Letters

This
week’s letters

Letter
of the Week
A new breed? You have to be kidding

While
sitting in an airport recently my ear was overheating from using my mobile
phone, my laptop had expired and my palmtop is too tiresome to send e-mail on so
I read some of the “New breed” profiles (Feature, 13 March).

I
thought they were very amusing but could not see the point of the article. My
flight was called at this point so I grabbed my passport (which I keep in my
right hand) and ran for the plane, wondering as I went whether or not I had
packed my best jeans and whether the hotel would fail to have a trouser press
so I could achieve that ‘lived-in’ look.

On
the flight I read on. Slowly, the point dawned on me. You are trying to evoke
an open-minded approach towards all HR employees from both HR and non-HR
colleagues.

It
was, of course, an exercise in irony: the wonderful joke about eschewing formal
dress only to picture the smart manikins; the witty aside about disdaining
bureaucracy then pretending these people work for BT, a London borough or a
bank; and, best of all, saying how young they all are but featuring people who
are successful but more than 30. This last point undermined things by being
completely unbelievable.

As
I drifted of to sleep that night, WAP phone purring at my feet, I suddenly
became worried, Supposing you really meant it? No you can’t have – no one uses
the Web anymore.

John
Gamston
40-something and counting
HR projects and acquisitions, Europe, Agilent Technologies

Ready
Reckoner really is a bargain

I
read with interest the Recruitment Cost Ready Reckoner in Personnel Today
(Feature, 20 February).

I
would love to recruit someone with a £60,000 salary and pay a fee of only
£7,750 but fear that in reality it would actually cost at least double that!

Please
do us a favour and reveal the secret of where we can find a recruitment agency
that charges such low fees. That way I have a weapon with which to fend off the
(minimum of) six cold-calling recruiters who try to contact me each day.

Sharon
Cooper
HR director, JDA International

Pay
survey is not black and white

In
Personnel Today you headlined a story “Study points to savings for firms with
no pay structure” (News, 6 February). In fact the MCG study that was being reviewed
showed there was big potential for savings in organisations that do not have a
job evaluated and graded pay structure and which do not survey/benchmark
against their comparator pay market.

Nick
Page of the CIPD may have criticised the obsession of some employers with the
“going rate” but the point the study makes is that this is only part of the
picture when developing a balanced, competitive and equal value pay structure.

Our
work with www.payaudit.com, from which the study was drawn, ensures that
employers have best value, non-discriminatory pay. The results support and
emphasise the EOC Equal Pay Task Force findings announced on 27 February.

It
is essential to apply a participative and analytical job evaluation study to
achieve fairness and competitiveness.

Derek
Burn
Partner, MCG Consulting Group
www.hraudit.net

Be
proactive and get ahead in HR

Three
pieces of advice for those who are struggling to get their first job in HR
(Letters, 20 March):


Develop your transferable skills (you don’t have to work in HR to develop
negotiation, supervisory, organisation, and presentation skills;


Take any opportunity you can to get appropriate experience (by developing your
job, joining a project group, or doing voluntary work with a Citizens’ Advice
Bureau, organising charity events, or serving on a school governors committee);


Sell yourself by highlighting these skills and experiences on your CV and in
your interview.

I
speak from experience, having taken nine years to work my way from an admin
role into an HR manager post. It wasn’t easy, but then, developing a career
never is.

Ian
Spinney
HR & training manager, Norwich & District CAB

Regionalism
must not be an excuse

Sharen
Phillips (Letters, 20 March) is concerned about the effect on small businesses
of the increase in the National Minimum Wage. Comparing a business in rural
Lincolnshire with one in London is a bit of a giveaway.

The
fact that wage rates in rural Lincolnshire are low means local businesses can
get away with paying less. It does not necessarily mean they cannot afford wage
rates which in other parts of the country are necessary to recruit and retain.

Chris
Sharp
Head of personnel & training, SKDC

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