Top 10 HR questions June 2018: Sporting events and background checks

How should employers respond to workers wanting to view World Cup matches in work time?

Christoph Soeder/DPA/PA Images

What kind of background checks can employers carry out before taking on a new employee, and has this been affected by the GDPR? Popular FAQs on XpertHR last month also cover criminal records checks and time spent viewing sporting events.

Questions about calculating redundancy pay and consulting on an individual basis during the redundancy process also feature in the top ten for June. As do topical questions about workplace heat and following World cup matches during work time.

The top 10 HR questions in June 2018:

1. Can employers carry out criminal records checks under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

2. What should the employer and employee discuss at an individual redundancy consultation meeting?

3. Can an employer ask a prospective employee to fill in a medical questionnaire?

4. How should employers deal with employees who spend work time following sporting events on the internet?

5. Is there a maximum workplace temperature beyond which employees cannot be expected to work?

6. Should regular overtime be taken into account when calculating weekly earnings for redundancy pay purposes?

7. Can an employer reject an employee’s choice of companion for a disciplinary or grievance hearing?

8. What is an “automatic unfair dismissal”?

9. What rights of access do employees have to job references?

10.When does a casual worker become an employee?

NHS hospitals asked to reassure EU staff ahead of Brexit

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said hospitals should “reach out” to EU staff Mark Thomas/REX/Shutterstock

NHS hospitals in England have been asked to reach out to staff from other EU countries about continuing to work for the service after Brexit.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said all NHS trusts had been written to, urging them to reassure the service’s 60,000 employees from the EU who might be worried about what their options are.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show: “Every hospital has now been written to asking them to reach out to their staff from the rest of the EU, providing that the home secretary has set a clear process by which people can apply to stay in this country, which we hope they will do.”

According to the Nursing Times, EU nationals make up 5.6% of NHS England’s workforce. But data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council last autumn showed a 67% increase in the number of nurses and midwives from other EU countries leaving the register and an 89% reduction in EU nationals joining it.

However, the exemption of doctors and nurses from the restrictions to the number of Tier 2 visas for non-EU skilled workers is expected to help ease the service’s staffing crisis.

Stevens also indicated that there would be a 25% uplift in the number of “home grown” British doctors as five new medical schools are expected to open in the next few years. He said the same needed to be done for nursing and other disciplines. The NHS celebrates its 70th anniversary this week.

Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce has published 24 “real-world” questions that urgently need answering ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

The list includes: ‘Will I be able to hire EU nationals in future – and under what conditions?’, ‘Will business travel between the UK and the EU involve further administration, costs or visas?’ and ‘Will my business be able to move skilled staff members between the UK and the EU in future?’.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Over the past two years, businesses have been patient. We have supported the government’s drive to seek the best possible deal for the UK economy.

“Now, with the time running out ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU, business patience is reaching breaking point.

“Businesses have every right to speak out when it is abundantly clear that the practical questions affecting the competitiveness of their firms and the livelihoods of millions of people remain unanswered.

“With less than nine months to go until Brexit day, we are little closer to the answers businesses need than we were the day after the referendum.”

Use a Growth Mindset to Reduce Bias

olive me, card, art, growth, growth mindset, bias

I ran across a very interesting article from Harvard Business Review titled,” Neurodiversity as a Competitive Advantage”. It talked about a growing number of organizations such as SAP, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Towers Watson, and EY who are reforming their HR practices to capitalize on the talents of people with neurological conditions such as autism and dyslexia. According to the article, unemployment for individuals in this group can run as high as 80 percent.

It reminded me of a presentation at BetterWorks Goals Summit. Joelle Emerson from Paradigm discussed fostering a growth mindset culture to reduce bias. Her point was, organizations need to focus on helping employees understand the advantages of diversity rather than guilting people into adopting a diversity strategy. And the way to do it is with a growth mindset.

Emerson recommended the book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck as a resource for learning more about the concept. Dweck writes that we can have a fixed or growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one where individuals believe that “you are who you are” and you can’t really develop in a particular area. Conversely, a growth mindset is when you can be anything you want because you feel that you can develop yourself. Think of it as nature versus nurture.

When it comes to organizations, a growth mindset is one where the organization is willing to take on more risk, set more goals, and be willing to accept failure. Organizations can foster a growth mindset to reduce bias and stereotypes. A few weeks ago, I ran a post from David Rock’s sessionat last year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference about bias. He mentioned that teams can deal with bias by focusing on processes. Emerson said the same and offered a few specifics on how to do it.

