death only to say, “Well, I guess that’s the price of success.”
But it took a worldwide pandemic to realize the ridiculousness of it all. No amount of success is worth sacrificing one’s physical and mental health, family, friends, personal time, etc. Unfortunately, some employers have yet to realize this, and workers are now pushing back. It’s a relevant topic that’s been a long time coming, and it took a short-form video app to bring it to light. As the trending hashtag racks up more views and expands to other platforms, perhaps these employers will finally give some thought to work/life balance.
One thing social media has taught us over the past decade is that the internet doesn’t forget. Old posts will come back to haunt you, no matter how much you regret them and try to wipe the slate clean. Social media has also become a powerful recruiting tool, with 70% of employers researching candidate profiles during the hiring process. What kind of message does quiet quitting send to prospective employers?
Nobody knows what the future holds. Quiet quitters may get laid off, or simply decide to change jobs as their career progresses. When employers view the quitters’ viral posts, their first impression will be what these candidates are NOT willing to do rather than what they are to help the company succeed. As mentioned earlier, quiet quitting originated from employers pushing boundaries, but not all employers are guilty. Some are sensitive to employee needs and provide a supportive culture with plenty of work/life balance. The chances are slim of any employer extending a job offer to a candidate who makes a bad first impression. Perhaps the boundary-setting rants should be postponed until after an offer is received, a work schedule is established and a two-way conversation can be had.
Social media trends are like pop songs – there’s always a new one about to be released that will take the attention away from the last. But every few years, buried among the dangerous challenges and choreographed dances, a trend surfaces that actually brings attention to a worthy cause. #Quietquitting has accomplished this, but time will tell if it inspires positive change. Until then, it’s a candidate’s market, and job seekers have more choices than they have in years. A little due diligence on employer review sites and company social media pages can help them find the work/life balance they seek while sending a strong message to employers still unwilling to provide it.
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The labor market continues to favor candidates. With more than 11.4 million job openings and two positions for each unemployed person, according to the latest BLS data, most organizations are scrambling to keep up with the rapid volume of hiring. Workers are leveraging this power to secure new jobs, higher wages, and better benefits. According to Employ’s 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 45% of workers are actively looking for a new job within the next year and one-third feel comfortable quitting a job without having another lined up.
With worker confidence at an all-time high, companies continue to see significant turnover and face a tight labor market in acquiring new talent to fill those open roles. Forty percent of workers have reported high employee turnover at their organization and the same number report increasing workloads as a result and higher rates of burnout.
Employers must adapt quickly to this reality and align their workplaces with the expectations and preferences of job applicants today. Or they may struggle to attract top talent for their business going forward. According to Employ’s latest report, here’s what candidates want most from employers today.
Job seekers are well-informed and know what they want from employers. At the top of their priority list is higher compensation, with half believing they could make more simply by switching jobs. Applicants also want more transparency during the hiring process, so be open about the salary or hourly pay for a role. A whopping 82% of candidates reported that they wanted compensation listed in a job description. For companies that can’t compete on salary, stay competitive by competing on speed, transparency, and responsiveness.
Remote Work & Flexibility
The shift in the job market has shown that most candidates want the option to perform their jobs remotely, with 65% believing it’s important in their decision to accept or reject a job. The report also found that nearly half of workers are willing to accept a lower salary to work remotely, and 30% said their ideal workplace setup is 100% remote.
Although there’s an increased desire for more workplace flexibility, company culture also remains critical. More than half of workers believe that culture is just as important in an increasingly remote work environment, and one-third of workers who left a job in the first 90 days said it was due to poor company culture.
Overall, it’s essential to set the expectations for remote work policies at the beginning of the hiring process and reiterate them during each step—this helps to inform candidates to make the best decision for their needs.
A Positive Candidate Experience
High-quality talent is increasingly difficult to find, and it is even more challenging to convert top candidates into applicants. That’s why a seamless, positive candidate experience in every interaction is key to attracting and converting top talent. Candidates want an easy, fast, intuitive application process, and they want technology that will match them to the right roles and answer their questions throughout the recruitment process.
According to Employ’s report, 35% said the most frustrating part of the job search was dealing with non-responsive employers and hiring managers. They also want recruiters to focus less on cover letters, resume gaps, and their social media pages, and work to shorten the feedback loop.
