May 17, 2021

Importance of HR role is recognised at last

first_img Comments are closed. The latest survey results on HRjobs bring good news for the profession – or at least to the most skilledpractitioners. Top HR people are in greater demand than ever and companies areprepared to pay big salaries to attract them, according to the latest survey ofadvertised HR jobs by SSP. One HR director says that there are organisationsoffering up to £200,000 to attract the right HR director. HR professionals havereacted to their increasing marketability by changing jobs more often, chasinghigher salaries and greater challenges. This is a situationthat HR directors have been aware of for some time but the latest figuresshould add weight to their arguments in the boardroom that if you want toattract the most talented HR people you have to offer salaries to match thatability.It is great news forthe most able practitioners, those who are truly making a difference in theirorganisations. Of course, you’re more likely to be able to command a big salaryif you work in the South East or in professional services, IT or the financesector. We should remember,too, that there is likely to be a slowdown in the growth of HR jobs and pay asthe recession begins to bite, as there will be in every other profession too. There are, of course,two sides to every story. While it is good news for ambitious HR professionals thattheir skills carry a high price tag, the high turnover of HR staff is creatingproblems for those who have the task of replacing departing colleagues.On the whole, though,the news is positive, and the latest indication that the HR profession has comeof age. Perhaps businesses are finally learning that you can’t run a successfulenterprise simply by scrutinising the numbers on the balance sheet. Previous Article Next Article Importance of HR role is recognised at lastOn 24 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Foundations for success?

first_img Previous Article Next Article Foundations for success?On 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The Foundation Degrees scheme launched this summer sounds like the idealbridge between academia and work. But will employers benefit? Simon KentreportsAt the end of September 4,000 places became available for new FoundationCourses, a work-based, degree-level qualification. With a choice of 69 courses,70 per cent of which are to be delivered part time, it is the latest initiativein the Government’s campaign to give 50 per cent of all young people the chanceto benefit from higher education by the age of 30. While still in theirinfancy, there appears to be enthusiasm for this new approach from employersinvolved in their creation. But what will Foundation Degrees really bring tothe job market and will the early enthusiasm be justified in the long run? Sue Ogden Training development officer, KLM UK EngineeringThe Foundation Degree will help maintenance organisations and airlines findthe well-qualified, skilled people to fill skills shortages or develop theirexisting staff for more challenging and responsible roles. The status of aircraft engineers will be raised significantly and will givestudents a wider range of options to help them fulfil their career potential. Margaret Hodge Lifelong Learning and Higher Education MinisterTackling skills shortages in key industry sectors is essential to supportthe future growth of UK businesses. Many top companies are crying out forpeople with the right skills and foundation degrees are a great way to deliverthe opportunities for individuals and appropriate skills for employers. Graduates with a Foundation Degree will have what employers want – athorough academic grounding coupled with practical job skills. And becausethese courses are vocational, they are attractive to people who are uncertainabout higher education and want certainty that it will provide a passport to ajob. Mike Cannell Adviser for training and development, CIPDFor the past 15 years or so, this country has suffered in comparison withcountries like Germany or France, from a shortage of intermediate skills. Wehave a high proportion of young people with degrees and a high proportion withno qualifications at all. There has been a lack of good technicians and so it’sclearly a good idea to fill that gap. Having said that, past experience makes me sceptical about these newqualifications. I go along with the principal that intermediate skills needboosting to get our competitiveness up, but the real test will come in two orthree years’ time when we can see what is being provided in this area. David Allan Group human resources director, Huntsman’s Tioxide and PetrochemicalsThis initiative is a good example of excellent collaboration of chemicalindustry representatives, the academic world and the Government’s furthereducation department officials. The scheme has two major key benefits – it will provide another positiveroute into the chemical industry for young people and, as jobs in our industrycontinue to become more and more technically demanding, this course will be avery useful vehicle for up-skilling our existing people and helping them togain a much deeper academic and theoretical background to add to theirpractical experience. Elizabeth Clark HR manager and executive board member, EEF, LancashireThese qualifications fill an important gap in the education system. At themoment, if an individual does not attain certain qualifications by a certaintime, they can leave without fulfilling their potential. These degrees offer agood way for capable workers to achieve a higher academic level. Doing a degreerequires a different mindset and it can be difficult for those who are used toworking on a practical application to make the transition. The degrees will be important to the nation as a whole to gain a competitiveedge through the innovation of our people against the lure of cheaper labourcosts of developing nations. We need to improve our academic skills andencourage R&D to maintain and grow our position in global markets. Gavin Dykes Head of business, management and IT, NescotIn our Sports Therapy Foundation Degree, successful students will gainrecognition from the Association of Sports Therapists, and therefore to movequickly to professional practice. In the E-commerce Technologies Foundation Degree, students will be assistedin their learning through using Cisco and Microsoft materials. They will be ina position to add value to their degree by taking professional computingqualifications. Work experience is built into the courses, and for those keen to developtheir studies further, progression routes to full honours degrees have beenidentified. The result of the partnership between industry and education is new,exciting and relevant qualifications that provide benefits all round. Linda booth HR director, Your CommunicationsYour Communications has become involved in delivering the telecomsspecialism of a technology foundation degree at Blackburn College. We aren’tyet expecting all our people to do a foundation degree, but we don’t run anyapprenticeship schemes and a Foundation Degree could be a good way of bridgingthat gap. The course at Blackburn College is very flexible. Students can move on to itfrom an HNC, and it’s a modular programme so they can do it full or part time. We normally employ graduates, but Foundation Degrees will enable students tocompete for one of our graduate traineeships. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Call for outright ban on smoking

