Attractive women should not include photo on CV - 07-08-2015  Attractive women should refrain from including a photograph of themselves on their CV, a study has shown. The research, carried out by Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, submitted two identical CVs to over 2,500 advertised vacancies, keeping every qualification, exam result and personal biography the same. The only difference was that one CV contained a photo of a candidate judged to be “unmistakably better looking” whilst the other was seen as unattractive. The results proved that female candidates without a photo fared the best, with plain women coming in second whilst the beautiful applicants were very rarely invited to an interview. Dr Bradley Ruffle, Researcher at Wilfrid Laurier University, says that these results cannot be explained by the job specification or the amount of public facing interaction involved, but rather that beautiful women are now subject to discrimination in the workplace. And it’s not necessarily at the hands of male colleagues, but their envious female counterparts. Dr Ruffle explains: “Females in charge of hiring may well be jealous of prospective female employees who are attractive and compete with them for mates, or at least for the attention of male co-workers.” Dr Ruffle goes on to say that attractive women may be seen as a distraction within an office based work environment, or even that male employers would decide against hiring a beauty out of “fear of a backlash from their spouses.” The results mark a shift in recruitment trends away from hiring more physically attractive candidates. Previous studies have shown a "beauty premium", with employers equating good looks with intelligence, ambition and trustworthiness. With more and more companies requiring the inclusion of a photo with a CV, it seems that this beauty bias has begun affecting male applicants too, though not quite in the same way. Dr Ruffle discovered that a handsome man has “nearly double” the chances of being hired over his average looking counterparts, alleging that: “A plain male needs to send over twice as many CVs as an attractive male for an equal chance at a callback.”

Job Market swings in Workers’ favour as vacancy numbers soar - 30-03-2015  The number of job opportunities grew strongly in February, new figures show. Professional recruiters had 21 per cent more vacancies in February than a year ago, according to data released today by the association of Professional Staffing Companies. Permanent vacancies across engineering, IT and Finance and Accounting rose by 25,27,and 12 per cent respectively. Figures for the wider economy released today by Adzuna, a job search website, shows the level of vacancies in February reached 992,465 – a post recession high. Labour market conditions are turning in the workers’ favour, with 0.86 applicants per vacancy in February, down from 1.55 in the same month last year. - City AM by Chris Papadopoullos.

Does when you retire impact how long you live? - 30-03-2015  Does retirement have a significant effect on peoples' social and emotional health? And should there be better structures to keep older people in work longer? Peter Knight joins Beverley Turner live on LBC Radio to give his assessment. Listen to an edited version at The state pension age is currently 65 for men and 62 for women. The latter will keep steadily rising every few months and equalise at 65 for men and women in 2018. It will then increase every few months, reaching 66 by 2020. The next planned increase, towards age 67, will start in 2026 and conclude in 2028. So anyone aged 59 or under will face a retirement age of between 65 and 66. Those under 53 will have to wait until age 66 at least. Finally, those 52 and under will take a pension no earlier than age 67. Beyond that, the Labour government set a date of 2046 for the rise to 68 but the Coalition has set out plans, yet to be approved, to do this 10 years sooner. The move to 69 will also be accelerated, probably to 2049, the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced in the Autumn Statement in December 2013. Previous predictions, put together for The Telegraph by pensions consultants Towers Watson, suggest those aged 47 and under will be affected. The exact pace of the rises is yet to be passed as law. The Chancellor has said the payout should last “a third of adult life” (beginning from age 20), which could hold back future increases. At least ten years’ notice will be provided and changes will be phased in over two years each time. The rate at which British life expectancy is rising has slowed. While there were sharp improvements in mortality in 2011, there was a lag in 2012 and early 2013. This is important, as the Government has said it will monitor life expectancy and make adjustments to the state pension age accordingly.

Nepotism ‘alive and well’ in the workplace, research shows - 30-03-2015  ‘Social mobility has barely changed since the 18th century’, says Debrett’s The cliché ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ is alive and well – and depressingly so in 21st century Britain – according to a report published by the Debrett’s Foundation. Debrett’s – known for being the arbiter of rules for social etiquette (and publisher of the first guide for the ruling classes in 1769), launched its foundation in 2014, with the aim of ensuring high achievers from underprivileged backgrounds enter the world of work. But, in its survey of more than 5,000 people, Debrett’s found that social mobility has barely changed since the 18th century. It finds 72 per cent of children from privileged backgrounds admitted to using family connections to secure work placements. It also found London was the top destination for 32 per cent of those that had attended private schools. This compares to only 15 per cent of underprivileged children seeking work experience in the capital. The research found 25 per cent of all young people felt the system for getting work placements and internships in Britain was “unfair”, with 47 per cent of poorer children saying they didn’t apply for work experience in London because of the cost. Joanne Milner, chief executive at Debrett’s, said: These findings reveal securing the right work experience placement is difficult, but considerably more so if young people don’t have the right connections.” With one-quarter of respondents agreeing it was easier to bag a placement by having a double-barrelled surname, she added: “While nepotism isn’t any more widespread than it was in the past, it has a greater impact today. When there are so many candidates for the top graduate jobs it follows that those with the best experience have a better chance of securing them.” According to ONS figures published last November, the average intern receives barely £100 per week, (with young men earning £20 per week more than women), making work experience increasingly unavailable to all but those with parents who can afford to support them throughout this period. In fact Debrett’s found internships were becoming more expensive to take part in. Graduates, it found, now have to go through an average of seven placements before they land their first job. For 10 per cent of young people, the number was as high as 15 placements. Milner said: “We don’t want Intern Britain to have a negative impact on the diversity of future leaders and people of achievement in this country.” Debrett's findings chime with research published last November by social mobility charity, The Sutton Trust. It concluded poorer graduates are missing out on many of the better jobs in Britain because they can’t afford to take unpaid internships – a practice that continues despite it being against the law. The Sutton Trust estimates 21,000 interns are currently not being paid at any one time, but even the government estimates the figure could be as high as 70,000. According to The Sutton Trust, a six-month internship in London would cost more than £5,500 excluding transport. Ref: Peter Crush, People Management, Daily

