HIV – recruitment implications

Advances in treatment have seen enormous improvements in the quality of life and life expectancy for people living with HIV in the UK. However, annual HIV diagnoses still remain high at between 6,000 and 7,000 per annum. According to the CIPD, an estimated 100,000 people are living with (diagnosed and undiagnosed) HIV.

The legal position is that all individuals with HIV are protected from discrimination during recruitment and in the workplace under the Equality Act 2010.  HIV is always defined as a disability under the law. As such, protection against disability discrimination begins from the date of diagnosis, regardless of the impact HIV has on an individual’s life at the time of diagnosis.

Unfortunately, HIV remains a stigmatised condition and people living with HIV still face discrimination during the recruitment process. As an employer, it is important to ensure that the recruitment process is fair and based solely on ability to do the job.

Changes to legislation in the Equality Act 2010 mean that, except in very specific circumstances, it is now unlawful for employers to ask applicants about their HIV status or any other health questions before they have been offered a job. This includes medical questionnaires as part of an application or questions in interview.

The good news is that most people newly diagnosed with HIV, and on treatment, only need to take one or two pills a day, and the side-effects of treatment are far less serious than they used to be. For most people, HIV has no impact on their working life so they should be capable and competent employees.

Measuring the ROI of Coaching

Not only is coaching a fast-growing profession, the ways in which coaching is being used are growing. No longer is coaching only for executives, it’s becoming more common to see coaching used in other ways, such as a support to a new hire or a way to transfer learning to behaviour of job skills.  In spite of the wide acceptance of coaching, the challenge to demonstrate the benefit or return on investment (ROI) of coaching remains.

Lisa Ann Edwards of the Bloom Coaching Institute has developed a ROI Methodology (Measuring the Success of Coaching: A Step by Step Guide to Measuring Impact and Calculating ROI (ASTD Press, 2012).  The Guide sets out five levels of evaluation to consider in measuring the ROI of coaching:

Level 1: Reaction and Satisfaction – measuring the coachee’s satisfaction, reaction and planned reaction as a result of coaching.

Level 2: Learning – measuring the coachee’s change in knowledge, skill or attitude.

Level 3: Behaviour, Application and Implementation – measuring the coachee’s changes in on-the-job behaviour.

Level 4: Business Impact – measuring the link between behaviour (doing) and business impact (monetary)

Level 5: ROI – after all costs of the coaching, both direct and indirect, what was the return on investment?

Where has all the trust gone?

Recent CIPD research Where has all the trust gone? highlights a clear role for leaders in both building and more importantly restoring trust. This report highlights that leaders need to demonstrate that they are not “self-serving” but instead serving the needs of the whole organisation. The research also identifies the need for leaders to display enough of their personal integrity and humanity to enable people to choose to trust them. Possibly the problem that the last two banking crises has revealed is that people have trusted leaders too much.

Graduate vacancies set to rise in 2013

The number of graduate vacancies in the UK is set to grow by 9 per cent this year, according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR).  Total vacancies per employer are predicted to increase from an average of 98 in 2012 to 109 this year, found AGR’s latest bi-annual survey of 200 companies, who collectively employed nearly 20,000 graduates last year.  University leavers will also welcome the news that graduate starting salaries look likely to rise to £26,500 in 2013, up from £26,000 last year,  and £25,000 in the three years from 2009 to 2011.

“The results indicate a renewed level of optimism among organisations for the year ahead,” said Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the AGR.  “With the graduate job market inextricably linked to business confidence, it is reassuring to see that employers are committed to investing in graduate talent despite the backdrop of continuing global economic uncertainty.”

Un-SMART objectives?

Done your appraisal reviews and personal goal setting for 2013 yet?  Got your five SMART objectives for yourself and all your team?  Well don’t.  For the evidence is mounting that the downsides of over-prescriptive goal-setting outweigh the potential benefits.

Professor Max Bazerman, reporting on recent Harvard University research, records the negative effects of the SMART process which many of us will have witnessed, including “a narrow focus that neglects non-goal areas, a rise in unethical behaviour, distorted risk preferences, corrosion of organizational culture, and reduced intrinsic motivation”.  The researchers’ conclusion is that “rather than dispensing goal setting as a benign, over-the-counter treatment for motivation, managers and scholars need to conceptualize goal setting as a prescription-strength medication that requires careful dosing, consideration of harmful side effects, and close supervision”.