In addition, candidates want an honest look at the daily responsibilities of the role, what the company culture is like, and how much the position pays. Increased transparency during the hiring process helps accurately manage expectations and can help more quickly find the right candidate for the role.
Companies that fail to be transparent during the hiring process may struggle to retain talent. The latest Employ report revealed that one-third of new hires surveyed leave jobs within the first 90 days due to misaligned expectations, poor onboarding experiences, and bad company culture.
Mental Health Support
While the pandemic inspired 63% of workers to focus more on their mental health, employers have been scaling back on making these resources and benefits available to workers. In fact, only 40% of workers say that their employer provides mental health benefits or resources—the lowest level in the past three years.
The need for mental health resources has never been greater. Increased workloads for employees, especially if they do not receive the compensation to reflect additional work, is taking a toll on workers. Companies must ensure they prioritize mental health resources and leverage them as a competitive differentiator as part of their talent acquisition efforts.
Change Is the Constant
In a labor market that’s constantly changing, it’s important to stay nimble, especially when it comes to attracting, nurturing, and connecting with candidates. And while adapting to this state of constant flux should come as no surprise, it can still feel daunting. The best organizations will continue to rise to the occasion by meeting the needs of candidates based on their own terms. Make sure to stay current on what workers are looking for, or risk losing out on top talent who will bolster the organization’s performance for the short and long term.
By: Allie Kelly, Chief Marketing Officer, Employ Inc.
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Many organizations claim they support diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI). Some, however, have yet to grasp that ensuring DEI is part of the hiring process is one of the keys to success.
What is DEI?
Effective diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies involve taking active steps to ensure that people with different ethnicities, genders, abilities, cultures, and personalities have representation, opportunity, and support in the face of historical and structural bias. DEI isn’t about box-ticking.
It’s about delivering transparent and meaningful change that embraces all workers and makes them feel they’re an essential part of an organization.
The Skills Gap
Back in April, we released part 1 of our multipart “Future of Work” survey into the growing challenge of finding the right candidates. Undertaken in conjunction with independent research firm Dynata, the survey revealed that UK hiring plans are up while skill shortages are greater. 87% of UK companies said they’re finding it hard to fill positions, with a third believing that the skills gap is widening. Companies across the UK told us that recruiters have to search harder and wider for talent, unlocking the untapped potential to fill the skills gap.
It makes good business sense, therefore, to ensure all candidates, irrespective of race, gender, or other characteristics are fully considered in the recruitment process. Today, DEI isn’t an optional extra but a crucial part of being a modern business. In the second part of our “Future of Work” survey, we asked over 3,000 recruitment, talent acquisition, and HR professionals about their views on the importance of embracing difference in order to attract talent.
40% of organizations who took part in the survey said that candidates expect more than ever to learn about a company’s plans to become more diverse, while 70% expect companies to be open about the diversity of their workforce. Recruiters increasingly recognize that DEI is a factor in attracting the right talent – and that the talent wants to know about a company’s DEI efforts. 45% of employers believe that building a diverse workforce is a priority to retain existing talent and attract new employees. And perhaps surprisingly, we found that nearly two-thirds of employees (62%) would reject a job offer from an organization with a culture that didn’t support diversity.
The world of recruitment, like the rest of society, has faced a reckoning in recent years with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) pushed to the fore. Our survey found that nearly a quarter of organizations already include diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment practices. In addition, 30% are seeking to encourage greater diversity in leadership positions.
However, diversity isn’t what you say; it’s about what you do – so it’s encouraging to see that 40% of businesses are building DEI into recruitment processes and strategies. It isn’t just the right thing to do ethically – it benefits the company, the workforce, and the communities we operate in. It’s an ongoing task, and companies recognize they have more to do. it’s concerning, however, that just 19% of employers have strategies to engage the neurodiverse. It’s an area that needs focus and action for employers, or they risk missing out on those with unique talents.
Organizations are beginning to understand that differences are not necessarily negatives and are starting to value a diverse range of views and voices, from people with disabilities of whom only half are in work, including neurodiverse people (for example autism – only 22% of autistic adults in the UK are in any kind of employment), says the report.
