I have written about employee and employer expectations in the past, in respect to returning to work, but what about looking at the future outlook with a different perspective. What will employees and employers need when we return to life without Covid19? Our analysis of the June job figures is even more encouraging than last month & last quarter! In June 2020 there were 9 new HR vacancies advertised (by companies directly on the key job boards that we monitor), compared with 73 in June 2021. A massive increase of over 8-fold as demonstrated in figure 1.
In June 2020 there were 34 new accountancy roles advertised (by companies directly on the key job boards that we monitor), compared with 71 in June 2021. More than double as demonstrated in figure 2.
June is the last month in the second financial quarter of the year so now we have enough data to look at the trends on a quarter by quarter basis. The figures demonstrated in figure 3 & 4 show an overall impressive improvement for both HR and the accountancy sector.
Employees and employers can share a positive outlook. Analysts believe, however that the employment landscape is due another more sudden change this year. It is expected that there will be a large number of resignations in the autumn of 2021, which will ultimately magnify the numbers above. With a large work force migration from one place of work to another, a key factor that we need to be aware of in the return to life from COVID19, is a focus on the soft skills an employee can bring to an organisation and the added skills a company can afford to give its staff. Below is a list of a few soft skills that Able Bridge Recruitment think will be important moving forwards and a brief explanation in context.
Flexibility & Creativity;
This is a broad phrase that means many things to many people. In the context of soft skills, we are looking at the ability to change direction as a company or an employee to mutual benefit. As an example of this, I recently read a story about GroupSEB. The company were the market leader in the manufacture of deep fat friers. Competition was evolving at a faster pace and the board could see challenges ahead. The company looked at the two components of fat frying; heat & fat and turned this on its head. Could you produce a product that was healthy that didn’t require large volumes of fat and heat. They designed, engineered, and manufactured a healthy, dry fryer that used a fraction of the heat. By creative innovation and flexibility, the company continued to be ahead of their competitors. The employees in the company took ownership in challenging the status quo. As an employee, we surely all have a part to play in presenting ideas to our respective companies to push boundaries and become the best.
Organisation & Self-motivation;
A CV that reads “I am a highly organised and self-motivated individual” says very little to the reader. As everyone thinks that they are organised and self-motivated. In a job spec its meaning is also limited. If it does not feature in a job description, does this mean that an employer seeks a disorganised and de-motivated employee? No. In context and practice however, it is an essential skill to have and to be able to demonstrate. The two skills are highly individual and on balance are more in line with an employee rather than an employer, however an employer should be providing an environment for employees to become more self-organised and motivated. Good staff management with good, but flexible processes will empower staff to make their own choices and focus on the important tasks in hand. When talking to business leaders in the telecommunication, software, e-commerce or similar sectors, they have a clear mindset that any skilled employee in their sector can work for an employer of their choice. To counter that there is a culture that is fostered of working hard and playing hard, but the companies invest hugely in team building events and general organisational development. The objective is to put an employee into a mindset of wanting to work for that company and not a competitor, thus highly motivated.
Teamwork & Positivity
With all that has happened over the past 18 months, we are likely to change the way that we work in the next few months. Some companies are wanting to have their employees back in the office and others are not and the same is true of employees. The majority of us have been working in an isolated way and as difficult as it has been to adjust to the working from home, the same could be said for returning back into an office. We forget how many disagreements there have been over small things like the air conditioner temperature, or the person(s) who do not wash their teaspoons. The fundamental thing to remember however is a stable team for a company fosters good teamwork and positivity. As an employee it is vital to embrace change which is incredibly difficult to do. Employers may change the working environment, however this should be done with the care of staff in mind and business continuity (which in turn will drive future growth).
From my interpretation of the statistics above, change is on the horizon. The figures are really reassuring and show that there is growth in the job market, however the critical factor is whether we will see a dramatic shift in the way we work or a gradual one. 18 months ago most were forced to embrace a sudden work at home practice. Arguably for some it will be sudden again and for others possibly a gradual change in working environment. Either way though, the above soft skills will aid both employees and employers in their career and business continuity, respectively.
Able Bridge Recruitment are always on hand to advise and facilitate both job seekers and employers in delivering solutions, advice and expertise when it comes to the job market. If you would like to have a confidential conversation about a career move or an impending recruitment requirement, please do not hesitate in reaching out to us on either 0131 202 3215 or 0141 7397080.