We cover the issues, challenges and questions relevant to today's leaders.


The Menopause and Mental Health at Work

The Menopause and Mental Health at Work

It is fantastic to see the increased attention and discussion that the menopause is getting at the moment.  Open discussion and the sharing of knowledge and resources will help to remove the stigma around the menopause and help to build more supportive and open workplaces.  

In Northern Ireland, high profile women such as the BBC’s Marie Louise Connolly have been tweeting about their personal experience of the menopause, The Menopause Room – a supportive Facebook group has been established, a menopause café run by Menopause Wellbeing NI has opened and the...

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Getting the Most Out of Online Interviews

Getting the Most Out of Online Interviews

Even before the current wave of remote interviewing, some people enjoyed interviews, and some did not. Over the last eighteen months, the increasing use of ZOOM (other brands are available) has probably exacerbated that Marmite divide.

As an interviewer, I have found the Zoom experience less preferential than meeting people face-to-face. There is a digital barrier in getting people to relate and give their best, but that may be a generational issue. There is something authentic about meeting people in person and encouraging...

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Developing Organisational and Personal Resilience

Developing Organisational and Personal Resilience

This last year and a half of the Covid pandemic has certainly tested our resilience – both professionally and personally – in terms of how we have reacted and adapted to new ways of working and being in the world. I know that I have gone through waves – sometimes coping well (as many of the aspects of lockdown suited my personality) but finding other days challenging and upsetting. So, what has this period taught us about resilience and what do we, as HR professionals, need to consider going forward in terms of developing both organisational and personal resilience?

Defining Resilience The dictionary definition of resilience is ‘the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.’  I like the definition provided by Amit Sood’s, the executive director of the Global Centre for Resiliency and Well-Being, “It’s your ability to...

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When Coffee isn’t Enough… Combatting Work Place Fatigue In Remote Workers

When Coffee isn’t Enough… Combatting Work Place Fatigue In Remote Workers

‘I’ll get round to it soon – I’m just too tired.’ ‘I just don’t have the energy. The tank is empty.’ ‘I don’t have time to stop and rest.’  How many of us have been feeling like this recently?  Our self-imposed expectation of having to ‘keep it all together’ during the Covid pandemic and our fear of revealing to others what we see as our vulnerabilities has led to what Horrobin (2021) calls ‘the perfect storm of crisis and isolation’. The last 16 months have seen many of us coping with sustained periods of fear, uncertainly, anxiety and, inevitably, fatigue and exhaustion.

‘I’ll get round to it soon – I’m just too tired.’ ‘I just don’t have the energy. The tank is empty.’ ‘I don’t have time to stop and rest.’  How many of us have been feeling like this recently?  Our self-imposed expectation of having to ‘keep it all together’...

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Diversity and Inclusion – the Fight Goes On

Were you as surprised as I was when the Sewell report was launched? No systemic racism in GB was the leaked theme of the report. Like all these reports, there is more in the detail, and I would recommend a close reading. I was struck by one of the anomalies, if there is no systemic racism, then why recommend more funding to the EHRC in England?

Many of the activists' reactions reflected my sense of puzzlement as to how some of these conclusions were phrased and how much of the media handling reflected some political aspiration that a more upbeat narrative about Black and Ethnic minorities' success in society was required in the...

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Future Trends and the Road Ahead in Human Resources

Former colleagues of mine used to laugh at me when I described Human Resources as ‘relentless’. There is no natural ebb and flow in what is asked of HR professionals – challenges, unforeseen employee relations matters and crisis management arise on an ad hoc basis, demanding attention and expertise, whilst the ‘day to day’ processes and procedures of recruitment, retention, engagement, performance management, health and well-being and HR transactional matters continue on a daily basis. Add to that the Covid pandemic and its resultant impact on work, work places and the workforce, then we are in the middle of a perfect storm. Now that the vaccination programme is being rolled out and there’s increasing talk of the phased lifting of restrictions it’s a timely opportunity to consider future trends in HR and what will be asked of HR professionals as we move into the more blended, post Covid world of work.

The CIPD completed a significant piece of collaborative research (People Profession 2030: a collective view of future trends – Green, Peters and Young) examining the trends and drivers likely to impact on the HR profession in the next 10 years. They identified five key trends that will...

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Unconscious Bias - Making the Unconscious Conscious

Last year, Claire McKee, Partner in Clarendon Executive wrote an interesting article, Conscious of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace.  Just over a year later, we are back to ask what we have learned over the last 12 months - and what a 12-month period it has been!

