UK labour market transformed 2020 was a year like no other. Every business had to adapt and evolve their operating model to survive and grow in the ‘new norm’. The UK labour market was transformed by the disruption of Covid-19, while some sectors grew as a result of changing consumer habits, many others faced declining revenues, heavy job losses and widening skills gaps. The December 2020 report from the Office of National Statistics paints a gloomy picture. It shows that from February to December 2020, the number of payroll employees fell by 819,000 - although the larger falls were seen at the start of the coronavirus pandemic - and the period of August through to October saw redundancies reach record highs.Unsurprisingly, the Bank of England November 2020 Monetary Policy report highlights, that redundancies in 2020 were predominantly in sectors that were hit hardest by lockdown including hospitality, retail, travel, leisure, automotive and aviation. New hope for 2021 Although we start 2021, with a newly agreed Brexit deal which governs bilateral trade worth more than £650bn and we have the hope brought by new Covid-19 vaccines, it remains clear that we still have huge economic challenges ahead, with a long road to recovery. The ongoing impacts of Covid-19, particularly the recent increase in infection numbers and subsequent national lockdown, making sense of Brexit and the upcoming IR35 tax reforms (for the private sector) all present challenges for UK business. This uncertainly doesn’t make for very pleasant, uplifting New Year reading! However, unlike any other economic downturn or crisis, it is important to remember that this pandemic has forced innovation, business wide transformation and prompted organisations to adopt new ways of working - all of which may have positive long-term effects.There are also areas where employers have ongoing or even increased demand for specific skills and expertise - especially when it comes to driving their digital transformation agenda and ensuring their organisational structure is fit for purpose in this new era of work. We are also working with a (significant) minority of organisations that see the current volatility as an opportunity to invest, grow and seize market share. Well capitalized, forward looking organisations are pressing hard on the accelerator and we remain optimistic about the prospects for new opportunities in 2021.Find out if your skills are in demand in 2021, check back here soon to read our specialism market updates and top senior roles in demand this year. Our first specialism update, ready to read now is for Senior Finance. IR35 impacts to contractor market 2020 saw Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay announce that IR35 tax reforms to the private sector would be deferred to 6th April 2021. The decision was announced among a £330bn financial package to protect the UK economy from the coronavirus outbreak and helped to alleviate one aspect of uncertainty for a large proportion of UK contractors.Although this was supposed to give private sector businesses crucial extra time to review and refine their interim hiring strategies - organisations needed to prioritise cashflow preservation, business continuity and their survival last year.As such, what we saw was an immediate shift to many organisations dramatically reducing Interim / Contractor resources and hiring flexible labour on an inside IR35 basis only. Indeed, many businesses made the decision to institute a blanket ban of personal service companies (PSCs) rather than contend with the perceived risk of potential financial liability for tax, should contractors later be deemed in scope of IR35. We started to see that these blanket ban, risk-averse reactions to IR35 were depriving some companies of their competitive edge and ultimately, their ability to attract the best interim talent. We saw other companies take a more measured response, engaging with third parties to apply IR35 determinations for each role, such that they could continue to benefit from the breadth of the interim labour market. That said, as Covid-19 continued to put increasing pressure on the cost-base for many businesses last year, we saw a swing from the use of LTD contractors to umbrella companies, fixed-term contracts and Statement of Work consulting delivery to resource transformation programmes and projects.So now, with the clock ticking to April 6th 2021, we are likely to see a revival of day rate contract roles as businesses continue to review and amend their processes to ensure business-critical projects stay properly resourced in 2021. As such, we anticipate much more of a balance this year between permanent, fixed-term contract and both inside and outside IR35 contract roles as the level of understanding of how to apply the IR35 rules in a compliant, yet pragmatic manner increases. Contact us to learn how our solutions for individual IR35 determinations and Managed Solutions can help deliver a compliant and cost-effective answer to flexible labour demands in 2021. Brexit hinders access to flexible labour market The UK now implements a points-based immigration system, similar to the one already in effect in Australia. Under the new rules, the vast majority of foreign nationals trying to work, live and study in Britain will have