Good Communication is Vital
Many organizations are now ensuring they communicate HR policies on inclusiveness so that applicants can understand the culture of a potential new workplace even before they consider applying for a role. According to the research, globally, 86% of employees consider diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) critically important. And employers are taking the hint, with 45% believing that building a diverse workforce is a priority to retain existing talent and attract new employees.
The survey found that organizations that prioritize DEI use this as a mechanism to attract talent and fill the skills gap. However, only 8% of employers say DEI initiatives are in the top three changes they are making to attract new employees, although this may also reflect that they feel they already have robust processes in place.
Recommendations based on the report
Monster recommends that to create an open and welcoming workplace for neurodivergent workers organizations should:
Take time to understand any specific needs. During your recruit’s induction week, take time to sit down and find out what their needs and difficulties are. Treat these as a benefit, not a burden.
Apply to the “Access to Work” scheme. Employers can access grant funding to support disabled people starting or staying at work.
Be flexible and ready to adapt. Employers who are flexible and prepared to adapt are more likely to experience the benefits of a neurodiverse workforce.
Monster’s Top Tips for making DEI a priority in recruitment are:-
Start by looking inward: listen to your staff and learn from their experiences. Use data to spot trends, but don’t stop there. Use the lived experience of colleagues to help you shape DEI policies and set priorities.
Create more inclusive job descriptions: writing job adverts that focus on skills, attitude, and approach is critical to engaging talent. Don’t revert to cliché, but create job descriptions that engage and inspire applications from those with the skills to succeed.
Highlight commitment to DEI: if you’re doing great things, let people know. Your stance on DEI is a source of competitive advantage, so use it. Publicize benefits, policies, and processes that show what you’re doing.
Be transparent: employees want to know you’re making progress, so be transparent with successes and highlight challenges. Every organization can – and should – do more.
Audit the hiring process: diversity isn’t what you say but what you do – so ensure inclusive hiring processes are embedded at every level. From the application to the interview, your staff should recognize and respect differences.
Revitalize the talent pipeline: engage with new groups, advertise in new places, or work with experts to find candidates with the skills you need.
Don’t stop at inclusive hiring: companies serious about DEI ensure there’s support at every step for new hires and existing staff. Leadership and development programs support underrepresented talent from early career entrants to the boardroom. Staff should be free to share their views, and employers must listen to their voices.
Overall, we’re encouraged to see employers making changes to create a positive working environment that recognizes and rewards differences, because, in the end, we all benefit. Our survey shows that an open and accepting culture, and the policies to back it up, are critical to attracting the best talent.
By Claire Barnes, Chief Human Capital Officer at Monster and Global HR Lead, Randstad Enterprise Group.
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If you are a professional that works from your home office, you may need to spice things up a bit. Take a good look around your office and ask yourself if you need a change of scenery. Do you find the walls of your home office closing in on you as you repeat the same daily routine over and over again? It might be time to finally take a vacation.
But what if you’re booked up for the foreseeable future and your company needs you for at least a few hours every day? Work-life balance issues aside, in order to work around it, you can go on a work vacation—or “workation”—to kill two birds with one stone.
If you have the wanderlust and want to go out and explore the world while making some money in the meantime, take some time off for a workation. In this guide, we’ll give you six reasons why you should hop on a plane and spend your workation in an unfamiliar destination.
How to Take a Workation
Although a workation sounds like an immediate solution to a stagnant lifestyle, you can’t just drive to the airport tomorrow and get out of town without notice. It’s important that you always inform your manager that you plan to take a workation and see if that works with their schedule.
Just like taking a normal vacation, you should always schedule your workation in advance and go through the proper channels to ensure that everybody is on the same page. Of course, workcations are also mostly compatible with work-from-home jobs.
A workation is still a vacation, after all, so be sure to explain to your boss that, while you may be working, you still need to enjoy yourself and your vacation. To do this, ask your manager and other higher-ups if you can work half days for the duration of your trip. There’s no point in taking a workation if you’ll be cooped up in a hotel all day.
Now that you know what a workation is and how to schedule one properly with your workplace, it’s time to dive into the benefits of workations and how they can change your life for the better. Here are our six reasons to take that workation:
1. Can Increase Productivity
Workations can greatly benefit your mental health and, in turn, increase your productivity at your workplace. By getting out of your house or apartment, you can explore new places and climates in your downtime. If you get bogged down by gray winters, then a workation in a subtropical climate may increase your capacity to work.
