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When a company employs new staff, they are taken on (U.K.) or hired (U.S.). When these employees then decide to leave, they resign or hand in their notice/resignation.
When employees have to leave because they did something wrong, they are dismissed or their contracts are terminated. More informally, they are sacked (U.K.) or fired (U.S.). If they have to leave because a company can no longer employ them (e.g. due to bankruptcy or downsizing), the employee is made redundant (U.K.), let go (U.S.), or even offered early retirement.
When an employee is laid off (to lay off), it is usually only temporary (for a season or because of a drop in production) but sometimes it can be permanent [1, p. 19].
Selection proceduresDagmar Schmidt is the head of recruitment at a German telecommunications company. She talks about the selection process, the methods that the company to recruit people:
'We.advertise in national newspapers. We look at the backgrounds of applicants: their experience of different jobs and their educational qualifications. We don't ask for handwritten letters of application as people usually apply by entail; handwriting analysis belongs to die 19th century.
We invite the most interesting candidates to a group discussion. Then we have individual interviews with each candidate. We also ask the candidates to do written psychometric tests to assess their intelligence and personality.
After this, we shortlist three or four candidates. We check their references by writing to their referees: previous employers or teachers that candidates have named in their applications. If the references are OK, we ask the candidates to come back for more interviews. Finally, we offer the job to someone, and if they turn it down we have to think again. If they accept it, we hire them. We only appoint someone if we find the right person.' [3, p.14].
Sort the following Interview strategies into a logical order.
a Establish rapport and relax the candidate.
b Read the candidate's application and have it with you at the interview.
e Use open questions as much as possible to ensure the candidate gives detailed answers.
d Allow the candidate to do most of the talking but keep the interview focused.
e Before finishing the interview, explain what will happen next and by when.
f Use a quiet office away from noise and interruptions.
g Welcome the applicant warmly, introduce yourself, and explain the structure of the interview clearly.
h Allow the candidate time for his or her own questions [1, p. 19].
Look at the person specification below. It is for training manager?s position. Work to decide where the section headings go.
* Additional information
* Skills and qualities needed for job
* Desirable skills
* Personal style / behaviour
* Previous experience
* Qualifications / training
Training Manager - U.K.
Educated to degree level or equivalent experience
Institute of Training certificate
Language skills in French and German an advantage
At least five years' experience in a leadership/managerial training role in an IT or
a high-tech company
Member of recognized training organization(s)
Applicants must be able to demonstrate success in the following areas:
Team building and ability to motivate staff creativity:
a) to identify future training needs
b) to design materials and manuals
c) to design and carry out training programmes
Preparation and implementation of training budgets and audits
Monitor staff performance throughout the organization
Maintain open lines of communication on all training issues with managers and Board
Sound IT experience and knowledge of all general software programs
Customer care and quality management experience
Proven interpersonal skills
Ability to communicate at all levels of the organisation
Active decision-maker able to work on own initiative
Intercultural awareness and sensitivity
Must be mobile and able to travel on a weekly basis.
This is a progressive role with opportunities for promotion in the U.S. or Europe.
Establishing rapport and relaxing the candidate
It's nice to welcome you here and I hope you'll enjoy the interview.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
I'm going to start by... and then we'll talk about....
Finally, we can deal with any points you would like to raise.
The language of interview questioning
Look at the type of questions. These are known as open questions and usually avoid yes and no answers. Below are some examples of the way you can word your interview question's to get people talking about themselves and their experience.
What aspect of your job do you like best?
What do you know about... ?
What experience have you had of...?
What exactly do you mean by ...?
How do you go about dealing with... ?
How would you handle... ?
Why do you want to leave your present job?
Why did you deal with the situation in that way?
I'd like you to tell me...
Could you give me an example of... ?
Interesting. What else do you ... ?
Could you tell me some more about...?
Could you enlarge on that?
Stages of team life
The typical team goes through a series of stages:
a forming: the group is anxious and feels dependent on a leader; the group tries to discover how it is going to operate and what the 'normal' ways of working will be
b storming: the atmosphere may be one of conflict between members who may resist control from any one person; there may be the feeling that the task cannot he achieved
c norming: at this stage, members of the group feel closer together and the conflicts are forgotten; members of the group will start to support each other; there is increasingly the feeling that it is possible to achieve the task
d performing: the group is carrying out the task for which it was formed; members feel safe enough to express differences of opinion in relation to others
e mourning: the group's work is finished, and its members begin to have pleasant memories of their activities and achievements.
