UK labour market transformed 2020 was a year like no other. Every business had to adapt and evolve their operating model to survive and grow in the ‘new norm’. The UK labour market was transformed by the disruption of Covid-19, while some sectors grew as a result of changing consumer habits, many others faced declining revenues, heavy job losses and widening skills gaps. The December 2020 report from the Office of National Statistics paints a gloomy picture. It shows that from February to December 2020, the number of payroll employees fell by 819,000 - although the larger falls were seen at the start of the coronavirus pandemic - and the period of August through to October saw redundancies reach record highs.Unsurprisingly, the Bank of England November 2020 Monetary Policy report highlights, that redundancies in 2020 were predominantly in sectors that were hit hardest by lockdown including hospitality, retail, travel, leisure, automotive and aviation. New hope for 2021 Although we start 2021, with a newly agreed Brexit deal which governs bilateral trade worth more than £650bn and we have the hope brought by new Covid-19 vaccines, it remains clear that we still have huge economic challenges ahead, with a long road to recovery. The ongoing impacts of Covid-19, particularly the recent increase in infection numbers and subsequent national lockdown, making sense of Brexit and the upcoming IR35 tax reforms (for the private sector) all present challenges for UK business. This uncertainly doesn’t make for very pleasant, uplifting New Year reading! However, unlike any other economic downturn or crisis, it is important to remember that this pandemic has forced innovation, business wide transformation and prompted organisations to adopt new ways of working - all of which may have positive long-term effects.There are also areas where employers have ongoing or even increased demand for specific skills and expertise - especially when it comes to driving their digital transformation agenda and ensuring their organisational structure is fit for purpose in this new era of work. We are also working with a (significant) minority of organisations that see the current volatility as an opportunity to invest, grow and seize market share. Well capitalized, forward looking organisations are pressing hard on the accelerator and we remain optimistic about the prospects for new opportunities in 2021.Find out if your skills are in demand in 2021, check back here soon to read our specialism market updates and top senior roles in demand this year. Our first specialism update, ready to read now is for Senior Finance. IR35 impacts to contractor market 2020 saw Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay announce that IR35 tax reforms to the private sector would be deferred to 6th April 2021. The decision was announced among a £330bn financial package to protect the UK economy from the coronavirus outbreak and helped to alleviate one aspect of uncertainty for a large proportion of UK contractors.Although this was supposed to give private sector businesses crucial extra time to review and refine their interim hiring strategies - organisations needed to prioritise cashflow preservation, business continuity and their survival last year.As such, what we saw was an immediate shift to many organisations dramatically reducing Interim / Contractor resources and hiring flexible labour on an inside IR35 basis only. Indeed, many businesses made the decision to institute a blanket ban of personal service companies (PSCs) rather than contend with the perceived risk of potential financial liability for tax, should contractors later be deemed in scope of IR35. We started to see that these blanket ban, risk-averse reactions to IR35 were depriving some companies of their competitive edge and ultimately, their ability to attract the best interim talent. We saw other companies take a more measured response, engaging with third parties to apply IR35 determinations for each role, such that they could continue to benefit from the breadth of the interim labour market. That said, as Covid-19 continued to put increasing pressure on the cost-base for many businesses last year, we saw a swing from the use of LTD contractors to umbrella companies, fixed-term contracts and Statement of Work consulting delivery to resource transformation programmes and projects.So now, with the clock ticking to April 6th 2021, we are likely to see a revival of day rate contract roles as businesses continue to review and amend their processes to ensure business-critical projects stay properly resourced in 2021. As such, we anticipate much more of a balance this year between permanent, fixed-term contract and both inside and outside IR35 contract roles as the level of understanding of how to apply the IR35 rules in a compliant, yet pragmatic manner increases. Contact us to learn how our solutions for individual IR35 determinations and Managed Solutions can help deliver a compliant and cost-effective answer to flexible labour demands in 2021. Brexit hinders access to flexible labour market The UK now implements a points-based immigration system, similar to the one already in effect in Australia. Under the new rules, the vast majority of foreign nationals trying to work, live and study in Britain will have to apply and pay for an online visa. For many, these new visa requirements are now a pre-requisite for working in the UK. There are extra checks and implications that employers need to be on top of; and risks if they are not. There are fines and criminal sanctions if business employ people unlawfully. This increased level of bureaucracy and the subsequent compliance implications for UK employers is likely to hinder and slow access to the flexible labour market across Europe. As such, ‘visa ready’ candidates will have a competitive advantage as employers won’t need to go through all the extra checks. Under the immigration system, points are awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, knowledge of English and being paid a minimum salary. Skilled worker visas will be awarded to those who gain enough points.Applicants will have to reach a mandatory threshold of 50 points before they are considered for immigration to the UK. Mandatory criteria from the Home Office says migrants will need to have a job offer in the UK from a licensed sponsor (20 points), the job must be at or above the “minimum skill level” (20 points), and the person applying must be able to speak English “to an acceptable standard”, (10 points).There are, however, special rules for individuals who are already working in the UK. If they’ve been a resident here for 5 years or more, they will be granted ‘Settled Status’. If they’ve been in continuous residence for a shorter time period they will be awarded ‘Pre-Settled Status’. However, even if an individual has the existing right to work in the UK under one of these statuses, they must still apply to stay lawfully employed. If you are an employer or candidate and unsure if or how these changes affect you, please contact us. We are happy to help and point you to the right resources.