2. Improves Creativity
By visiting different cities, climates, landscapes, and cultures, you are opening the door to boost your creativity. Every employer should value encouraging creativity at work, and being able to explore some new places will definitely help you get a new worldview and inspire your work process.
3. Explore New Places
If you have a wandering heart, a workcation is the right option for you. Exploring new places isn’t just for digital nomads in 2022, it’s also ideal for the modern work-from-home professional.
4. More Flexible Schedule
Workcations can allow you to create your own schedule on your own time while you enjoy far-off destinations. Allow yourself time to relax every day of your trip and set core hours for yourself. Make sure that you are adamant about turning off your email and instant messages at the end of your workday so you can truly unplug.
5. Support Local Businesses
When you’re practicing flexible hours on your workation, why not branch out and get a taste of the local cuisine. Spend your mornings working from a local coffee shop or popular breakfast restaurant. Take a productive lunch break at a cafe in downtown Winter Park or stay in a Gulf Shores beach rental. The sky’s the limit when it comes to how you spend your days.
6. Better Work-Life Balance
By taking a workcation, you are sending a message to your employer that you cherish your work-life balance. This balance is essential to maintaining healthy relationships in both the personal and professional sectors of your life.
Now that you know how to take a workation and the benefits of them, why not start planning? Treat yourself to the vacation you deserve so you can achieve a proper work-life balance.
David Timm is a copy editor at Siege Media. He currently lives in Omaha, Nebraska with his partner, two cats, one dog, and eleven fish.
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Talent acquisition teams are no stranger to the importance of creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) workplace for all employees. According to the newly-released 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report, 38% of workers would turn down a job offer if the company lacked diversity in its workforce or had no clear goals for improving diversity in hiring. Below are ways companies can amplify DEI initiatives in 2022.
Take Meaningful First Steps
Many talent teams are dedicating considerable time and resources to DEI, including increasing investing budget resources to expand their efforts. In fact, 68% of recruiters reported that they believe improving DEI in their organization will be a top priority in the next year.
Teams can take small steps by measuring key recruiting metrics in the process and continuing to analyze areas of improvement as changes are made. Here’s how:
Understand the current workforce: This is a crucial step to help measure diversity of representation among an existing employee base. Evaluate the demographics across the organization, and within departments.
Create a more diverse candidate pool: You’ve got to start somewhere, and there are several free tools and resources that can help you make sure you, and your company, are putting your best foot forward. Make small improvements to be more inclusive in recruiting practices by using free tools to help write more inclusive job descriptions and attract a wider variety of candidates.
Develop inclusive content: Use existing social media channels and the company’s career website to tell employee stories within the organization. By leveraging this original content, your team can further convey how employees of differing backgrounds, ethnicities, races, genders, and abilities feel a sense of belonging. This is also a great medium to share current efforts and commitments for improving DEI. Think like a marketer – track the data related to interactions with your posts, understand what messages perform well, and determine what messages your audience wants to hear more about.
Align Hiring Teams on Candidate Requirements
Hiring team members can get stuck on the notion of the “ideal candidate.” This mindset can limit the diversity of talent pools by having too many requirements listed when they may not all be necessary. In today’s competitive labor market, this will cost your organization time, which inevitably will cost you top candidates.
Grow a Diverse Talent Pipeline
Today’s labor market is incredibly tight, and candidates expect a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. Avoid limiting the talent pool by requiring specific skills and experience that are not dealbreakers. Build programs to attract, engage, and hire historically marginalized communities through strategic audience planning and develop programs to make everyone feel welcome.
Talent teams must work hard to expand their talent networks and source diverse candidates, which can be done in the following ways:
Interact on social media: Keep in touch with potential applicants, passive talent, and past candidates on social media. Share what’s going on in the company, tell employee stories, answer questions, post job openings, and give info on referral programs to the network.
Attend recruiting events: Virtual and in-person recruiting events can be great places to help you build your talent network. Focus on hiring events that bring together a niche audience that is centered around diversity. These events are a great way to connect with job seekers and broadcast the message that the company is hiring.
Work with local organizations: Find local diversity groups and work with them to source candidates for open positions. Building a relationship with these organizations can help long-term network growth.
