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


Building Resilience To Cope with Stress And Fatigue

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?

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

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

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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Creating Inclusive Workforces

Creating Inclusive Workforces

While diversity has been on the radar of smart businesses for a long time now, with its links to productivity clear, a recent CIPD report suggests employers may be preoccupying themselves with diversity metrics at the expense of building a truly inclusive workforce. With National Inclusion Week not long behind us, the launch of Northern Ireland’s very first Diversity and Inclusion Charter Mark by Legal Island, and business leaders gathering at Stormont to promote LGBT inclusion, Claire McKee takes a closer look at some of the key issues employers, specifically HR teams, should consider around the subject.

National Inclusion Week took place in the last week of September – did your company recognise it? Perhaps you weren’t even aware of its existence. If not, you are far from alone. According to a report by the CIPD, companies have been too busy trying to create businesses that look diverse...

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Menopause Podcast

Menopause Podcast

The first series of the HR bite-size podcast is brought to you by Legal Island in association with Clarendon Executive.

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‘Happy’ Holidays: the growing problem of workplace separation anxiety

‘Happy’ Holidays: the growing problem of workplace separation anxiety

The statutory right to holiday pay was introduced back in the 1930s, but nearly 100 years on it seems people are struggling, more than ever, to take the time off that they are entitled to. And for those that do, the pressure of an ‘always on’ work culture means their precious annual holiday is often little more than an ‘office away from the office’. The summer holidays may now be a distant memory but Joanne McAuley from Clarendon Executive says that with the Christmas break and a new year looming, there is no better time for companies to revisit their annual leave policies with a view to encouraging and sustaining a culture of engagement, productivity, and mental and physical wellbeing.

The benefits of a decent break are varied and numerous. Whether it’s an opportunity to take a breather from planning, analysing and thinking; spending quality time with family and friends; catching up on sleep or some other reason completely unique to you, taking time out to relax and unwind...

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The Candidate Experience

The Candidate Experience

The pressure is on for employers. As record numbers of jobs are created and companies struggle to fill open roles, the job seeker is increasingly in the driving seat. In a tough talent market, successful businesses understand that to stand out from the competition it’s not enough to simply move candidates from one stage of the recruitment process to the next – they need to be mindful of every single interaction. Although the way in which organisations view the candidate experience has come a long way over the past 20 years, Joanne McAuley from Clarendon Executive says some businesses are still falling short, and looks at what improvements can be made.

When you’ve had a bad experience at a restaurant, you don’t go back – and you might warn others not to go there either. This consumer-grade experience is now the same when it comes to the hiring process. When a candidate has a poor experience of your company they can take to numerous...

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Conscious of Unconscious Bias In The Workplace

Conscious of Unconscious Bias In The Workplace

Whether we recognise it or not, everyone brings some form of bias into the workplace, but tackling unconscious bias – that which we are unaware of - is particularly tricky as it’s neither visible nor deliberate. Claire McKee from Clarendon Executive looks at how how unconscious bias goes much deeper than just recruitment, impacting almost every facet of organisational decision-making and the employee lifecycle, and says businesses have a responsibility to address and control such bias if there’s any genuine chance of improving the diversity and inclusivity of our workplaces.

Diversity and inclusion rank high on the agenda of many employers, and rightly so. Not only is there an undisputed moral argument for diversity, there is also ample evidence proving the business case for diversity - more diverse businesses are more successful and profitable. The reasons for...

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Work Life Balance

Work Life Balance

The first series of the HR bite-size podcast is brought to you by Legal Island in association with Clarendon Executive.

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Change Management

Change Management

The first series of the HR bite-size podcast is brought to you by Legal Island in association with Clarendon Executive.

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The Business of Corporate Wellness

The Business of Corporate Wellness

‘Corporate Wellness’ has become big business in recent years – health and productivity being inextricably linked – but there is a changing emphasis away from the purely physical wellbeing of employees to also include their mental and financial health, as well as a greater appreciation of the strategic impact of wellness programmes on corporate brand and culture. Mairéad Regan from Clarendon Executive looks at how corporate or workplace wellness initiatives have evolved over time, why they are so important and how your organisation can ensure its programmes are fit for purpose.

The saying goes that “Health is Wealth” - this is of course not lost on businesses but as employee wellbeing rises higher up the corporate agenda, there has been a gradual shift in terms of both employees and employers increasing awareness of health as a contributor, not just to productivity...

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Making A Success of Succession Planning

Making A Success of Succession Planning

Succession planning is as important for risk mitigation as it is for talent development. Why then are so many businesses, large and small, ill-prepared when it comes to addressing their future leadership needs? Joanne McAuley from Clarendon Executive looks at some of the considerations for HR professionals in ensuring their organisations have an adequate succession framework in place and are fit for purpose as they grow, change and develop.

Often, and understandably, the succession planning process falls far down a company’s list of priorities, but all businesses need to be ready to respond to a departure of talent, both planned (i.e. retirements) and unplanned (e.g. career changes). No matter the size of your business, it’s...

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