Human Resources|Int|26. Test your HR skills


Read the quote. Say whether you agree or disagree with it and why. Then discuss the questions below

«Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.»

— Richard Branson

• Does your company often train the employees?
• How does the management test the result of the trainings?
• How do you feel about the test? Do you feel nervous?
• What would you recommend a person who is about to pass a test?

Watch the video and choose the correct options

Rick Hansen Foundation

The Rick Hansen Foundation was established in 1988, following the completion of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, to continue raising funds and awareness to create a world without barriers for people with disabilities.

a jack of all trades — someone who can do many types of work

Every team member has a unique set of needs, and for this career communication is the key to success. Today, we’re going to talk to someone, whose job means being a great leader. Let’s meet a Human Resources manager.

Viviana Clara

Viviana: Hi, I’m Viviana!
Clara: Hi, I’m Clara, welcome to Rick Hansen Foundation.
Viviana: Thank you!
Clara: Why don’t I show you around?
Viviana: Yeah, for sure!
Clara: I’m Clara, I’m a Human Resources manager for the Rick Hansen Foundation in Vancouver. An HR-manager is the person that looks after the people and the people processes. Every HR-generalist would look after recruitment and selection, payroll management, performance management and teaching leaders to be better leaders. There will be difficult conversations or sensitive situations, and I would recommend solutions or coaching ideas to managers of how to deal with a specific situation. The main difference between an HR-manager and an HR-specialist is that an HR-specialist focuses on a specific HR discipline. An HR-manager, for example, is a jack of all trades. And I have a wide range of knowledge on all of the HR-disciplines.
Viviana: So this looks like a very spacious, wide-open work environment.
Clara: Yes, we are really proud of our accessible office. We’re making sure that we have enough space for people to move around, who are in wheelchairs, and anybody that would need additional accommodations, we ensure that we have that space, that we can provide for people who need it.
Viviana: Wonderful.
Clara: What attracted me to this position, was I saw that the Rick Hansen Foundation was looking for Human Resources manager. The Rick Hansen Foundation is all about creating awareness to people with disabilities. And with myself being hearing-impaired, I was immediately connected to the cause. My working hours are from 8:30 to 4:30, and also that depends on what industry you’re working in. We ensure that we have work-life balance for our employees, and we also have flexible hours, so you would have people who would come in a little bit later and then work a little bit later. Sometimes you will have people, who work from home.
Viviana: So, thank you, all of you, for coming here today. Uhm, today we’re going to be covering, uhm, performance management.
Clara: You are going to be in contact with people on a daily basis; and your verbal communication and presentation skills are really important, because you want people to walk away knowing what you talked about when you were training. If you want to become a human resources manager, typically, you would need to have a Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources. In my case, I have a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology. There are also other designations, which you can follow to increase your education. You could write the CHRP exam. CHRP stands for Certified Human Resources Professional.
Viviana: Clara, what are we doing here in the boardroom today?
Clara: We are going to be conducting a final interview. Typically, when we bring a candidate in for a final interview, part of the panel will always be an HR person.
Viviana: So, in terms of the interview, we’re going to be asking you some questions and then at the end of the interview, you would get an opportunity to ask us questions. Does that sound good?
Clara: When you provide guidance to an employee on their career, to see that person being promoted is just so rewarding, because you’ve spent time and energy, you’ve invested in this person – and they’ve taken that, and they’ve stepped up in their career. I would advise a young Human Resources professional to do your research on the different HR disciplines. You will know what resonates with you.
Viviana: Clara, thank you so much! I had a lot of fun with you today and I really feel like I understand what a Human Resources manager does.
Clara: Well, thanks so much for stopping by!
Viviana: Anytime! Once again, I’m Viviana for Career Trek, reminding you that this career could be yours. I’ll see you next time!

Total: _____ /5

Watch the video again and mark the statements True or False

____________ / 10

Listening total: ____________ / 15

Read the sentences about HR manager’s everyday activities and complete the gaps with the the words that mean the same as the phrases in bold

Vocabulary chase

___________ / 15

Read the text and fill in the gaps with the correct words

____________ / 10

Vocabulary total: __________ / 25

Read the text and mark the sentences below True or False


A company in the USA is paying its employees to sleep more. Staff at the insurance company Aetna will get $300 a year added to their salary if they get at least seven hours of sleep a night. That works out to just over an extra dollar for each night the employee sleeps over seven hours. The idea behind this scheme is employee performance. Human resources officials say employees will work better if they have slept well. They add that a workforce that is more awake and alert will mean the company will perform better. Staff can either record their sleep automatically using a wrist monitor that connects to Aetna’s computers, or manually record how long they have slept every night.