Meredith Belbin has identified these types of team members or team players:
a the implementer, who converts the team's plan into something achievable
b the co-ordinator, a confident member who sets objectives and defines team members' roles
c the shaper, who defines issues, shapes ideas and leads the action
d the plant, a creative and imaginative person who supplies original ideas and solves problems
e the resource investigator, who communicates with the outside world and explores opportunities
f the monitor evaluator, who sees all the possibilities, evaluates situations objectively, and sees what is realistically achievable
g the teamworker, who builds the team, supports others and reduces conflict
h the completer, who meets deadlines, corrects mistakes and makes sure nothing is forgotten.
Look at the types of team members in B opposite and say if these statements are true or false.
1 Implementers are not interested in final results.
2 Co-ordinators tend to take a leading, organizing role.
3 Shapers tend to follow what other people say.
4 Plants can be useful in providing new ideas when the team has run out of steam.
5 Some resource investigators might love using the Internet.
6 Monitor evaluators are not good at seeing all sides of a problem.
7 Teamworkers may help to defuse arguments between member.
8 Completers are bad at finishing things on time [4, p.8-9].
Benefits: Increasing complexity of choose-it-yourself systemby Gill Plimmer
A popular television quiz show gives contestants a choice: 'Take the money or open the box'. If they choose the money, they know exactly what they will receive. If they open the box, the result is unpredictable, but they might win a valuable collection of cash, cars and fridges. This is the kind of deci?sion employees are forced to make today. Should they reject the car in favour of private medical insurance or a larger salary?
Although companies used to offer straightforward perks, such as company cars or extra holidays, a growing number are introducing flexible schemes that enable staff to decide their own mix of cash and benefits in kind. These can account for as much as 20 per cent of total remuneration.
Through these schemes, staff select benefits that most suit their lifestyle. Some employees want help with child-care: others just want cash. Employees can negotiate everything from life assurance to pensions to an extra few weeks off, picking from a menu of options that can be 'bought' or 'sold' using a flex fund (flexible fund) that represents a percentage of their salary.
For employers in competitive industries, this can be a means of attracting, recruiting and retaining the best staff. 'Consumerism is stronger than it used to be, and there's some evidence that people expect choice,' says Peter Reilly of the Institute of Employment Studies. While flexible benefit schemes are on the increase, they tend to be more popular with large private-sector firms, typically with more than 1,000 employees. However, there are signs that smaller companies are adopting flexible benefits, as improvements to technology make them easier and cheaper to establish.
Despite their attraction, there are some drawbacks, particularly for employees. Charles Cotton of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development points out that the rise in flexibility has been accompanied by a reduction in the sums paid by employers. 'Flexible benefits schemes often fix the amount given to the employee. So, if the costs of your car or private medical scheme go up, the employee has to pay the extra, 'he says. 'There's a much larger risk than there used to be, and most of it is carried by employees.'
In general, however, organizations are introducing a wider range of benefits, whether or not they have a flexible scheme in place. While some items, such as company cars and medical benefits, are going out of fashion, others are taking their place such as workplace nurseries. The most popular ones are those that corns with tax and administrative incentives. Loans for cycles and com?puters have become widespread, as have childcare vouchers. Another trend is for employers to negotiate package deals on behalf of employees, such as cheap insurance. 'It's a way of expanding the purchasing power of employees at minimal cost to the organisation,' says Mr Cotton.
There is no doubt the perks on offer are changing. But employees will have to fight to get the best deal from the money or the box.
Read the article again and answer these questions.
1 How are flexible benefit schemes similar to the way prizes are awarded on a television quiz show?
2 What percentage of an employee's total remuneration can flexible benefits represent?
3 What can employees do with a flex fund?
4 Why is it important for employers in competitive industries to offer a wide range of benefits?
5 How have technological advances helped smaller companies to introduce flexible benefits?
6 How does the design of many flexible benefits schemes lead to a greater risk for the employee?
7 What can employers do to increase the purchasing power of their employees?
1. Pat Pladger English for Human Resources Express series // Oxford University Press. - 80 p.
2. Sara Helm and Rebecca Utteridge Market Leader Business EnglishHuman Resources. - 96 p.
3. Bill Mascull. Business Vocabulary in Use. Intermediate // Cambridge University Press. - 172 p.
4. Bill Mascull. Business Vocabulary in Use. Advanced // Cambridge University Press. - 133 p.