July 2022 Newsletter

Unsustainable. It was only a matter of time. 

The red hot recruitment market in tech has seen some crazy salary increases. So far this year, we’ve completed numerous assignments where people have changed jobs and seen salary rises of 30 to 45%.  These levels aren’t sustainable.

Have things now changed?

We’re hearing in the US that over the last few weeks, there’s been a “complete flip” (When layoffs and a recession collide with the future of work agenda. Charterworks.com).  With layoffs sweeping the country and fears of a recession mounting, the war for talent that lead to big salary increases is now over.

But, we’re not seeing it in the UK, at least not yet; despite growth forecasts being slashed and the CBI saying we’re heading for recession.  So, if you’re recruiting tech talent right now, remember that the three things people want are money, flexibility and values alignment (in no particular order).  There’s still pressure on salaries, but you can mitigate this to a degree by highlighting your flexible work policy.  And, especially, highlighting how you contribute to society and care about humanity.

How do you do this?  We’ve got some ideas.  Look out for our Highlighting Humanity series (follow us on LinkedIn) or get in touch.

We’re always happy to help.

Rob Williams

Is Your Hiring Process Costing You Talent?

More than 20 million people quit their jobs in the latter half of 2021, leaving many companies struggling to find talent to refill their ranks. With 11.3 million job openings, which is about 5 million more than unemployed workers as of March 2022, job seekers certainly have the upper hand — and they’re demanding more from future employers.

Job seekers aren’t only looking for higher pay and better workplace benefits. They’ve also lost patience with ever-cumbersome hiring processes. They know that they are in demand, and they want to see that employers recognize their value.

Create a hiring process that is a positive experience for candidates to foster a good relationship from the start. By asking yourself the following four questions, you can make sure your hiring experience isn’t causing you to lose future talent.

1. Is your time-to-decision fast enough?

Finding out whether someone is a good fit for your company might take a little time, but you could lose candidates to companies with faster hiring times if you drag your feet too long. The average time-to-hire includes multiple interviews and lasts around 43 days. However, 62% of working professionals say they lose interest two weeks after an initial interview if they haven’t heard back.

To help prevent this, look for ways to speed up the hiring process and eliminate wasted time. For example, if you require candidates to complete assessments, try integrating them with your company’s application tracking system. Administer assessments aligned to the capabilities required for success in the target job when candidates submit applications instead of having a recruiter send them days after.

2. Do you share information on company culture?

The decision to work with a candidate is a two-way street; informing candidates about the company and the role is just as important as learning about their skills. Communicate to job seekers your company’s commitment to not only filling openings, but also to aligning people with jobs where they will thrive.

To help job seekers decide if your company is a good fit, ensure that each step of the hiring process reflects the culture. For example, use situational judgment tests to ask candidates to reflect on situations they might face on the job and indicate what they would do in response.

Another idea is to use behavioral role-plays, which enable candidates to demonstrate key job skills. A role-play for a customer service role, for example, might involve having the candidate engage in a simulated conversation with a dissatisfied customer.

You can also use a virtual assessment center — a three- to four-hour session that includes exercises in addressing business challenges and strategic decision making — to paint a realistic picture of the job. All these methodologies serve the dual purpose of assessing candidates’ capabilities to perform the job and teaching them about how life in the role and organization might look and feel. Although this is a beneficial method, it does bring up concerns about how much time you’re asking candidates to invest in your hiring process. Consider using these methods only for final candidates to help you make your hiring decision — after you and the candidate have invested the time to know both parties are interested in an employment relationship.

3. How is your correspondence?

Providing genuine feedback is a relatively easy way for employers to bring unique value to candidates in the interview process, and it will likely become a hiring norm in the near future. According to a survey conducted by the Talent Board, candidates who receive timely feedback are 52% more likely to engage with an employer again.

Conversely, unsuccessful candidates who never receive feedback are more than twice as likely to have an unpleasant image of the company. If employers can demonstrate investment in candidates’ success, it will go a long way toward building a future relationship.

