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HR Directors Business Summit: Day three

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Some of the highlights of the final day at the HR Directors Business Summit

  • Group director of human resources at Manchester Airports Group Daniel Gallo shared insight into managing a large-scale change programme at acquisition Stansted airport. He said gaining buy-in was just the first step to affecting successful change. “Gaining buy-in to the change doesn’t mean the change will be easy,” he said, reporting that this assumption meant that at Stansted the implementation stage, though going well now, was more “bumpy” and took longer than it perhaps could have done. “You have to put as much effort into the implementation as the design,” Gallo said, adding: “No matter how much you engage it will never be enough, particularly with a workforce of this size… We thought we were hammering the communication but the feedback was ‘you need to do more'.”
  • Head of talent and development at Hermes Parcelnet, Natalie Musson talked on the people processes that have supported 15% growth year-on-year. Initiatives have included training managers on delivering daily briefings to those many Hermes employees without access to a computer and email; Finance account meetings every month so senior managers can update colleagues on the business’ performance; newspapers authored by the teams themselves; regular technical demonstrations, often led by senior managers, to ensure new consoles for delivery staff, for example, are fully embraced; and an ‘Adopt an area’ initiative that saw each manager paired with a team who they would regularly visit and help solve issues for.
  • Is your business ready for the apprenticeship levy, because April 2017 really isn’t too far away? That was the message from Arch Apprentices CEO Jason Moss, who explained the ins and outs of the coming levy. It will apply to all businesses with a pay bill of more than £3 million. Moss shared calculations that showed a business employing 5,000 people would have to make a levy payment of £735,000. “You need to be thinking: ‘How do I get the value back for that money I put in?’” he said. “It’s not that long away. Build your infrastructure so when you are paying for it you are getting more value for what you are putting in.”
  • Hiring great people can be an expensive business, but Penguin Random House group HR director Neil Morrison revealed the organisation’s innovative recruitment campaign The Scheme cost under £1,000. The Scheme used social media including Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter to engage with a wider demographic and fill four marketing roles with more unusual suspects. Morrison revealed that over the course of the campaign the specially-created website received nearly 25,000 views, and 800 applicants. He also spoke passionately about creating a positive candidate experience and giving feedback. “Most companies offer a candidate experience that is pretty dismal,” he said. The Scheme will be running again in 2016 with the aim of reaching further into unrepresented talent pools."