This week’s letters

Time to cut out the middle man

I was very interested to read Personnel Today’s advice on how to run a
graduate recruitment campaign (Careerwise, 14 January).

I am the sales training manager for a large publishing company and therefore
responsible for the graduate intake for our sales teams. This can mean dealing
with as many as 50 graduates per year. In my experience, graduates find good
training and career development programmes attractive, and this should be well
detailed at any interview.

However, many are still being selected through recruitment consultancies. In
these lean times, and in an employer’s market, this is increasingly being seen
as an unnecessary expense by many boards. I would therefore advise your readers
to use appropriate directories and publications and cut out the middle man.

A tad controversial perhaps but the consultancies will still climb over the
top of each other to get to you.

David McAleese
Sales training manager, Haymarket Magazines

Formal education has a role to play

As an operations manager I admire Personnel Today for its guidance on the
latest legal and societal developments.

However, I question the rationale behind your attacks on the MBA
(Careerwise, 10 December).

Like other line managers, I have a degree relevant to my industry, but had
identified a need for a greater understanding of business on both the micro and
macro level.

Hence my decision to do the MBA that I completed last year. Surely you
should support such efforts if we are to make UK plc a ‘world class
organisation’. In increasingly difficult trading conditions, the UK businesses
must think and act quicker than others to remain competitive.

I believe the MBA has given me the edge to at least recognise and understand
key strategic issues that I could influence. However, unlike your suggestions I
know my limitations. So while I will never be a chief executive, I have at
least become a better informed manager and can more effectively contribute
towards the needs of my organisation.

So come on, support formal structured academic management training, instead
of attacking it from an ivory tower.

Mike Townley
Works manager, Bottcher UK

– The editor replies: We were not arguing against ‘formal structured
academic management training’, but have been rightly concerned about the worth
of MBAs that put a low priority on people management – an issue that should be
fundamental to business success.

GP notes are not to blame for absence

Stress is obviously high on the agenda with Personnel Today running stories
on stress on its front page, and including a letter complaining about doctors
who authorise healthy staff to go on sick leave (News and Letters, 14 January).

Stress has gained a reputation for being today’s equivalent of the generic back
pain of yesteryear – largely unspecific, easy to ape and all too easy for the
GP to write up.

I share Colin Rodden’s frustration over GPs issuing apparently spurious sick
certificates, but I see no credible route through the courts for seeking recompense
for abetting in defrauding an organisation.

Would it not be more sensible to tackle the route cause of why the person
feels they must produce a sick certificate that exceeds the self-certification
period? This would seem more than a duvet day and symptomatic of a wider or
deeper concern. This may not be stress-related, and pointing fingers at a piece
of work carried out by an undercover reporter cannot abrogate our
responsibilities as an employer – to support employees and help understand what
causes them to take this action in the first place.

I’m sorry Colin. I know it’s frustrating, but we have to live with it. We
have to tackle the root causes and not simply foist blame on to the GPs.

Jon Porter
HR Director, Parkhaven Trust

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