Company-i Oracle

first_imgInthe second of a continuing series looking at how HR teams deploy technology toimprove efficiency, we profile OracleOracleis the biggest vendor of e-business software in the world with 65 per cent of Fortunemagazine’s top 100 companies using its technology. In 2000 it announced that itwould become a true e-businessand put every aspect of its own business on the Internet. In doing so, it hassaved $1bn. Its HR management system, which features comprehensive self-servicetools and one of the most advanced online flexible benefits systems in theworld, is at the heart of its own HR operation in the UK. The HRvice-president for the UK and Ireland, Vance Kearney, leads a team of more than30 people who use technology in their daily lives to streamline every aspect ofthe human resources function. Here, seven members of the team talk about theirroles.RichardLowtherHuman resources director,  UK andSouth AfricaRole:Our job is to ensure Oracle is equipped with the human capital to enable thecompany to become more competitive, to operate as efficiently as possible andto successfully execute its business strategies.Useof technology HR’s use of the intranet is essential to provide our 4,000-plusemployees with the tools they need every day in order to be productive. Byusing Oracle’s own technologies and applications, we are automating routinetasks through the introduction of our self-service HR systems, and speeding upprocesses in all aspects of our work. Last month we enabled our UK workforce toelect their flexible benefits system for this year in only two weeks using ourOracle Advanced Benefits System.GrahamHutchingsHR managerRole:I am generalist HR manager with a focus on UK compensation and benefits acrossthe UK.Useof technology Compensation and benefits is a primary focus of my role soup-to-date HR data and effective use of technology is a must. Self-servicetools are one of the essential components, especially with constant changebeing a fact of life. Technology has enabled my team to manage flexible benefitre-elections and the annual review processes within a matter of weeks. And notonly does the system provide managers and employees with the means to view andmanage live data, but it also reduces the interruptions on the HR team’s time,allowing us to focus on how we can add value to the business. We are also ableto focus on analysis and prompt feedback to manager recommendations.Dawn-MarieClarkSenior recruiterRole:I am responsible for the sourcing and assessment management of candidatesacross the senior consulting area in Oracle, including all recruitment andadvertising activity in this area.Useof technology Our worldwide external website allows us to advertise vacanciesin minutes, gives 24/7 access for candidates and provides a global reach.Handling applications in electronic format means applicants’ personal detailsare recorded automatically and they can update their own personal details oncethey have joined the staff – all this reduces menial administration and freesus to do the hiring. Use of technology also reduces lead times for fillingvacancies: following a successful search of the database, we forward CVs tomanagers by internal e-mail, view their interview diaries online and, ifnecessary, contact candidates by e-mail. We all have laptops, which allow us towork away from our office with our line managers.ValSiddiquiCompensation and benefits director, Europe, the Middle East and AfricaRole:My job is to put in place a compensation strategy to enable the company tosustain competitive advantage and attract, retain and motivate its diversecurrent and future workforce.Useof technology I use a mixture of intranet, web-based, proprietary andthird-party technology in my daily work: internal Internet-based systems andworkflow for approval of team expenses; the intranet for obtaining informationfor use by the compensation and benefits team, as well as for sharinginformation on pay and benefits policy with line management (we have aconfidential website for the team where compensation and benefits policyinformation is posted and accessible by managers only); and the Internet forinformation on pay, benefits and employment market conditions in differentcountries. We also have an HR database for obtaining management information onattrition, pay and benefit levels and costs in various countries.ChrisWilsonUK compensation and benefits managerRole:As well as ensuring that we are competitive in our marketplace for new recruitsand for retaining people, our role is also to ensure reward and recognitionremain the embodiment of our culture.Useof technology Oracle’s flexible benefits system gives us one of the mostpersonally tailored and comprehensive in the UK and it reinforces employeeownership of their personal data, their package and their careers. A wide rangeof employee information is available to them at any time. It is our goal toremove all data entry from the HR function, as this adds little value, andconcentrate on managing the issues that will have an impact on the business. Wewant to focus more on management of exceptions rather than management ofprocess, and support the business decision-making process through qualityinformation and analysis.JuliaPearsonSenior management and professional development consultant, HRRole:I specialise in the analysis, design and delivery of professional non-technicalskills, development programmes and consultancy.Useof technology Not only does technology allow us to share information withcolleagues across regions, but it also provides a communication vehicle topromote training and development activities within different countries. Ouremployees can search for courses, view synopses and book themselves on toevents via the intranet. E-learning is also becoming an integral part ofdevelopment at Oracle to enable us to respond to the needs of larger numbers ofpeople more quickly and effectively. The Internet provides a delivery mechanismthat is relatively inexpensive, readily available to all our employees, and isaligned with our corporate direction of becoming an e-business.JoWilsonHR systems managerRole:IT is the backbone of the HR model at Oracle UK and my role is to look at howwe can extract maximum advantage from all of our HR IT systems.Useof technology I am involved in the development of internal and externalrecruitment sites, enabling Oracle to automatically match prospectivecandidates with vacancy details when the career goals and roles correspond. Aspart of a global organisation, it is essential to maintain standard approachesand processes across the world. We are working to ensure that the HR businesscan move towards a single HR system for the whole of the global business, whichwill reduce the cost of system maintenance and will take us one step furthertowards being a truly global business. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Company-i OracleOn 20 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

