Category Archives: People

Five Proven Ways To Motivate Employees

Mitch Heiman, business expert from Board of Decorators discusses the top five proven ways that can motivate an employee. According to data from Wellable, when staff are motivated, they’re 87% less likely to leave, and 20% actually perform better as employees. With 27 years of experience Heiman feels the key to success is to recognize that people are the most important component of any business.

Make your office inviting
“While there are still a lot of remote workers around the world, there are still many people that prefer to go to the office. The office that you’re providing to your employees should be somewhere that they’re comfortable in, and somewhere they’re actually happy to work from.”

“You don’t need to spend much to make the office aesthetically pleasing. A good break-room where members of staff can relax on their lunch breaks, and even just a liquor of paint and some colourful print-outs on the wall.”

“So that staff members don’t get headaches, ensuring that the office is well-lit is really important, as well as ensuring that the office has the right equipment to prevent the likes of RSI and back problems.”

Supportive and motivating managers
“May seem like an obvious point, but you’ll be surprised at how many companies don’t have these and also, how important a supportive manager can be for someone’s motivation. Respect, honesty, clear progression pathways and clear communication are top traits for any manager-employee relationship.”

“Ultimately, if you’re a good person to work for, and alongside, there’s a higher chance the employee will stay and be more loyal to the company.”

Employee rewards
“Many small businesses won’t have the funds for extravagant perks like private medical insurance or bonuses. However, there are definitely some perks that you can introduce that won’t break the bank. Don’t forget, the average cost to recruit someone new and go through hours of training equates to around $4,000 on average, so introducing small benefits to keep loyal employees is much more cost-efficient.”

“Some ideas include increased annual leave days for long-standing employees, training opportunities, free snacks and fruit in the office and also team lunches every now and then.”

Flexible working
“Since covid, many employers have started offering more work-from-home options, and scrapped the 9-5.” “Employers need to appreciate that people work best at different times, whether this be really early in the morning, or late at night.”

“By offering flexible working, you’re not only giving employees what they want, but you’ll be getting the best from your employees as they’ll be working at their prime times, where they’re likely to be most productive.”

Recognise achievements
“The second highest motivating factor in a recent study, below supportive manager, is being recognised for good work.”

“Managers should have regular check-ins with their employees where they can give compliments for things that are going well, and give promising feedback on work they’ve done. However, separate from regular catch-ups, it doesn’t take long to send employees a ‘well done on your work’ message, and it will give that individual a nice boost.”

Men in Sheds Hull Wins £5K Grant

Men in Sheds Hull, a charity working to reduce social isolation for older men, has won £5,000 of unrestricted funds from the John Good Group’s highly competitive Grants for Good Fund. The growing charity beat over 400 entries to be shortlisted in the top five, before capturing the hearts of John Good Group employees to attract the most votes.

Men in Sheds Hull aims to avoid detrimental health impacts of social isolation on older men by providing a safe and inclusive space for members to come together to undertake woodworking projects, offering social interaction and a sense of purpose in the community. As well as selling the products they create, the group regularly help other community organisations in the city, a recent project seeing them build garden furniture for a local community garden.

The charity was started in 2014 by Barry Cooper, a retired chef from Hull who had suffered from multiple strokes, after he saw a documentary on TV about a project called Men in Sheds in Australia. After struggling through the pandemic, they recovered well, increasing their services, updating their board of trustees, and employing a new manager – Nick Todd. As result of their success, they have recently secured a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund that will help keep their doors open for the next three years.

However, the services of the shed are in extremely high demand. Currently they are open four days a week with 46 active members, and 30 people on their waiting list. Equipment also regularly becomes worn and needs to be replaced or serviced, and there are ongoing costs for supplies such as wood, glue, screws and other equipment. Looking for help with these costs, they applied to Grants for Good.

Grants for Good is a charitable fund from the John Good Group that grants £60,000 annually to small community groups, charities or social enterprises that have a positive impact on people or planet. It is just one of the many CSR initiatives managed for the Group by the Matthew Good Foundation, whose mission is to amplify small charitable causes doing high-impact work that is often unseen and underfunded.

