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Top HR Zone stories in 2007


What a year

It has been quite a year for us here on HR Zone. From employee references to implementing the smoking ban; from change management to talent management, it’s all been written about – and commented on – here. So, as 2007 comes to an end, Lucie Benson looks back at the 10 most popular articles featured on the site this year.

employee reference 1. Can an employer give a bad reference?
The most popular story of 2007 caused quite a stir amongst many of you. The article advises employers to tread carefully when it comes to writing an employee reference. What are your thoughts?

“It is important that employers do not ‘churn out’ a reference on a whim, but should speak to the line manager of the employee before praising an incompetent employee he or she knows nothing about, or denigrating the class star,” warns barrister Charles Price. Read the story

Bank holidays 2. Legislation update: Part-time workers miss out on bank holidays
The monthly legislation updates on the site have been well-read by members this year. This one proved to be the most popular of the lot.

Georgina Folkes, solicitor at Withy King, explains the legal issues surrounding part time employees and bank holidays. Read the story

Photo of a baby monkey3. Put your baby in a zoo: discrimination and working mothers
One of the top HR stories of recent times is the issue of women who juggle both work and a career, and what employers are doing to facilitate this. So are working mothers given a raw deal? This article examines the current situation.

Weirdly, despite the fact that many children would fit nicely into a zoo, people still choose to have them and, according to a new report, employers continue to discriminate against women who opt to have both a family and a career. Read the story

4. Change management – why is it so difficult to get right?
This article, published on HR Zone back in February, addressed the ongoing issue of change management, and included an example of a change programme gone wrong.

To welcome change, we need to understand why we will benefit from the development and how to manage it. Bettina Pickering of PA Consulting Group explains the key factors of change management. Read the story

Ask the expert5. Ask the expert: Employee unwilling to work notice period
Our ‘Ask the Expert’ series continues to provide legal advice from our team of employment law specialists. This one handles the difficult situation of an employee who refuses to work their notice period.

An employee resigns but refuses to work their notice period. Can they be fired for breach of contract? Martin Brewer, partner and employment law specialist at Mills & Reeve, and Esther Smith, partner at Thomas Eggar, offer legal advice. Read the story

Smoking 6. Smoking 9 to 5: What a way to make a living
Smoking in the workplace was certainly a hot topic of 2007, with the implementation of the ban in July. This article – written before the ban – looks at whether employers should offer staff time off from work to quit smoking.

The NHS watchdog NICE recommends that employers give smokers paid time off work to kick the habit. Sarah Fletcher asks members of HR Zone whether this is as ‘nice’ as its name suggests or a rapid route to workplace mutiny. Read the story

Writing your CV7. Is there still a need for traditional CVs?
There appears to be quite a few of us Brits who ‘exaggerate the truth’ when it comes to our CVs. So how do employers deal with this situation? Should we do away with the CV altogether?

Whilst the CV forms the basis for much of the recruitment process, should we be looking into other options available to employers now, such as online recruitment and competency-based interviewing, given that many people are known to provide false information on their CV? Lucie Benson delves a little deeper. Read the story

Recruitment 8. Why qualifications don’t count
Recruitment is such an important issue within HR. This article explains how to find the best candidates for the job, by looking beyond their qualifications, to their personal values and beliefs.

Jan Hills, managing director of The Hills Consultancy, explains why values are more important than qualifications when recruiting. Read the story

Talking to staff 9. Talent management: Don’t dismiss, talk
This piece advises employers to ensure staff are challenged and stimulated at work to build a culture of high performers, and to make dismissal the very last resort.

You can’t help but secretly relish the moment when Alan Sugar delivers the immortal line “you’re fired” to the crest fallen entrepreneurs about to take the walk of shame on BBC Two’s The Apprentice. For anyone who has ever been in that situation though, taking the decision to dismiss an employee is rarely as simple or satisfying. Read the story

The board 10. A seat on the board – Is HR truly worthy?
The last entry in our top 10 HR stories of 2007 discusses the issue of whether HR can justify a boardroom seat.

Consensus in the profession is that HR is worthy of having a seat on the board, but many other functional heads don’t agree, argues Denis Barnard, director of consultancy HR Means Business. He asks, are we merely trying to create a bigger reward package and fancy title for ourselves, or does HR have a permanent and strategic place in the organisation? Read the story

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