Tag Archives: financial crisis

Don’t Be a Snob When It Comes to Hiring

The global economic crisis has triggered significant changes in the global labour market. Qualified people find themselves underemployed, mature workers are frozen out, graduates are struggling to get jobs, and disengaged workers are sitting tight in the hope that the market will rebound for them to make a move, and an increasing number of people choosing not to go to college/university .These are just a few of the trends that are reverberating the world over, especially in Western economies. Faced with an acute shortage of quality talent, Hiring Managers should not be too picky when it comes to making hiring decisions and instead think outside the box when sourcing candidates for job openings. Below are talent pools that Hiring Managers should not ignore:

Individuals returning to work: Mothers who have taken time off to have children and want to get back into work have high levels of motivation and desire. If you are willing to spend some time and effort to reintegrate them back into the work routine, they can prove to be useful hires. Similar applies to ill people who have recovered from an illness and want to return to work.

The unemployed:  Many experienced individuals have been frozen out of the market altogether through no fault of their own. This is evident in the banking and financial services sector that was the worst affected at the height of the financial crisis. So don’t make assumptions about the unemployed! You may just be able to unearth a gem.

Army veterans: Ask anybody who has been in recruitment and they will tell you that ex – army personnel make really good hires. They are highly disciplined, professional and can possess a wide skills set. If you are a small to medium sized business in particular, this talent pool can add significant value to your company.

The under qualified: Last year French engineering giant ALSTOM announced that they welcome applications from individuals who are only a 70% fit for the job. The company stated that it would pay for engineers to train up to a certain level – this is a game changer and an innovative solution to tackling skills shortages within the engineering sector. So next time you receive an application from someone working at McDonalds, don’t be quick to dismiss them as unsuitable. Successful and thriving companies develop and nurture talent.

Overseas candidates: Tight immigration rules in Western economies mean that companies will find it harder to attract quality talent. Multinationals such as Infosys have expressed concern that they will not be able to hire the quality talent they need for the UK. Draconian and restrictive employment practices have also rendered professionals such as doctors, lawyers, engineers from overseas doing menial jobs in the UK. If nothing is done to challenge these policies and practices, then Western companies will continue to suffer skills shortages.

The over – 50s: It is a widely accepted misconception that if you are over 50, you are on the scrap heap. As a result of this many companies turn a blind eye to CVs. A disconnect with reality prevails as companies are failing to understand that due economic pressures and the pensions crisis, the modern workforce will get greyer and older. Research has shown that over – 50s have higher levels of engagement and have a stronger appetite for work.

There will continue to be significant challenges to sourcing talent if certain attitudes do not change. Innovative thinking is required if the Hiring Managers really want to tackle the skills shortages.

Company ethics -remember its starts at the top!

company higher consil

When you step back and take a look at everything that has emerged from the global financial crisis, there is a pressing need to shore up ethics in companies across the corporate world. The sheer scale of fraud and malpractice revealed by the crisis has had a devastating impact on markets and the credibility of companies. How does one begin to repair the damage? How much do stakeholders trust their companies? As the recent case with the rogue trader at UBS has come to a close, it appears that companies have lost their bearings in the corporate world, and they urgently need to find an answer to the crippling greed, arrogance and corruption that has been apparent in the crisis. The repair job should involve the installation of strong ethical behavior in the company.

When things go bad, ultimate responsibility rests with the Board of Directors so there must be a sense of urgency to eradicate the failings evident in the financial crisis. No matter how complex the company structure, ‘a back to basics’ approach is needed. What is this approach? The Board of Directors must be non-executive and independent. Moreover, in order to ensure the healthy functioning of the whole company, a non-executive chairperson should head the Board. The same individual must not be the CEO and chairperson.

It is absolutely essential that the Board of Directors takes ownership of ethics. They must ensure that the ethics code is regularly reviewed, implemented by management, and that all employees understand what it means relative to the corporate culture of the company.

The Board of Directors must delegate authority to senior management to ensure that the ethics code is properly implemented. Here, key senior management personnel such as the CEO must understand that their role is one of stewardship when spearheading ethics in the company. The introduction of a separate Ethics Director may also be beneficial to ensure that a tight ship is run.

Transparent policies including performance objectives must be established by the Board. They must set the tone from the top relating to workplace issues such as procurement of contracts, employment and diversity policies, doing business in foreign jurisdictions etc. These policies must be backed by adequate training programs, and employee evaluations to reinforce their value.

All issues relating to reward and remuneration issues should be viewed by the Board of Directors as ethical matters. The general public will irk at the prospect of excessive bonuses. Through the Compensation Committees (made up of non-executive and independent directors), Board of Directors need to evaluate what impact the company’s performance has on the economy and society. Does the profit generated by the company deliver clear benefits for the general public and its own stakeholders? Moreover, owing to transparency, a clear disclosure must be made to the public on how the Compensation Committee arrived at the decision on the remuneration packages of the

The Board of Directors should be held responsible for ensuring that the ethics code is communicated clearly and effectively to all stakeholders. Everybody must be briefed about it, and it is useful that it is documented via an annual company ethics audit which has been ratified by the Chairperson.

The Board of Directors must ensure that the CEO is in involved from all angles to provide leadership on ethics with the backing of the Board. The company needs to achieve transparency by ensuring it participates and engages with key stakeholders on issues such as corporate values, and corporate social responsibilities of the company. Companies must think of themselves as being part of the wider social fabric of a country.