first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Secretary of State for Health Alan Milburn announced in mid-December thatthe first-ever national flu vaccination target had been passed only two monthsinto the Government’s £2.5m publicity campaign. A minimum uptake target of 60 per cent for GPs was set in May last year whenMilburn announced that anyone aged 65 or over would for the first time beoffered the free vaccine. Figures from all 99 health authorities for mid-December show that thenational uptake figure among people aged 65 and over was 61 per cent, with 67authorities achieving uptakes well over 60 per cent. Milburn said, “I know there was scepticism as to whether this targetcould be achieved and concerns about flu vaccination supply. By protectingmillions of elderly people – as well as other at-risk groups – from what can bea killer disease, the NHS is demonstrating that it is better prepared forwinter than ever before.” Flu jab scheme hits target ahead of timeOn 1 Jan 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Is this £300m partnership a blueprint for HR’s future?On 18 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Arevolutionary public-private partnership set up between Liverpool City Counciland BT may change the way HR in local government works, reports Ben Willmott Therole of HR in local government could be revolutionised if a £300m partner- shipbetween Liverpool City Council and BT, set up to provide better services atlower cost, proves successful.LiverpoolDirect was formed to enable the council to benefit from a cutting-edge ITinfrastructure, which it could not afford to fund itself and will see the firstlarge-scale secondment of employees from the public sector to the privatesector.Upto 1,200 Liverpool City Council employees are to be seconded to the new jointventure company by the end of this year. As part of the deal the council’s HR departmentis being streamlined and its role transformed.MartinHouse, an HR consultant who is advising the council on Liverpool Direct, saysall council IT services and the council’s call centre – the largest in thecountry – are now run by the joint venture company and will be joined byrevenues and benefits, HR and payroll later in the year.Stafffrom these departments are being seconded to the new joint venture company butremain Liverpool City Council employees, with unchanged terms and benefits.TheHR department will be run from a new service centre within Liverpool Directwith a single contact number. Line managers will have more responsibility forHR issues and the intranet will play a much bigger role in day-to-dayadministrative issues such as annual leave and expenses claims.Houseexplains that line managers will provide the personal contact with staff andthey can discuss more complex issues with the council’s specialist HR officersin the service centre.HRstaff have been cut by half and overall council staffing levels cut by 1,500 aspart of the changes which involved negotiation with Unison and the GMB unionsbut House stresses that the council had to make no compulsory redundancies.”Thiscould be the blueprint for the future of local government,” said House whobelieves Liverpool Direct’s service centre could be used to handle the HRrequirements of a number of local authorities, drastically cutting costs.”Whenyou strip down the way councils operate they are no different. There is a hugeamount of duplication across the whole sector. “Thissort of operation could offer significant economies and leading-edge service. Iwould be very surprised if  this sort ofpartnership does not become the way that people do things over the next 10years.”LiverpoolCity Council chief executive David Henshaw thinks the agreement is a landmarkin public-private partnerships and has real benefits for both employees andLiverpool residents.”Councilemployees seconded to the new company will benefit from new skills, personaldevelopment and better environments in which to work. They will be freed from alot of day-to-day administrative burdens that obstruct their work and willenjoy a more streamlined and efficient way of working. “Employeesand customers alike will see a smarter, intelligence-led local government thatwill put Liverpool at the forefront of modern technology. Liverpool residentswill see a real difference in customer relations.” Lastyear’s Socpo president Terry Gorman says the organisation is closely monitoringwhat is happening at Liverpool and at other councils where public- privatepartnerships have been introduced.”Ithink because this (Liverpool Direct) is taking its employees with it thisclearly has to be quite attractive. It is a way of keeping employees on boardand bringing in private-sector methodology and investment,” he said.”It is insourcing rather than outsourcing because the local authority isstill responsible for its employees.”ButGorman warns that local authorities’ personnel departments will increasinglyhave to demonstrate their strategic value as new technology plays a greaterrole within HR. Hesaid, “It is important to be able to draw out what is the added value ofthe personnel function so that everybody understands it is not just aboutprocessing a few timesheets and a bit of recruitment work.”Unison,which has been heavily involved in the secondment of staff to Liverpool Direct,has given the project a cautious welcome but is watching closely to see how itbeds down.SteveBlakesley, regional officer for Unison, said, “We are not against the ideaas long as our members’ terms and conditions are looked after. If we can startoff on the right foot and work together I am optimistic we can make it work.”Weare concerned about the potential ramifications for jobs but the Government iskeen on public-private partnerships. I would hope we could work together toavoid any compulsory redundancies.”MikeReynolds, general manager of Ignite Solutions, the division of BT responsiblefor Liverpool Direct , is confident the joint venture company is an idealvehicle for public-private partnerships within local government. “Wewant to work with large corporate clients in the public and private sector,hopefully in a business partnership, to address their business requirements byoffering them business solutions,” he said.Hebelieves that in order to meet the Prime Minister’s agenda for achievingelectronic government by 2005, many local authorities are keen to developpartnerships with the private sector.  