In case you missed it, Personnel Today have released a round-up of the most important employment law cases over the last year. The biggest cases have been on the classification of workers, and how that will impact freelancing and the gig economy, as well as discrimination cases.
A Stack Overflow survey has shown that the most disliked programming language is Perl, and that there is a strong correlation between how liked or disliked a language is and how much it is growing or shrinking in use. That’s no surprise to us – demand for Perl developers has dropped significantly over the last ten years. What’s more surprising is PHP’s lack of popularity – we’re certainly seeing plenty of demand for PHP developers – though anecdotally, the increasingly popularity of Node.JS may account for that. The full results can be found here, but we’re interested in your thought let us know on Twitter @Alto_Resources.
It’s been quite a while since we visited this subject, and since then the process hasn’t really changed – but the link at the end of the page has – so we decided it was time to revisit this, especially as it was one of our most popular blog posts.
Getting security clearance for the first time can be a complex and daunting process, but can lead to a world of new opportunities. In this post, we shed some light on the process.
Why do I need clearance?
Clearance is needed for anybody who will have access to sensitive information or artefacts, and is carried out to ensure that there are no circumstances in your personal life that may make you susceptible to pressure to reveal classified information. These circumstances could include your finances, ties to foreign countries (including those of friends or relatives), or medical conditions.
What level of clearance?
There are several different levels of security clearance, and which you need will depend on the level of access to classified information that you need to do your job, your employer, and the site you are working on. The lowest levels of clearance, CTC and BPSS comprise of basic identity checks, whilst the more advanced levels of clearance (SC, SC Enhanced, and DV) are significantly more detailed.
SC clearance is needed for frequent and unsupervised access to Secret material. SC clearance typically takes 6-8 weeks to be processed, and is likely to include a credit check. You must have lived in the UK for the past five years.
DV clearance is needed for frequent and unsupervised access to Top Secret Material. DV clearance is a much more involved process involving interviews with you, your family members, friends, and co-workers. Your personal finances will be reviewed, and they may look at your medical history. DV clearance typically takes 6-8 months to be processed. Different agencies have different requirements for DV clearance, and so transferring between companies may still take some time. You must have lived in the UK for at least the previous ten years and must have British nationality.
More information about the process can be found here.
Adam Henderson thinks that we shouldn’t hire people we can’t trust – and who would disagree with that? And if we hire only people that we can trust, Adam says in this engaging article on LinkedIn, then surely, we should let them work flexibly, at times and in places that they can be most engaged. This way you build a diverse and engaged workforce. What Adam misses though, is that having a flexible working policy will attract employees in the first place.
Great article on LinkedIn by Ann Pickering at O2 about diversity in the workplace, and how flexibility can benefit a business – read it here.
There’s an interesting article in The Register today about the difficulties tech companies are facing in recruiting staff. According to an IDG survey, 60% of senior managers in tech companies are struggling to attract staff, and The Register comes up with some interesting ideas about why this is so – you can read them here.
Are they right? Their first suggestion is pay – and to pay more. It’s an obvious answer, and it does have its merits, but unless you have particularly deep pockets, this is not necessarily the answer. There are, of course, some companies that pay below the market rate, but in our experience, most companies now are aware of people’s salary expectations are prepared to meet them.
It’s their second and third points that are particularly worth reading though – there’s increasingly a demand by companies to hire fully formed staff who have every area of the job spec honed to perfection – and a corresponding reluctance to train both existing employees and new hires on new technology. Hiring for aptitude would not only make finding talent easier, but would also diversify the workplace. Companies also restrict their hiring pool by discounting potential employees that don’t fit into a preconceived vision of what their company should look like – being more open would undoubtedly benefit them through an increase in experience, and different viewpoints.
If you want help with widening your talent pools, call Alto on 01242 223946.
Free Webinar on Quantum Computing
Our clients Oxford Instruments are participating in a webinar hosted by the Institute of Physics on the latest advances in quantum computing capabilities on 19th November at 2.30pm.
For more information, and to sign up, click here:
Yesterday saw the launch of Octopus Ventures $140m fund for later-stage companies in Europe. Opportunities for start-ups to gain large-scale funding in Europe has been limited to this point, and no doubt many start-ups will see this as a growing sign of investors’ confidence in the ability of the UK and Europe to produce world-class ventures.
The Scottish Referendum: The effect on UK jobs
As with most communities in the UK this week, our attention has been focused on tomorrow’s independence referendum in Scotland. Whilst we are broadly in favour of a no vote, like Matthew Parris writing in The Spectator, our attitude towards Scotland has been soured somewhat by the tone of the debates, and the hectoring of the Yes Campaign in its incessant drive to batter the English. Our principal concern has been the effect on jobs.
Our analysis is that a yes vote will increase public sector jobs, but see a reduction in private sector jobs. Many functions of state undertaken in Westminster (and elsewhere in England) will have to be duplicated; an army of consultants will need to be employed to separate the technical functions of every government department. But private sector jobs are likely to fall, particularly in the banking and finance sector on which the Scottish economy is heavily dependent. RBS and Lloyds banks have already made public parts of their contingency plans to move their headquarters in the event of a yes vote, and it seems inevitable that further rationalisation of jobs would disproportionately hit an area no longer their home. Ironically, independence would likely only increase London’s dominance, and not reduce it as sought by the SNP.
The Currency Problem
The SNP’s failure to adequately address the issue of currency is perhaps of greatest concern. Whilst it is just conceivable that Cameron, Miliband et al may withdraw their assertion that they will not allow a currency union, it is highly unlikely that they will. The currency options for an independent Scotland, therefore, are quite unpalatable, and will result in Scotland having a much weaker currency – and, if they join the Euro, much more vulnerable to wider market problems. This is likely to reduce inward investment, and inhibit job creation.
You’ve had a successful interview, and have been made an offer. Congratulations! Now you need to decide whether to accept or decline that offer.
Sometimes the choice is easy – you loved the company’s ethos, got on well with the hiring manager, and the job is going where you want – or, occasionally, exactly the opposite – and you can give your answer immediately. But sometimes, you’re not sure. What should you do?
Communication is key – you may want to keep your head down for a few days to decide, but if you stay off the radar, the company may think that you aren’t interested at all, and rescind the offer. Talk with your recruiter and hiring manager, and explain your concerns – often you will find that these can be resolved.
If you’re not sure, the temptation is often to delay a decision – but how long can you delay? There’s no hard and fast answer, but the longer you leave it, the more likely you are to find that your offer has been withdrawn (we recommend a maximum of two days). Some might find this unreasonable – but look at it from the perspective of the hiring manager – they want someone committed to their role, and if you leave it too long, they are likely to think that you are taking the job as a last resort, and not because you really want the position. We recently had a situation where a candidate was allowed two weeks to consider the offer – but then had to re-interview for the role because of the delay. The client then withdrew the offer, to the chagrin of the candidate.
How can this be avoided? Don’t just go for every role that comes your way. Make sure you do your homework before the interview, so that when you do go to interview, you have considered everything about the role – the commute, the pay, the work you would be doing, the industry sector – and are prepared to accept or negotiate on an offer.