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									                                                                      Issue 1 Autumn 2008




     Higher Talent is a specialist recruitment consultancy dedicated to the search and
     selection of Human Resources professionals. This issue sees the launch of Higher
     Talent’s Quarterly HR Newsletter and is focused on Resourcing.



                                          Welcome to Higher Talent’s Quarterly
                                          HR Newsletter
Included in this Autumn edition:
                                          Higher Talent is a specialist recruitment
Page                                      consultancy dedicated to the search and selection
               Contents
                                          of Human Resources professionals. We build long
 2     Alison Hughes, Director of         term and trusted relationships with our clients and
       Higher Talent, shares her          candidates alike.
       insights on the challenges of
       recruiting Reward Professionals
                                          Our approach to Human Resources recruitment is
 3     Rob Jarvis, a Senior Consultant    flexible and tailored to your individual needs. We
       with MM&K HR Partner, shares       will take the time to understand those needs and
       his thoughts on how exit
                                          strive to deliver the results you require.
       information and induction form a
       vital part of the recruitment
       process                            Our consultants have unrivalled breadth and depth
 3     Nicky Barclay, a Consultant at     in their HR knowledge, having all worked as HR
       Ambler Collins, updates us on      professionals and specialists in industry or
       the introduction of the new
                                          consultancy roles. This provides us with a unique
       points band system for
       immigration                        insight into senior HR positions and related
                                          functions, such as reward, learning and
 4     Mike Crimes, an Occupational       development and employee communications.
       Psychologist and Associate of
       Higher Talent explores current
       trends in psychometrics




www.higher-talent.com                         1                                 020 7283 9200
                         Recruiting Reward Professionals                     Advertising: If you are looking to recruit an HR generalist, a
                                                                             carefully presented advertisement in People Management
                         Alison Hughes, Director, Higher                     magazine would probably generate a good number of relevant
                                                                             CVs. However, it is difficult to know where to advertise a reward
                         Talent
                                                                             role as individuals can come from a variety of different
                                                                             backgrounds and could be just as likely to read Accountancy Age
                                                                             or Taxation magazine. There is also an upfront cost implication to
                                                                             advertising. An eye-catching advertisement in the trade press or
  Reward is a niche market where the demand for high calibre                 a broadsheet will cost upwards of £10,000 with no guarantee of
  professionals is ever increasing. The available talent pool is             success.
  limited and there is fierce competition for the highest
  performing individuals. Organisations looking to attract these             There is an increasing number of online job boards dedicated to
  individuals need to have an understanding of the market and                HR roles. Although these are more cost-effective than press
  of how to reach potential candidates.                                      advertising, those that provide the ability for candidates to search
                                                                             by “specialism” and thus pinpoint reward roles are few and far
  Current Characteristics of the Reward Market                               between.
  There are a number of characteristics that define the current
  reward market that an organisation needs to consider when                  Agencies: It is essential to ensure that a retained recruitment
  looking to recruit.                                                        agency understands the reward profession and has knowledge of
                                                                             the skills and experience required to be successful in this area.
  Entry Level Candidates - Our experience shows that the most                They will also need to understand your organisation and the role
  difficult reward roles to fill are those at entry or graduate level.       so that they can ‘sell’ the opportunity to potential candidates.
  Attracting graduates with the requisite skills and competencies
  into the reward market is an interesting challenge. Most                   Many agencies will offer contingency recruitment services. In this
  graduates have no idea what “reward” is and many are amazed                instance, the agency will start by conducting a database search,
  that there is a whole professional sector dedicated to this area.          i.e. searching for candidates with the right skills set already
                                                                             registered with the agency. Many agencies also have prepaid
  The larger consulting firms recruit the most entry level reward            space in HR magazines or recruitment websites where they will
  professionals and they can afford to devote time and resources             advertise the vacancy to attract more candidates. For
  to participate in the “milk round”. HR graduates with good                 contingency recruitment the fee is payable upon success, i.e. the
  analytical and commercial skills will naturally be attracted to            candidate has started work at your company. Contingency fees
  pursuing a career in reward – not least because of the strategic           generally range from 20 to 25 per cent of the starting salary.
  and commercial challenges but also because of the impact such
  work has on the corporate entity and all the employees that                This kind of recruitment, however, only tends to reach those
  work within it.                                                            candidates that are actively looking to leave their jobs, narrowing
                                                                             the market considerably. To target the “high flyers”, it is worth
  Interim Market - Reward is a profession and specialism that                considering engaging a headhunter to conduct a search. The
  lends itself well to the interim market. In the current economic           headhunter will conduct fresh research into the market,
  climate, companies are looking for a more flexible workforce and           identifying the key talent for your role and approaching these
  there appears to be plenty of reward professionals also looking            individuals confidentially and discreetly. For search, a fee is
  for the flexibility that interim work offers. Most reward interims         normally payable at the beginning of the assignment to cover the
  are at the senior end of the market. There are three main types            up-front time costs of the headhunter. A further fee is sometimes
  of interim assignment:                                                     payable on production of a shortlist and a final fee on completion.
                                                                             In total, this fee is normally around 30 per cent of the starting
  (i)     The “caretaker” – standing in for a head of reward during          salary.
          a period of absence;
  (ii)    The “project manager” – going in to deliver a specific             Assessment
          project, e.g. international benefits audit, implementation         The methodology used for assessing reward candidates will be
          of new reward programmes, communication projects, etc;             dependent upon the level of the role and the skills, experience
  (iii)   The “change agent” – going in to integrate two companies           and behaviours required to perform at a high level.
          post merger or acquisition while the new structure is being
          agreed or a new permanent employee is sought.                      Many organisations conduct numeracy and verbal reasoning
                                                                             testing for all potential candidates. This is frequently an online
  Most interim managers will charge a daily rate which varies a              test completed in the candidate’s own time. These types of test
  great deal depending on the complexity of the role. Interim                are particularly useful for junior candidates and can be combined
  managers are most readily accessed via recruitment agencies                with spreadsheet testing to identify the analytical skills and
  or via your own network.                                                   general communication skills of candidates.

