This week’s letters

Letter of the week
IBM HR caters for over 40 countries

Regarding the article "Can HR be delivered across Europe from a single
site?" (News, 26 June) which relates to Nortel’s HR outsourcing deal with

IBM launched an in-house HR service centre two years ago to service all IBM
employees across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. This centre supports over
100,000 employees across 40-plus countries, speaking many languages. There are
different levels of support from the extensive information on the IBM intranet,
through first level to HR specialist, based on the nature of the requirement.

Implementation of this in-house HR service centre has resulted in over 50
per cent HR cost savings.

IBM also offers consultancy on developing and implementing an e-HR strategy.

Charles Hardy
IBM Internet Recruitment & HR EMEA

Voluntary work gives a step-up

I read the article "From graduate to HR professional" (Features,
26 June), taking particular interest in the 10 tips – to which I must add an

The issue seems to be about individuals getting their first foothold in the
profession. One practical way of doing this is by undertaking voluntary work.

Many small charities need both strategic HR vision and operational support
because they have to deal with complex employment and HR issues. This would
look excellent on a CV as well as giving practical experience.

Don’t worry about not being able to offer a long period of service – a
short, intense period of volunteering can be just as useful.

Jackie Saville
Chair, HR committee Norwich and District Citizens Advice Bureau

Tackling stress must be priority

The Health and Safety Executive has confirmed something that most of us have
already suspected for a long time – that the British employee is suffering from

According to HSE estimates, the "stress factor" costs British
industry £370m a year. While this is a cause for concern, surely it is time UK
plc spent less time commenting on the problem and more time focusing on

Businesses should not need to be reminded, but it is a simple truth that a
company’s biggest asset is its employees.

Talk about stress and the pressure to perform at work is increased; talk
about quick-fix solutions and the problem actually grows.

Rather, the only way to bring about real improvements and long-term change
is by addressing working practice and culture.

Human factors are more significant than any other in predicting the
productivity and profitability of an organisation, and without taking these
factors into consideration, stress will not be minimised, let alone eradicated.

James Gray
Managing director Spencer Stuart Talent Network

Employer spelt out its appeal

I read recently that the most misspelt word in HR circles is remuneration.

Judging by the recruitment advertisements that appear on the Web and in
print magazines, I would dispute this and nominate the word "liaison"

Having worked in both HR and public relations for many years, I am fully
versed in the importance of first impressions. So it is no surprise that my
choice of employer is not a "global player" or one that "leads
in its field", but the organisation that can spell.

Susan-Carol Bayliss
HR & business services manager Scottish Power

Strong pound is not a bad thing

I was interested to read John Philpott’s analysis of the euro (Comment, 19
June). I was sorry to see he was perpetuating the myth that current exchange
rates are placing the UK manufacturing sector at a disadvantage.

Because the UK produces virtually no raw materials of its own, a strong
pound means we import them at advantageous prices.

If the UK industry’s production is as competitive as it likes to keep
reminding us, then low raw material costs should be reflected by low prices for
finished goods.

We should remind ourselves that the so-called optimum entry banding for the
pound into the euro will show a devaluation of the pound of at least 6.5 per
cent on current levels.

This will have a significant impact on the price of all goods and services
purchased from abroad. The consequential rise in inflation would almost
certainly require a commensurate rise in interest rates – which UK industry
needs like a hole in the head.

John Adsett

Comments are closed.