Category Archives: Human Resources

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Skills HR Professionals Need From Other Functions

By Morgan International Staff Writers

 

There was a time when roles and responsibilities fitted fairly neatly within their respective departments – for example HR, Finance, IT, Project Management, Risk, and so on. Typically those within each department were not expected to have knowledge of the other functions as if they had a need for that input they would ask for an individual within that department to assist them.

However in today’s economy, there has been a large shift that has caused professionals to work cross functionally and often take on responsibilities outside of their own primary skill set. To be a successful HR professional in 2017, it is not sufficient to just know about human resources. A successful professional will be well-rounded and have at least basic knowledge of other functions:

Project Management

When things need to be done in an organization, it is very often run as a project. In some organizations there will be a bank of PM’s ready to swoop in and run everything. However in many cases there will not be a PM available, so the HR professional will need to take the reins. Even if there is a PM, there will likely be an expectation that the HR professional will input to various documents such as the business case, budget, etc. Therefore it is imperative that an understanding of project management is sought and more and more professionals cross functionally are undertaking project management qualifications.

Finance

You will likely get involved in budgeting, forecasting, financial modelling and various other financial matters. Or perhaps you are producing the financial elements to build a business case for a strategic change. While you may get support and input from a finance team, you will need to have a good understanding of mathematics in general and commercial structures more generally.

IT

A lot of transformational change within the HR space is coming from technological advances. Therefore to be an HR professional who can offer strategic organizational change, you need to keep pace with the latest IT change and how it can benefit your function – think cloud, big data, automation, IoT, and so on.

In Summary

In a day and age where we all work increasingly cross functionally, it is necessary to have skills outside of your chosen career. A good place to start is of course a professional qualification in HR, but beyond that you might want to consider further professional development in other topics such as Project Management, IT and Finance.

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Avoid Picking the Wrong Career Path

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

For some, picking a career path has to happen way before University is ever applied for because certain qualifications and subjects are mandatory for the career – medicine and dentistry are good examples. However there are plenty of careers out there that will consider most university degree subjects and therefore for students graduating, they have a lot of options. However many people at points in their career feel regret and wish that they had picked something else. These are our top 5 tips to avoid choosing the wrong career path:

 

  1. Don’t be pressured by others

You should not feel pressured to follow someone else’s legacy. Just because your parents are doctors or lawyers does not mean it is the right path for you. Do not make a choice to please others.

 

  1. Do your research

You will be in your career for a long time. Make sure you spend lots of time doing your research and finding out what the career prospects are, potential earnings, educational requirements, job responsibilities and so on. If you can speak to people who are in that career then that would be very beneficial.

 

  1. Don’t just chase the money

You need to pay the bills and of course you want to choose a career that will allow you to be comfortable, however don’t pick a career based on potential earnings alone. It is a recipe for disaster later on down the line when yes you have lots of money, but you hate going to work each day.

 

  1. Consider the location

Some careers are more heavily focussed in certain geographical areas so consider where you want to live as well as what career you want to have. Of course if you are happy to relocate anywhere, then this one will not be too much of a concern.

 

  1. Consider the future

There are some careers that will likely become extinct in the couple of decades. These are the careers to avoid. Any career that is already being effected by automation is one to steer clear of if you want career longevity.

 

Summary

Picking a career is a daunting task, and of course your career may well change direction over time. However it is important to consider our tips above to maximise your career success and satisfaction.

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5 Steps to Career Success

By Morgan International Staff Writers

 

The most important thing that I can share with you is that you own your career – it belongs to you in a way that your other possessions do. Your career is not static, and you will carry it around with you and need to nurture it in order to receive the results you expect and deserve. An organisation you work for at any given point in time does not own your career – YOU DO. On that note, I am going to share with you 5 steps to career success.

  • Own your career

I covered this one in the intro, but it is really the most important of them all and to some extent it is a state of mind. You are in control of your career and you shape the direction it takes. Do not rely on others. Take some time to sit down and consider your career to date and where you want to be in the next 5, 10, 20 years.

  • Grow your network

A job for life is extremely rare these days and for most of us we will rely upon an established network throughout our career for advice, job opportunities, and so on. Your network should be broad and deep – you should have colleagues past and present, hiring managers, recruiters, and industry leaders, etc. A great tool to manage this network is LinkedIn.

  • Create a brand

Depending on where you want to take your career, this may be more or less relevant. However for many it pays dividends to create a brand for themselves as a way to differentiate and be remembered as the go to person for a particular skill set. This is often used by those who have interim careers and they will perhaps have a logo, website, and so on.

