International

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Thisweek’s international news.EasternEuropean migration was exaggerated–The level of migrants moving from eastern to western European countries is atits lowest level since the period from 1989 to 1992, claims a report by theOECD. It said fears of mass migration from are exaggerated. In Eastern Europe,the Czech Republic and Hungary are the most popular countries that migrantslook for employment in, with Bulgaria and Romania the least attractive.  www.oecd.org‘Atwill’ staff sue dotcoms over false promises–Dotcom companies laying off staff in the US have been forced to paycompensation, even to employees without contracts, a report by the Society forHuman Resource Management has found. In theory, most staff affected are knownas “at will” employees and can be made redundant without explanation.But they might successfully sue their former employer if they can prove thecompany induced them to take a job by misrepresenting facts about its capitaland prospects.  www.shrm.orgMergeris not always the way to bank efficiency–Two-thirds of international bank mergers and acquisitions fail to achieve theirobjectives, according to a report by the International Labour Office. Thereport claims that the benefits of greater size and efficiency are being”nullified by increasing complexity and losses related to top-heavyorganisations, while the difficulties of adequately blending cultural and otherhuman factors in the integration of combined enterprises are oftenunderestimated”. Redundancies due to mergers and acquisition can alsoundermine operational capabilities and morale. www.ilo.org/communicationseToysputs an end to the Internet game–US-based Internet retailer eToys closed last week. More than 1,000 staff inCalifornia and Europe have been laid off and it ran up reported debts of £160m.The company was launched in 1997 and floated two years later. It closed its UKsite in January before filing for bankruptcy in February. InternationalOn 13 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more

News

first_imgNewsOn 1 Apr 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. This months news Breathe easy The British Lung Foundation has launched two leaflets to promote the work ofits Breathe Easy Club, which provides support and information for people withlung disease.  Breathe Easy For HealthProfessionals and Breathe Easy are available from 78 Hatton Garden, London,EC1N 8LD, or via [email protected] killing Company bosses are worried their directors will quit if the Government goesahead with plans to introduce a “corporate killing” law. A study bythe British Safety Council found 40 per cent of those interviewed said theyfeared directors would leave rather than risk heavy fines or imprisonment.Under the Home Office plan named directors should be held responsible forhealth and safety and be made criminally liable for deaths caused throughneglect. Improved conditions for pregnant women The DfEE has joined four other organisations to be awarded entry to thePregnancy Accreditation Programme of children’s charity Tommy’s Campaign. Theprogramme aims to improve conditions for pregnant women in the workplace. Theother three firms were Adams Childrenswear, City firm Merrill Lynch, lawyerLinklaters & Alliance and advertising agency HHCL. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

People

first_img Comments are closed. PeopleOn 17 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Maureen Macnamara joins The Law Society Budding authoress Maureen Macnamara believes she has a great idea for abook. “I was thinking of writing a book relating to children about howbusiness operates, from a child’s eye view – What grown ups really do atwork,” she says. But to write it, she will have to find time outside of her busy position ashead of HR for The Law Society, which she took up last month. A fellow of the CIPD, she previously worked as board director for lossadjuster Cunningham Lindsey UK. Part of her new role will be focused onrecruiting, retaining and developing staff. “I will also play a key role in contributing to the wider businessdevelopment, decision making and leadership for the society.” Macnamara finds it frustrating that people have such a limited view of HR.”People perceive HR as being admin or welfare. We’re not. But sometimesyou can get hemmed down with trivial problems.” If she had more spare time, Macnamara says she would spend it with familyand friends. She adores the South of France and often goes back to her roots onthe west coast of Ireland. “It rains quite a bit but it doesn’t matter because it’s sobeautiful,” she explains. But she plans to spend this year’s holiday enjoying her garden. CV: Maureen Macnamara1998-2001 Cunningham Lindsey UK and Ireland, HR and training director1996-1998 Schal International management, Associate director, HR1995-1996 2Care, Personnel manager1994-1995 Surrey FHSA, Training and staff development managerOn the move…Independent house builder Morris Homes has appointed Gillian Viragh as HRmanager. Based at head office in Newton-le-Willows, she will develop the HRfunction covering issues such as recruitment and selection, training, inductionand employee relations and will have overall responsibility for HR activitiesacross the company. Viragh worked for BAE Systems for six years where she wasinvolved in issues such as business integration, site closures and HR strategy.Clive Wright has been appointed European partner and client manager withconsultancy William M Mercer. He joins from The BOC Group where he wascompensation and benefits director since 1998. Prior to that he worked for ICLfor 12 years. NHS Estates Trading Fund has appointed David Connor as head of HR, IngridLewis as senior HR adviser, and Helen Dowling as HR adviser. The organisationprovides a consultancy service implementing the NHS Plan and provides a centreof knowledge and expertise to the healthcare sector. The immediate challengefor the HR team is to ensure a smooth transition into a Public PrivatePartnership for April 2002. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Well-padded expats

