Serious staff shortages remain in the food and drink industry despite even more people being out of work compared with a year ago. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said there were 10% less unemployed people at the end of June, against the previous three months in the UK.
Employers in the hospitality sector are having to compete for staff, driving up wages. For years it has been an industry dominated by low pay and has struggled to be seen as an attractive industry with a strong career path and opportunities to develop. As a result, employers have relied on staff from EU countries where the industry is rated more highly, but many of those employees have returned to work in the EU since Brexit.
Once furlough has finally ended in the autumn we will have a clearer picture of the jobs market in Hospitality, but it will be very hard to untangle causes - what is a result of the pandemic, what has changed because of Brexit and what are long-term weaknesses in the economy. And whilst the three-month fall in unemployment is "very heartening", the same cannot be said for filling job vacancies in sectors such as hospitality.
This data shows that small firms need to recruit and retain staff to build their own economic recovery - which means that it is vital that businesses can access the people that they need to rebuild. We work with our clients in hospitality to support them attract and keep good quality, in many instances ‘local’, candidates. Many of whom have never worked in the sector before!
If you’re a hospitality business and need our support, we’d love to hear from you.
Job vacancies have hit their highest levels since records began with more than one million jobs up for grabs. The void has been created by Britain's departure from the European Union and Covid-19 restrictions, which some claim will have lasting damage on the labour market.
However, the rebound in hiring has also been met with a spike in jobseekers. Back in March 2020 there were 1.2 claimants per vacancy, but this has now almost doubled to 2.2 claimants per role in June 2021, according to new analysis from the Institute for Employment Studies. On the one hand it is great to see vacancy levels are back at a pre-pandemic peak. But on the other hand, there are still significantly more claimants chasing every job than before the pandemic, with more than eight jobseekers per job in over 40 local authorities.
This brings an underlying concern for the UK jobs market into sharp focus - many of the people currently out of work aren't matching up to the jobs on offer, despite an acute talent shortage. Therefore, we’ve gone from talking about an unemployment crisis to a ‘recruitment crisis’. But in reality, we’re facing a bit of both – with many of our clients struggling to fill jobs at the same time more than two millions people are struggling to find work.
The last 18 months have been transformative for the UK jobs market. Therefore, we’re consciously making an effort to work with our training partners to help our candidates develop the skills required to access the jobs now available. For instance, helping our candidates access ‘so called boom’ sectors’ such as tech, care, manufacturing, and logistics.
If you have hard to fill jobs please get in touch, our high-quality (agile) candidate pool is expanding all the time and ready to take on new challenges.
Rishi Sunak’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been designed to minimise the number of redundancies over the next few months.
However, despite the measures put in place, many will still sadly lose their jobs. In this blog, we take a look at the correct procedures to follow when turning a period of furloughed leave into a redundancy.
What happens after furlough ends?
According to a survey conducted in April, 70% of private UK companies had furloughed staff already, affecting some 8.4 million workers. With many companies facing an uncertain future, there are bound to be difficult decisions regarding what to do when employees are due to return to work.
At the moment, companies are faced with four different options:
Given the current situation, it is unfortunately the last of these points that many companies will choose to do. However, when doing so, they must be sure to respect all of the complex rules and regulations that govern redundancies.
Turning furloughed leave into a redundancy
Turning furloughed leave to redundancy is not the ideal outcome and is not what the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was designed for. Nevertheless, the current situation has backed many employers into a corner. As a result, a significant number of those who have been furloughed will inevitably end up out of work and, while these may be unprecedented times, employment law continues to apply.
Therefore, it is important that employers follow the correct procedures when making an employee redundant, particularly as there is likely to be increased scrutiny of the way they handle the process.
The correct redundancy procedures
Workplace bias takes many forms, but the result is always the same: parts of the workforce are unfairly excluded from experiences and opportunities for which they are qualified.
The most common type of bias in the workplace is implicit, or unconscious. It operates at a level below more obvious, conscious prejudice, and affects our decisions in a much more subtle way.
Confronting this type of bias requires a careful approach, because most people are not aware of it. Recognizing that the bias exists is the key to reducing its influence.
What is Unconscious Bias?
You can think of unconscious bias as the cognitive equivalent of muscle memory, coming into play when we are faced with gaps in our own personal experience. Due to the human brain’s tendency to create shortcuts, everyone has unconscious biases. The human mind is fantastic at creating connections and grouping things together for easy access. When faced with unfamiliar or infrequent circumstances, it disproportionately pulls from widely applicable (and misinformed) associations, like stereotypes. Combined with its preference for what is familiar, we can make prejudiced decisions while still consciously believing that prejudice is wrong.
What Does Unconscious Bias Look Like?
When a group of researchers investigated on-the-job performance among cashiers in a French grocery chain, they started by measuring each manager’s unconscious bias with the Implicit Association Test (a common test for this type of bias).
