Category Archives: Human Resources

Nestlé Professional® Launches New Report To Tackle Hospitality Skills Shortage

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Nearly a third (31%) of people don’t think hospitality is a career path you actively choose, according to a new report from Nestlé Professional®.

The ‘BuzzBites: Talking Talent’ report offers an in-depth look at perceptions of the hospitality sector, as well as advice from industry professionals on how to better attract, upskill and retain talented individuals.

It aims to help tackle the current staff crisis, as the scale of recruitment needed becomes increasingly significant. Growth in the sector is surging, opening-up more and more roles, and Brexit is only expected to widen the skills gap further, leaving a shortfall of 60,000 workers a year.

Key findings from the research, conducted by Nestlé Professional® in collaboration with 3GEM, reveal that 45% of millennials consider a career in hospitality a “stop gap”. What’s more, almost three quarters (73%) of managers are concerned the hospitality industry is no longer an attractive career option for millennials and 18% of those currently working in the industry are thinking of leaving in the next year.

However, all is far from lost. More than two thirds (70%) of hospitality workers say they are proud to work in the industry and 53% of those outside the sector think it would be rewarding. The research, which also found that more than half (57%) of those who have left the industry would consider returning, uncovers a huge opportunity for the sector to grow.

Paul Lumley, Brand & Communications Manager at Nestlé Professional®, explains how the report has been designed to help hospitality businesses tackle these challenges head on: “BuzzBites: Talking Talent brings together some of the biggest names in hospitality to offer best practice on the topic. It provides insight and innovative ideas on how to change outdated perceptions and top tips for how best to encourage new people into the industry for long-term careers.

“One of the strongest messages to come out of our research was just how important it is to reward employees for their achievements and help develop their career. Our very own Toque d’Or competition supports apprentices and students in their progression by celebrating their fantastic skills and has evolved over the last 30 years to leave a legacy that we can be proud of.

“If you are not involved already, we invite you to find out more about Toque d’Or today and join the growing number of businesses, individuals and industry bodies who are already sharing a common vision to nurture the talent of the future.”



How to have productive conflicts and manage your emotions at work

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Are you feeling overwhelmed, and reacting out of emotion instead of logic? Taking just one minute can get you out of the cycle of unproductive thoughts.

Grab hold of something, whether it’s your coffee mug, a pen, or whatever you have nearby.

Close your eyes and focus on what the object feels like.

Move it around, think about how it feels on your skin. If you find your thoughts wandering, just refocus on the item in your hand for a few moments. That’s mindfulness, and it can be a powerful tool.

To many, mindfulness is accompanied by a dismissive stigma, conjuring up images of yoga sessions on a mountain at sunset, or maybe sticking candles in your ears. Dr. Karolien Notebaert, founder and CEO of One Step Ahead—Notebaert Consulting, is familiar with the negative associations.

However, there is real value to be gained from being mindful — taking a step back from emotions, connecting with your senses, and using the opportunity to think rationally and critically. At the 2017 CFA Institute European Investment Conference, Notebaert explained how self-regulation can lead to increased diversity, more productive discussions, and better conflict resolution.

Take one particular situation: Unexpected negative feedback. You probably feel pretty bad, and may react strongly, or regrettably. Maybe it’s a poorly worded, emotionally charged email response, or a defensive snipe aimed at your manager. You have become a victim of a form of unconscious bias.

This is attribution bias, when someone believes that a failure is someone else’s fault. The bias can trigger a primary and immediate negative reaction, leading to bad decision making.

Unconscious biases are assumptions that influence our choices, especially when we make rapid decisions, Notebaert explained. Blame the amygdala, the part of your brain that works on autopilot and decreases your cognitive performance.

Making good arguments and remaining calm is thanks to your pre-frontal cortex, a part of the brain that is slow to activate, deliberate, and exhaustible. Planning, organising, and making good financial decisions are all jobs for the pre-frontal cortex. However, Notebaert said, “it has a limited capacity, like a battery. We reach that limit nearly every day.”

Read more on the topics of leadership, management and communication skills on Enterprising Investor, a CFA Institute blog.

It doesn’t have to stay that way. Practising mindfulness can build a mental reset button. Notebaert explained that those who regularly spend time on mindfulness exercises have a larger pre-frontal cortex, meaning they have more capacity for logical thinking and decision making. As with most skills, it takes practice, but it can become second nature.

