Discrimination

So what do you think of equal opportunities? This person thinks it’s rubbish…

Published on: 07 Sep 2011

Now this is an interesting one and emphasises the importance of proper proof reading in job adverts.

The Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital recently placed a job advert on the UK’s National Health Service website.

All seemed pretty normal with the advert and there was some fairly standard wording present in the job description including:

“Applications are invited … to work at this large University teaching hospital”.

“The applicant will be joining a staff of 37 consultants…”

“We provide anaesthetic services across 2 sites for adult patients…”

But at the bottom of the advert there was a sentence saying

“the usual rubbish about equal opportunities”.

The mistake was a reference to the organisation’s equal opportunities policy and was quickly deleted and replaced with their standard wording about equal opportunities.

This looks suspiciously like a situation where somebody was dictating the advert to a secretary who then typed it out word for word without noticing the phrase.

Now, I wonder who will get the blame for the error. The manager that dictated it or the secretary that typed it?

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Would you go to the gym and post this video on YouTube to get a job?

Published on: 11 Jul 2011

Despite most economies around the world looking like they are coming out of the recession, it’s still a tough job market out there and there are challenges in getting the perfect job.

Owen Hargreaves, the former Manchester United player has been plagued by injury during his career. He has played at the very top of the game though having represented England but is currently looking for a job.

He’s no doubt got the skills to play for a leading club and at 30 is still very much at his peak in terms of age.

But what about his fitness levels. Are other top clubs going to pay serious money to employ somebody who may not be able to play if injury hits again?

The corporate equivalent would be asking whether you would pay a significant golden hello and high salary to an employee who may well not be able to work for you shortly after joining you.

“Hats off” to Owen though as he’s taken the unusual step of posting a series of workout videos on YouTube showing him undertaking strenuous exercise. This will hopefully convince prospective employers that he is fit enough to play football again at the top level.

There is one particularly impressive video of him shown below and that is of him undertaking what can only be described as freestyle aerobics on a treadmill.

Personally, I don’t think I’ll try this at the gym tonight though as somehow I feel I’d be unconscious at the back of the treadmill with the treadmill belt spinning around my head within a few seconds of trying to run backwards…

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Surely this should be the Next face of the future?

Published on: 03 Jun 2011

If you visit the website of clothing retailer Next you will see some stunningly good-looking male and female models.

Next is a very successful company. They are part of the FTSE 100 index which means they are one of the 100 largest quoted companies in the UK. Their latest annual results show revenues of nearly £3.5 billion.

They clearly know what they are doing when it comes to marketing and branding.

Or do they?

They have just launched their “Make me the Next model 2011” competition whereby people who think they have the looks to become a top Next model can put themselves forward.

The public then vote for who they think is the best looking and the winner will be featured in Next advertising as well as get a contract with Storm modelling agency.

The screenshot to the left shows the current voting and whilst I’m not an expert on all things fashion I do think that the person who currently holds the top spot is a worthy leader.

Roland, from Belfast, is currently heading up the votes by a considerable margin and surely would make a perfect Next model?

We blogged recently about Henkel’s crowd sourcing campaign being hijacked so is this another example of a campaign being hijacked?

Next are a switched on company and if you dig deep into the terms and conditions of their 2011 model competition you find the following:

“The 250 Finalists will be judged by a panel of judges including representatives from Next and Storm who will pick the 50 who they feel best fit the Next brand and who will make it through to the Grand Final on Saturday 30th July.

The 50 Grand Finalists will be judged by the same panel and 2 winners will be announced at the event on 30th July 2011.”

In other words, Next have sensibly said that they will choose the winning models from the 250 entries with the most votes.

I still think that Roland would make a great Next model though.

Whatever happens this has been a great bit of marketing for Next. At the time of writing Roland’s picture on the voting page has been “liked” 42,000 times on Facebook and he has had nearly 5,000 tweets on Twitter.

Their website has also no doubt seen a surge of visits.

Now, if there were only another 249 Roland characters out there that entered the competition it would make the final very interesting.

Good luck Roland!

 

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If you make your sales targets you’ll get a what!?

Published on: 18 May 2011

German insurance company Munich Re is the world’s largest re-insurer. It has just been revealed that a few years ago they undertook what can only be described as a fairly unusual (plus arguably immoral and unethical) approach to rewarding some of their top salesmen.

Now whilst most successful salesmen would be happy with a traditional bonus of extra pay the Ergo division of Munich Re reportedly held a party for their successful salesmen at thermal baths in Hungary where the services of a number of prostitutes were made available to the successful salesmen.

There’s a well known 2-factor motivation theory by Frederick Herzberg which refers to two types of factors that are present in an employee’s job.

A Hygiene factor is something which is expected to be present. If it is present, it doesn’t motivate. If it isn’t present however then the absence de-motivates. Basic pay and conditions are classic hygiene factors in a job.

A motivating factor on the other hand is something that is above and beyond what is expected to be present and such a factor should motivate an employee.  An exceptional boss who fully involves and mentors a junior could arguably be a motivating factor.

Munch Re took an extremely unusual view on what constitutes a potential motivating factor.

The salesmen that achieved their targets were provided bonuses in the form of access to prostitutes at a company funded party.

The salesmen were joined by 20 prostitutes at this party.

According to German business newspaper Handelsblatt , some of the prostitutes wore colour coded wristbands with ladies who were wearing certain colour wristbands only being available for the more successful salesmen.

In addition, after each “encounter” the prostitutes providing the service were stamped on their lower arm in order to keep track of how much they had earned during the evening.

It’s not clear from the reports whether any of the weaker performing salesmen that didn’t achieve their targets also ended up with stamps on their lower arms at the end of the party.

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An accountant can make 65 become 60 but it takes rather extreme measures.

Published on: 25 Jun 2010

Ten years ago former accountant Mr. Christopher Timbrell became former accountant Mrs. Christine Timbrell.

Christopher had surgery to alter his gender and became Christine but still remained married to his wife, Joy.

Yesterday, three Appeal Court judges in the UK gave a ruling which links to a number of discrimination issues.

Under 2004 legislation, as a transsexual Christine is entitled to enjoy the full status of her gender. However, married transsexuals are only allowed to have their gender recognized if they dissolved their marriage. This is where the problem for Christine occurred as although she had the sex change operation she still remained happily married to her wife Joy and they didn’t get divorced.

This meant that Christine was still treated as a man for pension purposes and therefore became entitled to a pension at 65 rather than at 60 which is when a woman becomes entitled to a pension.

Christine argued that she was a woman and it was a violation of her human rights to be forced to get divorced to become entitled to a pension at 60. The three Appeal Court judges found in Christine’s favour and also added that she was a victim of discrimination.

Christine, aged 69 who has two children with Joy from before the sex change operation, will now receive backdated pension payments going back to when she was 60.

The ExP Group