Category Archives: Human Relations

It Isn’t All About The Bottom Line When It Comes To Attracting The Best Staff

Of late, the majority of the talk when it comes to employment has been focusing on the lack of jobs for young people and the ever lessening scope for advancements in career progression. In other words, all we have to say is, ‘there are no jobs!’ This is an easy excuse for the next generation of workers who, in a lot of cases, seem more than happy just to give up on their futures and settle into a life of job seekers allowance and housing benefits.

It is very easy to live by this ethos and to assume that the job market is that difficult to break into without even giving it a good go. However, the truth is that the top jobs still need doing, and they need doing by the top employees. This, by default, suggests that if you are at the top of your game, the stand out candidate in your field, then you will be able to secure any job that you go for.

It’s a two-way street

In fact, whilst everybody struggles to get a job there are hundreds of employers out there who are struggling to find the right staff. Employment is a mine field that is very difficult to get to the other side of safely. Interviews and assessments can only show you so much about a potential employee and cannot give you a true indication of what that person will really be like as an employee. Just as employees are terrified of landing the wrong job, employers are terrified of hiring the wrong people.

As a way to combat this, employers must ensure that they keep their employee turnover at an absolute minimum whilst offering potential new candidates something that their competitors cannot.

Providing a decent salary is a must

The first thing that you think about when you consider how to try and keep employees happy is money. The salary that a company provides is often the first thing that somebody looks at when applying for a job and the top salaries are what the best candidates compete for. However, it is easy to assume that this will be enough when it comes to attracting the best staff to work for your company, when in reality there is a lot more to think about.

Consider employee benefits to retain staff levels

Employers are becoming much savvier with the benefits that they can offer to their employees as they are becoming more and more aware of the necessity for a high level of employee retention and for the hiring of the best candidates from the outset.

Thanks to the government’s moves to help provide employee benefits such as the ride to work scheme and the child care voucher schemes employers have been given more opportunities to make their employees believe they are well treated and to, most importantly save them money.

On top of these government-lead schemes there are many other ingenious ways that employers have sought to make their employees feel special. Free access to exclusive gyms, vouchers for various entertainment venues and competitions for various prizes help to keep a workforce motivated and committed to working for years to come.

Guest post contributed by Simon Jones, a professional recruiter who sees both sides of the spectrum when it comes to Employees & Employers. Simon has worked with both sides and seen people dealing with different employee problems, from co-op employee benefits from the co-operative to employers struggling to find the right staff.


5 Tips To Confidently Negotiate Salaries With Employers

A second job interview usually means that you aced the first one. It’s important to be adequately prepared for negotiating a higher salary than what you’re being offered. It’s possible to get higher pay without risking the job offer. There are several tips that will assist you in polishing your attitude and presenting it in a more valuable way.

Conduct Background Research

This is vital because it will enable you to gain insight on the average employee pay in the company. You will be able to make all requests within range this way. Also, when writing the cover letter and filling application forms, avoid mentioning the amount of salary expected. This will help you to avoid quoting too high or too low. For instance, you may write $65,000 per year while the company was willing to pay $80,000 per year.

Weigh Your Options

Some companies usually have human resource departments that prefer to give new job opportunities to its staff. These are mostly major airlines. In such cases, it’s best to accept a job offer at the entry-level so that you can apply for a higher post later on. Decide on a minimum salary figure as this will provide you with a vivid picture on where you need to be directing all job-hunting efforts to. Conversely, you can apply for higher posts in many companies directly depending on skills, credentials and level of experience.

Understand Your Value 

This can be used as leverage. Professionals, like those in the healthcare industry for instance, are usually in high demand. This means that they need to be paid higher salary than what is being offered elsewhere. It’s wise to use the power to your advantage. You can even mention the list of other job offers that you’ve currently received. Make this point clear to the employers but be sure to do it in an assertive manner. Avoid acting overly confident.

Let the Company Raise the Salary Issue

It’s prudent to let the human resource manager bring up the salary issue. Then, you can negotiate for an increase. However, you can still state your salary expectations. Speak without rumbling and wait for the response. Ensure that you’re aware of the benefits to be enjoyed by being part of the company and prove that you’re worth more. Mention awards and other benefits you’ve received for outstanding service.