Leverage tools needed to enhance DEI initiatives
Automation and AI tools can help further supplement DEI initiatives, streamline hiring processes, and eliminate manual tasks in the following ways:
Automated intelligent sourcing: Sourcing candidates can be the most time-consuming process in recruiting. Automated intelligent sourcing can help find candidates that fit open roles and invite them to apply. It can also reach top candidates while keeping the pool diverse.
AI candidate skill-matching: Skill matching automatically screens applicants for role requirements, which is helpful for specialized roles that benefit from diverse candidates, such as engineers, healthcare workers, or machine operators. Integrating automated skill-matching tools with applicant tracking systems (ATS) eliminates the strain of managing multiple candidate databases in different places and helps find qualified talent more quickly. Leveraging technology to screen for skills can also help reduce bias in your hiring processes.
Start Investing in DEI Today
The time to prioritize DEI is now. In today’s challenging labor market, those who prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion will find more qualified candidates, which can turn into new hires. Talent teams can improve the diversity of their candidate slates by taking charge and applying the right strategies throughout the hiring process, including sourcing, relationship management, workforce planning, and audience planning.
The investment in DEI goes far beyond cash – employers can invest time in telling the organization’s story, setting expectations, and aligning teams, which often yields the highest return on investment. It’s critical to lead DEI initiatives with empathy, compassion, and dedication, and to be relentless in driving change.
By: Corey Berkey, Senior Vice President, People & Talent, Employ Inc.
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From sleep deprivation to financial cost, parenthood certainly comes with an emotional and physical toll. Although this opener sounds negative, it is important to recognize the difficulties accompanying being a parent alongside the overwhelmingly positive experiences.
This can’t be overlooked in the workplace after parenthood, where often there is renewed vigor over a return to work. However, expectations and realities can sometimes be harsh between both the worker and manager.
Research from SkillsNow surveying 500 working moms offers us vital insight into working during and after parenthood. One in six working moms (60%) say they have more patience and empathy in the workplace, after becoming a parent. In fact, many moms actually feel their performance and job satisfaction at work have increased – but only if they were given the right working conditions.
Unfortunately, almost half of working moms (43%) feel they have experienced discrimination in the workplace, after becoming a parent. Whilst 39% say they are not being offered the skills development they need to progress.
Considering this, businesses must introduce provisions to support new parents in the workplace, ensuring both parties are satisfied and ultimately benefiting from the outlook parents can bring.
With two out of three women wanting more training and development following their parental leave, it is clear that further provision is required to suit these needs. In fact, many are simply not being offered the necessary training. Any desire to learn and progress from returning workers should be met with similar positivity from managers, particularly given how fast developments occur in the workplace and previous methods become outdated.
Training should be viewed as a necessity rather than a luxury. To ensure parents feel valued, flexible means of training including VR and digital options must be provided, only then can inclusive development schemes be created for those who wish to progress beyond their current position.
Combatting workplace discrimination
Nearly half of all working moms (43%) feel they have experienced discrimination in the workplace, after becoming a parent. This combined with 37% of women reporting a mental health condition diagnosis after parenthood, creates a significant problem to address. Both are damning statistics considering the percentage size and the extremity of discrimination, therefore action must be taken to combat this.
One means to do so is to raise awareness of the needs and the value of working moms within the workplace, offering various support options to help each employee.
Making use of productivity
With six in ten moms (60%) believing they have more patience and empathy in the workplace after becoming a parent, many moms actually feel their performance and job satisfaction at work can increase – but only given the right working conditions. Any improvement in outlook and productivity is significant for your business and a very helpful means by which to achieve goals ahead of schedule and increase workforce morale. Therefore it is also necessary to acknowledge these increases by showing your appreciation; small shifts in ways of working can mean a lot when utilized in the right manner or context.
Discussing and providing flexible working hours is now commonplace, and shows support and willingness from your business – particularly in adapting to the needs of new moms. Showing flexibility around office hours is a great start but furthering this thinking would be possible through introducing a benefits package, offering subsidies on childcare and healthcare provision; alleviating more potential financial or care issues.
It is apparent that parenthood can enable parents, in particular working moms, to add more perceived value to their work, revolutionizing their approach and ensuring productivity. However, discrimination and mental health issues arising from parenthood remain a threat in damaging their relationship with the workplace. As a result, the provision of flexible working hours, adequate continuous professional development opportunities, and other schemes can enable parents to feel adequately supported as they navigate the most significant months and years of their lives.
