Comments are closed. Goodcorporate recruitment sitesAccordingto the US study, effective job sites shares many of these characteristics:· Theyunderstand target audiences and can address their needs· Candidatescan navigate the site easily and quickly link to career pages and job openings· Careeropportunities and individual jobs are described in much greater details than intypical help-wanted ads· Qualifyingcategories, such as location, job function and keyword search, help candidatesfind the jobs for which they are most qualified· Informationabout the company, including profiles of archetypal employees, gives candidatesa sense of what working for the company would be like· Jobbaskets let candidates apply for multiple openings· Self-assessmentquizzes ask candidates about their experience and interests and direct them tocareers they would be good at and enjoy most Related posts:No related photos. The best and worst on-line practices are revealed in a survey from the USOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today E-recruitmentis more than a smart web siteUK HR directorsrunning or setting up their own corporate recruitment web sites can find outmore about best and worst practices in the area of on-line job boards from astudy of top US companies by Boston-based Cambria Consulting. The study,which aims to help HR professionals use e-recruitment more effectively, showsthat most companies have yet to master some of the basics, even though many ofthe companies included in the study are featured in Fortune magazine’s lists ofAmerica’s Best Companies to Work For and Most Admired Companies.“Clearly,some companies don’t realise how big the stakes are. It is estimated that morethan two thirds of employers hiring college graduates are recruiting via theInternet and, by 2003, 100 per cent of the Global 500 companies are expected tobe recruiting via the Internet,” says Bernie Cullen, partner at CambriaConsulting, who headed the research team. In somecases, the report found that recruitment sites of major corporates did littlemore than offer candidates a post office box on their sites to which to sendtheir CVs.Notsurprisingly, Cullen points to computer, technology and finance companies assome of the bestpractitioners of e-recruitment. “The people who helped create the Internet areusing it to scour the world for outstanding job candidates,” he says. “Theydon’t just tell candidates to send in resumes. They question them interactivelyon the web site about their experience and interests and then direct them tothe specific jobs for which they are best qualified.”Web siteswere rated on their overall usefulness to employers and overall ease of use,awarding companies one to five stars in each category for a maximum of 10 stars.Severalfactors were identified in the study as common to the most successful sites.These ranged from targeting audiences and describing individual jobs in muchgreater detail to more technologically aware features, such as ensuringpersonal data is regularly revisited in order to match it to available jobopenings on the site. Sites should also give candidates an idea of the companyculture and what it would be like to work there. Butcontinued success of e-recruitmentin a company depends on more than a good web site. Cullen emphasises that companiesshould also integrate other staffing functions in the electronic loop. “Leadingcompanies have fully integrated their staffing processes making them not onlypaperless and efficient but also highly effective,” he says. “They havere-engineered these processes so that the right people have the rightinformation at the right time for evaluating the right type of candidates.Designing effective e-recruitment sites has been an important catalyst forthese major redesign efforts.”Anexecutive summary of Cambria Consulting’s Study of e-recruiting is posted on Personnel Today’s web site at: www.personneltoday.com/features The 10-star companiesEDS (www.eds.com)Fidelity (www.fidelity.com)GeneralElectric(www.ge.com)Guidant (www.guidant.com)IBM (www.ibm.com)Intel (www.intel.com)Johnson& Johnson(www.jnj.com)Lucent Technologies (www.lucent.com)Microsoft(www.microsoft.com)Pfizer (www.pfizer.com)PricewaterhouseCoopers (www.pwcglobal.com)Procter& Gamble(www.pg.com)SunMicrosystems (www.sun.com)UnitedParcel Services(www.ups.com) Previous Article Next Article
TheMetropolitan Police has succeeded in doubling the number of recruits it putsthrough its training college at Hendon since last year as it starts to tackleits recruitment crisis. It hasstarted a fundamental review of civilian staff pay and conditions because itcannot get new recruits. About 200 trainee officers are now joining the Hendoncourse every five weeks. It followsthe launch of a recruitment task force in the autumn aimed at recruiting 2,000extra officers over the next three years. The campaign is targeted at minoritygroups and new graduates. It alsomarks the relaxation of eligibility rules so that people who have committedminor offences are still eligible. A spokesmansaid, “We are still in crisis with police recruitment because it takes time toget people through the system. “But atpresent we are cautiously optimistic. We are now seeing more people joiningthan leaving.”The taskforce, made up of personnel experts and officers, has slashed applicationprocessing time from nine to less than four months from receipt to start oftraining but the shortage of civilian workers has forced them to switch 200officers to civilian tasks. Met puts more bobbies on the beat – at lastOn 12 Dec 2000 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.
Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Pension ruling could cost £17bnOn 20 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Grantingpart-timers the right to backdated pension payments is a breakthrough forworkplace equality. But will employers cope with the administrative burden andthe increased costs? Employersare facing a new administrative burden that could collectively cost them £17bnafter part-time workers were given the right to claim backdated pensioncontributions earlier this month. TheHouse of Lords confirmed the European Court of Justice’s landmark ruling of May2000 to grant part-time workers access to occupational pension rights. Thisruling gives about 60,000 part-time workers – mainly female – the right toclaim access to company pensions or compensation, which UK workers were deniedunder the Equal Pay Act. The court decided that the rule limiting backdatedclaims to only two years was against EU law, and allowed claims to be backdatedto April 1976 when the court first recognised the EU Treaty provisions on equalpay for men and women.Lastyear’s decision followed a 1994 ECJ ruling, which found that the treatment wasdiscriminatory as it did not allow part-time staff to sign up to companypensions in the same way as full-timers. TheCBI has criticised the decision. Director-general Digby Jones said, “The costwill be substantial, and business will be worried that this could be anadministrative nightmare because in many cases records no longer exist.” Thedecision follows the ECJ ruling on two test cases involving the HSBC bank andWolverhampton NHS Healthcare Trust. Itsimpact is likely to be felt by all employers, but those that employ largenumbers of women part-time will be particularly affected. These include sectorssuch as banking, retail, the NHS and local government. AdrianPritchard, personnel officer at Suffolk County Council said, “The ruling is amajor issue for local government, as a significant number of staff could optin. Between 30 and 40 per cent of local government employees are part-time,which is hundreds of thousands of staff nationwide. The operation could run into millions of pounds for local government.“Idon’t think HR in local government has the funds nor the resources to implementthe ruling if a large percentage of employees take up the right.”Manyemployers could struggle to find sufficient records to process backdated claims.Currently, employers only have to keep payroll records for the previous sevenyears. Employmentlawyer Andrew Chamberlain of Addleshaw Booth & Co said, “Employers will beconcerned about the administrative burden and the fact that many of them may nothave records going back to 1976, which will obviously make it very hard tocalculate entitlements.” Butsome employers and analysts believe that the Government’s estimates of the costto business are inaccurate. The figure could be less because of the House ofLords’ decision to uphold the 1994 ruling to limit part-time employees’ claimtime to within six months after they have left an employer.SimonCann, of HR consultancy Towers Perrin, said, “Due to the Lords confirming thesix-month rule they have saved business a great deal of money. I would estimatethat the cost of the decision will be in the region of several hundred millionpounds.” JohnAdsett, national secretary of the Association of Health Care and Human ResourceManagers, said, “The amount ofpart-time workers in the NHS has consistently been about 30 per cent. So Ienvisage that the decision could cost us about £500,000 – but with out thesix-month time limit it could have been much more.” Thefact that employers also have the right to ask employees to pay their unpaidbackdated contributions could stop a lot of part-time staff taking up theextended pension options. Pritchard said, “The saving grace for employers isthat employees have to backdate their own contribution, which I suspect wouldbe too big a lump sum for most people.”Butpensions manager of Lloyds of London Christine Jackson warned, “Companies withnon-contributory schemes will be concerned since in that case the employee doesnot have to put in any of their own money.”Thereare also concerns voiced by personnel professionals, particularly in the publicsector, that HR does not have the resources to cope with the possible demand ofpart-time pension take-ups. Adsettsaid, “Administrating and implementing the extra pension claims is anotherthing we have to do in the NHS, but with everything else I’m not sure we willhave the resources.”Althoughit is accepted that it will increase costs and the administrative burden, mostregard it as a positive step. Nigel