to apply and pay for an online visa. For many, these new visa requirements are now a pre-requisite for working in the UK. There are extra checks and implications that employers need to be on top of; and risks if they are not. There are fines and criminal sanctions if business employ people unlawfully. This increased level of bureaucracy and the subsequent compliance implications for UK employers is likely to hinder and slow access to the flexible labour market across Europe. As such, ‘visa ready’ candidates will have a competitive advantage as employers won’t need to go through all the extra checks. Under the immigration system, points are awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level, knowledge of English and being paid a minimum salary. Skilled worker visas will be awarded to those who gain enough points.Applicants will have to reach a mandatory threshold of 50 points before they are considered for immigration to the UK. Mandatory criteria from the Home Office says migrants will need to have a job offer in the UK from a licensed sponsor (20 points), the job must be at or above the “minimum skill level” (20 points), and the person applying must be able to speak English “to an acceptable standard”, (10 points).There are, however, special rules for individuals who are already working in the UK. If they’ve been a resident here for 5 years or more, they will be granted ‘Settled Status’. If they’ve been in continuous residence for a shorter time period they will be awarded ‘Pre-Settled Status’. However, even if an individual has the existing right to work in the UK under one of these statuses, they must still apply to stay lawfully employed. If you are an employer or candidate and unsure if or how these changes affect you, please contact us. We are happy to help and point you to the right resources.
11 Jan 2021
In my last blog I shared how the HR function is continually being challenged to design and deliver new organisational structures to ensure operational efficiency and effectiveness in the ‘new norm’. If you want your business to thrive in this new era - you’ll need to change your organisational design and evolve your talent development strategy. But what are the mistakes to avoid? Here are some ‘process’ and ‘people’ mistakes to watch out for… Design/process mistakes 1. Embarking on Organisation Design (or redesign) without strategic clarity - Without strategic clarity, the process of designing new operating models and developing the right people capabilities, cannot even begin. 2. An endemic attitude that the organisation is fully future proofed - If business leaders do not even contemplate change - then an organisation’s people, systems and processes do not develop or advance and are left to stagnate. Overtime, this endemic attitude will erode your ability to compete. 3. The strategy changes but the structure does not - In this scenario, business leaders are not making the connection that organisation redesign is required to efficiently and effectively execute the new strategy. 4. Not enough time is spent on modelling & testing different structures - Often, not enough quality time is spent with executives to test out and play through the behavioural and cultural dimensions of different restructure scenarios. This is a vitally important step which must not be rushed. If you can agree on a set of core design principles everything else falls into place so it is worth spending time on. 5. Processes are not sufficiently scrutinised - Processes should be deconstructed and scrutinised to understand where they hand off into other departments and where behaviours exist which enable or derail these processes. If you don’t thoroughly decompose processes and look at them through a customer centric lens you won’t understand where design flaws exist.6. Functions focused on effectiveness report to those focused on efficiency - Always avoid having functions focused on effectiveness reporting to functions focused on efficiency. If you do, your organisation’s processes and systems will be so tightly controlled that you will diminish your ability to adapt to change and overtime you will lose your effectiveness. 7. Functions focused on long-term strategy report to those focused on short-term results - The demands of today always overpower the needs of tomorrow. That’s why you never want to have functions that are focused on long-term strategy reporting to functions focused on driving daily results. If you do, you will lose the ability to develop products, brand and strategy over the long-term.8. Moving people into different roles without addressing problems - Using external impacts as an opportunity to move people into different roles without having the hard conversations about, say, poor performance is a big mistake. This is like “moving the deckchairs on the Titanic” – the ship will always sink in the end!9. Design does not address power structures - Organisation design (or redesign) is more than just aligning/realigning reporting lines. Often ‘new’ structures fail to ensure that there is clarity, authority, and accountability around each business unit. Ask yourself, is your ‘new’ structure really just the old one with a few additions? Do employees still have to deal with pre-existing bureaucracy? 