Category Archives: HR Network

A blog about a blog – and other blogs

naomiasher

Naomi Asher – Managing Director and Co Founder of Ashley Kate HR

We were absolutely delighted that HRHQ, Ashley Kate HRs blog, was shortlisted for the UK Recruiter – Recruitment Agency Blog of the year award, one of just 4 finalists from over 200 entries.

It’s the first time we have entered an award like this so we weren’t entirely sure what they were looking for but we are pleased that what we are blogging about seemed to hit the mark.

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If you don’t already subscribe to and read HRHQ, here’s an overview of what you can expect. Our blog is designed to provide insight into, give information on and share knowledge about the;

  • HR sector
  • HR Networks
  • Employment Law Updates
  • Recruitment sector
  • Ashley Kate HR events and internal news

Articles are provided & written by our team of HR recruitment consultants, resourcers, our Communications Coordinator & guest bloggers from the HR sector as well as myself, we post regularly to ensure the information provided is not only informative but also current and relevant.

The Ashley Kate HR team subscribe to many blogs to hear their insight and learn from their knowledge, these include the ones in the other categories of the UK Recruiter Blog awards, here is an overview of some we would suggest for recruitment professionals.

blogs

Finalists for Recruitment Department / In-house Recruiter Blogger:

Change-Effect Written by Neil Morrison,  this is a very insightful blog, always full of good strong well written articles which push boundaries, and leave you thinking what you can do to effect change.

HR Gem - Gemma Reucroft continuously provides thought provoking and honest blog updates, combining HR related issues and everyday life into witty, strong, interesting and valuable articles which within out office we all love to share and have a quick debate on.

The HR Juggler  – Written by Alison Chissnell provides an insight into the life of a busy HR Director.

The King’s Shilling – Matt Buckland writes frank, to the point curser scrolling articles, which provoke many comments and get you thinking more deeply into subjects.

Following are the finalists for Recruitment Industry Supplier Blog:

Barclay Jones
Bubble Jobs
Colleague Software
Firefish
Metashift
Seed Jobs
Sirona
T Recs

All of these blogs offer so much to the Recruitment & HR industry and are deserving nominees for the UK Recruiter Recruitment Blog of the Year Award 2015.

There are  a lot of blogs out there, if you are looking for something specific to read about in the HR or recruitment field and the blogs above don’t cover it, or your would like to start your own blog or have content you have written which you would like to be posted on Ashley Kate HRs blog – HRHQ, please contact our Communications Coordinator Jo Wilson via email  joanne.wilson@ashleykatehr.com or call 0845 413 3200, and Jo will be happy to help.

 

 

 

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Popular Discussions for HR Professionals on Linkedin

Ashley Kate Logo LargeOur HR Professionals Group on LinkedIn (one of the fastest growing HR networking groups) is always very active here are a couple of questions which generated a lot of discussion last year.

Thank you to all our members who continue to help make this group a useful tool for HR professionals throughout the UK.

 

 

Amanda Underhill - Senior Recruitment Consultant for London

Amanda Underhill – HR Recruitment Manager

Amanda Underhill MIRP When recruiting for a role that is ‘Hot Desk’ only – do you think this restricts the volume of applications received?

hotdesking

Les Potton Chartered FCIPD ACII Director – Target HR and Training Ltd- Interesting question and when you think about it, it’s down to what people value and the state of the labour market at the time. if there are lots of jobs around then it may be more restricting. Personally it would attract me as it paints a picture of flexibility and empowerment. However, some might see it as less secure. Hot desking makes economic sense and I can’t imagine it putting off many people.

Amanda Underhill MIRP HR Recruitment Manager- London & Kent- I agree Les you would think it would be an attraction and it definitely is more economical We have had a few roles lately that are ‘Hot Desk’ only , but this seems to put them off and have been the hardest roles to fill.

Les Potton Chartered FCIPD ACII Director – Target HR and Training Ltd- Probably a silly question, but do they really understand what Hot Desking means, or is it that we underestimate the human desire to have office territory !

Amanda Underhill MIRP HR Recruitment Manager- London & Kent- Amazingly yes they do! I thought most people would jump at the chance of working in a collaborative and innovative workspace; it also leads to better engagement. Over heads down, productivity up! A win win situation surely? That fact that it gives people the chance to work from home too I thought would be a huge attraction, but maybe it’s the lack of privacy, or the sharing of workspace , who knows. I just wondered if im missing anything else.

Ruth Hardcastle BSc (Hons) Assoc CIPD. Benefits Specialist – Open to New Opportunities

My experience of hot desking in the office did not work particularly well…the team members who had been there longest were reluctant to hot desk (working from home was not encouraged). The idea sounds good in theory but in practice it doesn’t always work. Humans are naturally territorial and in terms of their environment like to know where they are sitting when they come into work. It can be divisive in teams unfortunately.