Reynolds said, “We will receive profitby introducing cost effective technology platforms which underpin there-engineering of the processes [revenues and benefits, HR and payroll].”Wetake the cost out by reducing the number of people in these processes. Theywill be retrained and reskilled and offered jobs in more exciting roles.” Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgIs working in the City a smart HR move?On 26 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today “P” writes: I hear lotsof stories about HR professionals who move into roles in investment banking onvery large packages, yet many claim that the HR they practice is not verysophisticated. Is this true and should I consider a move into this area?Margaret Malpas, joint managingdirector of Malpas Flexible Learning writes: Ithink it is unwise to stereotype any employer.  Someemployers deliberately choose to apply best practices in HR whilst othersmay take a more pragmatic view.  It’s worth asking around aboutreputations in this area and looking at the websites of those youare thinking of applying to as these can provide a mine ofinformation.  You can often tell what the Company’s approach is from itsrecruitment page.Salariesin the City are generally significantly larger than in the provinces, forexample. But bear in mind that organisations are not generally altruistic,and they expect to get what they pay for! The pace of life andexpectations of employees may be very high and you would need to commute whichcould easily add a lot of time to your working day.  Vic Daniels, directorat Carr Lyons writes: While it is true that, generallyspeaking, investment banks don’t always adopt a policy of best practice HR, itvery much depends on the investment bank itself. Many of these types oforganisation have come a very long way in HR terms during the course of thelast five years and have attempted to move away from administration towardsproviding a more business-focused value-added HR service. Having said this,many still have a long way to go. Moving into HR in investment banking isdifferent and is not for everyone. You have to have the credibility to stand upto often high revenue earners, will need to be prepared to make quick decisionsand justify them and work longer hours. The rewards are there financially, butthe job can often be stressful and you may find that you are being paid more tooften deal with what on the surface seem to be fairly mundane tasks. My adviceis that you should meet with as many investment banks as you can and see asmany people in those organisations as possible, both in HR and line managers.You will then hopefully be able to get a better feel as to where eachorganisation sees itself in HR terms and whether a move into it will provideyou with all you need from your next career move. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgThenext time your workforce discusses the latest England, Scotland or Walesnational teams, beware. As david morgan reports, a recent decision on nationalorigins could have a major impact on employers and the approach taken byemployment tribunals in race discrimination cases throughout the UK Afterthe recent controversy that surrounded Anne Robinson’s comments regarding theWelsh on the BBC television programme Room 101, a recent decision of theScottish Court of Session involving BBC Scotland is particularly significant.The Broadcasting Standards Commission may have cleared Robinson of racism,taking account of “Wales’ position as a constituent nation of the UnitedKingdom” but, had it applied the Court of Session’s approach to thedefinition of “national origins” in the Race Relations Act 1976, itmight have come to a different view.Inlight of the court’s landmark ruling, employers should review equalopportunities policies and practices, to take into account the fact that racediscrimination now embraces intra-UK discrimination.Backgroundto the caseInBBC Scotland v Souster, 2001, IRLR 150, the Court of Session (the Scottishequivalent of the Court of Appeal) ruled that the English and Scots aredifferent racial groups for the purposes of the Act, by reference to theirnational (but not ethnic) origins. The same approach is most likely to be takenin respect of the Welsh and Irish, despite the exclusion from the 2001 UKCensus of the Welsh as a distinct category of national origin (contrary to therecommendations of the Commission for Racial Equality). TheSouster case is now authority for the proposition that it is unlawful racediscrimination to subject an employee to less favourable treatment by reason ofthe fact that he or she is Scottish or English. The court adopted an expansiveapproach to the meaning of “national origins” and established asubjective test, despite the arguments by BBC Scotland that the Act should be restrictedto the concept of nationality or citizenship. Theapplicant, Mark Souster, an English sports journalist, was employed by BBCScotland on a succession of fixed-term contracts as a presenter of RugbyScotland, until his contract was not renewed in 1997. When a Scottish femalewas appointed to his position, Souster claimed that a major factor in hisdismissal was his “natural origins”. He claimed racial discriminationbefore an employment tribunal, alleging that BBC Scotland had preferred a Scotfor his job.Sousterlargely founded his case upon an earlier decision of the EAT in Northern JointPolice Board v Power, 1997, IRLR 610, which had held that the Act was capableof covering discrimination between English and Scots on the grounds of race. Itfell to the Court of Session to test this decision and to clarify the issueonce and for all. Souster’s case must finally be determined on its facts by afull hearing before an employment