Take Time to Accept the Offer 

Don’t jump too quickly when the company proposes a figure. Nod your head and then pause momentarily. This signifies that you’re considering it. Bosses will usually increase the figure to get you to agree, especially if they were testing you. You’ll be quite surprised to receive a higher amount than you had initially thought of.

All in all, greediness and arrogance must be avoided. Try to be as reasonable as possible. You’ll be capable of identifying a worthwhile offer according to the background research of the company. Still, walking away from other offers can work to your advantage. You may just be called back.

Michael Wang is a Singapore-based recruitment consultant and career coach. He writes advice for job-seeking professionals and gathers the latest news and career tips from one of the leading headhunters in Singapore.

What Companies Gain By Promoting From Within

It’s great to be able to promote members of staff and to recruit managers from within. A lot of companies try and do this wherever possible and the popularity of the approach is testament to the fact that it works. Of course, the important thing is to put employees through the necessary training so that they can apply successfully for management roles that surface from time to time.

So what exactly do companies stand to gain when they develop members of staff in this way?
An enhanced reputation

First of all, demonstrating a commitment to employee development is very good for the reputation of the business in question. Treating employees well and giving them opportunities is the perfect why to tell the world that you are prepared to invest in people.

This reflects incredibly well on the brand and shows a responsible professional outlook.
Attracting the best talent

Companies that offer plenty of opportunities for promotion and development stand a chance of being included in lists of great companies to work for. However, even if they don’t make it onto those lists, word will get around that they do treat their employees well in terms of training and development. This often means they can attract the very best talent out there and that obviously has huge benefits.

A smoother transition

When you create a new managerial position or recruit new talent to take over a vacant managerial position you want as smooth a transition as possible. Staff are in a better position to hit the ground running if they already know the business and have existing relationships with other members of staff across different departments. Proper managerial training will get them up to speed when it comes to their new role but they’ll already be up to speed as far as the dynamics of your operations are concerned.

A more skilled workforce

Ultimately, all this training and development leads to a more skilled workforce. It means that people who come into the business lower down the ladder can add to their skillsets over time so that when they reach the top they have built up a really impressive CV. Their skills will help you to grow and to do more good work in your chosen area. This internal movement of staff also means that those at the very top know what it’s like to be at the very bottom. This gives them a more sensitive perspective when it comes to the way they lead people.

Arnie Phillips was enrolled on a leadership course with Human Technics to help him adapt to a new managerial post.

The Importance Of Workplace Hygiene

Keeping the workplace clean is essential, whatever industry you’re in. Not only is a clean workplace good for workers, but it’s also in the interest of employees – after all, if there are viruses and germs flying around the workplace, you may find that your team is frequently decimated by illnesses. This could cost your business a considerable amount of money, so it’s well worth making the effort to ensure that your workplace is as hygienic as possible. The initial costs associated with maintaining workplace hygiene effectively pay for themselves through higher productivity. However, workplace hygiene can sometimes be a delicate issue and some employers are reluctant to push too hard on it. Here are some suggestions you may wish to bear in mind to ensure that your workplace is as clean as possible.

Provide cleaning materials

Place hand gel in certain areas of the workplace could help to maintain workplace hygiene, and ensure that employees are encouraged to use it regularly. You should also ensure that employees have easy access to water in order to stay hydrated. Furthermore, you should ensure that the workforce follows basic standards of hygiene in order to reduce the spread of infections. It might be an idea to put clear rules in place for using communal areas such as office kitchens. Of course, office kitchens can often be the source of much disagreement in the workplace, so it makes sense to ensure that everybody knows how to treat these shared facilities with a degree of respect.

Tidy desk = tidy mind

The importance of keeping desks clean should also be stressed. Desks can often be havens for germs, and this is something that many office workers are simply unaware of. It’s all the more important to ensure that desks are kept clean seeing as so many workers now eat their lunch at their desks – this is an increasingly common phenomenon in the workplace, as the boundaries between lunch breaks and working hours become increasingly blurred. It makes sense, therefore, to point out to workers just what the potential health risks could be if they fail to ensure that desks are cleaned properly on a regular basis.

Keep illness out of the office

You should also ensure that you have a clear illness policy in place. This policy needs to be a sensible one that’s fair to your workers. Don’t put pressure on workers to come into the workplace when they’re genuinely feeling under the weather – this is just a surefire way of putting others at risk of bugs and infections. Again, this is likely to prove counter-productive from the perspective of the employer, as other members of the team fall ill as a consequence. Ensure that employees know they should stay home when they feel genuinely ill.