10. Mistaking consulting others for decision-making - The old story describes how a committee came together to design a horse and because no one person took accountability for decision-making, everyone had a view that had to be included. Result: a camel! To avoid decision making by committee your new structures must empower the right people to make decisions.11. Reward is forgotten about - Reward structures (financial and non-financial) should be considered as part of any new design. Reward packages across different business units must not inadvertently limit the development of individuals or stunt the growth of ‘leaders in waiting’. Ask yourself, do your rewards drive the right behaviors and encourage individual contribution for the success of the organisation as a whole? For example, do you have KPIs which link to reward and are based on more than just financial targets i.e. customer retention? Development/people mistakes 1. Forgetting to take people on the change journey - New organisational design is implemented by command and control forgetting to engage and involve. This means any change you introduce is less likely to be understood and is therefore less likely to embed or ‘stick’. 2. Leaders talk too much to the company goals point and not enough to the people point - To ensure maximum contribution from the workforce, leaders have the complex but essential job of communicating the company purpose and vision with clarity - so that each individual understands how they can contribute with meaning. When individuals know how to contribute in the service of the organisation, they can link their personal aspirations for growth and fulfilment to the company goals - resulting in maximum employee engagement, satisfaction and contribution. You should be aiming for the ‘apex’ as demonstrated by the BlessingWhite X-Model of engagement: 3. Complacency about the workforce / team - Assuming people are the constant due to market/economic/pandemic volatility is a huge mistake - ambitious people will move if they don’t feel valued. Great people are always great people and great businesses will create opportunities for them. As such, your retention strategy should remain a high priority. 4. A lack of focus on culture - Don’t forget the words of the legendary management consultant and writer Peter Drucker, ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’. He asserts that although strategy is important – you should focus on building an empowering culture as it is the surest route to organisational success.5. Focusing too much on teams rather than individuals - Having too much of a focus on team performance can mean that individuals are often overlooked and do not develop to their full potential. Don’t apply a ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to talent management. 6. Teams put together with little consideration for what makes a team effective - Remember that effective teams have a blend of strengths and profiles. For example, an entire team of extroverts who are the ‘ideas’ people, will never embed a change or realise strategy without the support from the more detail oriented ‘completer-finishers’. 7. Having the wrong people in the right functions - Your structure is only as good as the people operating within it and how well they’re matched to their jobs. Placing people in misaligned roles is always a recipe for failure. If you don’t align the competencies and natural behaviours of an individual to the requirements of a specific job - they simply won’t perform. If your organisation is making any of these blunders it is a sure sign that your ‘new’ structure will only have a negative impact on performance. Contact us We would love to hear from leaders on how you are redesigning your organisation to operate effectively in this new era of work. If you need help finding exceptional HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, please get in touch.Equally, if you are a permanent or interim OD&D professional, we are here to support your job search. To speak with an HR recruiting expert and to discuss our latest opportunities please contact me. Download our Organisation Design & Development Insight Paper Download our full insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purposeThe People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
14 Dec 2020
There is an understanding that the context within which most organisations now exist has completely changed. Business leaders are asking themselves what must we stop, what must we start and what must we keep doing that is still part of our core value proposition, and that we need to adapt?This means, that in most cases and across most sectors, a change in business strategy is required - and most likely a change in Operating Model with associated Organisational Design and Development (OD&D) to deliver that strategy. That’s a lot of change leading to more change!