Why Cutting Back On Hiring Is The Least Of HR's Concerns

Posted by Kate Smedley on 22 Aug 2016

For some weeks now the focus has been on the referendum fallout in the jobs market with much talk about slowing down or cutting back on hiring but are things really that bad? Not according to the latest statistics.

Reasons to be cheerful

  • The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that the number of people in work stands at 31.75m – a record high and an employment rate of 74.5%. (Unemployment stands at 4.9%) and exceeding expectations.
  • Wages rose by 2.4% in the year to June, the fastest rate since October 2015.
  • There are two vacancies to every job seeker, according to jobsite Adzuna.
  • Open positions fell by only 0.9% in May to July, a lower drop than anticipated.
  • Graduate recruitment is on the rise.
  • The retail sector enjoyed a boost in July with a 1.4% rise in sales.
  • While the CIPD reported a 0.4% fall in hiring intentions in its latest Labour Market Outlook, three quarters of employers have no intention of changing their hiring plans.

A rush to freeze or cut hiring puts pressure on your existing team, affecting morale, absenteeism and engagement while masking more deep-seated issues. Less than 5% of CEOs are happy with their company’s talent management strategy.

Here are the issues HR needs to address before changing hiring plans:-

Examine the behaviour of your leadership

The challenge of leadership was ranked as important or very important in this year’s Global Human Capital Trends Survey from Deloitte and nearly 70% of employees feel that the behaviour of managers is increasing stress levels – and subsequently performance – at work. 18-24 year olds are the most likely to be affected. Furthermore, the latest figures from the High Pay Centre suggest that FTSE 100 employers are paid 129 times more than their employees. Toxic leadership leads to increased absenteeism. Writing in Forbes magazine, Brent Gleeson suggests that three keys for leadership are leading change, responding to feedback and a facilitative communication style. Poor leadership will damage the success of any hiring plan.

Establish a Pokémon Go policy

How engaged are your employees in their work? The distractions of Pokémon Go are a real concern for UK businesses. Over half of people who use the app play during working hours according to employee engagement company Qualtrics. The Manchester Evening News also reports that the problem has become so serious that company bosses are taking advice on how to deal with it. Employers have the option of banning it in the workplace (following the example of Boeing) or setting out clear terms for its use during the working day with a comprehensive IT and Communications policy which incorporates details of acceptable use of ‘gaming’.

Hiring 'boomerang' employees

Rehiring a former employee is a much more likely option than it was three years ago. A new survey from Robert Half found that just over a third of HR Directors have rehired a former employee and only 7% would rule it out. Rehiring a former employee has its advantages. Your ‘new’ hire possesses not only needed skills and qualifications but insider knowledge of your culture too. It also reduces your time to hire and onboarding process but it comes with caveats. Review the reasons for your former employee’s departure and address the issues which may lead to a similar outcome. Flexible working can be easily resolved, a lack of career development options might not be so straightforward. If it doesn’t work out a second time, you risk demoralising your existing team. Be certain you’re not choosing this option for a quick fix. Once hired, adopt the same attitude to engagement and retention of your old/new employee as you do towards your other new hires.  

Invest in your training

The CIPD survey found that a fifth of employers believe they will reduce investment in skills development while less than 1 in 10 intend to increase it. The UK is facing a digital skills crisis. Now is not the time for HR to reduce its investment in skills development or training, particularly if Brexit does lead to a drop in available jobseekers. Poor digital skills will affect your organisation’s ability to compete.

Mind your data gap

Technology is disrupting the workforce leaving UK businesses struggling to keep pace with change. Data in your hiring process gives you an advantage over employers who rely on manual recruitment. Tracking and analysing data helps HR to understand the job search habits and preferences of its target candidate market and makes it easier to share information with colleagues. Without some form of technology your hiring process will be hindered by a data gap. Stop reacting and adopt a pro-active hiring strategy. A successful talent acquisition strategy is ongoing. Focus on where you want your business to be in one year from now. Data will help you to predict your hiring needs and enable you to plan in advance.

Don’t be too quick to slow down your hiring. Understand what really matters to your business success and support your talent acquisition strategy with world class recruitment software. Contact Advorto today to start your free trial.

For more insight into what constitutes good leadership, download our whitepaper Hiring Solutions : Leadership In The Spotlight.

You might also like to read:-

Brexit : HR’s 4 Point Survival Plan

Data Driven Recruitment : What’s Holding HR Back?

Image Credit : www.123rf.com/profile_toonartist

Topics: Rants

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