Everybody needs to do their bit

Personal hygiene also needs to be taken into consideration. It stands to reason that this is a delicate topic – nobody likes to be told that their personal hygiene isn’t up to scratch – but nevertheless, poor personal hygiene can cause problems in the workplace. Try to handle the matter sensitively when problems arise, and don’t lambast people for not living up to the expected personal hygiene standards. Simply stress the importance of maintaining general standards of hygiene around the workplace, and make it clear that it’s important for each individual member of the team to uphold their end of the bargain.

This guest post contributed by Chris Fleming, who urges everyone to keep that chef whites clothing spotless.

Planning A Company Celebration Dinner To Remember

Okay, so you’ve been put in charge of planning the annual company celebration dinner and you haven’t got the faintest idea where to begin. Your boss wants you to keep him updated regularly with the progress and has given you a budget to work with, and that’s about it. The first thing to do is not to panic. Follow these tips and you’ll end up with a celebration dinner to remember. If your boss is impressed, you may even be asked to plan all future company events, on top of receiving well-earned recognition for your hard efforts. Planning a company dinner is not difficult but there are many things to consider along the way. Read on for some great inspiration and helpful tips-

Compiling the guest list: without guests, there’ll be no party. However, you’ll need to be clear who exactly to invite. Company celebration dinners usually involve more than just the staff members. Check with your boss first, but as a general rule of thumb, invite all wives, husbands and partners along. Company celebration dinners are no place for young children, so ensure you address each invite personally to the guests rather than ‘The Smith Family’.

Organising a venue: once you have a good idea of the number of guests, you can set about choosing a venue. Ensure you hire somewhere big enough to accommodate everyone but not too big that the room looks half empty. During company celebration dinners, there tends to be a presentation and a few speeches, so ensure that all tables are arranged so that each guest can see the presentation. Speaking of presentations, you’ll need to hire somewhere that has the necessary equipment. There’s no use bringing along a USB memory stick if there’s nowhere to screen the presentation on to. You’ll also need to consider microphones for speakers if the room is particularly big, as shouting is not really considered acceptable at such events.

Invitations: When sending out invitations, address each one to the individuals you are inviting, rather than including a generic plus one. A personal touch reflects well on the company so make sure you find out the names of all respective wives, husbands and partners. Don’t forget to include an R.S.V.P at the bottom of the invite. Keep invitations as formal as possible to avoid the assumption that it’s more like a Christmas party. If you want to include a dress code, state it on the invitations.

Refreshments: When you hire the venue, ask about catering options. Depending on the size of your budget and the length of the guest list, you’ll need to decide whether the food will be a sit down meal or a lighter finger buffet. The more formal the occasion, the fancier the food should be. Remember to cater for vegetarians and find out whether anyone has any allergies or intolerances. Provide enough drinks for everyone. It’s probably better to choose somewhere with a bar as people can decide on their own choice of refreshment that way. Stock up on soft drinks for anyone who doesn’t drink alcohol or who needs to drive home afterwards.

Enjoy the party: After all that planning, you can now relax and enjoy yourself. Remember to stay professional; after all, you’re representing the company and you don’t want to make a fool of yourself in front of your boss.

This guest blog was contributed by Janet Sandesson a wirter who often covers workplace topics involving event management.

4 Best Personality Assessment Tools Your Company Can Use

Personality assessment tools can help a company in a number of important ways. These include saving money, job recruitment, resolving conflicts, training, improving morale, team building, increasing efficiency, and improving leadership skills.

While there are many personality assessment tools that you can use, here are 4 of the best:

1. Recruitment and Pre-employment Screening

Hiring the wrong person for a job can be very costly. However, it can be difficult to determine a person’s true potential from just a resume and a job interview. Even if someone has performed well in past positions, they may still be the wrong fit for the position you have open and/or they may not fit well into the team that is already in place. Personality assessment tools can help determine what the person is really like and if they’re right for the open position. They can also be helpful in determining who to promote or move to different positions.