Who’s dictating now?

first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Who’s dictating now?On 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today Secretaries and PAs are knowledgeworkers with raised expectations. Helen Vandevelde warns that employers mustinvest in their skillsTime was when the firsttask of the day for the secretary was to make the coffee. These days, smartmanagers make their own. And the really sharp ones will be pouring out thearomatic jump start which their secretaries need to launch their day, whiletheir secretaries get on with acknowledging the e-mails and prioritising thevoicemails that have come in overnight. The development of information andcommunications technology has made the work of PAs, secretaries and managementassistants, well, more managerial. They’re expected to research for informationon the Web, keep up with data on the company intranet, work remotely withmanagers away on business or with colleagues in different time zones. “They’re expected to cope in thedigital world,” comments Will Hawkins, business development manager forMicrosoft Press in the UK.Above all, secretaries are requiredto program and reprogram their minds for different tasks. “Secretaries will need to beproactive self-starters who can take autonomous decisions based on ofteninadequate information,” observes Adrie van der Luijt, chief editor, the online support service for PAs and management assistants.As technology protocols processroutine work, the humans deal with the exceptions. If you’re no good at solvingproblems, secretarial work isn’t for you.It comes as no surprise, then, thatemployees value training well above other benefits. Research by Office Angels, one ofthe UK’s leading secretarial and office support recruitment consultancy,reveals that more than half of these employees prefer flexible benefits to payrises.And 93 per cent of them single out trainingas their most prized benefit.Flexible benefitsThe Office Angels research alsoshowed some 30 per cent of employers in the sample had introduced flexiblebenefits in the last two years. These employers recognise the needto attract, motivate and retain talented staff in a competitive labour market.Secretaries too understand theimportance of skills updating in an increasingly technology-driven environment.The myriad uses of videocoms that arejust around the corner will make today’s range of software applications feellike a gentle scroll around a pixellated park.And arguably, using the technologyis the easy bit. It’s dealing with the human side of ICT that presents the realchallenge. ICT puts us in contact with more people for shorter periods of time.Already we “get to know” new people via e-mail. Swapping several e-mails within afew days creates a new kind of relationship that was never possible with postalcorrespondence, or even fax exchanges.Secretaries also have to manage awider network of relationships. It’s easier to make misjudgments when you don’tknow people’s likes, dislikes and tolerance thresholds. Deprived of cluesWhen you’re managing relationshipsover a distance, you’re deprived of the clues you get from colleagues’ bodylanguage or from what you learn as a result of sharing the same space with them.Hawkins observes, “Technology andthe competitiveness as a result has turned the secretarial role inside out. “There’s less communication with themanager, but much more relating to other people in  support of the manager.”As round-the-clock communicationbecomes more common, secretaries will need to deal with yet more relationshipvariables. They might start their day with a briefing from someone signing offin Singapore. And the day could end with ahandover to someone who’s just arrived at work in Winnipeg. Allow theirritations of the day to interfere in these kinds of exchanges and you’re lost.All that’s before you start takingcultural differences into account. “Interpersonal and cross-cultural skills arehigh on the agenda,” comments Adrie van der Luijt. Cultural behavioursWe have just entered themulticultural century. Just as currencies converge across whole subcontinents,so will we need to acclimatise to different cultural behaviours andexpectations. For many people, this is one of themost rewarding aspects of globalisation, but it is also one of the mostdemanding. So what are the core knowledge-based skills for secretaries andmanagement assistants? They would seem to be:– Competence with changing technology– Versatility in use of software– An eye for presentation of text and image combinations– Ability to switch from person-to-person to remote communication– Web-based research skills– Remote relational skills– Versatility between work levels, from compliance to generation of solutions – Flexible adaptation to work functions, such as switching from machineinterface to diplomatic firmness with a difficult caller– Cross-cultural sensitivity– Network management– Time zone and relay collaboration.Hawkins sees secretaries in adecision-making role. “They’re involved in a more hands-on way in the business,helping to make decisions in the areas of the business they’re working in.”Kevin Marchand, training anddevelopment manager with EWS Railway, saw the need to integrate secretarialstaff into the work of the team they were supporting, shortly after the companywas formed. “We’ve included them in teambriefings, but we’ve also developed their time management and report writingskills,” Marchland said.Which strategy to adopt? Adrie van der Luijt doesn’t rateproviding blanket training throughout the organisation. Instead, he suggeststhat training managers should “work with people to help them develop intoself-confident, proactive team players who really add value to yourorganisation”.He also confirms that the days ofdictating to secretaries have disappeared. Van der Luijt points out that inSweden, inadequate training and a lack of respect for the secretarialprofession has led to the closure of the last secretarial college. “Big-name Swedish companies aredesperate for qualified people who want to work as secretaries. We haven’tquite reached that point in the UK, but there’s a real danger that the bestpeople will leave to work on their own terms”.Employers who fail to invest intheir secretaries’ employability may find themselves having a lot more to dothan just making the coffee…Helen Vandevelde is abusiness consultant and professional speaker on the future of work, [email protected] She will deliver a keynote presentationon talent management in the global economy at the IQPC Forum for HR andrecruitment directors in London on 25 June Case studyCash bonuses forMicrosoft usersOne popular knowledge-basedqualification among secretaries is the Microsoft Office User Specialist orMous. Its modular structure enables people to exploit the features of Microsoftdesktop applications like Word, Excel, Access, Outlook and Powerpoint. Entrantsget the result of the one-hour assessment within minutes.Will Hawkins says he receivespositive feedback from people who have completed the qualification. “They referto the advantage of a globally recognised qualification. People say they’remore productive and it makes life easier because they understand the programmesbetter. “Some people use it to go on tobetter things. Others are happy with the enhancement they get with their day-to-day work,” he says.Steve Rogers, program manager EMEAWest Microsoft Office User Specialist Program, is himself a Master in Office 97and Master in Office 2000, in addition to being an authorised instructor inboth. He points out how committed employers are to the scheme. “Some companies are so keen forcertification to be rolled out that they pay cash bonuses to staff whichachieve these certifications. That’s a sign that employers are taking this veryseriously.”He adds, “The exam allows candidatesto explore different techniques during the test by utilising a full workingversion of the application, unlike other ‘simulation-based’ computer assessmenttests. Thanks to this, candidates have reported learning new features as anoutcome of assessment. That makes taking the exam very satisfying and fun to do.“Its popularity is growing fast too.We’re starting to get some major blue-chip companies on board, and publicsector too like county councils and police forces.’Marion Coles, IT training and usersupport manager with Nabarro Nathanson, one of the UK’s leading commercial lawfirms, saw Mous as an opportunity to raise the profile and skill level of thefirm’s trainers, as well as the secretarial staff. “I thought, ‘This is great.Our training centre can become an approved testing centre and our trainers willhave the opportunity to work to the highest level and gain the respect theydeserve’. “The secretaries grew in confidencein their ability to use the applications. They were given a globally recognisedbenchmark to enable them to work to the highest level. That’s exactly whathappened.”Case studyDrivingemployability at EWS RailwayEWS Railway developed its MovingInto Management Programme in 1999. It is open to all employees, and aims todevelop employability skills with participants setting the agenda.Kevin Marchand says, “It’s aprogramme that aims to draw out the potential of people with latent talent.Basically, it’s up to them. They put themselves forward and they’ve got a lotof learning to do. Most of the people have succeeded in getting promotion.” The programme comprises modules on:– Self-awareness– Finance– Basic management skillsThe learning package also includeswork shadowing and managing a project. It is accredited through the OCRvalidating body.Participants have been warm in theirendorsement of the programme, according to Marchand. “Comments kept coming backlike, ‘I never knew I could do it’ and ‘this is great; I’ve stretched myself’.One person told me she’d learnt about things she didn’t know existed.” Marchand’s attitude to retentionfollowing the programme is realistic too. “They realise that these skills makethem more employable. Will they stay with our company? Well that’s up to us tokeep them attracted to working with us.” Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Keep consultation directive flexible for business’ sake