Connolly, HR director of EasyJet, said,“The effect on business will be fundamental, but with the implementation offlexible working arrangements there is a grey area between full- and part-timeworkers, so it is time for equality.”Thebuild-up to the House of Lords’ decisionApril1976 Defrenne v Sabena: Equalpay for men and women required and enforceable under EU law, but no arrears ofpay before this dateMay1986 Bilka Kaufhaus: Exclusionof part-timers from pension scheme membership is indirectly discriminatory onthe basis that most part-timers are womenMay1990 Barber v GRE: Pensionbenefits must be equal for men and women, but no arrears required before May1990 Sept1994 Coloroll: Clarifies Barberand confirms that exclusion of part-timers is indirectly discriminatory. Claimsfor membership backdating is subject to each nation’s time limit or April 1976Dec1997 Magorrian: ECJ overrulesthe UK restriction of two years’ backdating of scheme membership, but extent ofruling is unclear Feb2000 Schroeder v DeutscheBundesport Telekom Vick, Conze v Deutsche Telekom, Deutche Post v Sievers andSchrage: The ECJ ruled that the restriction allowing claims no further backthan 1976 did not overrule German constitutional rights for part-timers to goback further. In practice, the judgement applied to German cases only May2000 Preston v Wolverhampton NHSTrust and other and Fletcher v Midlands Bank: The ECJ ruled no objection to thesix-month limit after leaving employment but that the two-year backdating ofclaims was not in accordance with EU lawByPaul Nelson
Related posts:No related photos. Thisweek’s business round upRestructuringcosts Corus £1bn Steelgroup Corus has reported an operating loss of £1.152bn for the 15 months toDecember last year. The Anglo-Dutch company is blaming its recent restructuringprogramme for £1bn of the total losses. Last month Corus announced that itwould cut 6,000 jobs, which will include shutting plants in Ebbw Vale andBryngwyn in Wales and scaling back at Llanwern. www.corusgroup.comIcelandsays profits will fall by one thirdSupermarketgiant Iceland has predicted that its profits will fall by a third this year.Interim results showed that the company, which is carrying £550m in debts, haslowered its pre-tax profit target to £40m from £62m. Iceland expects its salesto fall by 3.7 per cent for the three months to 3 March. Earlier this yearIceland abandoned its organic food policy after incurring heavy losses. www.iceland.co.ukUKto suffer as phone giants wield axeMobilephone giants Cable & Wireless and Motorola have announced plans to cut11,000 jobs worldwide, including at least 2,000 in the UK. Cable & Wirelessis to axe 4,000 jobs over the next 12 months with half of the cuts being madein the UK. Graham Wallace, chief executive of Cable and Wireless, said,“Certain sectors of Cable and Wireless Global’s market are experiencing severeprice reductions. Our response is to reduce costs aggressively, focus ourresources on higher margin revenue and accelerate the deployment of value addedservices, such as managed web and application hosting.” www.motorola.co.uk Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Business round upOn 20 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today
Comments are closed. Directors’ bonuses rise by 34 per centOn 5 Jun 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Bonus payments boosted the earnings of UK company directors by 13 per centin 2001, according to research by the Institute of Management. The survey shows that average bonuses rose from £20,856 to £28,071 in the 12months to January 2001 – a rise of 34 per cent. This jump in directors’ pay follows a 1.2 per cent drop in 1999. The research shows that the average annual total earnings of companydirectors is £121,011 and the average age is 50. Mary Chapman, director-general of the Institute of Management, said,”This big rise in bonus payments reveals the extent of economic buoyancyand business confidence in the UK during the period covered by the research. Directors in the food, drink and tobacco industries enjoyed the biggestearnings rise at 20.4 per cent, with directors of engineering companies a closesecond. It also shows managers below the rank of director received an average increasein overall income of 5.5 per cent. There were significant regional variationsin managers’ income, with those in East Anglia benefiting from an increase of10.5 per cent compared with managers in the North receiving less than 4 percent. There has been a steep rise in the number of companies experiencing problemsin recruiting and retaining managers according to the survey. More than