By regularly practising mindfulness, your amygdala, which is the largest source of potential blocks, will become smaller and less activated. “You are less likely to even fall into the trap,” said Notebaert.

Klemens Höppner, CFA, international partner at the Conscious Business Institute and member of the board at Minerva Spezialinvestment AG, followed Notebaert’s presentation with some ways to get back to basics. “Feel your feet on the floor, feel your breathing,” he advised, for handling stressful situations and for getting better at grounding and centreing yourself.

Höppner explained how overcoming unconscious biases and auto-pilot reactions can also help build constructive relationships out of contentious situations. “Conflict can be great for building relationships,” he said, “but we need to change our perspective.”

By taking a step back, you can recognise the other person as a human being. The conflict can become an opportunity — a real negotiation, he explained. Recognising your feelings in the moment can help you disconnect from your biases about an experience that you are perceiving as negative.

You can also reframe the discussion to understand why a confrontation is happening at all. “Conflict is about feelings and needs,” he said. “What do I think I need? What do I think I don’t have that I need to get from you?”

Not only will reflection make the conflict clearer and easier to resolve, it can help dissolve anger and tension in a fraught discussion. “In many cases, when you ground yourself, eventually the other person will stop being angry because they don’t feel like there is an adversary on the other side,” he said.


Growing interest in construction careers – survey

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

The popularity of construction as a career choice seems to be growing, according to a new survey, with more than one in four young people giving the sector top marks for attractiveness.

The report, Changing Perceptions: the growing appeal of a career in construction has been produced by the CITB and is based on a survey of 1,000 young people, 500 parents and 800 guidance career professionals.

A total of 28% rated construction between 8 and 10 in terms of attractiveness, more than double 2016’s 13%, and a significant rise from just 3% in 2015.

However, results also show that a limited knowledge of the sector among guidance professionals persists along with a tendency to encourage lesser qualified people into the industry.

Encouraging statistics show that young people’s knowledge of the industry has increased and they have a greater awareness of the breadth of roles in the sector. They are also more likely to see a construction career as well paid and an increasing number agree that the sector offers as many jobs for women as men.

Other findings include some of the challenges that may hinder recruitment into construction. These included:

Only 45% of advisers declared themselves confident in providing advice on construction careers.

Careers guidance professionals were more likely to give construction careers advice to those with lower qualifications than graduates and those with at least four A-levels – a consistent trend since 2014.

Two out of five (41%) school students were told by guidance professionals that a degree would be more beneficial in the long term than other qualification. Among 18-year-olds, more than half (51%) were advised that a degree offered better prospects.

Two thirds (67%) of male respondents said they would consider a construction career compared to only a third (34%) of females.

Safety was also a concern for young people, with 46% raising this as an issue.

The survey found that career guidance professionals would welcome increased engagement with the sector to help them develop their knowledge of construction. The number of guidance professionals working directly with local employers was up for the fourth year in a row rising to 53%.

Steve Radley, director of policy at CITB, said: “This report shows that perceptions of construction careers are improving. With modern methods of construction emerging fast, the time is right for industry to work together to start bringing new people into the sector.

“Our skills needs are changing and our recruitment drive must present construction in a new light. As an industry, we need to take advantage of this growing interest and do more to support careers guidance professionals and schools if we are to further our reach.”


How to ruin your CV and alienate employers

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Recent research from our team of data scientists showed nearly a third of CVs in the UK contain at least one spelling mistake.

Of those containing errors, the highest number of slip-ups in a British CV was a whopping 23 mistakes, with “responsibility” named the most common misspelling.

Other top typos included “liaise”, “achieve” and “university”. “Communication”, “experience” and “management” also featured in the top 10 errors encountered.

Despite spelling errors being the most common mistakes seen in job applications, 30 per cent of CVs contained a gap in employment history, a notorious bugbear for recruiting managers. Lack of a personal summary, omission of a valid address and concerns over CV length rounded out the top five most common issues that crossed UK employers’ desks on a daily basis.

Far fewer British jobseekers made mistakes in 2017 with regards to email addresses or inappropriate file names compared to previous years, highlighting our nation’s digital development. Applicants in today’s internet age are three times more likely to omit or make an error in their postal address than in an email address or mobile number.

Just 135 of the CVs analysed fell victim to inappropriate file names, the lowest level of any type of error.

The first impression your new employer has of you is the humble CV, so spelling mistakes, inconsistent work histories and missing information are all huge red flags for hiring managers.