tribunal.Nationalorigins or nationalityRejectingBBC Scotland’s argument that the earlier EAT decision of Power was wrong inthat the word “nationality” and the concept of “nationalorigins” should be restricted to nationality or citizenship in the legalsense, the court adopted a broad approach to the Act. It held that both conceptswere capable of meaning “membership of a certain nation in the sense ofrace”. The court drew from historic events such as the battle ofBannockburn, which were referred to in an earlier decision of the House ofLords, to stress the distinction between the national origins of the Scots andthe English, albeit that both share a common British citizenship.Thecourt distinguished between racial groups defined by reference to their”ethnic origins” (requiring some distinctiveness or community andlong shared cultural traditions) and by reference to “nationalorigins”. At the same time, it took a purposeful approach to interpretingthe Act. It held that, where an applicant alleges racial discrimination, theemployment tribunal may, in certain circumstances, consider the complaint onthe grounds of either ethnic or national origins, without requiring theapplicant to distinguish which of the two labels applies to his case. Thisdistinction is significant since the court went on to hold that the Scots andEnglish are not separate “ethnic groups”. Distinctivenessof communityInthe conjoined case of British Airways v Boyce, 2001, IRLR 157, which was heardat the same time as Souster before the same Court of Session, it was held thatBoyce was precluded from re-raising a separate but virtually identical claim ofrace discrimination on the grounds of his being an Englishman. His earlierclaim had already been refused on the basis that the English are not an”ethnic group” within the meaning of the Act.Whilethe Boyce decision underlines the importance of applicants presenting all theirlegal arguments at the time of raising their application, the broad approachtaken by the court in Souster is now clear authority that an applicant cannotbe constrained from a jurisdictional point of view, from presenting a racediscrimination complaint to a tribunal on the basis that he feels discriminatedagainst by reason of being Scottish, Welsh or Irish. Thecourt held that the Scottish (and, for that matter, the English) lacked thenecessary distinctiveness or community, for instance, which Sikhs or Jewsrespectively share, to be construed as an “ethnic group” as definedin the seminal case of Mandla v Dowell Lee, 1983, IRLR 209. However, despitethe lack of this racial or ethnic “flavour”, it was held that thedefinition of “national origins” is wide enough to offer protectionto both groups by reference to their individual history and geography.Whatdoes this mean for employers?Thereare practical implications to the court’s decision:–Although not specifically enshrined in the Act, the concept of harassment onracial grounds falls within the prohibition of direct racial discrimination.Employers will be vicariously liable for the unlawful actions of theiremployees, with potentially unlimited financial awards at tribunal. Employersshould be particularly mindful of the fine line between national pride andracism, for example, following a national sporting event between rival teams ofdifferent nations. One person’s “banter” may be viewed as another’sharassment–Existing equal opportunities policies should be reviewed to ensure the conceptof race discrimination includes discrimination on the grounds of nationalorigins and specifically embraces intra-UK discrimination–The subjective tests set out in the Souster case mean that the concept ofnational origin is a movable feast. The court held that national origins couldbe acquired by an employee through adoption, marriage or even through their ownperception–As an employee’s perception is by its nature subjective, employers whoundertake racial monitoring should ask employees to confirm in writing how theyview their national origin without making prejudiced assumptions. Employersshould follow the CRE guidelines that recommend separate classifications forEnglish, Irish, Scottish or Welsh–Because protection against discrimination extends to the recruitment stage,employers should be careful not to discriminate against candidates of onenational origin by placing unnecessary geographical restrictions onapplications under the guise of mobility issues. The Souster decision hasimplications for both direct and indirect race discriminationConclusionDevolutionin the UK and the creation of the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament hasperhaps eroded the concept of what is “British” and is said to haveheightened national pride across the jurisdictions. TheSouster case provides welcome clarification of the application of the RaceRelations Act to potential less favourable treatment on such grounds andemployers should ensure that their practices and policies comply with what is,after all, the spirit of the legislation.    nDavidMorgan is a partner in the employment unit at UK law firm McGrigor DonaldTherelevant lawInits judgement of the Souster case, the court considered the history of thelegislative regime outlawing racial discrimination in the UK, culminating inthe Race Relations Act 1976 (“the Act”) and, in particular, itsfollowing sections:–Section 1 (1), which provides that a person discriminates against another if(a) on racial grounds he treats that other less favourably than he treats orwould treat other persons; or (b) he applies to that other a requirement orcondition which has a disparate impact on the racial group to which the otherbelongs, and–Section 3 (1), which defines “racial grounds” as including colour,race, nationality or ethnic or national origins and “racial group” asa group of persons defined with reference to the same factors. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article United kingdom or national affront?On 1 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Despite nearly a decade of e-recruitment, online hiring hasnever lived up to HR’s expectations. But with specialist providers on hand totake care of all stages of the recruitment process, HR is set to realise theNet’s full potential. By Sue Weekes   When they first appeared in the mid-1990s, recruitment sites prom-ised theworld and delivered a great deal. Unfortunately, it was in the shape ofhundreds of CVs – many of them inappropriate for the position – proving totallyunmanageable for the poor HR or recruitment manager on the receiving end. The theory was online recruitment sites would speed up time to hire, reduceadmin and costs by streamlining processes and extend candidate reach. Arguably,they delivered on the latter but many failed miserably on most other counts. “We’d put an advertisement in The Grocer and get back something like800 replies with CVs attached in different formats that we often couldn’t open.It made it impossible to manage,” says Neil Millan, senior HR businesspartner at Nestlé. Administrative burden A major tour operator, meanwhile, received 1,000 letters for a singleposition and had to employ a team of temps to send each one a standardapplication form, because it was the only way they could deal with theresponse. There are also countless stories of recruitment managers wastingvaluable time by printing out their in-boxes full of CVs to take home to read.Far from moving their role up the value chain and giving them more time toconsider candidates in a strategic way, it actually added to theiradministrative burden. But the fault didn’t always lie with the job site in question. Onlinerecruitment’s unfulfilled potential can largely be attributed to HR andrecruitment professionals’ failure to integrate it into existing hiring systemsand processes. Typically, an online recruitment strategy would comprise signingup to a handful of jobs sites, complemented by a careers section on thecorporate site. “Keyword searches and CV databases play a valuable role inInternet-era recruiting”, says John Taylor, CEO of Cyber-CV. “Butthey can’t wear the mantle of online recruitment any more than printed mediaadvertising can claim to be anything more than classified advertising.” There are signs, though, that online recruitment could finally live up toits promise. A study in the US by worldwide research and analysis organisationIDC, marks a rise in the use of “end-to-end recruiting serviceproviders” employed by major corporates to get the most out of online recruitmentand integrate the various recruitment channels of corporate sites, job boards,recruitment agencies and traditional media into one streamlined process. End-to-end service providers create a software solution that essentiallyholds the organisation’s hand through every stage of the recruitment process.The system will help prepare the job description and post the advertisement towhatever channels the client wants – from corporate jobs site to traditionalmedia. It then helps collect the CVs, assess candidates according to theclient’s criteria and carry out skills and behavioural assessments based oncorporate fit. Finally, it facilitates interview scheduling, initiatesbackground checks, generates and sends offer letters and transfers data into anexisting HR management system upon hire. Clients can tell the service company what kind of testing they would likebuilt into the system so it can ultimately rank, say, the top 10 candidates.The system then delivers a shortlist of people, having taken into account allrelevant criteria such as qualifications and corporate fit. “Ultimately,all a client should have to do is post a job and wait for the shortlist toarrive on the computer desktop,” says IDC’s senior analyst for recruitingand staffing services, Christopher Boone. “This is the situationend-to-end e-recruiting service providers are striving to reach.” Duplicate CVs Major players in the US include BrassRing, PeopleClick and Recruitsoftwhich, via a combination of technology and consultancy, are already provingthat such services can reduce time and cost to hire as well as streamlineprocesses. In 2000, Hewlett-Packard received between 2,000-3,000 CVs per daywhich resulted in 15,000 hires. Its recruitment process had been paperlesssince 1993 but this had not meant it was problem-free. One of the issues it faced, for instance, was that of thousands of duplicateCVs and its average cost per hire was $10,000. It is currently undergoingglobal implementation of Recruitsoft’s Recruiter Web Top software and, while itis still early days, expects to reduce hiring time by 30-50 per cent and costper hire by 25 per cent. Research has already highlighted a need for similar providers in the UK. Abenchmarking study conducted by Enhance Media on the first day of the IQPCOnline Recruitment Exchange event last autumn found the biggest issue facingonline recruitment in the UK was integrating backend technology. A further 47per cent of respondents said they were interested in backend technologies aimedat managing a candidate database but had found it difficult to buy suchsystems. This situation should now be rectified, as a number of UK and Europeancompanies have followed the US lead and invested in this kind of systemdevelopment. Most closely fitting the US model are Job Partners withActiveRecruiter and MrTed with TalentLink. Other major players include i-GRaspwith GlobalSuccessor, and Axiom with JobQ. Expect to see other names joiningthe pack, including industry-specific ones like Intagen, which concentratessolely on IT recruitment. There are also the broader systems integrationcompanies to consider, such as Pecaso, which has long developed plug-ins thatsit between the job board world and SAP HR management systems. While each system varies in how it works to some degree, they essentiallyfulfil the same brief – that of bringing automation and standardisation to therecruitment process, typically by software alone or a combination of softwareand consultancy. In common with the US, many are application service provider-based models,which charge a rental or subscription fee. There are also some hybrid services around such as Cyber-CV which, as