By Kat Jackman, CMO of SkillsNow.
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Just as the labor market changes quickly and unexpectedly, so too does the recruiting industry. As the workforce rebounds from COVID-19 and unemployment rates continue to drop, job seekers have more options from which to choose, making hiring increasingly difficult for employers, and sourcing top talent more challenging for recruiters.
Though job seekers may have more options than in the past two years, this doesn’t mean they will all be viable. The Great Resignation has made qualified candidates a rare commodity, making it even more important for both active and passive job seekers to showcase themselves in ways that make them attractive to recruiters when their skills are a match for open positions. Let’s look at some areas job seekers should focus on in order to ensure they appear on recruiters’ radars.
Prioritize Personal Brand
A strong personal brand is always an asset to a job search, and for some jobs, it’s essential. Recruiters want to see that candidates maintain a professional online persona. While most job seekers know to optimize their LinkedIn page for their search, if their other social media pages are filled with self-indulgent photos or negative or offensive content, this could be a red flag for recruiters who may be hesitant to submit such candidates to their clients. Similarly, it could be a turn-off to employers who may feel such online behavior shows immaturity or irresponsibility and doesn’t match their values. Despite the common belief that everyone should be free to express themselves, particularly on non-business-related sites like Facebook and Instagram, job seekers should take extra care to send a message of professionalism across all social media platforms.
It’s not uncommon for recruiters to receive dozens, if not hundreds, of applications for each of their open positions. Job seekers should be sure to only target those positions for which they’re qualified, and not inundate recruiters or employers with resumes for any and all positions to try to gain their attention. This approach may attract the wrong kind of attention, causing the candidate’s name to be remembered for always being unqualified. Instead, job seekers should focus on positions that relate to their skills and experience, and customize their resume for each position they apply to by including relevant keywords from the job description and supporting numbers and accomplishments. Also, candidates who don’t hear back from recruiters after applying should limit their follow-up to one time to avoid coming across as too persistent or aggressive.
Job seekers who use their spare time to share news, information, and knowledge with their networks will automatically have an edge over their competition. As recruiters scour the internet and resume databases for top talent, the more choices there are, the more they look for something in candidates’ profiles that makes them stand out. Those who write blogs, share articles, are active in LinkedIn groups, or network and interact with others in the industry make a far better impression than those who only appear interested in having fun online. While not all online activity has to be work-related, job seekers should try to maintain a healthy balance in order to send the right message to recruiters and potential employers.
Stay Up to Date
Few things are as frustrating to a recruiter as an interested candidate who has neglected to update his or her contact info. Depending upon whether there are ample qualified candidates to choose from, recruiters will either take time out of their busy schedule to source the candidate’s contact info online or just move on to the next qualified individual. Passive candidates with rare and in-demand skill sets may be indifferent to losing out on an opportunity or creating extra work for recruiters. But for job seekers with a greater sense of urgency, should ensure their contact info is updated and they are easily reachable and quick to respond.
One sure way job seekers can endear themselves to recruiters and prospective employers is through a record of continuous learning. In addition to hiring for education, skills, and experience, most employers also want to hire candidates who are always looking to acquire knowledge. This may be more difficult for those currently employed in a demanding field. However, for job seekers needing to break up the monotony of a full-time search, taking a class or working toward a certification could give them an edge when competing with a number of other qualified candidates.
Regardless of industry, every recruiter and employer looks favorably upon volunteerism. During the hiring process, recruiters often take note of what candidates do in their spare time in order to determine how they may fit with a company’s culture. Those who donate their time to charitable causes while listing their volunteer activities on their resume or sharing them on social media show recruiters that they share values with employers committed to community involvement and that they’re interested in helping others and working for something greater than just a paycheck.
The recruiting industry is constantly evolving. As decreasing unemployment rates have made sourcing top talent more difficult, applicant tracking systems, big data, and artificial intelligence have attempted to streamline talent identification, while also causing recruiters’ roles to change in the hiring process. In response, job seekers must ensure they remain adaptable as well. Though knowledge and experience will always be in demand, candidates must focus on those skills and attributes that will make them stand out among others with similar backgrounds, and how to showcase these to recruiters. Regardless of changes to the job market or recruiting technology, job seekers who do this will have the greatest success transitioning into the workforce.
