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Interview in progressIn a candidate driven market, employers need to step up their game when interviewing candidates.

BEFORE THE INTERVIEW…

Ditch the boring job descriptions
Firstly, you need to make the job appealing to attract candidates. Too many employers issue job descriptions outlining tasks, duties and minimum requirements. The generic content often gives no insight into what it is like to work for your organisation.

Empathise with candidates and get into their zone. Promote the job by adding excitement, demonstrate your company culture and ethos and show that you provide great career development opportunities. Better still, create a short informal video and talk about the job and your company on camera with clips from your team members. Video is much more engaging than boring text.

Respect all candidates and communicate
It might be a nightmare to process hundreds of applicants – that’s where video interviewing can come in very handy – but the application process shouldn’t be a ‘black hole’ as it’s often referred to in recruitment circles. Candidates should always be informed where they stand with clear communication, whether or not they are selected for an interview.

Review the CV again before the interview
Be prepared and read the candidate’s CV again just before you meet so that you know a bit about the person and where they are currently working. The candidate is assessing you as much as you are assessing the candidate.

THE INTERVIEW…

Be punctual for the interview
You expect your candidates to arrive on time for the interview. And so should you! Don’t keep the candidate waiting. Any longer than five minutes is unacceptable. Again, empathise – Think what the candidate is thinking and make sure you create the right impression for you and your organisation.

First impressions count
Candidates in an interview situation are typically nervous with heightened senses. They will notice the smallest details and observe your body language so make sure you are well prepared and ready with good questions.

Engage with your candidates
Treat your interviewees as you would your best customer. Open the conversation with some small talk to act as an ice-breaker. You want to make them feel comfortable before launching into your interview questions. Make sure your interview style is open and engaging. An intimidating or patronising approach will serve no purpose. If you ease a candidate’s nerves it will be much easier to gauge how you think that person would fit in your workplace.

Introduce to work colleagues
It’s a good idea to have other stakeholders in the hiring process on stand-by at the time of the interview. If you have a strong candidate in front of you, you could then introduce him/her to others – perhaps the department head. The ideal situation would be to roll this interview into a second interview to advance the process, but even if it is just a quick ‘hello’ this will engage the candidate more and help to get buy in.

AFTER THE INTERVIEW…

Act quickly!
If you like the candidate and feel he/she is well matched to the job and your organisation, you need to follow up immediately. Good talent gets snapped up quickly so make sure you communicate with next steps (or better still, the job offer) before other employers woo the candidate. Many great candidates are lost due to the employer’s delay in the hiring process. If you want the best in a candidate driven market, you have to move fast.

Interview in calendarWe have looked at Preparation for your Job Interview and now it’s time. Your interview is today! Here’s what you need to do for a successful outcome:

Don’t be late
It sounds obvious but so many candidates arrive late because they underestimate traffic etc. Whatever the excuse is, lateness creates the wrong first impression and you will probably be flustered throughout the interview worrying rather than focusing on your responses to the questions asked.

Body language
The first few minutes of your interview are critical when there is non-verbal communication. Compose yourself, take in the environment, gauge the mood, listen and observe. Read the situation and mirror the interviewer. If he/she is very formal, then you should be too. And if they are quite casual, take a similar approach but don’t come across as over-familiar – particularly at the start of the interview.

Get their attention
Does it feel like you’re the tenth candidate they’ve met today?! If so, you need to uplift the interview and instil new energy. Good eye contact and a warm smile will give you a good start. Sit appropriately – generally upright but lean forward occasionally to engage and show interest. Don’t slump in your chair as this will disengage and make you seem aloof and/or arrogant.

Let the interviewer lead the conversation
There’s likely to be small talk at the beginning which will help break the ice for you and the employer. Go with it and engage but don’t get carried away! Know when to stop so they can move on to the actual interview questions.

Answer the questions
When candidates are nervous it’s easy to go off on a tangent and ramble. Engage with the interviewer and take in the body language. Are they listening to you? Or are they just looking through you? If you are losing them, STOP! That will get their attention and you can then pull the interviewer back into the conversation and provide more snappy answers. Show passion, enthusiasm and humility. Frame your answers as if you would be working for them so that the employer can envisage what it would be like to have you on board. And if the interviewer asks a difficult question that you don’t know the answer to, it’s much better to say “I don’t know, that’s something I would like to find out” than trying to wing it with a poor answer. Honesty is always best.

