This week’s letters

Letter of the week
Outsourced HR loses personal touch

I do not feel that outsourcing the HR function is the way forward (Analysis,
9 October), especially not for a small organisation. We have 120 employees –
how would you get to know your people? My style is a hands-on, door-
always-open approach – walk around, talk to people, listen and learn, not just
a voice at the other end of the telephone.

Lesley Sales, MCIPD
Personnel manager, Petty Wood & Co

Business value from graduates

Most graduates cite high quality development as a key factor in their choice
of employer. Most graduate recruiting organisations claim to offer outstanding
development. But, two to four years into work, graduates are pouring out of
many organisations, stating lack of personal development as a major reason for
moving on.

Samphire Management has conducted research, commissioned by the Association
of Graduate Recruiters, which has shed light on these issues. Despite most
graduates being happy with their choice of first employer, most were looking
around for another job.

With escalating costs, the issue of retaining graduate managers and
developing them so they can make a significant impact on the business has
become criticalfor many employers.

Our research found there was a wide range of good practice across
organisations, indicating that employers could learn a lot from each other.
Organisations that meet the 12 challenges are likely to have high retention and
a high return on graduate investment.

We are now extending this work, and are inviting all leading graduate
employers to take part in a programme, Leaders in Graduate Development 2002.
Details are available from me at cmaguire@samphire.co.uk

Charlotte Maguire
Programme manager, Samphire Management

Personnel mag or feminist rag?

I have just read Personnel Today (2 October) and feel motivated to let you
know that I am far from pleased.

Despite reading it from cover to cover I can find nothing to highlight the
fact that women are badly treated by men in almost every sphere of working

To add insult to injury you even carry an article informing that Ford is
increasing maternity pay.

What are you trying to do? Do you not realise that you are a feminist rag
first and a personnel magazine second?

We subscribe to your publication for headlines such as:
"Dissatisfaction grows as mothers work longer"; "Women take a
quarter of management posts"; "Graduate morale high despite gender
pay gap"; "Women still blocked from top jobs and board seats";
"Figures reveal EU North-South split over female HR managers";
"Firms failing to embrace family-friendly policies"; "Female
academics earn less than men as pay gap widens in colleges", etc.

I also noticed a previous issue (11 September) was similarly deficient.

S Jette

Editor’s response

Thank you for your letter which we received on 10 October, although as it
isn’t dated I’m uncertain in which decade it was posted. As first we thought
you were serious but soon the lingering smell of testosterone on the paper gave
the game away.

A good laugh is always welcome in these serious times. Your letter shows
that satire is not dead, even after a century of humourless politically correct
ranting from feminists and other malcontents. And your signature, "S Jette",
certainly tickled all of us in the office.

As most members of the HR profession – and therefore our readers – are
women, I am sure you will have struck a chord with your assertion that
Personnel Today gives too much space to the issue of gender inequality.
However, you slightly undermined your position when you pointed out that the
two issues you read most recently had no articles on the subject.

We are so stung by your wit that we have decided to change our editorial
policy. From now on we will completely ignore any news about pay inequality,
the glass ceiling and the like.

You only have to look at the make-up of boardrooms and the senior
echelons of management in UK organisations to see that men barely get a look in
these days. I, for one, propose to chain myself to the railings of Number 10
until men get justice.

Noel O’Reilly
Personnel Today

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