Broadspring Consulting

Wrap Of HR News August 28 2017

Views on News in HR for Business

Health and safety is top this week

One very interesting article asking if hot desking is bad for employee health. The phrase was coined when employers introduced a shared desk concept to minimise unused office space. This week the ATO is in the news as they try to introduce “flexible work space” and employees are resisting due to:
– not wanting to clean up a mess left by the previous user
– stress and tension created over some people not moving
– disruption to work if time at a desk is interrupted by a meeting and the desk is occupied on their return
– loss of well being by not being able to personalise a desk with photos or personal items
This case at Fair Work may be one to watch.
Essentially consultation with employees is recommended as there is no single solution for all circumstances.

Russell Kennedy report a case in NSW where a worker has been dismissed (and the dismissal upheld) for failing to disclose ability and income working at another business while on workers compensation for stress.
This type of case has been known to many employers over the years and the heart of the question is the definition of unfit for work. In some cases an employee is deemed unfit for work at a particular workplace rather than unfit for work in any capacity.
It’s important for employers to be clear on the capacity and any conditions.
Points of note in this case were that it was the employee’s dishonesty and hiding the fact of employment in a similar role that had the most impact.
The case also raises the importance of good quality workplace investigation – in this case a serious error of fact was made.

Recruitment trends and the potential death of the CV

Trend followers and opponents of the CV will have watched the nab closely this week as they modify their recruitment process.
Before you cast out your own recruitment methods it is worth noting that nab are using an online assessment and video interview process rather than face to face interviews for entry level jobs.
This is not a complete revamp of all recruitment practices.
The key is to assess process and how well it is delivering the desired result.
This alteration to entry level recruitment was chosen by nab as it:
– saves 700 management hours per month from interviews (that’s a lot of time saved – and a lot of interviews being conducted)
– reduces bias towards (or against) certain university and education providers – making the process entirely about the candidate performance on the test and in a video
– reduces turnover
– attracts digitally savvy candidates – an attribute the bank is keen to have
– eliminates unconscious bias – making decisions entirely about performance not presentation of an application or CV

An interesting development and one that seems well designed and suited for the type of recruitment process.
As always, adjustments to process and practice are best made to suit the specific circumstances and not as a general change or trend.
Next to watch will be if other banks and large volume recruiters adopt similar practices – or if they have done so already and not announcing it.

Employee expectations

One article of interest this week shared the results of research – that we probably knew anyway – that non financial and lifestyle benefits are highly valued by employees. If you are trying to attract and retain good people, bring more than the cheque book to the table.
It’s much more than money.
For many people 🙂
Luckily because most businesses identify over half of their costs as employee related and so offering pay increases adds significantly to the cost line and may not always be matched by an uplift in revenue and profit.
This could be a win win for employers and employees.
Suggestions from the research and employee feedback include:
– providing more than the standard annual leave – including a day off on the employee birthday
– flexibility work hours – negotiated or agreed with individuals
– supported health and wellness programs
– support for study – that one has been around for a while and still has value
– reimbursement for BYOD usage

Slightly still on the topic of expectations McDonalds is in the news as an employee who went on secondment then parental leave had employment terminated and is claiming that it should have been a redundancy.
This case is current and not yet decided however it raises some good concepts:
– employees expect to be treated fairly and will take action if they feel this is not the case
– the decision to deem a position redundant is not an easy one to make – deal with all the facts of the decision as well as the implications
– do not be threatened by the risk of a claim – make sure the decision is sound and defensible