The latest business Intelligence for HR professionals and people managers everywhere
Sign UpOnline Version
European Edition
5th August 2022
Adecco revenue grows as employers seek skilled workers
Staffing and training giant Adecco has reported a 13% increase in second quarter revenue as employers hired more permanent staff amid an intensifying search for talent. The hunt for workers has also driven up wages, which have increased to offset rising inflation, said Adecco finance chief Coram Williams, who observed that the labour market has become more competitive as a growing number of workers voluntarily quit their jobs after the pandemic and leave many companies understaffed. "There is a real scarcity of talent across the globe," Williams said. "This is a key driver of wage inflation, along with inflation generally . . . There is strong wage inflation, although this varies. In continental Europe it is low to mid single digits, but elsewhere it is high single digits." Reuters notes that Adecco’s fortunes are seen as an indicator for the broader economy with companies hiring when they feel confident about the future.
Wolt delivery workers are split over Israeli court ruling
Israel’s labour court has ruled that delivery people working for the Wolt platform are considered employees of the company. Until the court’s ruling, Wolt delivery workers had not been considered employees of the Helsinki, Finland headquartered company and did not enjoy rights such as vacation days and insurance. Dr. Lilach Lori, a senior lecturer in labour studies at Tel Aviv University, said the court’s ruling is one of the "most important decisions in Israel and the world." Nevertheless, The Jerusalem Post observes that Wolt delivery people are split over court ruling making them employees. "I think it can be a blessed step," said one delivery man from Tel Aviv. But another delivery worker from the city of Ramat Gan doesn't agree. "It's a disaster," he said. "Now we'll have to work shifts. We can forget about working whenever we want and for however long we want.”
Most female workers in Italy experience bias and harassment
More than half of female workers in Italy have experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace, according to a new survey by the Libellula Foundation based on interviews with 4,300 women workers all over the country.  The survey said the harassment – experienced by around 55% of respondents – included sexual blackmail, unwanted massages, and suggestive comments.  Other examples of discrimination included in the LEI (Labour, Equality, Inclusion) report included male colleagues being promoted over women on maternity leave.
Lufthansa ground staff agree pay deal after strike
Lufthansa ground staff and management have reached a pay deal after a third round of negotiations, the Verdi labour union and the German carrier have said. The dispute had precipitated a strike that led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights. The pay deal, which affects 20,000 employees, gives them raises in three steps. A €200 monthly increase this year will be followed by two 2.5% increases next year.  Verdi had originally asked for a 9.5% pay hike. Reuters notes that Lufthansa continues to face uncertainty over possible walkouts. The airline is due to hold talks next with pilots, who have already voted in favour of strikes.
Economists’ models miss the gains from more women in the workforce
Data suggest that male and female employees are not perfect substitutes in production and gains from gender inclusion are likely to be far larger than standard models estimate, writes Jonathan Ostry.
Credit Suisse mulls thousands of job cuts
Credit Suisse is looking at cutting thousands of jobs across its operations as well as examining inefficiencies in its middle and back office, according to Bloomberg. The move comes after the Swiss bank named restructuring expert Koerner as CEO to scale back investment banking and slash costs to help the bank recover from a string of scandals and losses. "We have said we will update on progress on our comprehensive strategy review when we announce our third-quarter earnings; any reporting on potential outcomes before then is entirely speculative," a spokesperson for Credit Suisse said.
Russian carmaker offers staff $3,000 to quit voluntarily
Russian carmaker Avtovaz is offering workers at its Izhevsk plant in central Russia a one-off payment of about $3,000 to take voluntary redundancy. Russia's biggest carmaker resumed production of some of its popular Lada models at its main plant in Togliatti in June after earlier partially halting output due to a shortage of electronic components. Avtovaz was unable to restart production of the Lada Vesta model and sent 3,200 staff from its Izhevsk factory on paid leave in March.  Those staff at the site in Izhevsk who resign will be offered a one-off payment that at best would equate to 183,348 roubles ($3,161). "Avtovaz emphasizes that the company doesn't plan to carry out mass lay-offs, and the proposed supporting measures for the team are purely voluntary for each employee," the carmaker said.
UK employers become more cautious about hiring
The latest KPMG and Recruitment & Employment Confederation UK Report on Jobs, compiled by S&P Global, found that hiring in the UK has slowed amidst uncertainty over the economy, with July seeing the slowest increase in the number of permanent jobs filled for 17 months. Ongoing skills shortages, a drop in foreign workers and hesitancy from candidates to move jobs had all led to a tighter supply of suitable staff, the report said. "The trend of uncertainty in the UK jobs market of the last few months continues," said KPMG's Claire Warnes. "Employers are rightly hesitant about their hiring plans . . . So, a focus on up-skilling existing workers and attracting talent remains absolutely essential for UK business to play its part in driving forward the economy."
