Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article The latest HR Big Thing fromAmerica has hit the UK shores. Known as internal recruiters, these permanentemployees dispense with costly external agencies and allow the organisationmore control when hiring staff. By Nic PatonMark Baker, recruitmentmanager at network and telecoms consultancy Net2S, is one of a growing band of”internal recruiters” being appointed by UK firms, importing aconcept from the US that has been gaining popularity in recent years.”Companies feel we can perform a better, more professional service thansome of the agencies. We are less expensive and, at least for small andmedium-sized companies, I think we will become more prevalent,” he says. Internal recruiters,or “staff specialists” as they are known in the US, first appearedabout 13 years ago. Now some 60 per cent of technology firms there use aninternal recruitment function in some shape or form, including well known namessuch as IBM, Lucent Technologies, Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks. It is alsoused by the top five accountancy firms in the US as well as managementconsultancies, financial institutions and a raft of other corporations.While not unknown inthe UK – with firms such as Compaq having long-established equivalents in place– the concept is still relatively immature over here. But according to SteveDavies, a former IT recruitment specialist who has set up Recruiters Onsite, itis set to grow.”If you look atthe history of recruiting in the UK, most companies have traditionally gone forthird-party recruiting through a consultancy to find their staff. Internalrecruiting allows a company to take control of its own hiring,” he says.Companies looking toestablish IR are taking their recruitment function back in-house. Unlike usingan external agency, internal recruiters are permanent employees of the company,specialists that have set up a bespoke agency within its own walls.”Internalrecruiters are committed not only to hiring staff, they look at their careerdevelopment plans, staff retention and how recruitment is managed andorganised,” says Davies.They will have theability to work with agencies, if necessary, and put together acompetency-based interview framework, design assessment centres and establishpsychometric testing for interviewees, he adds. On average, a recruiter spendshalf the time simply trying to find the right people to fill vacancies and therest interviewing, drawing up processes and making recommendations, Daviesestimates.But he argues thatbusinesses will also find that, as soon as the initial investment of hiringrecruiters and setting up the function is cleared, they can make considerablesavings on their recruitment bill by lowering the total cost per hire. “Ihad a client who was spending £19,000 per hire on agencies, advertising onwebsites, interviewing and so forth. Using IR he was able to cut this to£7,000,” he claims.Other key benefitsinclude a higher percentage of job offers being taken up, freeing managers tomanage the business and, crucially, a much closer relationship betweenrecruiter and employer.The concept appliesequally to large, medium or small companies, offering benefits regardless ofwhether a firm is looking to hire 15 people or thousands, says Davies.”You have the accountability. If you are a big company it is difficult touse a lot of agencies. And if you are a small firm, do you really want to spendyour day recruiting when you should be growing the business?”Small andmedium-sized firms could find IR useful because they often do not have the sortof recruitment processes in place that an IR specialist can establish.” Net2S’s Baker hasalready cut the company’s recruitment costs since he was appointed last June toset up an IR function. His team has expanded to a second person, with a thirddue to be appointed. The team recruits and trains in-house, and is aiming toappoint about 75 people this year, bringing the workforce up to 120 by the endof this year.”I do not run ona set budget, as such, for recruitment. But I have a budget for each month inwhich I keep a record of my spending,” he says. In January, he spent about£6,000 on Internet and press advertising, with a further £2,500 in February and£4,000 in March.By comparison, tooutsource recruiting even a junior member of staff – say on a 20 per cent feeof a £20,000 salary – would cost about £4,000 per hire. “We are recruitingabout five or six people a month, so it does make sense,” he says. Thecompany has offices in Paris, New York and Chicago, where there is a muchgreater reliance on internal recruiters than in the UK. The Paris office, forinstance, has nine internal recruiters.”My personalexperience is that in the US you tend to have an internal recruitment team butoften they are just a buffer between the business and the agencies. They makesure the interviews are arranged and the line managers are protected,”says Baker.He sees his role asbeing more proactive, using his in-house knowledge to help the business get theright people it needs. “It is refreshing to hear direct from a companyrather than going through an agency,” he adds.But there are pitfallsto IR. Davies concedes that having an in-house recruitment function means that,for managers, it can end up as simply another part of the business to worryabout. Or when businesses both using IR merge, there is then the question ofwhich team to keep.More pertinently, ifthere is an economic downturn the firm is either stuck with another fixed costor has to go through the costly redundancy process. “If there is a downturn,you do not want to have a recruiter sitting around being paid£40,000-50,000,” says Davies.Until last December,Katherine Day was an internal recruiter for US technology giant NortelNetworks, working as resource manager for network operations delivery forEurope, the Middle East and Africa, out of the company’s Maidenhead office. Thegroup has about 50 internal recruiters in Europe – half of them at Maidenhead –hiring about 8,000 people a year. In the US, its internal recruitment functionis three times as large.The recruiters focuson a particular division of the business, she says. “Instead of managershaving to spend their time on the phone to agencies, sifting CVs andinterviewing candidates in the first round, they can get