Every quarter, the fund receives around 400 applications to receive a share of £15,000, with just five making the shortlist. John Good Group employees then vote on the final five to decide which organisations get the biggest share, with the winner of the employee’s vote receiving £5,000.

In March 2023, the Matthew Good Foundation announced Men in Sheds Hull as the winner of the vote, securing the highest possible grant of £5,000.

Donna Jackson, a Trustee of the charity commented on the win, “We are so honoured to receive this funding and it’s really touching that so many of the John Good Group employees voted for us and made us this round’s winners. It will make such a difference to our members and volunteers. Our members are made up of people from all walks of life but with one thing in common, the shed. Some members are recently bereaved, others retired, many with physical and mental health issues. After the pandemic and its affects, there is now huge demand in the city of people who have and still do feel isolated and vulnerable.”

Adam Walsh, CEO of the John Good Group visited the shed along with Michelle Taft, Executive Director of the Matthew Good Foundation, during one of their sessions to meet the members who will benefit from the donation, talking to members about their experiences and the impact the shed has had on their lives.

One of the shed’s oldest members, aged 92, highlighted the importance of the charity remarking “I wouldn’t be here [alive] if it wasn’t for the shed.” A retired retail worker who joined at the age of 85 after losing his wife, his fellow members described how he was very quiet at first, but then they were “blown away” with the amazing intricate models he now creates having picked up new woodworking and 3D printing skills from others at the shed.

Another member who worked at a local shipyard before retiring was delighted to find something in common with the John Good Group, who have a long history in the shipping industry, talking with Adam about the boats he had worked on in his career, whilst also proudly showing off the beautiful wooden benches and arbours he now makes for the local community.

Adam described how the charity resonated with him during his visit, “Men can find themselves isolated and lonely very easily, especially when not in work. Whether that’s through retirement or other circumstances, it can be hard for men to find a purpose in life and the social connections that is vital to maintaining health, both mental and physical. Meeting the group that use the facility at Men in Sheds Hull, and seeing how it has given them the chance to create some brilliant pieces of work, whilst being able to openly discuss their stories with me was so refreshing. I’m delighted we’ve been able to help with our grant.”

“Charities like this are exactly the type that The John Good Group want to support. That’s why the work the Matthew Good Foundation does is so vital, connecting a business that wants to have a social impact, with a great charity doing amazing work in our local community. This is especially true for a business like ours, when we’ve not always got the time or expertise to do all the relevant due diligence ourselves whilst doing the day-to-day management. There’s still lots more impact we can make, and through our work with the Matthew Good Foundation, there will be plenty more coming from the group in the coming months.”

UK Firms Need To Overhaul Thinking On Older Workers

UK firms need to overhaul their thinking on older workers, or risk facing the same skills challenges in the future

With skills shortages showing no sign of slowing – with the latest ONS data revealing employment levels are up once again – and pleas from the Government for retirees to re-enter the workforce to help solve this, specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half, has cautioned that without an overhaul of skills development, the UK could be in the same situation in the next few years.

While the Government has encouraged workers over 50 to end early retirement through its midlife ‘MOT initiative’, and the Chancellor having recently announced that he is exploring a ‘slightly shorter type’ of apprenticeship, the firm has argued that these will be a missed opportunity unless employers and Government work together to agree and implement significant changes to engage and train this demographic.

Kris Harris, Regional Director – Midlands, Home Counties & East of England – from Robert Half, explained: “While we support any initiative aimed at bolstering the UK’s workforce and which helps ease the skills shortages currently challenging employers, we feel that without real change, the actions of today will simply delay the retirement cliff further, rather than resolve it. The current hiring, training and talent management landscape isn’t geared towards older demographics. This is a historical trend that we’ve seen and while we applaud the efforts to encourage over 50’s back into employment, this needs to be underpinned by a thorough strategy.”