first_imgThe Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has stepped up its campaignfor an outright ban on smoking in all workplaces, including pubs andrestaurants. The institute cited research by Maurice Mulcahy, an environmental health officerfrom Ireland, showing passive smoking posed a greater risk than previouslythought and pub workers were subjected to excessive amounts of carbon monoxideand environmental tobacco smoke. During the summer, the Government, after pressure from pubs and restaurants,rejected advice from the Health and Safety Commission for a code to forceemployers either to ban smoking or take stringent measures to protect stafffrom others’ smoke. In September, the CIEH urged the Government to review its smoking policy andimplement an outright ban. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Call for outright ban on smokingOn 1 Dec 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Minister urges HR to take lead in work disputes

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Minister urges HR to take lead in work disputesOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today The Employment Minister, Alan Johnson, has told HR it must play a lead rolein improving employment relations. Speaking at a conference last week, Johnson told delegates that since the1980s HR’s expertise in employment relations has become increasingly important.”Now people are realising that all of that HR and employment relationsis absolutely central to all aspects of business,” said Johnson. “It is a completely different approach from previous decades, when Ithink people thought employment relations was a fluffy add-on.” Johnson said that during the 1980s and early 1990s HR was often seen asirrelevant and line managers were perceived to be getting on with the ‘real’jobs. He is confident that HR’s current position at the heart of the businessagenda will remain regardless of economic conditions. “Some people say that HR’s new role is down to the current war fortalent, the tight labour market, the recruitment situation and the whole battlefor quality staff – who will not join or stay with them [companies] withoutgood terms and conditions. But I think that it is more than that.” The minister said at the AnUMan conference in London that in Europe HR’simportance is well established. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Minister sets a five-year target for working week