“Organisation Design is the process and outcome of shaping an organisational structure to align it with the business purpose and context in which it exists.” CIPD"Organisation Development is the planned and systematic enabling of sustained performance in an organisation through the involvement of its people.” CIPDReading these definitions, it is clear to see why demand for professionals with specific Organisation Design and Development expertise has significantly increased as businesses seek to realign their structures and people capabilities to their new strategic objectives. There can be no doubt that the on-going and wide-scale imperative to evolve business strategy is the overriding driving force, right now, for work in this specialist area. What does an OD specialist do?It is the job of the OD specialist to present and evaluate different models and ways of working which deliver outcomes aligned to strategic drivers/goals. ‘‘One of the fundamental questions OD specialists are there to answer is “if this is our new strategy, how should we best organize ourselves?” The strategic drivers need to be established and be translated into a set of design principles / hypotheses that are evaluated and tested throughout the re-design work. It’s important to realise that Design is an iterative process; done correctly, decisions are tested against the design principles / hypotheses so as to ensure proper debate and examination of the proposals against the strategic goals. You should expect to prove some and disprove others if you are managing the process well.” Steve Lungley, Organisation Design & Development Consultant Business leaders realise the benefits of organisational restructure Increasingly, business leaders are making the connection that how their organisation is designed and how their people are developed will determine how efficiently and effectively it is able to perform in the ‘new norm’.“If an organisation has a flawed design (processes and people), it simply won’t perform, or indeed survive. It must be structured (or restructured) to create a design that supports its purpose and business strategy. However, it is important to recognise that an organisation isn’t simply the “boxes and wires” which make up an org chart. An organisation is about enablement and engagement. This means that an organisation can be successful irrespective of its structure – it’s about attitudes (mindset), clarity of focus (outcomes) flexibility (the journey) and culture (beliefs, assumptions & values).” Rachel Letby, Management Consultant & Organisation Design & Development Expert A sound organisational structure will make it clear what each function and person does, and is accountable for, within each location. The design will also make clear to what extent its/their authority reaches within its/their domain and across the organisation. However, organisations must also seek to strike a balance between being ‘fixed’ (overly bureaucratic) and ‘flexible’ (ambiguous). This is a fine line to tread!What’s more, business leaders must understand that designing a structure that is fit for purpose is just one of many steps. These new structures, responsibilities and ways of working must also be underpinned with robust people change management approaches to ensure transformational success. This involves: Processes:Understanding the imperative for change and the environmentUnderstanding the business processes, workflows, roles and responsibilities, volumes of work, activity analysis and resourcesDesigning and testing new structures, workflows and internal governance frameworksPlanning and managing the transition from the old structure to the newImplementing and monitoring the change People:Measuring performance, efficiency and effectivenessAssessing resources, skills and capabilities Developing the right behaviours and interactionsDetermining and applying the right learning interventions Embedding and sustaining a cultural change This is a complex area of work which shouldn’t be a one-time exercise. It takes time and often requires the help of an OD&D expert to formulate sound design principles which can be used to guide your organisation's restructure. There can be no doubt, that demand for HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, across the breadth of these deliverables, will continue unabated as the world of work continues to evolve. Contact us We would love to hear from leaders on how you are redesigning your organisation to operate effectively in this new era of work. If you need help finding exceptional HR professionals with experience of delivering OD&D transformation, please get in touch. Equally, if you are a permanent or interim OD&D professional, we are here to support your job search. To speak with an HR recruiting expert and to discuss our latest opportunities please contact me. Download our Organisation Design & Development Insight Paper Download our full insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purposeThe People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
25 Nov 2020
Download your copy of our insight paper It’s no surprise that most businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating model in recent months. As a result, business leaders have come to recognise the importance of Organisational Design & Development (OD&D) expertise and the vital role HR functions serve in ensuring organsational structures and processes are fit for the ‘new norrn’. Download our insight paper to learn:How HR's priorities have shifted and been impacted by the PandemicHow businesses have been forced to rethink their strategy and operating modelHow OD&D expertise has been propelled to the foreWhat OD&D specialists can help with What the signs are that your organisational structure may not be fit for purpose The People and Process mistakes to avoid when it comes to restructure Download