  • Create content

To build a brand and also to grow your network, it is really useful to produce content that will be of interest to others. One quick and easy way to do this is to blog about topics within your career, or perhaps produce whitepapers. Taking it a step further, you may present at various industry conferences.

  • Be passionate about your client

Just because you own your career and perhaps move between clients/employers regularly – it does not remove the need to be passionate about the work you are doing at that particular point in time. In fact it is your great results and dedication that will get you brilliant references, word of mouth, and help you build your career even more.

In Summary

You own your career and if you nurture it you will personally receive the rewards. It does take time and commitment and the five steps will not be quick to implement. However these are steps that you can work upon over the course of your career.

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Are you a secret work superstar?

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

 

As an employee in most companies, there will be formal ways for receiving feedback and finding out how you are performing. However the truth is that in many organizations this process can be a little lacklustre and not really reflect how good or bad you really are at your job. For example, many evaluation systems have a 4 or 5 point scale which is not hugely reflective of ability. So what are some of the signs that you are pretty amazing at your job?

 

  • Eyes are on you

You notice that in meetings, lots of eyes are on you for reassurance when your peers speak, people seek your feedback, or perhaps you are frequently directly asked for your opinion.

 

  • You get invited to many projects and meetings

Your input is valued and you are invited to way more meetings and onto project teams than your peers.

 

  • Your colleagues miss you when you are away

When you mention you are taking annual leave, your stakeholders or colleagues look unsettled, and very relieved when you return back from your break.

 

  • Your manager is more lenient on you

Another tell-tale sign is that your line manager is more receptive to your requests compared to others in your team. For example your holiday is granted more readily, or leaving early to pop to the dentist seems to be no bother.

 

  • You are your boss’s right hand man/woman

Your boss confides in you and asks for input into work they are doing for their superiors. Furthermore they ask you to steer the ship when they are on annual leave.

 

  • You have a unique differentiator

You have a particular skill set or area of knowledge that is not readily available within the organization.

 

  • You get good feedback

It might be a colleague giving you good feedback, or perhaps your line manager – but you notice that you get more praise than others seem to.
8)            You have a respected professional qualification

Perhaps you have a professional qualification that your team mates do not have that is of importance or held in high esteem in the role you do.

 

In Summary

Most of us are quite modest when it comes to our own abilities, and it may be difficult to evaluate how well we are doing in the workplace. If you found yourself reading the points above and realised you are often in those situations, perhaps you are a secret work superstar!

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Mastering 1-to-1 meetings

By Morgan International Staff Writers

 

When we discuss the workplace, we speak frequently of the importance of teams, and sometimes we forget how important individuals are. Most line managers do at least make some effort to spend dedicated time with their direct reports. Yet this can be difficult when there are many competing commitments. However, getting 1-to-1 meetings right will make that time more productive and hopefully increase the motivation and satisfaction of the employee.

  • Have them

How basic does this one sound? Schedule the meeting and make sure it happens. It may be one hour fortnightly or 30 minutes each week. Regardless of the length of the meeting and frequency, make sure they happen. If you always end up cancelling on your direct report for something ‘more important’ it is counterproductive to improving morale.

  • Have an agenda

Each 1-to-1 should have a clear agenda which can either be pulled together by the line manager or the direct report, but the other party should always have input. The agenda should always include follow up actions from the last meeting.

  • Get an update on their projects

This is the ideal time to have the employee update you on the progress of everything they are working on, and for you to provide support/coaching if required.

  • Check in with them personally

It does not all need to be work focussed, show some interest in their personal life if appropriate. It might be enquiring about a recent holiday or how their children or partner are doing. Obviously this one will depend on how open your direct report has been with you about life outside work.

  • Review progress

If you speak about performance on a regular basis then there will be no surprises when it is time for the annual performance review. Furthermore, discussing progress throughout the year gives the employee an opportunity to improve.

  • Get their feedback

Make sure the conversation is two way. Ensure the format of the 1-to-1 is working for them and furthermore that you take time to listen to their comments/concerns about work.

Summary

It can be difficult to give dedicated time to each direct report, but the periodic 1-to-1 is a great way to take a moment out of a busy day to focus on your employee. Make sure these meetings happen, that they are always prepared for, and that the time is used constructively.

