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Tags: industry insights, industry-insights-hr, HR...

​The multiple lockdowns have highlighted the changing priorities of today’s workforce. With an emphasis on work-life balance accelerated by the necessity to work from home, the new world of work may be vastly different from the one we left behind.

For many businesses, business operating levels have been lower than usual. While much of this time was spent ensuring the company can survive, it has also provided leadership teams with a chance to re-evaluate what the organisation stands for.

When the dust settles, employers will remember how companies responded to the crisis, so leaders need to ask themselves if they did all they could to support their workforce. Now is a great time to analyse Employer Value Propositions and make sure the image portrayed is one you can be proud of.

Do you suffer from a gender pay gap?

In 2020, the median gender pay gap was revealed to be 15.9%, meaning the average hourly difference was £4.04. The FT discovered almost 90% of women are working for businesses that pay their male counterparts more, with 75% of businesses guilty of internal gender pay gaps.

While ‘Who is Looking After HR’ is not a gender equality debate, it is important to note the gender specific differences that may occur within the HR profession. The Office For National Statistics found women in their 50’s earn 23% (c£8k) less than males of the same age and this gap rises to 25% in the over 60’s category. Considering the media coverage, business and governmental focus on the gender pay gap in recent years, it is concerning that this is only a reduction of 0.6 percentage points since 2012.

With the significant majority of HR professionals being women, 67% according to Namely’s Workplace Diversity Report, and the majority of senior positions within HR held by older individuals, due to the time taken to learn and develop the HR craft, it would therefore seem our HR teams work more and are paid less.

While the state pension has now equalled out at 66 for men and women, decades of pay gap and pension savings gap means retirement incomes remain far from equal. On the whole, HR professionals therefore have to work longer to ensure they receive the same quality of retirement.

To me, knowing that you are going into a career where you have to do more in order to receive less and always keeping your focus on the people around you, seems like quite a noble move. We need to look after them. Cherish them. Ensure they feel cared for and supported, just in the same manner they are doing for their colleagues.

More attention is being drawn to the UK’s gender pay gap with many businesses dedicating themselves to closing it. While it’s not a change that can happen overnight, leadership teams can start drawing up plans to make changes. Some of the common tips offered online include:

  • Start with transparency over pay

  • Reassess promotions, bonuses, and benefits

  • Increase female salaries to match

  • Encourage men to take parental leave

Is there diversity at a senior level?

A diverse team brings more innovation, higher revenues, and a wider talent pool. Despite the benefits, many businesses are still yet to embrace diversity at a C-Suite level. Of the top 1,097 roles in the UK, only 51 are held by Black, Asian and minority ethnic people.

Improving diversity within an organisation is not just the responsibility of HR. Every single individual has the opportunity to increase awareness and drive positive and inclusive practises. Empower each other to have strong ideals that support a varied, impressive and successful workforce.

When looking to improve a company’s employer brand, making sure you can consider different viewpoints and ideas helps reach a wider audience. However, diversity is more than race, ethnicity and gender, it also includes factors such as:

  • Religion

  • Neurodiversity

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Privilege

  • Extroversion

  • Attractiveness

Do you have inclusive recruitment practices?

Businesses that have a healthy balance of men and women typically outperform their competitors by 22%, this figure rises to 33% when a mix of ethnic backgrounds Is introduced. When it comes to recruitment, a survey of 10,000 millennials revealed over 80% considered an employer’s diversity and inclusion policy was an important factor when considering joining the business.

Creating inclusive recruitment practises aren’t a quick fix, they take time, effort and a collective input. Before you even consider the external market, companies need to look inwards to understand the specific needs of their organisation. By first recognising the areas hindering diversity and inclusion, you can begin to build a roadmap that embeds inclusive recruitment practices across the organisation.

Do you have connections with local community groups?

Whether it’s actively forging bonds with local charities or encouraging employers to volunteer, a culture built around helping the local community boosts morale and creates a better working environment.

Allowing staff to use their skills to help the local community can help create a deeper connection with the business and area around them. Allowing time off for volunteering or finding ways to give back are great ways to improve an employer brand.

A younger generation of employees has new priorities as they search for organisations that support communities, are environmentally conscious and take a holistic approach to business. To keep attracting the best talent on the market, leadership teams need to adapt their employer brand to match the demand of the talent pool.

​At Search, we’ve been working within the HR sector for over 25 years. During this time, we’ve seen the industry change to match new demands and employee needs. So, if you’re an HR expert looking for your next challenge, or you need to bolster your team of experts, I am here to help. To take the next step, get in touch today.

About the author

​My name is Jessie Swinfield. I am a nomad, a third culture kid with a totally cute (but often overbearing) obsession with my dog, Frank. I have worked in the HR recruitment world for 5 years now and I really can’t imagine doing anything else.

I love writing about the HR market in my spare time and on top of the day job because I have a real passion and interest in the subject.

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