Did Mercedes Recruit Someone Worth Recruiting?

Article by Andrew Benson BBC

Lewis Hamilton says winning his second world title is the start of “something special” for himself and Mercedes.

He joined Mercedes in 2013 after non-executive chairman Niki Lauda promised they would make him world champion.

After winning Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to clinch the title, Hamilton, 29, said: “I wanted to be part of something building and growing.
“I feel this is just the beginning. What this team has put together is something incredibly special.”

Hamilton won the title by 67 points after a tense season-long battle with team-mate Nico Rosberg.

He is one of seven men to win the championship twice, leaving him one behind three-time victors Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Jackie Stewart, Lauda, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna.

Alain Prost and Sebastian Vettel are the only four-time winners, Juan Manuel Fangio has five, while Michael Schumacher leads the way with seven.

Hamilton continued: “We’ve got great people in their right positions and me and Nico will continue to push the team forward.

“As will the boss of Mercedes, who has been so committed and building the best engine. These guys know just as much as I do, it’s been phenomenal this year.
“It’s really important the steps we take moving forwards to continue improving and I 100% believe the team will do that.”

Team-mate Rosberg signed a new contract with Mercedes until at least the end of 2016 in May this year, while Hamilton has a contract with Mercedes until the end of next year.
He and the team delayed negotiations over a new deal until the title had been decided so Hamilton could concentrate on his racing.

Mercedes F1 boss Toto Wolff has said they will sit down in the coming days and discuss the new deal and both Stevenage-born Hamilton and his team expect to continue together into a new contract.

Hamilton said: “I definitely don’t feel I am looking for a new challenge. We have a year to go, so there’s no particular rush but this is my home and I’m very happy here.”

Mercedes non-executive chairman Lauda added: “I asked him to leave McLaren and come to Mercedes and he said ‘when are we going to be competitive’. I said I could guarantee him a world championship and in the second year here it is.
“We are going to do this [contract] in the next two weeks. He’s happy, we’re happy, I don’t see any issues.”

Read the original article here 

When Employees Take The Festive Fun Too Far…

Article by Recruitment International

The Christmas adverts are on the telly, lists of ‘must-have’ presents are being compiled and carols will soon accompany shoppers on their travails, but as the works Christmas party looms, it is important organisations don’t get too caught up in the festive spirit.

Abigail Halcarz, employment lawyer at leading UK law firm SGH Martineau warns: “Whilst no-one wants to play the Grinch, it is worth reminding organisations that the Christmas party is essentially just an extension of the workplace; employers should be prepared in advance and protect themselves from unnecessary employment issues following the event.

“From an employment law perspective, although the party may take place outside of the workplace and out of normal office hours, there remains the risk that an employer will be liable for the actions of its staff.

“Most concerning from an employer’s perspective, is the potential liability for acts of discrimination or harassment by its staff. At a Christmas party, where employees can easily forget work and get carried away with the atmosphere, many will say and do things they would not normally consider doing.

“The most likely form of discrimination or harassment to be witnessed at a Christmas party is sexual, but the discrimination or harassment could be on a number of other prohibited grounds, including race, age and sexual orientation – we can all imagine the scenario.

“Other types of inappropriate behaviour are just as common, such as drink-fuelled aggression directed at colleagues or indeed senior management, often resulting from the releasing of tensions that may have built up over long periods of time in the workplace.

“Such behaviour could lead to claims for potentially unlimited compensation against both the employer and the employee responsible. The time and effort required by management in dealing with any grievance and/or disciplinary issues arising from any such incident, should also not be forgotten.

“Incidents such as these are unfortunately all too common and every January, employment lawyers will be inundated with calls from clients that begin: “There was an unfortunate event at our Christmas party…”. To lessen the risk of being that client, employers should firstly recognise the potential for problems and take the following steps:

• Invites should go to everyone, including those on family-related leave, or absent through illness or injury, as not doing so might result in claims of discrimination;
• When employees can bring partners, do not discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation and assume all partners will be of the opposite sex;
• Ensure that you have an equal opportunities/anti-harassment policy in place;
• Shortly before the Christmas party, remind employees of the existence of the policy and confirm that it applies equally to business events outside of the workplace and outside of office hours;
• Tell employees to enjoy themselves and have a good time, but remind them that inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated and could result in disciplinary action;
• If hired entertainers tell racist, sexist or offensive jokes and the employer does not fulfil its duty to protect employees from this unwanted conduct, it could be liable for harassment claims;
• Consider limiting the bar tab. Arguably it is irresponsible to provide limitless quantities of free alcohol to staff and a limitless free bar would not assist in defending any legal action resulting from an act carried out by a member of staff that was aggravated by alcohol consumption;
• Consider appointing a senior, responsible employee to stay sober, monitor behaviour and step in if necessary.

