On 12th and 14th May, Solve were delighted to host complimentary seminars in Glasgow and Edinburgh on an “Introduction to HR and Employment Law”.

Over the course of the two seminars, which were attended by around 23 of Solve’s clients and contacts, the Solve team, led by Director, Stephanie, covered topics such as:

• Recruitment, including the benefits of Thomas International PPA

• Contracts of Employment

• Disciplinary and Grievance

• Absence Management

• Employment Law

• And many more…

Attendees came from a cross section of industries and represented various roles within their respective businesses. Feedback from attendees on the day and since has been fantastic and everyone left with some ‘golden nuggets’ to take back to their business and ideas for how HR could benefit their bottom line.

Attendees were also offered the opportunity to complete a PPA profile to see how this exciting tool could be of benefit in their recruitment and selection, performance management and development processes. Uptake for the PPA has been great and Recruitment Manager, Tracey has been busy analysing the reports and feeding back to those who completed their questionnaires.

Given the success of our seminars, Solve will offer these on an on-going basis. Therefore, if you would like to be kept informed about the dates of our next seminars or have any ideas on subject matters that would be meaningful to you and your business, please contact us by e-mailing mail@solvehr.co.uk and putting Seminar in the subject bar. We look forward to seeing you at one of our seminars soon!

In a day and age where personality and organisational cultural fit is becoming more important employers are increasingly moving away from conventional interview methods in order to allow candidates’ true personalities to shine through. Organisations are adopting highly specialised, targeted methods at every level to ensure the best talent crosses the threshold. The workforce has changed rapidly over the past couple of decades, as has the nature of work. Employees are expected to be flexible, collaborative and innovative, therefore employers need to be a lot more innovative in their approach to recruitment.

At Solve. we recently worked in partnership with a high end hospitality client to develop an assessment day that would allow them to assess candidate suitability through practical assessments and an innovative interview technique. Our client wanted to recruit people who not only had the basic skills required for the role but also had a great personality so that they could engage with their customers and create a welcoming atmosphere.   There were a variety of different positions such as waiting staff, kitchen assistant and doorperson.

For the assessment centre groups of candidates were invited to attend at various times throughout the day. The type of role they applied for determined the assessment they were required to undertake. For example the waiting staff were asked to set up a table for an afternoon tea for two. Assessors watched as the candidates performed the tasks and scored them accordingly. Whilst the Doorperson candidates were asked to take part in a role play assessment to evaluate how they would deal with difficult customer situations.

After the assessments the candidates were then asked to take part in a ‘speed interviewing’ process with a different set of assessors. Each candidate had just 10 minutes to answer 10 interview questions that were developed to gain a better understanding of their personality. So rather than using traditional competency based questions the questions used were quirkier such as ‘If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and why?’, ‘Tell me about a role model and why you look up to that person?’ and ‘If your best friends was sitting here, what would they say was the best thing about being your friend?’. The fast paced nature of the interview meant that candidates had to give rapid responses that could not be rehearsed allowing us to see how quickly they could think on their feet and gave us a true indication of their personality.

At the end of the day the various assessors met up to discuss their evaluation of each individual candidate. The assessment scores and feedback coupled with the interview information gave a well-rounded picture of each candidate and their suitability. Through this assessment centre process we were able to fill the majority of the roles.

It may not be suitable for every organisation or role but more and more organisations are adopting this innovative style of recruitment. It can not only allow you to get a truer impression of candidates but can also help to sell your organisation to potential candidates especially if you can make it fun and entertaining.

If you are looking to develop a more innovative approach to recruitment then please contact our Recruitment Manager, Tracey Burke.

Do all your employee’s have contracts of employment? When certain types of work come to an end, some employees face redundancy. They may actually suit a fixed term position available within the company. Are you aware a new contract of employment would then be required? If you are unsure whether this may affect you or you have not followed correct procedure contact Solve who can help from the outset.