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5 Tips to Retain Top Talent

You have worked really hard to hire the right candidate for the role; it took time, effort, and financial resources. Over time you have invested in these resources by giving them training and ongoing support, and they now have a mass of intrinsic knowledge about your business. I suspect you are keen not to lose your top talent! However top talent will always be the subject of head hunting activities as other organisations seek to steal the competitive advantage your top resources offer you. So how do you hold onto this set of employees?

  • A culture of reward

Recognise and reward talent. The process for doing this can vary quite widely from a simple thank you from a line manager, to a formal appraisal process. The reward itself may not be monetary, it might be a day of leave or perhaps a gift token.

  • Salary benchmark

Money isn’t everything, but it is very important for most employees! Stay competitive and ensure salaries are on par with the market, or even a nudge in front if possible.

  • Provide growth opportunities

Top talent are typically looking to progress in their career and will become frustrated if they feel they are stuck in the same role with no possibility of promotion. Set out progression plans with these employees and provide as many opportunities as possible to satisfy their aspiration for growth.

  • Encourage feedback

It would be better to deal with any potential issues top talent have before they decide to leave. This feedback will be far more forthcoming in an environment where honest and open communication is encouraged.

  • Assets not numbers

Do not treat your employees like they are no more than a number. They are an asset and they should be made to feel that is the case. There are many ways to do this, but examples include consulting them in business decisions and sharing information with them.

In Summary

Hiring, and training talent is expensive and the costs of losing that talent can be considerable. The HR team have a responsibility to design an appropriate retention strategy. If you are interested in pursuing an HR qualification, take a look at our website.
 

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4 Tips to Implement a Successful Hiring Assessment

 

It will unlikely come as a surprise to you that an objective element in a hiring process is highly recommended for a number of reasons. Primarily, it allows for a fair and balanced assessment to be made of the applicants without subjective bias of hiring managers creeping in. The assessment itself can take various forms; it might be a psychometric test, a maths exam, or perhaps a test of knowledge very specific to the role. Regardless of the type of assessment being used, to be objective they must have a common and standard scoring process that is not subject to any interpretation. These are our top 4 tips to implementing a successful hiring assessment:

  • Research

It is impossible to design and implement a successful assessment unless you understand the specific roles being hired, the types of assessments being used in the marketplace, and what your internal stakeholders feel would be sensible to administer. You should set out with a very clear set of objectives about what you are expecting to achieve and how you will achieve them.

  • Gain Buy In

Some hiring managers will inevitably view a change to the process as non-essential, and even detrimental to the process they have run over a long period of time. In the research phase, discussing the change and getting input from the stakeholders will help to gain their buy in for the change.

  • Share data and feedback

You set out with objectives at the beginning and to continue to promote buy in to the new process, you need to demonstrate the improvements the change has hopefully brought. So get feedback and share data. There are always going to be occasions when things don’t go to plan as you had expected – don’t hide away from these issues – get feedback – make the necessary changes and try and get everything back on track.

  • Train and keep training

To ensure successful implementation of a change and for that to be embedded well and continue on, you need to train the appropriate individuals within the business. This is also important in terms of the purpose of the tests being communicated appropriately to external candidates.

In Summary

Not every business or particular hiring requirement will benefit from a hiring assessment. However where it can be useful, it will provide not only an objective element, but should also help to eliminate unsuitable candidates quickly and easily. It is important that the design and implementation of the assessment process is done by a qualified HR professional.

 

 

 

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5 Tips to Streamline Your Hiring Process

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Hiring great employees is probably one of the most important things an organization does – the ability to hire and retain the best talent is of fundamental importance. There are many organizations out there that recognise this fact and have well defined hiring processes that are not only timely, send out the right signals to the candidates, but also weed out the wheat from the chaff. So why are so many businesses still struggling with their hiring process and losing great people as a result? In my experience it is due to a lack of process, or an overly complex process that takes so long it leaves prospective employees running for the hills. These are our 5 top tips to streamline your process:

  • Design and document the process

For a process to be implemented effectively and to be used by all employees it must be designed well, taking into account the skill sets being sought, the market for those skills, and also the internal resources who will be undertaking the process. For example think about the experience of the hiring managers internally – will they need training to enhance their interviewing skills? Are psychometric tests appropriate? How many interviews should be conducted and by whom? How will feedback be collected and disseminated? There are many questions to be answered up front to ensure a slick process that all can operate and understand.

  • Automation

Automate as many tasks as possible to maximise the number of candidates that can be screened without human intervention. This could be used to administer pre-screening tests, and to send after interview feedback. There are a considerable number of options, so work out what will assist you in your business.

