Why you need to hire in December…

As with most things work related there is a quieting down towards the end of the year, especially recruitment, but it should be the optimum time and here’s three reasons how hiring in December can actually help you.
Get ahead of your competition
There’s a common thought-process (often misguided) when hiring new talent that anyone would be lucky to work for you. You’re doing the world a favour by having a job vacancy.
Ok this may be true, you might be a great business to work for, but unless you’re Google or Apple, Joe Bloggs won’t know that. They don’t know you as being any better than your competitor, so what reason do they have to join you?
By hiring in December, there’s at least one reason… you are hiring now. Most of your  competitors are waiting until January, due to winding down in the festive season.

Hiring in December means you will avoid the January dogfight when businesses start hiring again and because of the abundance of jobs, the candidates get their pick, and you might have to offer more money to entice them… more so in January than the rest of the year; up to 10-15% more, in fact.

No time wasting

Did you know, it also takes up to 5-10 days longer to hire in January! By hiring in December you free up the start of the new year to do business, rather than carrying out interviews.

Additionally you’ll save even more time because you won’t be wasting January training new employee, hopefully, they will have picked up the job in a relaxed, pre-holiday environment. You can even invite them to the Christmas do, get them to know the team in an informal setting. No better time to get to know your new colleagues in an informal setting it sure beats those January blues.
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Make your life easier

Statistics show that job applications are 3% higher in November and December. The reason being that people tend to have more free time, with work winding down.

That’s more free time on social media and the web – meaning it’s more likely they will see your job advert, have time to take your calls and time to interview.
It is also a time of excessive spending – shopping, travel and parties. Some may start to reconsider their financial situation and the need for a better paid job.
And if you think job seekers will be too busy swigging mulled wine and opening presents to bother with recruitment, think again, applications are made on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day!!!
Get your 2019 off to a flying start, get hiring now.

If you need any HR advice on, attracting, recruiting and onboarding, get in touch today: +44 203 538 5311 or email: talent@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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10 inappropriate questions interviewers need to stop asking!

According to new research, the vast majority of organisations have asked candidates inappropriate and potentially illegal questions during a job interview.

Researchers of the study found that 85% of interviewers have asked questions such as ‘Are you physically fit and healthy’, ‘Have you any plans to start a family’ or ‘Did you grow up outside of the UK’.

All of the above questions are potentially breaching the law, which requires all potential employers to treat candidates fairly.

It’s true though however that many interviewers could be completely unaware that what they think is innocent questioning could be a legal grey area, with 47% saying they have never had official training on what questions to ask in an interview.

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Below are the top 10 inappropriate interview questions that hiring managers have asked:

  • What year did you graduate? (59%)
  • What year were you born? (55%)
  • Do you have any children? (56%)
  • Are you physically fit and healthy? (53%
  • Are you in a relationship or married? (51%)
  • Have you got any plans to start a family? (42%)
  • Where is your accent from? (46%)
  • Will you need flexible time for family life? (46%)
  • Did you grow up outside of the UK? (45%)
  • Will you need time off during half term? (43%)

This highlights the need for training for any person involved in the process of interviewing prospective candidates, so they know what is and isn’t acceptable in the recruitment process.  Ensuring all prospective employees are given a fair and honest opportunity to secure a job based on their skills and ability not their gender, personal choices or maternity/paternity choices.

If you need any HR help, advice or tips on interviewing, get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or email: talent@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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FRIDAY HR FAQS – Requesting a reference – why it’s important and what you can ask for

Bringing a new employee into your business is an important step no matter the size of your business. You’ve completed the recruitment process and believe they are the best candidate for the job. You’ve interviewed them, think that they have the right skills and attitude and found that they would fit in to the culture of the team. So why should you care about confirming their previous employment?

Why ask for references?

Receiving references is an invaluable tool to fact check that the candidate has been truthful about their experience on their CV, that they worked at the company for the time they said and that they performed the role listed on their CV. This confirmation can also provide reassurance that you have chosen the right candidate.

This process can also be used to check that there are no gaps in their employment which are unexplained and could be a cause for concern. Checking references, including a personal reference can explain this and ease your mind as to the reason for any employment gap e.g. career break, travel, job search post redundancy.

At what point do you ask for references?