11 Jan 2021
Download your copy of our insight paper It’s no surprise that most businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating model in recent months. As a result, business leaders have come to recognise the importance of Organisational Design & Development (OD&D) expertise and the vital role HR functions serve in ensuring organsational structures and processes are fit for the ‘new norrn’. Download our insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purpose The People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
10 Nov 2020
Download your copy of our insight paperLaws and regulations governing privacy and the protection of data, particularly sensitive personal data, continue to proliferate across the globe. But why should CISOs care about data privacy and how should they manage regulatory transitions to ensure their information security program stands up to data privacy protection laws? To get ‘real’ insight into this topic, we hosted a virtual roundtable where we invited a small group of top CISOs, operating in highly regulated industry sectors in the US, to share their lived experiences. Our guest speaker Robert Ball, Chief Business Development Officer & General Counsel from Ionic, also shared insight into why the domain of the CISO has expanded in light of emerging data privacy and protection laws. Download our insight paper for the key takeaways from the event and to discover 10 technology tips for CISOs to effectively manage data privacy. Download
29 Oct 2020
Stanton House interviews finance leadersThrough a series of interviews with top CFOs and FDs we have explored how finance leaders, operating in different sectors, have adapted to change through the pandemic and met external pressures head on. Our interviews reveal both the common and varied challenges encountered as finance teams initially worked hard to guide their organisations through the immediate crisis.Download our insight paper Download your copy of our insight paper to discover their key insights, lessons learned and their views on how their role is evolving as we start to emerge from the pandemic. Download
19 Aug 2020
Will the office exist in a post Covid-19 world?It’s fair to say that the world of work has changed forever as we enter a new era of remote working. But what is the sentiment to remote working amongst the professional working population now?The cost and time savings of not having to commute every day are hard to dismiss and as lockdown eases, employee expectations are bound to have changed when it comes to the ‘return to the office’.So, how many days in the office do working professionals really want - given their varied individual experiences over the past few months? Over 70% of professionals now want to work in the office less than two days per weekStanton House’s recent poll, taken by over 600 professionals, reveals that a large majority (72%) would prefer to work two days or less per week in the office going forward. Less than a third (29%) would prefer to work three days or more per week in the office and only 4% would like to go back to four days plus per week.One to two days in the office comes out on top, with over half, (54%) voting for this as their preference and 18% say they would prefer to work from home 100% of the time. These findings suggest that while some crave the return to an office environment the vast majority have come to the conclusion that they will never want to work in the office five days per week, ever again. 43% more men than women want to work remotely 100% of the timeInterestingly, when comparing sentiment to remote working between gender, our poll reveals that a higher proportion of men (20%) would prefer to work remotely all of the time - compared to only 14% of women – that’s a 43% increase. The opposite is true for one to two days in the office, where a higher proportion of women (58%) voted for this as their preference - compared to 51% of men.Our poll cements what we already know - that organisations will be required to rethink their approach to remote, agile, and flexible working - putting People and Culture teams, front and centre, to design and drive this change. But have employers really seen clear benefits from this forced change to a homeworking environment and how committed are they to expanding and extending remote working, organisation-wide, for the long term? Will new HR policies align to the consensus revealed by our poll, or indeed go even further and flex to the individual?Employers realise the benefits of remote working Many of the business leaders I speak to tell me, that they have had their eyes opened to the benefits of remote working, not least the tremendous cost savings that can be achieved with reduced real estate needs.Not including utilities, security and maintenance the rent per seat in the UK can range from *£150 to £1500 per month, depending on location and the amenities available. London’s West End tips the scales, where it can cost **£207 annually just to put your laptop down on a desk.If you consider the