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The new hot targets

The article ‘The new hot targets’ in your February/March issue raised a
number of pertinent issues.

I couldn’t agree more with the closing statement that employers who keep an
eye on the market will be the ones with the fewest recruitment problems. As it
mentions, there is a current skills shortage in the IT sector with a projected
future shortage. Now Microsoft has plans to acquire PWA – a Great Plains
Company, this potential shortfall has never been more of a concern. In times of
change, these passive seekers could become attractive targets for competitors.
As a result, a primary acquisition objective is 100% retention of staff, which,
in tune with the article, illustrates how important it is to retain valued

In an extreme way, the article highlights the importance of sourcing passive
job seekers internally too. Enormous talent can be discovered and redeployed by
knowing your teams better and understanding what makes an individual tick. The
benefits of internal headhunting are exponential. It creates a sense of
satisfaction and respect from individuals who’ve been headhunted not by
external agents, but from perhaps a more surprising internal source.

People will be hired – and retained – for their ability to contribute to the
organisation, rather than to ‘do the job’. Job descriptions will gradually
disappear, to be replaced by aptitudes, abilities and cultural compatibilities.

e-HR is currently a much-used phrase, but it’s important that HR people do
not banish it as an IT project. e-HR should manifest itself throughout the
organisation, enabling it to rise above the competition. It’s something that,
if done correctly and completely in tune with company strategy and culture, can
truly make a difference to results.

Organisations must do their utmost to look after their own employees,
develop their skills and empower them to empower the company.

Adrian Hobbs
Chief Operating Officer, PWA – A Great Plains Company
Marlow, UK

Diversity in europe?

It is widely acknowledged that black graduates are under-represented in the
graduate recruitment programmes of global employers. To the extent that
diversity means "thinking differently", a company whose workforce is
less diverse may find less creative solutions to problems. Perhaps more
relevantly, clients, the media and next year’s tranche of graduates are
starting to demand true diversity in the workforce – even in Europe.

Recruiting teams understand that the problem is not caused by any
discrimination by the managers who make the final hiring decisions. Rather, the
reason I hear most often from employers in Europe is that few black candidates
apply for the jobs in the first place. Since the college presentations are open
to all with the interest and the appropriate degree subject and year of
graduation, there seems to be little that can be done to encourage more black

In fact, there are lots of initiatives that partially succeed in targeting
black students, but none that seems to do anything more than identify
candidates who were going to apply anyway. In an ideal world, the resumés of
all black undergraduates would be available in one place for the employer to

My company, DiversityNow, is co-ordinating the Alliance of British &
European Afro-Caribbean Societies to provide a means for employers to reach
thousands of black candidates before the campus presentations begin. The idea
is for companies to target a group of people who are simply not applying in the
first place and currently have no intention of attending the campus
presentation. Employers in consulting, banking and other industries are using
the Alliance to target black students. But even with their efforts, it will take
years rather than months to correct the perception that employers in Europe do
not care that much about diversity.

Peter Harrison
Chief Executive Officer, DiversityNow
London, UK

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