Ask intelligent questions
Depending on the formality, it may be appropriate to ask questions during the interview, but generally your questions should come towards the end. Usually the interviewer will offer you this opportunity. Make sure your questions will contribute to your performance. Asking about company growth, future plans, scope of the job clearly demonstrates your interest level in joining the employer for the foreseeable future. Don’t ask unimaginative questions where you could have easily found out the answers. And in a first interview situation, don’t ask for micro details about the job – It’s not very relevant at this stage and it may suggest that you are concerned about whether the job is right for you – or whether you can actually do the job!

Get hooked!
Likeability is key to a positive outcome. Let your personality shine through so that the employer likes you and wants you. Too many candidates go into an interview with the attitude of “What’s in it for me?” (ie why should I work for you?) which creates a bad aura from the start and then they wonder why they weren’t invited for a second interview! Employers want to hire ‘can-do’ people with a positive attitude. In regards to salary, you should know roughly what the package is before going into an interview so that it meets your expectation but don’t ask about this or holidays or hours of work in your interview. Of course this information is important to you but it can be discussed at a much later stage in the process when you know they are keen to hire you.

Keep the door open
Always be courteous, however the interview has gone. You never know where this could lead you, even if this particular job is not for you.

Sincere thanks
First impressions count – and so do last impressions! Make sure you ‘close’ the interview positively. Thank the interviewer and let them know that you are very interested. And don’t be afraid to ask what the next steps might be. When you get home, send a short ‘thank you’ email. If you were the tenth candidate interviewed that day, you want to make sure you are remembered!

Click here for ‘Job Interview Preparation Tips’.

CIPD logo

Skills shortfalls, people risk, corporate behaviours and culture are all causes of increasing concern in a landscape of continued change and uncertainty, so organisations need to innovate and adapt. 

“HR must continue to innovate and adapt to meet the rapidly changing needs of business”, says Peter Cheese, Chief Executive CIPD.

“The need for professional HR and L&D capabilities have never been in greater demand, but we’ll need to look beyond traditional thinking and standardised practice, and start defining ‘professional’ in new terms”.

Cheese wants to encourage delegates to shift from searching for best practice or standard approaches, to innovate and to challenge existing orthodoxies driven by a real understanding of context, purpose and outcomes. Business has to become more people centric in every sense, and to make a shift from accounting to more accountability. HR has to be at the forefront, acting with confidence and credibility founded on a strong base of professional knowledge and competence.

“We know that there’s no one size fits all model for great HR, and we need to adapt our HR practices to the context and needs of our workforces and organisations” says Cheese. “But what guides our actions and decisions? Any business is about judgments and priorities that drive decisions and actions, but these need to be framed through principles and values that drive good, ethical and sustainable business more clearly. These principles should provide the framework for HR to support the judgments and often the compromises that we are so often called on to make.

Furthermore, we need to challenge ourselves in examining our processes, policies, and practices as the world of work evolves. We must look at the purpose and outcomes of what we do more critically, and understand what fundamental principles and base of knowledge make those practices effective. Ultimately, we need a new definition of what it means to be an HR professional, with a greater focus on clarity of professional capability and purpose, and a strengthened ability to provide trusted and credible advice to businesses, whatever the circumstances.”

The CIPD’s commitment to helping the HR and L&D professionals of the future realise their true potential is encapsulated in its Profession for the Future strategy. It has already conducted extensive research with HR practitioners, business leaders, academics, thought leaders, regulators and line managers to shape its thinking, and is starting a debate about the core principles that should guide the profession going forward as well as what guides good business.

“The first step in our Profession for the Future strategy is to establish a shared understanding of HR’s purpose, who our stakeholders really are, and where our priorities lie – in other words, a set of core principles to guide our decision making. We want the principles to be broad, ambitious and applicable in any context and we’re turning to HR practitioners, academics, thought leaders, policy makers, business leaders and line managers to help us define them.