Anya Leadbetter Interim Human Resources and Organisational Design Manager at Golden Gates Housing Trust

It doesn’t make the candidate or the new starter feel very welcome I must say. It could perhaps be sold as home working for most of the time which may attract a different kind of candidate perhaps? I can’t see it working if there is no opportunity to work from home – surely the point is to ensure the best use of resources and not have huge office spaces empty in city centres?

Les Potton Chartered FCIPD ACII Director – Target HR and Training Ltd- I agree that it needs to be part of a flexible working arrangement, particularly for roles where people are on the road a lot and can choose to work from home. It’s simply a place to plug into the internet between meetings in the office. I can see it being unattractive if you have to be in the office every day and play musical chairs for the window seat :)

Dr. Mohammed P Aslam MCIPD HRM & Employee Relations- I agree with Ruth. Hot Desking is always a problem for most people. It can be sold for short periods but over the longer periods people become restless and don’t feel as though they are a valued member of the team. It can work but my experience shows it works badly. Homeworking is an excellent alternative but that has its own challenges of motivation and team spirit but with the right kind of infrastructure it works very well.

We are all HR Directors now.  Paul Robertson-Marriott MBA, Chartered FCIPD Director and Founder at Semini GlobalTop Contributor Asks…..

directorWhy is there this proliferation of this title? When you look at the JD it is clear that the role is not really HRD level. Is this employers over inflating the status of a role to attract a wider range of candidates or cost saving by having the HRD do the work of the HRM as well? If I am correct what are the consequences for HR careers?

Laurel Hewitt Human Resources Manager at the sargeant-partnership- It should and could also be considered that the role is to cover all specifically in small businesses who do not have enough employees to warrant having more than one person responsible for the HR function. Also anyone who has a knowledge of the function will only be inflating their own importance and realistically when looking for a job role change will not have the right qualifications. The employer is not always the one at fault when naming job roles.

Andy Bailey Strategic HR Business Partner at Herefordshire Council- it’s probably the same reason that people who found their own companies trade on the title of director as well – it’s about status and equivalence in a world full of sales directors, customer service directors, finance directors ……… need I go on.

Jeremy Mansell HR Director at Orona UK- The trend has probably grown from the need to differentiate the seniority of the role from the apparently omnipresent, often meaningless and always confusing title ‘business partner’ which can mean anything between little more than a glorified HR clerk in some organisations right up to head of function in others. Lets get back to calling a spade a spade and giving jobs titles which really reflect the role’s content and status.

Janet Ogundele International commercially focused HR Director. Media, Retail, Financial Services & Brand Marketing-  The job title should accurately reflect the nature and essence of the role to effectively attract the right level of candidate and not to waste the time of the recruiter who then has to sift through inappropriate applications. Marketing techniques such as beefing up a job title, seems to blur clear communication and this has a cost in terms of attracting the right level of interest. I agree with all the other comments made so far in this interesting discussion.

Laurel Hewitt Human Resources Manager at the sargeant-partnership- I agree with your comments Janet, however, it should also be considered that the person applying for such positions is also being led astray and having their time wasted also.

Janet Ogundele International commercially focused HR Director. Media, Retail, Financial Services & Brand Marketing- Hello Laurel, yes I fully agree with you.

RoseMarie Loft HR Director at The National Gallery- For every job that has an ‘upgrade’ through its title, there is probably an equivalent that has been ‘downgraded’ in the hope that the organisation will pick up the right skills that it needs for a lesser cost. The executive team has a novel idea: “I say, why don’t we save money by removing the Director of HR post and put in a Head of HR, reporting to Finance. But the person can do the same job, we just don’t need to pay them as much!” And of course, through our major cultural change programme, the new Head of HR isn’t going to be hampered by reporting to an accountant at all! Then comes the cycle in two years time when the organisation decides that HR isn’t being ‘strategic’ enough, but we can’t possibly reintroduce the old job title because that would make us look like we made a mistake. “I know!,” says someone in the corner, “Let’s put the word ‘strategic’ in front!”, a particular favourite of local government, or call it ‘organisational development’ instead (favoured by the health sector). “That will make all the difference!” (Like any organisation wants to put someone in place in a senior position that isn’t ‘strategic’?) HR has, unfortunately, been the victim of far too many restructures on restructures on shared servicing on reverse TUPEs where management teams have made very uninformed decisions about want they want from HR without considering what they need. Nor is consideration given to the fact that you can’t point to HR in the corner and say ‘you change’ without realising that in changing the way people are managed means that the biggest revolution in behaviour has to come from the service receiver. By all means, change the job titles, reporting lines and job descriptions, but do your culture, policies and procedures support this? Is there even a need to create parity with other ‘directors’ (I actually support this, as to do otherwise devalues people management)? So whilst I agree that there are proliferations of job titles that don’t really mean a lot, I believe a lot of this has to do with organisations not knowing or understanding what their HR needs are.