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. The flexibility built into the current draft EU directive on consultation iscritical to business performance, and should, at all costs, be retainedThe court decision in France which threw out one of the union challenges tothe validity of the Marks & Spencer European Works Council, has againfocused attention on consultation with staff over closures (News, 25September). How multinationals handle major redundancies and plant closures or mergersand acquisitions has dominated the debate during the passage of a new draft EUdirective on “Information and Consultation at National Level”. But while these are important issues for those directly affected, by nomeans do they tell the whole story. This focus on major corporate restructuresoverlooks the impact the directive could have on the valuable contribution ofregular staff consultation on improving business performance. It now seems almost certain that we will have a European directive onconsultation by the end of this year. It is important that this directive andthe way it is implemented in the UK provides the opportunity for employers todevelop information and consultation systems that best suit them and theiremployees. Furthermore, it must not lead to organisations having to dismantlesystems that have served them and their employees well for often many years. An overly prescriptive directive detailing how organisations across Europehave to inform and consult their employees on business issues is thereforeinappropriate. Such a directive would not enable organisations to achieve theimproved performance that can be obtained from such systems. This is an area ofbusiness where a “one size fits all” approach is highlyinappropriate. To add value to business, the way in which an organisation informs andconsults its employees has to fit coherently with a number of factors. It hasto be tailored to the organisation’s culture, structure and management style aswell as its employee relations history and environment. This is why attempts to reduce the flexibility in the current text of thedraft directive must be resisted. The document on which “political”agreement was reached by all member states earlier this year, is probably theleast worst deal that could have been achieved for employers. It contains adegree of flexibility that will enable each government to design and develop alegislative framework for informing and consulting employees that fits withtheir employee relations systems. It will also provide employers withflexibility to have systems that meet the needs of their business andemployees. The successful implementation of information and consultation systems is notjust about procedures – it often requires changes to be made to anorganisation’s culture. These inevitably take time to bed-down in anorganisation and cannot be introduced overnight or imposed from outside. Thephased implementation provisions in the current text of the draft directivetherefore need to stay. These will give organisations the necessary time todesign and implement systems that benefit them and their employees. We are now reaching an important stage in the progress of this draftdirective through the European legislative procedure, with in-depth discussionscurrently taking place in the European Parliament. The signs are that some MEPs are pressing for significant changes to be madeto the text and it is important that this pressure is resisted. On this issue,employers will be judging the UK Government on its ability to meet the criticalchallenge of retaining the flexibility of the current draft directive ratherthan accepting a compromise text that provides employers with too littleflexibility. By David Yeandle a deputy director of the Engineering Employers’Federation Previous Article Next Article Keep consultation directive flexible for business’ sakeOn 2 Oct 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