The next phase will be about ensuring we equip the HR professionals of the future with the knowledge, skills and expertise to apply those principles in practice, so that we can secure HR’s role as a trusted and credible profession that helps to create sustainable value for all of a business’ stakeholders.”

Source: CIPD’s Annual Conference – November 2015

CIPD logoOverall jobs growth set to continue while pay growth edges up but shows little sign of taking off

Against the backdrop of low unemployment and rising recruitment pressures, UK employers are increasingly turning to young talent to fill their skills gaps, signalling the end of a broadly ‘bleak’ decade for young jobseekers and giving a boost to the thousands of young people who are entering the jobs market for the first time this summer.

This is according to the latest Labour Market Outlook from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, which shows that the proportion of employers that say they plan to hire more apprentices and school-leavers has increased sharply in response to recruitment difficulties since spring 2014. Up-skilling for all employees remains the most prevalent employer response to recruitment difficulties, cited by half of employers (50%) but a third (33%) of employers currently reporting hard-to-fill vacancies plan to hire more apprentices, a marked increase compared with just 22% in the spring 2014 report. Around a quarter (26%) predict recruiting more graduates and twelve per cent plan to hire more school leavers, up by a third compared with the spring 2014 report (9%).

The findings help explain the latest ONS data which shows that the employment rate for 16-24 year olds that aren’t in full-time education has risen to a level last seen in 2008 (74.3%).

Gerwyn Davies, Labour Market Analyst at the CIPD, comments: “After a long, dark decade, the prospects for young people are finally looking brighter. The tightening labour market is undoubtedly encouraging more employers to turn to a wider range of younger recruits. However, it is also due to a recognition among a growing number of employers that they need to develop talent to limit the potential for future labour shortages and pay pressures. The increase in the number of high-quality apprenticeships and the ongoing recruitment pressures faced by employers should mean that the pathway to sustainable employment will be within the reach of more young people.

“However, employers need to support this recruitment drive by ensuring that they have the people management practices in place to support the effective utilisation of skills, which is critical to job retention and productivity. The UK has the second highest level of over-qualification in the OECD and unless more employers get better at putting their people’s skills to good use, efforts to boost their and the UK’s productivity will be critically undermined. Looking further ahead, the introduction of the ‘National Living Wage’ may boost the attractiveness of employing workers aged below 25 further, which could see young people reverse recent trends by becoming the new winners in a new era for the jobs market.”

Pay becomes polarised

While prospects for young people have improved, the CIPD’s report highlights an increasingly polarised picture for wages. It shows a continuation of the clear gap that exists between workers that have comfortably exceeded the current inflation rate in their pay packets, those who have received modest increases or none at all, and the majority of workers who exist in the middle.

Davies comments: “At one end of the spectrum, workers in occupations where there are skills or labour shortages and thriving sectors such as finance and construction seem likely to get pay increases well above current inflation. However, at the other end of the scale, many workers in areas such as manufacturing and public sector, are seeing only a very modest increase in living standards. In-between, the bulk of workers will continue to see moderate growth in their pay packets but with inflation expected to stay low, they should still feel the benefit of any increases.”

The Labour Market Outlook finds that the level of median pay awards anticipated by employers for the next 12 months has edged up from 1.8% to 2%. Looking back over the last year the median basic pay award is also 2%. The CIPD data and analysis suggests that the increase in average earnings in recent months highlighted in official statistics may be inflated by a number of factors. These include a disproportionately large increase in the number of people in full-time employment, a relatively large above inflation increase in the National Minimum Wage and perhaps most significantly, workers in thriving industries or key roles which are in demand where workers can earn a premium.

In the year to June 2015, almost a quarter of employers gave an increase of at least 3% while almost a fifth froze pay. Just 16% of employers raised wages in response to recruitment challenges. Looking ahead, a fifth of employers, mainly drawn from the private sector, say that their organisations will award a pay increase of 3% or more in the 12 months to June 2016. Meanwhile, fourteen per cent plan to freeze pay.

Employer confidence continues

The Labour Market Outlook also suggests that employment confidence looks to remain strong over the next three months. This quarter’s net employment balance – which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase and those that intend to decrease staff levels – has increased to +29, up from the +24 reported in Spring 2015.