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The last three years will go down in history as some of the most unusual and unexpected years in recent times. The exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union and an unforeseen global pandemic has undoubtedly shaken the recruitment landscape, but have these seismic events changed the market beyond recognition?
What has changed?
In a time of absolute upheaval, high-flying talent in successful tenures have held on to the permanence of their roles. We live in a time of fiercely competitive working markets as a result, particularly in the high-octane legal recruitment market. Each recent socio-political occurrence has also had a lasting impact on mobility. The restrictions on movement posed by Brexit conflict with the increased flexibility and remoteness of the working world brought about by COVID. Consistently since 2020, however, companies have had no option but to build first-class legal teams that can face and mitigate risk for these competing forces.
How, then, do companies continue to hire the best talent despite challenging border requirements and in a way that still cultivates a connected team? The legal industry, which traditionally relies on cross-border moves, can provide a useful example of the challenges, and opportunities, of post-pandemic and post-Brexit moves. The way in which companies are navigating this landscape can provide employers with some top tips on grappling with this unique tension.
1. Stay flexible
Firstly, make the most of the flexibility opened up by remote working. Candidates in the Swiss life science market, the robust regulatory legal talent in Belgium, the French-speaking skills of Parisian lawyers, and tech-savvy counsel in Berlin, amongst others, have long attracted UK employers. To continue to hire such talent post-Brexit, UK headquartered companies have increasingly opted to hire a remote workforce. After all, a contemporary workforce is a remote one in a post-pandemic world. Employing the use of affiliates for the domicile of employment contracts has served as one option to facilitate foreign hiring in recent months. Not all companies have the luxury of this network, however, so what other options are there?
2. Harness rotations and short-term placements
The UK has set a limit of 180 days that can be spent in the UK in a given tax year. In excess of this, the individual is considered to be domiciled in the UK and is subject to UK tax regulation. Companies are availing of this to have lawyers who are based remotely spend significant time in the UK, and yearly secondments or team rotations are becoming more commonplace. The agility of such hiring strategies is an appealing tactic for employers looking to attract and retain the top talent in a post-pandemic world.
3. Go global
Employers should make the most of the rich diversity of an international talent pool where possible. For instance, the pedigree of UK-trained lawyers will remain coveted across different markets, despite the socio-political changes of our time. Particularly in global roles, UK-qualified candidates, experienced in a common law system, can offer input on US, Canadian and Australian matters. International and particularly American headquartered companies seeking to hire UK talent are showing increasing comfort with senior lawyers retaining a UK base so long as they are amenable to frequent travel, which often equates to as much as 50% of their role. For both employers and candidates, being prepared to look across borders could create a rich seam of opportunities.
4. For smaller companies, it’s time to get creative
It is unfortunate, however, that most viable options fail smaller start-up or less established organizations that do not have affiliates or sub-entities based in markets outside the UK, or who are based in geographies that do not boast a wealth of UK-qualified candidates.
In every circumstance, but particularly for smaller companies, negating the restrictions imposed by new immigration regulations and the hiring of the right candidate (rather than the available talent) is down to a company’s ability to creatively motivate candidates to relocate.
However, no matter what your size as a company, those with robust and inventive HR teams, who collaborate with tax and legal stakeholders to create opportunity, have thrived in their recent hiring strategies. Top talent feels valued, rewarded, and motivated when given the opportunity and when remunerated generously to relocate.
5. Tailor your strategy to suit your employee’s needs
When it comes to relocating no judgment can be held against individuals who are unable to move due to family or other personal reasons. Companies often find the willingness of candidates to change geography, despite political and social landscapes, to be an encouraging demonstration of commitment to the role, but other options such as weekly commuting are no longer as accessible. Employers and employees should be open to short-term rotations or a hybrid system in a more meaningful way than before.
In short, employers looking to stay ahead in the post-Brexit European talent race should: stay flexible by leveraging the best aspects of hybrid working, look far and wide, get creative with relocation strategies, and be understanding of a candidate’s working preferences, including their location. These strategies will allow employers to reap dividends with a committed, loyal workforce. After all, “all mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move”, as Benjamin Franklin once said.
By Elena Bajada, Managing Director at Major, Lindsey & Africa.
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