As well as General Election Day, Thursday 8th June marks National Freelancers Day where independent professionals up and down the country will celebrate the fact that they boldly work for themselves. It’s estimated that there are around 2 million freelancers operating in the UK, and they’ve had their fair share of press recently.
With the gig economy being a key topic of conversation, and firms like Uber and Deliveroo coming under scrutiny for how they treat the people working for them, it’s clear that the world of work is changing fast, and the face of employment is looking very different to what it did just a couple of years ago.
But what does this mean for your business? Is it possible to harness talent on a more flexible basis and keep your reputation as a fair and just employer? And could you be missing out on some attractive business benefits if you’re sticking with what’s becoming a fairly outdated approach to talent, employment, and getting a good job done?
Let’s consider a few things that you should be aware of…
1. Your relationship with freelancers should be very carefully managed
You might have fewer obligations from a legal perspective, but the reputation of your business could be on the line if you don’t get this right. There are unscrupulous business owners out there who have ruthlessly used the gig economy to drive forward questionable agendas, and it’s vital that you take steps to manage your employer brand and ensure that you’re considered to be amongst the cream of the crop when it comes to really getting this right.
2. You should also think about the potential pitfalls
The benefits can be fairly obvious, but the downsides also need to be considered. Have you thought about how you’ll find the people who you really need? Can you be certain that they’d be as committed to the cause as permanent employees would be? And how are your staff likely to deal with the transition towards working as part of a different kind of team? They’ll have their fears and concerns, and this needs to be managed.
3. But there’s a wealth of talent available quite literally at your fingertips
Need a new website and some regular maintenance carried out, but don’t have the resources to hire a permanent developer? A freelancer could help. Looking for an extra pair of hands on deck during a busier period? Maybe a freelancer could fit the bill. Or struggling to find the skills you need in your local workforce? Yep, it’s very possible that a freelancer on the other side of the world could step in and deliver what you’re looking for.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of creating a more flexible and agile workforce, then let’s talk. We can help you to create your plan of action, and put it into practice in the right way. Get in touch today to arrange an initial free consultation. Call us on 0203 627 7048 or drop us a line at email@example.com
This article isn’t about some new fancy techno widget you can download in a jiffy and implement overnight. No. It’s about HR. The function that helps you get the most out of your people. Hang on, don’t go….
Let’s be honest, we know HR has something of a reputation for being a little bit boring amongst some business leaders. It’s a burden that we’ve carried for years and it’s one that refuses to budge in a lot of circles.
But is there any substance behind it? Are we really just a group of thundering bores who can bring nothing more to your business than bureaucracy and forms to fill in and pointless policies that never see the light of day?
We’re more than willing to look at the arguments….
Here are 3 reasons why HR is vital to your business:
We Can Keep You Out Of Tribunals
Because the court room is really exciting, right? It’s definitely where most business owners want to end up when they’re in the middle of balancing everyday concerns and striving towards growth. Though of course, it’s not. It’s your worst nightmare and it can be costly and stressful. Good HR practices ensure that you’re not accidentally breaking the law.
We Can Save You A Load Of Money
Is making money more tempting than saving money? It could be argued that it is. If you’re particularly daring, then you might decide to just focus on bringing more in, whilst ignoring the fact that your spending is spiralling out of control and you’re wasting cash all over the place. But good leaders know that it’s a mix of both… And that’s precisely why they use HR professionals to make sure that their staffing budget is invested in all the right places.
We Can Make Your Workplace A Peaceful And Productive Place
Some people thrive on drama and arguments and scandal. They might say that without these things, life is pretty dull. If that sounds like you, then HR might not be your cup of tea. Most managers though just want everyone to be able to get along and form positive working relationships, so they can enjoy their time at work and make a contribution.
Still think these things are boring? Then HR is guilty as charged. But if you recognise that these things are in fact prerequisites for running a profitable and sustainable business, then we should talk. We can bring the right brand of ‘boring’ to your business, and steer you clear of the unnecessary headaches and dramas.
Give us a call today on 0203 627 7048 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange your no-obligation consultation. We might just surprise you.
For many businesses, particular those in the finance sector, employee’s pasts have always come under some scrutiny in an effort to limit the risk for those employing them. However these days it’s recognised that risks aren’t limited in this area to just one sector, as more and more businesses understand that their employees are their number one data risk. But if the standard reference checks when recruiting just aren’t enough. How far should you go? Here we delve into the world of pre employment screening, what it means and if it’s relevant to your business:
Pre Employment Screening is an umbrella term for a series of checks which include the following:
- Credit history
- Criminal record.
- Personal information (DVLA, FCA, social media, etc)
- Identify fraud
- General reference checking
Credit History? That’s A Bit Much….
Whilst you may think it seems fair that a potential employer can find out if you are who you say you are and if you’ve murky criminal past you’d like to hide, you’d not be alone in thinking that assessing a candidate’s financial position is a step too far. But checking to see if an employee is under financial strain (and thus perhaps more likely to be urged into fraudulent or criminal activity) is relatively commonplace in industries where money or data are the key commodities.