Christmas Gifts with a hidden agenda…

Given the inevitable gifts and invitations to other organisations’ Christmas festivities it is important for employers to be mindful of their potential liability under the Bribery Act 2010. The failure to prevent bribery and corruption is a strict liability and the only defence is if the employer can show that it has ‘adequate procedures’ in place to prevent bribery and corruption.

All organisations, irrespective of their size, should have policies in place and employees should be reminded of what is and isn’t acceptable. Liability arises from both offering and receiving bribes. Reasonable gifts and hospitality, such as a bottle of wine or an invitation to dinner should not raise too much concern, but if employees are whisked away on a private jet, sipping champagne to meet Father Christmas in Lapland, questions may need to be asked!

You can read the original article here 

Two Simple Ways to Help Overcome the Challenges of the IT Skills Shortage

Two simple ways to help overcome the challenges of the IT skills shortage

It is clear that CIO’s are operating in an extremely challenging environment and the role has never been more important than it is right now.  IT has a crucial role to play in the UK’s continued growth and with the worst of the budget cuts now behind most IT departments, the focus again is on the IT skills shortage.

We are all so heavily reliant on technology and whilst 80% of IT spend is still focussed on “keeping the lights on” to simply sustain some form of business growth it has been reported by Deloitte that only 58% of budget allocation within IT is for BAU and 42% for change and growth.  This is great news for those CIO’s with an appetite to drive this area but with IT project delays frequently reported in the news and  IT request backlogs growing at a rate of 10 to 20% per year, having the right team on board to help develop and deliver new capabilities is one of the highest priorities for CIO’s.

The report also highlighted the IT priorities for the next 12-18 months:

– 82% support new business needs
– 56% drive digital strategy
– 56% reduce IT cost
– 53% consolidate infrastructure
– 52% maintain IT operations
– 52% strengthen risk and security
– 49% develop skills
– 44% restructure IT operating model
– 29% develop sourcing strategy
– 12% increase offshoring

The impact of the recession has seen businesses being slow to hire and train and as a result, we are not developing our technical skills at the same pace as pre-recession.  Over half of CIO’s are experiencing difficulties when looking for business-centric IT professionals who not only have the necessary skill set but can also think strategically and communicate effectively.  According to a recent survey by CBI, 39% of companies are now struggling to attract workers with advanced STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) skills and 41% expect this issue to continue for the next 3 years.  More surprisingly, it also reported that 66% of UK employers are not satisfied with basic IT skills in their workforce.  On top of that, the European Commission predicts that the UK will need an additional 500,000 IT professionals by 2015!  Recruiting and retaining IT superstars is no easy task for any CIO.

So what can you do about it?

In a reported conducted by City AM, the average salary for technology jobs in the London area rose by a staggering 26% in the last 12 months, with the average topping £48k (£38k nationally) and according to CareerBuilder/EMSI, a third of UK businesses plan to hire full-time employees in 2014, with software professional vacancies expecting to increase by 3.1% to 325,500 jobs and ITC Managers by 3.6% to 326,429 jobs.  Are we set to see average salaries rising even further as companies try to attract the talent they need to prosper?

But those of you who read last week’s newsletter will know that attracting and retaining is not all about salary.  Over 40% of respondents to the Deloitte survey are redesigning IT roles and structures and providing access to cutting edge IT projects to help make their role the more attractive career choice.

Here at Langley James, we are seeing companies offering profit share, performance related bonus, blue sky thinking time, time for training and development and even “free pizza Friday’s” in an attempt to attract the best of the best.

Personal development with tailored training and project opportunities are key to attracting and retaining the right talent so it’s quite surprising to hear that only 12% of CIO’s are offering opportunities on projects outside the IT function – are you missing an opportunity to attract and retain talent?

Here at Langley James, we are passionate about recruiting – that’s why we do it!  We love getting to know you and getting to know our candidates resulting in the right person for the right role; something we have done over 3,000 times in the last 15 years.  We are experts at attracting the best calibre of candidate for your role, not just skills wise, but that all important personality and business skills too.

To discuss your IT recruitment needs please call us on 0207 099 4839 or email us: langleyjames@langleyjames.com.