Thank you to all the contributors to our HR Professionals LinkedIn Group, we are looking forward to even more interesting debates in 2015.

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – you can join the Ashley Kate HR LinkedIn Groups- HR Professionals Network  and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups.

If you are interested in contributing an article to HRHQ please email : Joanne.wilson@ashleykatehr.com for further information.

 

 

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Death of the Suit?

Gemma Thomason - Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

Gemma Thomason – Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

There has been a real shift in the work place on what to wear.  A move by creative companies such as Google and Facebook to wear more casual dress has become a part of new workplace culture.

Attitudes toward dressing for business have changed significantly over the years. Once upon a time, most workplaces demanded suits, ties, dresses, skirts, pantsuits and other formal work wear. In some professional service industries, women were not permitted to wear trousers!

It is a question that often comes up for job interviews; I would always advise to go as smart as possible, unless advised otherwise.  See Amanda Underhill’s Blog on Dress Etiquette for Interviews. Which leaves no room for doubt on dress code!

I always ask this question as would not want an interviewee to feel out of place.

Personally I always clarify further when I hear the dreaded ‘smart casual’ (what is that anyway?) Jeans and jacket? Skirt and blouse? Are clean trainers allowed? – answers on a postcard please! Smart casual can mean different things to different employers.

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Would this snappy dresser be able to perform better in a suit & tie?

audition

Potentially the most important Interview of his life…did you judge him before he sang?

Casual

I think it does depend on the culture.  I have worked with retailers where you would be out of place if you didn’t dress ‘on brand’ even as a HR professional joining the business.

I have heard of a retailer, reject candidates based on their ‘style’, candidates would be well turned out in professional dress, which would be appropriate for any interview in the HR profession, however rejected based on the fact that they weren’t  ‘on trend’ enough, this particular retailer had expected candidates to visit the store and find out what the shop floor wore and dress accordingly in line with their potential colleagues.

I must admit personally I do prefer having a more formal dress code at work; it puts me in the right frame of mind and always allows me to switch off at the end of the day when I can completely relax leave work at the door and remove the formality of the day.

casual fridayA dress down day is of course is always welcome.  Casual Fridays have become a staple of many work weeks, but dress-down days can be extended to other situations as a way to reward employees for good work, thereby boosting morale. Something very much liked by the Ashley Kate HR team.

I think casual Fridays are a way to reward employees on an on going basis. It marks the start of the weekend with a reprieve from the norm. Dress-down days can be used as an occasion for company-wide charity fundraisers that help bring employees together in support of a good cause. Casual days can also be a reward for reaching a sales goal, successful conclusion of a major project or realising any other achievement.

Dress-down days do not have to be free-for-alls. In some workplaces, it may be appropriate to wear trousers and a button-down shirt on casual days, but inappropriate to wear jeans, sandals or shorts. dressdowndontsMy advice is don’t leave employees guessing. Determine what is appropriate for your kind of business and whether employees will be interacting with customers on casual days. You still want to project a professional look to clients. Lay out guidelines for dress-down days in the formal business dress code and employee manual and cover the subject during training.

For me an office environment with a smart dress code works on many levels and takes the thinking time out of what to wear in the morning.

But then perhaps I was one of the geeks who used to love wearing a school uniform and be excited at the prospect of a yearly trip to Clive Marks (other school clothing retailers are available)

But in todays working world does it still matter how you dress? Just because you’re a sharp dresser does this make you a better fit than a sports billy?

Gemma Thomason- is a Senior HR Recruitment Consultant for Yorkshire and the North West. She is a customer focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Northern team.

Gemma has had key success in filling roles in the Yorkshire and the North West area including several at Regional HR Manager level with a global distribution firm, HRBP’s for a national Not-for Profit organisation and also in the Professional Service sector. She enjoys recruiting in the specialist areas of HR and has had some great outcomes especially in the Reward area recently.  If you require any assistance with recruitment please feel free to contact Gemma direct on 0114 221 8000 or email Gemma.thomason@ashleykatehr.com  you are more than welcome to connect with Gemma on LinkedIn or follow her on twitter.

 

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Interviews: Use your Resourcing Consultant as a Valuable Resource!

Jo Pearson - HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West

Jo Pearson – HR Recruitment Consultant for the North West

So you’ve secured an interview for your dream job? Excellent! Now just to make sure you’re prepared for whatever may get thrown at you on the day!

