Finance sector short circuits recruitment for electronics

first_img Comments are closed. Growthof the electronics industry in the UK is being threatened by the financialsector’s more successful recruitment programmes, claims a newly releas-edgovernment-backed report.Thereport, by KPMG and the Federation of the Electronics Industry, discovered thatnearly all of those surveyed (98 per cent) agreed that skills shortages are themost pressing issue for the industry.Italso claims that the electronics industry is unable to compete with the “goldenhellos” of up to £10,000 being offered to graduates by employers in thefinancial services sector.BillParsons, executive vice- president of human resources of ARM Holdings, agreeswith the report’s findings. He said, “The skills shortage in this country is amajor issue – there are just not enough suitable graduates coming out ofuniversity. Like all UK-based electronics companies we are predominatelyrecruiting from abroad including America and the Far East.” Hecontinued, “The report is [also] correct that closer links with the Governmentand education is essential. Electronic companies need to follow our leadlinking up with the top universities. ARMsponsors students and research at Cambridge and Liverpool universities, andruns a four-year degree course in electronic and software engineering atLoughborough University. Over90 per cent of those surveyed claimed that working with the education sector toalter the perception of the industry would help to improve public awareness andattract employees. CrispinO’Brien, head of electronics at KPMG, said, “The electronics industry has todevelop stronger links with the Government and education to raise the profileof the industry and change perceptions. This is essential if companies are toattract and retain high-calibre school-leavers and graduates to the industry.”www.kpmg.comByPaul Nelson Previous Article Next Article Finance sector short circuits recruitment for electronicsOn 27 Feb 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Industry shuns online training

first_img Comments are closed. Morethan three-quarters of employers have yet to embrace online training methods,according to a major CIPD survey.Morethan 500 HR professionals questioned say that 84 per cent of training managers preferto use face-to-face training courses, with 45 per cent claiming to have neverused the Internet for training.Uncertaintyover the use of the new technology remains high, with 40 per cent of thosesurveyed unable to answer questions on using the intranet or Internet.  MikeCannell, CIPD’s adviser on training and development, said, “This suggests agreat deal of nervousness about how to tackle e-learning, not least because onecan make expensive mistakes by choosing the wrong solutions.”Therehas been an increase of a third in intranet and Internet use by employers.Cannellexplained, “Technology is playing an increasing role but the more traditionalmethods of learning far outweigh online learning.” Industry shuns online trainingOn 3 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Go gets to grips with communications

