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Six ways to avoid hiring square pegs for round holes

Opinion New! Written by Sue Berry on 7th February 2018. Reading time: 4 minutes.

Perhaps you employed someone and you later found that they don't quite meet the role requirements; they somehow don't fit. Or, you moved someone into a new role and they just didn't perform as well as they used to. Here's how to avoid such mismatch between the person and the job.

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Linking performance on the job to selection criteria

Opinion Written by John Berry on 6th February 2018. Reading time: 2 minutes.

Performance is when the employee does what they say they will. When recruiting, selection of new hires should be made on the test outcomes that evidence the personal characteristics, competencies and behaviours required for that performance. Base your selection on that evidence. Here's how.

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Accidental managers heighten stress

Opinion Written by John Berry on 4th February 2018. Reading time: 4 minutes.

In the UK, we get the idea that our staff need to be technically trained, but we have little or no understanding that the job of 'manager' is neither innate nor obvious. It can't just be learned by trial and error. Simply, we don't train our managers and, as a nation, this lack of management training is killing us. Here's what to do.

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Talent is a thing – a very measurable, valuable thing

Opinion Written by John Berry on 15th January 2018. Reading time: 5 minutes.

On BBC Radio 4, Margaret Heffernan, the writer and entrepreneur, mounts an attack on the idea that talent is a good predictor of future performance - and hence it should not be used in recruitment selection. Her article is a good listen but a bit muddled. Here we clarify and suggest that talent is not the useless thing that Margaret Heffernan suggests, but a multi-dimensional set of characteristics about each candidate that need to be known before making a job offer.

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So, what jobs to recruit to next?

Opinion Written by John Berry on 10th January 2018. Reading time: 4 minutes.

So what jobs to recruit to next? Increasing staff numbers is a scary prospect. No manager wants to get it wrong. You can't guess. You've no precedent. You can't ask a friend because all firms are different. You must model the company and evaluate each option for its effect on the company and it's KPIs. And it becomes all the more difficult when considering indirect roles like sales people, marketers and other support staff. They could drive the firm to light speed. It's always a tough call.

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Recruiting when there's a skills shortage

Opinion Written by John Berry on 2nd January 2018. Reading time: 5 minutes.

The UK’s academic institutions are not turning out enough software engineers. Demand dramatically exceeds supply. This exemplifies the problem in many domains in the UK. So how do hiring managers find specialists? The key thing is to hire those with the right profile to contribute and learn. Profiling of personal characteristics and search for those must take precedence over high-level statements like ‘must be proficient in coding in MS.NET’. Coding and other specialist competencies can be learned.

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Deconstructing software roles: understanding the jobs of an industry

Opinion Written by John Berry on 25th December 2017. Reading time: 5 minutes.

The job that a software professional does is linked to where on the lifecycle they work and how much of that lifecycle they embrace. It also depends on how much of the technology they cover – user interface or full-stack. And salaries go with those definitions. Here's the structure of the industry.

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