“The skills and training issue is particularly pertinent. Not only is there a need to support the transfer of knowledge from older workers to those earlier on in their career, but those in the 50+ age bracket also need to be upskilled to ensure they are both working and training to their best abilities. The challenge is that there needs to be purposeful, structured programmes to address such upskilling and knowledge transfer initiatives.”

“And there are some stereotypes that still need to be challenged, such as the perception of apprenticeship considered as more beneficial for those early in their career, rather than as a tool to upskill and reskill workers who require additional development or choose to explore a radically different professional field, such as technology, for example.”

“It is paramount that employers and Government bodies work closely together to ensure that older workers are not only enticed to cease early retirement, but also provided with the upskilling support that will help them navigate the new world of work and be able to pass on their invaluable expertise and practical knowledge to the younger workforce. Time is of the essence and action is needed now, before they once again reach a point when they plan to exit the workforce. It’s rare to get a second chance at engaging with retirees – wasting this chance now will be detrimental to the country’s profile as a skills powerhouse.”

Nearly Half Of Brits Worried About Losing Their Job

Nearly half of Brits are worried about losing their job according to a new study.


  • Almost a third are working unpaid overtime over job security fears
  • Almost four out of five business owners are worried about their business
  • Rising energy costs biggest challenge for businesses

Nearly half (47%) of Brits are worried about losing their job, a study shows. To help them lessen the chances of being jobless, 31% of employees are still working unpaid overtime.

The research, by employment experts Citation, also found that it is not just workers that are worried about their future. Almost four out of five (78%) of business owners are worried about what could happen to their business.

It is understandable given many entrepreneurs have seen a 22% drop in profits on average since the cost-of-living crisis. One in four (25%) also believe that soon their business will be smaller or struggling to survive.

The biggest challenges that owners face are the rising cost of power and fuel (53%), rising wages (47%), rising costs of services like broadband (34%) and the rising cost of rent and mortgage (30%).

Due to the cost of having office space to work in, owners are looking at varying ways to lessen their bills.

In the building, 38% will turn down the heating and 36% would switch off some lights. Others will get staff to work from home (28%) or move to a smaller premise (17%).

Gill McAteer, director of employment law at Citation, said: “It’s important to be honest with employees, particularly in difficult times. When trading conditions are difficult, employers will often become so consumed with their own concerns that they forget to speak honestly and directly to their workforce, which leads to speculation, worry and demotivation.”

“It’s easy to fall into a trap of thinking that employee engagement is something to consider when your ‘real’ problems have been tackled, but this strategy can ultimately lead to more problems further down the line.”

“Businesses who communicate honestly, regularly and empathetically with their employees and who show they value their contribution and care about their welfare will be giving themselves a great advantage in navigating these difficult economic times.”

Gill’s top tips for employers navigating difficult times are:

  1. Be direct and honest with employees, speak to everyone together to avoid Chinese whispers.
  2. Give them the truth of the situation and what steps you are taking/have taken to move the business onto a better path
  3. Be real about what the consequences may be but cushion this what steps you are taking to avoid them
  4. Agree regularly updates where you discuss the plan, where you’re at, issues you’ve experienced and successes you’ve achieved since the last meeting
  5. Your employees can be a great source of creative and innovative solutions and by showing them their opinions are respected and the importance of their role in achieving your business goals, you will increase their engagement.
  6. Celebrate wins, regardless of how small, as this will give hope and motivation to the team to continue driving the business forward.
  7. Rewarding people in the face of adversity shows that you, as an employer, have integrity. While rewards don’t need to be big, simple email recognitions can be enough. These small gestures will motivate employees and help with staff retention.
  8. Ensure your mangers are trained in how to spot employees who may be struggling with anxiety of mental health issues, and offer a designated person to have proactive and reactive conversations with everyone

UK’s Largest Research Streaming Platform Launched

The UK’s biggest research streaming platform has been launched by the University of Sheffield to enable anyone, anywhere to discover and explore its pioneering research.

