Letters

first_img Comments are closed. LettersOn 9 Dec 2003 in Personnel Today This week’s lettersHow much further forward is industry? In light of the DTI’s sponsorship of the Accounting for People Taskforce,and its renewed investigation of human capital management (HCM) as a means tomeasure organisations, I am reminded of a book published in the 1950s – TheSocial Psychology of Industry. In it, author JAC Brown says that figures produced by industrialpsychologists could prove “beyond all doubt that output and earnings couldbe augmented, by the simplest of devices”. Further, that men can bescientifically trained to produce more while doing less. To achieve these aims, Brown makes a clear case for managing people associal animals, and not just units of output as Taylor (Off Message, 11November) had suggested. Brown introduces us to the idea of the ‘team’ andsuggests that there is no point in selecting the ‘best man for the job’ if theycan’t get along with everyone else. Since then, people management has certainly come a long way in terms of ourknowledge and understanding of group dynamics and organisational development.But Taylorism still appears to be rampant in the minds of many senior managers.This must change. Brown borrows a quote from the 18th century politician Edmund Burke, whosaid: “No men can act with effect who do not act in concert; no men canact in concert who do not act with confidence; no men can act in confidence whoare not bound together with common opinions, common affections and commoninterests.” In light of our recent success at the Rugby World Cup, where the best menfor the job were motivated to the extreme, the Government, in addition tofinding agreed measures for HCM, could do well to look at what motivates peopleto perform, and to measure that too. Alison Gill Managing director, Getfeedback There’s no substitute for ‘real’ experience HR – spread the load. SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) do not needa full-time HR professional. How much HR time is spent on issues that are not ‘life threatening’ tobusiness? Most of the HR function is admin based. There are issues that requireprofessional and experienced input, but these are rare. If the company has itspolicies and procedures documented properly, and follows them, it is a matterof administration. When it comes to disciplinaries and tribunals, then theprofessional and experienced HR manager can be called upon. How much time does the HR professional spend on questions from employees,such as: ‘How much holiday do I have left?’, ‘What is the sickness policy?’,‘Do I get overtime for this?’, or ‘Am I entitled to time off as a school governor?’.Again, these are admin tasks for which policies and procedures should be inplace. Why would you pay £35,000-plus for an HR person to do this for you? Let’s have some common sense here. Good strategic planning is the businessof the board/management team and employment law regulations are common humanityand common sense. Equality and discrimination are issues that no sensible orserious company has a need to fudge or avoid. Employers are not ‘out to get’ employees. They have a business to run, andneed to make it successful and profitable. This is not achieved by a continuousand damaging high turnover of staff. Even the most inept executive managementteam understands that. HR professionals should stop protecting their jobs and get onto the shopfloor.Understand what your organisations are about and what they need, do what youknow is right and just get on with it, whether you’re part-time, full-time orinterim. Equally, organisations need to understand what they require from HR. Arethey going to be led by the fashion of ‘needing’ a graduate of the CharteredInstitute of Personnel and Development, as opposed to a ‘non-qualified’individual who has maybe 20-plus years in the business and can put thatexperience of people to invaluable use? Formal qualifications have their place. So too does full-time dedication.But neither are a substitute for proven expertise, ability and knowledge. Lesley Parke Personnel manager, IT Solutions Technology is vital tool for recruitment That “technology is becoming increasingly important to HR” (Whathas IT done for HR, 25 November) is a massive understatement as far as graduaterecruitment is concerned, and I would venture that IT has in fact completelyrevolutionised HR in this sector over the past few years. Research undertaken by Graduate Prospects with Mori revealed that more thanthree-quarters of all finalists use the internet to look at careers and jobvacancies. But job searching is just the tip of the iceberg. There has been aparadigm shift away from the university ‘milkround’ and other traditionalgraduate recruitment methods towards online communications, and not justthrough the national sites such as prospects.ac.uk, but also through morelocalised online initiatives often organised by higher education careersservices. Many leading graduate recruiters now host their own chatrooms onprospects.ac.uk to establish a direct dialogue with students very early on intheir studies. Other recruiters establish direct e-mail communications withpotential future candidates studying particular subjects to ensure that theircompanies are ‘on radar’ when the students start to job hunt in earnest. The amount of careers information and guidance available online is vast andbecoming increasingly interactive, with services ranging from CV checking to an‘e-mail-a-careers-adviser’ facility that allows students to put individualqueries to a qualified adviser and receive a personalised response. Young people have historically been the early adopters of new technology butnowhere is this more ably demonstrated than with the provision of careersadvice and guidance to students and graduates. Far from being ‘increasinglyimportant’, I would suggest technological services are now vital to graduaterecruiters. Mike Hill Chief executive, Graduate Prospects Exporting HR duties is missing the point HR departments are fundamental to personalising internal businessrelationships. Businesses have been struggling for years to manage multinational organisationswhile retaining a patriarchal flavour. This is an element that can only bedelivered by those whose sole purpose in their organisation is the care andmaintenance of their people. This cannot be done from afar by strangers whodon’t have an understanding of or passion for the business, or care for itspeople on a one-to-one basis. Details supplied Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.last_img

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