War for talent

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. War for talentOn 19 Feb 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Thebattle to attract the top talent is on, with big corporations offering everbigger carrots to attract those candidates with a certain something extra tooffer. But finding the elite few who have the X factor is no easy task. Thisreport, including exclusive new research, asks what is talent, how do youidentify it and can it be measured? Sally O’Reilly investigatesTalent is a modern obsession. TV shows such as Pop Idol put the emphasis onthe search for a mystery ‘X’ factor that will enable ordinary mortals to turninto manufactured pop gods. In business, the war for talent is on, with firms seeking the elite few whocan help them beat the competition. But is this the best way to foster highperformance levels? And what does ‘talent’ actually mean? While it is obviousUK firms are not looking for an ability to sing, dance and pose for thecameras, it is not always clear what they are searching for. According to talent research company Kenexa, which specialises in helpingcompanies hire and retain highly-talented staff, talent is the component ofsomeone’s ability that cannot be explained by training or experience. It is theelusive X factor – part of an individual’s personality. Ellen O’Mahoney, consultant psychologist at Kenexa, stresses that the requiredX factor will vary depending on the employee’s role. There are jobs that have avery clear personality profile – particularly those that involve dealing withpeople. “In the case of sales people, managers and supervisors, you cansee how they function in the job,” she says. “For instance, youcouldn’t be a high-potential salesperson if you weren’t competitive, nor abrilliant manager if you never talked to your team.” Assessing such personality traits is not easy and organisations seem to lackthe conviction that they can identify talent among the ranks of their ownstaff. Traditionally, when searching for high-talent performers, internal staff atjunior levels have been overlooked. The ‘talent pool’ is still seen to bebright young graduates destined for great things, MBA super-heroes, or starperformers with impressive CVs. This is partly the result of a woolly attitude among employers. “Manyfirms confuse talent with leadership,” says Richard Finn, a director ofperformance consultancy group Penna Change Consulting. “You have to lookat what your organisation needs, which depends on your core competencies. “And you shouldn’t assume that recruitment is the answer. Manycompanies say they have a talent problem when they haven’t looked at the skillsof their own people.” Another myth is that intellectual prowess is an essential attribute of starperformers. But Steve Newhall, head of business development for DDI, aconsultancy specialising in selection and leadership, says firms should belooking for a mix of skills. “You need different levels of cognitive ability in someone who is goingto be a leader, and someone who is fulfilling a research scientist role,”he says. “People have to know when to apply their intelligence and makejudgements, not just have the ability to find a solution.” Some firms are getting it right and are clear about what they need and whereto find it, but they are the exceptions. For example, supermarket chain Tescohas a policy of grooming shopfloor workers who show management potential –several of its main board members have worked their way up the company, andDavid Potts, its head of strategic operations, started as a Saturday boy. Kim Birney, group learning director at Tesco, says – in theory at least –all staff have access to the high-flyer programme. “Tesco doesn’t have atraditional fast-track group, there are different routes in,” she says.”Every manager is a trained talent-spotter, so everyone in the firm hasthe option of moving on to bigger and better things.” Motivation is highly rated – staff can put themselves forward as prospectivemanagement material, without waiting for someone else to spot their potential. Rather than widen the net, most companies are hoping to compete in thetraditional graduate recruitment pool by developing an appealing employer brandand using this to lure potential recruits such as valued customers. For instance, IBM UK is keen to emphasise that it has changed its imagethrough its recruitment adverts, and now deals with new recruits much morequickly. “Over the past 12 months we have started selling ourselves as a totalsolutions company, sending out the message that we are different – we areflexible and we are very responsive to our client base – which in this case isapplicants to IBM,” says HR director Paul Rodgers. IBM also recruits non-IT graduates from all academic disciplines, which itclaims is unusual in the IT sector, and has introduced an online applicationsystem across Europe for potential graduate hires. Ford Europe has gone down a similar path. Although it claims to have‘revolutionised’ its recruitment process in the past year, its most dramaticinnovation is an online application process that has cut theapplication/interview/job offer process from six months to as many weeks. These are typical examples – most firms are not looking beyond traditionalelites when seeking top performers. One honourable exception is the BBC, nowlaunching the third year of its ‘BBC Talent’ campaign, which scours the countryfor new writers, performers, musicians and comedians. This is not in itself going to change the face of broadcasting: in 2002there are just 46 short-term contracts and commissions available under thisscheme, and no-one is guaranteed a permanent staff contract. However, the BBCis carrying this philosophy through to its more conventional recruitmentprogrammes. According to Jo Gardiner, head of