The Big Buzzwords for 2019

Employer advice

What are the main areas impacting your recruitment?

Things change all the time. From the latest iPhone with face recognition, to the latest fad diet set to change the way we see food (and eat it), no one is safe from the ever changing world we live in. And your recruitment is no different. We've noticed four main areas that are currently impacting employers. Maybe you've been affected by one or more of these too?

In no particular order we present to you’re the latest buzzwords in the industry today which are set to continue well into 2019.


1. Gender pay gap

Achieving equality is really high on the government agenda, and you've no doubt seen the media stories about the BBC gender pay gap that have been unfolding over the past few months. Despite the Equality Act being in place since 2010, it seems the UK still lags well behind the rest of Europe when it comes to paying men and women the same rate for the same work. This is the finding of a study that assessed Eurostat data about the 29 European countries. With a score of just 2.85 out of 10, the UK was placed 26th, just ahead of Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia. The biggest gender pay gap was reported in London, where the average full-time working woman earns 14.6% less per hour than the average man.

It supports the findings in April, when 10,000 large firms reported their pay data to the UK government. This revealed that 78% of UK businesses pay men more than women. But where do you stand?  Are you paying men and women fairly? Is there a risk that your organisation will be taken to an employment tribunal for pay disparity?

Whilst you aren’t legally obliged to report on gender pay, should you do it anyway? There is clear potential to increase both your retention and attraction rates as well as turning you into an employer of choice with a reputation for paving the way for equal pay. The question is, how transparent do you wish to be?


2. Gig economy

The trend towards the gig economy shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, it's estimated that 5 million people now work in this way in the UK. The gig economy has much appeal for employers. Instead of providing permanent jobs, it means they can pay people on short-term contracts or a freelance basis. Working this way also gives flexibility to employees.

As more employees move into this model, skilled workers may become harder to find, and you'll have to look in other areas to attract them, such as expanding your geographic search area, or using remote workers or freelancers instead of full-time hires.

So the gig economy is shaping the future of recruitment for businesses. However, it's not all roses and sunshine. Employers who wrongly categorise their workers as independent contractors will fall foul of the law, as you'll know if you've followed the news about Pimlico Plumbers, Uber and Deliveroo. Meanwhile, a new poll has found that 70% of employees prefer the security of full-time employment.


You can't have escaped the EU General Data Protection Regulation that came into force in May. It's the most important change in data protection regulation for 20 years, and reshapes the way data is handled throughout your business. As an employer, you collect and hold much data about your employees, from the time you recruit them, through all their performance appraisals and even sickness absence. You must ensure you have watertight processes in place to collect their consent, as well as secure systems to protect their personal data effectively. This not only shows you’re up to date on the latest legislation, but also shows your professionalism as a secure organisation. Something that matters to everyone, whether they’re existing employees or staff of the future. It's a big responsibility, and you risk a big fine if you get it wrong.

Have you audited your data processing systems adequately? Have you made the changes that GDPR requires? Having done that, can you relax and forget about it?

4. Skills shortages

It's always been the case that some sectors experience more skills shortages than others. Certain types of candidates are currently in greater demand, and salaries are naturally rising to attract them. There has been a sharp increase of pay rates in the construction sector. In fact, some roles have seen hourly rates more than double in the past four years, perhaps driven by demand due to the Crossrail project.  Yet, nothing stays the same forever. In June 2018, the value of construction contracts awarded fell for the first time in over five years, so the pattern may well change again. And here's an interesting point to note. According to a new report, employees don't necessarily need a university degree to count as 'skilled' and earn a good salary. Job site, Indeed, recently identified ten roles that pay more than the UK average wage, even without a university education.

Are there skill shortages in your sector? Are degree-level qualifications really required for your roles? Maybe it's time to ask Brook Street to help you find the right candidates? Our consultants can successfully steer you through the change of work legislation to help you attract the right candidates. Contact your local branch today