This week’s letters

I’m a convert to HR director skills

I am embarrassed to admit it, but when I became Servite’s chief executive
three years ago, I didn’t have high expectations of our HR director.

I was thinking of shoving him and his team under the finance director, based
on my previous experiences. But I am now an enthusiastic convert to the
messages promoted by your magazine (News, 23 July).

I now appreciate the value of having such a high-calibre individual – Greg
Brown – who has established credibility at all levels from the frontline to the

He has created a strategic vision and demonstrated the impact of good people
management on bottom-line business performance. He is earning the right to be a
major influence on business decisions, leading high risk, high-profile

Brown has introduced HR policies and practices that focus on the end
product, meeting the customer needs of 10,000 tenants and care home residents,
but his work is also contributing to Servite’s business and organisational
development well beyond a narrow HR brief.

Furthermore, he acts as my ‘confidante’ with an ear to the ground, spotting
the potential problems and dealing with them.

Maybe I’m just lucky?

Kate Davies
Chief executive, Servite Houses

Confident in our MBA selection

I want to respond to the letter ‘MBAs give false expectations’, which
questioned the approach of universities to recruitment of MBA students
(Letters, 23 July).

The Association of MBAs’ criteria for accreditation of MBA programmes states
that students must have at least three years’ appropriate work experience.

In exceptional circumstances, individual students may be admitted with less
than the minimum required, provided the overall average is met and it is in the
best interests of the student body.

We are confident that business schools with accredited MBA programmes are
selecting students on the basis of the contribution they can be expected to
make, as well as benefits they may gain.

Robert Owen
Manager, The Association of MBAs

Temps law will limit flexibility

One solution to the problems raised by the fixed-term employee regulations
lies with recruitment agencies (News, 2 July).

Temporary staff and contract workers supplied through agencies are
specifically exempt from the rules, and, for the immediate future, could
provide an easier, more cost-effective way of meeting non-permanent

I am not suggesting that agency staff are a way of ‘bending’ the rules, but
that the burden of ensuring fair treatment falls on recruitment agencies,
rather than on clients’ staff.

As a professional recruitment agency, we support the new fixed-term
regulations for protecting workers rights and preventing the abuse of
successive fixed-term contracts, but they will reduce the ability of companies
to use staff flexibly and respond quickly to changing business needs.

The strategic use of agencies – not just to cover short-term absences – can
provide a flexible pool of staff over the longer term, and could help to
maintain a competitive advantage.

Christine Peace
Head of HR and development, Aptus Personnel

Too young to gain job in HR

I have recently completed a degree, and am already experiencing difficulties
getting a job in human resources.

Reasons for my rejections have included "you are over-qualified",
"you do not have enough experience" and "you are not yet CIPD

I was amazed, however, to experience discrimination based on my age the
other day. I was under the belief that this problem only affected the older
members of society, and not 22 year-olds.

After initially saying I did not meet the client’s requested criteria, they
admitted that my age was the real problem.

What makes it even worse, is that this feedback came from a well-known
recruitment agency in Aberdeen.

I have two years’ supervisory experience, two years’ customer service
experience and 15 months’ HR experience.

Surely this must be a good example of recruitment agencies not displaying
best personnel practice?

Aberdeen, Full name and address supplied

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