Our 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 – 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?
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…..
Why 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.
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