on with their jobs.Recruiters are also able to negotiate better because they know the agenciesinside out.”The total cost perhire was about £1,000, she adds. Recruitment through and external agency wouldhave cost Nortel 15-20 per cent of the base salary of each applicant. But theeconomic downturn in the US and collapsing confidence in the high-tech”new economy” on both sides of the Atlantic took their toll and Daylost her job at the end of the year.She says, “InOctober, everyone was hiring recruiters. They hired all these people and theyhave now fired most of them. The problem is that they have gone from oneextreme to another.”Come Q3, Q4 oreven Q1 next year, when everything will go back to the way it was, they willhave lost all these recruiters and will have to start hiring again. In Januaryor February next year, everyone will start panicking.” It is this lack offlexibility over IR that could put some managers off the concept, especially ifthe indications are for a cooling in the economic outlook, says AlastairWright, global head of strategic resourcing at HR consultancy Empower.Wright, as HR directorat Digital, now Compaq, set up the company’s resource service centre – an IRfunction by another name – 10 years ago. He says, “If you are starting up,you need a business which keeps fixed costs low and variable costs high.If the market downturns and you arefaced with problems, you do not want to be laying off employees.”The concept also goesagainst the trend of managers looking for increased flexibility andcasualisation in the workplace. Wright says, “One characteristic of themarket at the moment is that it is uncertain. Instability is in the future ofthe market for the next few years. If you cannot predict the business, you aregoing to keep your variables as high as possible.” A £20,000 salary, forinstance, still costs an employer about £50,000, and the cost of laying offrecruiters, along with the management time that goes with it, is high.Nevertheless, theelement of control that IR gives can be attractive, says Sue Taunton, afreelance HR consultant and former project manager for NatWest, who specialisesin setting up and designing recruitment functions for clients.”Businesses quitelike that comfort, that there is someone there they can trust. By goingin-house they can maintain and retain control. The pull of the business is tohave it done internally. But it is not giving them flexibility,” she says.Larger organisationsoften prefer the one-stop-shop approach that IR can bring. But with theeconomic cycle appearing to be turning, it is likely that many companies willbe looking for flexibility in the short term at least, she adds. “I thinkoutsourcing is likely to become more prevalent, then it will loop around andpeople will be taking it back in-house again.”Internal recruiters donot have to be in conflict with external recruitment agencies, says MarkBrewer, a partner at recruitment agency Frazer Jones. “They areknowledgeable and enormously helpful to external recruitment companies. Thereare organisations where the internal resource function does not get on withexternal recruiting firms. But they are very much in the minority,” hesays.”Dedicatedresource functions have been around for years. Organisations that need toproduce a significant number of new hires and need that process managedeffectively have had internal recruitment.”One possible pitfallwith IR is that it can put another layer between the incoming employee and theemployer, adding another extended line of communication, he says. “But youhave to accept that a good organisation is going to use whatever means it canto deliver the right people on the right timescale.”Another potentialdownside is that, in an intensely competitive environment, headhuntingtop-flight staff can prove problematic if you are a fully signed-up employee ofone of the companies involved, says Mark Knapper, a director at recruitmentagency Aquinas. “No organisation can search directly with another. At thesearch level, I think it is very difficult. It would be likely to lead to somesort of conflict but in volume recruitment it could be very good. But they doneed to ensure they have the processes set up internally.”Businesses also have torecognise that moving to an IR function may not be the be-all and end-all. Mostcorporations, if they move in this direction, inevitably end up using amix-and-match approach. Where necessary, they often end up tapping into theexpertise and knowledge that an external recruit agency can still provide,Knapper argues.”If you say youare going to slash your recruitment costs by just taking it all in-house, it isnot going to work. An in-house recruiter’s database will never be as extensiveas a specialist’s,” he says. But Davies atRecruiters Onsite is confident that IR will catch on in the UK. With the chilleconomic winds beginning to blow in from the US, however, he declines to puthis money on how prevalent it will be in five years. He says, “Three yearsago you would have said that, within a couple of years, most companies wouldhave been using it. But because of recent fluctuations in recruitment it is nowdifficult to say. “It is a time andcost thing. If you are prepared to develop the infrastructure, you will seebenefits in the medium term and definitely in the long term.”Should IR become thenorm, recruitment agencies will increasingly find themselves becomingheadhunting specialists searching for the top-flight candidate, perhaps thechief executive, finance director or chairman, he says.”There willalways be a role for recruitment agencies. Most companies will still have tospend some on agencies. I would not have set up this business if I did notthink it would become more prevalent. At the moment, what we are seeing is justthe tip of the iceberg.” Do it yourselfOn 24 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today
