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What recruiters did to raise money for charity

A team of recruiters devour dead crickets and ’strawberry tripeful’ for Red Nose Day, reports the BBC.

Heston Blumenthal would be proud. A bunch of recruiters spent last Friday lunchtime eating dead crickets, strawberry “tripeful”, haggis burgers and dragon’s blood breadsticks.

The celebrity chef would agree it makes a change from cheese sandwiches and a cup of tea, but it doesn’t look like those involved will ever do it again.

As Martyn Barrow, managing director of PeopleCo, says: “I don’t think any of us will ever forget members of the team being sick after eating Strawberry Tripeful – which boasted minced tripe instead of custard.”
Still, the event raised £1,220 for Comic Relief, so it wasn’t an entire waste of time.

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Graduate scheme to help pay off student loans from Microgen

Microgen is to help pay off the student loans of its graduate workers by up to £3,000 a year each, reports the Telegraph.

But the computer software company wants the Government to “urgently” consider allowing employer and individual payments to come out of gross salary – before income tax and national insurance deductions – to make it cheaper.

Microgen said it will match loan repayments of up to £250 a month for every existing or future graduate employee. The scheme will cover nearly 10pc of its 260-strong workforce, and cost it £60,000 this year.
However, if the Government exempted payments from tax, Microgen could avoid paying an additional £25,000 a year, it said.

In a letter to the Department for Business (BIS), the company urged the Government to change the system to reduce the burden of student debt and help the UK create a “highly skilled workforce”.

Employers had a role to help financially with degree costs, but needed support from the Government, the company added.

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Unemployed should frequent employment agencies to “earn” benefits

Jersey’s social security minister has said people claiming income support have a responsibility to go out and get work when it is available, reports the BBC.

Deputy Ian Gorst wants to increase work incentive money paid to individuals and families on income support in Jersey.

He said it would help ensure people are better off in work than at home.

Deputy Gorst said: “In order to access the money you would have to show you are taking your responsibility seriously.”

He said people would have to show they are actually trying to find work.

The minister said it would mean families claiming income support would be motivated to seize all job opportunities.

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Recruiters Michael Page had a good 2010

Recruiter Michael Page more than trebled its profit in 2010 with solid growth in its main markets, as it bounced back from a year which it described as the most challenging in its history, reports the Telegraph.

Michael Page, which recruits people in the financial, accounting and legal services sectors, on Monday posted a 242.7pc rise in pre-tax profit to £72.2m for the year to December, compared with £21.1m in 2009.
Revenue increased 16.1pc to £832.2m.

In 2009, the company saw its pre-tax profit fall 85pc as the economic downturn hit the recruitment markets hard and heralded a slow and fragile recovery.

The FTSE 250 company said 2010 had seen good growth in Asia, Latin America, the big markets in Europe and the Middle East and an improving picture in the UK amid tough market conditions.

“We have maintained a strong balance sheet and, while increasing the returns to shareholders, we have also continued to take a long-term approach by making significant investments in the future of the business, opening in Chile, India, Malaysia and Qatar” said Steve Ingham, chief executive.

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CV faux pas dealt with by recruiters

In today’s tough market, job hunters know they have to do everything they can to make an impression, reports the Telegraph.

Unfortunately, some keen souls are standing out rather too much, according to recruiters who have faced everything from a CV written in rhyme to the hopeful who went straight to the top with his references – and cited God.

Although clearly eager to impress with his credentials, that unfortunate candidate fell at the first hurdle, as he could not offer any contact details for the Almighty.

Another candidate boasted that he was a direct descendant of the Vikings, while someone else modestly listed “Master of Time and Universe” under his experience.

The blunders emerged in a survey of more than 700 employers by website Careerbuilder.co.uk to find out what employers advise against in job applications.

Other jaw-dropping mistakes included the candidate who submitted a photograph of somebody else – raising some question marks over his ability to think ahead, given he had yet to have an interview – and the applicant who only gave their name and number with the phrase: “I want a job.”

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Big job cuts at recruiting giant

Recruitment giant Hays has axed another 217 UK headhunters in the wake of savage Government cuts, reports the Mirror.

Figures out yesterday show it cut consultant numbers to 2,111 in the last half of 2011, taking its total cull to nearly 1,300 in the last three years.

The move follows a sharp drop in demand for public-sector placements, which account for a quarter of its business in the UK.

Income in this area plunged by more than a third in the last year, causing the company’s UK profits to crash 66%, to just £2.1million.

Yet group profits soared 60% to £48.6m as it benefitted from economic recovery in other parts of the world. The firm, which made 62% of its money outside the UK last year compared with 54% in 2009, responded by taking on more 13% consultants in its international arm.

Despite the bulk of public sector cuts having not hit yet, Hays boss Alistair Cox insisted: “We are confident the market will come back.”

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500 jobs to be recruited for with new trains

At least 500 new jobs will be created in County Durham under plans to build a new generation of inter-city trains, the government has confirmed. This report from the BBC.

A consortium led by Hitachi will build a new factory in Newton Aycliffe where rolling stock will be made.

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said the news was a “massive and very welcome shot in the arm” for the North East economy.

The move is expected to create thousands of associated supply jobs.

The announcement follows a revised bid from the Agility Trains consortium for the new inter-city express programme (IEP) which will see most of the old inter-city 125 trains replaced.

Hitachi is expected to start construction of its European train manufacturing centre at Newton Aycliffe later this year.

Mr Hammond said: “This investment is expected to create at least 500 direct permanent jobs as well as hundreds of temporary construction jobs.

“Thousands more job opportunities will be created in the UK manufacturing and service supply chains.”

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Does the candidate want the job?

John Timpson explains how to spot a candidate who doesn’t really want a job, and offers advice for small businesses looking to work with the multiples. This piece from the Telegraph

It is easy to spot candidates who simply don’t want the job. They reluctantly turn up for interviews, don’t look the part and know little or nothing about our business.

It is tough being trained to repair shoes and cut keys so if we take on the wrong recruit their failings are soon spotted by work colleagues. Laziness and lateness are often the first signs (we send them an alarm clock in the welcome pack). In a small shop with no more than three people teamwork is essential — their bonus depends on it. Keen colleagues soon complain about a new starter who is letting the side down.

Your question talks of employers who moan about a skills gap. We don’t necessarily need A-levels, a degree or even the odd GCSE. We want new starters who are full of energy and ambition. Thankfully, there are plenty of people for us to pick with superstar potential.

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Lacking recruitment leads to “Mancession” in the West

Men are facing a “depressing future” because of significant changes to the economic and social environment of Western countries, psychiatrists claim. This report from the Telegraph.

Experts predict that rates of depressive disorders among men will increase as the 21st century progresses and they start to catch up with their female counterparts.

They believe that two major societal shifts that are already under way in Western countries could account for the increase in rates of depression among men.

First, they argue that society is encouraging men to discuss their feelings more, and stop being so tough and stoic.

This could lead to greater diagnosis.

Second, Western economics are undergoing a “profound restructuring”, with traditional male jobs associated with manufacturing and physical labour being outsourced to low- and middle-income nations, or becoming obsolete through technological advances.

Dr Boadie Dunlop, from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, said: “Women are almost twice as likely to develop major depressive disorder in their lifetime as men.

But we believe this difference may well change in the coming decades.

“Dubbed by some the ‘Mancession’, the economic downturn has hit men particularly hard because of its disproportionate effect on traditional male industries such as construction and manufacturing.”

Research has shown that roughly 75 per cent of jobs lost in the United States since the beginning of the recession in 2007 were held by men.

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