training and development team SkillXchangeat the BBC, the organisation no longer runs a graduate recruitment programme perse. Degree entry is only necessary for specific technical roles, such asengineering. Instead, the organisation pulls in between 270 and 300 recruitseach year from a range of backgrounds. Last year more than one-third of its new programme makers were from ethnicminorities. Techniques include a funky, non-traditional ad campaign, andrunning careers events and roadshows throughout the country. “There is anew feel to the way we are selling ourselves – we’re not the traditional,comfortable, Radio Four organisation any more,” says Gardiner. So why aren’t more companies taking this approach? Ken Rowe, joint managingdirector at YSC Consulting, which specialises in talent spotting and successionplanning, says it is because high-prestige institutions are thought toguarantee high-talent recruits. “Organisations decide to upgrade their talent by bringing in peopleperceived to be high status – they go to Oxbridge for really good graduates,for instance, or a small manufacturing firm will go to multinational Mars. Theybelieve these recruits will have high talent and transferable skills. But whatthey need is the ability to thrive in a new environment.” Steve Newhall at DDI is more dismissive: “If someone has a good CV,it’s easier to tick the right boxes,” he says. “But there areobviously many people who are very talented who don’t have excellentqualifications.” Indeed, a study that looked at a range of recruitment methods, carried outby Professor Ivan Robertson of UMIST, found that qualifications alone are not areliable predictor of future performance. “They will show if someone hasintelligence, the capability to persevere and focus, but employers need to useother methods to assess candidates,” says Robertson. Trying to predict future performance clearly goes to the nub of the issueand many firms spend a huge amount of time and money in the attempt. Forexternal candidates, it is the familiar roll call: interviews, assessmentcentres and psychometrics, with some firms also bringing in occupational psychologiststo do separate interviews. The aim is to tease out what motivates staff – whythey have been successful in the past, for instance. Talent-spotting assessment centres are available from companies such as DDI andnew psychometric tests are on the market to measure emotional intelligence andcreativity – both important characteristics of talented performers. New tools that aim to assist HR staff in the talent search include SHL’stransference leadership questionnaire, which looks at how applicants will dealwith specific situations to cast light on their personal qualities.”Psychometrics will pick up the qualities talented people need,” saysRoy Davis, head of communications at SHL. “For instance, if you were tobreak down Tony Blair’s job description, you would look for someone withresilience, persuasiveness, confidence, and high levels of energy andnumeracy.” DDI runs assessment centres in real time, with simulations that putcandidates in very realistic situations. Making someone think on their feet isone way of assessing how they will perform in an unfamiliar job, Newhallbelieves. “We have a fictitious company, with a five-year plan and peopleworking in it,” he says. “The candidate takes on a senior role and has to respond to informationthey receive by e-mail, voice-mail and so on. It shows more about their way ofworking than an interview, which focuses on past performance.” There’s a long way to go, and YSC Consulting’s Rowe says no sector can rest onits laurels, although some have fared better than others. Often, paradoxically,the best performers in talent development are those with the fewest graduaterecruits. “Traditionally, graduates didn’t go into retailing, and they do have agood record of finding talent democratically,” Rowe says. “Banks havemade the mistake of giving people too little variety and knowledge aboutdifferent parts of the business. And manufacturing firms have been good atgetting talent in, but have tended to squash it out by having overly-rigidprocedures in place.” For Penna Change Consultancy’s Finn the message for companies across allsectors is: know yourself and know your staff. “Fast-tracking can co-existwith other methods of developing staff,” he says. “But the questionis ‘are you fast-tracking the right people?’” Weapons in the war for talentPsychometric tests: Based onresearch into the personal qualities and preferences displayed by highlytalented people, these claim to pinpoint similar qualities in job candidates.Newcomers include SHL’s transference leadership questionnaire.Tests which measure EI and creativity include OPP’s innovationpotential indicator, or IPIBehavioural assessment centres:Real-time simulations, in which candidates have to think on their feet, andreact to information flooding in from TV monitors, e-mail and telephone. DDIruns day in life acceleration centres Interview training:Organisations such as YSC Consulting run training courses for line managersshowing them how to conduct systematic but robust interviews. The aim is to”train people to know what they are trying to find out”Psychologists’ interviews:Occupational psychologists will conduct separate interviews and feed them intothe assessment processCareer pathing: The new ‘portfoliocareer’. Instead of leaving high-flyers to get on with it, firms are guidingthem through the process – even when they might be leaving to join anotherfirm. Portmanteau: term covering a range of measures to helpstaff, including coaching, mentoring and work placements. Also may include anyof the initiatives below:Executive resource boards: Setup to ensure that talent belongs to the organisation, not the line manager.Should involve CEO or board