For instance, you can provide neutral feedback to candidates that highlights their tendencies and capabilities and give helpful suggestions without mentioning scores or alignment with the target role. You can avoid legal challenges (e.g., “You told me I was a great fit for the role, but you didn’t hire me”) and provide positive and constructive feedback.

4. Are you providing value up front?

Many people no longer want a job simply to pay their bills. Instead, they want to work at a company that will help them learn and grow, personally or professionally. LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report found that companies that excel at internal mobility are able to keep employees around for an average of 5.4 years, which is nearly twice as long as companies that don’t. Given that ongoing growth is essential to candidates, make sure they know you will invest in their development up front.

One way you can signal this to candidates is to give them a chance to learn some new, relevant skills. For example, a hiring process designed to select sales representatives might include an opportunity for sales-interested candidates to access learning assets that teach about cold-calling techniques, how to best reach the C-suite, or strategies for overcoming call reluctance. The key here is giving candidates something for their time other than the possibility of a job offer. Give them value they can take wherever they go.

As the Great Resignation persists, job seekers are the ones in control. To fill openings, it’s critically important that companies make good impressions — and that starts with carefully mapped-out interview processes. Consider each question above to add more value to every candidate conversation.

Full article from Harvard Business Review here.

Microsoft will no longer ban staff from seeking roles at competitors and plans to disclose salaries on job ads

Microsoft employees will be free to seek jobs at the likes of Google and Amazon after the internet giant announced it would no longer enforce non-compete clauses (NCCs) against the majority of its staff. 

The change is one of four updates announced in a blog post on Wednesday, including plans to ditch non-disclosure agreements, conduct a civil rights audit of its existing work policies, and commit to providing salary ranges on all internal and external job descriptions. 

NCCs are used by firms to stop employees moving to companies considered to be direct competitors. While there’s more understanding when they’re included in the contracts of c-suite and senior managers, their use against lower-level workers has been criticized as being too restrictive and holding people to unfair conditions. 

Microsoft has enforced them in some employee contracts, but effective today, the company is removing clauses from employee agreements, and will not enforce existing clauses in the US, the company said. 

“We have heard concerns that the non-competition clauses in some U.S. employee agreements, even when rarely and reasonably enforced, feel at odds with our talent principles,” said the blog post, attributed to Amy Pannoni, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel and Amy Coleman, Microsoft’s corporate vice president for HR. 

They will still be enforced against the company’s most senior leaders — those who are partners and executives — but it means other employees are, in theory, no longer restricted from seeking employment at any company “considered to be” a Microsoft competitor. 

Big Tech firms like Amazon, Google, and Salesforce are generally seen to be classed among its major rivals.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Insider that the firm will not retroactively amend employee contracts, but “will honour that those existing clauses won’t be enforced.” 

The change comes amid a growing move to clamp down on the use of NCCs. 

NCCs are already limited in a handful of states, including Microsoft’s home state Washington, where they’re unenforceable against employees earning less than $100,000.

In July, President Biden issued an executive order urging the Federal Trade Commission to limit or ban the use of NCCs to encourage greater mobility in the labor market. 

Microsoft, which has faced several allegations regarding its toxic culture in recent years, said the changes are aimed at “enhancing its workplace culture.” 

The company “is always evaluating our employees’ experience and listening to determine what changes we need to make as a result of what employees need and care about,” the blog post said. 

Being more transparent about pay can help to reduce pay inequality 

Microsoft also announced plans to improve pay transparency within its job adverts, and committed to publicly disclose salary ranges in all internal and external US job postings, beginning no later than January 2023. 

Campaigners argue that keeping job seekers in the dark about how much they and their potential colleagues earn reinforces existing gender and ethnicity pay divides. 

A study by the UK recruiter Reed found that withholding salary details and using words like “competitive” made people less likely to apply for roles. Providing women and people of color with more information enables them to negotiate higher pay and level the playing field. 

Colorado, Nevada, Connecticut, California, Washington, and Maryland have all introduced some state pay transparency rules. Employers in New York City must provide salary information on job adverts, after new legislation came into effect last month. 

Full article from Business Insider here