Ramsey Hall’s Weekly Round-up

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Ramsey Hall’s Weekly Round-up

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Talent Mismatch Costs UK companies More than £1bn

This is the first week of our weekly round-up of the most popular and important Talent Management and Human Resource related articles out there on the web including: news, articles and blogs, advice, tips and more.

Industry News

Talent mismatch costs UK companies more than £1bn

Businesses across the UK are losing out on millions of pounds due to employees’ inability to adapt and retain for new roles.

Interesting Articles

When a Family Business Should Look for an Unrelated CEO

Research Concordia University suggests that if a business that values innovation they are better off by looking outside the family for company leaders.

Top 4 Global Human Capital Trends 2014

A look at what shall be trending this year in the Human Capital Industry. Talent acquisition being the major player in how organisations will be operating.

Could Death of Internships Hurt Grads’ Careers?

The outlook of Internships does not look good. But will graduates still be able to get a decent career without them? Or will this be a good for them because they don’t have to work for free any more?

Advice and Tips

Five Mistakes Made in Integrated Talent Management: #4 – Failure to Regionalize

As organisations become globalised, it becomes harder to create an overall talent management strategy. This article explains how you can avoid this.


That’s it for now, come back next week for more human resource and Talent management related content from around the web.

Did you find any interesting industry related articles this week? Comment with them below!

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Improve Your Management and Organisational Performance with a Complimentary Capability Assessment

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Ramsey Hall’s Human Capital Consulting team is offering you a complimentary assessment to improve your management and organisational performance.

This will be achieved with the following process:

Improve Your Management and Organisational Performance

Step 1: Assess your organisation’s capability

Step 2: Measure your future potential

Step 3: Identify your organisation’s barriers to high performance

Step 4: Action the bespoke plan

This will leave you with a self-sustaining performance management system with real ‘bottom line’ benefits.

We are so confident that you would benefit from our advice that we would like to offer you a free one hour organisational capability assessment with a summary action plan.

Numerous studies have shown that performance really can be improved. In a recent study, 79% agreed that an assessment is really worthwhile and sustainable improvement has occurred after implementation.

This offer is available for only a limited time and ends, 30 April 2014.

With nothing to lose and everything to gain, call now to find out how your organisation can benefit from using Ramsey Hall’s expertise to increase organisational performance.

Call us now on 02380 236 944 to arrange your complimentary assessment that will improve your management and organisational performance

The New State Pension Age And What It Means For Employers

Friday, January 10th, 2014

In George Osborne’s latest autumn statement he announced that the national state pension age will be calculated using a new formula to keep pace with increasing life expectancy.

The New Pension Age And What That Means For Employers?

This means that anyone now in their 40s or below will be affected by the change. Some industries that are labour intensive now have to consider developing a strategy for the development of an ever increasingly aging workforce.

Others will say that it will encourage the retention of much needed skills in the workforce that are being lost due to the “baby boomer” generation (1945-1955) that have already started to retire.

So what does this actually mean for employers?

The combination of an already aging workforce and the loss of the “baby boomers” who are now retiring will result in a loss of skills across many industries. The result? Vital experience that could have been passed on to the next generation – lost.

Some organisations are not aware of these impending problems. If you do not have a long term strategy, now is the time to make one in order to keep ahead of competition; to keep your key talent and not squander the organisation’s invaluable insights.

Change the way you train, develop and engage.

The way many businesses train is focused on the early development stages after an employee enters the workforce; however there must be continual training throughout their whole working life cycle.

The training should adopt a targeted approach especially when tailored to the older person. Recent studies suggest that older workers are less inclined to participate in training because they feel that a lot of it is targeted more towards a younger audience. It’s like making a product for a teenager to use and targeting it at an older generation. It just doesn’t make sense.

The benefits from continual training are plentiful: from greater loyalty to increased motivation and of course productivity.

Managing health and well-being

As your workforce ages, you have to be prepared to give them flexibility in the workplace as well as being more sensitive to their health needs. If you do not then the likelihood of a dissatisfied, unmotivated employee who will possibly leave, then their skills will be lost.

Invariably employees enjoying good health care and flexible hours are more productive, more motivated and loyal.

What are the benefits of an aging workforce?

Contrary to perceived wisdom the benefits to having an aging workforce can be huge. An organisation that is attractive to older employees has major advantages because they will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge that will benefit your organisation.

Martin Wilde is a Marketing Executive with Ramsey Hall Ltd. Ramsey Hall is a highly respected and long-established boutique Talent Management Consultancy.

