Visionary IBEC HR Leadership Summit

Last week, Caoilinn and I took a day to attend the IBEC HR Leadership Summit – An excellent day. We all walked away with some insight into how the world is changing at a rapid pace and what that will mean for people both personally and in the world of work!

For me the following points were eye opening and thought provoking:

  • The war for talent in Ireland is back with a vengeance and we, as HR professionals, need to be increasing open to new ways of attracting and retaining talent. According to IBEC’s recent survey, the greatest areas of skills shortage are in the areas of IT and Engineering.
  • Social Media will take over our lives unless we develop measures to prevent it. Social media and technology should make our lives easier – not take over our lives completely.
  • Multitasking is not always a productive way of working.
  • Challenge your-self every day!
  • Encourage your children to be as creative as possible. Creativity will be increased demand in the workplace as technology takes over and more routine work is automated.
  • We need to be prepared to live longer and work later than our predecessors.
  • Our children will live and work even longer than us – 1 in 3 children born in 2012 will live to be 100.
  • Our children will therefore need to start saving as early as possible.
  • Our children won’t just have one career. With the change in required skills they will retrain at a couple of intervals throughout their lives.
  • The norm will increasingly be two parents working which means more flexibility will need to be afforded by employers to either/or parent.
  • Organisations need to be able to offer flexible working arrangements – this should become the norm or they will find it increasingly difficult to attract top talent.
  • HR will be instrumental in helping their companies prepare (in advance!) of these fundamental human capital and workforce changes.

Thanks to the speakers on the day – Lynda Gratton’s was excellent and I look forward to reading her book “100 year life” which is being published next year.

I will be encouraging my teenage children to also read this book as they will most certainly be affected by changing technology and demography.

This IBEC summit provided many HR leaders with food for thought and were challenged by all the presenters to be the leaders rather than the followers of this change!


Budget ’16 – HR Implications…

Budget 2016 has no doubt been positive in many respects (apart from for the smokers who will pay 50c more per pack!)

Here is a quick snapshot of the HR Implications from yesterday’s budget-

National Minimum Wage – increased by 50c to €9.15 per hour as of 1st Jan 2016.

Paternity Benefit Scheme – legislate to introduce two weeks paternity leave for fathers from Sept 2016.

Taxation and PRSI – In summary, reductions should have the effect of increasing take home pay for employees up to 1.8% (or a full weeks pay) according to the Minister for Finance.

Pension – Confirmed the ending of the pension levy on pension funds in January 2016, currently at 0.15%.

Other pro-job taxation measures announced include:

  • Reduced Capital Gains Tax rate of 20% for successful entrepreneurs
  • Income tax credit of €550 for self-employed people, with improvements in future years
  • Knowledge Development Box – globally ‘best in class’ and first OECD-compliant scheme, competitive rate of 6.25% on qualifying income, benefits for SMEs, in place from 1st Jan 2016
  • Extension of tax relief for start-up companies
  • Employment and Investment Incentive scheme to increase availability of investment finance for business.

All round an interesting day, hopefully leading to a positive year ahead and a few more pennies in our pockets!

Human Resources Top Tips series

You would be right in thinking that Human Resources in Ireland over the past few years has seen the arrival of many new job titles and corresponding buzz words. Coinciding with Ireland’s return to growth and renewed focus on the importance of employee attraction and retention has seen the emergence of new specialist titles across the following areas Employee Communication, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Organisational Development, Organisational  Effectiveness, People and Change, HR Transformation, HR Planning & Forecasting, Early Career Talent Management, Graduate Talent Management, HR Operations Management, HR project Management, HR Analytics and HR Information Systems.

So we, at HR Search and Selection, are going to attempt to demystify some of the above by writing a “Top Tips” series.  In this series we will talk to the experts in the above areas and explore their insight as to how to be the “best in class” in their areas of expertise.

And the first that I will look at is the role of the Employee Communications Manager which is defined as “ facilitating strategic connections and conversations within your company” If done properly it should ensure that your people are committed to achieving ground breaking business results by helping to improve collaboration, productivity and performance.

Top Tips from a highly respected Employee Communications Manager

  • All companies need to start by understanding their audience, stakeholders and business objectives.
  • All companies, no matter what their size, should have a clearly defined internal and external brand purpose and value statement and these should be clearly communicated to all internal and external stakeholders.
  • This brand promise should have the full buy in of the Senior Executive team and they should wear these values in everything that they do and say.
  • Clear communication is King and should ideally be tailored for the audience in terms of medium and flavour of message. Messages should educate and inspire each employee to deliver on goals. In all cases it should link back to group values.
  • Regular meetings in all main offices should be held with the senior management team present if at all possible. As many employees as possible should attend.
  • Employees should be able to ask questions and it should be an open forum.
  • All communication needs to be genuine and respectful.
  • Keep things as simple as possible.
  • And don’t forget to measure the effectiveness of internal communications which is often easier said than done!

Background of professionals in this area will typically have been in Communications, Marketing or Journalism. People will often “end-up” in this space by chance rather than design. It will suit people who enjoy understanding and connecting with people in a relevant manner. The person will only be as good as the buy-in from the senior management team. If out of sync with each other, then you may as well flush the budget for your internal communication strategy down the drain!

If you have a background in Employee Communication and are looking for your next move or if you are looking to hire an Employee Communication specialist in this space please do not hesitate to contact Caoilinn or I.