Recruitment

Discrimination

05 Mar
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Discrimination, employee rights, Employees, employent law, Employment, gender, HR, Maternity, Part-time Workers Act, Policies and Procedures, Race Discrimination, Recruitment, RIsk, Sexual Orientation, Video, Vlog   |  No Comments

 

Well written policies and procedures which are communicated and applied consistently are the key to ensuring that the risk  of discrimination is reduced as much as possible.

Employees (as well as workers and job applicants) could bring claims for discrimination on the basis of Age, Gender, Race, Beliefs, Marital Status, Disability and Sexual Orientation.

Care must be taken not to over generalise i.e. “everyone must wear trousers” or “everyone must work on a specific day of the week” as this could have a disproportionate negative impact on a sub sect of your workforce. Therefore you end up discriminating against some, as a result of trying to treat everyone the same.

Why Corporate Jargon And Nonsense Stops Businesses Taking HR Seriously

10 Jan
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Compensation, Contract of employment, Employees, Employment, Human Resources, people manaagment, Policies and Procedures, Recruitment, training   |  No Comments

(And The Four Processes That Most Business Owners  Need To Go Through When Dealing With Staff)

I’ve been studying and practicing HR for over 25 years. 

Which means that I ‘get it’.  I ‘understand’ it.  However ludicrously worded something is, or however jargonny a contract sounds, I can usually root out the genuine meaning, and what it means in the real world.

However, use the term HR or Human Resources in front of your common or garden business owner and you’ll often get a blank look, especially if they have never worked in large organisations or corporations that have had a whole HR department dedicated to looking after the staff, employees, and contractors.

But here’s the thing, whether you’re Mickey the Butcher or Microsoft, you still need to be able to practice HR correctly – failure to do so puts your business under significant risk from an employment tribunal.

With that in mind, this article is designed to help you to do exactly that, by cutting through the jargon and breaking down the four processes that you’ll need to go through, whether you’ve got two employees or 20,000.

So the first area is recruitment: the hiring of the right staff. 

Make sure that you know the skills that you need and that the people that you are hiring have the ability to do the job, but don’t forget that attitude and aptitude are also really, really important. 

Making sure that somebody has the right attitude, is going to fit in with your business and your culture will engage with your goals and has the ability to learn the rest of the skills that you need to give them is absolutely vital. 

Why?  Nobody is going to come fully formed, so you need employees who can be moulded, and moulding is all about attitude. 

And, as a plus point, when employees are not fully formed, they are generally easier to work with – they don’t have the same fixed ideas about things that someone who has ‘been there and done it’ has.

In addition, it is also really good idea to hire people who are better than you at key elements of the business. You shouldn’t be sweating over the books when someone else will be able to do them quicker, easier and more effectively than you.

Similarly, you may be good and able to type your letters up yourself, but actually having a VA or an in-house PA is going to drive your business forward much quicker for you as they are freeing up your time. 

 

The second element is Employee Relations

Now, this is a big area for HR!

At the most basic level, it means giving all of the staff that you hire a contract of employment. 

It means making sure that you have made decisions about:

  • How much holiday they are going to have
  • What you are going to do in the event of sick pay
  • What dress code you want within your business
  • What time you want people at work
  • What time they work till
  • How long their breaks are

Sound extreme?  Perhaps.  But by documenting all of these from day one, there is absolute clarity for you and for your staff, and no one can pretend that they didn’t know what was expected of them.

 

The third element is training, development and learning. 

Now, all three of these take time and happen in multiple phases, but all business owners need to be mindful of them; otherwise, they generally don’t happen.

Generally, the first phase is known as “induction” and when you first bring somebody into the business, the best way to get them to hit the ground running is to induct them properly. 

Once they know what they should be doing, it is all about monitoring and managing their performance so they are performing at the best possible level that they can.

And again it takes practice and they will improve over time, which is why regular documented progress meetings are a really, really useful tool.  No matter what size your business, whether you have one employee, five employees, or 25 employees, sitting down with your staff on a regular basis, sharing your vision, sharing the goals and asking them to deliver key elements of those goals is essential to moving the business forward. 

 

And then there is reward. 

Reward can come in multiple formats. 

Pay is the most obvious but there is also commission, bonus and other incentives which you give to your staff to encourage them to reach the targets that you set or to reward them for achieving certain outcomes. 

However, reward is also about the environment in which people work. 

It’s about the way in which you treat them, the pizza in the office on a Friday or giving people a day off to go and deal with an emergency because you know that they have been in the office late working on projects for the last three or four weeks.  

Reward is also about the culture and the corporate social responsibility that the business shows. 

Many youngsters nowadays are choosing to work or not work for companies based on the ethos of those companies. 