When an employee commences work, it should be made clear by the Employer what happens when work comes to an end.

If particular types of work become redundant, the employees who are involved then become at risk of layoff. They may actually have skills that could be useful to their employer and in this instance employers will be more willing to find substitute employment for some of the employees potentially facing redundancy. If this is the case, they should not jump to the conclusion that the employees in question will not be interested, just because the positions available are temporary and not permanent.

If an employee who was facing redundancy, was to show interest in a fixed term position e.g. a vacancy which will only last a few weeks or months until the project ends, the employee and employer could come to an agreement to defer the redundancy until the end of the available fixed term contract. If the employee was asked to work their notice within the new role, they would be less likely to agree to this arrangement. Payments in lieu, enhanced severance payments, retention bonuses etc., are some ways both the employee and employer could make a commercial deal to suit them both.

The right to turn down an offer of a fixed-term role is reasonable on the basis it is not ‘suitable alternative employment’. If an employee was to do this, the employer needs to make them aware that redundancy is anticipated if there is not another role that suits.

What happens if an employee takes a fixed term role that will end in a year?

If a fixed term contract expires and is not renewed, this will be taken as dismissal. If an employee has two years continuous service, they are eligible for protection from unfair dismissal. If you are an employer and are faced with this issue, you should follow a fair termination procedure and also look at the availability of other suitable employment. The Employee may accept another fixed term contract again, especially if they have already done so in the past.

Is an employee entitled to a redundancy payment when a fixed term contract ends?

It is all down to the individual circumstances. If an employee who has been employed to work on a project for a fixed period, and it comes to an end, and the employer has no need for the particular skills used to complete the job, and lastly there is no alternative employment, the employee will then be eligible for statutory redundancy payment. This is a classic redundancy situation to be faced with.

If an employee covers a job while another person is absent on leave; maternity, parental etc. will they be made redundant on their return to work?

This would not be classed as a redundancy. When the employee on leave returns to work there will still be a need for this work to be carried out. If an employee is faced with this situation, their employer should ask them to sign a new contract. This will state that the employment will end on the return to work of the absent employee they are providing cover for. There is no likelihood of any arguments arising over whether this is a redundancy or not if this position ends to allow the absent employee to return to work, procedure is followed correctly and the correct contracts are issued. The law shows this as dismissal for ‘some other substantial reason’, if a fair procedure is followed.

Solve would highly encourage employers to speak with the employee when commencing a fixed term contract. This allows the awareness of what exactly will happen at the end of it, even more so if it is an alternative to being made redundant. Should you require any help with contracts, redundancies or information on any of the above situations please get in touch.

linkedinLinkedIn is one of the most useful tools in the world of business but is sadly under-utilised by most people and businesses.  LinkedIn is one of the most useful tools in the world of business but is sadly under-utilised by most people and businesses.


With over 225 million members, over 2 million groups and millions of professional oriented searches happening every day LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for engaging with key stakeholders and enhancing individual and company online presence. Having an up-to-date, informative and professional looking LinkedIn profile is vital if you want to stand out from the crowd. Your profile is your window to the world and will dictate how your peers, clients, suppliers, prospective clients and employees or employers view you.

A good LinkedIn profile with good connections is also an invaluable tool for recruitment as it instantly allows you to reach out to people within your industry with relevant skills and experience. LinkedIn allows you to search for individuals who have the key skills and experience you require. You can also advertise job vacancies cost free through relevant industry groups.

Enhancing your profile is relatively straight forward and if done right should result in a better profile rating and an enhanced online presence making you more visible to new clients and prospective employers/employees.

For more information on how to enhance and optimise your LinkedIn profile contact our Recruitment Manager, Tracey Burke.



, What is an Employee Handbook used for and why is it important?

Employee Handbook’s are a combination of procedures, policies, working conditions and behavioural expectations that an employer expects from the employee. They will also include information on the company, benefits, and additional terms and conditions of employment.