wellas candidate management, offers skills matching more akin to that of atraditional recruitment agency. Its fee structure is similarly based but muchcheaper, charging only 10 per cent of a first-year salary. In the current recession it may be hard to justify to the finance directorthe expense of streamlining the recruitment process. It would be wrong,however, to view the implementation of an end-to-end recruiting service, orsimilar, as a mere efficiency exercise in systems and workflow. For one thing,online recruitment is unlikely to go away. IDC forecasts that the worldwidee-recruiting market will rise from $1.6bn in 2000 to $13.4bn by 2005. At a morelocal level, research carried out at the IQPC Online Recruitment Exchange eventshowed no-one said their online recruitment activity would decrease, while 89per cent said it would rise in the next 12 months, despite uncertaintyregarding return on investment. The other single most compelling reason why online recruitment must beintegrated sooner rather than later is that it will serve to move the recruiterup the value chain, allowing them to be far more strategic and proactive aboutthe whole business of recruitment. Already a new set of jargon and buzzwordshave entered the recruitment vernacular. These include ‘talent pool’ – the poolof potential staff and ‘talent supply chain management’ – the flow of talentinto an organisation. It is up to the recruitment management to be proactiveabout these and consult with line managers about where such people could fitin. Extract data With the right system in place, the recruitment manager should also be usingthe data available in a strategic way. Many systems offer a two-way link – afunction that allows you to extract data on previous hires and the workforce aswell as import data on the new ones. IDC’s Boone predicts the two-way interface between recruitment and HRMSsystems will be key in the near future. “You could call up details of yourtop 10 performers and find where the applications originated from . This systemcould also be linked to a learning management system so you could assess whattraining you are going to need for a candidate and how much it will cost in thelong-term.” It also falls to the recruitment manager to be a custodian of the employerbrand – which is of increasing importance in these times of business toemployee services. In their more haphazard days some jobs boards propagated anumber of bad practices that could potentially tarnish the brand. The sheervolume of applications brought by job sites often meant rejection letters wouldgo out weeks after the job was posted, if they went out at all. “The minute someone applies for a job with your company, they become astakeholder in that organisation. It’s critical how they are treated – if theyhave a bad experience it will have a negative impact on your employerbrand,” explains Bill Shipton, commercial director of Work-thing.com,which recently acquired the established recruitment site PeopleBank. PeopleBankhas worked with clients such as Nestlé to integrate and streamline their onlinerecruitment processes. Response rates become even more crucial in the light of online buyingexperiences delivered by the likes of Amazon – buy a book before 5pm and you’llusually have it delivered the next day. The Internet has undoubtedly heightenedour expectancy of response rates, and any website – whether a jobs site orbookshop – which takes more than a couple of days to send a response isn’tgoing to be viewed favourably. Recent research from Axiom found one in threegraduates expects a response to a job application within two weeks and a thirdwithin one week. Only one in six of the study, however, said they had respondedwithin a week. Employer brand is vital for a worldwide consultancy such as KPMG, which mustbe perceived as leading edge in every way. KPMG experienced a high level of CVtraffic from various sources and was prompted to review the whole of itsrecruitment process. It wanted a Web-based system that could form part of itsoverall HR processes and opted for i-GRasp’s Global- Successor software, whichlinks into its PeopleSoft system. Staff can also work from home on the system, explains James Clark, head ofHR systems: “It meets our needs well. We’ve tidied recruitment up and thewhole process is much faster now.” Although it’s early days, KPMG reports that feedback has shown it to have apositive effect on how it’s perceived as an employer. “The websiteprovided a very straightforward and clear process from initial application toacknowledgement, invitation for interview and regular updates on the progressof my application,” says internal communications manager Sam Hodlin.”The design of the online application process gave me a real sense that KPMGwas at the cutting edge of using technology for my benefit and not just toautomate processes.” The i-GRasp system is increasingly adding different zones to its system tocultivate and manage the relationship with a candidate from the early days. An‘interview zone’ allows candidates to brush up on the company and even read aprofile of their potential interviewer. There is also an ‘offer zone’.”This allows the recruiter to manage the relationship during that crucialtime when an offer has been made but you could still lose the candidate toanother company. They can access this zone, for instance, and talk to newjoiners,” says i-GRasp CEO Andy Randall. There is a tendency to view the end-to-end recruiter as a systems specialistrather than a recruitment expert. But while they may essentially be deliveringa software solution, they also bring the benefit of experience with previousclients. Thomas Otter, director of strategy at Pecaso, says that even obvious areaslike job descriptions don’t always get the due care and attention they deserve,citing a German multinational which posted a totally different job descriptionset by a line manager in one site than appeared for the same job from adifferent line manager in another plant. “The better the description ofyour vacancy, the better match of candidate,” says Otter. He