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HR News Feb 20 2017

No such thing as a quiet week in HR! Read here about the impact of criminal charges on employment, tips on managing skill shortage situations, and the key skills of entrepreneurs.

Criminal Charges Do Not Automatically Mean Employment Is Terminated

An interesting blog article from Thomson Geer lawyers this week covers several interesting and relevant points:
– a criminal charge does not automatically mean dismissal or termination of employment
– employers must take specific action for employment to be terminated
– previous Fair Work decisions may not be a 100% guideline

The article is lengthy and worth reading, even though it applies to the education/teaching profession.

If you have an employee who is facing criminal charges you really need to seek legal advice as the first step.
It is also important that your policies clearly state the inherent requirements of a role (eg a delivery employee must possess a current drivers license)
Dismissal or termination of employment is a serious matter that needs to be clearly (ie documented as such) initiated by the employer

If you are in this situation the first advice is to speak with your employment lawyer and do not take any action until you have done so. It may be that an employee can be suspended pending investigation and clarity of the issue but legal advice in this instance is your absolute first step.

What Can You Do When There Is A Skill Shortage

Signs that employers notice when there is a skills shortage include:
– lack of qualified applicants for a vacancy (this can also be about other factors such as location, remuneration and company reputation)
– skilled employees are being “poached” by other companies and offered much more money to do similar work
– it has been increasingly hard to find and employ graduates in the field for some time

This article from Aberdeen highlights the situation with engineers in the United States. It’s useful as trends in the US usually flow on to Australia.

In this article a few tips are given, perhaps aligned to a theme of promoting simulation and technology augmentation tools. In addition to that here are my three key tips if you find yourself in a skills shortage:
1. Identify what you can do to retain the skills and talent that you have. This may involve creating short and long term incentive programs and negotiating individual reward packages.
2. Establish an internal mentoring and training program where your skilled high performers transfer some of their knowledge to develop the skills of others within the same field in your team or company
3. Consider creating an industry centre of excellence where you partner with other organisations to create and hire from a pool of skilled talent. (This is very useful for smaller companies)
4. Investigate creating trainee ships and pathways where you hire unskilled people and have them trained up in your company
None of these will solve the problem instantly although they do provide a good long term solution that will also position your company as an employer of choice.

Key Skills Of Entrepreneurs In The Words Of Sir Richard Branson

Whenever companies want to improve innovation or engagement the word entrepreneur often gets mentioned. In this article from Smart Company, the key skills of entrepreneurs are mentioned and I believe there are parallels for companies in almost every industry.
Here s the article

The article lists 4 skills and the 5th and most important, according to Branson, is to communicate well.

Effective communication is the central pillar of effective leadership and successful business and HR management.

Your feedback and comments on this article as well as the blog are welcomed.