There are a number of studies that warn that not sleeping enough can affect our ability to do our job. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine said that the average worker in the USA loses 11.3 working days of productivity a year because of not getting enough sleep. This costs companies about $2,280 for one worker. It estimates that the US economy loses $63.2 billion a year because workers do not sleep more than seven hours a night. A 2015 study in Europe by the Rand Corporation found that staff who slept less than seven hours per night were far less productive than workers who had eight or more hours of sleep. The staff at Aetna also receive extra cash if they do exercise.

In the US alone, the average worker loses 11.3 working days or $2,280 (£1,700) of productivity per year due to sleep deprivation, according to a 2011 report by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. It calculates that this adds up to an annual loss of $63.2 bn for the US economy.

___________ / 5

Read the text again and choose the correct option

____________ / 10

Reading total: _________ / 15


Choose the category you want to talk about and prepare a 3-minute talk

You are a senior HR manager. You have recently taken a trainee for a position of a junior HR manager. Your task will be to give the trainee all the details of the recruitment process. Read the following questions and prepare to answer them.

• How many parts are there in the job description?
• What is a person specification? What does it consist of?
• What are the most famous recruitment sources?
• How to identify a good candidate using only a CV?
• How to invite a person for an interview?
• What should be said and what questions are to be asked during an interview?
• How to write an offer letter? A rejection letter?
• What terms and conditions are discussed during the last interview?

• As a member of the remuneration committee, you are going to make a speech in front of your colleagues about new childcare facilities for your company. You personally think childcare facilities for both male and female staff are the most essential benefit to offer. (You have two children aged two and six years, and your partner is currently on maternity/paternity leave for one year.) So far only one man has taken paternity leave in your company and there are a number of female colleagues who are under extreme stress because they can’t find reliable childcare they can afford.

• Decide what recommendations you would like to make exactly and prepare some suggestions for childcare issues to present at the meeting. Explain why this benefit is better than, for instance, bonuses for the employees or more space for parking.

Read the information about your new company and give ideas on how to improve it

A small chain of clothes shops is discussing the possibility of growth and development. Now there are about 50 people working for the company. They all have salaries on a standard market level. The company wants to do something to motivate the staff to work better and find new employees to enlarge the number of shops. They want to have a benefit plan for future as well.

They are also thinking of outsourcing the clothes production overseas.

Give your ideas on what the company should do.

Speaking total: ____________ / 15


Choose the category you want to write about and write your answer in the text area below

Job description and person specification

You need to find a new employee for a position of a sales manager (IT worker/ office manager). Write the job description and person specification for the job

Job advertisement

You need to find a new employee for a position of a sales manager (IT worker / office manager). Write a job advert for the head hunting website.

Staff-satisfaction survey

It’s time to analyse your worker’s annual job satisfaction. Write 10 closed and 5 open questions to get feedback from your employees

Writing total: __________ 10

Read the article and select the correct option


Career-minded people know that having a wide circle of friends can be a good thing in the job market. Now employers are benefiting from the address books of their employees by rewarding those who talent-spot for the company.

Almost half of UK employers offer staff an incentive to get friends and associates to make job applications, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development in the UK. Also on the increase are programmes, which encourage former employees to feed back recruitment leads and consider rejoining the company in the future.

Growing enthusiasm for social networking has made «personal introduction» popular. «The market is very aware of the power of word of mouth,» says Richard Spragg, Communications Manager at EPC-global. «It is driven by businesses waking up to communities such as MySpace and Friends Reunited»

Employers measurably benefit from referral programmes; they can cut recruitment budgets. According to one group HR director, in the UK, 20 per cent of recruits come through employee referrals, which represent a 50-per-cent cost saving, while in India about half come through referrals, and the savings are closer to 75 per cent.

Keeping costs down isn’t the only attraction of referral and ex-employee hiring schemes. Just as important are the benefits that flow from appointing someone who is known to share the values of the culture they are joining. ‘The learning curve for becoming effective is much shorter’ says Richard Jordan, Head of Employer Brand at Ernst & Young in London.

One concern, however, is that referral programmes restrict the flow of new ideas into organisations, because existing staff are likely to recommend people who think as they do.

As the popularity of referral programmes which offer a reward has risen, so has the size of the reward. A case in point is professional services firms, where bonuses can range from £2,000 for the appointment of a secretary to £10,000 for a partner. However, another concern is that extravagant bonuses may tempt staff to recommend names inappropriately.

Some feel that friendship can colour someone’s view of a prospective mate’s capabilities. When a respected employee recommends a friend, employers may be tempted to assume that the candidate will make an equally good colleague.

Referral programmes are useful, but certain rules are necessary. Rule one is that referred candidates should be assessed on the same basis and by the same methods as external applicants. Another safety measure is to hide the source, where possible, through which referrals have entered the selection pipeline.

