• LinkedIn is getting even larger. What will this mean for your recruitment firm in the future?
• IR35 proves difficult to implement, but challenges in the public sector mean a private sector roll-out could be chaotic.
• Latest ONS jobs market data is in once again. The industry keeps fighting through challenging times.
LinkedIn breaks through 20 million job posts
It seems the professional social network is still the place to go for a career change.
LinkedIn, the world’s largest social platform for professionals, has received its 20 millionth job posting this week. The company, which was founded in 2002, has established itself as the first online port of call for those seeking a change in their careers.
LinkedIn, which has been owned by Microsoft since 2016, has seen a surge in job posting activity since its acquisition. Five years ago, the site boasted just 300,000 job listings. The figures announced this week illustrate an exponential growth in the site’s size and significance within the global jobs market.
How does this break down into daily usage? LinkedIn revealed that the spike in activity has led to the creation of 600 million unique user profiles. These users generate 25 million job applications every week. The site claims that it accounts for one successful new hire being made every eight seconds.
The usage report emphasises the appeal – and importance – of the social network for recruiters.
Success online: why convenience is key
The underlying factor in the success of LinkedIn has always been convenience factor. It is the one platform where businesses can mingle with their current employees and potential future hires. Candidates can discover dream roles and interact with appealing brands. It is old-fashioned networking for the digital age.
• READ MORE: Find a competitive edge with LinkedIn tools for your recruitment software.
It is this convenience which recruiters can tap into to maximise performance for the recruitment industry. Most agencies would be horrified if you asked them to complete a top-level placement without the use of LinkedIn. It is a crucial part of our talent pipelines.
But this is a situation that has not gone unnoticed by the network’s mangement, either. In a recent announcement, LinkedIn hinted at the nature of future additions to its value offering. “We’re evolving our products to make it as simple as possible for both jobseekers and hiring managers.”
LinkedIn growth is emblematic of recruitment’s evoluytion
What is this likely to entail? Greater LinkedIn integration with jobs features and social content, perhaps. A seamless means of matching users to roles and employers to appropriate talent. If that sounds a lot like your key duties as a recruiter, the announcement may not be the good news it was intended as. But is the growth of the one-stop-shop social network for recruitment really an existential threat to the industry itself?
Not necessarily. The role of the recruitment consultant may be changing. Tools such as LinkedIn integration may make the meat-and-drink tasks of talent-matching a less substantial part of the job. But it is unlikely that a social network – which essentially promotes a “self-service” model of hiring and applications – will ever truly replace experienced talent management.
So where can recruiters discover value in LinkedIn’s evolving value proposition? Perhaps that lies in the community aspects of the site. The value of LinkedIn for recruitment agencies goes beyond making placements and sourcing candidates. In a press release to accompany the report, LinkedIn highlighted their expanding role for branding and positioning.
“Members are using the platform to apply and land the right job for them. For the fifth consecutive quarter, we’re also seeing record levels of engagement in the feed, content… and messages sent.”
Recruiters who are active participants in the ‘community’ aspects of the site are discovering an audience that is growing, and global.
Met Office forecasts show IR35 problems will not just ‘blow over’
Industry experts criticise the government’s “biased” self-assessment toolkit, as it emerges more public sector workers may have been incorrectly categorised.
Concerns have been raised over the government’s intention to roll out IR35 tax changes to the private sector. The doubts have been raised by ContractorCalculator, who uncovered serious mismanagement of the rule changes within the public sector.
The contracting consultants lodged a freedom of information request (FOI) with HMRC to better understand implementation of the new rules. It was the intention of ContractorCalculator to assess whether guidance on, and application of, the new status rules were accurate. Using government data, the consultancy suggests that the scheme has been “failing” its introductory period in the public sector.
During its investigation, ContractorCaluculator learned that the Met Office (which is responsible for weather forecasting) had determined that a staggering 98 per cent of its contractors were technically employees under new definitions.
Another public body, the Crown Commercial Service, deemed 87 per cent of its self-employed contractors would qualify as employees under the new system.
Meanwhile, Network Rail reclassified 99 per cent of its contractors as employees.
Results may expose flaws in assessments
All three public bodies had been using the government’s official CEST assessment toolkit to carry out the judgements.
ContractorCalculator’s founder Dave Chaplin said the numbers represented “an absurdly high” proportion of contractors failing the classification test. He went on to suggest that thousands of workers were being wrongly classed as employees due to the inaccuracy of the testing facilities.
Mr Chaplin warned that businesses and self-employed contractors would risk being incorrectly taxed under the current system – which he described as “biased”.
“It’s no coincidence that yet more public sector bodies, failing an absurdly high proportion of contractors, have acknowledged using CEST. HMRC has clearly fettered its discretion by releasing a tool that gives incorrect guidance, resulting in thousands of workers being wrongly classified and incorrectly taxed.”
“HMRC appears to have taken it upon itself to override the law, having inflicted the biased CEST on the public sector, resulting in widespread non-compliance whereby genuinely self-employed workers are being told they are ‘deemed employees’.
Latest ONS figures: Q1 2019
The story stays much the same as the ONS releases its latest data for the UK jobs market. Employment at record highs; wage growth beats inflation.
The UK jobs market broke more records in the first quarter of 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals.
Overall, the employment rate in the United Kingdom reached an estimated 76.1 per cent. This marked a rise of half a percent over this time last year (75.6 per cent). The employment rate, which matches the previous quarter’s totals, is the highest in Britain’s history.
At the same time, unemployment fell to its lowest overall level since October of 1974. The rate of unemployment for the start of this year stood at just 3.8 per cent.
Overall economic inactivity fell further, to 20.8 per cent. Twelve months earlier, the figure had stood at 21.1 per cent. The current rate of economic activity is now close to historic lows.
Earnings edge higher
As we have previously reported, earnings have started to edge higher as employers seek to incentivise roles and secure skills. Excluding bonus pay, average weekly earnings have beaten inflation once again, rising by 1.3 per cent above the base rate. In nominal terms, earnings have increased by 3.3 per cent over the past year.
With bonus pay factored into the equation, the figures remain largely the same. Nominal pay rose by 3.2 per cent; real-terms earnings were up once again by 1.3 per cent.
The data finds mounting pressure within the recruitment sector. It ensures that successful hires have increased their value for another quarter in succession. However, as many agencies will understand, discovering the right talent to ensure those successful placements, becomes an ever more testing proposition.