Interviews can be a scary, nerve-wracking experience, but they really needn’t be.  It all comes down to preparation and getting the basics right to make sure you make the right impression.  And when I say basics, I’m not just talking about wearing your best suit, arriving on time, keeping good eye contact, speaking clearly and a firm handshake.

No, these things of course are important and will set you off on the right foot but there’s a few other things you can do to make sure you leave a lasting impression and ensure that you’re the candidate the employer is itching to call back with a big fat offer!

I thought it might be helpful here to compile a short list of tips and tricks based on my experience of working in recruitment for the last 5 years and to make sure you’re getting the most out of your consultant.

  • Use your recruitment consultant to get as much information as possible about what to expect from the interview. It’s great that you have the job description and have done your recruitmentconsultant2research on line but a consultant worth his or her salt will have information you won’t be able to find anywhere else. They should know what you might be asked; what the interviewers are “really” looking for; what puts them off; what will grab their attention.       Your consultant should be calling you with all this information and if they’re not; call them and ask!

 

  • Take a copy of your CV, the job description and make some notes of good examples of your experience and some questions you want to ask. You’ll look well prepared and if you forget something or “go blank” you’ve something handy to jog your memory and refer to. Everyone’s suffered that moment in an interview when what you really wanted to say goes out of your head! If it gets really bad, take a breath, have a drink of water and ask the interviewer a question.

presentationIf you’ve been asked to prepare a presentation, check what it is they’re expecting from you. Prepare it well in advance and get your consultant to cast a second pair of eyes over it. They should know again what the client’s looking for in more detail than the brief you’ve been given and will be able to give you some handy pointers.  Take plenty of handouts, and if you’re using your own laptop make sure you have your power adapter with you!

 

  • Do your research on who will be interviewing you. Use Linkedin to your advantage.  Find out where they worked before and ask them why they joined the business and what they like about working there. It’ll help you decide if it’s the right job for you. It’s a two way process after all. Oh, and make sure you call them by the correct name during the interview. A simple thing you might think but I have known some occasions where a candidate has called the interviewer by the wrong name throughout!

interview dress

  • Dress smart and look your best but dress appropriately. I know that outfit looked great on you when you last wore it to Friday night cocktails but……really?! For further guidance on dressing for success read Top 10 Tips for Interview Dress Etiquette

 

 

Here is a really useful video to guide you through your interview step by step.

 

These are just a few ideas based on my experience and where I’ve seen people sometimes not get it quite right.  Now you’re hopefully all set. Good luck!

You can contact Jo on 0161 615 9000 or email him at jo.pearson@ashleykatehr.com.  The North team consist of Jo, Paula Shaw, Jorja Carr and Gemma Thomason. and are supported by a UK network of HR Recruitment Consultants.

 

 

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Recruitment is not that bad! Honestly

Kim MacNamara - HR Business Director

Kim MacNamara – HR Business Director

Have you noticed there have been a few derogatory comments made about recruitment consultancies recently on Twitter?  Why is it that there is still a small percentage (thank you to the majority for your positive comments!) of HR that feel it necessary to criticise recruitment consultants. I think this is so counterproductive!

Isn’t it about time we think constructively and come up with new initiatives and for HR to become more in tune with consultancies to make the relationship work so that it is mutually beneficial? The majority of HR out there really value the service consultancies offer, and work in partnership with them, whether that be as a candidate or as a client, and there is no getting away from it there is a market for good niche specialist recruitment consultants. We are here to stay! You only have to look at the recent REC report    to see the value of the UK’s recruitment industry has surpassed its pre-recession peak, recording total revenue of £28.7 billion by the end of the financial year 2013/14.

So how should HR work collaboratively and positively with their recruitment consultant to ensure maximum benefit and continued brand strengthening? You want value for your money in your recruitment process or as a candidate you want excellent service so why not focus on developing a relationship that will really work for you.

toptipsTop tips:

At interview stage – confirm an action plan with your consultant.  Agree how and where they will market you, on and offline and schedule a time to review progress.  Bear in mind recruitment consultants are hard to get hold of during the day, this is because they are actively working during core hours of the day trying to generate a new challenge for you.  Don’t forgot this is 2014, recruitment volumes are higher and yes it is frustrating trying to get hold of people – get a time in place to speak/update and avoid the constant to and fro of wasted calls and emails. Implement structure into your joint action plan.

If you feel your consultant is not probing you enough with questions at registration stage tell them there and then, not afterwards to your fellow colleagues and bloggers.  Make sure you fully equip them with all the information they need to actively promote you to their clients.  This is a two way relationship remember and they need to act in your best interests.