  • Hurdles

You do not want to waste a candidate’s time or your own. So implement hurdles within the hiring process which is the candidate does not ‘jump’, they do not pass through to the next stage. This might be a certain score to be attained in a pre-test.

  • Aim for objectivity

Objectivity in a process such as this can be difficult to achieve but it does avoid some of the pitfalls of running an entirely subjective process. Where possible remove subjectivity by have standard scoring methods and tests.

  • Standardization

There possible, the process should be the same for every candidate. This assists the hiring managers but also reduced the likelihood that candidates can claim they were treated unfairly.

In Summary

We know that the hiring process is exceptionally important for most organisations and it is absolutely something that should be designed and managed by a qualified HR professional. They will tailor the process to the organisation, external forces, and the type of candidate being hired. If you are interested in learning more about HR courses so that you can become qualified, please take a look at our website.

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HR Skills Required to Manage Challenges

 

By Rebecca Langdon

As professionals we operate in a business environment that arguably has many challenges than ever before. We are still recovering from a devastating global economic crisis, and political uncertainty is now rife. These wider macro-economic issues have huge impacts on businesses and the individuals working within them. So what skills do HR professionals need to manage these challenges?

1   IT Skills

IT allows us to be far smarter in a number of ways, such as e-learning, cloud based employee surveys and analytics and so on. There is huge opportunity to find IT solutions to manage challenges but one must be equipped with sufficient technological knowhow to appreciate how they can leverage these offerings within their organisation.

2   Agility

Things change far more quickly than they did a decade ago, and business agility is critical to respond. The change might be technological or perhaps company merger activity, or even wider macroeconomic events such as legal changes, currency fluctuation, or inter country trade deals.

3   Interpersonal skills

This is one that is always going to pop up on the list and interpersonal skills are even more important in times of challenge. This is because a wider and more developed range of skills are needed to manage conflict, challenge and change.

4   Global business awareness

Many businesses operate globally and are regularly seeking business in new territories. With this comes a range of challenges such as different legal jurisdictions and diverse business practices. Of course having prior global business experience is very useful.

5   Management of diverse cultures

Working globally naturally means that you will be working with a range of cultures, some of which may be rather different from your own. For example the culture of a Japanese workforce is very different to that of a workforce in Lebanon. Being respectful of these differences and finding a way to work together as a broad global team is a skill to be mastered.

In Summary

Managing challenges can be incredibly interesting and rewarding. It is certainly an exciting time to work within an HR role, and a great foundation to get you started is an HR qualification.

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Workplace Trends in 2017

By Bilal Sadiq K

2016 had witnessed the rise of new talents, different employment opportunities, compensations for over time, as well as a shift to the on-demand workforce. These trends are very significant in determining how the work culture evolves, how recruitment and training are carried out, and how far you can go in retaining the best talents. 2017 has brought various workplace trends with it and we will shed some light on them.

Trend 1: Peers will hold more significance than ever in your workplace. It has also been estimated that the employees who will have more connections in their organisation will tend to be the highest performers, attaining more success. This method will also ensure which employees have more leadership potential to step ahead. Peer-to-peer recognition to help build bridges between the employees is going to be a must.

Trend 2: Transformation of the Human Resource function will be a significant trend in 2017. Use of data science in HR to make small improvements, and even use in recruiting and engagement will reap huge benefits for firms. Tapping into the workforce analytics to estimate the progression of an employee through his training will also be evident. A sentiment tracker can also be used to gather feedback on their views and emotions towards the workplace and culture.

Trend 3: Increased diversity, indicating a blended workforce, with people pouring in from all parts of the world will be seen as a new workplace trend in 2017. This would mean a more and much better “flexible teaming”, in turn enhancing the efficiency of the organisational output. Freelance workers teaming up with employees will also be taking place.

Trend 4: All the complaints about huge wage gaps might mitigate this year. The wage gap is estimated to narrow down as the provision of equal pay is a necessity to retain talented employees. Coupled with this, gender equality will also get better, especially in the work culture.

Trend 5: The trend of telecommunicating and flexible schedules will continue to increase in 2017, with higher dependence on the digital mobile world, to bring about more efficiency and effectiveness. Learn more about the digital world with the CDMP program.

Trend 6: This year, firms will finally realize the drawbacks of the traditional performance review system and will come up with a better, more simplified, objective and comprehensive system that tackles inefficiencies.