10 Nov 2020
In part one of this blog series we brought you expert insight from Paul Anderson-Walsh, Co-Founder of the Centre for Inclusive Leadership, where he introduced the I.D.E.A.S model on being and becoming more inclusive. This framework enables organisations to better understand where they need to focus their efforts if they are to develop and sustain an inclusive environment in which everyone can be their best self and do their best work. Part one explained the difference and importance of integrating new hires into an organisation rather than inducting them. This week we turn to the next crucial element the development of your people. Paul Anderson-Walsh Developing all the peopleAttracting the world’s best talent is one thing, retaining it is another. In a previous article I spoke about the democratisation of quality customer treatment. Rather than treating everyone the same or, worse, discriminating against some based on their (perceived) lack of spending power, democratisation means treating everyone equally well; esteeming and honouring their self-worth not their net worth. In much the same way, when it comes to people development, treating everyone equally well is a key issue. In an inclusive environment there is a commitment to developing all of the people rather than ensuring that we are not discriminating against some of them. The goal is that everyone has the opportunity to be and become their best self and do their best work. Some call it the diversity cliff, others call it the diversity ceiling but whatever term they give it, the issue they are almost always focussed on is increasing diversity. However, the issue is managing inclusion because it is only when all our people feel included that they are able to be their authentic selves and organisations are able to benefit from their best work. All of us are unique and complex, so understanding who we are working with, why they are the way they are and why they respond the way they do, is key. If understanding this difference is important at the attraction stage, it becomes critical at the engagement, promotion, and succession planning stages.It might help us if we pursued the metaphor of talent as an asset. Assets can depreciate over time (some get written down all together) and other assets increase in value. Depreciation is an accountancy term and it refers to a reduction in the value of an asset over time, due in particular to wear and tear (think emotional well-being i.e. being worn out). When it comes to human capital, managing your people portfolio takes care and whilst each individual asset has its own performance profile, there are some interesting trends that we can point to which suggest what might contribute to a talent asset depreciating in value in an organisation. There is a saying that claims that people don’t leave their job, they leave their boss. That is a truism. Poor management is one of the main reasons people leave their jobs. However, they also leave because they plateau and find the work boring. Following closely behind is the fact that a lot of people leave their jobs because they either have poor relationships or no relationships with their co-workers. Some feel they’re not being stretched or challenged; they don’t get a chance to use, let alone develop, their skills; they are micro-managed, disempowered, and don’t have any autonomy; they don’t see how what they do, contributes to what the organisation is trying to do and their work is not appreciated. In an inclusive environment talent assets are more likely to increase over time because their managers coach them and take the time to frame their career journey with them based on three interconnecting needs: Organisational - What competencies has the business identified as critical to its future success: The What and the How; Career - What does each employee need to be have and do in order to be successful in their current role? And Motivational - What is each employee passionate about? What values, interests and goals are most important to him or her? Top tips for developing talent 1. Make it personal – Be a coach2. Make it meaningful to them3. Make sure you empower them by delegating, and giving feedback4. Make sure you treat them all equally well5. Make sure they have a sponsor Is your talent a flight risk? • In 2018 27% of employees voluntarily left their jobs• Voluntary turnover costs exceed $600 billion• Businesses lose productivity with $300 billion annually due to disengaged workers• By 2023 25% of employees will leave their jobs each year to go and work somewhere else• As many as 22 out of 100 employees left their jobs for career development• And 3 in 4 employees who quit their jobs could have been retained by their employers To find out about our about our NeuroTech® Tool, The TCFIL Retention Assessment, please get in touch. Look out for my next blog where I explain the next element of the I.D.E.A.S. model ‘Enable’.Share your insights We’d love to hear from leaders on how you are adapting, implementing and assessing your workforce engagement and inclusion strategies as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Please get in touch to share your insights.