a thirdof the 421 companies surveyed have had problems with recruitment, compared with23 per cent the previous year. www.inst-mgt.org.ukBy Karen Higginbottom Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. The move to an economy based on information and services, demographicchanges (such as an aging population and growing ethnic diversity), and anincreasing reliance on technology in the workplace may lead to renewed skillsdevelopment in the workforce. But numerous studies point out that the US population does not have theskills necessary to succeed in the digital economy. From lagging scores onstandardised testing to a growing chasm in access to and comfort withtechnology, skills development may become a primary concern as employers faceincreased global competition for goods, services, and labour. The School-to-Work Program Survey, conducted by the Society for HumanResource Management, asked respondents whether they thought most high schoolgraduates were qualified to enter the workforce. The majority of HRprofessionals did not think so. Skills gapOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.
Related posts:No related photos. The OH team at Merrill Lynch explains how it has managed to puta preventative healthcare programme in place for all employees, by Sara Bean The ideal scenario for anyone working in occupational health is to offer apreventative healthcare programme for employees, rather than cope with atreatment-based, continuous fire-fighting role that is so often the reality forOH professionals. The Bupa Wellness occupational health team based at Merrill Lynch, in theCity of London, is in that enviable position. It has managed to put a system inplace that enables occupational health to deliver a fully-integrated andproactive preventative health system. Merrill Lynch, the global finance and advisory company, has the headquartersfor its Middle East, European and African operations based in London. Fromhere, the 18-strong Bupa Wellness occupational health team looks after thehealthcare needs of about 7,000 Merrill Lynch staff across five sites inLondon. The team comprises an OH manager, a part-time OH physician, three OHadvisers, an OH practice nurse, five physiotherapists, two part-time GPs, twoadministrators, a dentist, a dental assistant and a hygienist. Services includephysiotherapy, an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) counselling service, anon-site private GP service and, of course, a comprehensive occupational healthservice. Val Hughes, the occupational health manager, explains: “As the mainservice provider for healthcare at Merrill Lynch, our multidisciplinary teamworks closely with HR to manage attendance. “Through our integrated approach to healthcare, our OHAs can facilitateprompt referral to our on-site team of specialists, who provide fast-tracktreatment, resulting in early intervention and shorter rehabilitation. “In many cases, through a holistic approach to healthcare management,we successfully instigate an earlier return to work for the employee. This, insome cases, may involve advising management on changes to working practices ora phased return to work for the employee.” Tackling causes of ill health Recent figures from the Health and Safety Commission (HSC) show the twogreatest causes of days lost to illness in 2002 were stress and musculoskeletalproblems.1 At Merrill Lynch, preventative procedures are in place to specially targetthese two areas. For stress-related conditions, a confidential EAP schemeenables employees to self-refer if they feel they require counselling. They canalso go through one of the OHAs, the on-site private GP or the OH physician. Hughes is at pains to point out that when someone is referred forcounselling through a member of the OH team, although OH is given feedback onhow they are progressing, information is limited and feedback is kept withinthe bounds of confidentiality. Since September 11, a special ‘trauma support programme’ has also been putin place, which can be activated by senior management in the event of anemergency, with OH in a supporting role in providing trauma support. A similarly proactive scenario applies to dealing with musculoskeletalcomplaints. Although health and safety is taken care of by an in-house MerrillLynch team, it works closely with OH and the physiotherapy department on boththe prevention and treatment of back and muscular pain. Employees can complete a computer-generated questionnaire that, using ascoring system, will flag up potential musculoskeletal problems and feed themback to the health and safety department. Depending on the score, thedepartment