first_img Comments are closed. Someexpats still receive hardship allowances from their employers, as well as perksfor a comfortable lifestyle such as larger houses and school fees for thosewith children. Single men and women should drive a hard bargain for equalbenefits, writes Ed PetersOneof the best-selling humorous books in Asia at present is Hardship Posting, acollection of true anecdotes about expatriate life in the Far East. The bookdraws its title from a contributor in Bangkok who took his boss from London onan evening out on the town After dining extremely well, they moved on to someof the more lively bars where the carousing didn’t stop until the early hours.Finally bidding his boss farewell, the executive suddenly remembered animportant point he had not mentioned during the previous day’s businessdiscussion, “By the way, I forgot to talk to you about increasing thehardship allowance,” he breezed.Itmay sound incredible but it is nevertheless strictly true that some expats inthe upper echelons of Asian business circles still qualify for what is, in nameat least, a hardship allowance, even those living in modern cities such as HongKong or Singapore. Whileit supposedly compensates for the loss of home comforts, anybody drawing it isgoing to be enjoying a reasonably comfortable lifestyle in the first place. Atypical package for a well-placed financier, for example, would includehousing, probably in an apartment block with pool and gym attached, furnishingof the housing, one or more club memberships, tickets home two or three times ayear, travelling in business class at the very least, generousno-serious-questions-asked expense accounts and maybe even local taxes pre-paidinto the bargain. Addto this an even larger house and school fees taken care of if the expat happensto be married with children. Which means single men and women should be able todrive a fairly hard bargain themselves when it comes to negotiating their package,if the shortlist includes other candidates who come with spouse and childrenattached.Oncethe expat is in place, HR departments usually make every effort to keep him orher happy. Confronted with an outsize bouquet of flowers on moving into herflat in Hong Kong, a newly arrived executive for Marks & Spencer rang upthe HR director to ask what she had done to deserve them. Reading between thelines of the answer, basically the company had spent such a lot of moneyinstalling her, the price of three-dozen roses was a drop in the ocean. Ofcourse, it is not solely expats who are being tempted with well-paddedpackages, although their benefits do have a corresponding effect on local payand conditions. Generally,the larger corporations in Asia Pacific tend to go for a”catch-them-young” strategy, aiming to talent spot at an early ageand draw them into a corporate family.”Weconcentrate very much on graduate recruitment,” says Lyanna Chan ofPricewaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong. “In general we have an acceptancerate of 80 per cent and we have training programmes in place to help staff withtheir professional exams. As a result, our pass rate is double the average inHong Kong.”Oncethe golden handshake has been proffered, most companies also seek to delicatelyaffix a set of golden handcuffs to capitalise on their investment in personnel.”Wemake sure we pay a premium to top performers, and the very best of them arerewarded with a partnership, while we also structure pay to make it taxefficient,” says Chan.PricewaterhouseCoopersalso allows its staff flexible working hours, providing extra support at undulybusy times so employees can strike an appropriate balance between home andoffice. More recently, some employees have also qualified for educationallowances.Whilesome employees will always be tempted to jump ship when better pay andconditions are offered, there is a tendency in Asia Pacific to stick with acompany you know.MalcolmLeung, an American passport holder of Chinese descent, who has worked in HR inThailand, the Philippines and Hong Kong, notes that in general rewardingworkers in the region generously keeps staff wastage to a minimum.”Therewas a time in Hong Kong when everybody would move on the moment they got theiryear-end bonus – it was like the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party as they all shiftedround a place,” he said. “Then companies got smart and started payingbetter wages over the whole year, rather than dangling a lump sum at the end.Another major factor is that Asians respond very well to teambuilding, and ifeveryone in the company is enjoying similar benefits, be they cash bonuses orother perks, then there is a marked reluctance to leave unless there’s a reallygood reason.”Whileexpatriates in Asia Pacific continue to enjoy some of the best remuneration,they are an increasingly rare breed. The future is likely to see more graduatesfrom the region climbing up the ladder, trained and assisted by the companywhich talent-spotted them fresh out of college.Furtherinformationwww.towersperrin.comwww.deloittetouche.comwww.wmmercer.com Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Well-padded expatsOn 1 Dec 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Call centre culture set to reign in the 21st century