Comments are closed. This week’s news in briefManufacturing slump Demand for manufactured goods in the UK and abroad has weakened this yearwith economic growth looking sluggish, according to the CBI. Its report onAugust’s Industrial Trends Survey, shows that four out of 10 manufacturersreported low orders. It polled over 1,200 manufacturing companies. www.cbi.org.ukTransparent pay bid The average annual salary increase for employees in the manufacturing anddistribution sectors this year is 3.3 per cent – the same as last year. But,according to research by HR consultancy William M Mercer, employees fear fortheir jobs and want more pay transparency from their employers. www.wmmercer.comWomen climb ladder One-third of UK directors are women, according to a report by Equifax. Womenare also getting to the boardroom faster than men and now account for more thanhalf of all directors aged between 21 and 40. They are also taking more seatsin the traditionally male roles of software consultancy and propertymanagement. www.equifax.com800 to go at Toshiba Japanese electronics giant Toshiba is to shed 18,800 jobs worldwide due tothe slump in the global semiconductor market. A third of the company’s 21manufacturing plants will close over the next two years and the restructuringwill cost the company nearly £700m. www.toshiba.comUnions boost services Trade unions have introduced 48 new services for members, and plan tointroduce a further 25 over the next six months, claims a TUC survey releasedtoday. The Trade Union Trends Survey shows that most are financial services andinclude shopping discount schemes and insurance provision. www.tuc.org.uk Related posts:No related photos. …in briefOn 4 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article
HR professionals can’t necessarily predict which country or continent theirtalent will come from over the next few years. But they can put the online recruitmentstrategies in place to ensure they get first choice. Sue Weekes reportsTwo years ago, the internet was being hailed as the single most importantfactor in the growth of the global recruitment market. Job boards and corporatewebsites with the power to display a vacancy on a computer screen anywhere inthe world within seconds, opened up a vast new pool of talent, making the worlda recruiter’s oyster. But within a year, the dotcom bubble burst and tech stocks crashed.September 11 occurred, fuelling a world recession, big business was rocked byscandals such as Enron and Worldcom, and recruitment fell off the agenda,seemingly taking internet recruitment with it. Despite the slowing economy and reduction in hiring, it may surprise you tohear that online recruiting services actually grew 53 per cent in 2001 to$2.8bn, says Marc Pramuk, senior analyst at IDC. “This growth emphasises the fundamental shift in the recruitment andstaffing services market that identifies e-recruiting services as a vital partof how organisations attract and hire the best candidates for openpositions,” he says. By 2006, IDC projects that the worldwide e-recruitingmarket will reach almost $15.7bn, with a compound annual growth rate of 40.9per cent. With the HR function currently preoccupied with redundancy packages ratherthan induction courses, online recruitment strategies facilitating globalrecruitment may not seem like a priority. Even if organisations don’t want tomake any new investment in it at the moment – and may indeed have troublesigning if off anyway – it is a critical time to assess the situation andresearch the options available. In the long run, you can’t afford not to. Theconcept of a single world economy may seem a good deal further away than it was12 months ago, but there are enough pockets of cross-border recruitmentactivity in both directions to make even the most global-sceptics sit up andtake note. The European Union has already opened up the entire continent to itsmembers, and recent news reports have warned of a ‘reverse Auf Wiedersehen Pet’effect by 2020. They predict the UK looking towards Europe for manual labourdue to a shortage at home caused by school-leavers opting for further study andqualifications, rather than the manual trades. There is also evidence to suggest that plenty of people are willing to gomuch further afield than town or country, and would happily change continent,says Joe Slavin, managing director of Monster UK, part of the worldwide Monsternetwork of job sites. Earlier this year, Monster conducted a Pan-European poll,asking its users how far they would move for an exciting new job. “Nearly two in five voters replied that they wouldn’t mind movingcontinent if the right job offer came along,” says Slavin. “However,one in five voters preferred not to move at all rather than make small movesacross borders.” He adds that companies advertising in three or morecountries now make up 25 per cent of Monster UK’s business, and it is growing. Kris Jarzebowski, managing director of CareerJunction, the leading job sitein South Africa which formed an alliance with the UK’s Totaljobs.com this July,observes similar attitudes in his region. “People moving globally is a world trend that will definitely continueinto the future, which is why we are keen to build alliances such as thisone,” he says. “Many South Africans travel to the UK to take upemployment for periods averaging two years, returning with valuable pounds thatare so much stronger than the rand.” All of the major job sites report a growing demand for global recruitmentsolutions, and IDC predicts that while countries such as the UK and Germanywill become the leaders in providing e-recruiting services, the challenge willbe establishing localised services to successfully address each market in thelight of different languages and regulations. Most are meeting this challenge: be it by taking the almost McDonalds-likebrand-led approach, as Monster has done – setting up websites and bricks andmortar offices across 21 countries, the latter being largely staffed bynationals in that country – or by partnering, like rival TotalJobs is currentlybusy doing. Its alliance with South African site CareerJunction followed asimilar union with top Australian job board Seek.com.au and more are plannedover the next 12 months. “We found that we’ve got to have a global solution to offer in order toenhance our UK offering,” says Keith Robinson, operations director forTotaljobs.com. “It is a key plank in our strategy.” TopJobs, meanwhile, has taken both approaches, offering its Topjobs.net URLfor worldwide recruiting to clients, such as international utilities companyMcKinnon & Clarke, and European search and selection company MonpellierPartnership, along with branded sites in Switzerland and Norway, and affiliatesin Spain, Poland and Thailand. As well