People are becoming more picky and people want to work for great bosses and brands that they believe in. 

Consequently, positioning your business (no matter how big or small) as an employer of choice will really help you to recruit and to retain the right staff for your business. 

So, as a business owner, the next time you think about your role within the business, you are not only the finance person, the marketing person and the salesperson – you are also the HR person. 

You are responsible for the recruitment and retention, the training and development, the reward and the frameworks within which your staff work and operate. You are also responsible for the way in which your staff are going to help you to achieve business success, by making sure that you are an effective manager.  That takes practice, but as they say, practice makes perfect.

Special Needs

05 Dec
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Disability Discrimination, Discrimination, HR, Interviewing, Recruitment, Video   |  No Comments

People don’t need to be employees to take an employment tribunal claim against you (although they usually are, or have been). Job applicants who feel they have missed out on a job due to discrimination can also lodge an employment tribunal claim and therefore taking any special needs into consideration at the recruitment and interview stage is really important.

 

 

If you need any support with recruitment or interviewing, give us a ring or take a look at our Interviewer’s Toolkit.

 

 

Telephone Screening

21 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Interviewing, Recruitment, Video   |  No Comments

When you are recruiting, you could end up with hundreds of applications, once you have sorted the ‘not a chance’ from the ‘possible’, telephone interviewing is a great way of producing a manageable long list (or short list, if you are able to be that tight on your criteria).

Work out what your key questions are – if they MUST be able to drive, or MUST hold a specific qualification or MUST be able to work evenings, then these questions should form part of your telephone screening process.

Do make sure that you don’t inadvertently introduce any discrimination – you can ask any question, it is how you do it which matters!!!

Sifting CVs

18 Nov
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Recruitment, Video   |  No Comments

Once you have a pool of aplicants, you need some way of determining who to short list, who to reject and who to keep warm and put on hold. In today’s 52 Top Tips, I share a few thoughts.

To find our more about our recruitment services, check out our recruitment pages

To order your 52 top tips, you can do so here

 

 

We Do HR – Making the Workplace a Better Place to be

08 Jan
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Health and Safety, HR, HR Policy, HR Support, Human Resources, Recruitment   |  No Comments

I am on a mission…..

Our strapline is “Making the workplace a better place to be” – but what does that mean?

Over the years, the management of people within a business has had many different names; the most familiar used today are “personnel” and “Human Resources (HR)”.  Whatever you choose to call it, staff have always been managed to a greater or lesser extent and whoever you talk to will always have stories about good and bad managers.

So, why our strapline?

Whether you are the employer or the employee, working in a ‘good’ place makes life far more bearable. We all spend too much of our time at work not to be happy. Doing a job which satisfies and challenges us, working alongside people who’s company we enjoy are both essential elements of a good workplace, but so is the working environment, including business culture and management ethos.

When we work with business owners, we ensure that we fully understand not only the business issues within the company, but the working environment as well:

  • If a company wants to remain informal, then we help them to develop and/or reinforce an approach which is a ‘soft-touch’, but compliant with employment legislation. This is often the request of small or family owned businesses.
  • If a company wants to build a base for rapid expansion, then we will ensure all of the HR policies and procedures form a foundation which is solid and easily scalable.
  • If a company doesn’t know what they want, but has an increasing number of employee relations issues, then we will review what is currently happening, understand the cause of the issues and work with the business owners and / or managers to put into place robust, transparent and well-communicated HR policies, procedures, processes and practices.

This approach to HR Management provides line managers with a mandate to manage, making the workplace better for them. At the same time, employees understand what is expected of them for example: hours of work, dress code, health and safety and sickness notification; and what commitments the company has made with respect to terms and conditions of employment and HR policies such as disciplinaries, grievances, sick pay and leave, annual leave, health and safety, discrimination etc.

‘Making the workplace a better place to be’ may take on many different guises and change over time. At DOHR we ensure we know what the workplace looks like now and how it needs to look in the future. Implementing good HR practices, we work very closely with business owners and managers to realise the vision, to reduce risk to the business and make their workplace a better place to be.

If you want the job, prove you can do it!

04 May
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Employees, Employers, Recruitment   |  No Comments

How many times have you taken on a new member of staff, only to find they are not capable of doing the job?

As a practice we are frequently helping clients to manage poor performers out of the business. People who came across really well in interview, but when it came to it, their ability to do the job was not as good as their ability to ‘sell’ themselves.

And whose fault is this? …. Well I’ll let you into a secret ….. It’s your fault. Just because you are a good manager or fantastic at your job, doesn’t necessarily mean that you can spot a fraud when they are working really hard to impress you so you give them the job you have on offer.