first_img Previous Article Next Article Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt has set employers a five-yeardeadline to make significant progress towards reducing the UK’s long-hoursworking culture. She told delegates at a conference in London last week that the UK has thehighest number of full-time employees working long hours in Europe and it isdamaging the productivity of the country’s workforce. To help employers reduce working hours, the DTI will produce advice foremployers as well as promote best practice. Hewitt announced that she is to lead a study programme that will investigatethe impact of shorter hours and the implementation of the Working TimeDirective, which limits staff to a 48-hour week. The study will take account of working practices in France, the Netherlandsand North America. Hewitt believes the key to reducing long working hours is to convinceemployers of the merits of flexible working. “So many employers have still not seen the light,” she said,adding that while more employers do now understand about parents’ need to workflexibly, awareness of the issues needs to be universal. “That way we willget employers to understand the cost of failing to implement flexible and family-friendlypolicies. This will highlight the cost of recruiting for vacancies because theycannot retain staff.” Speaking at the TUC’s About Time conference, Hewitt said she would have”failed” if a “serious inroad” into reducing long hours infive years has not been achieved. “It is a hugely important subject that can increase productivity,workforce gender diversity and the conditions that our children grow up in. Weneed to change attendance in the workplace. We must find a way to increaseproductivity, retain pay and reduce hours,” she said. “Fair standards and the rights of all need to be balanced with the needto raise productivity. It is a challenge that we together – the Government,employers and trade unions – can meet.” By Paul Nelson Minister sets a five-year target for working weekOn 12 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Employee investing

first_imgEmployee investingOn 1 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. According to the 2000 Global Share Plans Survey, conducted by the HumanCapital Group at Andersen, more companies are offering their employees thechance to put their savings into the market. Among the survey’s highlights were[80%] of participating companies offer some form of global share plan [89%] that have plans offer more than one plan [79%] with plans offer one that covers only senior management Source: International Mobility Management Newsletter, 4th Quarter, 2001 Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Uncertain where my weaknesses lie

first_imgUncertain where my weaknesses lieOn 19 Mar 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. I have been in HR for many years and have just begun work at a very seniorlevel for a large UK organisation. Although I’m well qualified and experienced,I am slightly concerned there may be gaps in my experience that I don’t knowabout. I’m looking for development opportunities which would help me ease intomy new role, but I have found very little development which is aimed at seniorHR people. Any suggestions? Clare Judd, senior consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes You mention that you are well qualified, so I’ll assume you have a postgraduate qualification. As you don’t know where your knowledge gaps lie, Iwould suggest several approaches to ensure that you continue to develop yourskills. Networking with peers within and outside your business sector is essentialfor benchmarking best practice in other organisations. Useful events to networkcould include the CIPD knowledge network groups or breakfast seminars. By attending short courses or one-day seminars you will continue to developand broaden your technical knowledge. There are several seminars aimed at boardor senior level HR professionals and these tend to be advertised in the HRtrade press. Continue to read the HR trade press, particularly those aimed at the seniorHR professionals (eg BoardroomHR produced by Personnel Today) and supplementthis with specialist journals. Finally, you could look at having a mentor or coach. Both use processes thatenable individuals to achieve their full potential. Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS Consultancy There are a number of options you may want to consider. Many senior people have felt the need for mentors. While in the past amentor was seen as a sign of weakness, they are now often seen as a fundamentalpart of senior management development programmes. The CIPD is introducing new standards from 1 June 2002. You may want tothink about benchmarking your knowledge and skills against these, particularlythe higher level ones. There are some colleges and consultancies which cansupport you to gain Certificates of Competence against the standards. Have you also tapped into your local professional networks? It is often thecase that they are developing both formal and informal programmes to supportthe development of their members. Peter Wilford, consultant, Chiumento If you are in a senior role it is likely that you are looking for some helpin developing your strategic vision and keeping up-to-date with HR initiatives– you could consider a short business strategy course. If you are concernedabout your overall level of business knowledge then it could be worthconsidering an MBA. Make time to read books and articles about the latest ideasand business theories. To update your HR knowledge, network with colleagues inother organisations to understand the types of initiatives they areundertaking. You may also consider mentoring/coaching. It is not clear whether you arethe senior HR person but, if so, the obvious person would be a senior linemanager or director. Also, you need to stay abreast of developments. An experienced HR professional from outside the organisation might be yourbest bet here, particularly someone with a breadth of experience like aninterim manager. last_img read more