as a huge potential pool of global talent, online recruitment savesa considerable amount of time and money. In some cases, it is even fair to sayit has made international recruitment financially viable. One recruiter wespoke to quoted a £230,000 spend to advertise a job across several Europeannewspapers for one week, compared with £200,000 for an entire year on the net. David Rawlins, director of specialist recruitment firm Quantica, hasexperience of recruiting all over the world, and while the internet is only onepart of the mix that he uses, its reduced cost has already made it an effectivelow-risk option for one of his job searches. “We were looking to fill an HR role in Germany and did a search andfound some candidates, but the person we offered it to declined,” he said.”So we put it on Monster. Even if we’d got nothing after two weeks, wewouldn’t have lost very much, but we got a really good standard of applicantand appointed someone. In that instance, it worked really well.” But cost and time-savings aside, the web’s main strengths of reach, ease ofuse and speed of response, have also occasionally proved to be its AchillesHeel. The age-old moan of internet recruitment delivering quantity and notquality persists, and is likely to be magnified by the enlarged internationalpool of jobseekers. Claire Stern, HR director of Countrywide, a UK public relations company,wasn’t even looking for an international response to an ad placed on oneleading job board, but received one nonetheless. “I deliberately placed a financial assistant job ad on the web to testit out, and was very clear about the requirements,” she explains. “Ireceived more than 100 replies, but not one was appropriate. They were eitherable to live here but did not speak the language, or else spoke the language,but were unable to live and work over here. It gave me a much biggeradministrative headache than traditional recruitment methods.” Sadly, experiences like this can, and do, deter HR professionals from usingonline recruitment systems. But these problems can be avoided by employing anonline management tool to assist in the process. In fairness to Stern, it was a one-off test, so you wouldn’t expect thecompany to have any candidate management tools in place. But anyone seriousabout online recruitment, global or otherwise, needs some way of automaticallymanaging response and filtering out unsuitable candidates in the early stages.Posting a few ads on a job site does not make an online recruitment strategy,and if you’ve struggled to make internet recruitment work on a national level,you’ll have no chance internationally without the right structures in place(see right). Sean Dixon, HR manager of FedEx Express in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia –a subsidiary of the FedEx Corp, the world’s biggest express transportationcompany – needed a tool that could service its global reach and a massivecandidate response rate. It adopted Monster’s one-stop HR solution, Monster HR(MOHR), which helped it handle, manage and screen candidates from one location,while remaining accessible throughout its business. The European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region of FedEx is responsiblefor the activities of offices in 113 countries, and has headquarters inBrussels and its European hub in Paris. The EMEA office has more than 7,800employees, and 14 call centres taking 1,000 calls a day. “Online recruitment provides us with cost-efficient, fast, flexible andeffective solutions to meet our recruitment needs, combined with a massivereach to a global pool of talent,” says Dixon. “We identified that the basis of building effective online recruitmentstrategies was to find a partner with a career site that could offer us thegreatest reach. We have been placing ads on Monster for the past six monthsacross Europe, and had a staggering response of more than 107,000 hits. Thecandidate profiles we received have been remarkable.” To his own surprise, Dixon explodes the myth that online recruitment onlyworks at an executive level. “We anticipated success using Monster in our IT and executiveprofessional fields. However, we were pleasantly surprised by the success inour frontline positions, such as couriers, warehouse agents and clerical jobs,and this success is replicated across all of our European markets, especiallyin France, Italy, Spain and the UK.” FedEx Express shows how a structured and robust online recruitment andmanagement system can service ongoing day-to-day needs but can also allowrecruiters to tap into the global talent pool to solve one-off needs, such asskills shortages, or the search for elusive specialist talent. TotalJobs believes its recent alliance with CareerJunction and Seek.com.aucould help the NHS and education sectors stave off potential skills shortagesin the light of the recent cash injection by Chancellor Gordon Brown. TheAustralian alliance has already placed a number of healthcare professionalsfrom Australia through international staffing specialist, Beresford BlakeThomas. “While the web speeds up initial stages of receiving candidate details,responding to the needs and understanding of local etiquette and businessprotocol can be difficult and time-consuming for the overseas recruiter,”says Quantica’s Rawlins. “There are underlying, unspoken cultural barriersto recruitment across some international boundaries – factors such as thecost-of-living differentials between Germany and Switzerland, forinstance.” As IDC states, ‘localising’ services will be the key challenge fore-recruiting service providers. But HR, too, must take responsibility foradapting itself to tap into the global talent pool. Namely, by putting theright management tools and internal structures in place. Without them, thefunction is unlikely to make online recruitment work across a few miles, letalone a different continent. Tools of the e-tradeOnline management tools come in avariety of guises and can range from simple questions ensuring the candidatehas the basic requirements for the job, to online psychometric testing. Thepast 18 months have also seen the rise of the end-to-end recruiter, whichmanages the whole online process, from advertising the application, toshortlisting candidates – these include JobPartner’s Active Recruiter systemand Mr Ted’s