Here we round up all the most important people-related news for you
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Good afternoon 


It's been a month of record breaking: the hottest temperature in the UK, unemployment the lowest since 1974 and the largest upgrade to worker's rights in a generation!  Things can generally slow down in the summer months, but the labour market is doing the opposite: the number of businesses planning to boost recruitment is on the rise (60% of UK businesses attempted to recruit new hires in the last 3 months) and a new report suggests that 3 in 10 SME employees will work during their summer holidays this year.  Here we round up all the most important people-related news for you.

Warm regards from the team at ETS


The smart approach to recruiting a rare species

It is not unnatural for a business manager to submit a job description that requires a candidate that is i) either extremely rare or ii) non-existent.  The question is – do you want to spend years looking for a needle in a haystack or do you want some strategies to find some good enough candidates?  Chances are there will be many candidates who will add value to your company and will end up being the ‘right’ choice even though they may not meet the niche skills, experience and background that you have specified for that hard-to-fill role.  Follow our simple steps when in search of a rare species: 

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How to assemble your dream team


People make, or break, a company.  Here are 10 steps on how to assemble your dream team.

Watch now »

Number of temporary employees down, unemployment lowest since 1974

The number of temporary employees in the UK fell by 5.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis to a total of approximately 1.46 million for the three-month period from March through May 2019 when compared to the same period a year ago, according to the Office for National Statistics. The number of temporary employees as a percentage of total employment was 5.3%, down from 5.7% compared to the same period a year ago. The UK employment rate was estimated at 76.0%, higher than a year earlier (75.6%). At the same time, the UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8%; it has not been lower since October to December 1974.

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Number of businesses planning to boost recruitment on the rise

Recruitment intentions across the UK have strengthened in the second quarter when compared to the first quarter, according to the latest Quarterly Recruitment Outlook from the British Chambers of Commerce, in partnership with Totaljobs. The report found that 60% of UK businesses attempted to recruit new hires in the previous three months, an increase from 53% in Q1. At the same time, the report cautioned that recruitment difficulties cannot be ignored. The percentage of firms reporting difficulties hiring the right staff fell from 73% to 64%, although the figure remains high by historic standards and stands at ‘critical’ levels in a number of sectors such as construction (77%) and hotels and catering (74%).

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Salary survey for key positions



% change

Design Engineer



Graduate Engineer



Project Engineer



Sales Engineer



Source: Adzuna




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Design Engineer



Project Engineer



Sales Engineer



IT Helpdesk Support



Source: Payscale

New protections for millions of vulnerable workers

The government has announced its latest measures to advance the 'Good work plan', the largest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation:

  • workers to be given enhanced rights to tackle unscrupulous employers who do not comply with the law
  • new body would enforce holiday pay for vulnerable workers and ensure agency workers are not underpaid
  • second phase of the government’s ‘Good work plan’ focuses on protecting vulnerable workers
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Addressing mental health issues in small businesses could bring major boost to the economy

There are 5.7m SMEs in the UK (accounting for 99% of all businesses) and they employ close to 16m people, contributing 20% to UK GDP. Meanwhile, mental health issues, including stress, depression and anxiety, are thought to be responsible for 91m lost working days each year in the UK, costing the economy £30 billion. About 10% of this was due to staff replacement costs, 30% down to people being off sick (absenteeism) and 60% of the cost due to reduced productivity at work (presenteeism).From an economic perspective, workplace mental health issues lead to higher unemployment rates and diminished productivity. With the UK's productivity lagging behind its peers in the G7 of advanced economies, and given the contribution of SMEs in the economy, working out how to alleviate mental health problems is crucial.

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Talent 2050 report outlines new approach to future skills

Skills shortages in UK engineering can be overcome by thinking about a ‘reservoir of talent’ rather than a ‘leaky pipeline’, claims the new Talent 2050 report. To drive innovation, productivity and economic growth the UK needs to prepare for the skills challenges of the coming decades. Through workshops and a rapid evidence assessment, the final report explores future engineering needs in the UK for a globally competitive skills and diversity mix. The report recommendations consider the broader skills required in engineering roles of the future. They suggest a more inclusive approach where recruitment or enrolment is based on the potential to gain the right skills rather than prior attainment, and with careers expected to be longer recognising and providing support for upskilling and reskilling; and making use of on-line learning tools at all career stages.

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Three in 10 SME employees will work once a day or more during their summer holiday

Many SME employees will be working every day during their 2019 summer holidays, with 30.5% working either every day (22.8%) or multiple times each day (7.7%). Overall, more than two-thirds (67%) will spend some time working during their summer holidays, according to new research from process management firm Process Bliss. The research was commissioned to better understand modern SME working habits and revealed changing expectations about working cultures. 45% of SME employees say that their clients expect them to be available during their summer holiday and 41% say that their boss expects them to be available.

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Book Corner

Possible Minds: 25 Ways of Looking at AI, by John Brockman


At the highest level, debate about artificial intelligence often devolves into scenarios utopian or dystopian.


  • Will machines make human beings the best they can be, or render them obsolete?
  • Should we trust something potentially smarter than us?
  • What is humanity's role in a world ruled by algorithms?


Brockman, founder of the online salon, corrals 25 big brains--ranging from Nobel Prize-winning physicist Frank Wilczek to roboticist extraordinaire Rodney Brooks--to opine on this exhilarating, terrifying future.

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