Buyer Beware

So, how do you tell the difference between a lovely person and someone who can actually do the job and add value? The answer lies in the recruitment and selection process.

Recruitment is about attracting the right people and ensuring they apply for the role.

Selection is the process of choosing the right person for the role.

Top Tips

Not all of these will be appropriate to every situation, so do speak to us if you need any guidance

  1. Write a comprehensive job description including key deliverables, the skills & experience required and personal attributes needed to succeed
  2. Choose the most appropriate method to advertise your vacancy: This may be through online job boards, recruitment agencies, face to face networks such as colleagues, suppliers, customers, family and friends; or social media networks
  3. Design a selection process which is fair and free from the risk of discrimination
  4. Design a selection process to specifically identify the skills and attributes you are looking for
  5. Use a minimum of two steps i.e. 2 interviews or an interview and a test
  6. If possible, get the shortlisted candidates assessed by more than one person from the business
  7. During the interview, identify behavioural evidence based on past experiences. Ask an open question and then drill down until you fully understand the behaviour and can take a decision based on objective evidence
  8. Don’t be afraid of silences during the interview – they can be very powerful. If you have asked a hard question, the way in which the candidate thinks about it is also very indicative of their personality
  9. Always respond to applicants, candidates and interviewees in a respectful way with due consideration for their feelings if you are rejecting their application. Your company reputation is at stake!
  10. Remember, recruitment is a two way process, you have to sell your company to the candidate as much as they have to sell themselves to you.

No one will get it right every time, but doing a robust behavioural and competency based interview as part of the process is an excellent first step and will significantly increase your chances of getting it right.

Over to You

We would love for you to share your experience of the recruitment process, either from an employers perspective or indeed as an employee. I myself have several horror stories from both sides of the table! If you share yours, I’ll share mine:)

Back to Us

If you require assistance with your recruitment and selection processes, we are able to help you every step of the way from writing the job description to holding interviews all the way through to reference checks and offer letters.

For further information, call 01923 504100 or email enquiries@dohr.co.uk

Recruiting Blind

18 Jan
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Blog, Discrimination, HR Policy, HR Support, Human Resources, Policies and Procedures, Race Discrimination, Recruitment, war for talent   |  3 Comments

Would you? Could you?
Over 100 UK businesses have pledged to recruit blind as a way of increasing social mobility and reducing the risk of discrimination candidates with submit their applications on standard company from without a name or school.

As an HR professional, I’m not sure how I feel about this.

15 years ago I developed application forms with tear off flaps for equal opportunity monitoring. The forms were all numbered sequentially and the applicant tracked through the system by number so we monitored age, gender and ethnicity. It actually made no difference to our employee demographics. It did however take time and resources to manage and continually monitor the applicants through recruitment, selection and promotion within the company. Even at the time, removing date of birth from the application form seemed odd – you just needed to look at when someone was at school or entered the workplace to be able to estimate their age.

So now we are removing name and school as well. Will it really make a difference? Will this prevent ‘the old boys network’ from blocking social mobility?

Companies signing up to the Compact have also agreed to use schools and other public forums to advertise work experience / intern opportunities rather than offering the places to informal contacts.

Thinking about your business, would you prefer to advertise for a junior in your local schools or take the son / daughter of an existing employee or a friend?

Is this the end of the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”?

Are you LinkedIn to your next job?

09 Jun
by Donna Obstfeld, posted in Facebook, HR, Human Resources, LinkedIn, Recruitment   |  No Comments

Although not confirmed by LinkedIn a new service is to be offered which would make it even easier to apply for jobs. Employers will be able to include a plug-in on their website which will prompt a redirection to LinkedIn, a selection of details to be sent and possible questions to be answered.Employers will be able to ask their own questions such as eligibility to work in the USA, willingness to relocate and the addition of a cover letter.People Management claim that 43% of LinkedIn’s revenue comes from its “Hiring Solutions”, and this would look to grow that element.A smart move considering 40% of Fortune 100 companies were already using LinkedIn to source and hire candidates as early as 2009.

Possible results of this include the cutting out of job boards and possibly even CVs as LinkedIn have their own resume builder and a reported 100 million users according to People Management with 5 million of those in the UK.Yet opinion is rightly split on the issue of whether the plug-in will have a meaningful effect on recruitment or not.The real area to look at for its impact will be with young people, with around a quarter of the 2.48 million people unemployed being aged 16-24.This age group has never known life without the internet, and social media may help them connect to employers.

However LinkedIn faces competition from Facebook on this front. Despite Facebook being more personal than its counterpart, it is in fact the largest form of social media boasting 500 million users.It also has a search tool that finds pages, groups and even jobs.Applications such as Easy-CV can be added to a profile giving a summary of that person to an employer or recruiter.

css.php