floor space some large corporates take in the expensive high-rise buildings in Canary Wharf and The City of London for example, these cost savings can amount to millions. There can be no doubt that employers across the country will be modelling different scenarios with reduced office space. Leadership teams within organisations, both large and small, will be debating not if, but how much and to what extent, their workforce will continue working remotely in the long-term.Just a few of the companies that have already announced intent to expand work-from-home in the UK include Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Thomson Reuters, Vodafone, HSBC, Twitter, Facebook and Unilever. “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint….I see a future where part of every week, certainly part of every month, a lot of our employees will be at home.” James Gorman, Morgan Stanley, CEOHowever, this commitment to expand remote working it is not just to save costs on office space. Most leaders I speak to tell me they have experienced increased productivity, better collaboration and teamwork, increased employee engagement and a significant reduction in absenteeism - dispelling the many concerns and misconceptions to homeworking pre-Covid-19. Having the right, secure technology and communication channels has been critical to achieving this, however, as has having managers, who don’t revert to micromanagement amidst uncertainty, but are able to trust and enable their teams.Training needs have also been highlighted and identified, particularly for middle management, where resilience, adaptability and agility are often cited as key competencies which are lacking. Additionally, the spotlight on employee wellbeing has only magnified through this crisis as has the continued importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The challenge for employers right nowAs many employers once again pivot their people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment, maintaining the benefits gained amidst lockdown and addressing the technology and talent issues identified will be critical to lasting innovation and growth. The ramifications of getting the technology, talent or operating model wrong will be catastrophic for the competitiveness of any business as we enter this new era of work. Employers now need to ask themselves - do they have the internal expertise needed to design, implement and sustain the huge culture shift that is required? And if big corporate offices are a thing of the past where and how will people come together to collaborate? How do individuals continue to nurture the ‘social equity’ they’ve built over the years with colleagues and customers - remotely? Can we ever really replicate the benefits of socialising after work, the corridor conversations and meeting someone face-to-face? The critical questions many business leaders and HR professionals are now trying to answer now are:1. How do we once again pivot our people, processes and systems from full remote working, to a hybrid (office/home) working environment?2. Do we have the right / secure technology and communication channels to support a hybrid (office/home) working model?3. How do we maintain the benefits gained from remote working amidst Covid-19? 4. How do we tackle the tech and training needs identified and truly enable our manager population? 5. How will we evolve our employee value proposition (EVP) to attract and retain the best talent, now that flexible and remote working is the ‘new norm’?6. What are the ramifications of getting any of these considerations wrong? *Instant Offices UK Commercial Market Summary 2019 ** Instant Offices Get in touchIf you need help finding talent with the necessary expertise to transform your business for the new era of remote working, please get in touch. About the pollThe poll was posted to Stanton House’s company LinkedIn network of over 25,000 followers. The poll was live for 1 week from the 27th June 2020 to the 4th July 2020. 611 people voted answering the question: “How many days in the office would you prefer to work per week?”
21 Jul 2020
Download our insight paperInclusion is critical to every aspect of any business that is about people and now more than ever, these challenging times call for business leaders to maintain focus on engaging and retaining their workforce. Undoubtedly, increased homeworking adds a new layer of complexity, but employees still need to feel secure in their connectivity to their organisation and be given the opportunity to contribute and participate in a meaningful way - albeit remotely. So how can leaders ensure that they are on the right path to being and becoming more inclusive? Download our insight paper, a culmination of our recent blog series, to discover top tips from diversity and inclusion expert Paul Anderson-Walsh, from the Centre of Inclusive Leadership. Download Share you insightsWe would love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies in this new era of work. Please get in touch to share your insights.