References can be asked for at any point in the recruitment stage. Typically, they are requested once you have found your preferred candidate. This can be done at the point of making an offer to a candidate or afterwards. Often the candidate receives a conditional offer, with the contract stipulating that receiving satisfactory references are a requirement of the contract. This will offer you protection if the references you receive aren’t satisfactory as you may then be able to withdraw the offer or terminate their employment if they have already started.

You can also ask for a character reference; however, it is worth noting that this would usually be given on a personal basis from their referee and it is unlikely companies will provide one.

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What can you ask for in a reference?

Before requesting a reference, you will need to get the candidate’s consent, they will at that point also give the contact details of their referees.

When contacting their reference, you should ask for the information that you want to know about the employee and what is relevant to the role and your business.

References can include:

  • basic facts about the job applicant, like employment dates and job descriptions
  • answers to questions that the potential employer has specifically asked about the job applicant that are not usually given as basic facts, like absence levels and confirming the reason for leaving
  • details about the job applicant’s skills and abilities
  • details about the job applicant’s character, strengths and weaknesses relating to the suitability for the role they have applied for

It is worth noting that regardless of what you ask for the respondent is not required, by law, to answer each question you ask or to even give a reference at all. Most companies now typically respond with an employment confirmation on their own company headed paper, and usually confirms their employment dates as well as their job title whilst they were working there. All references need to be fair, honest and consistent.

What if their previous employer refuses to give a reference?

Certain companies, such as ones regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority are required by law to give a reference when requested. However, companies in other industries have no obligation to provide you with a reference. If this is the case, you can then ask for other ways to prove their time at that company, such as the employee providing you with payslips or a P60/P45.

Doing your due diligence on new employees by requesting references is a useful way to provide reassurance that you have selected the right candidate, and can help prevent issues that may arise once they have already joined your business.

If you need any HR and talent help or advice, get in touch:+44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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FRIDAY HR FAQs – How can you as an employer promote gender equality in your business?

Gender equality is a very hot topic at the moment and will be for many months if not years to come especially with big national companies such as the BBC failing to fulfill their responsibilities to promote it.  Also with many employees now increasingly looking for it in their own workplace, how can you make sure you are meeting their expectations?

1. Have fair recruitment policies

When recruiting for a role, it is important to make sure that your job adverts don’t include anything that might alienate potential applicants. This could mean including gendered language such as ‘salesman’ or ‘Barmaid’. Instead make sure that your Job Description is objective and focuses on the specific qualifications and skills required for the person to fill the role.

Similarly at interview stage it is important for hiring managers to be trained in equal opportunities, diversity, interview skills and avoiding unconscious bias. Ensure they understand your selection criteria and they don’t ask questions which may come across as biased.

2. Introduce Remote and Flexible working

In today’s digital world, remote working is becoming more acceptable and parents can enjoy the benefits of working whilst also being able to support with childcare. This way of working is a great way of showing your employees that you understand it is difficult to balance a career and children at the same time e.g. allowing flexible working hours for those who need to leave earlier for the school run etc.

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Diverse friends holding checkmark icons

3. Assist with child support and incentivise Paternity Leave

As a business owner you could consider helping to pay for child support and elderly care or ensure you have a set of family friendly policies in place for employees when your employees need extra support. Or you could look into incentivising paternity leave for dads, if fathers have additional paternity leave, this allows them to have some valued bonding time with their newborns, whilst allowing mothers to take less time off work.

4. Be transparent about pay

It is also a good idea to explain how your business determines salaries and pay increases from the outset and ensure that promotions and rewards are fair. As a business owner, you must make sure that these are not in favour of male employees or those that are able to work over and above the standard business hours, so that everyone has a fair chance of receiving a promotion, reward, or salary increase.

By promoting an equal and positive work environment that rewards those who do their role well; your employees will see that working within your company supports their lifestyle and you will ultimately gain their loyalty.

If you need any HR advice or guidance, please get in touch: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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Why you should consider an outsourced HR consultancy for your recruitment needs

Our expert HR team here at HR Revolution knows what makes your business tick, we take time to understand your company culture and what it takes to succeed in your business, so when we begin to work on your talent solution – including recruitment and talent attraction advice, we will deliver the talent you need.

Our Talent Solutions work seamlessly alongside our HR solutions – so it’s a smooth process for all.

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Unlike other recruitment agents, HR Revolution offer bespoke talent solutions, which are flexible and can comprise of whichever parts of the solution you need. This can include writing your job description, designing your advert, helping to evaluate how you look online and advice on how you communicate with passive talent. We can then source and interview your next hire, and carry out all of the necessary checks and assessments so we know they are the right person for the role, saving you time and money.