may carry out a workstation audit or refer the client forphysiotherapy. Hughes says: “Our main aim is to minimise the number of days off workdue to back and other musculoskeletal problems. I believe people can be keptfit and healthy at work with a properly integrated approach.” The physiotherapy department is open five days a week, and, saysphysiotherapist Steven McLaren, the type of problems experienced tend to be”neck and shoulders, postural dysfunctions and a lot of sports injuries,as we do have a young, dynamic workforce”. He adds: “Since the introduction of on-site physiotherapy by Bupa lastNovember, I’ve seen more people with chronic problems who haven’t wanted totake time out before to seek treatment. Referrals come via the OHAs, OHphysician, private GP and the health and safety team, or even through outsideGPs, and people can usually get an appointment on the same day.” The physiotherapy team operates an accelerated injury management programme,which as well as getting people seen quickly, aims to promote a quick recovery.So if the physiotherapist sees no improvement in a client after three sessions,the patient will be referred to specialist rehabilitation consultants and therewill be a case conference held by all those involved in their care. In most cases however, the OH department will work with the physiotherapistand the health and safety team to manage the problem. A client’s workingconditions may be assessed and advice given on: – Restricting keyboarding – Temporary reduced hours of work – Modification to job role and responsibilities – One-to-one instructions on postural exercises. And because they’re on site, the physiotherapist and the health and safetyteam can go into the client’s office to make postural adjustments. Taking the initiative As well as managing the two main causes of workplace absence, the OH team atMerrill Lynch runs a comprehensive series of healthcare initiatives. There is a regular travel-health clinic for both business and leisuretravellers, which, says OHA Michelle Davis, is very well attended. The clinicsprovide advice on travel, including access to information from an onlinedatabase on the particular travel health risks for each destination. The OHAswill also take a vaccine history and administer vaccines and anti-malaria pillsas prescribed by the doctor. Davis explains that the company also supports Tommy’s Campaign – the charitythat promotes research into the causes of miscarriage, premature birth andstillbirth. The OH department conducts pregnancy risk assessments, givesinformation and booklets on healthy pregnancy and ensures there are rest areasavailable for pregnant employees. And as the OH team’s remit is preventative, not treatment based, it has awell co-ordinated first aid programme in place, managed by OHN MichaelaLongmore. She says: “I do not solely work as an occupational health practicenurse, but rather to co-ordinate the provision of first aid, maintain the firstaid database and ensure that all first aiders are trained to the correct leveland regularly updated. “In a low-risk environment such as this, we need about one first aiderfor every 50 to 100 employees, so in all we’ve got about 140 first aiders. Iprovide the introduction on how to become a first aider, then I work withsecurity to ensure first aid boxes are kept up-to-date and available, and Ialso work closely with health and safety. My role is one of managing health.Like the rest of the team here, I’m a great believer in preventativecare.” As well as being involved with first aid audits, management referrals andthe travel health clinics, OHA Tracy Barker is working with the management atMerrill Lynch to help promote a healthier work-life balance among itshard-working staff. She says: “I’m currently working with a focus group to look at ways ofimplementing a healthier work-life balance for Merrill Lynch employees. It willbe called ‘Managing the Pace’. The management wants feedback and is committedto improving the service.” Promoting healthcare services Aside from physiotherapy and OH clinics, the occupational health departmentalso hosts a range of other healthcare services, including a dentist and dentalhygienist, and for those willing to pay, appointments with a private on-siteGP. Alison Baggett, one of the administrators for the department, organisesappointments and meets and greets those attending the OH department or one ofthe clinics. “I do have to explain on occasion to people who walk in that we’re nothere to offer treatment. I am a first aider though, so if it is a first aidmatter, I’m always willing to help,” she says. So how does the Bupa