members. Their role is to monitor and oversee thedevelopment of high potential people, and remove barriers to their progressCareer action centres: Run byfirms such as Sun Microsystems in the US, these set about developing specialistskills for an entire industry, not just for the individual companyCommunities of practice: Majorconsultancies set these up to establish networks of highly talented people, toenable them to exchange information informally. These may be formal projectgroups, or less formal talking shopsAcceleration pools: Groups ofhighly talented individuals who are being groomed for non-specific leadershiproles. Instead of expecting to take on a particular position, talented staffare helped to develop portable skills which could be used by the organisationor elsewhere Talent segmentation: Eachfirm’s analysis of what it means by talent in terms of its own business needs.A breakdown of the different talent groups within an organisation, and whatthey needCase study: Civil Serviceselection boardsInnovative approach reaps rewardsOnce a bastion of old school tieelitism, the Civil Service selection board has long since mended its ways. Infact, it is so cutting edge that in 1996 it outsourced most of its recruitmentprocess to an private company, Capita, and has now brought most of that processback in-house to give more personal attention to prospective employees. Andit’s also dealing in big numbers – in 2000 there were 14,500 applicants for 560vacancies. Hardly surprising when you consider the range of jobs the boardis recruiting for includes the diplomatic service, the Inland Revenue (thoughtit runs its own selection boards at the interview stage) and graduatemanagement trainees for GCHQ, as well as economists and statisticians.There are two stages to the interview process – qualifyingtests that assess verbal and non-verbal reasoning, biodata (questions aboutpersonal preference) and objectively validated tests, and then a two-dayselection board. Each one of these will see four or five candidates. These arerun by a panel of three: a senior civil servant, an occupational psychologistand a more junior employee who has reached the level which new recruits canexpect to reach after six or seven years. The selection board consists of a number of exercises,including written work, one-to-one interviews and group exercises. Qualitiesthe boards are looking for include awareness of others, intellectual skill,drive and resilience. Two changes have been made recently. Applicants are nowassessed in terms of competencies, and there is more emphasis on innovation andcreative thinking. Michael Herron, head of Fast Stream, European andRecruitment division, says the aim is to make the process fairer.”We used to assess written and verbal skills, looking atwhether people expressed themselves eloquently,” he says. “Thisinadvertently created a ‘people like us’ syndrome. And we used to havetopic-based interviews, in which candidates would make the case for aparticular point of view, and the young civil servant would make the caseagainst it. This was too much like the tutorial system [which would have givenOxbridge students an unfair advantage].”Other attempts to attract a wider cross-section of applicantsinclude going to new universities to spread the word about the Civil Serviceand taking on 60 or more students every summer. On-line applications are alsobeing developed, and the Civil Service website is being improved.The whole focus is on being more user-friendly – and this ispartly why the selection process has been brought back in-house. When the functionwas outsourced, there was less contact between applicants and civil servicestaff. “The best candidates are getting four or five job offers at thisstage and we need to meet them and give them a flavour of what the civilservice is like,” says Herron. Capita will still be used for the earlierstages of the recruitment process.Other areas the service is looking to include is the locationsfor stage one exercises and computerised qualifying tests. Image is the final frontier. Like many traditionalorganisations, the civil service has strong brand recognition, but what peoplerecognise may be its past, rather than its present reality. “In somegroups, we are held in high esteem. In others, the attitude is ‘ I know aboutthat, and it’s not for me’. In some, recognition is very low – it’s just notpart of their world.”Once in positions, entrants who had visions of a stuffy SirHumphrey time warp will be pleasantly surprised. They are expected to do a realjob from the beginning. “People just don’t leave for the first couple ofyears,” says Herron. “What motivates people to stay is the earlyresponsibility they are given. “This is counter-intuitive to some extent, in that thereis actually a lack of hierarchy. People are given a lot of scope early on, theyare out there, flying to Brussels, doing it; which isn’t necessarily true oftheir peers in commercial organisations. There are also diverse employmentopportunities – they could move from working in employment policy to theenvironmental sector, or to working with a government agency.” ResourcesGrow Your Own Leaders: AccelerationPools: a new method of succession management (DDI press)Winning the Talent Wars: How tomanage and compete in the high-tech, high-speed knowledge-based super fluideconomy Bruce Tulgan (Nicholas Brierly)Managing Talent: Exploring the NewPsychological Contract, Henley Management CollegeRetaining Talent: A benchmarkingsurvey, DDI (Feb 2001)ContactsWilliam M Mercer – 020-74235508Kenexa – 020-7484 5056SHL – 020-8335 8000OPP – 01865 404 500Chiumento – 01865 882 100Robertson Cooper – 0870 3333 591Henley Management College – 01491 571 454DDI – 01753 616 000Penna Consulting Group – 01753 784 000 Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more