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The HR Revolution talent team work alongside our HR team (literally, we are all in the same office!) so we are in constant communication and can therefore seamlessly gather information on team structures, company benefits and working hours so that we know what to include on the job description.

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Once the talent team find your new employee we loop the HR team in so they have all the necessary details to send them across an offer letter, contract of employment and to on-board them. It’s that simple, we cover all of your recruitment and HR needs within one expert, tight-knit team.

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We offer our talent solutions as one off projects to clients who aren’t already a retained HR client, so if you would like to discuss how we can help get in touch, give HR Revolution a call: +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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6 reasons why employees quit their jobs

When you think about why employees leave jobs, you may be quick to assume that it is money that is the main driver, but in reality money is much less of an issue than personal factors and as an employer surely the number one priority for the continued success of your business is finding out why your employees are leaving.

When one of your employees hands in their notice, finding out why could be the key to discovering whether something is remiss within your business, i.e. a manager that people aren’t happy with, or heavy and demanding workloads.

On the other hand, they could be leaving for a job at a different company. Why is that? You need to ask yourself, what are they doing better? and why is working for them more appealing than working for you?

If you know why an employee is leaving you can then start to gather valuable information that could boost your recruitment and retention practices.

Below we list 6 reasons why employees quit their jobs:

1. Feeling undervalued

All employees want to feel that they are making a positive contribution in the job they do and more importantly that they are appreciated.

It might be interesting to know that this doesn’t necessarily mean giving rewards or salary raises, although I’m sure nobody would complain!! Often, a simple ‘thank you’ is a powerful way of changing someone’s perspective.

2. Insufficient management

If employees don’t feel that they’re being managed effectively, they may look for jobs elsewhere. People won’t always get along, but if an employee is struggling to connect with their manager then there will be difficulties in the workplace.

However, if many people are finding one manager particularly difficult to work with, then this could indicate a rather bigger issue.  Sometimes, the opposite is true, a manager could be a good friend to everyone on their team, but might struggle with delegating, communicating and keeping projects on track.

3. No progression prospects

Most employees will want to feel that they can progress in their role, inspiring them to work hard so they can be rewarded with promotions and pay rises.

New challenges are valued. It can be demotivating for workers to feel that they’re trapped at their current level, with no room to grow and improve. They might be tempted to leave if they feel they aren’t progressing, especially if they have opportunities being offered to them from another business who offer great career development.

Be aware though that some employees will be happy in their current positions and not want to be continually pushed to progress.  For them, promising promotion opportunities could be just as likely to make them feel pressured and inclined to leave. Your main aim is to know what each employee wants, so it is a good idea to make sure you discuss these in performance reviews.

Always bear in mind that a lack of progression ambition does not indicate a lazy or unmotivated employee, some people are simply happy with their current level of responsibility.

4. No work/life balance

A good work/life balance is now more important than ever, especially as we are connected to our smartphones and laptops 24/7, sometimes, no amount of money is worth certain sacrifices, early mornings, long days at work, hours travelling to and from work, people need and value their free time.

Many employers are finding solutions that benefit everyone, such as offering on-site facilities: gyms, coffee shops, childcare facilities and customised office spaces, to help bring the work/life balance into the workplace.

5. Colleague clashes

Being in an workplace environment where employees feel they are among friends can make all the difference to job satisfaction.

If an employee spends every day clashing with a colleague, either because they don’t get on, feel they are not pulling their weight or have very different opinions about how the work should be done, then there’s a disaster waiting to happen.

You might want to step in and mediate. If you can’t identify the problem and help resolve it, then there’s a good chance that someone will be leaving.

6. Lack of work enjoyment

Of course personal tastes and preferences change, at every stage of life, what you may have aspired too at 23 maybe very different at 40.

Some people decide after years in the workplace that they are ready for something new, while others spend a couple of months in a role and realise that they’ve made a mistake.

There are very few things that you can do to retain an employee with a different path in mind, but it might be worth seeing what alternative jobs you can offer if you would really like to keep them within your business.

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At HR Revolution we understand what it takes to create a great team, and as experts in HR we are well placed to support you with the first steps towards achieving a competitive business through your people.

So if you are looking for recruitment solutions that go beyond simply hiring your newest team member get please get in touch +44 203 538 5311 or email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

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Do you need to recruit new talent?