What Can Employers Really Find Out About A Candidate’s Credit History?
A little – but not nearly as much as a lender might when assessing viability for credit applications. Access to data stored on an individual’s credit file is tightly controlled. Typically, when a pre employment credit check is run, numerous public and private databases are searched for any adverse financial warning signs such as County Court Judgements (CCJs), bankruptcies, voluntary arrangements, decrees and administration orders. Oh, and if you were wondering, don’t worry a check like this won’t affect their credit score.
I’m Not In Finance Or Data – Is This Relevant To My Business?
Whilst money and data might not be your business area – there will be functions within your business who deal with one or both of these. So do consider a little extra digging when recruiting for roles in these areas – particularly in your finance/accounts department.
Sounds A Bit Tricky – Can I Get Someone To Do It For Me?
There are a plethora of specialist staff vetting providers out there. If you are just dipping your toe in the water you might prefer to use a credit referencing agency such as Experian who offer up to 10 online pre (or existing) employee checks for £54.99 a year, which includes a basic criminal record check, identity check and adverse financial check.
Employment references are a dying breed
For compliance purposes, employment references are useful as they confirm whether an employee was where they said they were employed. However that is where their use pretty much stops. If you think that an employment reference is going to tell you all you need to know about how your soon-to-be employee performed and behaved whilst in their previous employment, then think again. Not only is relying on them one of the weakest ways you can predict performance (think about it – most only provide names of people that they know will provide a positive reference) but many companies are fearful of the comeback from any litigious employee and these days shy away from providing anything more than a perfunctory ‘Jane Smith was employed between the period of x and y’.
Ultimately pre-employment vetting can’t tell you if a candidate is trustworthy or not. Indeed, someone’s personal financial situation may have little impact on their professionalism and ability to do a good job. All these checks can do is highlight any anomalies that might put someone’s character into question – the interpretation is down to you.
And of course, for some offenders there will always be a first time. And no amount vetting is going to help there. So regularly review your working practices with fresh eyes – focussing on any possible loop holes that could allow fraud or other criminal activity to occur.
For help with recruitment, or any other HR issue, contact thehrhub today. Call us on 0203 627 7048 or drop us a line at email@example.com
For the past couple of years, LinkedIn has well and truly had a monopoly when it comes to being the social network of choice for recruiters and small business owners on the lookout for top new talent. With the new changes recently announced from Facebook though, the more ‘professional network’ might have a fight on its hands.
Of course, many business owners have been using Facebook for recruitment informally for quite some time now. We’ve all seen the posts from companies letting their followers know that they’re hiring. This new feature simply makes the process a little more intuitive.
As soon as the job listing is posted on Facebook, anyone who visits the page will be able to make an application. There’s even the option for candidates to auto-fill their information based on the details that Facebook holds on them, such as name and location, to make the process a little speedier.
Similarly, Facebook will allow page owners to pay to ‘boost’ their job ads to reach more people, based on their demographics and interests.
The feature’s brand new right now, so it’ll be interesting to see how it works out over the coming weeks and months, and how businesses manage to leverage the power of Facebook to find their top talent. Still though, the move demonstrates that online recruitment is very much a growing phenomenon and it’s something that businesses absolutely can’t afford to ignore. Putting an ad in your local paper is not likely to cut it anymore and you need to make sure that your recruiting toolkit is bang up to date.
With Facebook more traditionally being the less formal social network, favoured by those looking to connect with their friends rather than seek out professional opportunities, these new developments raise some interesting points about how the world of business is changing. The lines between work and play are becoming more and more blurred – both a challenge and an opportunity for small business owners.
Need some help with your recruitment or any other HR issue? Get in touch today for a no-strings chat about your business needs and how we can help. Call us on 0203 627 7048 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
A new employee’s onboarding programme and on the job learning should always be the responsibility of their line manager. But it’s wise also to allocate each new starter a mentor who can offer further advice, specific training on a particular skill and generally be the first port of call when their boss isn’t around. As well as being a hugely important person for the mentee, being a mentor can be a crucial developmental step for future line managers. Given this, new mentors need to be supported and set up for success too. Here’s our advice on how to mentor a first time mentor:
1. Brief Them Fully
Take them through the onboarding programme (again, the line manager should be the owner of this document but it’s a wise move to ask the mentor for their input so they feel actively involved).
Carefully outline your expectations – be specific about their responsibilities and how long you see the mentorship going on for. Urge them to set up regular meetings with their mentee and make an effort to track the mentee’s progress effectively.
2. Measure Their Success
You want them to be successful in this role. To ascertain that be clear from the start about how that success will be measured. It may be there’s a specific skill you need the new starter to be trained in to a particular standard within a certain amount of time or a certain project that needs delivering that they have early involvement in. 360 feedback from the mentee and wider team members could be an important early gauge of the new starter’s engagement and overall potential if you feel its too early to measure performance. You may also want to ask the new mentor themselves how they would like to be measured.
