Empowering the Freelance Economy

This is what is going wrong with recruitment

Candidates share their gripes about modern day recruitment. Photo by Edmond Dantès via exels
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A new survey reveals which company policies and recruitment processes will likely have workers walk away from existing or prospective roles

  • PAY TRANSPARENCY: Over 40% are more likely to apply to jobs listings with a salary range
  • GHOSTED: Underrepresented candidates face an almost 20% higher chance of being ghosted compared to white candidates in the hiring process
  • RECRUITMENT AGENCY DUTY OF CARE: According to HMRC, 99% of the tax avoidance market involves disguised remuneration schemes, targeting contractors and agency workers. These schemes claim to be umbrella companies, with at least £400m in tax avoided in 2020/21 alone. The government’s own figures also suggest that over 500,000 people now work through umbrella companies in the UK – a 400% increase from 2007/08 to 2022/21.

The majority (77%) of people would actively search for or be open to a new job if their existing client or employer rolled back flexible work policies. This data points to the new expectations around work – most workers feel that flexibility is not just a pandemic perk, according to a Greenhouse Candidate Experience Report which surveyed 800 people in the UK.

The data reveals that inflexible companies will struggle to hire top talent – over 40% of candidates will not apply for a role that doesn’t offer their preferred working model.

As more companies mandate a return to the office, hybrid remains the preferred working model for almost half (47%) of all workers while over 11% prefer a fully remote model, showing that workers want a flexible mix of in-person and remote work. The four-day workweek is proven to be an attractive offering with almost 70% saying they would be more likely or will only apply to a job that offers it.

Don’t keep salary a secret

The report found that candidates value pay transparency and whether or not a company chooses to publish salary ranges can influence their decision to apply for a role. Over 40% of respondents are more likely to apply to a job posting that includes a salary range. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of respondents are less likely to or will not apply to a role if it does not include a salary range.

Ghosting remains a serious issue for inclusive hiring processes

Over half of all respondents (57%) have been ghosted by UK employers after a job interview. Despite companies committing to DEI efforts, the report found that the hiring process is still plagued with bias as many fail to invest in fair and inclusive hiring processes. Historically underrepresented candidates face a 20% higher chance of being ghosted, compared to white candidates. In a role reversal, men are 28% more likely to be ghosted than women by prospective employers.

What candidates consider when looking for a new job opportunity 

  • Workers commonly cited less competitive compensation (35%) and lack of job security (25%) as top reasons for leaving a job, and factors like lack of clear career advancement opportunities (24%), a mismatch in company culture to what was advertised (17%) and lack of transparency from leaders (17%) round out the list
  • Workers cite the following reasons they’ve been attracted to a new job:
    • Increased compensation/salary (53%)
    • Greater job security (42%)
    • Better flexible work policies like remote or hybrid (33%)
    • Greater career advancement opportunities (30%)
    • A greater and more positive company culture (25%)
  • Almost one-fifth (16%) of candidates will not apply for a job unless they fit all the skills required

In recent candidate surveys, Greenhouse has revealed that:

  • Almost 43% of candidates have had their names mispronounced in a job interview, highlighting that many companies are failing to create a positive and inclusive interview experience.
  • Almost 40% of respondents who identified as Black have faced discriminatory questions, compared to 31% of white respondents.
  • Over 68% of candidates believe that a diverse interview panel is fundamental to better hiring showing that DE&I is top of mind.

Recruitment agencies have a duty of care to their workers

Julia Kermode, CEO of PayePass, which has just launched an accreditation that guarantees the compliance of umbrella companies that pass its rigorous tax, financial and legal assessments, suggests contractors are exposed to unnecessary risk by being forced to join the unregulated umbrella industry.

“The government has failed to deliver on its promises to tackle the key issues impacting the umbrella industry, which forms a key component of the UK’s temporary labour market. While a number of the latest raft of proposals are long overdue, who knows how long we could be left waiting for them to materialise?” says Kermode.

“Whether it’s widescale tax avoidance or umbrella companies unlawfully skimming millions from workers’ payslips, misconduct seems to be on the rise and going unchallenged in this sector. The government is yet to flex its muscles and you can’t help but wonder when Westminster will act, if ever,” she says.

Continuing, “In the meantime, action must be taken. Umbrella companies themselves have an opportunity to stand out and demonstrate their compliance. Recruitment agencies have a duty of care to their workers, so they must ensure that any umbrellas they engage are genuinely doing everything by the book.”

What’s your biggest grip on modern-day recruitment practices? Leave your comments…

1 Comment
  1. Drew says

    Nothing has changed with regard to recruiters. Regardless of the various challenges over the last few years, it’s been business as usual for them: phishing for data, posting fake adverts (and leaving expired adverts up), ghosting, and their favourite lie “if anything else comes up I’ll be in touch.”

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