Following an unprecedented and traumatic 2020, with the jobs market being devastated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have seen a slight cause for optimism thanks to the latest KPMG/REC Report on Jobs.
For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic in the UK, survey respondents have recorded an increase in both the number of new permanent and temporary vacancies over the previous month. The increase in the number of contract vacancies has been much more dramatic than the permanent side of things, which highlights the fact that employers are still looking at the short term, and lack confidence to invest in permanent members of staff. It is a positive sign, however, that employers are slowly starting to look at recruiting additional staff on the permanent side, and bodes well for 2021.
It is going to be incredibly interesting to see if this trend continues, particularly in light of the latest lockdown restrictions in the UK.
Unfortunately, it is not all good news as the overall number of vacancies is down by 32% from Q4, in comparison to the same period in 2019. In certain areas such as retail, hospitality and catering, and executive/senior roles, the trend for new vacancies on both the permanent and contract side is still downwards.
We should be positive and hope that the increasing trend continues over the next few months – watch this space.
For further information about the results of this report contact Liam O’Connell
As a member of INRALS (International Network of Recruitment Agencies in Life Sciences), CK Group proudly share our most recent Life Sciences Market Knowledge publication.
The publication is a compilation of facts, figures, trends and other valuable Life Sciences market insights per country, presented to you by a selection of INRALS members around the globe, including CK Group’s contribution to the Life Sciences market in the United Kingdom.
The compilation also features insights countries such as Sweden, France, Ireland and The Netherlands. You can download the full report below to benefit from this interesting information.
Business in the Community (BTIC) in partnership with the government is pleased to announce that the CK Group has signed up to the Race at Work Charter, an initiative designed to improve outcomes for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK.
The charter builds on the work of the 2017 McGregor-Smith Review, ‘Race in the workplace’, a wake-up call for UK employers, which found that people from BAME backgrounds were still underemployed, underpromoted and under-represented at senior levels. So far more than 200 public, private and charitable organisations have signed up to the charter.
The Race at Work Charter is designed to foster a public commitment to improving outcomes of BAME employees in the workplace. It consists of five principles to ensure organisations address the barriers to BAME recruitment and progression. Organisations that sign up to the charter such as CK Group are publicly committing to:
Appointing an Executive Sponsor for race
Capturing data and publicising progress
Ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
Taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression
The 2018 Race at Work Scorecard report by BITC showed that there is still a need for concerted and consistent action from employers across the UK to improve outcomes for BAME employees. The report showed:
There has been an increase in the number of workers from BAME background who report that they have witnessed or experienced racist harassment or bullying from customers or service users.
Despite being ambitious, over half of BAME employees still believe they will have to leave their current organisation to progress their career.
The proportion of managers who report that they have a performance objective to promote equality at work has fallen from 41% in 2015 to 32% in 2018.
Most significantly, employees have not reported any increase in the number of leaders demonstrating commitment and taking action since 2015.
Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community, said:
“We would like to thank CK Group for setting out their commitment to being an inclusive and responsible employer. By signing up to the charter they are showing that they aspire to have one of the most inclusive workplaces in the country. Together we can break down barriers in the workplace, raise the aspirations and achievements of talented individuals, and deliver an enormous boost to the long-term economic position of the UK.”
CK Group will be recognised by KellyOCG®, the outsourcing and consulting group of Kelly, with a Supplier Excellence Award during an upcoming virtual event in July. The award is presented to top-performing national and global suppliers that provide superior workforce solutions, and whose service, results and strategic partnerships have made a significant impact on KellyOCG’s business. Award winners represent less than 1% of KellyOCG’s total active supply chain.
“We are honoured to present CK Group with this award for their outstanding efforts to provide exceptional talent solutions. The partnership we enjoy with our suppliers is pivotal to supporting our global customers as we work together in designing what’s next for their talent needs” said Pam Sands, Global Lead – Supplier Strategy and Engagement, Professional Services Organisation for KellyOCG.
This year, Kelly will recognise 25 of its top suppliers from the EMEA, AMER, and APAC regions. Six of the award recipients are diverse suppliers.
Suppliers were evaluated on the following criteria:
Performance from scorecard results within KellyOCG managed programs
Compliance with legal and program-specific requirements
Engagement with KellyOCG stakeholders’ and partnership approach
The world of recruitment has been hit quite dramatically by the economic implications of the Covid-19 crisis, with organisations rethinking their growth strategies and either putting recruitment on hold or cancelling it altogether. However, it is not just from a work perspective that those working in recruitment are facing challenges and having to adapt to new and varied ways of working.
