Welcome to August 2017

Welcome to August 2017


Hello and welcome to August,

We’re flying through summer now and the holiday season is in full swing. I’ve just got back from 2 weeks away in the Menorcan sunshine with my family. Although we had a fantastic break, I always find it hard leaving the team and switching my brain off from all things Vanilla. I was pretty good this time though and only checked my emails a few (dozen) times. My team are amazing but the temptation to check-in is always too much for me.

The summer holiday period is always an interesting one in the recruitment industry, the number of permanent jobs we take on slows mid-July and August, but our temps team are super busy. Lots of new clients, new roles and new temp candidates registering with us.

The large majority of our temp roles never even make it to our website as we fill everything so quickly. And there is a real shift in the office on what types of roles we are focussing on during the summer.

Vanilla team engagement

During August we have a lot on with team 121’s and our annual Vanilla summer BBQ. I love getting everyone together in August outside of work, with partner’s and children all invited to just spend the day together. It’s always a lovely day, very chilled, lots of laughing and chatter. I find it really good for team engagement doing days like this. So, we’re all looking forward to this year’s event.

Gender pay gap

Something I’ve been reading about with great interest is the press about the gender pay gap expose at the BBC. As a person in 2017 and as a women, I think it is ludicrous that we’re still having to have conversations about women getting paid less than men to do the same job in the same company. How is this still an issue that exists in our country?

Are the revelations from the BBC just the tip of the iceberg? In April this year, new regulations were introduced for companies with over 250 employees to complete annual gender pay gap reporting. So many more issues could be reported on as reports are submitted. More information on this can be found here:

In the public sector, workers are generally paid against the banding/grade for their role, so there is parity for men and women. Plus, with bandings being in place the subject of salary is less of a taboo topic of conversation.

In the private sector, some large corporate companies adopt a similar approach. One of my team members used to work for a large corporate where there were 3 pay points for each job grade; entry level, experienced and ‘stretch’. This meant that again, salaries were discussed quite openly and there was a feeling of fairness. That same company then changed how they did things, dropped the bandings and suddenly the topic of salary became more taboo and certainly not discussed openly.

I don’t want to suggest what the answer is for all businesses, but I do think that salary should be based on merit, skills, and contribution and certainly not on gender.

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this and if there has been any fallout or questioning of this issue within your own workplace.

The recruitment market

The latest REC report on the UK jobs market has found that both permanent and temporary job placements are still rising.

However, the availability of candidates continues to decline. The impact of this has caused a boost in starting salaries. The increase being its sharpest for over 18 months. The rise is attributed to businesses needing to increase salaries in order to attract talent.

Commenting on the latest survey results, Tom Hadley, REC Director of Policy says:

“With fewer people currently looking for jobs, employers are having to increase starting salaries to secure the talent they need. This is creating great opportunities for people with in-demand skills who are prepared to change jobs, but it’s also putting unsustainable pressure on many businesses.” 

“Existing skills shortages are being exacerbated by Brexit. For example, demand for accountants and other financial roles has increased recently as organisations try to protect themselves against economic uncertainty.”

We are certainly seeing the further decline in available candidates on the market and this is having an immediate impact on how hard businesses are having to work to secure the person they want. Especially with counter offers being put on the table from people’s current employers not wanting to lose them.

We are finding the key is to move quickly. If you receive a CV from someone who you think could be just right, you need to interview them as quickly as you can and reach a decision and get any offers on the table as swiftly as is possible.

Our ‘testimonial economy’

Something else I have been reading about recently is the social shift in how people are making their minds up about using a business or buying a product. It is now standard practice for consumers/buyers to spend more time researching online before they make any decisions about where to put their money.

Just visiting a businesses website and reading what the business is telling you is now old hat. People are spending just as much time looking at reviews on Google, Facebook and other review sites like TrustPilot and TripAdvisor. People want to know what other users think.

At Vanilla, we have always welcomed reviews online but we are now adding review requests as standard to our candidate and client journeys. Our main routes to promote are Google and Facebook.

Does your business do this, what results have you seen?

And… if you do have a couple of spare minutes we’d love it if you could leave us a review:

Leave a Facebook review

Leave a Google review

We’d really appreciate your support.

That just leaves me to sign off for this month and wish you a wonderful August. I hope you have a good one, and I’ll be back in touch next month.

Many thanks