30 Apr 2020
We interviewed our very own HR extraordinaire, Meg Appleby and asked what impact the Coronavirus crisis was having on her own professional learning and development. How did your story with Stanton House start?“Taking what felt like a massive plunge moving from Leeds to the big smoke in 2016, I was offered the role as Business Administrator at Stanton House and nearly four years later I am now a HR generalist responsible for both HR and Talent Acquisition.”How has your role changed over the last few weeks?“The escalation of the coronavirus pandemic is something none of us expected and it’s hard to believe that around a month ago we were still in the office going about our (relatively) normal lives. Since then, it’s been a steep learning curve for us all and being at the centre of all things “people” has added a significant amount of responsibility to my role during these ever-changing circumstances.” “If I were to take one positive away from the pandemic it is that I have developed in my HR career faster than I could have ever imagined in the past few weeks.”What are the key soft skills you’ve developed?“Having the ability to absorb information and relay it back accurately to internal stakeholders has been amplified in the current situation as things move rapidly and you have to learn at lightning speed. With social media fuelling a wave of coronavirus misinformation, it’s easy to get caught up reading through reams of irrelevant and inaccurate information.”“Being able to digest information quickly and inform the relevant stakeholders of how this affects us, has been something I have had to adapt to. Alongside that, I’ve learnt that being curious and taking the initiative to ask questions is never a bad thing!”What have your found most rewarding?“One of the many things I personally love about working for a small business is that you generally have more interactions with the Senior Leadership Team. Throughout the pandemic, it has given me more opportunity than usual to become a trusted advisor to this group and I have gained confidence by being thrown in the deep end. I have felt more than ever that we are “one team” and I have been pleasantly surprised how much you can build strong relationships through a laptop screen!”What have you found most challenging?“Balancing the “BAU” with the additional workload from the virus whilst studying for my CIPD has been a challenge! Effectively prioritising what needs to get done today, and what can wait, has helped me to switch off at the end of the day and keep focussed on the job in hand. It’s getting back to basics but being extremely organised has been key throughout this.”What have you learnt about yourself?“I personally suffer from anxiety attacks and was initially daunted by the thought of being isolated at home and wondered if this might impact my mental health. Of course there has been tough days, but I have learnt that I am more resilient than I thought and have managed to get through so far - with online yoga, a good structure to my day and a sense of humour! I just have an overwhelming sense of pride for the company and everyone within it, the resilience that has been shown and how well everyone has adapted to working from home is incredible.What advice would you give to other HR professionals?“I’ve always loved the saying “Comparison is the Thief of Joy” and that feels more relevant than ever right now. If I were to offer any advice, I would say it’s ok if you don’t spend this time at home learning a new language, or baking banana bread, or gaining a six pack - this is a completely unique situation and just getting through it is enough. It’s ok to just process your emotions. Go for a walk, play a silly game, dance around your living room. Do something that brings you peace and focus on what you can control. We will see the light again soon!”<!--<b-->We would love to hear impacts, insights and key learns from other professionals. Please get in touch to share your insights.We want to help our customers in any way we can in these difficult times, so we’ve put together a handy PDF packed full of links to resources that will help keep us sane, fit and healthy, while we live and work from home. Everything from things to do with the kids through to podcasts, books and workouts. Download your copy below now. Download
15 Apr 2020
Head of Technology £80,000 - £90,000 per annum London Programme Requirements Lead £525 - £600 per day Edinburgh Senior HR Business Partner £90,000 - £95,000 per annum Berkshire Finance Business Partner £60,000 - £70,000 per annum + 10% bonus London Regulatory Reporting Accountant Up to £50,000 per annum + benefits Berkshire Business Analyst £40,000 - £50,000 per annum London A wider selection of current vacancies can be viewed on our opportunities page or get in touch for a confidential discussion about how Stanton House can help you hire great people or assist with your own career goals.