3. Encourage Them To Be Proactive
In addition to the onboarding programme and their outlined mentorship responsibilities, other learning opportunities for the mentee are likely to arise in the first few months such as an interesting meeting, work project, course or social occasion. Mentors should definitely be encouraged to suggest a new employee’s involvement in anything that will further their immersion within the organisation.
4. Expect Them To Give Constructive Feedback To Their Mentee If Appropriate
This is often something that new mentors find very difficult to do. Whilst it’s important not to quash a new starters’ confidence (delivering good and bad feedback with a 70:30 ratio is a good steer here), if mentors have constructive feedback to give advise them do it quickly, in person and in private, always giving examples and coming to a mutually agreed course of action to ensure improvements are made.
5. Lead By Example
Be punctual, respectful and prioritise your own meetings with the new mentor so they appreciate how valuable their contribution is. Be an active listener, maintain eye contact, nod, and be interested in what they have to say. Demonstrate coaching skills yourself – asking them what they should do in particular situation rather than telling them how you would do it. In this way they will understand more than any other how you expect the role of a mentor to be carried out.
For advice and support on any HR issue contact theHRhub today for a no strings consultation about your HR needs and how we can help. Call us today on 0203 627 7048 or drop us an email at email@example.com.
A recent article published by the BBC found that a CV with an English name was offered three times the number of interviews than an applicant with a Muslim name. The fake candidates, Adam and Mohammed, applied for 100 jobs as business managers within advertising sales in London. After two and a half months ‘Adam’ was offered three times more interviews than ‘Mohamed’. If you don’t recall, ‘blind CVs’ hit the press in October 2015 when David Cameron announced that organisations would pledge to recruit on a name blind basis as a means of addressing discrimination.
A Blind CV Has All Of The Personal & Contact Information Removed
A blind CV, in essence, is a CV with all of the personal and contact information removed – for example, name, DOB and address (think along the lines of the ITV show The Voice where contenders are judged based on their voice alone). This means that a candidate can be evaluated without any biases coming into play. It’s quite common now for name, marital status and date of birth to be omitted from CVs and applications but, this new government initiative is primarily to reduce other forms of discrimination which seemingly occur when applications are received from ethnic minority backgrounds.
In Theory, They Should Remove Unconscious Bias From The Recruitment Process
It is our own thoughts and beliefs that inadvertently influence the ways in which we recruit and whether you care to recognize it about yourself or not, you will have individual biases. Whilst some of us may be conscious of those thoughts and beliefs, the majority of us aren’t and an unconscious bias poses a threat because these thoughts are automatic, based on the way we were brought up, the culture we live in and our social environment (the danger being that most of the time we don’t even realise we’re having them). As an example, if you had 2 CV’s on your desk one of which attended university in Leeds and the other in Brighton (which happens to be the university that you attended) would your natural bias be to interview the candidate who had been to Brighton University?…. be honest with yourself here!
Lots Of Blue Chip Companies Have Already Introduced Blind CVs
There is certainly an increasing trend towards incorporating blind CV’s into recruitment processes (a number of big name employers including BBC, NHS and Virgin Money have already done so) and there’s some evidence that indicates that it also impacts diversity. According to Earnst and Young their decision to remove all academic and education details and ban CVs from its trainee application process has proved successful in diversifying the company’s workforce.
But What Are The Pros & Cons To Using Blind CVs?
1. It can be good for your company’s reputation. Being seen as an employer who truly embraces the concept of equality can be a great way to attract candidates.
2. Candidates have more confidence in submitting an application. Today, candidates are looking for what differentiates your company from others. Having a blind CV recruitment approach is likely to encourage more applicants to put their CV forward.
3. The organisation is less likely to face claims of discrimination. Although there are no guarantees, having a blind CV recruitment policy is likely to reduce the chances of your business being accused of discrimination during the recruitment process.
1. The Interview process is still subjective and you will only be papering over the bias initially. Even if a candidate is able to make if past the first part of a screening process to be offered an interview it does not shield them from possible prejudices that might be there when they get to interview stage. Whilst anonymity can benefit candidates at application stage by removing discrimination, you can’t run an entire recruitment process without disclosing a candidate’s name.
2. You can’t Google candidates. With social media playing an increasingly large part in how we recruit a name on a CV often offers the opportunity to do some research on a candidate including their experience, achievements and recommendations (and other claims in their CV) before you meet with them face to face. Without a name, you are somewhat going into an interview ‘blind’ yourself.
So, although there is clearly a lot of evidence to suggest that it is harder for people with a ‘non-white’ sounding name to secure an interview, are blind CV’s really the solution? The obvious response to this seemingly unsolvable problem (and trust me this has been on ongoing topic for several years now) is to address the roots of the bias, educate people and attempt to wipe out discrimination all together. Easier said than done, given we still see discrimination despite tens of years of anti-discrimination measures and legislation!
What is clear is that something needs to change if we’re going to achieve the right balance when it comes to recruitment but what this balance will be remains to be seen. As for now, it’s certainly a topic to watch out in 2017.
If you need help with your recruitment process or any part of your onboarding sign up for our HR Guru service offering you pay as you go support or contact us at The HRHub for your free 30 minute consultation.