Recommendations are valuable only if they provide candidates with the required skills. Recruiters must also plan for how to deal with appointments that go wrong. To limit their financial exposure, some employers pay bonuses only after a referred candidate has completed a probationary period.

One employer invites staff, particularly those in areas of skills shortages, to enroll as ‘talent scouts’. They then receive an online magazine that highlights recruitment priorities and offers tips on how to network. They learn how to spot and approach talented people in order to increase the talent pool. In some people’s view, though, not paying the recruitment bonus until after a probationary period is a clear case of management avoiding responsibility.

Read the article again and mark the sentences True or False


Listen to the recording and choose the person who talked about the following things

Laura Chris

Laura: Hi, Chris.
Chris: Hi.
Laura: I’ve been talking to the Managing Director.
Chris: Oh? ls that good news or bad?
Laura: Good… I think. We’ve both agreed it’s high time we reviewed and rewrote the HR strategy.
Chris: Yeah? Why’s that then?
Laura: The business has grown so rapidly that the three-year plan we wrote two years ago is already out of date.
Chris: Hm, I can see that. So I guess a revised resourcing plan is the main priority.
Laura: Yes that’s absolutely right. But we’ll also need to think about labour demand and also whether we want to outsource or even offshore any of the business’s activities.
Chris: There’s a lot to think about. And I suppose time is limited in this case, too?
Laura: Yes. And obviously, it has to fit together with the corporate strategy.
Chris: Have the board decided yet about the old factory in Braga?
Laura: No, not yet. Their focus is on modernising every aspect of the business but they are split at the moment. Some of them want to modernise the existing site, but others think it’ll be cheaper and easier just to move to a new location. So there’s a good chance that they’ll close it down and then relocate.
Chris: Right, I see. So where do we start?
Laura: I think before we get down to details we need to study the corporate strategy carefully.
Chris: And then what?
Laura: Then maybe you could explore some different strategic models, you know, personnel, outsourced, business partner, and that sort of thing. Then we can have a think about what our options will be.
Chris: OK.
Laura: Naturally, we’ll work on it together as a department and decide which is the best approach.
Chris: That’s good to know. lt’s a big responsibility.
Laura: lt is. That’s why we’re paid so well!
Chris: Hm, very funny!


Look at these HR predictions published in the Forbes magazine. Complete the gaps with the suitable words

Read the questions and get ready to give a 3-minute speech on the topic of the future of recruitment


• What do you think will happen to HR with the coming of automatisation and cloud-based technologies?
• Will the experience be more important than qualifications for the companies in future?
• Will there be more personalisation or generalisation in HR management in future?

Allow your browser the access to the microphone, press the button «Record» and record the speech you have prepared

  • Warm-up
  • A day in life
  • HR Vocabulary
  • Sleep
  • Find a solution!
  • Dear colleagues…
  • Social networking recruitment
  • Changes
  • Speak HR!
  • The Future of HR
  1. 1. Human Resources|Int|1. Recruitment
  2. 2. Human Resources|Int|2. Selection
  3. 3. Human Resources|Int|3. Employee relations
  4. 4. Human Resources|4. HR development
  5. 5. Human Resources|Int|5. Reward and remuneration
  6. 6. Human Resources|Int|6. Industrial relations
  7. 7. Human Resources|Int|7. Appendix
  8. 8. Human Resources|Int|8. Jobs and people
  9. 9. Human Resources|Int|9. Person specification
  10. 10. Human Resources|Int|10. Advertise it!
  11. 11. Human Resources|Int|11. Recruitment sources
  12. 12. Human Resources|Int|12. Getting ready for an interview
  13. 13. Human Resources|Int|13. The job interview
  14. 14. Human Resources|Int|Revise and Check 1
  15. 15. Human Resources|Int|14. Offer and Rejection
  16. 16. Human Resources|Int|15. Employee contracts
  17. 17. Human Resources|Int|16. Policies and discipline
  18. 18. Human Resources|Int|17. Staff well-being survey
  19. 19. Human Resources|Int|18. Successful negotiations
  20. 20. Human Resources|Int|19. Dealing with staff problems
  21. 21. Human Resources|Int|20. Reward and remuneration
  22. 22. Human Resources|Int|21. Appraisals
  23. 23. Human Resources|Int|22. Evaluating a reward system
  24. 24. Human Resources|Int|23. Outsourcing
  25. 25. Human Resources|Int|24. Training courses
  26. 26. Human Resources|Int|Revise and Check 2
  27. 27. Human Resources|Int|25. A new reward strategy
  28. 28. Human Resources|Int|Revise and Check 3
  29. 29. Human Resources|Int|26. Test your HR skills