Wellness team get the OH message through to MerrillLynch staff? Aside from a 10-minute presentation to all new staff on induction,occupational health services are listed for staff on the company intranet andthe Bupa Wellness team will soon be launching its own intranet sitehighlighting OH services. In addition to this, says Hughes, the OH team organises a number of healthpromotion events, from no-smoking days to stroke awareness. “We also workwith both the company gym and the in-house cafeteria, which, although managedby the corporate services division of Merrill Lynch, liaise closely with us topromote healthy eating and taking regular exercise. The gym took an active rolein helping to develop the very successful Wellness Fair we organised at the endof last year.” The fully-equipped gym, which offers fitness advice to staff, organises upto 28 exercise classes a day, teaches pilates and yoga, and offers a range ofcomplementary therapies including reflexology, chair massage and sportsmassage. Physiotherapists will occasionally refer clients to a therapist andvice versa. Although Bupa has provided an OH service to Merrill Lynch for some years,the new integrated structure has only been in place since last autumn – and,according to Hughes, is already showing some success. Reference: 1. HSC Health and safety statistics highlights 2001/02,www.hse.gov.uk/statisticswww.bupa.comWellness FairOne of the greatest successes for theOH department has been the Wellness Fair, which took place last November. OHNMichaela Longmore says: “Last February, we decided to hold the fair afterstaff research revealed that alcohol, stress, dietary problems and smoking werethe most notable problems experienced by Merrill Lynch staff.”The challenge for the team was to help co-ordinate all themajor disciplines that took part on the day. The OH department worked with thegym and restaurant over a period of nine months – planning the structure of theday and estimating the costs involved.After presenting the idea to Merrill Lynch, who agreed toprovide funding, the team worked hard to get the day organised and a variety ofdepartments, including HR and marketing, helped to devise logos and otherpromotional tools.Highlights of the fair included:– Walks around the city for staff to do during their lunchtimes– A look at how the body works– Mini health checks– Demonstrations of yoga and pilates– Breast awareness – Alcohol consumption tests– Prizes of hampers, gym membership and a medical directoryAttendance was impressive, with about 817 people attending onthe day, although the team had only printed 370 feedback forms.Longmore says: “The day was real team success, and helpedus create closer liaisons within Merrill Lynch.”It was an informal and fun event, and feedback was verypositive, with 97 per cent of those attending asking for an annual event,”she adds. Previous Article Next Article Making well-being a team effortOn 1 Apr 2003 in Musculoskeletal disorders, Personnel Today Comments are closed.
Previous Article Next Article Staff survey prompts NHS body rethinkOn 22 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The NHS Logistics Authority is retraining its top 50 managers in a bid toimprove communication with staff and help the organisation become morecustomer-focused. The authority, which supplies goods to the NHS, is attempting to become morecustomer-orientated, placing a greater emphasis on listening to its staff. The organisation is to extend its management development programme from itsexecutive team to senior and middle managers from the summer to achieve itsgoal. Linda Garnett, HR director at NHS Logistics, said the staff survey revealedthe company’s 1,300 employees felt ignored by senior management. In response, it re-evaluated corporate culture and put its seven executivemanagers through a leadership course – including workshops, 360-degreeappraisals and a questionnaire – to identify their strengths and weaknesses. They were also given a personal development planner to plug any skills gaps.The executive team will now lead the 40 next most senior managers throughthe course. Each member of the top team will be in charge of a learning and supportgroup of middle managers, who they will support, mentor and develop. Garnett believes the course will help develop the next generation ofmanagement talent. “The training has three objectives – to create a customer-focusedorganisation, improve the organisation’s performance and spot the executivemanagers of the future,” she said. “If we improve our performance the service the NHS offers patients canonly benefit.” Related posts:No related photos.
