Thursday, January 27, 2005

Lots in the news today...

Lots in the news today. A few useful things below:

Australia's Business Review Weekly published an article called "Head-hunters picnic". Unfortunately you need a subscription to read it online however the article focuses on Seek.com.au, which it says has 60% of online recruitment and is considering a float this year.

It also looks at tightening labour markets with comments on how recruitment companies are becoming stronger and the ability for clients to lower fees is becoming weaker.

Finally, it has a list of 'How to keep staff'. Here it is:
* Start a retention strategy at the beginning of the employment cycle, not when someone says they are thinking about leaving.

* Managers need to stay in touch with the workforce. No workplace is perfect, so there is an enormous need to listen and respond.

* Get the right people in the right job in the first place.

* Extend maternity/paternity leave and allow employees to buy more leave.

* Offer flexibility.

* Ensure the workplace can effectively manage the different generations and their working styles.

* Try to offer career mobility within the company for those likely to get restless.

* Offer real, effective career planning.

* Make all employees understand, and feel a part of, the company's direction and offer challenging and satisfying work opportunities.

* When someone leaves, speak to them and find out why they are going.


Remember that these measures can apply to some people more than others and that you want to know which people you want to keep and which ones you are less upset if they leave.

The Orange County Register (link to journal, article not online yet at time of writing) has an article on a ruling yesterday that First American Corp has to pay Fidelity National $43.2m for recruiting a James A Magnuson and 30 of his team from Chicago Title, a Fidelity subsidiary. Magnuson had signed a non-compete agreement.

The UK's Independent has several interesting articles on recruitment. First a look at why refugees are struggling to find work,one on the staffing issues in the UK nursing sector, and the 'unethical' practices of some recruitment firm, and some other less interesting articles about graduate recruitment, mostly written for graduates.

Richard Donkin writing in the Financial Times discusses the latest report from the Saratoga Insititute Key trends in Human Capital, A Global Perspective. He notes:
In 2003, for example, it estimated that in Europe some Euros 1.5bn were invested in leadership training. However, its research has produced little evidence so far to demonstrate that these investments have produced any significant return.

Another surprise, given the strengthening commitment that companies claim to be making in diversity programmes, is that the proportion of women in managerial posts across European companies covered by the study, fell back between 2001 and 2003 by 1.9 percentage points to 24.6 per cent.

The proportion of women in professional posts during the same period fell even more markedly from 33.6 to 29.3 per cent.

In the same period the proportion of women in the total headcount remained stable at about 39 per cent.


Finally, the South China Morning Post has an article about Oracle's recruitment practices in China (not online at time of writing).

The article talks about the 'cultural fit' tools the firm's Asia-Pacific organisational design team designed, how the interviews are conducted in English, how it sets out it's expectations openly at interview (how many firms miss this one?) All new hires are assigned a buddy.

The article goes on to note:
While Ms Woo (HR Director) is aware that staff retention is becoming a key issue elsewhere, it does not concern her too much. "Oracle realise they must pay competitively and regard this as a 'hygiene factor' - one of the first things you must clear up," she said. "We have found, though, that the crucial thing in attracting and holding on to good staff is how much they believe in the company and its future direction. The 'techie' people admire the products and management vision and want to contribute to the company; others enjoy working in a competitive environment where new things are coming in every day."