LinkedIn today published its 2019 Global Talent Trends report. It reveals the top trends, challenges and solutions shaping today’s relationship between employers and employees.
The report surveyed over 5,100 global talent professionals and hiring leads in 35 countries, including almost 500 from the UK, providing insights into the changing behaviour of job seekers and the future of work. The trends dominating this year’s report are: the importance of offering flexible working opportunities to candidates; the positive impact of transparency – particularly in relation to pay; and the prioritisation of soft skills in businesses.
Getting serious about soft skills
This year’s report reveals that while hard skills with a shrinking shelf-life (such as programming language), still matter, employers are putting greater emphasis on soft skills to identify the strongest candidates. Ninety-two per cent of UK talent professionals said that soft skills are as important or more important than hard skills when hiring talent, while 82 per cent claimed that soft skills are more important to their company’s success than before.
Candidates’ ability to bring out the best in others and work under pressure are particularly sought after. Creativity, persuasion, adaptability, collaboration and time management are listed as the most in-demand soft skills UK companies need, but are the hardest to find according to LinkedIn data. Professionals should be placing particular emphasis on demonstrating their soft skills at interview stage, as 80 per cent of UK recruiters ask specific behaviour-related questions during interviews, and more than half (58 per cent) look out for body language and non-verbal cues.
Flexible working: no longer a perk, a necessity
Businesses appear to be waking up to demand from employees and candidates to work more flexibly – in different locations and at different times. 75 per cent of UK hiring professionals say that offering flexible working will be ‘very or extremely important’ in the future, with 84 per cent recognising it helps employees have better work/life balance and satisfaction, and 72 per cent agreeing it makes their workforce happier.
But putting flexible working into practice isn’t proving straightforward; while over half (57 per cent) of UK employers still allow flexible working some of the time, less than a quarter (23 per cent) only do so in certain circumstances. Significant numbers of recruiters and businesses still harbour concerns that the practice can negatively affect team bonding (59 per cent), collaboration (40 per cent) and the ability to oversee work effectively (38 per cent).
Transparency: it’s paying off
Fifty per cent of UK hiring professionals say that sharing salary ranges and diversity statistics with both employees and candidates will be ‘very important’ in the future. The overwhelming majority of UK talent professionals see pay transparency as a good thing: Seventy-seven per cent think it makes the hiring process more streamlined, and 72 per cent believe it makes salaries fairer.
A third (32 per cent) admit that increasing transparency on salary has already impacted their hiring strategy, with 43 per cent sharing salary ranges either internally or externally, and 37 per cent making diversity figures available. However, barriers still exist to becoming more transparent. Nearly nine in 10 (87 per cent) believe it could create conflict among current employees, while 44 per cent say that it is not common practice and 38 per cent believe it limits their ability to successfully negotiate salaries.
Jon Addison, Head of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn UK, commented,
The pace of change in the talent market is unprecedented. The old school employer-employee power dynamic is evolving to a more transparent, trusting and reciprocal relationship. Talent professionals and hiring managers are already responding to these influences and rethinking their approach to hiring.
In a near-full employment environment in which competition for talent is fierce, being transparent, flexible and open makes businesses more attractive to candidates, and the most progressive firms I’m working with are already doing this.
Interested in the future workplace trends? We recommend the Future of Work Summit 2019.