  Pay- The pay received by reward professionals does attract a               Skills testing should be coupled with CV based and/or competency
  premium over other HR salaries. Reward incumbents can                      based interviews conducted by line management and HR. At the
  receive around 10 to 20 per cent more than their generalist                more senior end, organisations might also want to incorporate
  counterparts.                                                              psychometric testing or assessment centres. Good HR
                                                                             recruitment consultancies can assist with any of the
  Traditionally, consulting firms have paid slightly more than               above-mentioned assessment approaches if organisations do not
  in-house roles and it is not unusual for reward professionals              have the capability in-house. Best practice dictates that testing
  moving from consulting to industry to have to take a small                 of any kind requires feedback of results or assessments to be
  pay cut on occasions. However, it is becoming increasingly                 given to all candidates. Whilst this is a time consuming process it
  common for very senior consultants (many at partner level)                 does help to establish credibility for employers and enhance their
  to move into industry and this practice is tending to level out            reputation as good corporate citizens.
  the salaries.
                                                                             Conclusions
  Few salary surveys provide a specialist breakdown within HR.               It is a different exercise hiring a reward professional to other HR
  If you are using a recruitment agency to source reward                     recruits. They can come from a variety of different backgrounds
  professionals, they should be able to provide you with up to               and organisations need to keep an open mind when considering
  date benchmark salary information.                                         the experience that potential candidates are offering. A good
                                                                             reward person is a truly valuable asset to any company. They can
  Attracting candidates                                                      often save their salary in effective delivery and creative problem
  It is a challenge to know how to go about reaching and attracting          solving. Hirers need to ensure that they make the most of their
  potential candidates in the reward area.                                   skills, develop them within the team, retain and motivate them
                                                                             and then bask in their reflected glory.

www.higher-talent.com                                                    2                                                    020 7283 9200
Exit Information and Induction:                                          This situation is indicative of poor recruitment from Exit
                                                                         Interviews through to Induction. Such scenarios lead to a
Vital components of a successful
                                                                         number of negative impacts:
recruitment process
                                                                         •     additional cost of recruiting a replacement
Robert Jarvis, Senior Consultant                                         •     wasted time of recruiting manager and inductor
MM&K HR Partner                                                          •     contributes to lower morale of the existing team
                                                                         •     poor reflection of the leavers employment record
The traditional view of a recruitment process is the physical act        •     potential damage to the company’s reputation
of creating an advert, interviewing and offering a job to a             Induction is the general term used for the process of introducing
candidate. It is the strongly held view at MM & K HR Partner            an individual to an organisation, and should be linked to the
that the recruitment process in its entirety starts as one              equally important elements of socialisation and orientation, which
individual resigns or a new post is conceived and finishes around       are the informal and formal elements respectively. Induction
three months into post, once induction, orientation and                 should be given equal planning time as part of the overall
socialisation is fully completed and probation has been                 recruitment process. A good induction will ensure that the new
successfully passed.                                                    employee will:
Eldridge, R (2008) conducted a study for Talent Drain in which          •     establish themselves quickly meaning that maximum
he concluded that HR opinion and employee experience is not                   productivity will be reached sooner
always the same when it comes to reason for leaving. He                 •     become motivated and fit into the business
reviewed anonymous exit data which contradicted data received           •     understand any health and safety issues relating to their
from HR practitioners recording data ‘in-house’.                              job
                                                                        •     understand the corporate culture, targets, values and
Exit surveys and interviews are an important source of                        beliefs
information to ensure that any replacements do not encounter
the same challenges and difficulties as the leaver. They allow          ACAS recommend that organisations have a formalised induction
organisations to review and improve current roles to ensure that        programme with a checklist in order that there is confidence that
the business is correctly staffed with individuals with the right       all important aspects have been covered; from health and safety
level and breadth of experience, and motivated in the right way         through to IT policies and sickness reporting.
for their job.
                                                                        Socialisation is perhaps the hardest part of the induction process
Interestingly Eldridge’s study highlighted that 57% of HR               to conquer, but careful planning to allow for time and space for
departments conduct some form of exit interview or survey but           the individual to interact with all members of the team, in as many
only half of that number aggregate the data to assess trends,           different settings as possible will provide the best opportunity for
and therefore the process appears to be a tick box exercise,            success.
where little is done with the data collected. With careful
                                                                        According to Business Link ‘Investing time in this process will give
planning, appropriate systems and processes this data should
                                                                        new workers a good grounding and help them make fewer
form a vital part of the recruitment process. Organisations
                                                                        mistakes in the long run’. This is time that many of our clients do
should embrace this feedback as an important development
                                                                        not have, and that is where MM & K HR Partner can assist by using
opportunity for the progression of the business.
                                                                        our expertise in exit and induction planning and implementation.
                                                                        Our experience is that leavers are far more likely to be open and
Recent statistics from the CIPD Recruitment and Retention
                                                                        honest to independent advisers and therefore conducting exit
survey of 2007 suggests that 19% of leavers had less than six
                                                                        interviews, analysing data and trends and presenting back is one
months service.
                                                                        part of the process that we can undertake for your organisation.


