This week’s letters

Draw on charity sector integrity

I greatly welcome the Higgs report recommendations highlighted in your
article ‘Widen non-exec gene pool by recruiting from other sectors’ (News, 28

I believe that more use should be made of voluntary sector chief executives
in filling non-executive posts on corporate boards.

Many primary trading charities, for example, have large turnovers and
achieve significant trading profits. Consequently, we face most of the
pressures and need most of the skills of plc chief executives.

What we don’t face is the ‘short-termism’ that can so often colour the
attitude of shareholders. In terms of corporate governance, this is a strength
and means that a charity chief executive would, by instinct, pay heed in a
non-executive capacity to the long term health of a company.

We are also well versed in motivating a workforce which, at all levels, is
likely to be remunerated at a relatively modest level, and which cannot be
encouraged to greater productivity or delivery by share options or directly
profit related bonuses.

Finally, our reputation for propriety is well established.

John Brigstocke
Group chief executive, St Andrew’s Group of Hospitals

Top marks for HSE tick-box approach

I agree with much that Bruce Greenhalgh has to say about effective stress
management being driven from board level, but he seems to miss the point about
the approach taken by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) (Letters, 28

The reason executive boards don’t get involved in managing stress is because
they often confuse the condition with pressure and assume that because they
work better under pressure then employees will too. Thus is born the idea that
stress can be good for you.

The HSE is taking a two-pronged approach to this.

The first is to educate employers about how stress is damaging employers’
bottom line as well as employees’ health and well-being.

The second is to emphasise that stress is a health and safety (H&S)
issue and to introduce regulation in exactly the same way as with all other
H&S issues.

The ‘tick box’ approach has reduced accidents and deaths in the workplace
and will also reduce stress in the workplace. It’s not the perfect approach,
but it will make employers do something practical while we wait for education
to effect a change of attitude.

The problem is to get employers to understand that just measuring and
providing counselling is not enough. They must take effective action, and at
least the HSE is making a start.

Ron Scott
Director Strategy and Planning, Lancaster Group

Invest in building up relationships

Your article on how to run a graduate campaign felt somewhat over-simplified
(Careerwise, 14 January). The methods of communication cited were merely the
basics to attract graduate talent – namely graduate fairs, advertising and

Graduate recruitment marketing has become far more competitive and hence
more sophisticated during the last few years. Organisations are investing both
time and money in the ‘dating game’ all vying to woo, court and nurture
undergraduate talent early as a means of developing brand awareness and career

Organisations need to be more progressive than ever before in the ways in
which they offer graduates the chance to sample their brand offering. We worked
with Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, for example, to develop an online fantasy
trading game, as a means of giving students experience of investment banking.

I concur with the comments about the ‘candidate experience’. Everything to
do with the process of becoming an employee – application, assessment and
induction – needs to reflect your brand and life as a member of staff. So the
advice to be honest with applicants is very appropriate.

Students need more information and reassurance than ever before about their
first employer. So, commence relationship marketing early, talking to and
engaging students and key influencers such as academics and careers advisers at
the earliest opportunity.

Andree Gowar
Solutions consultant, Bernard Hodes

Comments are closed.