first_imgGo gets to grips with communicationsOn 1 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today As controversy rages over government plans to implement the EU directive oninformation and consultation, Dominic Paul, director of people services andbusiness development at Go, the low cost airline, explains to Sara Bean how thecompany’s proactive communications strategy has benefited the organisationA recent announcement by the EU suggests that the decision to consult is beingtaken out of employers’ hands. Many UK business leaders were clearly irked bythe Government’s agreement to the “EU domestic works councildirective”. This will require employers with more than 150 staff to informand consult staff on all crucial decisions within the next three years, whilecompanies with more than 100 staff have five years and those with a workforceof more than 50 now have seven years. Like it or not, better communication in one form or another is on theagenda. So what can UK firms do to ensure they have an effective policy inplace? And how exactly do you construct such a policy in the first place? The communications strategy at Go, the low cost airline, is an excellentexample of a proactive approach to employee communication and a useful model toother organisations that may currently be considering how to revise theirconsultation policies. The directors and senior managers of Go kept staff informed of a recentmanagement buyout by personally ringing each member of staff. And, according toDominic Paul, director of people development, that was the culmination of theorganisation’s ongoing approach to employee communications. He explains, “The idea is to make sure that everyone feels involved.It’s a bit like when there’s a delay on an aircraft, as long as the pilotadvises you why there is a delay and how long you’re likely to wait, you feelinformed. That’s how it works with Go employees, they know what’s going onbecause we keep them informed.” British Airways set up Go in 1998 with the idea of providing a low costairline with a high level of customer service. Starting with just one aircraft,Go expanded quickly, and by the end of last year reported profits of £4m andrevenues of £159.7m, up 59 per cent from 2000. When British Airways decided toconcentrate on premium rate travellers it decided to sell off the low costairline. After six months of uncertainty, Go’s management team agreed a managementbuyout, aided by 3i, the European venture capitalist. Before news of the agreementcould break in the media, the management team went to great efforts to ensurethat staff were informed of the deal. Says Paul, “When the sale was agreed, we stopped all the phones forfive minutes and told our people immediately. As we’ve such a disparateworkforce, we then needed to tell other staff, many of who were in the air,about the management buyout. We then spent four hours calling everyonepersonally to tell him or her what was going on. Those we couldn’t get hold of,we left a message explaining what was going on.” Although each call only took around five minutes, the efforts made by the 19senior managers and directors to call all 750 staff meant that all Goemployees, wherever they were, knew that the deal was going through, what it wouldmean to them, and how a letter was being sent out to them to explain the dealin more detail. This kind of hands on approach typifies the firm’s emphasis onmaintaining a positive communications programme. And unlike many other,primarily office-based UK businesses, Go has some interesting challenges tomeet to ensure that every member of staff is kept informed. One of the biggest communications challenges at Go is the fact that much ofits staff work unsociable hours. Aside from office-based employees, includingthose in accounts, administration, engineering, marketing and sales, there areboth ground crew who work unsociable hours and aircraft crew, who for much ofthe time are in the air. The company uses a number of ways to keep staff in theloop. It operates a “cascade” system of communication where managers arekept informed of business developments and in turn pass this information on toindividual teams. There are also regular forums where general managementdecisions are explained, an overview is given of the state of the business andparticipants are given the opportunity to ask questions. When employees walk into reception, they have the opportunity to postquestions on a whiteboard and receive an answer within the week. Thisinnovation is of particular use to crew, as they’re not generally around toattend staff forums. However, says Paul, “The crew all come to the main office forbriefings. A lot of the other airlines brief staff at the airport, which candistance them somewhat from the rest of the company. We do it here, not awayfrom the rest of the business.” Go also uses the latest technology to keep staff up to date with companynews. “Go TV” is broadcast every day on television monitors and isused to supply all sorts of useful information, from the latest share resultsto more light-hearted news, such as the results of a recent “BigBrother” competition. The company intranet is another rich source of communication. Relativelyeasy to set up, an intranet affords an invaluable way of providing regularlyupdated information. By using the intranet, the management can easily post thelatest sales figures, the situation regarding the management buyout and generalstaff gossip, including employees’ birthdays. A day away from the workplace is another less formal way of communicatingcompany values. The company held a “Go” day a couple of years ago tocommunicate the vision and purposes of the company to staff. It recently held a”Let’s Go again” day to update staff and brief them on the firm’sfive-year vision. This culminated in the directors taking 670 staff out todinner. Says Paul, “We do like to do things informally. It fits into the styleof what we do. We have a relaxed approach, and this comes through in the stateof mind of our staff, whether young or more mature.” The chief executive of Go, Barbara Cassani, also makes great efforts to keepin touch with Go employees by recording a weekly message to staff every Friday.This can be accessed via an internal number for office-based staff, with aspecial external number for crew. And, says Paul, “She’s very direct andhonest with staff on what’s been happening.” Currently, the biggest challenge for Paul and the rest of the managementteam is to explain the employee share offer. As part of the purchase agreement,19 of Go’s senior management have invested their own money in the company, andall of Go’s 750 employees are being offered share options. The firm has organised a series of presentations explaining the terms of theshare options and what they will mean for employees. In practice this meansPaul has given 30 presentations in 10 days, which, where crew and pilots areconcerned, includes evenings and Saturdays. Paul agrees that this strategy is hard work but one which definitely paysoff. “It’s something I feel strongly about, because it’s important thatpeople understand how they can make the share options work for them.” Paul also believes that one of the greatest benefits of the company’sproactive communications strategy is in recruitment and retention. The resultsof a yearly survey of employees show that 93 per cent understand what Go istrying to achieve, 81 per cent think Go is a great place to work, andsignificantly, 83 per cent feel they contribute to the company’s development. As a result, the firm has a lot of internal promotion and people are oftenreluctant to leave. Says Paul, “We are a ‘people business’ and ouremployees are mainly on the front line of that, so it’s important we reflectthat in how we deal internally. It really is a simple model. We care about ourcustomers and in order to provide a good service we make sure we’ve got a happyand well-motivated workforce. It’s clear where the company is going andeveryone will pull together. There is a real energy in the business.” Communication tipsDominic Paul has “five tips forgood communication”: – Listen carefully to your people. Only by understanding themwill you know how to communicate to them– Keep communication simple. No one likes lengthy communications– Keep communication relevant. Always think about what peopleare likely to be interested in – Always be as honest as possible -it pays dividends in thelong run and leads to trust– Always remember that good communication takes effort. Planwhat you are going to say, what the message is and what it means for people. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Briefing