Candidates need to take extra care to show their best side to companies if they hope to make it to the interview stage. You should always be looking for new ways to help your profile stick in employers’ minds.

We’ve compiled five top tips to help you craft a superhero CV and make the best possible first impression.

Get down with the details

Your CV is the first glimpse of what working with you would be like – and you want it to be a great one. Make sure all those pesky mistakes are weeded out long before you press “apply here”.

Match your style to the role

Quirky, colourful CVs may tick all the boxes for hiring managers in the creative field, but look very out of place in a shortlist for corporate lawyers.

Cover letters that really cover it

Your CV is the window to your experience, but your cover letter, which should always be specially written for the role in question, can tell the full story. Use this to sell yourself as a good fit for the job and explain any gaps in your experience.

Know what you’re worth

Applying for that dream job is a serious business and deserves thorough research. We encourage all our jobseekers to run their CV through our ValueMyCV tool to help you get a handle on how much employers pay for your skill set.

Computer says yes

More recruiters and employers than we care to imagine rely on computer programmes to screen CVs for suitable candidates in the first instance. Online tools can help you see in advance which skills the recruitment robots are spotting in your CV – and make sure they are the ones that could land you on the shortlist!


The billionaire founder of LinkedIn says there’s something more important to success than ambition or a detailed career plan

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

LinkedIn co founder and investor Reid Hoffman is one of the most well-connected people in Silicon Valley.

  • LinkedIn cofounder and investor Reid Hoffman is one of the most well-connected people in tech.
  • He said that a strong network is more important to career success than a detailed plan.
  • Hoffman said most people don’t recognize the power of referrals.

His circle of friends includes SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, fellow billionaire investor (and political opposite) Peter Thiel, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg; he’s a prominent Democratic donor in US politics; and he’s on the boards of several companies, like Microsoft and Airbnb. He’s both a tech gatekeeper and guru, and is a prominent writer and speaker on career success.

In a recent episode of Business Insider’s podcast “Success! How I Did It,” Hoffman explained that a strong network is more important than even the most detailed or ambitious career plan.

He said that the reason why certain parts of the world, like Silicon Valley, produce so many successful companies is because it has an entrenched network of people that make things happen.

“And so, as opposed to saying, ‘I have a master plan,'” Hoffman said, referring to either a great startup idea or plan to climb a corporate ladder, you’re better off focusing more energy on building “as strong a network as possible, because that’s the thing that most catapults you, in terms of your capabilities, in terms of your abilities to do things.”

To accomplish this, he said, you have to become a “central node” in a network, where you are adding value to the people who can move your career forward.

As for how to get this going, Hoffman it’s much better to get a “warm introduction” than it is to cold call or blindly approach someone, whether that’s over the phone, online, or in person.

It ties into the advice he gave author Keith Ferrazzi for his book “Never Eat Alone,” which is to only accept LinkedIn requests from people you would feel comfortable chatting with or introducing to someone else in your network.

And as Hoffman wrote in a 2015 presentation about his book “The Alliance,” “People — not Google, not books, not blog posts — have the information you need to solve tough problems.”


British Steel offers 4% pay rise to 4,800 staff

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Steel manufacturing organisation British Steel has offered a 4% pay increase to 4,800 employees based in the UK and France.

The pay rise, which will be delivered over a two-year period, forms part of an in-principle agreement with trade unions Community, GMB and Unite for 2017’s pay and conditions claim.

Formal agreement to the pay deal will be finalised once the trade unions involved have undertaken ballots to gain consent from members who are British Steel employees.

Peter Bernscher, chief executive officer at British Steel, said: “The hard work and dedication of our people has helped us start the turnaround of our business and, while there’s a long way to go if we’re to become truly sustainable, we wanted to recognise their valued contributions.

“I’d like to thank the unions for their support during this ongoing process, and our employees for their commitment to building a stronger future for British Steel.”

A spokesperson at Unite added: “We are in the process of balloting our members on the reported deal. The ballot comes with a recommendation to accept the offer given the current financial status of the [organisation] and the industry. The ballot closes on 30 November.”

Ross Murdoch, national officer at GMB, said: “GMB welcomes the fact that British Steel has recognised changes in the financial reality and have improved [its] offer. It seems [it] acknowledges the hard work and commitment from [its] skilled workforce and has found new money to reward them. We are recommending members accept and are out to ballot on the new offer at the moment.”


Aviva introduces cancer support service for 16,000 UK staff

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Insurance organisation Aviva has introduced a cancer support service for its 16,000 UK based employees.