If you feel you don’t understand the role fully you are being considered for – challenge the consultant to find out more.  A good consultant will know the ins and outs – of the role if they have been fully briefed by the client of course.  Brands can be so easily misunderstood if clients do not spend adequate time to brief properly.

recruitment12It has been suggested that consultants can easily damage employee brands.  My response would be – why would we want to do this? – it wouldn’t make good commercial sense to do this right!!  We have access to more industry insights than a candidate or internal recruiter will have. Probe that knowledge further until you are satisfied you are happy with applying for the role. More often than not we work on a retained assignment basis with our clients and this gives us fantastic insight in to a firms objectives and can then truly provide an overall picture of the job opportunity and operate as an extension to the hiring team in promoting cultural values and visions. Failure is not an option in our recruitment world and job seekers are now behaving like consumers so it makes perfect sense to identify what our candidates intentions are and work cohesively together.

hrnetworkIf you are of the opinion that an agency is only interested in a quick fix then think again! Look for specialist recruiters who have a long track record, you can benefit from their market intelligence on areas such as the job role, structural information, contact data, sector and salary and can offer unbiased company views when applying to HR roles. Also ask them about their post placement added value services and how your new team will benefit.  Take a look at our HR Network for further advice on value added services

Remember a good Recruitment Consultant has to be nimble and adapt to the ever changing climate and developing an effective relationship with a HR professional is key but it will only work if both make the effort. Recruitment is an art; there are those that are better at it than others but the long term specialists are the ones you need to be targeting to develop a results orientated approach to your career plan.

tangoDon’t forget this is a 360 partnership for it to work effectively and also remember it takes two to tango!

Ashley Kate HR are always open and receptive to ideas on how to develop effective candidate and client relationships further – if you would like to connect with me to discuss more effective ways of working with recruiters then please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn   or email me directly –  at kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com.

FIRP, HR Recruitment Director –  Kim MacNamara is a HR recruitment specialist who has successfully placed senior HR roles across the UK and is driven by a focus on an excellent customer experience.  Working alongside Claire Baker, Emma Dobson, Lucy Wesson & Leon Morley they provide effective recruitment solutions for HR roles from Administrative to Board level.

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – Kim also runs the LinkedIn Groups- HR Professionals Network  and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups. Kim is also responsible for running the Ashley Kate HR HRD Boardroom style debate events in the UK.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Importance of a Happy Team – and how to achieve it!

naomi

Naomi Asher – Co founder & Managing Director of Ashley Kate HR

I am naturally a happy, optimistic, positive person, I believe life is short and you have to embrace it and not waste time on negativity or on people who create negativity.

These views I bring into both my personal life and work, if people are happy they are more productive, if they are surrounded by a team of happy, positive people then they will all be more productive, the more productive you are the happier you are, so how do we as Owners / Managers help our teams to feel this way.

worklife

Work life balance – I’m not the first to discuss this, in fact in the 20 (ish!) years I have been working it has been a constant topic of conversation, so why are so many companies still getting it wrong – I have worked in environments where you have to be in before your ‘boss’, leave after they have left, your ‘standard’ hours are totally different to the hours you are ‘expected’ to work  why? And part time / flexi hours do work in recruitment; retaining talent is key, so why say no to requests for flexibility.

 I encourage standard and expected hours to be the same, in recruitment this is not the norm, our Consultants work 8.30am – 5pm or 9.30am to 6pm – the Ashley Kate HR offices are open 8.30am – 6pm our clients and candidates get the level of service they require and should expect, but our team get the time outside of work to have a ‘life’. If someone is doing excessive hours I look at why, do they require support in prioritising workload, extra training? I do not reward it.

runcsr

The working environment – I absolutely want a professional environment but that doesn’t mean stuffy, not able to have fun whilst at work, encouraging and allowing simple things like charity days, dress down (or dress up!) days helps people enjoy their time in the office. Our clients and candidates are professionals but they are also people, they support our Charities and CSR initiatives, and feedback regularly that they like to see what the team are doing.

Social Media – In a world that is embracing social media the importance of being present having a strong brand is high, there are so many guidelines on how to build your brand and the tone you need to use, my advice is be yourself, be professional, share relevant industry information, comment, be authoritative in your field, but be true to who you are, people buy people first, restricting people will not support them in their SM growth and forcing people to be present in forums/platforms they are not comfortable in for example videos or blog writing will not work, if these are essential for everyone a lot of training and support is required but ideally pull on peoples strengths those who don’t like certain things will be comfortable elsewhere.

supportSupporting underperformance – the recruitment industry has a tendency to view people on their last month’s performance, one bad month and you’re out – why? Even your top Consultants will have a bad month, before placing blame find out why, our ‘product’ put crudely is people, they are a lot harder to control than a tin of beans, things happen, interviews get rearranged, clients have to be off, candidates are ill, an extra stage is added to the process, if your consultant isn’t hitting targets they need support, they need training, not auditing and blaming.

champagne1

Yasmin Elezaj & Leon Morley rewarded for success

Motivating – everyone is motivated by different things, respond to different incentives, find what works, in recruitment it tends to be ££££ but a simple cup of tea made for them, box of chocolates or a well done goes a long way – people are quick to mention the negatives make sure you reward or even just acknowledge the positives.