TalentLink, which were looked at in more detail previously inPersonnel Today (Net Gains, 15 January 2002).Another major development has been the big back-office systemsproviders such as Oracle and SAP, now providing an eHR module which can receivedata from the corporate website or another job site. David Hurst, publisher ofOnline recruitment, the specialist magazine and website, sees this as one ofthe drivers for an increased take-up of internet recruitment around the world. “They have big clients and at last we can move away fromthis nonsensical situation where personnel data comes in, is printed off, andthen re-keyed into a different system,” he says.Whether you opt for an end-to-end recruitment company or toolsoffered by a job board, you should be able to build in the kind of questionsthat are key to global recruitment if they aren’t already there, relating toissues such as languages, work permits and visas. “These are simple ‘yes/no’ things,” says Andy Baker,managing director of Workthing, which acquired online job site PeopleBank atthe beginning of 2002. It is now incorporating more advanced features, such aspsychometric testing for some of its clients. Other tools which can help sift out unsuitablecandidates include Isero’s TalkingCV, which allows candidates to record aninterview according to a pre-defined structure set by the client, and thenupload it on a website for recruiters and line managers to see. It is currentlybeing used by the British Council, which promotes English teaching abroad andplaces English teachers around the globe, often having to call them in fromother parts of the world. “OK, you might eventually have to get acandidate on a plane for an interview,” says Isero sales director PhilTaylor. “But this offers another stage before that to help recruitersdecide if a candidate is right.” Going globalOn 3 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article
Related posts:No related photos. E-learning spreads its European wingsOn 1 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today A third of European workers have experienced some form of e-learning,according to research carried out by the European School of Management andsponsored by training specialists John Matchett Limited (JML). Almost every respondent (460 workers – 81 from the UK and the rest fromacross Europe, although mainly France and Germany) agreed that e-learning willdominate the delivery of learning in the future as people look for interactiveand personalised courses that precisely fit their needs. The survey, The Impact of Age on Learning, found that nearly half of thoseaged between 20 and 29 years and more than 30 per cent of those aged between 30and 39 had some experience of an e-learning programme. Those aged between 40and 49 had the least exposure (21 per cent) but even 22 per cent of those agedover 59 had experienced e-learning. However, it only managed fifth in the listof respondents’ most frequently used methods of learning, with formal trainingcourses proving the most popular, closely followed by ‘asking colleagues’. John Matchett, chairman of JML, said: “This research shows thatalthough e-learning is rapidly establishing itself as an invaluable andcost-effective addition to the trainer’s armoury, suppliers of learningmaterials must be flexible in their approach and have a wide range of learningoptions.” www.jmlnet.com Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed.
Previous Article Next Article Pay law proposal to hinder womenOn 25 Feb 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Proposed changes to equal pay law will make it more difficult for women toclaim they are being paid less than a man doing the same job of the same worth,the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) claims. In its response to the Government’s consultation document, Equality andDiversity: The Way Ahead, the EOC warns that the onus of proving a job’s worthcould lie with female employees. Under the new proposal, if a job evaluation had already been carried out andrated the jobs differently, it would be the responsibility of a woman whoclaims she is being paid unfairly to prove that the job evaluation scheme wasflawed. Julie Mellor, chair of the EOC, said most people do not have the knowledgeneeded to point out the shortcomings of a job evaluation scheme. “This proposal would be big step backwards. Analysing a job evaluationscheme is a very specialist task,” she said. “Individual women cannot be expected to carry out that analysis andthen persuade a tribunal that the scheme is flawed. In practice, this would bea serious barrier to many women wanting to bring an equal pay claim. “The question of the relative value of different jobs is a difficultone,” Mellor continued. “However, because women and men are still concentrated in verydifferent kinds of work, it is often the only way the true value of the jobsmany women do can actually be assessed.” “The EOC urged the Government not to put new barriers in the way ofwomen who believe they are being paid unfairly. Otherwise, we will never closethe 19 per cent gap between women and men’s hourly pay,” said Mellor. Consultation on Equality and Diversity: The Way Ahead closed last Friday. By Quentin Readewww.eoc.org.uk
The largest population-based study on strokes in the UK for 20 years is tobe launched this year by the Stroke Association. The charity has been awarded £180,000 to fund the study, which will provideup-to-date information on the condition, and will be the only high-qualitypopulation based study in the northern hemisphere to chart recent changes inincidence, death-rate and stroke outcomes. It is due to get underway later thisyear, with the findings unlikely to be published before 2006 or 2007. Up to now, there has only been one comparable study carried out within theUK – the Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project. Although conducted 20 years ago,current health resourcing plans are often still based on this data. Research leader Dr Peter Rothwell, a consultant neurologist at the RadcliffeInfirmary, Oxford, said: “Our study will allow us to evaluate the successof the UK in preventing and treating stroke, and to plan future services.” Charity set to launch new study on strokesOn 1 Mar 2003 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.