  • Avoid fixed mindset language. For example, using phrases like a candidate needs to have “selling in their DNA” promotes a fixed mindset because it implies that people can’t learn or develop sales ability.
  • Focus feedback on the process not the person. This means defining the process criteria in advance. Don’t reverse engineer into it. This will allow teams to apply criteria consistently, using the same criteria each time. Create a process checklist if necessary.
  • Gather and use good data. Compare performance to the standard, not to other biases.
  • Raise awareness. When organizations talk about mindset, diversity, and inclusion, they’re not talking about THE strategy. They’re talking about a part of the overall business strategy.

My takeaway from these pieces was that organizations need to view talent from a unique perspective instead of trying to implement a one-size-fits-all approach. This places a huge responsibility on HR to design work that can be completed by a diverse group of individuals, each with diverse talents.

It also means that managers need to be trained to manage and coach a diverse group of people. Managers cannot expect employees to conform to their leadership style. Sure, that’s the easy way. But easy doesn’t get the organization the best talent.

Build a Social Recruiting Army to Amplify Your Employment Brand

telling stories, story telling, social recruiting, employment brand, recruiting

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the PESO Model and how it can help frame your recruitment marketing strategy. Today, I wanted to add something to that conversation because there’s one aspect of the model that I can see being underutilized and it’s shared media.

Shared media takes place when others share the messaging that you’re sending out. And obviously, we want people to do that. To be specific, we want our employees to do that. Hopefully, our workforces are engaged and want to see us hire great talent to work alongside them. And hopefully, our workforces have diverse networks with followers who will complement our company culture (and ultimately apply for jobs!)

Joey V. Price spoke about building a social army at this year’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Talent Conference. That’s exactly what I think of when I refer to shared media. It’s about having the company’s branding messaging amplified and distributed far beyond our initial reach.

When social media was a relatively new concept, many organizations talked about building brand ambassadors – both internal and external – to amplify their messaging. Most of the conversation was on the consumer brand side of the business. But why not for recruiting talent? We need to take advantage of every marketing opportunity.

How to Build a Social Army for Recruiting

Building a social army does mean putting a plan together and not simply hoping that people will just share stuff. Back in the old days, we called that kind of strategy “post and pray”. Post a job opening and pray people find it. Today we can do a lot better. Here are a few things to consider:

Think about your social media goals. I’ve heard quite a few recruiting pros lately talk about social media as just another posting platform. And I’m not sure that’s true. Social media has the ability to regularly touch people about the organization’s brand. It deserves some serious thought.

Provide employees with social media training. It’s unfortunate to say that data breaches are a fact of life. We need to be well-educated on terms of service, privacy settings, and permissions when it comes to social media. These are perfect lunch and learn topics. It’s a win for everyone.

Set expectations. By now, your organization probably has a social media policy that’s been approved by the legal department. Make sure employees understand expectations and, if the company is going to encourage social sharing, that it’s a part of your policy.

Recognize employees who share. Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, we have the ability to thank people who share our status updates. If you want employees to share, thank them for doing so! That will encourage them to do it again.

Speaking of employee communications, I know some of you might be saying to yourself, “I would love to do this, but it sounds like a huge time commitment. I just don’t have the time. Too many open requisitions!” Well, what if I told you there’s a technology solution out there that could help?

Advocacy Software Helps Manage Social Groups

In my last article, I told you about HRmarketer’s marketing software. They have a new offering that really plays into the social army strategy. It’s called Advocacy.

I had a chance to use the Advocacy software as part of the blogger team for SHRM’s Annual Conference and Expo in Chicago. SHRM used the software to keep bloggers informed of press releases around the conference and blog posts related to speakers, events, etc.

One of the great things about using the software was that this information wasn’t junking up my email inbox. Everything was in one place and I could go in once or twice a day to make sure I had the most current information.

Apply this to your recruiting efforts. The company’s social recruiting army – recruiters, hiring managers, and employees – can have regular access to information that they can share with their connections, friends, and followers. As talent acquisition pros, you only have to send the information out once to them and they can receive and share it at their convenience.

HR Marketer logo, marketer, recruiting, recruitment, PESO Model

I’m not going to tell you everything that the Advocacy software is capable of doing, you can check it out for yourself by requesting a demo. But if the reason keeping you from building a social recruiting army is the time it would take to communicate with others, this is an option.

What Got You Here Won’t Take You to the Next Level

Companies looking to find the best talent can’t do it alone. They need the efforts and networks of hiring managers, and employees. Developing a plan to increase the amount of shared media makes huge sense in today’s digital world. And the best part is that shared media is a very cost-effective way to get your messaging out.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood Art District in Miami, FL

Hampton-Alexander: Boards need to speed up to meet gender target

Stobart Group is one of 10 FTSE 350 companies with an all-male board

David Bagnall/REX/Shutterstock

A quarter of FTSE 350 board positions are now held by women, according to the latest figures compiled as part of the Hampton-Alexander review of executive diversity.

