The Job Market in the UK and Europe

london-job-marketAfter falling by 0.5% in 2012 and stagnating throughout 2013, 2014 is set be a year of solid growth for the European job market. Hiring is up by 60%. However, these figures should be analyzed carefully as they disguise dramatic differences between countries and industries.

The United Kingdom hiring rate is predicted to exceed that of other European countries, with expected increases of between 5% and 10%. The U.K. unemployment rate has dropped to below 7%. This compares to 12% across the remainder of Europe. Even within the U.K., significant regional differences exist. While all regions have experienced an increase in hiring, growth is strongest in the South East and slower in the North, Scotland and Wales. This gap does seem to be narrowing; the rate of hiring in London and the southeast has slowed somewhat, and the rate of hiring elsewhere has accelerated.

The improvement in the British economy has been attributed to increased consumer spending. When questioned, however, 1 in 5 Britons stated that they fear losing their job within the next 6 months. This seems somewhat contradictory. The same survey showed that 1 in 3 people questioned expect to receive a pay increase within the next 12 months.

Young people seem much less confident about their future prospects than older, established workers. A skills shortage exists in the U.K. where experienced workers are in high demand. This is causing a return to a candidate driven jobs market. One analyst compared the U.K. economy to a swan; suggesting that although it appears to be progressing smoothly above the water, things below the surface are turbulent and unpredictable.

In the U.K. wages have not risen to match the increase in housing prices. It is unclear what the effect on the economy would be of a vote in favor of Scottish independence, should the Fall 2014 vote result in Scotland leaving the U.K. Many employers predict further bumps in the road to recovery.

Industries which have shown significant improvement in hiring in the U.K. are finance, energy and exports, with only construction showing a negative prediction for 2014. Experts are hoping that growth in these sectors will keep the recovery balanced. Growth based purely on consumer spending can be risky. There is some debate over whether construction and manufacturing are showing improvement. Within mainland Europe, growth in the finance sector is driving the German and French economies, while the agricultural sector has shown improvement in Spain and Italy.

Certain skills are in high demand across Europe. I.T. support and networking continues to require an influx of skilled workers. Expertise in mobile and app development is also in demand, with JavaScript development and CSS3 skills particularly sought after. Digital marketing expertise is essential for the many businesses which operate in the online business arena. The aging baby boomer population continues to require varied health care services which makes this a field full of opportunity.

The U.K. job market appears outwardly strong, although factors exist which have the potential to disrupt the recovery. There is a clear need for skilled workers throughout Europe, so skilled workers who qualify for a work visa and have the necessary language skills should have no difficulty in finding work.

Labour psychology

human-resourcesPsychology of Labour can be broadly defined as the study of man in his workplace.

It analyzes the relationship between the individual and his work activity, the relationship between the individual and the organization to which it is subject, relations between groups or between organizations. Psychology of labour is twofold: one theoretical to constitute a body of knowledge on business and human subjectivity in work situations, the other practice in its diversity, in order to solve problems in various fields of intervention. Psychology of labour is thus born of a humanist commitment to adapting work to man.

The labour psychologist forms the analysis of labour in order to transform the professional community. He seeks to study behavior, skills, relationships within members of a company. His work is first and foremost to listen and advise. It occurs during job interviews to try to capture and understand the true personality of the candidate, he participates in career management, involved in the integration process or vocational rehabilitation, he conducts interviews for orientation and mobility, calls for training and also works on issues of pathology at work.

The occupational psychologist may serve different positions within a company. He can work either for the human resources department or occupational medicine. His positioning is related to the title of his post. As he is hired as a recruiter, an HR manager or an internal consultant, his way of working is different.

The constant changes in legislation on the safety of employees as well as ISO standards becoming indispensable have forced leaders to use consultants recurrently to implement the necessary steps to comply to these rulings. Many companies having had recourse to external consultants (independent or belonging to a consulting firm ) decided to entrust the task of looking for a permanent employee of the company.

For the internal consultant to be effective and efficient he must be innovative . Now, to be innovative , the consultant must have good flexibility. Numerous trainings enable internal consultants to get the tools necessary for such an approach. In addition, they have the advantage of knowing the company, its stated objectives and actual customs, modes of communication , etc. The internal consultant is at home and logically knows every corner and the history of the company that may remain inaccessible to an external consultant.

Provided his situation is he preferable to an external consultant? This is not certain. Indeed, the employment contract between the employer and the internal consultant is not immune to subordination. The employee must not only do a good job but it also must please his employer, to keep his job.

In this position, the internal consultant can then be a tendency to a problem posed by its internal sponsor to accept the solution that this advances. However, no solution can be envisaged without a proper analysis of the order. In this context, the use of a psychologist working in this position will make the difference.

Indeed, it may be included in the employment contract a clause obligation to respect the code of ethics for psychologists. This protects the ethics insofar as it is to say what does and does not please the company. In addition, it involves the concept of professional secrecy. This concept requires only to reveal what is a direct and certain relationship with the current analysis. Insurance of professional secrecy by both the employer and the consultant allows other employees to provide information in confidence.

Another aspect of the advantage of using a psychologist work is his knowledge and mastery of many analytical techniques. It is tempting to quickly give the most obvious conclusion, the occupational psychologist knows how to give time to a thorough wary of evidence analysis. For example if an employee is caught playing online poker on his computer, it does not mean he is a gambling addict. Playing games once in a while could be fine depending of the achievements of a particular employee.

It is tempting for all the powers that are in the business to exploit the consultant (internal or external). The occupational psychologist is aware of the power plays in a company and knows how to protect himself from them. Another mistake is to move towards a solution that the consultant knows. However, the occupational psychologist by his conduct has an obligation to update their knowledge. And it must constantly inform solutions that other companies put in place to solve various problems. This search for external information allows the psychologist job to be innovative.

There are other known social psychological bias, but it would take too long to detail here. Psychologists work remains a major asset in the company and a careful selection for the post of internal consultant is recommended.