18 Jun 2020
In previous instalments of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he explained the I.D.E.A.S © model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them, part two explained the importance of developing employees rather than letting their value depreciate, part three looked at enabling managers rather than expecting them to know how to lead and part four discussed how to align talent rather than forcing people to assimilate. This week we take a look at the final element in the model, sustaining the shift to a culture or inclusion, rather than superficially ticking boxes. Paul Anderson-Walsh Sustaining the shift to a culture of inclusion The alchemic power of inclusion has been lost in the (critically important, but critically different) Equal Opportunity and Diversity agenda. Many of the initiatives that have been offered have produced superficial rather than sustained change. They have produced a change that failed to produce change. For instance, well intended or not one might reasonably ask how much lasting change Starbucks gained from shutting 8,000 stores for four hours recently to conduct racial bias training for its employees. Inclusion is aiming at something more sustainable. It is aiming at driving high performance through culture change. Charles Handy defined culture as “the way we do things around here”. Ultimately, it is how we do things that determines whether any change sticks and becomes a new habit. To sustain the behaviours consistent with an inclusive culture (one in which there is integration rather than induction; development rather than depreciation; managers being enabled rather than expected to know how; and where there is alignment rather than assimilation) leader-managers must be the embodiment of new habitual ways of being. They need to be able to lead in such a way that they inspire those who work for (and indeed with) them so that they are motivated to learn, grow and develop and become more adept at managing inclusion – their own and that of others. There are many barriers to inclusion, bias (in favour of, as well as against) being chief amongst them. Bias, as a result of stereotyping, assumptions and prejudgements is often the major cause of a shift to a more inclusive organisation culture not being sustained. We have developed a model that can enable individuals to embed new ways of “doing things around here” and thus support and sustain the organisation shift to inclusion by deliberately seeking to become bias interrupters. This is achieved when the organisation H.E.A.R.S. ™ An organisation that H.E.A.R.S. can be identified by the way in which all its staff interact with one another, with their clients, customers and other stakeholders. H.E.A.R.S. Top tips for sustaining the shift to inclusion Being our best selves & doing our best work Change entails new ways of thinking, being and doing, consequently, for change of any nature to be sustained it must be anchored in the culture. In order to do that we believe that you need to be intentional about inclusion so as to foster an environment where your people feel comfortable reaching out to all their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other's experiences and perspectives. You need to have ongoing dialogue but without tolerating any incongruence between behaviours and your inclusion values. You need to build trust encouraging compassion and open-mindedness and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusion. For information about the Centre for Inclusive Leadership’s Inclusive Leadership Programmes, please get in touch. Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
20 May 2020
In parts one, two and three of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he explained the I.D.E.A.S © model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them, part two explained the importance of developing employees rather than letting their value depreciate and part three looked at enabling managers rather than expecting them to know how to lead. This week he looks at how to align talent rather than forcing people to assimilate. Paul Anderson-Walsh Aligning your talent, rather than forcing them to assimilate One of the primary reasons that organisations, even those who really value diversity, don’t get value from diversity is that their culture is designed to assimilate people rather than align them. When people are assimilated they lose their essential identity. Their difference is homogenised. Over time the uniqueness of the individual (which goes way beyond their ethnic and gender identification differences) is lost as people ruthlessly edit themselves to adapt to the new culture. Where there is a dominant prevailing culture, assimilation, a one-way process, is the order of the day. The newbie adopts the majority culture and when fully adapted he or she becomes virtually indistinguishable from the dominant group. Quite apart from the tragic loss of individuality, assimilation creates the perfect conditions for groupthink to flourish. When that occurs all hope of creativity is lost as individual thought bows the knee to the most powerful person in the room as people set aside their own personal beliefs or adopt the opinion of the rest of the group. Would-be detractors remain silent rather than disrupt the uniformity of the crowd.Aligning the talent to the organisation, and the organisation to the talent is an important building block of an inclusive organisation. Whilst it is vitally important, it isn’t easy. Alignment requires a high level of commitment to generating value from diversity as well as a willingness to flex and be supple in order to get that value. We often talk about aligning our talent to the organisation but we don’t so readily think about how the organisation could benefit from aligning itself to its