To put a caveat to all the above, sometimes extra hours are needed, sometimes the working environment has to be fully focused on the task in hand, some things are not appropriate to post on SM, some underperformers can’t be turned round by training, I am realistic, but let’s give the positive a try first and see what happens……

I enjoy going to work, I am not naive enough to think the whole team feel this way every day but I do know the majority of time they do and no one dreads their working day.

Combining professionalism with fun to me is how you achieve a ‘Happy Team’

I’m a great believer in 360 feedback, take a look at what our consultants say about working for Ashley Kate HR. Ashley Kate HR Feedback

If you would like to discuss working with Ashley Kate HR either directly or indirectly email me naomi.asher@ashleykatehr.com or register your interest on our website or call 0845 413 3200.

 

 

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Is Job Share a Solution to Flexible Working?

Gemma Thomason - Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

Gemma Thomason – Senior Recruitment Consultant for the North

With the new 2014 legislation giving all staff who have worked with you over 26 weeks the right to flexible working, has your company considered Job Share as a solution to offer?

Great idea Gemma BUT …..

  • “Oh no a job share won’t work in OUR business”
  • “This role is too senior to be a job share!”
  • “How do we handover if we are not in on the same day?”
  • “Our customers/clients/stakeholders won’t like dealing with two  different  people”

Valid concerns but in my experience of working on a job share, here are some key ideas on how a job share may work for your business and may be the solution to providing flexible working for more staff in your workplace.

PeopleselectionSelection – Choose the right people – do two staff members requesting flexible working hours already work well together? Therefor it would be an easy solution to match them up obviously as long as they are of similar level and both have requested flexibility.

If you are recruiting into the 2nd job share post ensure the first person is involved in the process.

How will it work? – Schedule a meeting with both job share employees on process and how things are going to work.

Agree a process for them to follow with regards to handovers whether these are written or handover1verbal communications.  The key is simplicity.  Spending half the day deciphering or writing the handover becomes ineffective. Keep the hand over to key points and urgent business.

Emails – Create a shared signature on both emails explaining the days of work for each individual.  Ensure emails are redirected to correct job share partner without an “out of office” you want your customers to see a seamless process not worrying if their email has been received or not.

Skills –  A job share can work in a number of ways to suit your business but it makes sense to play to strengths. Do some candidates prefer to be more client facing, does one prefer to do the analytics and numbers. Two heads are better than one could really add value to the role and your business.

Ccommunication1ommunication – Key to success, not just between the job share partners but also with everyone within the business and your clients will see the job share as success and beneficial to them.

There a number of ways to make a job share work for your business.  By offering such flexibility you will engage and retain your top talent and still maintain business productivity.

If you have been struggling to recruit a HR professional on a part-time basis, I have key experience in this area, do not hesitate to give me a call on 0114 221 8000, or email me Gemma.thomason@ashleykatehr.com.

Gemma Thomason- is a Senior HR Recruitment Consultant for Yorkshire and the North West. She is a customer focused, HR Recruiter and a key member of our Northern team.

Gemma has had key success in filling roles in the Yorkshire and the North West area including several at Regional HR Manager level with a global distribution firm, HRBP’s for a national Not-for Profit organisation and also in the Professional Service sector. She enjoys recruiting in the specialist areas of HR and has had some great outcomes especially in the Reward area recently.  If you require any assistance with recruitment please feel free to contact Gemma direct on 0114 221 8000 or email Gemma.thomason@ashleykatehr.com  you are more than welcome to connect with Gemma on LinkedIn or follow her on twitter.

 

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HR Networking & Employment Law Update

The Ashley Kate HR final employment law update of the year was a great success.

Birmingham played host to over 50 HR Professionals who enjoyed a breakfast and networking followed by an employment law update delivered by Caroline Robins and Frances O’Neill of Eversheds.

The update covered Whistle blowing, Shared Parental Leave & Holiday Pay.

