Articles in Category: Opinion Pieces

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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‘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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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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Harnessing the Power of AI in recruitment

Harnessing the Power of AI in recruitment

Artificial Intelligence has become the buzzword for modern day business and indeed life. We have all witnessed AI increasingly disrupt industries – bookshops replaced by Amazon, music stores replaced by Spotify and the transport sector transformed by Uber. As it becomes more accessible, AI has the potential to transform every business and if your industry hasn’t been affected yet, it most probably will be. Emma Kieran from Clarendon Executive examines what this might mean for the future of the recruitment industry.

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t the future. It’s the present. And contrary to popular belief, AI isn’t just about robots – it’s becoming a routine tool requiring a level of human intelligence. Just think of smartphones, which can use AI to unlock themselves by scanning and...

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Coaching vs Mentoring: What’s best for you and your business’ development?

Coaching vs Mentoring: What’s best for you and your business’ development?

Mentoring and coaching are terms that frequently overlap and are sometimes – confusingly - used interchangeably in a workplace context. Whilst similarities exist, with both development approaches delivering tangible organisational benefits, there are some important distinctions. Mairéad Regan from Clarendon Executive examines the differences between the two management techniques and advises how to choose which is most suitable to your business and employee requirements.

There was a time when workplace coaching and mentoring schemes were the preserve of senior management, a ‘nice to have’ or a ‘perk’ rather than a mainstay professional development tool. Times have moved on fortunately, with both coaching and mentoring now more widely available and indeed...

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Managing challenging behaviours at the top

Managing challenging behaviours at the top

Most of us will, at some point in our career, have come across at least one difficult colleague or co-worker, and it goes with the territory as HR professionals to be able to appropriately deal with any potential conflicts or tensions arising from the actions of such individuals. But what happens when problem employees are at a senior level within the organisation, in a position of both power and influence? Below Joanne McAuley, from Clarendon Executive, explores what might constitute ‘difficult’ or ‘challenging’ behaviour from those in senior or managerial roles, and what steps HR can and must take to effectively manage such behaviour and fulfil a duty of care to employees.

We’ve all been there. Be it work, school or family gatherings, we’ve all found ourselves in situations where we have been forced to interact with people we find ‘difficult’. In our personal lives we can to some extent minimise such interactions, however in the workplace – with its...

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Questions to ask your recruitment firm

Questions to ask your recruitment firm

The start of a new year is a natural time for candidates to consider a change of job and for many businesses, as the financial year-end approaches, to review their headcount requirements. Below Joanne McAuley from Clarendon Executive suggests some questions HR departments might ask, and areas to explore, when deciding on which search firm is right for your organisation.

1. What is the firm’s track record? What sectors, positions and level of seniority do they focus on? Do they have expertise in your field? If they have a focus on your industry then they will likely have more connections to work with. If a firm has lots of experience with junior level...

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‘Don’t be soft’ - The importance of empathy in effective leadership

‘Don’t be soft’ - The importance of empathy in effective leadership

A much overlooked trait in leadership, the notion of empathy as a soft and non-essential skill is being increasingly challenged. Campaigners, such as Belinda Parmar, founder and CEO of Lady Geek, argue it should be seen as a “commercial tool that can be deployed in all aspects of business” and, far from being ‘soft’, empathy is in fact critical for competent leadership. In this article, Claire McKee from Clarendon Executive considers the meaning of empathy in a business leadership context, whether it’s a skill that can be learned, and offers some tips for developing it.

The Oxford Dictionary defines empathy as the “ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”  In a corporate environment, where empathy is sometimes confused with ‘being nice’, it might best be described as a neutral gathering tool used to create an environment of open...

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How HR Managers can advance their own careers

How HR Managers can advance their own careers

HR Managers are, by the very nature of their job, so busy and distracted looking after everyone else’s career that it can often be at the expense of their own. In this article, Joanne McAuley offers tips and guidance on how HR Managers can enhance their professional prospects, climb the corporate ladder and land that dream job.

An HR Director role is generally regarded as the zenith of an HR professional’s career, and the next logical step if you are currently in an HR management role. While fierce competition and the fact that HR managers will always outnumber directors means it can be difficult to secure such a...

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The Effectiveness of Employer Brand in the War for Talent

The Effectiveness of Employer Brand in the War for Talent

It is widely accepted that a company’s workforce represents one of its most significant competitive advantages. Attracting and retaining the right kind of talent is absolutely critical to a business’s ability to compete, grow and be successful. Joanne McAuley looks at the role a powerful employer brand plays in dominating the talent market and how HR professionals can use employer branding to recruit top-notch candidates.

An organisation will of course have a reputation in the market for its products and/or services – what it sells. But it also has a reputation as an employer. This reputation, or ‘employer branding’, has, and will likely continue to become, of magnified importance as the jobs market becomes...

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The Value of Workplace Mentoring

The Value of Workplace Mentoring

A recent American Society for Training and Development study found that 71% of Fortune 500 companies have some type of corporate mentorship programme and that 75% of their executives credit their mentors with helping them reach their current position. The rise of such schemes in today’s hyper-competitive economy suggests organisations believe it can help drive revenue and reduce costs. No longer an after-thought or “add-on” to corporate strategy, Joanne McAuley explores some of the increasingly recognised benefits of a structured workplace mentoring programme, no matter how simple or complex, and the issues to be considered when implementing such an initiative.

The concept of mentoring isn’t new – in Greek mythology, when Odysseus disappeared to fight the Trojan War and then went on his ten-year odyssey, he entrusted his friend, who was named Mentor, with the task of bringing up his son. Mentor did such a good job (with the help of goddess Athena)...

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