talent. Consider for a moment how the English language, once a minor Germanic dialect has raised to the position it enjoys today as a, if not the, global language. How was that achieved? Well one reason, among many, is that it is a language that allows it to be infiltrated by other tongues and cultures (popular culture included). It embraces new words and consequently has an ever-expanding, ever-relevant vocabulary. The inclusion-savvy organisation knows only too well the value of “clean-eyes.” The management commentator Peter Drucker once remarked that ‘ignorance is the most important component for helping others to solve any problem in any industry.” And so, it is. Yet so keen are we to get people to see the world through the lens of our corporate spectacles that we miss the opportunity to see what they see, with clean eyes.Organisations where the talent is aligned to the organisation and the organisation is aligned to the talent, produce a very coherent signal to their customers. Top tips for aligning your talent 1. Think fitting together and not fitting in 2. Remember that it is about all of them not some of them 3. Value difference 4. Don't allow any disconnect between beliefs (values) and behaviour 5. Foster an environment where people feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other's experiences and perspectives. For information about the Centre for Inclusive Leadership’s Inclusive Leadership Programmes, please get in touch. Look out for my final blog in this series where I explain the last element of the I.D.E.A.S.© model ‘sustaining’.Share your insightsWe’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
15 May 2020
We wouldn’t attend a job interview and not worry about the first impression we give to our prospective employer. We dress accordingly, speak accordingly and really think before we answer those dreaded questions in a bid to appear to be the perfect professional and a great culture-fit. We are so concerned about that very first impression that we become nervous; as if we are on a blind date, desperate to come across as desirable and desperate to make a great first impression because we know there’s no second chances. We all do it, no matter what the scenario but despite it being a human reaction to meeting someone for the first time - it seems to be the area where businesses are falling short. While every candidate is keen to make a great first impression, they are also making their decision on the first impression they get from you. From that very first conversation, they will be making their judgement on you as an organisation and measure their candidate experience in the same way you are measuring their potential and unfortunately, it doesn’t always match up. Virgin Media recently calculated that they lose more than $5.4 million every year from poor candidate experiences and if that’s not enough to convince you that the candidate experience is everything, you also have to contend with the fact that disgruntled candidates can boycott your company in their personal life and offer you a bad reputation to others within the same talent pool. Aside from the negative implications of not offering an exceptional candidate experience, there are plenty of positives to offering a great first impression. You are not only more likely to have your preferred candidates accepting your job offer but they will then refer other high-grade candidates to help your business grow and build an external and internal reputation for you, as a great place to work. I believe it is the simple most important part of any interview process – do you see the importance of it too? I’d love to hear your stories about candidate experience. Have you recently been wowed by a great first impression, or, have you turned down a job offer due to a terrible first impression?
19 Dec 2019
Sophie Annett is a leader in the Finance Transformation space and has most recently held the position of Director of Finance and Accounting at Serco Plc. Starting her career training as an Accountant for KPMG she later became a Manager at Deutsche Bank before joining BT where she spent 18 years, leaving in 2018 as a Director of Shared Service Centres. Serco was an attractive offer to help satisfy her passion about automation and even more about the idea of having the right people behind it. Finding robotics I was at a Deloitte Conference five years ago when I learned about robotics. It came at a time when I was trying to change the shared service model we had in play as ultimately relying on outsourcing and offshoring to cut costs will only bring gain for a short period. I came back from the conference with my number two, intrigued and probably very annoyingly excited about the prospect of implementing RPA. My boss at the time was not a huge fan of the solution and of the opinion that it had been done before and hadn’t worked and while I knew this to be true in some areas, I challenged this perspective and decided to find out how to make it work and scalable. Defining success I spoke to circa 40 companies who had implemented / embedded RPA and created a checklist of their successes and failures to see what we would need to achieve in order to get it right first time. I was very lucky to have a Transformation Lead who was as passionate as I was about RPA and together we recruited a team to make this a success. I used past experience of other organisations to create a strategy, controls, strict governance – including sign off from internal audit, security and IT as well as ensuring the skill-sets needed to deliver and the different skills required to run RPA post-implementation after, which often gets forgotten about. Challenging the standard consultants model, I insisted on having the consultants come in and up-skill our team, thereby using the consultants as teachers to help train, up-skill