Previous Article Next Article Training briefsOn 22 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. This week’s training news in briefPost-grad via council Middlesex University is providing a post-graduate management developmentprogramme for staff at Islington Council. A cross-section of around 90 middlemanagers will undergo the training, which incorporates change management,project management, people skills, finance and accounting. The customisedprogramme is based on previous training and staff development needs. www.islington.gov.ukPub delivers training Managed pub chain Laurel has rolled out a new mobile learning programme tomore than 600 sites, using specially adapted buses. The coaches, providedthrough PC Coaching, take learning rooms directly to the company’s pubs sostaff can train in retail management. www.laurelpubco.comVirgin drives ECDL Virgin Mobile has introduced the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) ITqualification for staff using PCs at its call centre in Trowbridge. The skills-based qualification, managed bythe British Computer Society (BCS),will give staff a higher level of ITcompetency. Some 1,400 staff will be offered a place on the course and thecompany has become an ECDL test centre in anticipation of the launch. www.bcs.org.ukGala bets on learning Bingo and casino operator Gala has announced the launch of four learningcentres across the UK. The centres will enable the firm’s 10,000 staff toreceive management, IT, customer service, health and safety and beveragetraining. They will be based in Coventry, Chatham, Sunderland and Tamworth. www.gala-bingo.co.ukBMW tracks progress BMW Great Britain has replaced its registrar training administration systemwith a learning management system capable of tracking the progress of 14,000users. It will allow dealers at the company to book staff on courses via theinternet and receive individual e-mailed reports on employees’ progress.Managers at BMW hope it will give an indication of the skills and competencieswithin the business. www.bmw.co.uk
This week’s lettersManagement’s full support is vital for real success at work I was excitedly drawn to the headline ‘Turning management thinking on itshead’ (Professional agenda, 13 April). And crikey, what a disappointment! Customer service is only superficially in the remit of ‘frontline’ people.Why waste money training staff to ‘smile and use the right words’? If you haverecruited good people they will know how to do it anyway, mainly because theyare customers themselves. They often do it exceptionally well, but go home fedup because management regularly put the kibosh on their efforts. Now, really turning management thinking on its head means agreeing thatmanagement and supervision, in whatever organisation, are in their position forone reason alone, and that is to fully support non-management staff to get itright first time. All processes must support that value. For example: – Each worker should have customer service objectives included in theirappraisal (yes, even the gardener) – Customers should be surveyed at least every three months, to find out howthey feel they are treated – Customer survey results should be reported to everyone – Bonuses should only be paid on the outcome of these customer satisfactionmeasures – Each customer complaint should be reported to everyone for discussion,resolution and monitoring, so that it does not happen again – Ditto any praise that individuals or the organisation receives – Include topic(s) related to customer service in every meeting agenda. Making staff care is unnecessary. People go to work only wanting to do theirjobs well. They don’t get up in the morning thinking: ‘Well, I wonder what Ican mess up today?’ It’s usually management that does that for them. Anne Faris Managing director, AF Associates ELA set to further its investigatory studies I would like to clarify a couple of points about the Employment LawyersAssociation’s (ELA) work on accreditation, referred to in your front pagearticle ‘Lawyers threaten Union power base’ (News, 20 April 2004). The ELA has been consulting with its members on the question of whether weshould take a lead in introducing a form of accreditation for employmenttribunal practitioners. We are not, however, in the initial stages ofconsulting with the Government on whether to introduce such a scheme, allowingonly certain lawyers to represent claimants at tribunal, as stated in yourarticle. The catalyst for the consultation of our members was a report into theoperation of employment tribunals which indicated, among other things, thatsome form of accreditation of tribunal practitioners would be of benefit to thegeneral public. The ELA is committed to ensuring the best practice ofemployment law and, therefore, the promotion of an appropriate accreditationscheme could be consistent with that aim. Having consulted with our members, we are now in the process of analysingthe results. The issues we have canvassed opinion on include: – Whether an accreditation scheme should only focus on tribunal practice – Whether an accreditation scheme which the ELA might sponsor or establishshould be open only to lawyers or to all tribunal practitioners, includingemployment consultants and others who already practise in the tribunal. Once we have analysed