The University of Sheffield Player, officially launched this week (Monday 30 January 2023), brings together videos, podcasts and digital exhibitions all about University of Sheffield research, which anyone, from anywhere can access at anytime – making the University’s research more accessible than ever before.

From art to artificial intelligence, climate change to cutting-edge medicine, food security to societal issues, there is something on the Player to feed every curiosity.

The unique platform offers a curated library of quality, evidence-based content that showcases the work of Sheffield’s internationally-recognised researchers – who are leaders in their fields, working to tackle many of the problems that affect us all. The Player makes this research accessible, engaging and freely available to all, in one place for the first time.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, Director of City and Culture at the University of Sheffield, said: “Our vision at the University of Sheffield is to deliver life-enhancing research that not only transforms the lives of our graduates, but shapes the world we live in. A key part of this is sharing our research with people outside of the University – making the breakthroughs our academics achieve accessible to people throughout Sheffield, the South Yorkshire region, the rest of the UK and around the world.”

“By launching the University of Sheffield Player we are making our research more openly available than ever before. It’s bringing our research into one single place that anyone, anywhere can access and explore, which we hope will mean even more people will benefit from the discoveries our academics make every day.”

The Player has been specially designed to be easy to explore and access.

You can start by scrolling through the Homepage to discover featured items on a range of different subjects.

Or, if you are interested in a particular theme or topic, you can take a look at Channels and Categories using dropdown menus at the top of each page. There is a curated selection of videos, podcasts, exhibitions and playlists within the Player’s four Channels: Arts & Culture; Environment & Sustainability; People & Place; and Science & Technology.

To find content relating to more specific topics, you can click on one of the 20+ Category headings in the dropdown menu. The Categories cover everything from Poetry, History and Well-being, to Engineering, Nature and Sustainability.

The Player enables anyone to explore University of Sheffield festivals and playlists, through its Series list. This includes: Highlights from 2021, the Sounds of the Cosmos video series, Festival of the Mind, Off the Shelf Festival of Words and Understanding Society.

Alternatively, a search of the A-Z listings opens up a world of content from Sheffield research such as Age of Love, a light-hearted, sensitive look at sexuality in older age to Zoomshock, a dynamic animated video into the societal effects of remote working.

Professor Vanessa Toulmin, added: “The launch of the platform opens up a world of possibilities for us to further develop how we share our research and make a difference to people’s lives. At launch, the Player has over 250 videos, podcasts and exhibitions, but this is just the start – new content will be added every week and we’re looking forward to exploring how we can use it to share our research with the public.”

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “The launch of the University of Sheffield Player marks a key milestone in how the University shares its research with the public. We have long made our research open and accessible, such as through the many different public events our academics take part in throughout each year, the expert commentary they provide to the world’s media and the outreach work they do with schools and groups in our local communities.

“Now the Player brings our public engagement activities together in one place, so that anyone can access it from anywhere at anytime. This provides a platform for our research to reach more people than ever before.”

To start exploring the Player, visit here.

Yorkshire Pair Finish Snow Sculpture

Two Yorkshire men have been competing with artists from all over the world in their second snow sculpture competition this month, completing their creation in record time.

Fitness coach Martin Sharp, from York, and tree surgeon Justin Scott, from Driffield, were pitted against sculptors from Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, France and the United States in the Kiruna International Snow Sculpture Competition 2023. The pair completed their sculpture, known as Figurative Animate X Three, in just two days, which was the new record for the event, which is held 140km north of the Arctic Circle in Swedish Lapland.

The creation – an abstract human figure with three sides – was the second snow sculpture created by the team in January. They had already competed in Shapes in White, an international snow sculpture competition in Austria, where their snow boat called Unsinkable 2 was awarded ninth place.

Martin, who runs the fitness and lifestyle coaching business Sharp Fit For Life, said it was the first time they had entered the Kiruna contest and the experience had been completely different.

The 45-year-old said: “In Austria, we were working on top of a mountain at high altitudes, whereas here we were sculpting in a city with everyday life going on around us. As it was lower altitude, we didn’t get tired as quickly so it felt easier and we were delighted to be the first to finish our sculpture in just two days.”