Are you looking to recruit some of the fabulous new talent that will be entering the job market in the form of University graduates and college leavers?  If the answer is yes, then make sure you have got your basics in order, or here’s how it could all go wrong!

Hiring a new employee is pretty straight forward; but only if it is handled correctly. Many employers however can get it so wrong, which as we know is unproductive for any working environment.

A recent survey has shown that the No.1 reason for it all going so wrong is “not managing the candidate experience”.  This may sound a little fluffy if you do not work in HR or Recruitment, but it basically comes down to communication.  It is important to keep in constant contact with the candidate, providing them with quality information and feedback and remembering that honesty is the best policy. Providing a poor candidate experience can have many negative consequences including damaging comments about your company and lack of faith in the overall brand.

Other reasons the recruitment process can fail are:

  1. Expecting dull job descriptions to attract the right people – This is your chance to sell the position and entice the highest calibre of staff, if you waste this opportunity they will be looking to work for your competitors.
  2. Not taking advantage of employee referrals – a referral means they are pre-screened.  The best companies place nearly 50% of staff through referrals.
  3. Not fully understanding the actual job – If you don’t understand about the job you want them to do, how can you sell it to them or even know if they are capable of performing it?
  4. Using the same recruiting process for different level jobs – High level jobs require a different level of service, knowledge and relationship building. If you want the best out there, they definitely want to be treated that way too.
  5. Making slow hiring decisions – The best candidates are gone quickly, and will probably have more than one offer on the table, you simply can’t afford to hang around.
  6. Assuming interviews are accurate – Interviews are traditionally weak predictors, so poorly executed or generic interviews that do not challenge the candidate, will result in poor hires and put off the right people.
  7. Just using job boards – Only posting jobs on an advertising site means that 75% of the workforce that are not ‘actively’ looking will NOT see them. Make sure that your jobs can be found on various sites.
  8. Not prioritising jobs – Make sure if you are looking for more than one employee that you get the right person first, there is no point getting an assistant if you don’t have the manager.
  9. Not identifying job acceptance criteria – Do you know what the perfect candidates needs to accept the job? If you don’t, they won’t join you.

One last thought… With so many people getting it wrong, why don’t you let HR Revolution get it right for you.  First time.

 

If you would like to discuss any HR issues, please give HR Revolution a call we’d love to help, call us on +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

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How to give positive feedback to an unsuccessful candidate

Do you dread telling someone that they have been unsuccessful for a position with your company? Don’t worry, you are not alone, but why is it people harbour this deep rooted fear of giving feedback over the phone?  Probably because there is a negative stigma attached to giving and receiving feedback, but ‘feedback’ is being looked at all wrong and it doesn’t have to be this way…

Telling someone that they are unsuccessful is not actually giving feedback, it is just the outcome. If you give people details on their performance in an interview, you are actually telling the person how they can improve, so they can do better next time. Whether they need some additional experience and/or exposure, or just some feedback on how they perform in an interview situation, it is 100% more effective for candidates to get feedback directly, rather than to sit around wondering what on earth they did wrong! Sure, there are candidates out there who are ‘not the best’, but by giving them constructive feedback we can make them that little bit better.

If a candidate has physically come in to meet with you, then calling them directly is a must, as it will show them that you value you the time they took to come and meet with you. It will also portray a professional company image and let’s be honest, a phone call can be as quick if not quicker than writing feedback in an email, we just need to get rid of the fear of the phone!

The first step in becoming more confident with issuing feedback is being armed with the facts. If you have a proper recruitment process and a good interview question guide, then you should have no problems issuing a valid and factual reason as to why the candidate is not successful. “We don’t feel you are the right fit”, will not cut it. It can seem a little personal and a candidate has the right to read into it. They can even assume in extreme cases that you are not moving forward due to discriminative reasons. The word ‘feeling’ really has no place in any feedback setting, facts should be presented.

 “The other candidate we interviewed was stronger” is also right up there in most hated reasons for being declined from a position. If it actually is the case, then there will still be a clear reason why the other candidate was chosen over the one you are turning down… so write it down and let the candidate know why the other was hired instead of them and beware of using this as an ‘excuse’ for not selecting a candidate if it is not the entire reason they have not been successful. You don’t want to give unsuccessful candidates a false impression that you would in fact hire them if the other candidate fell through and the job became available again. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way… just remember, it’s important to be honest.

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Personality traits are NOT an excuse for poor behaviour!

