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HR Zone Any Answers Digest #2 – Head-hunters, absence, pregnancy, development centre


HRZONE Any Answers Digest – Issue 2
Tuesday 05 March 2002

********** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS **********
Absence meetings… Head-hunters… Development centres…
organisation charts… Pregnancy … Assessing ICT skills
********** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS ***** THIS WEEK’S TOPICS **********

The first edition of the HR Zone Any Answers Digest went down
very well, so here’s the second! To pose a question to the
community, or to offer an answer, go to:

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New questions this fortnight include:

What do you call an absence meeting to avoid negative
implications? asks Jennifer Fotheringham

Where can I find examples of HR excellence at change management?
asks Alun Jones

Any suggestions on dealing with difficult people and passing on
bad news? asks Peter Welch

Should a woman inform a prospective employer that she is
pregnant? asks Lorna Bains

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Featured question: Head-hunting

Q – Head-hunting is one of the most costly recruitment solutions
with headhunters charging high fees. How may this cost be
justified and is it really value for money? Head-hunters can be
very conservative and fit people into pre-conceived slots how
does this affect the retention levels and job satisfaction? What
are the ethical views on head-hunting?

Eleanor Freret

Members responses

(Edited responses appear – see the site for the full response)

You need to allow the head hunter time
and opportunity to fully understand your business and
requirements you have for the role/person. This will be the key
to success and could include things like allowing the head-
hunter to join your induction programme, shadow other members of
staff, etc. Whilst they are costly (in cash terms) they can save
you a lot of time by doing all the ‘leg work’ for you – and we
all know how valuable time is.

Beverley Hilton


If you are going to use a head-hunter make sure that the
person selling the service is the same one who is going to
deliver it. Make sure that they can deliver what you are looking
for, any good head-hunter will give you access to other clients
for a no-holds reference. Set the terms so that payment is
rewards-based, you have to pay a retainer to get the process
started, but you don’t need to pay shortlist fees for example.
Get a weekly report on progress from the headhunter to insure
that if a problem has arisen you can both fix it. In general
head-hunting is something that needs to be done when you have a
specific need; it is only successful if everyone involved is
fully committed, it requires time and effort to deliver the

Ian Wood

To see all the responses to this question in full, go to:

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Questions answered this fortnight include:

Q – I am working on a Development Centre for middle and senior
managers and am interested in suggestions for tools or
questionaires to use. I am especially interested in any
experience with different ‘personality profiles’.
Lisbeth Ware

A – Ben Keayes says: Do you want to develop or to assess? If
development is the priority, I would strongly recommend the
Strength Deployment Inventory as the best tool for self analysis
and application back at work.

To see all the responses to this question in full, go to:


Q – My company is going through a period of change management and
wants to update its organisation charts to show a more pictorial,
team-working element rather than the hierarchical option showing
management levels. Any advice, hints or guidance most welcome.
Donna Clark

A – Cathy Cox says: Writing a consultation document detailing
the current situation the impact of a changing environment, the
options available and the preferred option, as to how the
organisation intends to react to changes helps to focus the

A – Douglas King suggests: Why not get each team involved by
asking them to design an ‘Icon’ for their department/team?

To see all the responses to this question in full, go to:

We wouldn’t have Any Answers without everyone’s generosity with
their knowledge and experience, not to mention with their
problems and queries! Join in now, at

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Tel:+44 (0)117 915 9600 Fax:+44 (0)117 915 9630 ISSN 1474-2225

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