More false claims on CVs

Over the last year there has been a sizeable increase in the number of false claims made on CVs according to studies by Candidate Health Check. The research, analysed quarterly, found that 37% of CVs contain incorrect information about a number of education-related details, which is a 36% increase from last year. Just over half of candidates’ CVs contain at least one error, with 33% of inaccuracies about employment history.

Minor mistakes to do with dates are often made innocently, however false claims concerning grades, courses and previous jobs are more often calculated risks with candidates relying on employers not checking.                               DP

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Bonuses dropping

Company directors’ bonuses have dropped by a quarter over the past year, according to annual salary data from The National Management Survey. Furthermore, the proportion of directors receiving bonuses has declined, from 85% in 2008, to 53% this year. The numbers for executives across all levels, not just directors, is down to 36% from 59%.

However, it appears the culture of bonus-heavy pay is alive and well in certain sectors and for managers on average it makes up 14.5% of their salary, jumping to 34.5% for company directors, providing a nice top-up to the most successful on the upper rungs of the corporate ladder.              

Zero hours contracts

There has been a considerable increase in the number of workers on zero-hour contracts, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. The survey concludes that 1.4 million zero-hour contracts are in use in the UK. This is significantly more than the 583,000, equivalent to 2% of the workforce, said to be on the contracts by the Labour Force Survey at the start of the year.

The conclusions being drawn from these findings vary. It could mean the recent drop in unemployment is a result of employers taking on more staff on zero-hour contracts, which will boost employment figures but in many cases is not the kind of stable employment many people are looking for. Another theory is some workers are on more than one zero-hour contract, which could mean the contracts are providing the requisite flexibility for some. However, the other side of that is workers are taking on multiple contracts through necessity as they aren’t able to make enough money on one contract.   DP

Confidence shaken as housing market overheats

Public confidence in the UK economy has stalled in recent months, figures from the latest CISI survey suggest. Although the economy has returned to pre-recession levels, optimism has dropped slightly since autumn 2013. From the 600 participants in the online survey there were 60% more optimistic about the economy than three months ago. However, the results from the same survey conducted in autumn 2013, showed 61% of respondents were optimistic. The biannual survey results chart a 30% increase from spring 2013 to autumn 2013 followed by a 1% drop in spring 2014. Although there is growth in the economy optimism has been tempered by participant’s concerns over the housing market overheating.     DP

MINT

The MINT developing economies (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey) possess promising aspects for investors and have been heralded and criticised in equal measure with the countries themselves at various stages of a transition into the global economy.

Mexico is hoping to attract foreign investors and so is looking to improve competitiveness through regulation. The challenge is in the labour market which requires greater flexibility to balance out vested interest.  

The Indonesian economy has picked up over the last few months powered by exports growing 10% year on year. The government has sought to protect local producers from foreign competition but this policy of protectionism may hamper growth in the future and limit economic integration on a wider scale.   

Moving on to Nigeria, the negatives appear obvious with the recent actions and inactions of Boko Haram and the government respectively presenting a reminder of the tensions and lawlessness in parts of the region. There are aspects of the economy which make it attractive such as an abundance of land and minerals as well as cheap labour. However, this is countered by an unstructured labour market with no real regulation.  

Turkey, recently in the spotlight as the scene of the Soma mining disaster, has had to confront questions over health and safety following the country’s worst industrial disaster. The government has also faced criticism for links to the mining company and for failing to enforce safety regulations. In terms of the economy, the government is balancing the need for growth and greater integration whilst preserving the Islamic integrity of Turkey.   DP

Labour to increase Minimum Wage

cartoonLabour leader, Ed Miliband, has announced he will increase the minimum wage if Labour wins the next general election. Miliband said his party would introduce a statutory minimum wage linked to average hourly earnings.

The exact hourly rate is yet to be revealed but the pledge comes as part of Labour’s plan to tackle low pay in the UK. The current minimum wage, set to increase from £6.31 to £6.50 an hour in October, was recommended by the Low Pay Commission (LPC) but criticised by unions who claimed the LPC bowed to commercial pressures. However, Employer-led groups have raised concerns a minimum wage set too high could undermine economic growth and impact job creation.

Duncan Proctor

Appraisals kick-start the Flight Mechanism

Annual appraisals don’t work, according to Lucy Adams, the former HR director at the BBC. Instead they strike fear into employees, leave them feeling threatened and their status challenged. She added that the assertion of appraisals increasing productivity was a myth. This was not just a parting shot from a former employee of the corporation but a view backed by neurological research. According to Adams, the appraisal process kick-starts the flight mechanism in the brain making workers less effective. The recruiters Badenoch & Clark conducted a survey in 2012 which concluded more than a third of workers thought appraisals were simply a token exercise. All in all appreciation for the appraisal process appears hard to come by from managers and employees alike.

Another more frequent criticism of the BBC in recent years has been the lack of leadership within the hierarchy and Adams believes a better focus would be on leadership capability and ensuring managers know their team and create their own reward framework to get the most out of people.

Following the departure of Lucy Adams, the BBC announced Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth, currently HR director at Amey, will replace Adams in August.   DP