The benefit, provided by RedArc, was launched in September 2017 as part of the organisation’s wider health and wellbeing strategy. It has been implemented in order to provide emotional support to employees that have been diagnosed with cancer, and are either undergoing treatment or tackling the recovery process.

Employees who have been diagnosed with cancer will have access to a nurse advisor, who will be able to provide long-term practical advice as well as emotional support. The nurse advisor can help employees suffering with cancer to understand the disease and its impacts, what to expect during the treatment process, how to come to terms with a cancer diagnosis, and how employees can best approach recovery from surgery or other treatments. The nurse advisor will also be able to discuss the emotional and physical aspects of a cancer diagnosis, for both employees and their families, as well as offer coping strategies to help staff members.

The nurse advisor can also provide a clinically assessed course of therapy or counselling, as well as signpost staff to relevant information, services and equipment that may be useful to them.

The benefit was communicated to staff using a news story on the staff intranet, which included a case study example of an employee who had been diagnosed with cancer. It was also promoted in a weekly round-up email to all employees, and information about the support service was placed on the wellbeing page of Aviva’s intranet.

Cancer support will form part of Aviva’s existing health and wellbeing strategy, which includes sick pay at full salary for 12 months for each illness, group income protection, death in service at eight times basic salary, a year’s free access to the Headspace app, and access to Aviva’s in-house wellbeing app that provides personalised information to help staff manage their own health and wellbeing.

Ally Antell (pictured), UK health and protection product innovation lead at Aviva, said: “Cancer will affect one in two people born in the UK. Unfortunately that means that a number of our employees are likely to be impacted by cancer at some point in their lives. We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to our people but not only providing financial support, but also offering the emotional support they may need following a cancer diagnosis, during treatment and recovery.”


Diageo aims to become best employer for women in the UK

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Diageo has revealed that women working for the company in England and Wales earn on average 9.8% more than men, as it aims to become the best employer for women in the UK.

The figures form part of the beverage company’s Gender Pay Gap Report. Diageo ranked third in the 2017 Hampton Alexander Review FTSE 100 for Women on Boards and in Leadership.

In Great Britain the company has two legal entities which employ more than 4,500 people: Diageo Great Britain (England and Wales), and Diageo Scotland.

The company has a median pay gap of +8.6% for Diageo employees across both legal entities in Great Britain – meaning men earn on average 8.6% more than women – lower than the median across the country of 18.8%.

The  Diageo Scotland business has a median pay gap of +16.7%. This is said to be driven by a large number of manufacturing roles, which struggle to attract women in part due to unsociable shift patterns. Diageo said that the other driver of the pay gap is that there are fewer women at senior levels, which it is working to resolve.

In April 2018, Diageo’s board of directors will reach gender parity, when Ursula Burns starts her role as non-executive director. The company said that 40% of its global executive committee are women and more than 30% of its global senior leadership team are women.

In a statement, the company said: “Achieving gender equality and developing a strong, talented pipeline of future female leaders underpins our firm belief that a more diverse and inclusive workforce accelerates business growth.”

Diageo human resources director Mairéad Nayager said: “I am proud of the progress we are making at Diageo with gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation and want us to go further. Creating a truly diverse and inclusive culture is not only the right thing to do, it supports the success of our company.

As it aims to lower the gender pay gap, Diageo said it is providing training and mentoring for women at all stages of their careers to support their development as leaders.

It is also also identifying opportunities in Scotland, including creating scholarships for science, technology, engineering and mathematics students to support leadership development through its Women and Leadership in Supply programme.


Bringing the healthy workplace into the heart of government

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Employers and the government have been urged to consider neurodiversity among employees, supporting people into work, and creating psychologically healthy workplaces.

The British Psychological Society’s (BPS) new report Psychology at work: Improving wellbeing and productivity in the workplace was launched at the Houses of Parliament at the second meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Psychology.

Co-authored by Dr Ashley Weinberg and Nancy Doyle, the report makes three broad recommendations;

– there should be a suspension and subsequent review into the use of sanctions in the benefits system and their effects on mental health and wellbeing. It also suggests a review into the work capability assessment process.

– the government should incentivise employers to introduce evidence-based interventions which promote psychologically healthy workplaces.

– that employers should take the needs of neurodiverse people into account in the workplace. Around 10 per cent of people are neurodiverse, a term which describes a range of conditions including difficulties with attention, memory and impulse control as well as longer-term conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and Tourette syndrome.