2. Aptitude For Sales

You can have the best products and/or services in the world but if you don’t have the right sales force, your business will never reach its full profit potential. While almost anyone can be taught techniques that will improve their ability to male sales, some people are just born sales people. This is why it is often said that 20 percent of the sales force makes 80 percent of the sales! Tests that measure one’s natural aptitude for sales measure things like a person’s ability to ask for a sale or cold call a potential customer. They can also measure a person’s propensity to follow up and never give up.

3. Aptitude For Customer Service

Good customer service builds customer loyalty and can quickly quash any problems that arise. In fact, many customers judge a company by how they handle a problem. Tests that measure one’s aptitude for customer service can measure personality traits such as how sensitive the person would be to a customer’s needs and their propensity to go the extra mile to help. These tests can also help determine if it is natural for the person to be diplomatic, understanding, and patient. These tests can also help you determine which individuals can do the job without requiring as much training.

4. Personality Styles Assessment

Once personality styles are determined, this information can be used in a number of ways. It can be used to help managers learn how to communicate more effectively with subordinates. This can increase employee buy-in and also help with team building. If two department heads are clashing, costing the company time and money, a personality assessment can be the first important step in knowing how to resolve the issue and work together in a more productive cordial way going forward. Extroverts usually perform better in positions that involve lots of interaction with other people. On the other hand, introverts often perform better in tedious tasks done in isolation.

Keep in mind that the underlying basis for most personality assessment tools are based on the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) instrument with its roots in Jungian psychology. This school of psychological thought believes that four psychological functions govern how people experience the world. These four functions are thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition. When you boil it down to these basics in seminars and workshops, it can be much easier to iron out problems that may have originally seemed more complicated.

The Article is written by Alisha Webb. Alisha is a British writer and content developer for Phoenix-Training. To learn more trick on how to get skillfull staff follow them on Twitter.

Five Common But Critical Issues Faced By Today’s HR Departments

The purpose of the Human Resources department is to enhance organisational success by looking after the organisation’s most important component: its people. No other department has the range of responsibility from the executive suite to the casual labourer, from the head office to the most remote sales office, from the senior scientist to the new graduate.

This mission is more than challenging, particularly in the current economic climate. Whether a business from the private sector trying to prosper (or even survive) or a governmental or voluntary sector agency almost certainly trying to do more with less, additional expectations will inevitably fall on the Human Resources function. In that regard, common issues for the Human Resources department will certainly include the following five:

• Managing change. A role of Human Resources is the facilitation of processes or addressing HOW the organisation functions. No organisation can maintain the status quo if it is to survive and prosper. There may be the need to grow, reduce or reorganise and redeploy the workforce, all critical HR tasks. Human Resources will be central to this process of continual change and dealing with the inevitable restructuring.

• Leadership development. Most large organisations have consistently, over a number of years, identified leadership as a key challenge for future success. Some maintain leaders are born while others say leadership can be learned. The truth likely lies somewhere in between and must be addressed by HR. And whether the leaders are identified and nurtured internally or brought in from the outside, if effective leadership is not in place, the organisation founders.

• Employee relations. Motivated, dedicated, responsible employees are the heart of any successful organisation. And ensuring the workforce feels it is treated fairly is another challenge. This may include dealing with unions but also involves policy development and administration, meeting legal requirements and more.

• Performance management. An effective performance management system begins with hiring the best employees. Next they must be inducted into the organisation, understand their duties and be trained. Then performance must be assessed with good performance being rewarded and substandard performance improved. The challenge of implementing and maintaining such a performance management system is more than daunting.

• Showing that the HR function adds value to the organisation. Many organisational functions have readily assessable metrics: sales volume, quality, customer satisfaction, efficiency and so on. Many HR functions are difficult to quantify. How can the resources spent on leadership development be justified? Is reduced employee turnover a result of good HR systems? Does the system of compensation and benefits add as much value to the company as possible? All these functions are critical but difficult to assess and also difficult to justify, particularly when the organisation goes through financial difficulties.

Although this list of issues is certainly not all encompassing, there is little doubt of the criticality of these issues. For the organisation which is well led, can manage change and has positive ways of motivating and valuing its workforce, will also certainly have an effective Human Resources function.

This guest post was written by AON Hewitt total rewards team who are well placed to support its clients on total reward. With experts in all the constituent areas, AON has consultants who can see across the gaps that often exist between specialised areas to produce a joined-up plan that matches clients’ needs.