HR priorities put to the test

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HR priorities put to the test

More than one third of organisations taking part in a nationwide survey had neither written nor reviewed their harassment and discrimination policies in the past year, with small business being the major offender.

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More than one third of organisations taking part in a nationwide survey had neither written nor reviewed their harassment and discrimination policies in the past year, with small business being the major offender.

TMP Worldwide released its Job Index Survey for the November 2002 - January 2003 quarter at breakfasts around the country today. Some 5823 employers were surveyed in all states and territories, in small (fewer than 20 employees), medium (20-200 employees) and large businesses (more than 200 employees).

TMP's NSW general manager Andrew Staite told the Sydney breakfast a survey of current employment issues showed that while 52.4% of businesses had reviewed their harassment/discrimination policies over the past 12 months, and 12.5% had written such policies, 35.1% had done neither.

While small business was least likely to have done either of these, the government sector was most likely (64%).

Other issues: age bias, staff hires, training

Another question asked of those taking part in the survey was whether they believed an age bias still existed - 61% said yes, and that result was consistent across all states and territories, and regardless of the size of the business. Media employers were the most likely to believe this to be the case.

Staite said there were lessons to be learned from the responses on what percentage of staff hires came from employee referrals. Some 22% of companies said none of their staff hires came from employee recommendations, 56% of companies said they recruited between 1% and 25% this way, and 15% recruited 26% to 50% of their staff through employee recommendations.

Only 5% recruited between 51% and 75% of staff through employee referrals, and only 2% recruited between 76% and 100% this way. Not only did this mean many firms were spending a lot of money on recruitment when they didn't necessarily need to, but the situation for them was also unlikely to improve, with only 22.9% having an incentive plan in place to encourage such referrals.

Government was the least likely sector to recruit from staff recommendations, while IT, advertising and marketing were most likely to hire through internal word of mouth.

Training was another area where respondents indicated widely different manners of treatment. Some 25.1% of organisations said no staff had received training in the past 12 months, 32.7% had given training only to managers, 18.5% had trained contact officers and 23.7% trained non-managerial staff.

General findings

Overall, the survey found the 'hot jobs' for the next quarter lay in accounting and finance (with a 7.7% net effect in those anticipating an increase in current staffing levels), sales (7.2%), computer/IT (5.8%) and engineering (4.2%).

Industry-wise, the legal sector continued to have the most optimistic outlook for the fourth consecutive survey period, at 43.5%. Other industries with optimistic outlooks included engineering (35.4%) and the not-for-profit sector (29.3%).

Queensland employers were most optimistic about the next three months, with a net effect of 28.9%, well above the national average of 20.2% and up 8.1 percentage points from the same period last year. WA was close behind, on 27.9% but Victoria recorded the lowest figures, possibly because of the upcoming state election.

 
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