first_imgA round-up of news from the professional journalsAcupuncture safety Two large studies have concluded that acupuncture performed by competentpractitioners is relatively safe. Minor incidents such as bleeding, needle painand fainting were the main adverse effects recorded and all these weretransitory. Nursing Times 31 August 2001 Bullying in the NHS Poor management and a bullying culture could undermine initiatives to tacklethe NHS nursing recruitment and retention crisis, researchers have warned.Intensive telephone interviews carried out with 15 nurses and 15 GPs who haveleft the NHS revealed nurses were embittered by a constant struggle to achievetheir professional goals and provide quality care. Nursing Times 29 August 2001 Identifying ex-smokers Paying practice nurses and GPs to identify smokers who have quit has noeffect on their behaviour and will not improve cessation rates, research shows.Offering £15 to identify patients who had quit in the past three months didnothing to overcome nurses’ and GPs’ reluctance to raise the issue of smokingif they thought it would cause confrontation. Nursing Times 24 August 2001 Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. BriefingOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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‘Real business lack is hindering me

first_imgI have worked in HR since I graduated nine years ago. I have completed myCIPD studies and have a Masters degree. Although my career has steadilydeveloped, I’m beginning to feel that my lack of ‘real’ business experienceoutside HR may be slowing my progress. Any suggestions? Victoria Wall, managing director, Victoria Wall Associates Having gained nine years experience, you will be regarded as an HR expert byyour colleagues and line management; however the more ‘business’ knowledge youcan demonstrate, the more opportunities will open up to you. Lack of experiencewill not slow your progress, if you make every effort to gain real businessknowledge of the industry sector in which you work. Ensure you are up to date with new developments within your organisation andindustry sector, read trade rather than just HR press, and if possible attendinternal meetings and training courses as an observer. Good business acumenshown by knowledge of the ‘bottom line’ and by understanding the sector you areworking in will raise your credibility internally and develop your career tothe next stage. Grant Taylor, consultant, Macmillan Davies Hodes It would be interesting to find out why you feel your progress is slow andhow you are measuring your progress. It could be you are ready for your nextmove up the ladder and feel you lack experience at a business rather thandepartmental level. With your good academic background you now need practicalexperience at the next level, and to gain this you need to add a ‘businessperspective’ to everything you do. You need to consider how you may be able to add value to the bottom line ofthe business from an HR perspective and then be proactive in taking your ideasto the senior management team. By doing this you may find yourself included more readily in strategy planningand business level decision-making. If you are unsure about how you may achievethis, you need a mentor to learn from. Attach yourself to someone you can learnfrom by for example, asking to shadow the HR director in some of their work, orconsider moving on to somewhere where you will have more involvement at thislevel if that is not possible where you are now. Peter Sell, joint managing director, DMS Consultancy While you may read about the HR impact on the business in this and othermagazines, the reality is that many organisations do not yet recognise thecontribution HR can bring to business effectiveness. This can be attributed toa number of factors; for example the lack of opportunity to be involved in thebusiness, the perception of senior staff on the role of HR, the need for HR tobalance business needs with a professional and ethical approach to the peopleissues. You need to look at your organisation and see if any of the above applies.If you think not, you need to push for more involvement. Give the senior teamexamples of how HR can better support the business. If you feel your present organisation will not be supportive, move on. Youmay consider a general management role to broaden your experience and then lookto move back into HR at a later date. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. ‘Real business lack is hindering meOn 23 Jul 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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Case round-up

first_img Previous Article Next Article Case round-up by Eversheds 020 7919 4500Tribunal recommendsre-employment Sterling v Leeds Rhinos Rugby Club and others EAT, 9 September 2002, AllER(D) 110n Sterling was employed by Leeds Rhinos to play rugby league football under aseries of contracts. During his last contract, he was excluded from the firstteam squad and subsequently brought tribunal complaints for race discriminationand victimisation. The tribunal found that Leeds Rhinos had racially discriminated againstSterling by excluding him from the first team and had victimised him by failingproperly to investigate his complaint of race discrimination. Sterlingindicated that, having brought a successful tribunal complaint, he anticipatedsome problems in obtaining new employment. The tribunal recommended that LeedsRhinos should offer Sterling a contract on the same terms as his previouscontract and also awarded him £10,000 for injury to feelings. However, LeedsRhinos successfully appealed against the tribunal’s recommendation ofre-employment. A tribunal’s power to make a recommendation in these circumstances must befor the purpose of reducing or obviating the adverse effect of thediscrimination about which he has complained. While the tribunal’srecommendation of a new contract had been intended to minimise Sterling’sdifficulties in obtaining employment, it did not reduce the effect of hisexclusion from the first team or failure properly to investigate his assertionof discrimination. No entitlement to ill health payment Campbell v Union Carbide Ltd EAT, 15 March 2002, All ER(D) 143 The EAT Tribunal recently ruled that an employee had no contractualentitlement to an ex-gratia payment when his employment was terminated on thegrounds of ill health. n Campbell worked for ICI plc when his employment was transferred to UnionCarbide on the same terms and conditions. ICI’s practice had been to make anex-gratia payment to employees dismissed on the grounds of ill health, after anabsence of six months. Campbell was absent on sick leave for six months, whenUnion Carbide terminated his employment. Campbell brought a tribunal claim,arguing that he was contractually entitled to the ill health payment, on thegrounds that the term was implied into his contract by custom and practice. Thetribunal dismissed his claim and Campbell appealed. The EAT dismissed his appeal. The fact that the payment had always been madedid not in itself give rise to the implication of a term by custom andpractice. It could not be inferred that both parties intended the ill healthretirement payment to form a term of the contract, and Union Carbide wastherefore not contractually bound to make such a payment. Case round-upOn 22 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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People