They found that when minority cashiers worked under managers with a high degree of unconscious bias, they underperformed: taking more time between customers, scanning items more slowly, and almost never working late. When those same cashiers worked with unbiased managers, they were actually 9% faster and more efficient than their co-workers. There are hundreds of other examples of unconscious bias at work. Women and minorities are consistently given lower performance ratings for the same quality of work. They are underrepresented in management roles. Older workers are assumed to be technically challenged. The list goes on.
The five-step process for mitigating bias in the workplace below can help make positive progress:
Step 1: Set Expectations & Gather Feedback
Step 2: Encourage Elective Participation
Step 3: Build Bias Awareness
Step 4: Reduce Opportunities for Bias Through Structure
Step 5: Measure & Experiment
Remember that your organization is unique. Inspirational anecdotes from another firm’s success can only provide so much guidance.
Over the past couple of weeks’, I have been having some very interesting conversations with my clients and candidates around the impact that COVID-19 is having on their business and hiring process.
All of my clients were fortunately on the same page. They can’t allow this to effect their hiring and so they are all looking to move forward with conducting video interviews.
This is great on one hand but on the other hand video interviewing can be a very daunting process for many candidates. It’s slightly un-known. It is ok for some who have been brought up on Instagram and other social platforms but for others it is completely alien.
I wanted to write this to offer some tips and guidance to make sure you are fully prepared and confident when it comes to a video interview. Some of them may seem very obvious but I’ll say them anyway.
1- Get the right equipment
It is very important that you are now making sure you have everything you need in place to be able to receive a Video interview request. Again some of these are so obvious and some, maybe not so much.
2- What to wear during a video interview?
This is an aspect a lot of people make mistakes. Whilst you’re at home it is so easy to become more relaxed and casual. You need to be the opposite and actually its more crucial to get it right on a video interview than it is a face to face. Your agency or the client should always make you aware of the office dress code. During a video interview I always suggest to match that dress code but, be careful of any bright / Distracting colours or patters.
If you’re wearing a suit and tie make it a plain suit and tie, If you wearing smart casual try and keep it to a white shirt and jeans, if you’re wearing casual clothing keep it to a t-shit and jeans. Things to avoid are clear – Hoodies, Tracksuits, Scruffy clothing is a MUST NOT.
I have had occasions in the past where a candidate. Has only dressed his top half to the right standard. Whilst at home and if there is ever a distraction that requires you to stand up and deal with it … Just don’t fall into that trap.
3- Consider your environment
With being at home and with a possibility soon of a school shut down I appreciate it will be very difficult for people with children to make sure they have the best possible environment with no distraction, but you really need to make this a core focus. Look at what the webcam you have is picking up in the background and try and find the best angle with as little as possible behind you. If you are taking the interview at a desk, Dining table or any where in the house make sure you have a clear space with your CV, prepared questions and a pen and paper in front of you only. Turn off all notification settings to prevent any further distractions and make sure everyone in the house knows where you are and what you are doing so that they know not to disturb you.
4- How to be in front of the camera
Firstly it’s really important to make sure you have your camera set up correctly. If the camera is to low it looks like you are looking up yet if to high it looks like you looking down. Keep the camera center and when you are on the interview look at the clients eyes and not the camera! If you stare at the camera it looks like you are staring at them and it’s just a bit creepy! Despite not being there in person body language and posture is vital. Keep open body language, be yourself so if you talk with your hands do that. Be mindful around being fidget, try and keep it as calm as you can. Also, if you plan on taking notes and I hope you would during an interview, right at the start of the process, make the interviewer aware of this by saying; “just so you are aware if you do see me looking down during this call it will only be due to taking notes from what you are saying.” It’s important to do this as it can seems like you are being distracted or showing limited interest as they can’t see what you are doing. By letting them know it gets rid of any doubt.
5- Be the first person on the interview
On a video interview make sure you are the first person on the interview. Consider a Face to face, it’s not a good first impression to be late but, at least in a face to face interview the client can still do something in the office to be productive whilst they are waiting. On a video interview they will be sitting at a screen waiting and so its leaves a worse first impression if you are late. Equally you do not have the excuse of travel issues or other potential reasons for being late on the interview, so this is very important. Don’t keep them waiting.
6- Ask more questions that you usually would
One of the downsides to a video interview is that as a candidate you don’t get to see the environment you would be working within. Due to this you need to make sure you are asking more questions to know if it is right for you. Ask about the office, Culture, company Values, Team size, Opportunity over the long term, What equipment do they give you and so on. You need to get more out of this through questioning as you don’t get the full visual you would if it was in person.
7- How to end a video interview
You would end a video interview as you would a face to face. After all your questions have been answered it is as simple as saying. Thanks very much for your consideration and I look forward to hearing your feedback” Make sure though that you know how to end the interview through the platform its is hosted on. Most clients will always wait for the candidate to end the interview. This may be for impressions; it may be to discuss feedback straight after if there are multiple interviewers. You don’t want that awkward end where you don’t know how to exit. So this is my guide to preparing for a video interview. To summarise