The feedback from this update was extremely positive with a great deal of interest surrounding Shared Parental Leave and in depth questioning regarding potential Holiday Pay reforms.  The feedback we received regarding the event was very positive. 

silouette2“Very Informative” “Great content” “A good general ER overview”

“Informative session and the speakers clearly presented the topics and covered all areas”

“First time to an event and I found it very informative”

 

 

During the event the Ashley Kate HR team sold raffle tickets, the prizes included £50 TGI Voucher, £50 Boden Voucher, tickets to Twin Lakes and beauty gift bags.  The raffle raised at total of £77 and this  money has been split evenly between the Whitechapel Mission and Base 51.

base51Base 51 supports young people aged between 12–25, providing easy access to services including: Health, Counselling, Housing Advice and Support, Learning Support, Support for young parents, practical support such as affordable meals, and free laundry and showers.

At the Whitechapel Mission, they have been helping Londoners to help the homeless since 1876, meeting the specific needs of each man and woman who walks through their doors. They are a volunteer led workforce with very few staff, but this does not mean they are a small Whitechapelpngorganisation.  First, they help the homeless by meeting immediate needs: food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.  In their recovery programs, Whitechapel Mission volunteers help address deeper needs for life-skills and job skills training, and addiction recovery.

 

 

HRN5Ashley Kate HR run these much anticipated legal seminars in conjunction with Eversheds and they formed part of a full schedule of HR networking events that we held in for 2014 for HR professionals right across the UK.

These events offer HR an invaluable opportunity to hear about the latest employment law changes, network with other HR professionals and ask direct questions to the legal experts from Eversheds and recruitment teams from Ashley Kate HR.  We are currently putting together the schedule for next year and will release this shortly. If you are keen to join the our HR Network and attend these valuable legal updates please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com

HRDboardroomBirmingham1Our final event of the year is due to take place on the 18th November our HR Directors Boardroom debate is being hosted at Eversheds in Birmingham and promises to be a lively HR debate, a few places are still available if you would like to attend please email kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com

 

 

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The inside take on how to choose which Recruitment Consultancy to work with

 

Leon Morley - Ashley Kate HR Recruitment Consultant for the East Midlands

Leon Morley – Ashley Kate HR Senior Recruitment Consultant for the East Midlands

I wrote a blog recently on the reasons why to use a recruitment company exclusively (using multiple agencies). Naturally, I feel if I am giving that advice I should also assist you in how to choose a Recruitment Consultant.

It goes without saying that I believe if you are recruiting in HR or Training, then Ashley Kate HR is the correct choice and you needn’t look further.  We are the HR Recruiter of Choice. However, what if you are looking to recruit a PA, or a Finance Director, or a Quantity Surveyor, or a Qualified Social Worker, or a Buyer… I think you’ve got the gist.

Leonthinkingcap

My thinking cap

So I put my thinking cap on and I have come up with what I feel are the 5 easy steps you should do before deciding whether to engage the Recruitment Consultant on your assignment.

tips1 - Before you pick up the phone there are two things you need to do firstly, check they are a member of the REC, this is easy to do and it is essential you work with an agency that is governed by them, follow this link to see why www.rec.uk.com , reclogoand secondly, are they connected? Increasingly in this social media driven world; recruiters are networkers and the more networked they are, the more likely they will find you the best candidate. Check if they are on LinkedIn and review their LinkedIn recommendations.

2 – Now pick up the phone and speak to the Consultant who will (potentially) be working the role with you. Don’t email – it’s impossible to assess their credentials properly and will ultimately take longer. Can they demonstrate to you a history of placing your type of role? For example, if you’re recruiting a Quantity Surveyor, ask them to name some companies they personally have placed quantity surveyors with? Past performance is a strong indicator of future performance. And, if they prefer emails they will prefer emailing candidates and you can’t interview and assess a candidate over an email.

3 – Ask them how long they have been working in Recruitment. Why does this matter? It doesn’t theoretically, but it’s a clue. I believe recruiting is an art, not a science because we are talking about people. It takes time for a recruiter to develop the ‘seduction’ strategies they need to attract good people. Secondly, the Recruitment consultancy world has a funny way of allowing people into the industry, trialling them and spitting out the weaker ones; it’s estimated that 50% of new Recruiters leave or are released within their first year in agency recruitment. Those who don’t make the grade go on to find very successful careers elsewhere where their skills are better suited.

4 – clouseauDo they sound credible? Ask them about the market? – If they don’t sound credible to you they won’t to the candidates you are trying to attract, you have to be a bit of a Clouseau here because you are looking for clues of blagging, dishonesty or possible ineptitude. There are brilliant Recruiters everywhere, I have worked with them. There are however poor Recruiters everywhere too; I know I have worked with some (obviously not at Ashley Kate HR!). Hopefully, if they have passed stages 1, 2 and 3, you probably are talking to a good Recruiter already.