“It took us about 15 or 16 hours in total – the snow was very soft, which meant we could pile through it quickly but the finish wasn’t as crisp as we’d hoped. There has also been a great sense of camaraderie between the sculptors with people sharing ideas and borrowing tools.”

“The thing we have really enjoyed is that lots of people have been coming to watch the sculptures take form, including lots of children. There have been school parties coming to take a look and have a go at creating their own smaller snow sculptures and high school students worked with two sculptors to create a play park made out of snow.”

Although the pair weren’t named as the winner or runner-up, they were proud of their efforts and celebrated finishing with some traditional Lapland activities including dog sledding, a skidoo ride and a visit to an ice hotel.

Employers Stepping Up To Address Call Centre Staff Stress

Research released by the CCMA (Call Centre Management Association) highlights the changing nature of calls taken in the contact centre are having an impact on frontline wellbeing, with more than half of frontline colleagues reporting at least one symptom of work-related stress or burnout. The good news is that employers are stepping up and providing support, with 42% of frontline colleagues receiving a bonus payment in 2022.

The research report, Wellbeing in the Contact Centre, unveils the cognitive load on the front line is becoming consistently more intense as simpler queries that offer advisors respite are increasingly deflected to self-serve. As a result, it’s getting harder for frontline colleagues to take appropriate breaks and recharge during the working day. The ability to take breaks is the most important factor separating those who experience signs of stress and burnout, versus those who do not.

Stephen Yap, CCMA’s Research Director, led the project and said, “Resilience is a collective concept and organisations and leaders have a critical role to play as the onus has shifted from self-managing to organisations’ responsibility to support. When you have more than half (52%) of frontline colleagues concerned about their ability to make ends meet, it’s not really surprising that more than a third of colleagues turn up for work when sick. It has become evident that organisations should be building shrinkage time into resourcing plans to allow people to take those valuable breaks.”

Interestingly, the research also revealed that 28% of frontline colleagues say they have cut back on essentials such as food and energy, with 17% saying they have used a food bank in the past year. In addition, 23% say they already spend more time in the office due to rising energy costs, and a further 41% say they may do so in the future, fuelling a return to the office.

“Colleague wellbeing has always been a priority in contact centres, but the experiences of recent years have placed it firmly at the very top of the agenda,” explains CEO at the CCMA, Leigh Hopwood. “We have conducted this incredibly thorough piece of research, canvassing views from across our community using multiple methods, to better understand wellbeing in the contact centre. I’d like to thank all those that supported this project, as the findings are fascinating and I hope provide the evidence for organisations to continue to build on their wellbeing programmes.”

“At Sabio, we’re strong advocates of highlighting the importance of advisor wellbeing and advisor empowerment,” says Tim Pickard, CMO at Sabio Group, supporters of the research.

“We believe a healthy and happy workforce directly correlates to better customer service, experiences and relations. As workplace mental health rightly moves up the executive agenda, this report is full of tangible insights in support of strategies that place the health and wellbeing of people at the heart of a vibrant and performant contact centre operation.”

“This research is essential reading for anyone involved in the contact centre industry. It will help to raise awareness of the benefits that positive wellbeing and advisor empowerment can bring – and not just to the contact centre itself, but the wider business overall.”

The research is a free download from the CCMA website here

Downright Special Charity Receives Funding & Support

The Matthew Good Foundation has donated £50,000, plus additional support to produce a promotional video, to Downright Special, a Hull-based charity whose aim is to build a brighter future for children with Down Syndrome by assisting in all aspects of their care and education across Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Originally started in 2007 by a group of parents who wanted to support each other and reach out to other local families, Downright Special quickly developed into an organisation of professionally trained volunteers and staff providing emotional, practical and educational support to families and professionals.

The donation to Downright Special came through the Matthew Good Foundation – a charitable trust established in 2011 by the John Good Group. The John Good Group donates to the Matthew Good Foundation each year as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to supporting charitable causes.