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How Best To Assess Candidates At The Selection Stage

Friday, December 20th, 2013

You’re responsible for the recruitment of the CEO of a multinational, multi billion dollar corporation. Headhunters have provided an excellent shortlist and you need to advise the main board on how to select the best candidate from the shortlist. You advise in-depth psychometric profiles on each candidate, backed up by detailed assessment of their numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning skills coupled to a senior management situational judgement assessment and finally the production of a comprehensive leadership report written by a fully British Psychological Society (BPS) qualified consultant. The cost of the whole process runs into tens of thousands of pounds but as the downside risk of getting it wrong runs, quite literally, into billions of pounds the cost is simply not an issue.

Now you’re responsible for recruitment of a first or second line manager, or even a shop floor supervisor. The downside risk of getting it wrong is significant but is not going to threaten the stability of the whole company. You’re aware that the process outlined above is best practice but equally you are aware that that sort of cost would be totally disproportionate to the seniority of the current position. So how best to assess proportionally.

The Power Of Psychometrics

The answer almost certainly lies in the use of online psychometrics. Basically psychometric tests fall into two categories: tests of maximum performance and tests of normative performance. Tests of maximum performance would typically include numerical, verbal or abstract reasoning. There are right or wrong answers and the score is definite and verifiable. Typically results in the these sorts of test are expressed in percentiles showing how the candidate performed against a defined population group with the higher the percentile the better the result. A more sophisticated form of a test of maximum performance is one of the modern situational judgement tests were the answers, whilst not mathematically or logically verifiable, are those agreed by a team accepted expert in the fields.

What Tests Are There To Choose From?

Tests of normative performance, and most personality profiles fall into this area, simply do not have right or wrong answers. The outcome is nearly always presented as a percentile figure against a stated norm group and no particular score is “better” than any other score. For any scale the ideal score for a particular position will vary depending on the nature of that particular position. There are quite literally hundreds of different personality tests available. Before using any of these tests the user really should check that it is BPS rated.

Perhaps the best-known of the top-end personality profiles are the SHL series and the Hogan series. Both have their comparative advantages and disadvantages, but both are hugely well documented and respected. Psychiatric profiles tend to focus on the difference between candidates. The other really well known psychometric assessment test is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The output of this places candidates into one of 16 potential “types” and is really all about indicating similarities. Myers Briggs is actually an ipsitive test (there is no direct read across from one person’s score to another person’s score). In general ipsitive tests are better use in teambuilding situations with the MBTI justifiably being the market leader. They are not however generally indicated as appropriate in a selection process.

The vital thing about these psychometrics is that they should be proportionate to the role that is to be filled. Virtually all psychometric tests are now available online and they are truly affordable. For a junior or entry position the cost can be just a few tens of pounds. As the position becomes more senior, and as the risk of getting it wrong therefore grows, more comprehensive testing is clearly indicated. Even so a really comprehensive package of online personality and ability tests can be put together at a cost that is in the low hundreds of pounds per candidate. With the cost of a failed hire normally being quoted as being three times the annual salary of the position, that really has to be money well spent.

One Final Piece of Advice…

Always ensure that the person advising you on which tests to use for the position is fully British Psychological Society qualified.

Click to find out more about psychometric testing.

Follow Ramsey Hall on LinkedIn to make sure you get the best from your people.

Phil Boyle - Director of Ramsey Hall

Phil Boyle is the Managing Director of Ramsey Hall Ltd. Ramsey Hall is a highly respected and long-established boutique Talent Management Consultancy. It is an SHL Enterprise Partner and amongst the most experienced users of the Hogan series tests in the UK.

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The Effects That Austerity Has On Leadership In Manufacturing Businesses

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

The affects of the economy and leadership on Manufacturing organisations

Having spent a lifetime working in manufacturing industry but latterly working with the service sector as well, it’s been interesting to observe and compare the leadership styles, attitudes and techniques of the two sectors.

This is the first in a series of blogs on how I view the differences and how I think the sectors could learn from each other. The disparities in performance of the sectors and within the sectors shows that there’s a lot to learn. Perhaps globalisation has adversely affected manufacturing to some degree but increasingly the service sector has to cope with these pressures too.

Perhaps to start with the differences are more fundamental. I know from my time in manufacturing that there has always been some tension between the two sectors, with manufacturers seeing themselves as the producers of value adding products and creating real tangible wealth.  Many see the services that service companies provide as costly and a “necessary evil” that in some ways drag them back with unjustifiable costs. Allied to the fact that many SME manufacturers see themselves as “piggy in the middle”, facing huge cost down pressures from their customers allied by strategic intent to move to suppliers from so called low cost economies. It’s not surprising that there’s some antipathy towards service businesses who in some ways look protected from this.

In fact, this constant grind for survival can put a huge amount of pressure on the leaders of a business making them ever  more introspective as they try to cut costs, remove non- value activity, keep staff with core skills from leaving and wait for the upturn.

It’s very easy for leaders to fall into this trap.

So how do we prevent this happening and encourage business leaders to break out of a potential downward spiral and start to show dynamic leadership?