Learning for Life: Hand-arm vibrationOn 1 Jul 2003 in Musculoskeletal disorders, Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Life Long Learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are theprocesses by which professionals, such as nurses, develop and improve theirpractice. There are many ways to address CPD: formally, through attending courses,study days and workshops; or informally, through private study and reflection.Reading articles in professional journals is a good way of keeping up-to-datewith what is going on in the field of practice, but reflecting and identifyingwhat you have learned is not always easy. These questions are designed to help you to identify what you have learnedfrom studying the article. They will also help you to clarify what you canapply to practice, what you did not understand and what you need to explorefurther. 1. Hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) is a a) Chronic disorder b) Acute disease c) Autoimmune disease d) Sign of delirium tremens 2. The successful test case in 1997 for HAVS was brought by a) Construction workers b) Builders c) Miners d) Forestry workers 3. When did Loriga report ‘dead fingers’? a) 1713 b) 1911 c) 1995 d) 1999 4. What equipment caused ‘dead fingers’? a) Power drills b) Guillotines c) Grinders d) Pneumatic drills 5. Which of the following systems does HAVS not affect? a) Gastro-intestinal b) Vascular c) Nervous d) Musculoskeletal 6. Neurological symptoms include a) Tingling, loss of dexterity, nystagmus b) Tingling, loss of dexterity, reduced sensitivity c) Nystagmus, loss of dexterity, reduced sensitivity d) Tingling, nystagmus, reduced sensitivity 7. Workers employed in cold working areas may experience a) Cyanosis b) Respiratory problems c) Blanching of the fingers d) Shivering 8. Injuries and work-related ill health costs industry how much perannum? a) £300,000 b) £3bn c) £3m d) £3,000 9. What two factors need to be calculated in order to recommend a safeexposure limit? a) Magnitude & length of exposure b) Magnitude & force c) Length of exposure and force d) Length of exposure and grip 10. What two factors aggravate HAVS? a) Smoking and heat b) Heat and diet c) Cold and diet d) Smoking and cold Feedback 1) a – Although Raynauds is a chronic disease and HAVS is also a‘Raynauds phenomenon’- and now classed as a form of secondary Raynauds – it isworth undertaking a literature search and reading up about this disease andclarifying how HAVS fits into the syndrome. 2) c – The test case wasbought by the miners but all the occupations listed have known links with HAVS.Can you think of other occupations? 3) b 4) d 5) a 6) b – Nystagmus isnot found in HAVS or Raynauds. It is a eye condition that causes rapid andjerky eye movements. Once upon a time, it was a disease of miners, but nottoday. 7) c – Working in the cold may cause any of the answers but with HAVS, cis very noticeable. Make notes on the things you can do to support a workerwith HAVS problems who may suffer in the cold weather. 8) b 9) a – Therecent EU Directive 2002/44/ec requires member states to implement safeexposure limits. Look at the resources page for further information and explorethis area further. 10) d Previous Article Next Article
LettersOn 25 Nov 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. This week’s letterEqual pay healthchecks are the way to attain pay parityConversations with HR and other representatives of several hundredorganisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors indicate that noneare overtly keen to perpetuate gender inequalities or other unfairness inreward. The launch of Personnel Today Management Resources’ One-stop Guide to EqualPay Reviews and the recently revised Code of Practice on Equal Pay are just twoexamples of the high profile the subject continues to receive. Why then does the injustice of unequal pay continue – apparently unabated? Two key factors appear to block equity. First, the large amount of detailedwork perceived necessary to identify let alone achieve equality, when wider,business-related reward issues affecting retention, motivation and costeffectiveness demand attention. Second, the cost of retrospective correction oflong standing inequalities is potentially huge. If pursued to the letter of the law, the latter would result in significantcorporate, if not national, bankruptcy (try extrapolating the several millionpounds Lancashire street-lighting technicians claim across the UK). Some organisations, however, are working towards business-friendly paysolutions, while at the same time resolving past and potential inequalitiesmost cost effectively. Rather than pursue a relatively narrow, but complex and time-consuming equalpay review, they conduct broader pay audits – incorporating an equal payhealthcheck – and also addressing issues of market competitiveness, performanceand structural pay relativities. They provide a basis to minimise any potentialretrospective claims. Only by looking at equal pay in this wider, successorientated way, will we achieve a significant reduction in the gender pay gap. Derek A Burn Director, DLA-MCG Consulting and author of Pay Audit – Equal Pay Reviews andBeyond Rewards paradise is just not practical Many organisations would like to link total compensation (salary, bonuses,shares, etc) to an employee’s performance and ensure that the packages offeredare competitive enough to attract and retain top-quality staff. However, when dealing with thousands of employees, time and budget pressuresmean that the allocation of rewards is not always aligned to individualperformance (ie, the law of averages takes over). The losers in the scenario