first_imgtestOn 24 Sep 2009 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Power playersView more documents from ptod.This is a test link to XHR latest FAQs Related posts:No related photos.last_img

Building Trust

first_imgRead full article Comments are closed. Building TrustShared from missc on 11 Dec 2015 in Personnel Today Internal recruiters – A short but hopefully sweet note on how to build trust with your internal customers and the hiring managers within your organisation.Learning the recruitment craft from agency ensures that your recruitment and talent acquisition expertise has a pretty healthy dose of salesmanship to it. It can then become an issue learning when to cut the sales patter and quite simply deliver. Internal customers do not want to be sold to. They want to know that you are on the same team, looking to achieve the same goal and that you want to work together to get there.So in simple terms, how do you build that trust?   CUT. THE. SALESY. BULLSHIT.Not saying don’t sell as you will always have to sell e.g. why you believe someone is the right fit for the position, or why they should choose another angles in a particular talent acquisition campaign etc. – All I’m suggesting is to just cut the fake door-to-door salesman act and back the quality of what you do and how you do it.As recruiters, our edge will come from being able to use whatever means necessary to fill open positions with the best candidates that no one else can find, or building such a level of trust with the best candidates that everyone can find, that when you approach them with an opportunity, they are always prepared to listen. Be the person who knows your market. Build the levels of respect and trust within your sector or industry that if you decide to approach someone, they know they are not simply one of 100 people that you have flicked an automated note to, and that instead they should take the time to listen.Make this your brand in the market and the rest becomes a walk in the park! Build the trust and respect via letting your actions speak for themselves and don’t let the fluff get in the way. Deliver on your word and choose your word carefully.center_img Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Pocket listing service is back with a new website

first_imgFrom left: PLS founders David Parnes, Mauricio Umansky, James Harris and Chris Dyson and (The Agency RE)The PLS, formerly a private listing network for real estate agents, will relaunch Jan. 19 as a public-facing site.The site will be a competitor to third-party listing sites such as Zillow and On the new site, both agents and members of the public will be able to search “PLS only” listings that automatically convert to just active PLS listings after one business day, according to Inman.Read morePocket listings flourish in South Florida as agents eye new platformsZillow launches brokerage to boost iBuyingNest Seekers falsely claims exclusivity on Miami listings, feeds bad information to Zillow and Share via Shortlink In May, filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against NAR, the California Regional MLS, Bright MLS and Midwest Real Estate Data. The suit alleges that the requirement for listing brokers to submit a listing to their MLS within one business day of marketing a property to the public violates the federal Sherman Antitrust Act and California’s Cartwright Act for adopting the Clear Cooperation Policy.The original Pocket Listing Site was shut down because of the policy and declining membership. The new site takes advantage of a term in the Clear Cooperation Policy, which allows agents to advertise a property for one business day — up to 72 hours if the property is advertised on a Friday — before it must be submitted to the MLS.“In the current market where inventory is extremely tight across the board, will give agents the opportunity to exclusively share ALL listings on the platform first,” the company told Inman via email.[Inman] — Sasha Jones Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsMLSResidential Real Estatezillowlast_img read more

Fifth Wall targets $250M for blank-check firm

first_imgFifth Wall’s Brendan Wallace (right) and Andriy Mykhaylovskyy (Fifth Wall; iStock)Fifth Wall is officially in the SPAC market and looking to raise $250 million for a new blank-check company.The Los Angeles-based firm said in a regulatory filing that it will issue 25 million shares of its new special purpose acquisition company at $10 per share. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are underwriting the deal.Headed by Blackstone Group alumni Brendan Wallace and Brad Greiwe, Fifth Wall is already one of the best-funded proptech VCs, with $1.3 billion in committed capital.Its new blank-check company will join a growing list of proptech-focused SPACs, including Tishman Speyer’s TS Innovation Acquisitions and PropTech Investment Corp. II, formed by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority veterans Tom Hennessy and Joe Beck.Read moreThese blank-check firms are courting proptech deals Fifth Wall to launch SPAC Blank-check companies make comeback Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Email Address* Blank-check companies, which have no underlying assets, seek reverse-mergers with private companies that are looking to go public. They made a comeback last year as an alternative to the traditional IPO process.So far in January, investors have poured $16.8 billion into 59 new SPACs, according to SPACInsider. The 248 SPACs created last year raised $83 billion.Fifth Wall is betting its track record will give its new SPAC a “substantial competitive advantage,” the IPO filing said. “A SPAC is an important extension of Fifth Wall’s approach to partnering with leading real estate technology companies to create long-term value,” it said.Fifth Wall has invested in 40 startups, including six that are now unicorns, including VTS and Opendoor, which went public in a SPAC deal last year. Fifth Wall’s investment grew by a multiple of seven, generating more than $600 million on paper, according to regulatory filings.The new SPAC filing did not specify whether Fifth Wall will look to merge with an existing portfolio company. The SPAC will be headed by Wallace and Fifth Wall CFO Andriy Mykhaylovskyy and aims to guide a “category-defining market leader” from the private market to the public one.Contact E.B. Solomontcenter_img Message* Share via Shortlink TagsBrendan WallaceFifth WallIPOProptechSPAClast_img read more

Metabolism and feeding in the Antarctic brachiopod Liothyrella uva: A low energy lifestyle species with restricted metabolic scope

first_imgThe effect of feeding on metabolism (specific dynamic action; SDA) was assessed in the articulate brachiopod Liothyrella uva (Broderip, 1833) at Signy Island, Antarctica. The response was low and on a much longer timescale than previously reported SDA responses. Oxygen consumption rose post-prandially to a peak which was 1.64 $times $ higher than the prefeeding basal metabolic rate. The response peaked on the 5$^{text{th}}$ day and returned to basal levels on the 18$^{text{th}}$ day after feeding. Maximum metabolic scope was therefore restricted, and was 0.41 $mu $molO$_{2}$ h$^{-1}$ (24.5 microwatts) for a 290 mg ash-free dry mass individual. Unusually ammonia excretion was little affected by feeding, except for a short sharp peak on the 4$^{text{th}}$ post-prandial day. Metabolic O:N ratios were very low, ranging from 2.9 to 6.6 and indicated an almost sole use of protein to fuel metabolism throughout. Urea excretion showed no pattern in relation to feeding, and accounted for around 7% of nitrogen excreted. It is suggested that metabolic scope is limited in L. uva for two reasons: because it has evolved to live at low temperatures and because of phylogenetic limitations related to articulate brachiopod lifestyles.last_img read more

