As 2018 unfolds, employers are set to see some significant changes to requirements affecting data protection, the definition of an ‘employee’ – and that’s not forgetting Brexit.
Is your business ready for change?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May. The biggest change in data protection laws in over 20 years brings with it a warning that employers are ‘sleepwalking into a GDPR abyss’. Up to 60% of employers aren’t ‘GDPR ready’ while an estimated one in four are ‘GDPR at risk’. Areas affected include laws relating to the storage and retention of employee and candidate data as well as management of data breaches and data access requests. The GDPR also has implications for businesses using automated hiring processes, particularly during recruitment stages where there is no direct personal contact with HR, such as the initial screening process.
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
All employers with more than 250 employees must publish their reports on their gender pay gap by 4th April 2018 – or 30th March for public sector organisations - based on figures up to 5th April 2017. To date, only around 10% of companies who meet this criteria have submitted their data.
Why will this matter to your recruitment success?
Transparency in recruitment and equal opportunities is essential to promote a positive culture and employer brand. Diversity in recruitment was also highlighted by LinkedIn as the number one hiring trend for 2018 and a key strategy to bridge the skills gaps in your company and create a more cohesive workforce. A significant gender pay gap can be indicative of a narrow talent pool or suggest that your company is lagging behind in meeting the expectations of a modern workforce.
An analysis of your recruitment analytics will highlight any potential problems with disparity in pay or unconscious bias in your hiring process.
The Gig Economy
In response to the recommendations made in last year’s Taylor Review the government has announced plans to overhaul the employment rights for recruitment agency and gig economy workers relating to holiday and sick pay. Additional changes are planned that may also affect employers and recruitment agencies, including:-
- A request for the Low Pay Commission to consider a higher minimum wage for people employed on zero hours contracts.
- The right for zero hours agency workers to ask for a fixed hours contract.
- Increased fines for companies that use ‘bogus self-employment’ contracts.
Taking steps now to review the management of your gig economy and agency workers will ensure your business is ready for these changes. These include:-
- Reviewing your employee definitions to help to offset any issues with failing to comply when the proposed changes come into force.
- Bringing all of your candidates into an inclusive talent management strategy, including your temporary workers. Your ATS will tag agency candidates to enable your hiring team to differentiate between candidate sources in your pipeline.
- Part of the controversy surrounding Uber being deemed unsuitable to continue to operate in London in 2017 was the result of its failure to carry out sufficient screening on up to 13,000 workers. This is indicative of a broader cultural reluctance to see backgrounds checks as anything more than a nod to compliance. Background checks should be carried out on all of your candidates including your temporary and interim workers and can be automated through your recruitment software.
More insight on effective planning for, sourcing and retaining gig economy talent is available in our whitepaper, The Rise Of The Gig Economy.
... and Brexit
The uncertainty over Brexit continues to affect hiring confidence. Half of all businesses expect the skills shortage in the UK to widen in 2018 as a result, according to a new report Solving the UK Skills Shortage . A quarter of employers do not believe that the UK can compete globally due to the extent of the gap.
Brexit is also being blamed for the first drop in graduate recruitment in five years – and the biggest since 2009. Graduate recruitment fell by 5% year on year in 2017 and 10% across the private sector. Banking and finance, together with accounting and professional services, saw the largest reduction in graduate hires.
Suggested strategies for responding to the continued Brexit uncertainty include:-
- The targeting of candidates with transferable skills.
- Upskilling employees with internal skills training.
- Focus on building better relationships with potential graduate recruits.
Supporting your hiring process with an ATS enables HR to achieve these aims with more efficient screening, integrated pre-hire skills testing and building and nurturing a talent pool to anticipate the future skills gaps in your business.
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