02 Jan 2020
I’d like to introduce you to the concept of Reverse Mentoring. You may already be familiar with the term - introduced in 1999 by General Electric and used to up-skill a Board of Executives on how to use the internet, Reverse Mentoring is now transforming workplaces across the world by simply pairing together, unlikely employees and I’m one of them. In November 2018 we produced a comprehensive white paper on Reverse Mentoring to explore how the tool can be used to support an inclusive workplace culture, diversify your current and future talent pools, broaden your demographic, retain millennial talent and support your commercial objectives and it was a huge success. Having spent more than three months researching, interviewing and studying Reverse Mentoring and the organisations that have used the tool to achieve greatness, we shared the paper with our network and the results were overwhelming. We had a whole community of HR professionals contact us with their stories of mentoring in different formats and amazingly, we had organisations that we had never spoken to before – tell us we had inspired their entire programme of learning and development. We decided we couldn’t possibly not use this as a perfect platform to start our very own Reverse Mentoring programme and so at the start of 2019, I became the Reverse Mentor of Managing Director, Lee Costello. What an incredible journey it has been. Almost reaching a year of our mentoring relationship and we have not only learned a huge amount from each other but we have helped each other to grow as employees of Stanton House – as leader and consultant. While I have been given an insight into leadership and what that requires, I was able to offer Lee a millennial voice and a fresh perspective on how business-wide decisions impact the rest of the workforce. I wanted to share our white paper with you once more because aside from the incredible thought-leadership from the likes of EY, Microsoft and BNP Paribas it might give you the inspiration to start your own journey with Reverse Mentoring and see if you too can build a more inclusive work-place culture. Have you ever been Reverse Mentored or perhaps you are a Reverse Mentor yourself? Please do get in touch and share your stories about how you have been impacted through Mentoring. Download our white paper on Reverse-Mentoring white paper
03 Dec 2019
You can barely get through a conversation with an HR professional without hearing the term ‘unconscious bias’. It’s been crowned the HR buzzword of 2019 and if I’m honest, I can’t wait to see the back of it. That isn’t because I don’t believe in the cause nor do I question its existence, in fact, it’s for that very reason that I am wholly against us promoting the term in the same way we pay lip service to gender, racial, intergenerational, hierarchical and disability diversity. Unconscious bias is defined as prejudice or unsupported judgements in favour of or against one thing, person or group compared to another that is deemed to be unfair and it’s most commonly found within the recruitment process. Often we see organisations turning away candidates due to an implied origin, sexuality, gender or ability – which is very different to competency – and, as a result of these systemic prejudices and ingrained behaviours, the recruitment world has introduced measures like blind CVs, AI-tailored sourcing and a whole range of initiatives to improve diversity on a whole such as balanced shortlists. But, while it’s healthy and encouraging to have these conversations – are we just allowing the worst offenders to continue their hiring habits, hiding in the noise of the trend? And, are we just mirroring the gender pay reports and ‘me too’ movements dominating headlines with little changing in terms of behaviour or attitudes in the Board room? Many organisations; especially big ones, do a great job of publishing big and brash statements to portray their collective outrage about diversity imbalances such as gender and mobility yet, many fail to actually put any mechanisms or process in place to ensure the agendas are seen through. What’s more, how many organisations do you know that have measurements in place to assess the successfulness of such initiatives? I’m seeing the very same thing happen with unconscious biases in the hiring process. Many organisations will request a female candidate rather than seek out diversity of thought for instance which not only promotes positive discrimination but also begs the question, do they care about gender diversity at Board level, or, are they filling a quota to meet their external branding? In a similar fashion, many organisations claim to leave unconscious biases at the office door yet refuse to accept blind CVs. The resume, competencies, experience and skillset remain the same – it’s the name that paints a full picture of a person which ultimately, infers bias. I’m really keen to hear from my HR network about the plight of unconscious bias. Are we papering over the cracks with the conversation or, is work going on behind the scenes to really, really improve this?