Here in the HR Revolution office we have just undergone the DISC profile training, which is a modern interpretation of Dr. William Marston’s behavioral dimensions; a personal strengths profiling exercise that uncovers four quadrants of behaviour. Once you understand your natural behavioral patterns, it is said that you will find it easier to recognize the right opportunities to achieve the results you desire. These for quadrants are:

D – Dominance  I – Influence  S – Steadiness  C – Compliance

What I personally think the great thing about DISC is, it highlights other people’s personality traits, so you can understand better why they work the way they do, for example why one person might like to have all the facts and figures, while others are just, let’s just get on and worry about the details later…. It turns out we have both in our office which is actually a really good thing as we all fulfill different roles.

Anyway, DISC is a lot more in depth than I can offer in this blog and not the reason for me writing today, but it got me thinking… why is it that people tend to use their personality traits as an excuse for unacceptable behaviour?

How many times have you said “ignore him, you know what he’s like” or “don’t let her get to you, it’s just the way she is” or “why does everything have to revert back to them” and whilst this is true, does it make it ok?? I don’t think so.

I personally like to think that no one person is just one personality type and we are intelligent enough to know how to behave and adapt our styles towards other people.

Here is just one adjective describing a personality trait from each of the above groups: D: direct, I: emotionless, S: easily distracted and C: retreating, and I don’t think any of them are particularly positive (obviously there are lots of happy ones too!). But just because they are ‘part’ of our personality does that mean that’s how we should act? For example just because you are ‘direct’ naturally, does that mean you can use absolutely no tact whatsoever when communicating with colleagues? OR just because you tend to be ‘retreating’ does that mean you should get out of doing the things you are not comfortable with? Of course the answer is absolutely no.

So I guess what I am trying to say is, if we know what we are predominately like rather than using that behaviour as an excuse, why don’t we all try to bring through some of our other personality traits, or just take time to think about how we are being perceived by the recipient… be less blunt, show empathy or be bolder, whatever you feel would work best in that given situation.

Personality traits should be used to benefit you and others, not as an excuse to make people cry or be lazy!  Trust me, I know how difficult it is to adapt your natural behaviour to suit the needs of the situation, as my profile is DS the two most polar opposites!

If you are interested in learning more about DISC or any other personality testing within your business, please get in touch with HR Revolution +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk, it may be what you need to get your team working more cohesively together.

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MPs say lax laws on sexist dress codes are ‘failing female employees’

Today’s press is awash with the news regarding the lax laws on sexist dress codes.  As an employer you need to be aware of this, I don’t think this topic is going away anytime soon – read on…
Campaigners say too many employers are “stuck in the past” and are forcing women to wear inappropriate shoes and uniforms at work.

Dress codes which discriminate against women are still widespread in UK workplaces, a group of MPs has warned – with a report claiming current laws to prevent discrimination are not “fully effective”.

The Women and Equalities Committee’s investigation follows a petition calling for “outdated and sexist” dress codes to be changed so women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work.

More than 152,000 people supported the campaign after Nicola Thorp, 27, lost her job as a receptionist because she refused to wear high heels.

The parliamentary committee’s report uncovered further examples of discrimination – hearing evidence from female employees who have been told to dye their hair blonde, wear revealing clothes, and use more make-up.

Ms Thorp said: “This may have started over a pair of high heels but what it has revealed about discrimination in the UK workplace is vital, as demonstrated by the hundreds of women who came forward.

“The current system favours the employer and is failing employees. It is crucial that the law is amended so that gender neutral dress codes become the norm.”

In its report, the Petitions Committee and Women and Equalities Committee said: “We call on the Government to review this area of the law and to ask Parliament to change it, if necessary, to make it more effective.”

It also concluded that more needs to be done to help educate employees so they understand how to make formal complaints and make the costly tribunal process easier.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Far too many employers are still stuck in the past when it comes to dress codes.

“It is unacceptable that in 2017 bosses are still forcing women to wear painful, inappropriate shoes and uniforms.

“But with employment tribunals costing up to £1,200 – even if you’re on the minimum wage – many women can’t afford to challenge sexist policies.

“If ministers are serious about enforcing equality legislation then they should scrap tribunal fees immediately.”

The report comes as new research from the Chartered Management Institute shows four out of five managers have witnessed some form of gender discrimination or bias in the last 12 months, such as women struggling to make themselves heard and getting paid less than a male colleague.

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This article appeared on Skynews.com