The funding, to be provided over the next five years, will help support Downright Special’s wide range of services for children from birth onwards including weekly play and education groups, training for teaching assistants and other professionals, lending of specialist resources, and promoting inclusion for children with Down Syndrome.

As well as providing funding, the Matthew Good Foundation also helped the charity with additional funding and pro bono support in the co-ordination of a promotional video. The extra support was given as part of the Foundation’s recently launched “Films for Good” programme, which aims to amplify the voices of small charities and projects – whose work is often unseen and underfunded – through the power of film.

Gillian Bowlas, Charity Manager at Downright special said, “We are so delighted to have long term funding from the Matthew Good Foundation, helping to ensure that the future of the charity is secure and that we can continue to grow Downright Special. Over and above, that the additional support and expertise provided to us to make a short video about the charity will be so helpful in promoting the charity to new families who may want to join us and to potential new funders who would like to support us in the future. Matthew Good Foundation have been such a good funder to be involved with. They have been quite unique in getting to know us as a charity to make sure they can support us in ways that are as helpful as possible and allowing us to make use of the expertise that exists within the Foundation.”

Michelle Taft, Executive Director of the Matthew Good Foundation said, “Downright Special is a perfect example of how small charities can make a huge difference to society. We first heard about Downright Special through our members who, through John Good Group’s charitable giving programme, have supported the charity with several small grants over the years. Along with our latest commitment to provide £50,000 over five years, the charity film will help Downright Special connect with their audience and raise awareness so more people can see the incredible work that they do.”

The charity’s new promotional video, which has launched this week, was filmed at one of their popular education sessions at the Bodmin Road Church on Bransholme. Michelle Taft, Executive Director of the Matthew Good Foundation also visited the session to present the cheque to Gillian Bowlas, Downright Special’s Charity Manager.

79% Of Employers Gave Pay Rises In January

The findings from global recruitment consultancy Robert Walters annual Salary Survey Guide 2023 – which tracks salary predictions for the coming year, as well as surveying 4,000 white collar professionals and 2,000 employers to identify upcoming workplace trends have been released.

The survey shows that there have been record rises: 79% of employers gave pay rises in January – but only senior pay rose above inflation.


  • 3 in 4 white-collar firms have given pay rises in January – record number in 10 years
  • Half of employers admit to giving pay rises for cost-of-living purposes
  • Quarter of large firms admit to ‘fear’ of bad press if they do not increase pay
  • Average pay rise for below-management level is 5% – almost half of the current inflation rate
  • Junior & less experienced professionals £1.2k worse-off despite record number of pay rises
  • C-suite have received pay increases of +20% – equating to an extra £15k per annum
  • Benefits packages almost double to £280 per employee per month as pay rises fall short

Over three quarters (79%) of professional services firms have reported that they gave their employers a pay rise this January – with the average increase being around 4-6%.

The leading reasons for pay rises according to managers has been;

  • To support employees with cost of living (46%)
  • To aid morale and retention (37%)
  • For a promotion, time served, or targets had been met (33%)

    Chris Poole, Managing Director of Robert Walters UK comments:
    “Historically pay rises have been used as a metric to reward hard work, loyalty, or progression. However, what this survey reveals is how truly unique the market is at the moment – where pay rises are now are being awarded out of necessity by employers who are fearful of not appearing as a responsible or ethical employer.”

    The Robert Walters survey revealed that a quarter of large firms were fearful of public scrutiny if they did not increase wages at the start of this year – with a third of senior leaders admitting that the public-sector pay strikes in December further fuelled the private sectors decision to readdress pay ahead of the new year.

    Whilst cost of living may well be front-of-mind for employers, the Robert Walters Salary Survey Guide reveals that the average pay increase of 4-6% lags behind the latest ONS inflationary figure of 9.2%. That means for the average professional salary of £35,000 – a 5% increase equates to an extra £1,750 per year. With cost of living increasing weekly by £57 – an annual increase of almost £3k – the average white-collar professional is in fact £1.2k worse off in 2023 despite the record number of pay rises.