New Immigration Policy Now Effective                                    Our expectation is that companies and non-EEA nationals will
                                                                        create a large volume of enquiries around their visa needs once
                                                                        Tier 2 is operational.
Nicky Barclay, Consultant at Ambler Collins
                                                                        Ambler Collins’ advice is that all Companies and Organisations
In a Statement of Intent published on 6 May 2008 the UK                 employing non-EEA nationals should submit their application for
Border Agency (UKBA) advised of changes to be implemented               registration at the earliest opportunity. The UKBA stated that the
which will radically alter the way UK based employers are able          risk of not registering could cause log-jams and delays.
to apply to employ non-EEA nationals.
                                                                        This would mean if you were a company employing a Foreign
The current work permit scheme will cease to exist on                   National on a Work Permit and it needed to be extended but the
30 November 2008 and the new Tier 2 system will begin.                  employer was not registered in time that the individual would
Tier 2 requires that any UK based employer wishing to recruit           have to leave the UK before the expiry of their visa and wait in
non-EEA Nationals will have to be included on a list of                 their country of Citizenship until registration and a totally new
Sponsors and obtain a Licence to allow them to employ                   application was completed.
non-EEA nationals. An online application is lodged by the
employer and then documentary evidence of the company’s                 If you are a company or organisation employing non-EEA nationals
legal trading in the UK is provided to the UKBA who will then           and have not lodged your licence application as yet it is imperative
arrange to make a visit to the company offices.                         that you do this as soon as possible. If you require any advice on
                                                                        this or have general queries on the employment of foreign
Employers have been advised by the UKBA to make their                   nationals please do not hesitate to contact Nicky Barclay on
application to be included on the Sponsor register no later             nicky@amblercollins.com or 020 7371 0213.
that 1 October 2008 to ensure all is completed and in place
by the date that the new legislation comes into effect.                 About Ambler Collins
However we have been informed that the uptake of Employers
applying for their Licence has been very low. In fact there             Ambler Collins is the UK’s longest established multi destination
seems to be a certain amount of resistance and reluctance               visa consultancy and has successfully helped many thousands of
from the Commercial sector to apply for registration under the          customers in fulfilling aspirations to live, work, study and gain
new Tier 2 Points Based System.                                         immigration for a new country. Ambler Collins prides itself on its
                                                                        friendly, personal and professional service. Our business has been
The Immigration Law Practitioners Association met with the              built entirely on our success in providing comprehensive migration
UKBA on the 16th May 2008. The UKBA advised that they are               and associated services to all kinds of people and businesses. We
very worried and concerned about sponsors not registering and           have considerable experience in preparing different categories of
applying for their licence.                                             visas and work permits for different countries and policies.
www.higher-talent.com                                               3                                                    020 7283 9200
                       Psychometrics – making the                       •     The degree to which technical competence is critical to
                       right choice                                           success.
                                                                        •     The time and effort required to use the technique, in
                                                                              proportion to the risk of poor selection.
                       Mike Crimes, Associate of
                       Higher Talent                                    Higher Talent recognise from experience that test batteries used
                                                                        to select people for particular jobs or tasks generally predict
                                                                        performance better if they focus less on estimating overall,
                                                                        general ability, and more on the content of the job- such as verbal
Traditionally, recruiters have looked almost exclusively at             abilities for writing, and spatial abilities for air-traffic control. We
candidates in terms of competency frameworks. However, a                have also found from experience that particular ability tests may
broader strategy, which combines cutting edge thinking with             be valuable predictors of performance in jobs with different levels
traditional assessment tools, enables us to produce a more              of complexity, such as numerical ability tests predicting success in
flexible range of assessment services.                                  analytical rates.
It is important to recognise the value of competency-based              Nevertheless, it is not just about more effective test selection.
approaches, especially in relation to performance management,           Decision-making also needs to evolve in relation to understanding
promoting processes and management development. However,                the target role. Job analysis techniques employed in the early
current research has identified a number of alternatives.               stages of selection may help an organisation’s understanding of
                                                                        the key tasks and behaviours required to ensure success.
Recent research has concluded that complex psychological skills         However, a number of broader questions also need to be asked.
can be subdivided into four distinct elements - managing
emotion - communicating - solving problems - managing energy.           •     Do all the key stakeholders want the same outputs from a
Another powerful driver of behaviour is internal motivation.                  particular role?
                                                                        •     Are the behaviours required from a role the same as those
This can have a considerable impact on how well people can
                                                                              needed five years ago?
perform on a job, independent of ability. Assessing job
                                                                        •     Is the selection process rigorous
environment fit can also provide a more rounded backdrop in
                                                                              and yet consensual?
recruitment, enabling a wider consideration of the
organisational culture.                                                 A broader job analysis process brings together key stakeholders
                                                                        for debate and agreement concerning a particular role and how it
Within each of these alternate strategies, the key driver behind        affects the organisation on a micro and macro level. This gains
selection testing is simple in its essence. Different types of          buy-in to any psychometric chosen because a wider backdrop has
positions require different kinds of selection techniques.              been considered in decision-making. Furthermore, traditional
Choosing the right techniques will help you to recruit the best         ways of profiling roles rely on listing accountabilities or setting
person for the position. The selection techniques you choose            levels of competence. Both look at "what" is to be done, but miss
depend on the particular skills, attributes and knowledge               the critical ingredient of "how" - what will the role require of the
required for the position. You must be able to match the                individual beyond the basic competence?
selection method with the selection criteria that are most
critical to the position.                                              Considering these factors will significantly reduce the risk of
                                                                       incorrect selection criteria leading to poor psychometric
A range of factors need to be considered in deciding the               decision-making. These approaches will continue to impact and
appropriateness of a particular psychometric test, including:          drive forward professional practice, and continuing a relationship
                                                                       with Higher Talent will keep these winning formulas alive.
•     Equality issues, i.e. is there potential for the chosen
      technique to directly or indirectly discriminate against         Increasing social awareness of the need for accurate and fair
      minority groups?                                                 testing has combined with technological developments to produce
•     Available resources.                                             dramatic advances in psychometric models, methods, and
•     The budget.                                                      procedures. Through dynamism and drive it is critical that we
•     The seniority/level of position.                                 continuously improve these advances through better and better
•     The degree to which managerial/leadership ability is             practice, maintaining our position as active and not passive
      critical to success.                                             professionals in a continually evolving marketplace.