Scottish National Party MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow Dr Lisa Cameron, who is also Chair of the APPG, said the report raised an extremely important issue which had implications for many. Weinberg, Senior Lecturer at the University of Salford, suggested that parliament should act as an exemplar for the kind of workplace we all deserve. Although it had been a rocky road, he added, awareness was the first step. Work, he said, was a positive experience for many, but four key things can make work even more positive. Control at work, social support, job security and resources – or not being expected to do more with less – were all vital. Weinberg said with numbers of teachers and nurses on the decline, the psychological impact of unhealthy workplaces was being brought into the heart of government.

A focus on literacy, numeracy, concentration and eye contact for success in education and the workplace, Doyle said, can alienate neurodiverse individuals. She said society had created a disability in this way as neurodiverse people, while they struggle with some aspects of work, thrive in other areas. Employers owe it to those who work for them to make reasonable adjustments for those people, she added. Schemes such as Access to Work can be incredibly helpful for those with disabilities and neurodiversity, but very few know they exist.

During a Q&A session, Cameron suggested interested people could meet with their local MPs to discuss having the recommendations from the report raised in parliament. While it is an uncomfortable thought for those in the public sector, Weinberg said, people should focus on the selling points of the report – that wellbeing is linked to productivity and performance, and employers should therefore aim to maintain or improve wellbeing.


Auto-enrolment: The Past, Present and Future

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Auto-enrolment, on the face of it at least, has been a huge success.

Very few employees have chosen to opt out and, five years on from launch, we are seeing its impact. But where did it all start? Back in 2003, the Government had a problem. Defined Benefit pensions in the private sector were in sharp decline as many closed to new members.

By Lydia Fearn, Head of DC at Redington

The new Defined Contribution schemes saw very low levels of contributions, although in fact many employees weren’t saving into a pension scheme at all. All of this meant that the welfare state would have to step in at some point which was likely to be unsustainable – people needed to save more for their own futures.

The Turner Commission report in 2005 had a dramatic effect on Government thinking, and from that the Auto-enrolment policy was born.

So where are we today?

The Department for Work and Pensions confirmed that the latest figures showed more than 8.5m people have been saving into a workplace pension scheme due to automatic enrolment.

Also, according to research from Aegon, over the last five years, an employee earning the average salary and contributing the minimum 2% would have generated a pot of £2,440 . Over the next five years, as levels rise to 5% and then 8%, members will have built a pot of £11,430 .

But, we know 8% isn’t going to be enough for most. Even with the state pension to fall back on, at current levels people are not going to be left with sufficient income to cover their retirement.

So, how do we encourage more contributions?

I think there are two key drivers to focus on. Using technology to make it as easy as possible to see, understand and save into a pension, and secondly creating a stronger emotional connection with later-life savings, like we do with our short-term savings.

Technology as a driving force
Technology, and the creation of apps, has exploded over the last few years. There are now over 2 million apps available, allowing people to translate everyday ambitions to (often) instant action and realisation.

If we need to move money between accounts, check our bank balance, or buy a parking ticket, it can now all be done on the go via our smartphones.

Understanding and realising our long-term savings objectives should also be this easy. The technology exists and it’s time for the industry to embrace it and make engaging with pensions an easier and more enjoyable experience.

Technology could give members the power to make payments straight into their account, find out how much they have saved, or calculate where they are in terms of reaching their retirement goals. This knowledge can not only directly translate to positive actions but will undoubtedly also make them feel more connected to their pension savings.

Creating an emotional connection

However, before they become interested in taking actions, we need people to even think about looking at their pension savings. In order to do this, they need to create an emotional connection to their savings. To know that it belongs to them and they have control over it.

Part of bridging this connection is ensuring that the benefits of long-term saving are as tangible as those of short-term spending.

There are some simple messages we can focus on using the EAST framework:

• Saving into your pension is EASY – it’s taken directly from your monthly pay
• Pensions are ATTRACTIVE – as well as your own contributions you are receiving ‘free’ money from your employer and the government
• Pensions are SOCIAL – millions of people are saving through auto-enrolment
• Pensions are TIMELY – the sooner you start to save the longer you have to increase the amount you will have access to in later life.

Auto-enrolment has already shown itself to be a huge change for good, but it’s far from the finished article. More can and must be done if we’re going to help solve the UK savings crisis and deliver financial security for members.