With backingSample CV music track of ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, watch this great 2 minute video that shows how technology is changing and largely improving our lives.

Many purists argue that technology rips out the soul from some of our treasured traditions, such as the classic vinyl LP replaced by iTune downloads or the cherished paperback steadily being replaced by Tablets such as Kindle and the iPad.

And these purists have a point. There is something special about listening to music on vinyl; the vocals and instruments seem more real and vibrant. Fortunately, three years on from when this video clip was published on YouTube, vinyl is having a great resurgence. And so is the wrist watch, albeit as Apple Watch (not the clockwork type)!

What about the traditional CV?

Preserving some traditions makes sense. But when it comes to identifying talented candidates, there is nothing to cherish about the traditional Curriculum Vitae. Yes, it documents a candidate’s track record of employment and qualifications which is important, but it tells you nothing about personality and attitude, the hugely important ‘soft skills’ required for customer facing employees in hospitality.

Thanks to technology, assessing candidates is now much easier and employers can view video interviews from each applicant at the click of a button, and have much richer insight on a candidate than a text CV alone.

So should you carry on screening candidates with the traditional text CV …or embrace Video where you can see and hear a candidate answer questions you would ask in an interview?

Technology has clearly paved the way for more effective talent selection in the early stages of the recruitment process.

This 2 minute video shows how technology is impacting our lives. The evolution of CV to video is not included in this piece but it would have been another good illustration.

Perhaps Video will kill …the CV!

 

 

CIPD logoLess than one fifth (16%) of employers ask about candidates volunteering on application forms and under a third (31%) ask about it during interviews

Employers are missing out on candidates with valuable skills by failing to recognise volunteering and social action experience during the recruitment process, according to a new joint publication from the CIPD and the #iwill campaign. To address this shortfall, employers should embed social action, which can include experience of volunteering, fundraising, and campaigning, into their recruitment practices in order to allow candidates the opportunity to talk about skills they have gained outside of education and traditional work experience. This will provide employers with access to candidates with improved work and life skills, such as teamwork, communications, and leadership.

The report, ‘Unlock new talent: How can you integrate social action in recruitment?’, was published as a result of a recent survey from CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, which found that 67% of employers report that entry-level candidates who have social action experience demonstrate more employability skills. The top three skills cited by respondents were teamwork (82%), communication (80%) and understanding the local community (45%). However, despite this, less than a fifth (16%) of employers currently ask any questions about social action experience in their applications forms and only 31% ask about it during interviews.

Integrating social action into the recruitment process, the report argues, allows employers to tap into a pool of talented individuals that otherwise might be overlooked, at the same time as demonstrating to young people that social action is worthwhile in terms of helping them to develop key skills that will be of value to employers. The report provides practical tips on how social action can be embedded effectively into recruitment processes, based on best practice advice from eleven leading employers, including PwC, Barclays, British Gas and National Grid.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD says: “Historically, concern with social action, including volunteering, typically fitted within organisations’ corporate social responsibility agenda, and was often seen as a bridge between companies and the community. However, we believe that there is a strong case for social action to be integrated more widely into organisations’ people development and resourcing strategies.

“A key challenge for recruiters is that candidates often fail to highlight their social action experience, unless given the opportunity to do so, as many still regard traditional work experience as being more important to employers. With the difficulties that many young people also face in terms of securing good quality work experience, it is clear that social action has a huge role to play in terms of skills development. By failing to uncover this experience during the recruitment stage, employers could be missing out on enthusiastic individuals who have precisely the types of employability skills organisations tell us they need and struggle to find.”

Charlotte Hill, Chief Executive at Step Up To Serve, says: “We know that communities and organisations benefit from having young people participate in social action projects. This report with support from businesses and employers reaffirms the notion of the ‘double benefit’ as young people that take part in social action also gain the skills they need for work and life. Encouraging businesses to embed this in recruitment will really change the face of social action participation across the UK.”

PwC, one of the organisations featured in the guide, have taken steps to ensure that candidates are given the opportunity to talk about their social action experience during the recruitment process. PwC have also recently announced plans to drop A-level requirements when recruiting candidates for their graduate programme.

