We are finally coming out of a recession that started as the ‘credit crunch,’ and then plunged the World into a financial crises that some believed we would never recover from. It is certainly cause for celebration and I hate to be the person sounding a note of caution, but in the UK we have to urgently address another crisis if we’re to maintain our prosperity — skills shortages.
There is no single legal definition of an internship and the reality is that it is used to cover a number of different arrangements. It is certainly a phenomenon which has been increasing in popularity, but also one which often receives mixed press. Internships can be beneficial for both the business and intern. The business will have additional help (often to assist with short term projects or needs) and the opportunity to assess the intern’s performance. The intern gains valuable insight and experience. However, there are potential pitfalls in offering internships, particularly where there is a misapprehension as to the position with unpaid internships (see below) and an assumption that this approach can be taken. In addition to the potential for an Employment Tribunal claim by the intern or a challenge by HMRC, there may also be reputational concerns for organisations with the growing focus (by media and industry groups) on the use of internships and the potential for ‘exploiting’ those keen to gain experience in a competitive market.
Let the customer dictate how and where you do business; remember, they are the reason that you have a business in the first place. Being on the ground alongside customers allows you to respond quickly to any requests and also opens the door for further business opportunities – accelerating your company’s growth.
Posted on 2nd June 2014 in Recruitment.
The role of the IT Director is changing. Having fought for years to gain a seat on the board, with mixed success, the inevitable shift of IT infrastructure to the cloud finally presents the IT Director with a chance to fundamentally change the role and deliver true strategic innovation. Removing the routine tasks of day to day infrastructure administration and planning for server/networking refresh releases the IT Director to focus on the real areas of technology innovation that can support business growth.
Keeping up morale is mission critical for employers – if they don’t pay attention to staff satisfaction, they may have to deal with the disruption caused by losing employees, as well as the headache of having to find fresh talent.
As well as being key to retaining a strong team, paying attention to morale is a good way to keep employees loyal and productive. Polycom’s Tim Stone offers five tips on how to get it right.
From 30 June 2014, the right to request flexible working will be extended to all employees with 26 weeks of service.
Currently, only employees with children under 17 (or disabled children under 18) and those with responsibilities as carers have a right to request flexible working. Under new rules, however, any employee with 26 weeks’ continuous service can ask to work flexibly for any reason, whether it’s taking up a further education course, combining work with caring for the grandchildren, or simply wanting to spend less time at work.
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) comprise the ‘engine room’ of the UK’s business economy. Figures from the Department of Business Skills and Innovation underline their importance and reveal that SMBs make up 99% of all businesses and account for 59% of all private sector employment and 49% of all private sector turnover, so there’s nothing ‘small’ about their role in contributing to the economic recovery.
Recruiting can sometimes be a time-consuming process, but it needn’t be complicated. For any SME, it is crucial to find someone who can do the job and contribute positively to your business. Sourcing staff with relevant qualifications and training could be a valuable addition to your recruitment strategy. Recruiting candidates that have undertaken Pre-Employment training (PET) is an avenue worth considering, in order to attract this wider talent.
A shortage of talent and immigration legislation is being blamed for squashing technology growth in London. In a survey of start-ups and growing businesses, respondents reported having an average of seven vacancies they were struggling to fill. Despite the UK government’s support of projects such as Tech City, qualified technology specialists are in short supply in the UK. A recent survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) found that in the UK, IT and computing grew from being the second most in-demand skills area to the first. This isn’t the only survey to highlight the disparity between industry growth and the available workforce.
When unemployment figures are high, it seems that the worst affected are 16-24 year olds. The economic crisis has given us, amongst other things, the word NEET – young people Not in Education, Employment or Training — and it is they who have borne the brunt of the downturn. Labelling young people as anything is rarely positive so let us dispense with our pre-conceived ideas about youth and ask whether they are being served well enough by our education system to allow them to take their place in society.