are the company’s key assets – its topperformers. Effective incentive compensation can motivate employees to meet the goals ofthe business. Break this link and the additional annual cost of meetingincreased salary and compensation expectations offers less intrinsic value tothe business. David Blune UK country manager, Callidus Software Chippy yank should broaden his outlook I was appalled at the views of John Torrance-Nesbitt’s views on diversity inthe UK (Letters, 11 November). With such diversity in a nation where there are so many walks of life, youcan’t help but get a cross-section of backgrounds in a US firm. The UK is smaller, therefore we have less of a pool of people to use. Wouldit be OK for an employer to place people in a job just to show they arediverse; or would it be best practice to put the best people in the job, evenif it meant they were all white? I strongly believe in diversity in the workplace. My own experience camefrom a large investment bank. We were keen to be diverse and eager to show wewere and proud of it. But I am white, heterosexual and female. Does that makeme bad at my job if I work with similar people because we were considered thebest candidates for the job? No. You can’t manoeuvre a diverse situation intoplace – it evolves. UK recruiters ask personal questions because they want to know a littleabout you and about your life, so that you may fit into a particular culture ina job. This procedure has nothing to do with being prejudiced. I think John Nesbitt has a bit of a chip on his shoulder and I’m sorry thathe feels so bitterly towards us in the UK. As a recruiting director, I think he should learn more about UK culture andshould refrain from such comments until he knows us better. Isn’t there anative American saying that you shouldn’t judge a man until you have walked fora day in his moccasins? Details supplied One vision at the top another at the bottom Telling people you are a tax inspector or an estate agent at a party isoften seen as dangerous. But, lately, I have become more and more embarrassedabout working in HR. There are some extremely poor practices out there and while companies canhide behind their oft stated ‘vision and values’, rarely do they live up tothem if you work at the bottom of the pecking order. My son is waiting to join the army and is filling in his time working for awell-known oil company at a local service station. He is one among six. He iscontinually abused and left out of any conversation. He has been disciplined byhis regional manager for being eight minutes late for work, when all the othersnever turn up on time and frequently don’t turn up at all. His hours arereduced when his manager wants to give a friend a few hours’ work. When heworks nights, he is often on his own through someone not turning up. My son is often threatened with violence while working nights. Add to this thefact that he is paid less than the others and when he asked for the same money,he was told that he would only be given his pay rise if he opted out of theWorking Time Directive. He has reported all of these things to his manager andis not allowed to contact HR direct. All this from a company that trumpets the usual blurb about protecting thehealth and safety of its employees, keeping open channels of communication, andoperating with the highest moral and ethical standards. Can anybody point me toany company that truly, and I mean in the opinion of its employees, meets itsown exacting values? Details supplied Radical tactics will cut the sick queue With all the associated problems with sickness absence and the almostimpossible situation that HR professionals are placed in, is it time forradical thinking? My suggestion is that employers should be able to insert a clause intoemployment contracts and/or works rules which state that if a staff member hasa specified period of sick leave over a certain period, then that automaticallymakes them redundant as they are no longer able to carry out their duties tothe required level. Prolonged and/or frequent sick leave must be close to beinga frustration of contract or a breaching of the implied terms. Or am I missing something? Robert Hicks HR manager, Company details supplied Employers should care about childcare I completely agree with the Daycare Trust’s and One Parent Families’ callfor the Government to develop a system of accreditation and registration forfriends and family who care for children (‘Informal Childcare Keeps UK TickingAlong’, 4 November, PersonnelToday.com). There are simply not enough formal childcare places available and typicalnurseries are quite costly, which means many [working] parents have no optionbut to leave their children in the hands of grandparents or willing friends.However, I strongly believe it is also time that employers took someresponsibility for childcare and woke up to the benefits of helping valued staffreturn to work, while providing the best care for their families. The provision of a childcare facility in the workplace can be substantiallyless expensive for parents due to government subsidies and possible employersubsidies, and the locality between parent and child provides close support. Furthermore, studies we’ve done show that employees are more productive andfar more reliable if an on-site nursery is provided, since parents don’t needto worry about the care of their children. Such a system also helps to increasehappiness levels at work and in turn positively impacts motivation andproductivity levels. In addition, an on-site childcare facility is a fantastic staff benefit,which can increase staff loyalty and help attract and retain good staff.Figures