and therefore ultimately retain our people. We also realised early on that it needed to be led by the business and not as an “IT project” as the business knows the pitfalls of each process – it has to be evolutionary. It was of vital importance that the IT team were there to provide the RPA platform and to support the business at every step of the way. A further lesson we learnt was the creation of a register of your bots and what process/ systems they tap into both upstream and downstream, this enables you to manage future change. We picked up quite quickly on the fact that people do not often do this. Avoiding failure The Bank of Ireland was quite an inspirational success story as they had really got it right with an emphasis on governance. Many organisations commented that they had struggled with buy in and ultimately implementation when running the programme centrally – the creation of spoke and wheel implementation plan along with strict governance proved a better model. The discussions challenged policy to the next level – for example, an interesting piece of insight was defining when you retire a robot? How many business actually think this far forward when going through RPA implementation. The end-end life-cycle needs to be thought about not just the implementation, how are you going to manage change? Creating a taskforce One achievement I’m very proud of is the introduction of the Finance Apprentice scheme in the SSC at BT, we hired a number of school leavers and looked to bring in second-time trainees who formed an interesting and vibrant team. We thought about the full life-cycle of the apprentice and I was determined to set up a programme as opposed to an intake. To aid the retention of these employees we created internal mobility programmes, RPA skills remain tricky to find in the marketplace and these skills are key to sustaining peak performance. By establishing and maintaining good people in the SSC and implementing effective RPA to free up employee time, it allows the team to be generous with their time to develop others and therefore in a constant state of continuous improvement; I’ve always encouraged questions and challenge - I’m a firm believer that if you ask for help, people always will. Presenting your findingsRobotics needs a strategy. They can be used as a sticking plaster; however, you lose the knowledge of your processes and any ongoing change will cost significantly more. I don’t believe they should be used to paper over the cracks nor can they be implemented as an emotive reaction because it is perceived to be right thing to do. Robotics are currently the main disrupter in the Finance Transformation space, you need to use solution correctly. When I first found out about RPA, I was really intrigued by the technology and kept questioning why people weren’t investing in Robotic Process Automation and for those who were, it seemed as though RPA’s poor reputation was either the result of poor strategy or it was simply not utilising the RPA solution to its full efficiency. People think of bots as a silver bullet, you put a robot in and take an FTE out but actually it’s a state of operation, and you should think of it as having a virtual team that requires management by people. One recurring question asked of me is the impact on the team i.e. “Shared Service is yet again cutting heads – will this be the end of accountants?" The last big change in the finance world was the change from paper ledgers to the spreadsheet - the end result has been more accountants with better information on a more timely basis. While it hadn’t been introduced on the right foot, I knew it had potential to change industry as we knew it. Changing pathsIn 2007, when I got into transformation, it was all about shared service centres, cutting costs and offshoring – captives were not even thought of then as the bottom-line benefits were so large. However, with hindsight this move highlighted that it’s not always about costs. When you outsource, it tends to impact the data quality and therefore your NPS, SLAs and decision-making. Whether its Eastern Europe, India or South America, location can also play an impact due to the proximity of the business. BT made the decision to move to Captive set-up to help curb the above and improve quality. There are three basic rules of what to outsource and what not to which can now be applied to robotics: 1. If the work requires business knowledge, do not outsource or automate it2. If the work includes decisions that could create a risk for the company, do not do it3. If the work requires specialist knowledge keep it in house. In effect these rules create a line between work that can be offshored, outsourced or automated and that which cant. Where that line is crossed it is likely to lead to, heavy FTE churn, skill and quality reduction, increased data security risks, increased costs of change and a bad reputation for shared service centres. This line is not set in stone, again a managed and controlled approach is best – first simplify the work, the eliminate unnecessary work, then standardise and finally automate. BPO relationships can become challenging as often too much is moved, the same can be said with captive, for robotics when you don’t have the right strategy you are increasing your risk of going too far. We should use experience to prevent this from happening again.I’m not particularly keen of an outsourcer running your RPA on an ongoing basis because it can mean that they own the Intellectual property rights which is effectively your team, processes and ability to change which is a tricky situation to reverse from. Adapting your leadership style I’m very people orientated and I believe you need to be when operating in shared service, transformation and RPA. This spans far beyond the workplace too I give the same advice to my teenage daughters, I give the same advice, do not go into a career that can be automated invest your time in something new e.g. robotics is a vibrant and growing sector. Most people like their comfort zone and mistake repetitive work as their comfort zone, it becomes dull and that’s when mistakes creep in. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and you increase the reward and you now have a new comfort zone. RPA allows for greater job satisfaction, creativity and excitement. I was taught by someone who worked for me the importance of understanding why each person comes to work – their reasons are different and if you can help match their reasons to work you will have a happy and effective team. I also believe in strengths-based leadership – we all have things we are better at and some we are not so good at. Strengths based leadership ignores perceived “weaknesses” and develops strengths. This also aligns with the theory of an incomplete leader – which in my mind fosters great teamwork. I’ve never surrounded myself with “mini-Me’s” as I know I’m not perfect!! I believe in recognising where your strengths and weaknesses are and creating a team to include all skills. I also prefer to have a team of people I admire – a team where everyone’s views and advice is key to making change successful. Accepting and driving change is key to moving forward, when teams appreciate that controlled change is a necessity, standing still is what catches organisations out. The earlier in a career someone appreciates that change is a necessity, the more doors open and options become available to them. Advice to othersChange - don’t underestimate it, to succeed you can only do so much change at once. Look at ensuring strong controls, governance and learn from the experience of others. RPA requires investment in the team and expertise – don’t underestimate or rush into it. Invaluable is to bring the business with you – make sure that the first robot is 100% accurate 100% of the time. It’s also best to start in a simple, low risk process - reconciliation are ripe for robotics. Implemented well robotics is the future of shared service. Interested in reading more of our thought-leadership on the topic of Finance Transformation? Visit our Insights page to find more!
18 Dec 2019
Generalisations, until now, have indicated that millennials want few things. Access to leadership, flexible working and sustainability at work. Surveys have evidenced this too with hundreds of young workers claiming they want open offices, relationships with stakeholders, work-life balance and an organisation that really cares about making a positive social impact. But, as we approach 2020, are attitudes shifting back to a more traditional way of working? In the last few days, articles have populated social media platforms about the negative side of open-plan offices and how its having an adverse effect on young people, women in particular. A recent study published on The Royal Society claims open-plan offices designed to encourage collaboration and enhance transparency are actually leaving female workers feeling overexposed and ‘continually observed’ with one female study even likening the architectural style as a ‘fish bowl experiment’ where she feels constantly monitored and watched. At Stanton House, open-plan offices are ingrained in our culture – access to leadership, relaxed hierarchy and open communication – I can’t imagine it working any differently and as an HR Consultant, I also can’t help but think about the array of positive things my network have told me about open-plan working and how it’s motivated them to be better. I’d like to hear from you – are we finding a negative within a positive or is open-plan working soon to be a thing of the past?
15 Oct 2019
Stanton House has officially been crowned Recruitment Company of the year and what a phenomenal year it has been. In an awards ceremony held in London last night, CEO Neil Wilson and Finance Director Jo Finch received the prestigious prize as it was announced that Stanton House was the 2019 APSCo Recruitment Company of the Year - in the £10m to £50m Turnover category. As the pair collected the award, it was noted that Stanton House has dedicated its nine years in business to creating exceptional customer experiences and transforming the reputation of the recruitment industry. Founder and Global CEO of APSCo, Ann Swain, said: “This company clearly demonstrated its belief to improving customer experience is the key to improving the reputation of the recruitment sector. The judges felt this succinctly summarised the key to excellent recruitment.” The Recruitment Company of the Year title must be awarded to an organisation operating in either Permanent or Interim markets that has most consistently demonstrated the professional values and exceptional performance associated with APSCo membership throughout the past 12 months and it is a phenomenal achievement to be recognised as one of just four companies titled in 2019. Neil said; "We are delighted to be recognised by APSCo as the Recruitment Company of the Year. It is particularly gratifying because the judges emphasised that they were struck by our commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. From day one at Stanton House we set out to make that the cornerstone of how we do business. That has been acknowledged consistently by our clients and candidates so it is very rewarding to have it further validated by the recruitment sector experts at APSCo." Stanton House was founded in 2010 to transform the reputation of the recruitment industry by placing the customer at the forefront of everything we do. In our 10th year of business, we are truly honoured and filled with pride that this has been recognised by such a prestigious and renowned organisation.
09 Oct 2019