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Call centre culture set to reign in the 21st centuryOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today The number of call centre employees in the UK will rocket from 500,000 to640,000 by 2005, according to a report by research company Datamonitor. The report claims that the call centre sector, which currently accounts for1.7 per cent of the UK’s workforce, will employ two per cent of the workingpopulation by 2005. The growth will see another 2,000 call centres join the 6,000 already in theUK. Datamonitor analyst James Adams said the expected rise will create arecruitment and retention challenge for call centre employers. Many call centres have a staff turnover of 100 per cent a year, and it isdifficult to recruit good people, especially as the centres get moresophisticated, he said. Adams said one of the main obstacles to recruitment and retention is thepoor image that has plagued call centre jobs. But he said this is becoming easier with improved conditions and money inthe sector. “There is less shouting and whip-cracking now, and wages areapproaching mean earnings.” The research indicated that increased competition in the sector should alsolead to improved conditions. www.datamonitor.com Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Be cautious when East meets West

first_imgBe cautious when East meets WestOn 2 Apr 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. A short while back, I spent two years in China as an HR director for atelecoms start-up. I had a very bright woman on my team, Alice Wang. After spending time in my team, Alice went on to take HR roles at FordChina, a Chinese dot.com and an Intel joint venture. This has culminated in herrole as HR director for the AOL/Legend Computer JV in Beijing. She is one of the many Chinese HR professionals introducing western-style HRfunctions to the country. On a recent visit to Washington DC, we talked about the state ofwestern-style HR in China. There are, of course, clear differences in how weapproach our HRM practices compared to how the Chinese do. It’s not thatChinese HR practices are wrong. Rather, it’s the whole ‘think local, act local’issue. Western ’empowerment culture’ is quite alien to those raised in thetraditional, rule-driven Chinese business culture. The view of people as coststo be controlled versus assets to be nurtured, plus Chinese staff’s readiness(after decades of a centrally planned economy) to deal with a”hands-off” management style, are also very different. Unfortunately, many companies venture into China and other emerging marketshell-bent on ‘improving and upgrading’ the local policies, practices andculture. With China’s WTO accession and the 2008 Olympics being held in Beijing,herds of western businesses are trying to find their way into China. I getcalls from people, ready to impose their company and country-specific cultureson their new employees, partners and vendors. Granted, it certainly makes lifesimple to have cookie-cutter operations outside your home country – but thatdoesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Among the challenges of globalisation is the inevitable question: do webehave like us or like them? I believe there is more to globalisation thanAmericanisation (or Britification) of our offshore ventures. Just as our enterprises study local markets and consumer behaviours beforelaunching bespoke products into a new marketplace, shouldn’t we engage insimilar due diligence before we inflict our HR practices? Shouldn’t there bescrutiny on whether our people management practices will help or hinder us? My point is not to drill into obvious differences between cultures, butrather suggest that as western businesses set sail for China (or other farcorners), that we must be careful when we bring along our business cultures,our discipline models and our work ethics. The real hallmark of well thought out globalisation has to be sustainedsuccess defined not just by immediately delivering margin, but also by how yougot there. In the deployment of HRM models in new markets, local relevancy mustbe top of mind. One size does not fit all. By Lance Richards, member of the board of directors for SHRM Global Forumand the Editorial Advisory Board of Personnel Today’s sister publicationglobalhrlast_img read more