Here is a small selection of our Current Vacancies at Higher Talent:

      Senior Consultant – HR/OD           Human Resources Director                     Head of HR
      London                              Hampshire                                    Dubai
      Salary £80,000 - £110,000           £90,000 - £95,000                            US$150,000 + discretionary bonus

      A leading brand and product                                 4
                                          Our client is a public sector body with a    Our client, a leading innovator in alternative
      development consultancy seeking     dynamic attitude. This role is part of a     investment products and structures targeted
      a senior consultant to work on      Board of Directors that have been newly      in the Middle East and South Asian region,
      employee engagement and OD          appointed to deliver large-scale change.     serves the financial needs of corporations,
      projects.                                                                        governments and municipalities, institutional
                                          The team has already had some major          clients, and high net worth individuals,
      Senior Consultants will have the    successes and are at a point where the       primarily across the GCC.
      opportunity to shape and lead the   people strategy is key to the continuation
      development of this practice as     of this success. They have recently          Reporting to the COO, this new role will
      well as work on interesting and     secured a large sum of capital investment    deliver an HR strategy that is fully aligned
      diverse client projects.            for the next two years.                      with the business objectives and will ensure
                                                                                       that the HR function is proactive and
                                                                                       compliant in all business activities.



    For further information on Higher Talent please contact Alison Hughes
    or Natalie Ansell on 020 7283 9200 or info@higher-talent.com

www.higher-talent.com                                              4                                                        020 7283 9200

								
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