Commenting, Richard Irwin, PwC head of student recruitment, said: “We want to target bright, talented people and extend our career opportunities to untapped talent in wider pockets of society. Our experience shows that whilst A Level assessment can indicate potential, for far too many students there are other factors that influence capability. Providing opportunities for candidates to demonstrate skills gained outside of academia, including social action, is one way of ensuring we are a progressive employer, which recognises that talent and potential presents itself in different ways and at different stages of people’s lives”

It is hoped that the double benefit of youth social action will encourage more young people to take part, which supports the #iwill campaign goal of increasing the number of young people participating in quality social action by 2020.

The #iwill campaign, coordinated by charity Step Up To Serve, is backed by leaders from across UK society, and led by HRH The Prince of Wales with renewed support from all of the main political parties. The campaign’s vision of every young person in the UK taking part in ‘quality’ social action will be achieved by inspiring leaders from across society to think about what they can do to help – whether that’s creating opportunities themselves, or recognising what young people have achieved through social action. Both individuals and organisations are encouraged to pledge their support for the campaign online, and show what action they will take to achieve this societal shift.

CIPD logoNew CIPD report highlights the importance of creating a clear business case and understanding how young people want to be developed through L&D initiatives

With three million 16-24 year olds now part of the UK labour market, the development of young people within the workforce now needs to be a key area of focus for employers, so they can retain great talent and improve business performance. This is according to a new report from the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, which highlights that recruiting young people is just half of the equation and that once in work, more attention must be given to developing individuals and building the skills they need for future success.

The report, Developing the Next Generation, is being launched today at the CIPD’s Managing Talent Conference and Workshop, and explores this issue through a series of case studies from organisations including Fujitsu, ActionAid, CapGemini, Reed Smith and Barclays. It considers how organisations can identify the most effective learning and development (L&D) programmes for young people and the importance of outlining a clear business case for investing in their development.
The research found that a key step, but recurring challenge for organisations trying to develop young people, is establishing a clear business case. The case study organisations discussed how their development programmes for young workers have impacted significantly on the wider business, helping to drive engagement, increase efficiency and foster greater productivity. Fujitsu said that focusing on developing young people has positively impacted the wider business, both culturally and at the bottom line. By attracting a diverse range of young talent, they are starting to alter the demographic of the organisation, and are seeing improved gender diversity. By going a step further and developing young workers, retention is higher, recruitment costs have gone down and they are successfully creating a pipeline of future leaders.

Nick White, Graduate Programme Manager at Fujitsu, comments: “We can see real value in the programmes and investing time, effort and money into making the programmes work. It’s about making sure we have future leaders, and that is actually happening. Thirty per cent of those on our Future Leaders Programme started as graduates in the organisation.”

Ruth Stuart, Research Adviser for L&D at the CIPD, says: “With over 300,000 young people entering the workforce every year, organisations need to establish effective development opportunities from the moment they’re employed, so they can retain them and build on the unique skills they bring. To be successful though, organisations must be clear on what they are trying to achieve. It’s pointless to introduce a scheme without first considering its impact on the wider business and ensuring it fits with future resourcing needs. By providing an appealing alternative to university through their recruitment and development programmes, for example, Barclays and Capgemini have been able to tap into and retain young talent, plug significant skills gaps and achieve substantial organisational benefits. This shows just how crucial a clear business case is in achieving a quality outcome.”

The report goes on to discuss how, once the business case is clear, L&D and HR professionals must understand the strengths, skills and learning preferences of young people. Those the CIPD interviewed flagged a preference for bite-sized learning, gaining knowledge from experience and receiving constructive feedback on actions. But although they admitted to being ‘tech-savvy’, when asked about which learning methods they disliked, the answer was unanimously ‘online training’. Organisations therefore need to be careful not to generalise or stereotype young people, as this could lead to false assumptions and ineffective development initiatives.
On skills, the case study research highlighted that young people bring enthusiasm and drive, innovative thinking and technological understanding to the workforce. However, analysis of the literature shows that young people need to develop deeper skills in self-awareness, acceptance of criticism and emotional intelligence. In response, the CIPD recommends that employers should focus on providing a strong support network, clear objectives, regular feedback and opportunities for upward communication.