Joanne Fairbrother, a Key Account Manager with CK Group, has been juggling her everyday role – managing the recruitment requirements of global pharmaceutical organisations – whilst at the same time ensuring that her son’s educational needs continue to be met. This is a new role that Joanne has undertaken, and an interesting one.
Here is what Joanne had to say about adapting both her working hours and practices.
“Dividing my time between being an employee and a teacher has not been easy. Maybe if you have a child in secondary school who is self-motivated and needs limited assistance, the balancing would be easier. However, having a child in primary school who needs regular encouragement, direction and supervision means it is almost impossible to work at the same time.
I’m incredibly lucky to have an understanding, flexible employer that has allowed me to adjust my working hours to fit around my son’s home school time. Working early mornings or evenings, longer or shorter days, has given me the ability to focus on my son and give him the help he needs without the distraction of phone calls and emails.
One of the difficulties of not working a traditional nine to five day means that clients are often not working at the same times that I am, or vice versa. However, I work with a great team who are able to pick things up in my absence and my clients have been very understanding about my sometimes limited availability, with many of them being in the same situation that I am.
I think the hardest thing about trying to teach and work is the guilt: feeling guilty for not being 100% focused on work and feeling guilty for not being 100% focused on my child (although I think any working parent can related to this, even in normal times). No matter how much I have tweaked my hours, there are still occasions where I am needed for work related matters and this can take my attention away from school work.
My advice to anyone else experiencing the same challenges as me of trying to carry on working whilst home schooling would be to accept that you can’t do it all. You will be distracted so I strongly suggest, wherever possible, making arrangements with your employer to temporarily adjust your working hours. It certainly makes things a little easier to balance.
Hopefully, schools will be able to go back to normal by September, taking the pressure off of working parents to be superhuman. In the meantime, I hope that employers have realised that supporting working parents with flexibility means that staff can be more productive and more focused. From speaking to a lot of people it seems that one of the positives to come from this situation is that home working can be very successful and not detrimental to a person or a team’s productivity levels with today’s technology. It can also help to reduce employee stress from combining commuting with school runs.
From this experience, and having a child who is less than an enthusiastic about doing school work, I have gained a new found respect for teachers’ patience!”
At the beginning April, CK Group announced support for a number of Covid-19 related projects on a not-for-profit basis.
As recruiters, all be it in the scientific space, we are a long way removed from the day to day care and support for patients, or from the development of diagnostic tests and vaccines. That being said, we really wanted to do something to play a part in being part of the solution no matter how small.
We are proud to say that since this announcement, we have worked on recruitment projects supporting clinical trials, developing and manufacturing testing kits, running diagnostic tests, delivering H&S provision, and providing engineering support to laboratories running thousands of important screening tests.
Our teams have worked tirelessly to support these initiatives working evenings, weekends, and giving up holidays to prioritise these positions and doing their bit no matter what it might be.
We are now seeing a number of the people we have helped recruit for these initiatives start their new positions and are immensely proud of the role we have and are continuing to play.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my staff here at CK for everything they have done and all of the key workers, laboratory staff, researchers, scientists, and engineers that are going the extra mile every day to help us through these challenging times. Thank you.
We are still providing this service, if you have a project that you need help with, please get in touch with us and ask about our Covid-19 recruitment support
The pharmaceutical and life sciences industries are working across the globe on hundreds of projects to develop vaccines and treatments for the COVID-19. However, the sector is also supporting the NHS and the public at large through non-profit and altruistic programs which will ultimately help support the defeat of this disease.
The CK Group is very proud to support these industries and it is with great interest and admiration that we are watching our clients in their generous efforts. We feel that is important that we highlight the projects our clients have initiated and are involved in:
MSD: They have updated their company volunteering policy to enable employees who are health professionals, in areas such as medicine, nursing, and laboratory technology to volunteer for organisations such as the NHS while continuing to receive their salary.
Johnson & Johnson has provided specialist teams to the new NHS Nightingale hospital while at the same time facilitating their medically trained staff to volunteer for the NHS. They have also donated financial and product support to COVID-19 related projects including £1m to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for COVID-19 studies, 30,000 bottles of toiletries to charities, and £250,000 worth of hand creams to NHS professionals.
Astra Zeneca has donated over 9 million facemasks to healthcare professionals globally.
Takeda UK has donated £100,000 to patient organisations and charities to help the vulnerable in areas such as food and medicine distribution while also supporting their staff who are volunteering at the NHS.
Novo-Nordisk has worked with the NHS on a new helpline for people with diabetes during the Covid-19 crises while at the same time supporting medicinal volunteers in this essential service.