The figures, released today, show that 29 of the FTSE 100 companies now have a woman on their board, up from 12.5% in 2011.

This is the halfway point of the government-backed review, launched in 2016 with the target of having 33% of all FTSE 350 board and senior leadership positions held by women by 2020.

However, in order for this target to be achieved, around 40% of all appointments at this level need to go to women over the next two years, the government said.

Despite solid progress, there are still a number of companies lagging behind on diversity, it added.

There are still 10 all-male boards in the FTSE 350, including Sports Direct International, Stobart Group and On the Beach Group. Several companies have gone above and beyond the 33% target, however, including Diageo and Next.

Claire McCartney, diversity and inclusion adviser at the CIPD, said that the figures were still “worryingly low”.

“There is a lot more work to be done between now and 2020 if those organisations are going to meet the targets that have been set,” she said.

“While having women at board level in organisations can only be a positive and we welcome the focus that the Hampton-Alexander review has placed on promoting gender diversity at board level, we need to also be placing much more focus on women in active, observable leadership positions.

“Seeing is believing and this visibility will likely have much more of an impact on the rest of the workforce than in organisations that just have women in non-executive director positions.”

McCartney added that employers could do more to support career progress for women already in their organisation.

“HR has a significant role to play in helping to build inclusive cultures from the bottom up, and create talent pipelines that take away the barriers to the top,” she said. “The government also has a greater role to play in sharing the success stories of the organisations that are getting it right.”

Sir Philip Hampton, chair of the review, echoed these concerns. He said: “It is good to see progress of women on boards continuing with the FTSE 100 likely to hit the 33% target in 2020.

“However, nearly half of all available board appointments in the run up to 2020 now need to go to women if the FTSE 350 are to meet the target.

“Far too many companies still have no women – or only one woman – on their board.”

Monster.co.uk recently published a survey indicating that 46% of the UK workforce were pushing for shared parental leave, yet half didn’t know their company even offered it. VP of marketing in Europe, Sinead Bunting, argues that companies need to “up their game” in supporting women if they are to meet the 2020 target.

She said: “We’ve taken a step in the right direction today, but we need only look at the embarrassing excuses for not appointing women to boards released last month to see how much more needs to be done to achieve anything like gender parity in the workplace.

“This is no longer limited to ensuring equal pay but implementing better workplace policies, including encouraging shared parental leave, ensuring fairer recruitment strategies and introducing return to work programmes.

“In 2018, gender shouldn’t be a contributing factor in whether a person can successfully lead a business. And it is businesses that need to be leading by example.”

The government has also now opened an online portal where FTSE 350 companies can submit their 2018 leadership data.

Seven ways video can transform your company culture (webinar)



While the use of online video outside the workplace continues to rise, many businesses are not using video to its full potential.

This Personnel Today webinar, in association with video platform provider Panopto, looks at creative ways in which video can be used to enhance company culture and solve HR problems.

Editor Rob Moss is joined by Sam Crumley, vice president of employee experience at Panopto, who will reflect on his previous roles in HR and L&D at some of the world’s biggest blue chip companies.

Sam addresses some of the challenges many people professionals face on a daily basis, ranging how to effectively manage organisational change to how to best deliver ‘Just-In-Time’ learning at the point of need.

Seven ways video can transform your company culture (webinar)

Available on-demand now

He focuses on seven specific projects he worked on during his career and how, using his experiences with video at Panopto, he would now tackle these projects if he faced them again.

These real-world examples will showcase the role video can play in transforming company culture for the better. If you’re tasked with finding innovative solutions for HR and L&D in your organisation, or you’re tasked with boosting company culture, this is a must-see webinar.

Watch this free webinar and find out about:

  • real-world examples showcasing the role video can play in transforming workplace culture for the better
  • innovative, scalable and cost-effective solutions that tackle some of the most common L&D and HR challenges
  • the use of video in organisations beyond straightforward training and recruitment.

This live webinar will include a live Q&A session where you can submit questions to our speaker.

Available on-demand now

About our speaker

Sam Crumley is vice president of employee experience at Panopto, the fastest-growing provider of video software for training, teaching and presenting. In this role, Sam has broad responsibility for talent planning, recruiting, learning, compensation, HR administration and work environment. Before joining Panopto, he led the talent management consulting practice at PeopleFirm with a particular focus on talent strategy, HR transformation, performance management and HR technology. Prior to that, he was global manager for HR outsourcing at Accenture and has a background as a US federal agent.

This webinar was originally broadcast Wednesday 27 June 2018, 16:00 BST

Hirelink is a professional skill development and recruiting Company that specializes in Accounting and Finance Sector.

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