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BT’s high performers get more home time

first_imgBT is set to launch a performance-related pay scheme for customer serviceengineers to improve their productivity and work-life balance. John Steele, BT group personnel director, wants to roll out its newself-motivated teams concept in early summer to 25,000 staff. It will rewardstaff for performance rather than attendance, and enable parents to spend moretime with their families. Customer service engineers, who fit and repair BT products in homes andbusinesses, traditionally topped up their salaries through overtime. Butengineers in self-motivated teams will be able to accumulate points for highperformance that will translate into additional pay to their basic salary. Points can be accumulated on an individual and team basis for the number ofjobs completed, quality of work and improvements in customer satisfaction, forexample. A 13-week trial of the PRP system among 5,500 field engineers, which endedin March, boosted productivity by 5 per cent and quality of service by 8 percent. Steele said: “The people who missed out on overtime because of familycommitments will now be able to earn more money by performing better and havingthe opportunity to do more in the time available.” During the trial, engineers also worked two hours less a week and earnedmore, claimed Steele. Unions are consulting with members over the new system. – See next week’s issue for a full interview with John Steele ahead ofBT’s work-life balance conference, 8-12 April. BT’s high performers get more home timeOn 2 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Wedgwood axes staff and moves production to Asia

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Wedgwood axes staff and moves production to AsiaOn 10 Jun 2003 in Personnel Today Waterford Wedgwood is following in the footsteps of vacuum cleaner firmDyson by moving part of its ceramics production to the Far East, shedding morethan 1,000 jobs. The company has announced the phased closure of two earthenware factoriesbased in Stoke-on-Trent, resulting in the loss of 761 production-related jobsand a further 297 infrastructure-related positions. In February last year, Dyson announced 800 UK redundancies as a result ofmoving production to Malaysia. A spokesman for Waterford Wedgwood said its management was consulting withthe pottery union CATU and hoped some of the job losses could be deliveredthrough voluntary redundancy. He said the firm has been hit by a combination of the growth of foreignimports in key UK and US markets and challenging trading conditions, meaning itis unable to compete against significantly lower overseas manufacturing costs. Richard Hawes, partner within consultancy Grant Thornton’s recovery andre-organisation practice, said the drain of jobs to the Far East wouldcontinue. “Attracted by cheap labouring costs, free trade zones and improvedglobal reach, many UK companies are following the example of the likes of Dysonand moving production lines to Asia to increase profit margins.” However John Philpott, chief economist for the Chartered Institute ofPersonnel and Development, does not believe there will be a huge exodus ofmanufacturing jobs abroad. “I think it is the lower cost, lower value operations that are most atrisk,” he said. By Ben Willmott Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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Insurance firm offers staff stress training

first_imgInsurance firm offers staff stress trainingOn 1 Aug 2003 in Personnel Today City insurance firm Markel is offering training to help its workforcerecognise the symptoms of stress in themselves and others. The training, which began in June, is web-based for easier accessibility toits 460 UK staff. It is divided into modules and suggests a range of techniques and tools to helpdeal with stress. Staff are tested at the end of each section to ensure theyunderstand what they have learned. The training focuses on things such as the need for regular breaks and opencommunication between colleagues and managers about workloads and deadlines. The finance sector has traditionally had a ‘stiff upper lip’ approach tostress, offering employees huge financial rewards but demanding long hours,under high pressure, with the possibility of burning out. But attitudes are changing. At Markel, the online course has been placed ona separate part of the company’s intranet, giving staff access to it at anytime. Ella Gosling, Markel recruitment and training specialist, said:”Feedback has been very good. People say the suggestions have helped andthat it has been really good for raising awareness.” Markel plans to hold focus groups to assess what effect the training hashad. The system was developed specifically for Markel at a cost of £5,000 byMarshall ACM. Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

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