the results of our survey, we will share them with ourmembers and a wider audience of interested parties. Julian Hemming Chairman, Employment Lawyers Association HR selection criteria is too short-sighted There have been many letters in Personnel Today regarding the CharteredInstitute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification versus experience.I have to say that as a jobseeker, I am finding a great deal ofunprofessionalism in recruitment. And as a recruitment specialist myself, Ihave been surprised at the stereotypical and short-sighted selection criteriaused by many organisations. Many companies only want recruitment staff from the same sector, but I thinkthis is really an insult to the intelligence of their wider recruitmentcolleagues. I am qualified and experienced in recruitment and current methods,and believe it would only take a day or two to pick up the culture of anorganisation if they hired me. I have had a number of interim project-based positions, through necessity towork, not choice. Yet I was told by a professional services recruiter that thisshowed I was a risk. I hadn’t realised studies had been carried out that showeda link between fixed-term contracts and a person’s ability to do a job. The comment that took the biscuit, however, was from another professionalservices firm, which said I had been unsuccessful because of the university Iattended. In the interviewer’s words: ‘All our team have been to the topuniversities’. As I have a good degree and a post-graduate diploma in HRmanagement, I am a little saddened that in the 21st century, people are stillsnobbish enough to place such importance on which university someone attends. Unfortunately, such narrow-minded recruitment attitudes are prevalent amongCity institutions. The more professional an organisation claims to be, the more unprofessionalits recruitment seems to be. Thankfully, many organisations are not soshort-sighted, so hopefully my job search will not last for too long. Details supplied Obesity may hinder the future workforce I have been following the debate on obesity with great interest. I found thesurvey commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) very interesting. Iparticularly agreed with John Krebbs, chairman of the FSA, when he said thatfamilies need support from schools, industry and broadcasters if the Governmentis to make a difference on this issue. I am the managing partner of a contract caterer focusing on education, and aparent of a school-age child. I have always believed today’s children are theworkforce of the future. An unhealthy workforce is not something to bewelcomed. I see it as my responsibility and that of my colleagues, to offer children amenu that is low in fat, salt and sugar, with a good quality choice of freshfruit and vegetables. But equally, it is the responsibility of those charged with the welfare ofthe workforce to seize this challenge and give their caterers the focus toimprove everyone’s diet. The problem is not just in schools. Adults needsupport as well. It takes is imagination and it is harder work to produce ahealthier menu, but it is worth it. Kate Martin Managing partner, Brookwood Partnership Where to draw the line on equal pay? Can you ask HR Hartley what he thinks we should do about equal pay? First,for people who have been in their role for a long time and therefore command ahigher salary, and also, how we can pay someone an equal salary when there areno men to benchmark their salaries against? In my firm, the HR department ismade up solely of women. Is there going to be some directive to ‘let us off the hook’ when it gets totribunal stage, if we find that we have been under-paying a female member ofstaff? Come to think of it, should we just pay all women in a similar role thesame rate of pay, regardless of their length of service? And what would happen if a man’s salary was less than his femalecounterpart’s? Would we be over-paying the woman, or should we bring the maninto line with her wages? Now, there’s a thought! Details supplied Promotions through affiliation rife in HR A letter printed in Personnel Today (13 April) entitled ‘Qualified doesn’talways mean better’ outlined the reason why HR has no credibility. Every HR professional with qualifications knows of a senior manager in HRwho doesn’t, yet got a senior position with a salary to match. To become an HR officer or assistant in some organisations, you are requiredto be MIPD. This creates confusion as many individuals begin to ask what arethe benefits of being qualified when you can just land a job in HR because yourface fits, or you have been around for a long time. HR has created its own problems. In professions such as teaching, nursingand law, you need a qualification to undertake work in your chosen field.Moving the goalposts when it suits you (often moved by the said seniormanagement officers, who have no respect for the profession or what it has tooffer) creates confusion and disgruntlement. I have worked with many seniorswho did not have HR qualifications and were able to obtain the titles MCIPD andFCIPD through affiliation alone. So what value does a CIPD qualification have?In my view, not a lot. Details supplied Comments are closed. LettersOn 25 May 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.