first_imgNoelPatterson has been appointed personnel director at the Red Bull Company. Hefirst started working at the group as a consultant in the summer of 2001, whenhe implemented a change programme. In his new role, he will direct all HRactivity for the UK and Ireland as well as having an influence in the company’sinternational operations.Howdid you get involved with Red Bull?Ibegan working with Red Bull as a consultant to prepare and implement thedevelopment of the company from a marketing-based business of 30 people, to aclosely-integrated sales and marketing organisation of more than 170.Whatare your main duties?Todirect all HR and related issues for Red Bull in the UK and Ireland, as well asliaison with Red Bull International operations based in Austria.Whatdo you want to achieve in the role?Maintainingthe creativity, passion and innovation of Red Bull, while adding a strongcommercial focus and direction through the training, development andrecruitment of great people.What’sthe best thing about HR?Theopportunity to be involved in all areas of business activity, both formally andinformally. Compared to other management disciplines, so little of yourexperience and knowledge base loses its relevance. There’s also the relief ofnot being benchmarked or measured as much as the rest of the business.Whatare you most excited about?Enablingthe exceptional talent we have recruited with the business during the past yearto blend and complement those who have given Red Bull its success to date.Howwill you use HR to impact the bottom line?Bygiving structure and insight to develop the commercial value and impact of ourpeople, while ensuring the Red Bull culture, which drives our innovation andsuccess, remains paramount.Whatabout your personal life?Iam married with three boys under 12 so I am an expert in World WrestlingEntertainmentª moves, Playstation cheats and contemporary names for bodilyfunctions. I enjoy playing the sports I can still manage (like skiing or squash),and drinking while watching those I can’t. A fun and socially-active workingenvironment is one of the best ways to cope with the challenges of work andhome life.CV2002Personnel director, the Red Bull Company1994Various roles including personnel director, Matthew Clark Plc1992Judge, Institute of Management, Cambridge University1988Employee relations manager, Grand Metropolitan Brewing 1980Employee relations adviser, Mobil Oil Company On the moveTheAssociation of Graduate Careers Advisory Services has made two new appointmentsto its senior management team. John Gough, head of careers and student welfareat De Montfort University has joined the organisation as president for atwo-year term. He succeeds Lesley Knaggs and has been in AGCAS since 1992.Margaret Dane joins from Heriot-Watt University and becomes the new chiefexecutive.EstherMcLeod is the new HR manager at car manufacturer Kia Motors. The company hasemerged from the MCL group and is now operating independently. McLeod’s mainresponsibilities are around HR strategy, training and development, policymaking and recruitment. She will have an HR assistant and an HR co-ordinator tohelp with the administrative side of the job.StephenSmith has been promoted from development manager to HR director for AlliedGlass Containers, the glass-packing division of Associated British Foods. Hejoined the firm in 1993 as personnel manager and, since then, has been integralto the company’s HR and training strategies. Prior to joining Allied GlassContainers, Smith worked in the UK and overseas for organisations includingBritish Tissues and the SmithKline Corporation. Comments are closed. PeopleOn 29 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Shared HR services are not sweat shops

