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Embrace HR Aylesbury Recruitment Bias pexels-fauxels-3184398

When you are hiring new staff, your goal is to find the best employee you can, someone who will do a great job, progress within your company and become a successful team member.

Unconscious bias, can, however, influence your decision. It is not always easy to identify when this is happening, and it can be reflected in a workforce that is not as diverse as it should be.

Why do you need a diverse workforce you may ask? There are a number of reasons; it can enhance a company’s reputation, and make it a better place to work, which in turn can help to attract better candidates, and widen the pool of talent from which you can recruit. Having employees with diverse backgrounds and experience can also help increase creativity, employee engagement and even increase your bottom line [Independent: Businesses perform better when they have greater ethnic and gender diversity, study reveals 19/01/2018].

In the wake of Black Lives matter, perhaps what we should be looking at is something called Togetherism. According to UrbanDictionary.com: ‘Togetherism is when people do things together, the act of such an activity is togetherism. Maintaining a cohesive relationship and unity is togetherism.’

In the workplace we need to keep striving to make Togetherism a focus, to make places where ‘cohesive relationships and unity abound’. This means it doesn’t matter what your background is, where you come from, what you look like or indeed what your name is, you have an equal opportunity to succeed.

So, what better place to start than at the very beginning, when you employ someone. The time when you start your recruitment campaign. And as we step out of lockdown into a new normal, where many people’s lives have changed what better time to start it?

Here are six ways to ensure that your recruiting process is not affected by bias or prejudice and aims to create Togetherism in the workplace:

1. Teach recruiters about hiring bias

As we have said, recruiters can operate using ‘unconscious’ bias. You need to be able to make them aware of this by training those responsible for recruiting to identify bias, acknowledge how and why it is happening, and help them learn to change their behaviour.

2. Edit job descriptions

The language used in a job description can put off a number of good candidates. Avoid referring to gender or age and try to talk about the sort of skills you want a person to have, rather than being restrictive about their experience or ability to use a certain program. You could narrow down candidates so much that you miss out on the ideal person for the job.

3. Put on your blindfold!

Not literally, but if you are concerned that you or others involved in the hiring process use unconscious bias when hiring, take away the risk. Ensure that applications come to you after names, ages, ethnicity or other identifying details are deleted, so that you can instead concentrate on applicants’ skills and attitude. Make your first contact by telephone, not a Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or other video call. By using the phone you will listen to the person and be less likely to make snap judgements on what they look like, or what they are wearing, or whether or not they have a tattoo that you like or dislike. You form an opinion on what you hear, how engaging they are, what questions they ask, how interested they sound. You get to know the person before you see them. And isn’t this how many relationships are formed these days on social media?

4. Create an interview standard

Ensure that each candidate gets the same interview experience. If you create a standard format for your interviews, with the same questions, you will help to remove any unconscious bias on the part of the interviewers. In fact, you should standardise the entire recruitment process to this end.

5. Ensure hiring is not based on interview alone

It may be easier, for example, for men to form a rapport with a male interviewer, allowing the bias to skew away from female candidates. If possible, ensure that you have more than one interviewer and make that panel as diverse as you can. However, by making sure that hiring decisions are not made entirely on the result of an interview – and instead is based on a skills test or an interview held while ‘on the job’- you take away another opportunity for bias to win through.

If you are aiming to make your company more inclusive and diverse, you will need to set goals, whether you want to have more BAME staff, increase the proportion of women, younger or older staff and so on. For some inspiration, the BBC’s reports and strategy on diversity and inclusion make fascinating reading.

In a small company, it can be hard to achieve this on your own and bringing in an expert in HR and recruitment can be hugely worthwhile if you are serious about making your workforce reflect your local community.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and find out how we could help you navigate diversity issues, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or contact us here.

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Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Right to Work

Update streamlines company checks on future foreign employees and their eligibility to work in the UK…

Employ someone who doesn’t have the right to work in the UK and you could find yourself at the start of a five-year jail sentence, not to mention the unlimited fine that you would have to pay. An employer who takes on someone who they knew or ‘had reasonable cause to believe’ did not have the right to work here is risking a lot – their own freedom and their entire company potentially. So there’s a lot at stake and you need to make sure you make the required checks on any prospective employees, so that you are not liable.

New for 2019

Since April 2018, organisations have been able to use the online right to work checking service provided by the Home Office, and a new update on this comes into effect from 28 January 2019. Previously, it was a three-step checking procedure, which called for organisations to conduct follow-up checks on documents that are time-limited.

From the end of January, it will be possible for Human Resource departments to rely solely on the online service, without having to get documents from the prospective employee UNLESS your employee’s immigration status cannot be checked online.

In order to protect yourself, you must make sure you use the online service for each individual and only take them on once online checks have been completed. You will also be responsible for ensuring that the photo on the online check tallies up with the real-life person – and you must also keep a clear copy of the online check response for the total time the individual is employed – and for two years after that. This copy can be an electronic or hard copy.

If you employ students, you will need to have details of their term dates – and another online check must be done before any time-limitations run out.

When the online check is not enough

There will be cases where the online check cannot be carried out – for instance if there is an outstanding application, appeal, or review with the Home Office. In this instance, you should contact the Employer Checking Service and get a Positive Verification Notice, which will cover six months.