It is heartening to see everyone pulling together to support our health services during this crises and the CK Group will continue to support the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries in helping overcome this dreadful disease.
On behalf of the CK Group, can I say a big thank you to everyone involved but supporting and working for our NHS.
In Australia, our INRALS partner On Q Recruitment recently undertook an extensive survey of life science organisations as they enter their return to work phase. This survey covered both international and local organisations that employ in excess of 10,000 staff.
As organisations in Australia are approximately 3 weeks ahead of the UK and Ireland in terms of returning to the workplace, the results are both very interesting and very relevant to the STEM sector.
Some of the main points to come out of the survey include:
The need for workforce flexibility both in relation to hours of work and location of work, with many planning to offer longer remote working periods to those who are vulnerable or with special circumstances.
Issues in relation to public transport and how to ensure that employees can utilise this safely, as investigations into alternative methods of getting to work begin or continue.
Issues in relation to face to face meetings with clients and suppliers.
Changes to the workplace and communal areas such as kitchens, stairwells and lifts, and how these will be made safer through cleaning procedures and limiting how many staff work in the office at each time.
Pay increases v wage freezes.
Recruitment v redundancies.
This survey provides extremely thought-provoking insights and gives us information on the way the life sciences sector is coping with the pandemic and returning to work.
If you would like to know more about this study do not hesitate to contact Liam O’Connell of the CK Group or Catherine O’Mahony of On Q Recruitment at email@example.com.
This week the Mental Health Foundation hosted Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, with the theme of kindness. This theme resonated with CK Group, who like many other companies are trying to support our staff during an uncertain and anxious time.
As one of the initiatives to recognise this week, our staff entered into a random draw to select a colleague to show a random act of kindness to. This was additionally challenging with all of our teams working remotely, but everybody really got behind it and came up with some great ideas.
If you are thinking about showing an act of kindness to a valued colleague, here are some of our ideas that you could consider.
In our post-GDPR world we don’t have papers piling up like we used to, but that doesn’t mean we don’t get anxious from time to time about the mounting admin we have to do. If you have some time available and want to help out a colleague, how about trying to reduce their to-do list by covering some of those tasks they have been nervous about starting?
Everybody appreciates feedback, and giving someone genuine positive feedback can bolster confidence during challenging times.
For those who value public recognition, how about completing a recommendation on LinkedIn or other professional networking site? Show them and their following just how valued they are.
You could also utilise a company recognition scheme as long as your carefully written feedback will be provided to them. One of our directors here at CK wrote a personal postcard with some hand-written praise and positive feedback – showing not everything has to be done online.
If you have the skills, or access to a YouTube tutorial, how about getting crafty for one of your colleagues? One of our team members made face masks for a colleague and their family to help them when out and about. Not only does this show that you care, but getting creative will also do great things for your own mental well-being, as art therapy can help with stress relief, emotional release and self-discovery.
Sending gifts is a common go-to measure to warm the spirits of those we cannot visit ourselves. At CK Group, we saw some really personal gifts.
For those who missed out on a holiday during lockdown, how about sending products or a guidebook from that destination to get them in the mood from home? Here is a fresh pasta meal box for one of our colleague’s missed Italian retreat.
Other gifts included:
A book on positive vibes for one of our resident bookworms.
Speciality coffee for one of our (many) coffee lovers.
Pet toys for one of CK’s pets.
A spa day at home kit for a team member recuperating after birthday celebrations.
Thank you to everybody at CK Group for taking part so enthusiastically and coming up with some thoughtful, creative ideas. Spread kindness whatever your distance or budget!
This week, 18th-24th May, is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020.
Since the Mental Health Foundation’s first Mental Health Awareness Week in 2001, they have worked tirelessly to help people around the world understand and deal with issues such as stress and anxiety. They aim to improve everyone’s mental wellbeing through community programmes, research, public engagement and advocacy.
This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is kindness, focusing on the power and potential of acts of kindness that are so important to our wellbeing. The focus is particularly important this year, with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic touching everyone’s lives.
This week, to support the foundation and fundraise, we are going to be hosting some fun virtual events for our staff and sharing our best advice on maintaining and improving mental health both inside and outside of the workplace. We’re also encouraging everybody to perform one random act of kindness for a colleague, whether it be lending an ear for an afternoon chat or helping out with some overdue admin work.
We want to do everything we can to raise awareness for the Mental Health Foundation, to put mental health out into the open and start a discussion on the kind of society we want to shape as we emerge out of the Coronavirus pandemic.