explains thatby getting HR to fill out a form about what it wants from which to compile aseries of questions and structured text for the corporate website wouldimmediately standardise things. Other examples of inconsistent bad practices stem from not treating internalrecruitment with the same diligence as external recruitment. Many end-to-endsolutions provide an opportunity to integrate both internal and externalrecruitment. “If an organisation does external recruitment well andinternal recruitment poorly, it is a demotivator for the workforce,” saysOtter. “If you make your external recruitment perform at its best with thelatest system, for instance, and a member of staff finds out about an internaljob on Monster, it’s not very good, is it?” What has become clear over the past two years is that not even the whizziestcorporate careers site or jobs board can work in isolation and integration isthe key. The good news is there is clearly a sector-wide pull in this samedirection, reinforced by the work of HR-XML (Extensible Mark-up Language)consortium, which seeks to put standards in place to facilitate the exchange ofdata. Roy Davis, head of communications at psychometric test provider SHL, haslived through the bad old days of online recruitment and welcomes the migrationto Web-enabled systems and the integration with back-office systems, as well asthe standardisation that end-to-end services bring. But he’s right to stress thatwhile the Web route is the only route, “the Internet is only a deliverymechanism.” Improved skills matching SHL develops psychometric testing products, largely sold for use oncorporate websites and, with a robust and structured online recruitment infrastructurein place, it will be products like these (such as behavioural and situationaltesting, as well as improved skills matching software) which will really movee-recruitment on a stage and extract yet more value from the process.”Line managers must be educated to be aware that they’ll be delivered ajob fit score for a candidate rather than a CV to read,” says Davis. This fits with Boone’s view, that ultimately employers will be creatingprofiles of key performers and then mapping these against candidates to findthe best fit. Those recruitment managers worried that they will lose control of theprocess and that recruitment will in some way be dehumanised should have nofears as long as they ensure they are the ones deciding the core competenciesthey want mapped, the parameters for corporate fit and appropriate skills andbehavioural testing. With end-to-end systems finally removing the burden of administration theyshould have every chance of doing so. And for the first time they will be ableto take their rightful place on the value chain. Previous Article Next Article Net gainsOn 15 Jan 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_img Comments are closed. In the late 1960s, academic bean counters tried to develop ways to put ameasurable value on human assets. It was singularly unimaginative and treatedpeople as just another type of bean. They compounded their sins by applyingconventional accounting principles to a subject for which they were neverdesigned. It failed to produce anything of any practical use so it never gaineda foothold in management thinking. Nearly 30 years later, measuring human capital is again becoming a big issue.There is a growing consensus among some thinkers (Leif Edvinsson et al) thatthe value of human capital in an organisation is the difference between bookvalue and market value. While it is being passed off as ‘the latest thinking’,you don’t have to be a genius to realise this idea holds no water. Book values are usually an accountant’s fairy story and share prices canvary so quickly and so dramatically for the flimsiest of reasons – an analystrecommends ‘sell’, for example – that a human capital measure could varyenormously on a daily basis. This hardly seems to reflect the nature of humanbeings. Based on this thinking, Ryanair currently has more human capital than BA.While BA hasn’t always got the most out of its human capital, the relative marketvalues of the two businesses reveal the difference between two businessstrategies. The main flaw in most approaches to human capital assessment is that this isnot an accounting or actuarial issue. So, why use accounting technology, whichhas been virtually unchanged for hundreds of years? Of course, the last peopleto admit the obsolescence of their methodology are those making their livingfrom it. Instead, they try to shoehorn their methods to suit increasinglyinappropriate purposes. Add to this the inclination of all propagandists to actually believe theirown hype and we start to see questionable correlations expounded, such as theWatson Wyatt Human Capital Index. It suggests that good HR practices lead tosuccessful businesses. HR professionals need to mount a serious challenge to accountingconventions. Take a basic accounting concept such as ‘overheads’. Many employeecosts are shown as overheads simply because accountants don’t know what else todo with them – including training investment. Worse still, ask a financedirector how they measure ‘goodwill’ and the answer is they guess. If we in HR do genuinely believe that the way in which human capital isacquired, developed and maximised really produces value, we had better startdeveloping our own methodology to demonstrate it. The metrics may involvebalance sheets and share prices but one thing is for sure – bean counters havea very poor track record of getting the best out of people. By Paul Kearns, Senior partner, Personnel Works Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Humans cannot be counted like beansOn 29 Jan 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