Heart rates and abdominal temperatures of free-ranging South Georgian shags, Phalacrocorax georgianus

first_imgThe South Georgian shag (Phalacrocorax georgianus) shows a remarkable diving ability comparable to that of penguins, yet nothing is known of the physiology of these birds. In this study, heart rates and abdominal temperatures were recorded continuously in four free-ranging South Georgian shags using an implanted data-logger. A time­depth recorder was also attached to the back of the implanted birds to record their diving behaviour. The diving behaviour of the birds was essentially similar to that reported in other studies, with maximum dive durations for individual birds ranging between 140 and 287 s, and maximum depths between 35 and 101 m. The birds, while at the nest, had a heart rate of 104.0±13.1 beats min-1 (mean ± s.e.m.) and an abdominal temperature of 39.1±0.2 °C. During flights of 221±29 s, heart rate and abdominal temperature rose to 309.5±18.0 beats min-1 and 40.1±0.3 °C, respectively. The mean heart rate during diving, at 103.7±13.7 beats min-1, was not significantly different from the resting values, but the minimum heart rate during a dive was significantly lower at 64.8±5.8 beats min-1. The minimum heart rate during a dive was negatively correlated with both dive duration and dive depth. Abdominal temperature fell progressively during a diving bout, with a mean temperature at the end of a bout of 35.1±1.7 °C. The minimum heart rate during diving is at a sub-resting level, which suggests that the South Georgian shag responds to submersion with the ‘classic’ dive response of bradycardia and the associated peripheral vasoconstriction and utilisation of anaerobic metabolism. However, the reduction in abdominal temperature may reflect a reduction in the overall metabolic rate of the animal such that the bird can remain aerobic while submerged.last_img read more

A Lower Cretaceous clastic slope succession, Livingston Island, Antarctica: sand-body characteristics, depositional processes and implications for slope apron depositional models

first_imgThe early Cretaceous fill of the forearc/intra-arc Byers Basin includes a 600- to 900-m-thick interval of marine slope apron deposits, the President Beaches Formation. This is a predominantly argillaceous succession within which coarser-grained deposits are largely confined to lenticular packages of low width–thickness ratios. The entire formation was deposited in mid- to late-Berriasian times, coincident with a pulse of regional arc expansion, at minimum mean accumulation rates of 120–225 mm 1000 years–1. The mudstones are finely laminated, with a restricted benthic macrofauna and minimal bioturbation, indicating relatively inhospitable sea-floor environments. Sand-rich packages occur as 7- to 30-m-thick channel-fill units composed chiefly of classical medium-grained turbidites, in some cases associated with complex high-concentration turbidity current deposits and minor mud-rich debrites. These sand-bodies are apparently elongate along (normal to) the NW-facing palaeoslope implied by slump-fold axes (and the strike of the volcanic arc). Similarly, palaeocurrent indices show a consistent arc-parallel, NE-directed trend, suggesting that transport processes were strongly influenced by the structural ‘grain’ of the irregular slope morphology. Slope instability is recorded by widespread slump and soft-sediment collapse features promoted by a combination of steep sea-floor gradients and relatively high rates of sedimentation. A lack of systematic vertical facies trends indicates that this was not a progradational or well-organized system, despite high rates of sediment supply. However, the strong systematic relationship between palaeocurrents and palaeoslope suggests a promising basis for evaluating organization in otherwise poorly ordered slope apron depositional systems.last_img read more

Optimal estimation of changes in the mass of ice sheets

first_imgWe describe a new approach for estimating changes in ice sheet mass. Two methods are in common use: the ice budget and geodetic methods. The first makes use of separate estimates of the mass fluxes into and out of a domain, differencing them to obtain the local mass balance. The second estimates mass balance directly, using measurements of the change in surface elevation, often from aircraft or satellites. Here we combine ice budget and geodetic approaches to obtain an optimal estimate of mass balance. We seek maximum likelihood solutions for three terms: (1) the rate of change of surface elevation, (2) the rate of snow accumulation, and (3) the local divergence of the ice flux. These estimates are constrained to obey the continuity equation. We allow the location and temporal averaging interval of the estimates to be chosen arbitrarily. This approach can use all relevant measurements. The fidelity of any measurement is lowered by measurement error, and by fluctuations in each of the three terms driven by random year-to-year snowfall variations. We take full account of both error sources, weighting the data so as to minimize the confounding effect of these influences. Realistic covariance between randomly forced fluctuations are provided by a linearized model of ice sheet flow. We test the approach by applying the algorithm to synthetically generated measurements. The method performs better than either ice budget or geodetic methods applied in isolation, and has the important advantage that good estimates may still be derived when measurements appropriate to either technique are lacking or inaccurate.last_img read more