A Company Employee Handbook is an important document to have, if it is kept up to date and in line with changes in law. The beauty of having an Employee Handbook is that it is often much easier to make changes to Company practices or make amends which result from updates in Employment law through the Employee Handbook, rather than being to compelled to reissue a Contracts of Employment to each employee every time a change in required.
Ideally, Employee Handbook should be issued at the start of employment, usually within the induction period and should also be referred to in the employee’s contract. At the start of employment new employees should be asked to sign a form stating that they have read and understood the information and accept the Companies terms and conditions.
You will usually find the Employee Handbook to contain the following:

  • Terms and Conditions
  • Pay and Benefits
  • Health and Safety
  • Sickness and Absence
  • Family friendly policies (maternity/paternity/adoption leave, flexible working etc)
  • Capability Policies and procedures
  • Disciplinary Policy
  • Appeals
  • Grievance
  • Equal Opportunities
  • Whistle Blowing
  • Bullying, Harassment & Victimisation
  • IT
  • Lone Working
  • Remote Working
  • General Company Guidelines
  • Company Vehicles

You can amend the policies and procedures in the Employee Handbook at any time as required provided you then communicate these changes and make them readily available to employees to read.

If you feel your current Handbook requires an update, or maybe you don’t have one at all? Please contact Solve. for further information on how your Company can keep up with the changes happening in 2015!

What are the challenges of being a recruiter?

Ultimately sourcing the best candidate for a role quickly and cost effectively.

What qualities do you look for in candidates?

Of course relevant knowledge/qualifications are a must but candidates must have enthusiasm for the role, company and industry.

What are the advantages of being a recruitment manager?

The advantage of being a Recruitment Manager with Solve HR is that my role is very varied as I get to work with a variety of companies from all sectors.  I have recruited from basic entry level right up to Chief Executive.  I enjoy meeting people from all backgrounds.

What do you think is the importance of recruitment?

Spending time and resources to select the right person for the role is likely to have many positive effects such as:

  • Higher employee retention rate.
  • Superior client service generating higher client satisfaction.
  • More capable employees are confident and able to cope with multiple tasks and adapt more quickly to new roles.
  • Capable employees work well in a team and need less attention from management. Once they commence work they will require fewer hours of hands-on supervision.
  • High performing employees will be interested in ongoing learning and self development.
  • Good employees will most likely have more and better ideas that improve productivity and work practices.
  • Good employees can inspire and develop other staff.

Do you have any tips on recruitment?

  • Make your job advert interesting and appealing – make your company sound like a great place to work.
  • You don’t need to spend a fortune on advertising there are many cost effective and even free online job boards available.
  • Don’t always expect the candidates to come to you, usually the best person for the role is what is known as a ‘passive candidate’ i.e. they are not actively looking for a new role as they are already doing well in their current role – this is the type of person you want.  So actively seek out candidates from competitors or similar industries.  LinkedIn is a great way of contacting passive candidates.
  • Ensure you have a good and relevant assessment process
  • Telephone interviews are a great way to pre-screen candidates saving you time and money.

Do you find it tricky when it comes to selecting the right candidate?

I am always confident that I will pick the right candidate as I ensure that I follow a robust recruitment process.  Before I advertise a role I will engage with the client in order to determine exactly what they are looking for and to gain an understanding of their business requirements.  This allows me to then draw up a robust job description and person specification that I can use as a basis for the job advert.  This ensures that I know what kind of candidate I am looking for from the outset.

What kind of a personality and qualities do people need to have if they are considering a career in recruitment management?

You need to be a people person, highly organized and persistent.

What essentials do you think an effective recruitment strategy should have?

  • Understanding the role’s requirements from the outset
  • Targeted cost effective advertising
  • Set timescales to work to
  • Robust assessment/interview procedures
  • Candidate engagement throughout

How would you describe your job in one word?