Stuart continues: “Young people have enormous potential to contribute to a business’s success if their strengths and skills are recognised and enhanced. Organisations need to carefully select the right kind of programmes to ensure they have the chance to make an impact at an early stage. L&D and HR professionals need to collaborate and communicate to pinpoint the learning preferences of new generations and line managers also have a crucial role to play in developing and implementing initiatives. In the longer term, we should be looking to instil a sense of self-awareness and confidence at an earlier age to deal with certain skills gaps, and the responsibility here lies with policy-makers and educational leaders, as well as employers. But for now, the key is to understand young people and develop blended programmes using different methods that suit their learning preferences, whilst still staying in line with the overall business objectives.”

Developing the Next Generation has been published as part of the CIPD’s Learning to Work programme, which promotes the role of employers in reducing youth unemployment and champions the business case for investing in the future workforce. For more information visit: www.cipd.co.uk/learningtowork

Article by Brian Westfall, Market Research Associate – Software Advice

Research shows that candidates who have done a video job interview before embrace video more than a phone interview.

More and more employers are using video interviewing software for their remote interviewing needs, which can be daunting for job candidates used to the classic phone interview. So Software Advice, a company involved in video interviewing software research and reviews, conducted a survey of nearly 400 random people who have applied to a job in the last two years to find out how they feel about interviewing for a job through video.

It seems any trepidation among potential job applicants with video job interviewing stems from them never having done one before. Those that have never done a video job interview before (46 percent of respondents), say they would prefer to do a phone interview instead of a video interview (67 percent for phone versus 19 percent for video). The rest of our respondents who have done a video interview before are the opposite, preferring video to phone (47 percent for video versus 36 percent for phone).

Remote Interviewing Preferences

This goes to show that once a candidate does a video interview, they warm up to it. But getting a candidate comfortable with their first video interview can be tricky.

When it comes to drawbacks with video interviews, respondents say the most significant ones are possible connectivity issues (27 percent), and being uncomfortable on camera (21 percent). There are a number of things that candidates can do to secure their connection, including using wired internet and closing any other bandwidth-eating programs. Some video interviewing platforms even include features for users to test their connection.

If interviewees are uncomfortable on camera, it can be hard to fix, but practice is key. For a pre-recorded interview, hiring managers could allow candidates to re-record their responses to get them right. Some systems also allow for practice runs before recording a real response.

Interviewers would also be wise to keep video interviews under an hour by saving some questions for a follow-up in-person interview. Thirty-four percent of respondents say after an hour, they would consider the video interview to be too long.

All of this knowledge is important, as a negative video interviewing experience could be detrimental to the employer. If they had a self-described negative interviewing experience, 86 percent of respondents say they would be more likely to not accept a job offer and 68 percent would be more likely to tell others not to apply.

Knowing how to create a positive video interviewing experience can help employers find their ideal candidate.

View full article from Software Advice

CIPD logoThis year delivered growth but 2015 must be a year of productivity to sustain growth and improve earnings, says CIPD.

The UK labour market will continue to expand at a strong rate in 2015 but it’s unlikely that we’ll see any real increase in wage growth until 2016, according to Mark Beatson, chief economist for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development. While improvements in the labour market are good news for jobseekers and good news for businesses, Beatson warns that the UK’s steady growth remains vulnerable to developments in Europe and that the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’ is an urgent issue for policy makers and businesses to address in order to sustain growth.

In his annual analysis of the UK labour market for the year ahead, published today, Beatson predicts:

• Employment may grow by as much as half a million in 2015, slightly more than the OBR forecast. This is due to the extra number of migrant workers seeking work, older workers looking to stay in work to strengthen their pension pots and more people leaving benefits and going into jobs under the Welfare to Work programme
• Economic growth of around 2.4% is expected in 2015, slightly lower than in 2014
• The Eurozone as a whole is still expected to grow by just 1.1% in 2015
• Interest rates are expected to rise but any increases are likely to be small
• Wage growth is likely to remain in the 1-2% range for most or all of 2015, although low inflation means average earnings may increase slightly in real terms. However, no significant increase in wage growth can be expected until 2016, and even then, it is not guaranteed
• Productivity needs to form the core of economic policy and employers need to raise their productivity – including developing their workforce – before skills shortages mount.