My next blog will explore this and also what lessons can be learned, good and bad, from the service sector. Make sure to follow Ramsey Hall on LinkedIn to discover how your organisation can get the best from its people.

David Seall - Chairmen of the Board of Practice for Ramsey Hall

David Seall is well known to many businesses across London and the South East as an Independent Director and Chartered Engineer specialising in the Manufacturing and Engineering sectors. David worked for many years in the Aerospace and Defence industry and was Chief Executive of the Engineering Employers Federation for London and the South East (EEF South) for over 10 years, working with hundreds of companies.


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How To Recruit Talent That Will Give You The Competitive Edge

Monday, November 11th, 2013

How To Recruit Talent That Will Give You The Competitive Edge


Before you act you need to define your requirements, competencies, work out a remuneration programme and any necessary exit arrangement for existing staff. You also need to be able to define the future career path of your candidate before you start recruiting as this can extend the long term potential within your organisation and not to just to meet a short term need.


The recruitment process needs to be rigorously conducted. This is done with in depth interview and psychometric testing for all short-listed candidates. Business psychologists can also design assessment centres for those high profile career positions which benefit from deeper assessment. In all cases, create an in depth short list report with recommendations and highlighted candidate attributes.

Reference Check

Conduct a rigorous referencing check which, depending on the role, include; credit and board searches as well as industry profiling and qualification verification. This is especially useful where security clearance is required or when a position is financially sensitive. It is vital where eligibility to hold a directorship needs to be confirmed.


On boarding is the strategic vehicle for fast-tracking new talent to a progressed state of productivity and engagement. Executive coaches can work with your new employees to help give them the best chance of settling in and rapidly contributing to your business. Additionally, ongoing coaching support is proven to add long term business advantage.

Engage Develop and Retain

The act of engaging, developing and retaining existing talent is both financially sound and more economically viable than recruiting from scratch. Having a highly motivated and developed workforce will improve business performance and maximise the potential of any ambitious organisation. Of course this is just the beginning to recruiting for senior directors and executives. There is so much more yet to come. In the future we’ll cover; understanding leadership, how to identify leadership traits and which ones should fit within your organisation, how to understand where your organisation fits with in the global company, and the understanding of globalisation. We shall be posting these out on our LinkedIn page.

The Ramsey Hall officesRamsey Hall have over 20 years’ experience Talent Management and is headed by Phil Boyle. Their team have experience in recruiting for board and executive team members for clients across the globe and use cutting edge psychometric testing to give the best candidates.

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Top Tips for Recruiting at Board and Executive Level

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

With staff turnover at board level at around 30% per annum we look at the pitfalls that many employers come up against when recruiting and selecting their senior talent.

  • Seeing executive recruitment as a cost to be reduced! Would you do this with your new product development? Would you compromise on your sales effort?  Senior recruitment is a key business activity whether it is promoting internal talent through rigorous assessment or external sourcing.  Much research into high performance working has identified top-class selective recruitment as being critical to business success.  Remember ‘craft skills’ are not usually an indicator of either leadership capability or potential. Research has shown that the opportunity cost to an organisation of a “failed hire” is typically three times the job salary. With most directors now earning in excess of £100,000 do you want to take this risk.
  • Using inappropriate recruitment and selection methods. At this level a quick online advert or worse still an advert in the local press is a waste of money.  Great talent is always hard to find! Our approach is invariably to head hunt talent as well as using a focused advertising campaign as part of an integrated Executive Search & Selection Assignment.  This “the best of all worlds” really works.  Usually we also benchmark internal applicants in order to ensure the right hire is achieved every time.  You may know someone in your network or have a friend who might, I stress might, be suitable, but how do you know?  Only a robust process will find out.
  • Use a cheap recruiter. How often do you complain about the behaviour of agencies?  How often do you have to work with inexperienced graduates/recruiters who have no appreciation at all of what it takes to succeed at senior level?  Just recently a client of ours came to us to fill an assignment on which a mass market recruiter had failed. Our client explained that, “they acted like an agency sending irrelevant and unqualified CVs”.  There is the problem, agencies and sales driven specialists do not employ consultants who can consult!  Our team is all vastly experienced and all hold professional qualifications.  This expertise is not inexpensive but it is extremely cost-effective with just a 2% first year staff turnover.  You would not hire an accountant or lawyer who has no expertise or creditability, so why compromise your executive recruitment?
  • The selection process consists entirely of one-on-one interviews. One-on-one interviews are proven over many studies to not only be inaccurate but dangerous.  We will not rehearse the reasons here but we always use psychometrics and a selective recruitment methodology. These uncover the hidden aspects to character and capability that interviews alone are incapable of finding. We also recommend that clients use a panel interview approach at second and third interview. Again this is proven to be more reliable and rigorous for senior recruitment.  Oh, and by the way, it avoids ‘gut feel’ which is invariably wrong!
  • On-boarding/induction. Induction is all about introducing new employees to colleagues and where the fire exit and lavatories are, right?  Wrong, induction is about ensuring that the person quickly settles in to become a productive member of the team.  We design bespoke ‘100 days’ programmes for clients so that their new senior team member quickly settles in and becomes productive.