UK Nationals

As of 28 January 2019, if carrying out document checks on UK nationals, you no longer need full birth and adoption certificates. Short-form certificates are sufficient, together with an official document containing their National Insurance number. This is designed to make it easier for checks to be carried out on citizens without a UK passport.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it could help your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 761 288 or contact us here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Embrace HR Aylesbury People working

Do you value your staff above all else…?

Is your organisation a People Company? Does it put the success and well-being of its staff at the top of its dream board? And would your staff say this is true?

If so, congratulations, you truly have a People Company!

So what exactly is a People Company?

As we have already stated, it’s an organisation where the staff are highly valued, and where the management know that they need to help their people to develop in order to grow the company. Not only do the company’s leaders believe that, but their staff will know that they are important and valuable to the organisation. In return, these staff will value their place in the company and work to the best of their ability to help the organisation succeed.

One of the most vital factors is that employees actually believe that you, as an organisation, are people-oriented – which means the company’s actions must support this point of view.

The importance of the HR department

To keep and retain the best people, you must take on a proactive role, ensuring that staff are engaged, which in turn will increase levels of productivity. You need to be ahead of the game to succeed, to recruit the right people, to develop their skills, and to keep them on board.

To do this, HR must ensure that it is focusing on the people who work in the organisation. It means automating the processes it can, in order to let its HR team focus on what they are skilled at – getting the best out of the staff.

The importance of automating routine processes

Making it easy to do many HR tasks automatically and online makes sense. For instance, if your staff can book their own holidays using an online system, that’s a routine job that a member of the HR team doesn’t need to handle. If managers can book appraisals and other people-managing tasks online, yet again, it’s a job an HR person doesn’t have to be involved in.

And a new job title has emerged as this trend continues – Chief People Officers. They are likely to appear in the kind of forward-thinking organisations that always spring to mind, such as Google – but even the Cabinet Office has one in the shape of Rupert McNeil [GOV.UK Rupert McNeil] – providing “professional leadership on a range of people issues, including talent, capability, inclusion, capacity, pay and employee deal, performance, employee relations, culture and behaviours.”

It’s all about the experience

However, there’s more to being a People Company though – you need to ensure that your staff are being offered engaging working experiences throughout their time with you. It starts with the recruitment process – companies now must market their own brand to would-be employees, to ensure they attract the best possible candidates.

Finding out about your new staff during the recruitment process is vital – understand them and you’ll get to understand what drives them and what will make them want to stay within your company and succeed.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Embrace HR Aylesbury Care Workers Image-courtesy-of-artur84-at-FreeDigitalPhotos

Specialised HR support and advice for those who employ care staff…

Having staff who work in your home can make for a delicate situation and one that requires some specialised knowledge. That’s why here at Embrace HR Limited, we have a special package to support independent case managers and their clients who employ care staff directly.

The unusual dynamics of having someone working in your home should not be underestimated – which is why we offer empathetic and expert advice for those who are managing staff who work in people’s homes.

It mustn’t be forgotten that the usual workplace issues of managing time-off, family-friendly leave, absence, performance and so on, need to be tackled just as they would be if you were employing someone to work in an office.

Our expertise in human resources can ensure that the usual employment requirements are not forgotten about just because these people are working in someone’s home.

“I am writing to acknowledge the services of Embrace HR and express my gratitude.

I would not hesitate to recommend your company to others following the service you have supplied in support of my business and my clients.

Working within the care sector brings an HR provider additional challenges. This does not just involve complex knowledge of the recruitment and employment issues for the staff engaged but also the complications of dealing with exceptionally vulnerable people and difficult family dynamics surrounding the employees.

Embrace HR has delivered an exceptionally personal and flexible service in this respect. Cecily and the Embrace HR team has been empathic and responsive to the unique customer needs. This has involved supporting highly bespoke organisation for a 24-hour care team in liaison with legal and professional partners, family members and care workers.

Each contact has required a specific approach and relevant support and information. I have found Embrace sensitive, receptive and highly professional to this at all times. The HR arrangement, support, communication and advice I have personally received has made my job a good deal easier, freeing me up to deal with my own professional priorities.

I have already recommended the service to others and look forward to working in partnership with Embrace HR into the future.

H.M. Independent Case Manager, Middlesex”

What we can do for you

  • Recruitment – getting the right staff is vital. We successfully recruit the right special needs nannies and support staff for our clients.
  • Advice – empathetic and expert advice on all employment-related issues. This might cover managing absence, maternity/paternity leave and pay, performance management, grievances and disciplinary hearings.
  • Guidance – helping case managers, team leaders, staff and parents learn how to manage staff well.
  • Employment documentation – not only will we provide all the relevant documents such as handbooks and contracts, but we will navigate through this minefield for you, explaining their importance.
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) applications – leave all of that to us.
  • Liaison – we will ensure that the case manager, parents or family are all kept in the loop.

We understand that no two cases are the same, that no two families are the same, that no two support workers are the same and, as such, we strive to provide a high level of service. Our 20 years of experience in the human resources arena means that you can rely on our highly professional consultants to offer a knowledgeable service.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and find out how we could help you, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

Tel: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.