first_img Previous Article Next Article HR shared services is a term that we’ve used for years in the HR function.It became common parlance when leading HR management thinker Dave Ulrichstarted to take our money at conferences by persuading us that a ‘3 box model’of strategic business partners, expert services and shared services is the onlyanswer. Most organisations have begun the move towards this model of HR as businesspartners, some have developed global experts in areas such as compensation oremployment law, and others have either outsourced or tried to create their ownshared services. Without doubt, any efficient and effective HR shared services operation hasto understand what it offers customers, has to design its processes to beefficient and continually improve them, has to match its organisation structureto these processes, and has to utilise an appropriate level of automation. This inevitably forces HR to centralise transactional and administrativeactivities and co-locate employees. However, transferring employees andactivities into one building does not mean you are creating a call centre. Weall have an idea of what a call centre looks like: warehouse accommodation andcubicles to hide the constant chatter or the hum of white-noise used to mufflethe sound of the operators. But is this really what centralised HR looks like? Not at all. I’ve recentlybeen involved in co-locating 250 HR employees to a new purpose-built sharedfacility in Preston, Lancashire, as part of an outsourcing deal of 500employees. And it’s a service centre not a call centre. When we first told employees of the plans, there were concerns. The thoughtof moving and above all to be forced to move into what they perceived as a‘call centre’ was a step too far. And yet six months later employeesatisfaction is at an all time high. This is because it soon became obvious that – having organised a number ofearly viewings of the facility for employees – the purpose-built centre wouldoffer light, bright and high-tech accommodation. It was better than the normalsecond-rate offices and portakabins that many of our HR employees had been usedto. In addition, and probably more importantly for me, only one team of lessthan 20 employees work in the customer support team, staffing the phones. Theyhandle a customer base of more than 50,000 employees and aim to handle 80 percent of enquiries. The remaining employees are in project and process teams, ITand portal development, finance, HR procurement, pensions, administration, anddo on. This is not a call centre, and I suggest that such preconceptions should bereserved for telephone banking or Holiday booking operations – not for the HRfunction. By Alan Bailey, Head of communications and change management, Xchanging Related posts:No related photos. Shared HR services are not sweat shopsOn 12 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

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European Commission decides future of UK’s opt-out rights

first_imgEuropean Commission decides future of UK’s opt-out rightsOn 1 Dec 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Employers and politicians are bracing themselves for an end to the UK’sopt-out from the Working Time Directive, which allows staff to waive theirright to work no more than 48-hours a week. The UK remains the only EU member country to have the opt-out and pressurehas been mounting in Europe to bring the UK into line with other states,restricting staff to a 48-hour working week. The European Commission hasembarked on a review of the directive and will rule on revisions to thelegislation by the end of November 2003. David Yeandle, deputy director of employment policy at the EngineeringEmployers Federation, said meetings with Fernando Pereira, the commissionerresponsible for the review, indicate that an end to the opt-out is inevitable.He said the EEF would be pushing for some sort of quid pro quo, however, suchas being able to average working hours across a year. “Given that the UK is the only country to take advantage of theopt-out, it will be a difficult battle to persuade others to allow it toremain,” said Yeandle. “We will be pressing for as long a lead timebefore that happens as possible to make the necessary changes and ideally to beable to average working hours over 52 weeks.” A poll in Personnel Today revealed that two-thirds of employers believe anend to the opt-out would increase labour costs, such as forcing companies whichoperate production lines to fall back on contract workers to keep theiroperations running. Others have welcomed the news, believing it signals a positive move towardsending the long-hours culture, which plagues the UK and is deemed to undermineproductivity. Paul Sellers, policy officer at the TUC, said the Government has littlechoice in the matter. “The Government has made a public commitment tostamp out the long-hours culture within five years and if it is going to meetthat target it is going to have to change the law,” he said. “But essentially we believe this is a piece of health and safety legislationand there should be no exemptions.” Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

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Bank saves with online recruits

first_img Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. HFC Bank says a new online recruitment programme will save it £500,000 ayear and improve the quality of new hires. David Smith, head of HR operations in the UK and Europe, said HFC – thelargest independent finance house in the world – recruits up to 1,000 people ayear, and the way it was managing candidates through the recruiting processneeded to be improved. “With the old system, branch managers had to look at too many CVs andit was taking too long,” he said. “We were asking too much of them.We needed to remove the front-end log-jam and needed to filter more.” The new system, tailor-made by HR Portal, allows agencies to advertisevacancies on the best job sites and includes a careers portal on the HFC Bankwebsite. It also provides better filtering of candidates and manages themthrough the system. Managers are now presented with a shorter list of more appropriatecandidates. Smith said feedback indicated if candidates were good, reducing the numberof interviews needed and saving both time and money. “We are not removingthe manager from making decisions, we are just giving them bettercandidates,” he said. Bank saves with online recruitsOn 7 Jan 2003 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

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