29 Oct 2019
Generalisations, until now, have indicated that millennials want few things. Access to leadership, flexible working and sustainability at work. Surveys have evidenced this too with hundreds of young workers claiming they want open offices, relationships with stakeholders, work-life balance and an organisation that really cares about making a positive social impact. But, as we approach 2020, are attitudes shifting back to a more traditional way of working? In the last few days, articles have populated social media platforms about the negative side of open-plan offices and how its having an adverse effect on young people, women in particular. A recent study published on The Royal Society claims open-plan offices designed to encourage collaboration and enhance transparency are actually leaving female workers feeling overexposed and ‘continually observed’ with one female study even likening the architectural style as a ‘fish bowl experiment’ where she feels constantly monitored and watched. At Stanton House, open-plan offices are ingrained in our culture – access to leadership, relaxed hierarchy and open communication – I can’t imagine it working any differently and as an HR Consultant, I also can’t help but think about the array of positive things my network have told me about open-plan working and how it’s motivated them to be better. I’d like to hear from you – are we finding a negative within a positive or is open-plan working soon to be a thing of the past?
15 Oct 2019
Stanton House has officially been crowned Recruitment Company of the year and what a phenomenal year it has been. In an awards ceremony held in London last night, CEO Neil Wilson and Finance Director Jo Finch received the prestigious prize as it was announced that Stanton House was the 2019 APSCo Recruitment Company of the Year - in the £10m to £50m Turnover category. As the pair collected the award, it was noted that Stanton House has dedicated its nine years in business to creating exceptional customer experiences and transforming the reputation of the recruitment industry. Founder and Global CEO of APSCo, Ann Swain, said: “This company clearly demonstrated its belief to improving customer experience is the key to improving the reputation of the recruitment sector. The judges felt this succinctly summarised the key to excellent recruitment.” The Recruitment Company of the Year title must be awarded to an organisation operating in either Permanent or Interim markets that has most consistently demonstrated the professional values and exceptional performance associated with APSCo membership throughout the past 12 months and it is a phenomenal achievement to be recognised as one of just four companies titled in 2019. Neil said; "We are delighted to be recognised by APSCo as the Recruitment Company of the Year. It is particularly gratifying because the judges emphasised that they were struck by our commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences. From day one at Stanton House we set out to make that the cornerstone of how we do business. That has been acknowledged consistently by our clients and candidates so it is very rewarding to have it further validated by the recruitment sector experts at APSCo." Stanton House was founded in 2010 to transform the reputation of the recruitment industry by placing the customer at the forefront of everything we do. In our 10th year of business, we are truly honoured and filled with pride that this has been recognised by such a prestigious and renowned organisation.
09 Oct 2019
Aside from the infamous hot-dogs, deep-dish pizzas, jazz music and gangsters, the Windy City is home to an array of incredible Cyber Security professionals and I’m raring to meet them when I move over in just a few weeks’ time. We’ve been focusing on the US market for the past few months from London, but as of October, I’ll be on the ground in Chicago and expanding the Stanton House US offering with a keen focus on the Cyber Security market. It goes without saying that I’m dead excited from a personal perspective to move to such a wonderful city, but as well as that, Chicago homes a wide range of industries needing protection from the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks. I feel energised by the idea that the team and I have the opportunity to support corporate America through introducing Cyber talent to vulnerable organisations. I started out my career at Stanton House focusing on the Accounting and Finance market but my interest in technology and desire to provide solutions for our clients, led to me setting up a team focused on Finance Transformation. My venture into Cyber Security allows me to not only satisfy my own fascination with the world of technology, but also help executives deal with one of their biggest preoccupations: protection of data. Whilst I have an amazing adventure ahead of me, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone in my network who has supported me in my career to date. Whilst working in America has always been a dream of mine, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable six years with the UK team and it goes without saying you’re in the safest of hands once I hop across the pond. I will continue to remain connected to the UK market and do not intend on losing touch with you all. If you ever need any support, advice or just fancy catching up, don’t hesitate to drop me an email. For anyone else floating around in the states, I’d love to meet for a coffee and maybe trade in some geeky Cyber dialogue for a tour around the city!
27 Sep 2019