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A calling or just a job: finding staff with more than an interest

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 11th October 2017.6 min read

Civil Engineer

We’ve all heard the phrase “Called to the ministry” describing how someone became a priest or vicar. But it extends further. Many say that they knew from a young age just what job they wanted to do. Once in work, many people comment that they feel so motivated by the job they do that they’d do it even if they weren’t paid. Calling extends to many careers. So how does a calling come about and how do hiring managers attract those with a calling?

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Develop or dismiss: balancing costs and benefits

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 6th October 2017.5 min read

Balance with gold and silver balls

Whilst the argument in favour of developing staff is strong, it’s not universally accepted. As this article shows, the argument rests on the various costs and benefits and ultimately on the ability of staff to ‘make the grade’. Both sides of the argument must be considered. To understand what’s needed in your own firm, you need to be able to determine market need for skills and knowledge in each job and jobholder and from the need, determine the capability you’ll put in place. Then plan and execute.

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Contracts eight weeks after: but what damage does it cause?

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 28th September 2017.5 min read


There’s a situation that’s quite unsatisfactory and easily rectified to benefit all parties. It’s that often documents comprising the contract of employment are ‘issued’ by the employer to the employee once the new hire has actually started in the job – indeed anything up to eight weeks after they start. It’s lawful but unfair and risky. It also misses a huge opportunity to get relationships off to a flying start. Here’s why.

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Mixing internal and external candidates devastates staff commitment

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 25th September 2017.7 min read

Candidates 3867px

Many managers deliberately mix internal and external recruitment in the hope of selecting the best person for the job from as large a pool as possible. Simply, consider internals first, in isolation. If any internal can do the job – judged by a fixed bar - they go forward with an internals-only contest. Because any one has the ability to excel, a variable bar selection can be used to rank them. Anything else is just wrong, damaging and here’s why.

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Staff career development: what approach for managers?

OpinionWritten by John Berry on 22nd September 2017.6 min read

Train and they'll leave

The nature of work and careers have changed. Despite myth, the average employee tenure is still over eight years. And in that time staff must grow. When it comes to employee career development, you, as manager, have a clear decision to make and that decision depends on the relationship your firm has with the worker. You'd best take a contingency approach: develop your knowledge workers, give opportunity to your foot-soldiers, make alliances with your specialists and hire your contractors when needed.

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Are some psychometric assessments discriminatory?

OpinionWritten by Sue Berry on 23rd August 2017.4 min read

Multiple cogs

In May, a job applicant with Asperger Syndrome had her case upheld by the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT). Her treatment by the Government Legal Services amounted to indirect discrimination. She had been required to take a multi-choice situational-judgement test – a form of psychometric test - as the first part of the recruitment process. So does this mean that psychometric tests are discriminatory? Simply, no. But it does require that they are administered, managed and analysed correctly. Here's how.

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