The uncertainty surrounding Brexit coupled with a weaker pound that is already making it hard for businesses to attract temporary workers will push UK businesses to embrace the ‘now economy’ and use technology to plug staffing gaps with temporary workers.
That’s the message in a new white paper – Future of Flexible Work – Recruiting in the ‘now economy’ – published by Adia, the digital recruitment platform that helps businesses in the hospitality, events and industrial sectors. The paper says that businesses will need to reach quality ‘flexible’ workers faster and in greater numbers, through social media recruiting, app-based technology or other innovative methods in order to plug their staffing gaps.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy suggests there are close to 2.8 million people working in the ‘now economy’ in the UK with those involved generally younger than the rest of the population, with over half (56%) aged 18 to 34. They are made up of those who choose to earn their main income from flexible work; casual earners who take on flexible work on the side of permanent positions; individuals who take on flexible work in addition to permanent work as a financial necessity, and those who have to pursue flexible work but would like a permanent position
“If you take the hospitality sector, for example,” explains Adia CEO Ernesto Lamaina.
“A recent study by KPMG warned that the sector would need to recruit another 60,000 workers a year on top of 200,000 staff already required to meet its needs if EU migration is restricted. With all trends now suggesting that the ‘now’ society will grow, businesses must move with it to ensure they are recruiting the kind of quality staff they need to operate.”
One important way of doing that is by giving employees more autonomy to choose the jobs that are right for them, which is likely to improve productivity.
“As the world of work evolves,” Lamaina adds, “there will no longer be a requirement or option to employ as many full-time, permanent staff. This is matched by a shift in mindset from younger generations, away from the traditional 9-5 and towards short-term work, which offers them greater autonomy.”
The ‘now economy’ allows employers to offer jobs on a non-permanent basis to reduce the cost of permanent workers; cover holidays/ sick days; meet deadlines; fill in during seasonal peaks; staff large-scale events, and work on temporary contracts or non-permanent campaigns. Businesses like Deliveroo, People Per Hour and AirBnB have all been cited as examples of businesses thriving in the ‘now economy’.
According to figures published in May 2018 531,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in January-March 2018, which showed the ‘youth unemployment rate at 12.0%.1
“Workers are missing out on jobs because the job-seeking system isn’t working for them; they don’t have the flexibility they want; they aren’t receiving the pay they require, and they are continuing to look for employment using traditional methods,” continues Lamaina.
“We can change this by matching people to jobs; by giving employees the flexibility to choose the jobs they like or that pay well; by embracing technology and AI in recruitment and building trust through things like rating systems. This also means workers are gaining more experience and learning new skills and that has to be a good thing.”
UKHospitality Condemns Introduction of Personal Licence Renewal Fees in Scotland
UKHospitality has reacted to the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce a fee for personal licence renewal with swift condemnation. The trade association had previously called for renewals to be scrapped, in line with legislation in England and Wales.
UKHospitality’s Executive Director in Scotland Willie Macleod said: “We responded to the consultation and highlighted the successful elimination of the renewal process in England and Wales. Removing the requirement to renew has reduced administrative burdens for both businesses and local authorities without any consequences.
“The Scottish Government’s decision to introduce fees for renewal will mean an additional headache for councils and an extra financial burden that employers in Scotland could do without. This sort of approach to business, treating them as cash-cows or burdens to be managed, rather than assets to be supported and encouraged, does little to boost vital businesses.”