Robey’s Blog: The SME’s Guide to Bad Interviews
May10

Robey’s Blog: The SME’s Guide to Bad Interviews

I could probably write a decent-sized book on the whole topic of effective recruitment for SMEs, of which the interview would be a substantial chapter or two.  But we’ll keep this as short as usual, so forgive me if I skip over a few things. Interviews, it is often noted, are a less-than-perfect tool for recruitment.  The principle problem with them is that they select mainly for people who are good at interviews rather than good at...

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Robey’s blog: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit…
May03

Robey’s blog: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit…

  Is there anything more corrosive to everything HR stands for than gossip?  It undermines morale, wastes time, reduces productivity, affects mental health and creates conflict.  And that’s just in the HR team! But tackling office gossip can feel like Canute on the seashore, trying to hold back the tide.  After all, we like communication.  We want people to build bridges and talk and not sit in their functional silos.  We like...

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Robey’s Blog: The Hippo in the Room
Apr20

Robey’s Blog: The Hippo in the Room

So, new research has revealed that businesses – and SMEs in particular – are labouring under the burden of a significant risk factor that has, until now, been hiding in plain sight: hippos. And whilst this may or may not be connected to my dream last night that we had acquired an office pig as a security measure, I don’t, of course, mean that there are 3-tonne semi-aquatic mammals hiding in the breakroom and stealing all the...

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Robey’s Blog: The Careers Day Speech That Never Was
Apr13

Robey’s Blog: The Careers Day Speech That Never Was

Every year, the secretary of my alumnus body invites me to speak at the school careers day and, every year, I can’t make it.  So, if I could, this is what I’d say… I’m not here to persuade you that a glittering future awaits you in the exciting world of Human Resources[1].  If you’re already thinking about it, then I’m not going to dissuade you.  If you’re not, good.  I’m yet to meet an HR person who didn’t find themselves in HR...

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Robey’s Blog: What’s Toxic?
Apr06

Robey’s Blog: What’s Toxic?

My goodness me, but HR people love a buzz word, don’t they?  In a field locked in perpetual revolution I suppose we shouldn’t be all that surprised, but it ain’t ‘alf frustrating for those of us trying to persuade our colleagues to trust and respect our contribution when we keep ladling on new layers of vocabulary. The latest one I’ve noticed that seems to have been absorbed almost without comment is “toxic”. Atmospheres are toxic. ...

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Robeys Blog: A Vision of Loveliness
Mar15

Robeys Blog: A Vision of Loveliness

I’m know I’m almost alone in this, but when I start a new job, one of the first things I want to know is whether the company has a Vision Statement. I’ve always found it a real window into the heart of a company… but possibly not for the reasons that the authors intended.  For example, where a vision is vaguely worded but grandiose, I see a lack of confidence and direction.  Where a vision is long-winded and unmemorable, I see a...

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Robey’s Blog: ‘What we have here is a failure to communicate’
Mar09

Robey’s Blog: ‘What we have here is a failure to communicate’

Robey Jenkins, HR Manager for Age UK Gloucestershire, shares his weekly blog.  This week he discusses how HR can overcome the challenges of communicating with a multi-generational workforce: I found myself, once more, spending a good portion of a day off in a local school conducting mock interviews with Year 10 children (ages 14-15).  In the course of the day I interviewed them for jobs as diverse as sports coach, accountant,...

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Robey’s Blog: Why SMEs should pay attention to the Apprenticeship Levy
Mar02

Robey’s Blog: Why SMEs should pay attention to the Apprenticeship Levy

I didn’t pay much attention to news of the Apprenticeship Levy.  I knew it was happening, of course.  But I wasn’t very interested.  The levy is a tax on businesses that applies to any business with a wage bill of £3m or more – I should be so lucky, I thought, and moved on to the next thing. But at the HRD Summit in January I happened to fall into conversation with Chris, from AO who had recently taken on responsibility for his...

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Robeys Blog: Learning to learn
Feb23

Robeys Blog: Learning to learn

I do sometimes (often, actually) wish the HR profession wasn’t so jargon-filled.  It makes us easy targets for ridicule and derision, which in its turn means that our value is often overlooked.  But we have always been a profession in which immense significance can turn upon the choice of one word over another: something we share with politicians and lawyers.  As a result, we do tend to get bogged down in semantics that are of immense...

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Robeys Blog: Next stop, the future.  All Change.
Feb16

Robeys Blog: Next stop, the future.  All Change.

  Some topics just seem to be everywhere I look, just as I’m thinking about them.  The week after I have a conversation with Tammy Erikson about how legislation is going to be needed to re-shape the employment relationship, People Management reports “some politicians have talked about the need for a fourth categorisation between ‘worker’ and ‘self-employed’”, and the BBC reports that Matthew Taylor, CEO at RSA and lead on a...

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Small Enterprise, Big Impact?
Feb08

Small Enterprise, Big Impact?

I recently got to attend the HRD Summit in Birmingham. I feel like I need to qualify that statement.  For a start, the “D” in “HRD” stands for “Director” – something I’m not.  Moreover, I didn’t pay to go and nor did my employer.  Instead, by dint of my status as a long-time blogger for HR News, I was privileged to be offered a media pass.  Age UK Gloucestershire, meanwhile, paid for the train ticket and gave the days paid, while I...

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Robeys Blog: Please confirm you’ve read our terms and conditions
Jan25

Robeys Blog: Please confirm you’ve read our terms and conditions

  I’m sure you haven’t.  This is especially true if you are buying something on the Internet.  We ignore the hyperlink, tick the checkbox and click “Pay Now” and ninety-nine times out of a hundred, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter for two reasons: first, because you and the vendor are operating in good faith.  They have a thing you want.  You have money.  The exchange occurs and, more often than not, that’s the end of the...

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Robeys Blog: The Supermarket Trolley Problem
Jan11

Robeys Blog: The Supermarket Trolley Problem

After leaving my car in the morning, my walk to work takes me through the car park of a local supermarket and I often find my passage impeded by abandoned trolleys.  As an able-bodied, unimpeded pedestrian, this really doesn’t affect me.  But I regularly see parents with pushchairs, wheelchair users and the elderly struggling to negotiate these obstacle courses.  It irks me.  But the more I thought about it, the more I saw that there...

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Robeys Blog: Becoming the Best
Jan04

Robeys Blog: Becoming the Best

It’s funny when the universe talks to you. I had been scratching my head about what to write about this week when I heard a Thought for the Day presenter talk about “being the best version of ourselves” and suddenly the thoughts started tumbling.  It wasn’t just that presenter.  It’s a New Year, after all, when everyone is thinking about fresh starts and hope for the future and making resolutions to improve themselves[1].  But there...

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The last word of 2016: Robey’s Christmas Voluntary
Dec23

The last word of 2016: Robey’s Christmas Voluntary

Our popular columnist, Robey Jenkins, HR Manager for Age UK Gloucestershire shares his weekly blog with us.   This week, in our last post of 2016, Robey discusses the challenges of recruiting volunteers, something HR Managers working in the third sector know only too well.    It’s been recruitment season again, here at Age UK Gloucestershire.  An odd time of year to do it, I’ll admit, but nevertheless it seems that scarcely a week...

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