first_imgRonnie Clawson has been appointed HR director at London housing associationthe Peabody Trust. He joins from the Affinity Homes Group, where he was grouphead of HR and administration. In his new role he will be responsible forensuring the HR and organisational learning functions fully support the widerbusiness strategy on diversity issues. Which aspects are you most looking forward to? Working with the board and management teams to set the strategic directionof the trust. Developing a Peabody leadership programme, and ensuring HR isseen as a key player in the future development of the trust are also importantissues. What is the strangest situation you have been in at work? Finding myself in full devil regalia with red goatee beard and horns,breaking up a fracas at an office fancy dress party. How do you think the role of HR will change over the next five years? Its importance as a strategic driver in successful businesses will continueto grow. Who is the ultimate guru? I like to think of myself as an independent thinker. What’s the best thing about HR? Having the ability to influence the culture of organisations and make a positivedifference to people’s working lives and the business. And the worst? Cleaning up other people’s mess. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken? Climbing Helvellyn in a t-shirt and trainers and finding myself lost at thetop in dense fog and freezing rain. I wouldn’t recommend it. What is the essential tool in your job? A thick skin and the ability to stay calm in a crisis. And the most over-rated? The latest fad or ‘next best thing’. What advice would you give to people starting out in HR? Find yourself a sponsor or mentor, and be prepared to learn quickly andargue your corner. Do you network? Yes – it is always useful to share, and occasionally borrow, good ideas. If you could do any job in the world, what would it be? A successful artist. Who would play you in the film of your life and why? Robert De Niro – “you looking at me?” What’s the best office party you’ve ever attended?Probably a Crown Prosecution Service party that took place in the early1990s. The Official Secrets Act prevents further expansion and no, it has norelation to the devil horns mentioned above. Related posts:No related photos. Top jobOn 4 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Back to the future with PhilpottOn 29 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today HR professionals do not just exist to make their employers moresuccessful.  Effective people managementcan make the world a better place.  StephenOverell investigates John Philpott’s ‘Third Way’ HRIn 1913, when the Welfare Workers’ Association (ancestor of the CharteredInstitute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)) was born, the intention was to promotethe well-being of employees and ‘goodwill’ in industrial relations. Then in theearly 1980s, personnel, or human resource management as it became known,rebelled against its pinko past, and went all titanium-edged andbusiness-focused. Everyone pretended to know what people strategy meant whileasserting the manager’s freedom to manage. And now the future of the HRprofession isÉ well, what exactly? In an intriguing answer to this question, a new essay* by the CIPD’s chiefeconomist John Philpott has come up with the managerial equivalent of the ThirdWay: effective people management not only makes organisations more successful,but improves the quality of working life – “in the process raising thematerial, social and psychological standard of living”. HR, he asserts, isabout “the common good”, not just the bottom line. It is concernedwith “shared-interest capitalism”, not just the interest ofemployers. On all kinds of intractable social problems – such as productivity, thegender pay gap, wage inequality, stress and discrimination, not to mention thegeneral social malaise – Philpott argues that people management has acontribution to make that benefits the wider public interest. By aggregatingthe actions of everyone involved in people management (line managers and HRspecialists), the common good emerges. “What is significant from a common good perspective, is that the kindof management needed to make the most of human assets also scores highest onall the indicators that are found by economists and psychologists to makeworkers happy: autonomy and scope for discretion, control over the pace ofwork, a supportive climate, mutual trust, a dynamic atmosphere andparticipation in decision-making,” says Philpott. The essay takes an eye-raising position on regulation. HR directors usuallyfeel that relationships at work are a matter for employees and employers, notthe state. By contrast, Philpott argues “the existence of market failures,poor practice or downright bad practice provides a justification for governmentaction”. Not too much, mind. It must be “proportionate andappropriate”. Yet he is keen to distance the HR profession from the grumpyhuffing and puffing on public policy of most business cabals in favour of amore intelligent involvement. Thus he says the regulation of working time hasgone far enough; the way work is structured and the intensity of it are moresignificant. Legislation on information and consultation may “bringbenefits”, but should not hinder constant interaction between managers andworkers. Essays are a form in which authors give free reign to their thoughts. Andthis is provocative stuff. How will the institute’s nomenclature feel aboutviewing the HR profession not just as helping organisations improve theirperformance, but also as acting as custodians of the quality of working life?How will practitioners – some of whom are still trying to lose the ‘welfare’tag – feel about re-muddying their purpose in life? The traditional problem with shared-interest capitalism was the question ofwhat happens when the interests of employers and the interests of employeespart company – as they so often do. Life is easier if you simply serve thepeople who pay your salary. Isn’t it a bit too feel-good to be true that in theroutine business of producing goods and services you might also be gratifyingsome fearsome abstraction called the common good? The messiah complex is adangerous delusion. Nevertheless, restating the role of HR in indirectly aiding social policygoals is a necessary development. There was a sense that the profession’s twinhobbyhorses – being ‘strategic’ and proving the link between people managementand the bottom line – were cantering towards the end of the road. They weremaking HR seem narrow and obsessive. The theory elaborated here is that themiserably low take-up of combinations of high-performance work practicesexplains many of the UK’s labour market problems – both the ‘business’ ones,such as low productivity, and the more ‘social’ ones, such as the gender paygap. In fact, the essay suggests this distinction is false: the solution toboth is effective people management. Philpott’s predicted future is a compelling one. It is patently obvious toanyone who works that good management has a massive influence on how happy andfulfilling working life can be. It is less obvious, but just as true, that theattitudes of those who shape the broad culture of work can contribute toprogressive liberal democracy. It is time this dimension of HR was whispered oncemore. An example? OK, how about disability? Smugness is the enemy of progress, soit would not do to overstate things. But I think it is fair to say that it isbecause of the Disability Discrimination Act, campaigning bodies such as theEmployer’s Forum on Disability, union agitation, the CIPD adopting apro-diversity stance and, most of all, HR professionals themselves insistingthat sensible questions are asked of candidates (ie, ‘do you have the skills todo this job’) that a rapid shift in the culture of employing people withdisabilities has taken place. So it’s back to the future, then. The good souls of the Welfare Workers’Association will be twinkling from their graves. *Perspectives: People management and the common good by John Philpott, CIPD,Spring 2003. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_img Comments are closed. Volvo learns business magic behind DisneyOn 1 May 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Volvo is working with Disney to boost customer service skills among itsdealership staff. Top-performing UK dealers went on a behind-the-scenes tour inOrlando earlier this year to compare their own customer service practices withDisney’s renowned service culture. The benchmarking study trip became the “catalyst” for a majorcustomer service programme launched at the end of April called Performancethrough People, says Russell Holloway, Volvo Car UK’s quality and customersatisfaction manager. As part of the programme, consultants from the DisneyInstitute will head up leadership seminars for all UK dealer managers, sharingthe ingredients of Disney’s success – what Holloway calls the “businessbehind the magic.” “They are brilliant at delivering a customer experience and brilliantat delivering it consistently,” he said. Building on Disney’s work with Volvo’s leaders will be a six-week programmefor all dealership staff to inspire confidence and pride in the Volvo brandfollowed by in-dealership activities encouraging staff to reflect on what Volvomeans for them and what they can do to support the aims and objectives of aservice culture. The Performance through People programme will run alongside otherinitiatives to improve customer satisfaction in Volvo’s 40 dealerships acrossthe UK. Just last year Volvo Cars UK scooped a global group award for itsdealer development consultancy process, which sees a team of internalconsultants help lower-performing dealerships implement a process of structuredchange. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

first_img Previous Article Next Article Employers’ associations must try harder if they are to surviveOn 21 Sep 2004 in Personnel Today Employers’associations were created in response to the development of formalisedindustrial relations. As a result, they are often thought of as bodies from thepast, battling to make themselves relevant to employers in an age whencollective bargaining is in retreat.However,associations have made considerable efforts to diversify their range ofservices in recent years, and have increasingly taken on training, advisory andconsultancy roles beyond their original briefs.Cranfield Network (Cranet) data helps to show wherethey retain members. Which organisations continue to be members of employers’associations, and how satisfied are they with the services the associationsprovide?The2003 Cranet Survey askedsenior HR practitioners whether their organisation (all with 100 or moreemployees) was in membership of anassociation. Approximately half of the employers surveyed reported that theywere members. Justunder half of the organisations were members, although the public sector showeda higher tendency towards membership. Since unions are better represented inthe public sector, this might indicate that membership itself continues to beassociated with traditional industrial relations functions.Asecond question asked how satisfied respondents were with the range of servicesprovided by their associations. The results are shown below. The majority saidmembership met their needs “to a small extent”. The proportion of managers reporting thatassociations met their needs to a small extent increased with the employer’ssize (measured by the number employed). Organisationsemploying between 2,000 and 5,000 people appeared to find membership mostproblematic. Three-quarters reported that the association met their needseither to a small extent, or not at all.Overall,the figures appear to give cause for concern that employers’ associations areonly meeting employers’ needs to a small extent. Only among smaller employers(those employing 200 people or less) did they achieve a majority of positivesatisfaction ratings from employers.Inshort, employers’ associations do, indeed, appear to be living on borrowedtime. The fragility of their members’ attachment to them is evident. It appearsthey will have to do more to meet their members’ needs by providing more andbetter services.Ifthey are unable to do this, the future looks bleak. It would appear to confirmthe view that there is insufficient scope for employers’ associations in themodern world of work. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more