from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development show thatalmost a quarter of working parents with an annual household income of under£20,000 stop work as a result of becoming a parent. A workplace nursery canencourage employees to return to work for the company that has invested intheir development rather than taking their valuable skills elsewhere.Alternatively, they may simply feel that balancing childcare and work would betoo difficult – an increasingly important issue as the UK continues to faceskill shortages. Justin Palmer Managing director, Principio Professor’s attitude makes the blood boil The sadly misinformed attitude of Professor Richard Scase and others likehim (Opinion, 21 October 2003) is one reason why stress is a rapidly increasingproblem for UK plc. Like many of the ‘stress is for wimps and skivers’ school of thinking, heconfuses pressure, which all of us need to some degree to perform at our best,with stress, which is the unhealthy outcome of excessive or unrelentingpressure. He is concerned at the difficulty of distinguishing between work-related andexternally induced stress and wants ‘a quantifiable, scientific measure ofstress’. Presumably, he believes that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manageit. This is precisely why stress is an issue for organisations – unless weemploy automata instead of human beings, no measure will be satisfactory.Everyone has a different ‘pressure threshold’. If Professor Scase wants employees to bring 100 per cent of theircommitment, creativity and energy to the workplace, and to embrace changepositively, then he will need to put some effort into understanding whatmotivates them, and what is going on in their lives, out of work as well as init. It should not surprise him that people accused of skiving tend to live up totheir reputation. He should perhaps ask himself some serious questions aboutwhy the employees with whom he is familiar just can’t face getting out of bedfor him. Elizabeth McCaw Director of consultancy and training, ICAS Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article
Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. UK productivity levels higher than feared after measurement changeOn 24 Feb 2004 in Personnel Today The UK’s much maligned productivity levels are much better than previouslythought after authorities changed the way international figures are measured. Revisions to the ‘International price comparison data’, which is used tocalculate output, shows that rather than being in the doldrums, UK productivityhas steadily improved over the past decade. According to the revised figures, the UK has now caught up with Germanyalthough it is still 13 per cent behind the G7 nations as a block. New figures published by the Office for National Statistics found thatrelative to other G7 countries, GDP per worker in 2002 was 112.8, compared with116.5 under the old system. Chief economist John Philpott of the Chartered Institute of Personnel andDevelopment said the figures were good news, but shouldn’t mask the gap thatstill remains. “As a country we’ve been beating ourselves up about productivity, butit seems we’ve been doing better than we had thought,” he said. “There’s still a big gap with the G7 and we’re around 20 per centbehind the Americans, so there’s no room for complacency.” He said that a long period of economic stability had helped the UK catch upwith Germany, which has long been seen as a byword for efficiency. “It seems that business has got the message about training and moreeffective people management,” he added. The DTI has made improving productivity one of its major priorities and lastyear recruited US economic guru Michael Porter to investigate the problemsspecific to British business. By Ross Wigham Previous Article Next Article
Have you detected a change in the mood of your finance director? If so, heor she could be suffering from an increasingly common complaint – frustrationwith HR. New figures from research company Webster Buchanan (see right) show that ourfinance colleagues are concerned at the pace of change and amount of effortgoing into measuring the business impact of HR metrics. Their view is that HRis struggling to provide the hard evidence employers need to make key workforcedecisions. While the majority of HR teams are now reporting basic people data, very feware actually linking it effectively to broader performance issues. It is thischallenge that still seems to be eluding the profession, and some of theresponsibility must lie with the Government’s Accounting for People Taskforce. Its recommendations in 2003 were deliberately non-prescriptive – recognisingthat all organisations are different. However, there was widespread agreementat the time that a non-mandatory, less uniform approach would provide theflexibility to motivate employers towards an human capital management (HCM)revolution. But there has been insufficient practical help to support employerssince then, and few could deny that progress has been slow in linking HCM tothe bottom line. Making the connections between employee data and the repercussions on thebusiness has to become a collective duty. HR should take the lead, but it needsto work closely with the finance department and the board to ensure its treatedwith the same rigour as any other asset. Personnel Today will be conducting its own research into HCM progressshortly. So watch this space. In the meantime, let us know about yourinformation needs on HCM and we will try to deliver. By Jane King, editor Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Keeping accountants on side is essentialOn 16 Mar 2004 in Personnel Today