Follow Ramsey Hall on LinkedIn to make sure you get the best from your people.

Phil Boyle - Director of Ramsey Hall

Phil Boyle is the managing director of Ramsey Hall Ltd. Ramsey Hall is a highly respected and long-established boutique Talent Management Consultancy. It is an SHL Enterprise Partner and amongst the most experience users of the Hogan series of tests in the UK. They can also offer the MBTI together with a wide range of other top end psychometric tests.

Sign up to our e-mail list to find out how to discover how your organisation can get the best from its people.

Understand your organisations capability before you ‘train’

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

By Matthew Davis, Talent Management Practice Leader

Training, which in this case means the acquisition of knowledge and skills by teaching, has its place in the workforce but is increasingly been proven to have limited benefit to those who take part.  This is because it is often a ‘shot gun approach’ where participants are bombarded with information, only a part of which is relevant or learnt. Therefore, you can spend significant monies on training with very limited business benefit, especially when the training is external and not job specific.  Our approach is to be targeted and objective in diagnosing development needs whilst at the same time reinforcing strengths. Thus participants receive a bespoke learning & development plan we call a PDP.  Much research into learning has identified self directed learning as being one of the most effective of all learning facilitators, so cost and time are also saved.

At Ramsey Hall we first diagnose needs, as would any consultant undertaking a similar project, by job analysis, competency framework design and assessment using a combination of psychometrics and/or 360 degree feedback tools coupled to competency interviews. This may be carried out online or face-to-face as part of a development centre which would also normally incorporate business simulation exercises.  The results are fed back and agreed with participants so they have ‘ownership’ of their own development.

Another advantage of this approach is that a great deal of data is gathered which may be used as part of an organisational development diagnosis. Often this is in the form of a gap analysis with succession planning and capability development information.

So the benefits of taking an objective approach to learning & development are clear and, we would suggest, even more important at senior level.

We would like to hear your thoughts on this subject and welcome input into our blog on ramseyhall.com. Alternatively why not contact one of our consultants:  www.ramseyhall.com/contact-us

Selecting graduates and apprentices this year?

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Here are our thoughts on how to get ahead in the race for the best.

With youth unemployment at an all time high, our clients are naturally being deluged with candidates who, on paper, appear suitable for employment.  So how do you avoid making selection a lottery? Is stipulating tertiary examination grades the answer?

The most reliable selection method for most types of recruitment is to use assessment centres which are often preceded by an online psychometric assessment. This allows our consultants to design feedback interviews that can be combined with role-play as well as individual and group exercises from which our assessors can score against your organisation’s competencies.  At the end of the centre we can use standardised scoring processes to rank candidates in order of performance so that high potential is identified.

Whilst assessment centres can be quite expensive if you are recruiting for low volumes, they are ‘the gold standard’ in employee selection at this, and indeed at every, level with proven, high predictive validity.

The alternative approach is to use online assessment.  We were recently approached by a new client who was concerned that one of their new graduate recruits was underperforming and showing very limited cognitive ability.  We tested the candidate using personality and ability tests online and immediately discovered that he scored poorly against his peers.  Our ability to benchmark candidates is a powerful tool which ultimately helped inform the client as to the employee’s potential.  Now they would be reluctant to hire without testing.  The cost of online assessment is less than assessment centres; however it is not quite as reliable as many competencies, such as problem solving using ‘in tray’ exercises or measuring a candidate’s interaction with others, are still best done face-to-face.

Whilst stipulating tertiary academic examination grades can be useful, we find that, unless they are at post graduate level, academic exams rarely effectively assess critical thinking in a work environment.  In any event academic qualifications fail to assess ‘soft’ people skills.  One major, recent study carried out in the US suggested there is no correlation between academic qualifications and future job success. This may be for a number of reasons but it is borne out by our use of ability tests and personality assessment in selection which often highlight mismatches between tertiary exam grades and actual performance in work related ability tests. Furthermore, for apprentices we normally also recommend the assessment of craft related skills such as mechanical comprehension or following instructions.  Such critical skills rarely form part of any formal school study.

If you would like to discuss your own organisation’s plans for this year’s output from universities, colleges and schools, then please do contact our team. Now is the time to start planning for the summer period of assessments.

Approaches Newsletter – July 2012

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Our Approaches newsletter features a roundup of our latest thought leadership and news releases and can be found by clicking here