    The same cannot be said for senior managers, executives, and the leaders of an organisation – who have received increases of around 10%, 15%, and 20% respectively. For the average senior leader at C-Suite level earning around £75k – they will earn an extra £15k this year if they receive the anticipated 20% increase.

    Chris adds: “It really isn’t surprising to see these types of pay increases at the senior end of the market where across all industries we have contended with an acute candidate shortage.”

    “In turbulent times, companies often prefer experience over potential and so the war for talent has been more pronounced at the senior end of the market – with the key attraction in these times being pay rather than company security, career longevity, or the values of a prospective employer.”

    “Whilst it is tempting to jump at the offer of an inflated salary at another company we do advise professionals to approach this decision with caution. What goes up will come down. The candidate shortage is pushing up the salaries, but companies are also doing a lot of internal training and recruiting at the junior end to help plug this gap for the near future.”

    “When the candidate shortage levels out – which it will – companies will look at their biggest headcount costs and review whether they need to pay that price point any more. We saw similar happen in the pandemic – where the most cuts were made at mid-management level.”

    Companies Compensating With Benefits
    Two thirds of employers have admitted to being ‘concerned’ about losing primary staff who have received below inflationary pay increases.

    To help counter this, employers have increased investment back into workplace culture, the office interior and soft benefits – with the Robert Walters Market Intelligence Team identifying that on average employers are spending £280 per employee, per month on ‘soft benefits,’ almost double than what was spent pre-pandemic.

    Top soft benefit perks include:
  • Private Health Insurance
  • Medical & Mental Health Assessments
  • Travel Insurance
  • Social Events
  • Subscription Services e.g. Netflix, Spotify, Hello Fresh
  • Training Subsidiaries
  • Gym Memberships
  • Extended holidays & sabbatical schemes
  • Company car or car allowance
  • Mortgage allowance
  • Student loan repayment
  • Enhanced parental leave
  • Creche or childcare vouchers
  • Travel or commuting subsidiaries

    Click here to download a copy of the 2023 Robert Walters Salary Survey Guide

Skills Shortages Are Far From Over

While the record-breaking vacancy numbers of last year have slowed, the UK is still in the midst of a skills shortage, with the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that vacancy numbers are still historically high, despite signs of slowing month-on-month. However, according to a study by leading background screening and identity services firm, Sterling, slow hiring processes are adding to these recruitment challenges.

According to the data – which comes from a global survey of more than 1,200 HR professionals and perspectives from more than 3,700 recent job seekers – half of the UK’s employers can’t find enough qualified candidates for the roles they have, with almost a third (29%) revealing that their direct competitors are beating them in the race for top talent.

The study also revealed that a significant proportion of employers are losing out to the competition due to slow hiring processes. Of the jobseekers surveyed, 71% revealed that they had either dropped out or considered dropping out of their most recent recruitment experience. The top three reasons cited for this were; the process was taking too long, it was too complicated or there were too many touchpoints.

Steve Smith, President International at Sterling commented: “While 2022 was a year of record-breaking vacancy numbers across the UK, the war for talent is still raging on. The UK still has a low level of unemployment despite the increase noted at the end of last year and skills shortages are being reported across a range of sectors and disciplines. In this environment, employers continue to report difficulties with recruiting the right people. But our data suggests that this issue is being exacerbated by lengthy and complex hiring processes.”

“A well-thought-out candidate experience is crucial at all times, though the impact is certainly more noticeable when competition for talent is rife. A robust hiring process shouldn’t create barriers for applicants. It’s crucial that employers optimise the process to streamline everything from communication requirements and screening through to on-boarding. Technology does have a role to play in achieving this.”

“The right tech helps to automate elements of the process and speed everything up. However, for those firms turning to tech to improve efficiencies, the candidate must be front of mind. How they interact with the technology has a direct impact on their view of your employer brand. If the software being used isn’t built with the applicant in mind, candidate dropout rates will likely remain high.”