Beatson comments: “By historic standards 2014 has been a year of reasonable growth, but there are still some very significant challenges that the government needs to address around productivity. We said at the start of 2014 that productivity needed to be at the top of the agenda for Government and the same is true for this year. As a country we are still producing less value today than before the recession, and the years preceding that. We need a massive step-change as without growth in productivity, we are unlikely to see real earnings grow for some time”.

Beatson warns that while hiring intentions remain positive, at some stage labour shortages will start to become more acute and that taking advantage of relatively cheap labour now could have an impact on business competition, particularly in international markets. In both cases, he suggests that employers can manage these risks by investing in productivity. This might include investments in capital equipment such as technology and machinery as well as investing in intangible assets, including people.

He continues: “Upskilling the existing workforce is an insurance policy against future skills shortages, but these efforts will only be maximised through broader changes such as improved management practices and job design. We need to see a similar focus from policy makers. Higher productivity is necessary if living standards are to improve and economic policy in the next Parliament should focus on achieving it through creating an environment that supports productivity growth at a sector and local level.

The UK’s productivity challenges are deep-rooted and require systemic change. We need government, employee representatives and business to come together and pinpoint where workplace practices are working, where they need to be challenged and how we can build a workplace of the future that really works and drives the productivity we need.”

The CIPD has recently published research which pinpoints the role of effective management in the workplace and how this contributes to business productivity and organisational resilience. ‘Megatrends: are UK organisations getting better at managing their people?’ View research here.

The predictions report is available to download here.

CIPD logo

CIPD welcomes renewed focus on careers support for young people

Responding to the new careers body announced by the Government on 9 December 2014, Katerina Rüdiger, Head of Skills and Policy Campaigns at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said:

“Far too often we hear that young people aren’t prepared with the right skills or awareness of the complexities of working life. Strong careers advice can help to close the gap between education and the world of work, but our latest research has found that just a third (35%) of parents are satisfied with the quality of careers advice and guidance provided in their child’s school or college.

“Supporting young people to navigate the increasingly complex world of work, and to find jobs and fulfilling careers is a critical part of securing the long-term competitiveness of the UK economy. The Government’s decision to invest more in careers advice, and to embed significant input from employers in the process, is a welcome step in the right direction and good news for young people and for businesses. It will help to ensure young people are getting the best possible start in the world of work and businesses are building a strong pipeline of talent for the future.

“The new body does not start with a blank canvas. There are many initiatives that are already delivering good results, and should be supported and enhanced by the new body. From experience, we know how valuable routes into work such a mentoring, apprenticeships and work experience can be both for young people and for the employers that provide them and would urge for greater investment in encouraging links between schools, colleges and employers.”

The CIPD is firmly committed to increasing employer engagement with young people. Through its Learning to Work campaign, the CIPD provides employers with the insights and practical guidance they need to offer more access routes for young people and make their organisations more youth-friendly.

In June 2013 the CIPD furthered this commitment by launching a formal partnership with the Inspiring the Future initiative to get HR professionals into local state secondary schools and colleges to help students with their CVs, conduct mock interviews and deliver careers insight talks. Over 2,000 CIPD members have signed up to the initiative, providing support to thousands of young people throughout the UK. CIPD members can also provide support through Steps Ahead Mentoring which offers young people, most of whom have never worked before, six one-to-one mentoring sessions with CIPD members to help them improve their employability skills, boost their confidence and find work. Young jobseekers (aged 18-24) are referred to Steps Ahead by Jobcentre Plus advisers, and other selected partners. To date, 73% of those who have completed the programme go on to find work or work experience.

Rüdiger adds: “Our schemes highlight the value of HR professionals and employers taking an active role in helping young people into work. We believe that businesses need young people as much as young people need jobs. Through our Learning to Work programme we’re working hard to champion better work and working lives, which starts with young jobseekers having the support and opportunities they need to access the labour market.”

Source: CIPD