5 - Finally, if you think they sound good and they know what they are talking about. Ask them what salary you should be paying for the role? Of course you will have your own idea and probably an amount signed off. Hopefully, it will be similar. If it is very different from what you considered- ask them to justify it with examples like you would if you were interviewing. If they specialise in that field they should produce an annual Salary Guide to assist you with this. If you still aren’t sure get a second opinion and start again somewhere else – you can always go back. But do consider this, if you believe they are the right consultant and consultancy to work with their salary and market knowledge will be accurate and it is worth taking into consideration.

For a copy of the Ashley Kate HR Salary guide, please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com.

Contact me on 0115 922 3000 or email leon.morley@ashleykatehr.com. I am always keen to network with HR professionals from the East Midlands, so if that’s you please feel free to add me as a LinkedIn connection.

Leon Morley has been in recruitment since graduating with a BA (Hons) Degree in History in 2008. He has recruited in the Social Care, Commercial sectors and now focusses purely on HR Leon works closely with Kim MacNamara, Claire Baker, Lucy Wesson and Emma Dobson recruiting in the Midlands.

Read Leon’s blog regarding using multiple agencies denzel

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HR Specialists – Taking the lead

Kim MacNamara

Kim MacNamara HR Business Development Director

With the emphasis on businesses managing their people more effectively and building more productive organisations, Ashley Kate HR has seen a big surge in companies looking to recruit HR roles that require a more specific skill set to help achieve overall strategic objectives. In addition it is more noticeable that HR job titles are changing to reflect a more specialised, business-focused HR function.

We are seeing a deeper understanding from HR of the huge importance placed on hiring the right talent, making a break from a past acceptance of staff turnover as an inevitable cost of business. HR is continuing to become increasingly prominent and more visible at the ‘top’ table in organisations of all sizes, which again shows a positive perspective shift in tapping in to certain skill sets.

As competition gets stronger for highly skilled, experienced HR professionals especially those equipped with the latest specific, technical skills, we are starting to see a salary war heating up for those who can add real value to a companies greatest assets and impact on high level decisions and strategies.

talentmanagementCEOs and boards are increasingly spending significant amounts of time looking into HR issues and becoming more reliant on HR specialists and appreciating that their valuable skills can permeate throughout  the whole business, in areas such as: compensation, succession planning, talent management and performance reviews.

Increased M/A activity is driving an increased demand for change and transformation agents to manage transitions effectively. There is now much more emphasis on a greater integration between coaching, organisational development and performance management to drive through important organisation change.

Companies are becoming more focused on retaining their best talent to help with company growth and brand positioning and there has been an increase in demand for L&D experience e.g. leadership development, coaching, succession planning and also for Internal Recruitment /Talent specialists who can develop those essential talent pipelines in anticipation of future growth.

technologyBusinesses are utilising technology to analyse everything from role filling and retention levels, to why people choose to leave an organisation. This level of recruitment offers a clear indicator of a confident outlook for the future.

Also in an ever-changing economic environment, organisations continue to review and evaluate the reward programmes they have in place to understand the return on investment for an area of significant spent. Companies are increasingly keen to secure the services of skilled Reward professionals who can evaluate whether specific rewards programs are good fits for their employees, gauging the value the employees place on the benefits, and assessing the compliance impact on the rewards structure. Key skills sought after in this area include strong analytical skills which can impact evidence based decisions. This is key data senior HR need to impact and influence change at the ‘top’ table and strengthening HR’s overall positioning in a company. There are more senior roles in this area, and having a Head of Reward in place signals that firms are putting more emphasis on retaining talent.

We are certainly seeing a growing optimism amongst HR professionals having seen the largest number of jobs being registered with Ashley Kate HR in July this year since the company’s inception in 2001. Also for further evidence of the shift towards recruiting HR specialists take a look at Ashley Kate HR’s most recent salary survey as we see HR specialist roles catching up on generalist HR roles with 43% roles being registered in 2014. (To view our full salary survey please email solutions@ashleykatehr.com)

If you are being persuaded to think differently about your HR agenda, and are looking to scope out plans to recruit a specific skill set into your HR function, contact kim.macnamara@ashleykatehr.com at Ashley Kate HR to help you develop and deliver your recruitment campaign.

FIRP, HR Recruitment Director –  Kim MacNamara is a HR recruitment specialist who has successfully placed senior HR roles across the UK and is driven by a focus on an excellent customer experience.  Working alongside Claire Baker, Emma Dobson, Lucy Wesson & Leon Morley they provide effective recruitment solutions for HR roles from Administrative to Board level.

If you enjoy networking and want to connect with other HR professionals – Kim also runs the LinkedIn Groups- HR Professionals Network  and HR Directors Boardroom. The former cited as one of the fastest growing HR specific groups. Kim is also responsible for running the Ashley Kate HR HRD Boardroom style debate events in the UK.

Please feel free to connect with Kim   on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

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