Citigroup plans 500 hires for new wealth unit
Citigroup plans to hire 500 employees over the next three years for a new wealth division. Naz Vahid, the unit’s global head, told Bloomberg News that the new division, called Wealth at Work, would cater to junior employees at private equity offices and accounting firms, betting those clients will ultimately join the ranks of the ultra-wealthy and maintain their relationship with the bank. “We understand bonus payout structures, changes in income when our clients go from associates to partners, unique retirement needs,” Vahid said. “We know when they're likely to buy a house, when they're likely to begin planning for college, and more. We know the career life cycle.”
Huge fire at Russian e-commerce company’s warehouse
Russian e-commerce company Ozon has said it sees no significant risks to its liquidity and operational activities after a huge fire at its warehouse near Moscow. At least one person was killed and 13 injured in the blaze, according to local media reports. The conflagration consumed an area of 55,000 square metres at the company’s fulfilment centre north west of Moscow. Capacity has been increased at other distribution centres, Ozon said. More than 1,000 warehouse employees were evacuated, with 12 having to seek medical assistance.
Zalando shares rise on strong growth projections
Zalando shares rose more than 10% in early trading yesterday morning, after Europe’s largest online fashion retailer said it expects improved profitability and a return to growth in the second half of the year. The company sees itself rebounding from a 58% drop in second-quarter operating profit, which came in at €77.4m and a 4% drop in sales to €2.62bn. Gross merchandise volume was flat at €3.78bn. The company cited lower consumer confidence, inflation and supply bottlenecks hitting demand after the coronavirus pandemic helped it record a bumper year in 2021. "Life is becoming more expensive and consumers are reluctant to consume. We feel that", co-CEO Robert Gentz commented. To cut costs, the company said it had reduced marketing spending, introduced a minimum order value and was improving efficiency across its European logistics network.
The era of the kinder CEO is fading
Chief executive officers are ditching a softer approach as the economy shows signs of difficulty, reports the Wall Street Journal. As the economic outlook worsens, corporate bosses are bringing back blunt demands, performance reviews and telling employees to reconsider spending on trips. The CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, told staff last month to work with “greater urgency, sharper focus, and more hunger than we’ve shown on sunnier days.” Meanwhile, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in late July that the Facebook owner needs to operate with greater intensity “and I expect us to get more done with fewer resources.” Ellen Kullman, chairwoman of 3-D printing company Carbon Inc. and former CEO of DuPont, observes: “In the good times, we want to focus people on the growth aspects . . . But when the economy appears to have the potential for that downturn, it’s fundamentals 101. It’s: How do I conserve cash? How do I focus the team to emerge from whatever this is stronger?” Now, “I hear from different CEOs that it is a little bit of a tougher talk,” Ms. Kullman said.
Muslim women in India allege hiring bias
Al Jazeera reports on alleged discrimination against Muslim women in India in hiring for jobs in the wake of a study published in June by LedBy Foundation, a leadership incubator that focuses on the professional development of Muslims, that revealed bias against Muslim women in the recruitment process for entry-level roles in various sectors. The study highlighted such biases against Muslim women even in instances where they were equally qualified for the job. Another study, “Being a Muslim at the Workplace,” by Mumbai-based feminist collective Parcham, identified similar prejudices. “Our study notes the different ways in which discrimination occurs to exclude Muslims from the workforce. Women were doubly marginalised. Unchecked bullying, suspecting the nationalism of Muslims, and making assumptions based on bigoted notions of Muslims were so common,” said the report.
A WeWork for the .01%
Collette is a New York co-working space for the super-rich that is set to occupy the entire 37th floor of the city’s GM building, which overlooks Central Park and the Plaza Hotel. Developed by Edmond Safra, a member of the billionaire Safra family, and restaurateur Juan Santa Cruz, the club is aimed at the globetrotting rich who have second homes in New York, or perhaps even live in the city, but don’t need a full-time office. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while,” says Santa Cruz. “The world has been evolving for quite some time, and the pandemic has made it more evident that people do not use their offices as much as they think they do, or wish they did.” When it opens in March 2023, Colette will have 23 private offices – each measuring approximately 400 square feet - with conferencing desks, a seating area, videoconferencing hook-up, and individual temperature and light controls.

The Human Times is designed to help you stay ahead, spark ideas and support innovation, learning and development in your organisation.

The links under articles indicate original news sources. Some links lead directly to the source material. Others lead to paywalls where you may need a subscription. A third category are restricted by copyright rules.

For reaction and insights on any stories covered in the Human Times, join the discussion by becoming a member of our LinkedIn Group or Business Page, or follow us on Twitter.

This e-mail has been sent to [[EMAIL_TO]]

Click here to unsubscribe