Last year, Claire McKee, Partner in Clarendon Executive wrote an interesting article, Conscious of Unconscious Bias in the Workplace.  Just over a year later, we are back to ask what we have learned over the last 12 months - and what a 12-month period it has been! We have all been...

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Watching Out For Burnout

For many, work is challenging - as we try to balance the ever-increasing demands of our role with our own and our families’ needs.  Mobile phones and 24/7 access to email mean that many of us spend our lives in ‘standby’ mode, rather than deliberately choosing to be in ‘on’ or ‘off’ mode.

This pre-existing level of stress has been compounded by the impact of Covid-19 - the need to work from home, the phased return (or not) to the workplace, the lack of control we have over what the next few months will bring, the fear of redundancies/restructuring and the constantly moving...

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A Digital Brave New World or Are We Human?

As we move out of the current public health emergency it is a good time to reflect on recruitment practices both in the past and perhaps and to the future. 

The digital utopia that many articulate,  would suggest that future recruitment will be based on a series of algorithms which will sort through not only the soft copies of application forms but also in a dystopian way the social media profile of potential applicants. This would all be in the...

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‘Lockdown’ Your Recruitment Strategy

COVID-19 has forced an abrupt shift to remote and new ways of work and organisational agility is critical for survival. In response, organisations have adopted flexible and collaborative approaches to survive this pandemic and keep their business moving forward.

Before COVID-19, the last five years has seen the UK recruitment sector steadily growing each year, with the 2019 market valued at £38.9bn; an impressive increase despite much uncertainty over the impact of Brexit.  The previous landscape was an employee marketplace with companies investing...

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Building Resilience To Cope with Stress And Fatigue

It is clear that we will in part, be in lockdown in some form for quite a few weeks more and I hear anecdotal stories of people reaching the end of their tether. The clamour to return to normal is rising.  Nevertheless, there may well be an inevitability that working from home will be more ubiquitous in the future and certainly that appears to be a keynote element of any attempt to kickstart the economy.  

Even prior to the current public health issue many progressive employers were investing in resources to help their employees to deal with the future which many saw as being one which involved preparing for an economic downturn and competing to survive. Those plans were based around the need to...

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Have Competency-Based Interviews Had Their Day?

For many of us in the world of identifying talent, competency-based interview techniques have been a great step forward from the unstructured “conversation”. For most of us gone are the days when managers would ask interviewees questions like: what would your last boss say about you? Or what is your greatest weakness? Unbelievable as it sounds, we still find that these types of questions occasionally being asked and there may be readers of this article who feel these types of questions offer true insight. They don’t.

And there can be no doubt, good practice interview training has practically eradicated the use of discriminatory questions about personal life, religious or political belief.  However, competency-based interviewing appears to have evolved and is now applied in such a simplistic and rigid...

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Maintaining Effective Communications with Remote Working

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place - George Bernard Shaw. Recent months have seen a dramatic escalation of the much-predicted practice of working from home. The reasons for the escalation will be well known and let’s try and avoid the dreaded C word just for a few minutes.

Many organisations have set out guidance to staff about how to make working from home (WFH) safe and productive. But what about the effectiveness of communication between colleagues who were previously sitting close to each other and could observe the communication signals that perhaps...

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Remote Working and Bullying and Harassment

In ‘normal’ times a request for home working/remote working would typically take time to consider and set up, while the business and the employee discuss what steps would need to be put in place in terms of technology, support, communication, ‘fit’ with the role requirements and whether this would work for both parties before a decision was made. Often when it was a ‘yes’ this new way of working might have been on a trial basis, while both parties considered if it was working and had the opportunity to monitor, review and tweak the arrangements.

We are living in extraordinary times.  The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about urgent and sudden changes in our ways of working, with remote working (i.e. working from home) being required by businesses so that they can keep working through these difficult days.  Some degree of...

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The Stress Test – The Changing Face of Psychometric Assessment

The Stress Test – The Changing Face of Psychometric Assessment

With 85% of decision-makers within HR admitting their organisation has made a bad hire and 39% of employers admitting that their candidate interviewing and assessment procedures could be improved, how relevant is psychometric testing to the modern workplace? Legal Island talks to Heather Angiolini, Associate at Clarendon Executive and occupational psychologist with over 20 years experience, about the evolution of psychometric assessment and the value it can bring to Northern Ireland businesses.

Psychometric testing has come in for some bad press over the years. Is this form of assessment still fit for purpose? Absolutely, in fact it’s growing in popularity. In the last few decades, in line with the discipline’s commercialisation, the definition of a psychometric test has expanded...

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