Firms are urged to use staff referral schemes

first_img Previous Article Next Article Firms are urged to use staff referral schemesOn 28 May 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Companies should put more emphasis on employee referral schemes if they wantto attract staff and beat skill shortages, says a recruitment specialist. Jeff Grout, ex-UK managing director of recruitment consultants Robert HalfInternational, said staff referrals are a very effective way of recruitingstaff and often provide a better standard of employee than applicants generatedthrough more traditional recruitment methods. Speaking at the CIPD’s annual recruitment conference, he urged delegates tolook again at their own ‘bounty’ schemes and give them a higher profile in theorganisation: “Dust your referral scheme off tomorrow,” he urged. Grout told the conference that some companies meet up to half of theirrecruitment needs through employee referral schemes. But he said companies often make the mistake of not offering enough bountyto encourage staff to suggest new employees. He highlighted the case of an effective scheme run by a law firm which paysstaff £10,000if their employee referral leads to an appointment. He said that companies should reward individuals for successful referrals bypaying 80 per cent of recruitment costs or 10 per cent of the starter’s salary.Grout also encouraged HR professionals to keep in touch with good staff wholeave the company because they may be tempted to return in future and can bedepended upon to add value. He suggested former staff are kept on the company newsletter mailing listand are sent a personal note and a Christmas card each year. “Remind them that there could be a job available for them. If theyleave, don’t let them leave psychologically,” he added. He told delegates that staff who return to an organisation are also goodambassadors for the business and show that the grassis not always greener atother companies. Comments are closed. last_img read more

Local government starts recruiting graduate talent

first_imgA graduate development scheme will be launched for local government thismonth to develop its future leaders. The Employers Organisation for Local Government has teamed up with 42councils to recruit graduates, and provide them with a two-year managementdevelopment programme. Fifty-three candidates will start a three-day induction on 23 September forthe National Graduate Development Programme. They will then be placed withindividual councils and rotated through three different management developmentroles, including frontline services, policy and support services. Tim Hodey, consultant on the NGDP, said: “The scheme provides localgovernment with an ideal platform to raise its profile, especially among youngpeople, who make up only 6 per cent of its workforce and who rarely see it asan employer of choice. “It will also stimulate recruitment in the sector at a time when skillshortages are prevalent.” While tight recruitment budgets and intense private sector competition haveundermined individual councils’ attempts to attract graduates in the past, theEmployers’ Organisation for Local Government secured funding of £400,000 upuntil 2004 to market and centrally recruit talent. The councils will pay them astarting salary of £18,417 a year. This has been benchmarked at a level that isaffordable to councils and yet also attractive to ambitious graduates, explainedHodey. The Employers’ Organisation is also developing a post-graduate qualificationfor the participants. Hodey said: “Local government needs people who can develop councils andcreate a fresh approach to the delivery of services. Our graduates have beenrecruited for their management and leadership skills – the future leaders oflocal government.” Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters,said the importance of a co-ordinated, well-marketed recruitment campaign cannotbe underestimated. “You can’t dispel the myths if you are not marketingyourselves. Local government is at last sending out a message that it investsheavily in its future senior managers,” he said. By Mike Broad Local government starts recruiting graduate talentOn 17 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

E-biz in brief

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. This week’s e-biz news in briefVW to launch online benefitsThe Volkswagen Group, which incorporates Audi, Skoda, Commercial Vehicle andSeat, is launching an online benefits system for 580 UK employees. The system is based on 4th Contact’s Working Wealth software and is brandedinternally as mybenefits. It gives instant, up-to-date information about anemployee’s benefits package and a Total Reward Statement allows them to see theworth of their salary package.  www.4thcontact.co.ukLearn international Ps and QsA national Business Travel Etiquettee-mail helpline has been launched by Options Travel Insurance designed toprevent you from upsetting the locals by raising the wrong hand at the dinnertable. You can either send an e-mail to [email protected] with yourquery or use the helpline on 0870 876 7878 and secure a 10 per cent discount. E-biz in briefOn 15 Oct 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Briefing

first_imgBriefingOn 1 Apr 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. A round-up of news from the professional journalsCNO demoted England’s chief nursing officer Sarah Mullally is being demoted by theGovernment. Under a move planned by NHS chief executive Nigel Crisp, the CNOwill no longer sit on the Department of Health’s board. Crisp wants to replaceits current 15 members with five directors – all believed to be men andincluding chief medical officer Professor Sir Liam Donaldson – leaving nursingwithout a voice at the department’s top table. Nursing Times, 21 February Agency shake-up The NHS in-house staff agency is to have a new national management structurein the wake of concerns over its ability to compete with private sectorcompanies. NHS Professionals will now be run by a special health authority. Thenew authority will be in place before the end of the year and will provide anational service to the NHS. Nursing Times, 28 February Cleaner hospitals Hospital cleanliness and the quality of food offered to patients havesignificantly improved, the Government has claimed. The first set of resultsfrom NHS Food Inspections, and the latest ratings from the national hospitalclean-up campaign, show that nearly 60 per cent of hospitals now have”good” standards of cleanliness and have been graded”green” under the latest traffic light ratings issued as part of theclean-up campaign. Nursing Times, 26 February Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img read more