One in five lie about salaries to prospective new employers - 30-03-2015  A new study has discovered that almost one in five (18%) UK employees confess that they would exaggerate their current salary when speaking to potential employers. Salary inflation jumps to almost one in four (24%) among the 16 to 24-year-olds. The Glassdoor research found that this is far higher than those that would exaggerate salaries with friends (eight per cent), partners (seven per cent) or colleagues (six per cent). Of those employees that would inflate their salary with a potential employer, the average ‘inflation’ is 18%. Based on the median salary in the UK (£22,044), this is an increase of £3,968. Recent figures show that the average salary increase for UK employees was just 1.7% so this fictional pay rise could be problematic for employers when it comes to benchmarking salaries. Further research shows that one in three (32%) existing employees would ask for a pay rise if they found out a new recruit was earning more money than them. Jon Ingham, Glassdoor career and workplace expert, comments: “Inflating your existing salary when speaking to new employers is not a strategy I would recommend. There are far more effective ways to negotiate a higher salary when you are applying for a new job – the secret is to do your homework and then not be afraid to ask.” Ingham adds, “Most employers do not intentionally try to scrimp on salary offers, but they will usually start with an amount that is lower than what they are willing to pay, based on the assumption the candidate will try to negotiate upwards. This ‘buffer’ ensures the employer is not paying a disproportionately higher salary than they pay existing employees in similar positions. “Failure to synchronise salaries across a business for both new and existing candidates can lead to a sea of discontent if employees discuss their pay with colleagues.” Ref: Recruitment Grapevine

Recruiters warned against discrimination by Ageism Tsar - 10-03-2015  The Equality and Human Rights Commission should hold recruiters to account if they fail to do more to prevent age discrimination, according to the Government’s champion for the rights of older workers. Dubbed the ‘Ageism Tsar’, Ros Altmann said: “There is evidence to show there is an in-built bias among recruitment firms and employers with regard to employing the over-50s. I am recommending that there should be proper penalties for employers who flout the law. “Recruitment firms should be taken to the EHRC if they do not abide by rules that will ensure fairness for older people wanting to find work.” Altmann believes the industry should be encouraged to take part in a voluntary code with greater clarity in job adverts that should say clearly that the application is open to everyone regardless of age, she said. “We have to make sure that the mature know they are eligible for all jobs and to help give them back their confidence.” She is also pushing the idea of “mature” apprentice schemes. Barclays has already signed up to such a scheme, while National Express is launching what it calls “open” apprenticeships to help people re-enter the world of work. Source: Recruitment Grapevine

Older Workers choosing Later Retirement - 23-01-2015  According to a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people over 50, there is a growing trend away from the traditional views of retirement towards a more flexible approach. Almost half of the over 50s plan to continue working between the ages 65 and 70. Almost 4 in 10 (39%) would prefer to work flexible hours or part-time before retiring and 17% want to stop work immediately. According to another survey commissioned by Zopa, 47% of over 65s are choosing to work beyond the traditional working age and the main reasons were keeping an active mind (27%), financial reasons (17%) and keeping busy (16%).

People changing O-levels to GCSEs on their CV to get interviews - 21-01-2015  People are resorting to changing their O-level qualifications to GCSEs on their CV to get interviews reports Nicholas Hellen in the 18th Jan 2015 edition of the Sunday Times, according to Ros Altmann, the Government tsar for older workers. Apparently, employers are weeding out older workers by calculating their age from information on their CVs and GCEs are an easy giveaway. By law, employers are not allowed to ask for a date of birth in the recruitment process, however by renaming O-levels to GCEs which started in 1988, it means they could be 43 years old or younger. PKRLondon comment – Although this is very frustrating, altering factual information on a CV could cost you your job if you are found out that you knowingly gave false information in order to get a job. There have been many high profile cases of people who have been in post for some time who have been dismissed for just this reason. We find that an increasing number of clients are using our services to carry out background checks on staff prior to them starting in post. Tempting as it is to tell lies in order to get an interview, this is a gross misconduct offence and an employer is well within their rights to make the contract void or dismiss anyone who is found to have given false information. In any case, employers need employee’s dates of birth in order to put them on the payroll so age cannot be hidden and must be disclosed after the recruitment decision has been made.

Coronation Street drop actress for lying about age on CV - 21-01-2015  It has been widely reported in the media that Katie Redford (19) had been cast as a 14 year old Bethany Platt last week. However it turns out that Katie was actually 25 as confirmed by her online CV. Apparently her agent had advised her to lie because people do it all the time in the industry. PKRLondon Comment – Don’t tell lies on your CV. If you are an older worker looking for a company who is looking for an older employee, how can they find you if your CV is not accurate?

Peter interviewed live on LBC Radio - 19-01-2015  Peter Knight was interviewed live on LBC radio by Rachael Turner on the subject of older workers taking up more and more apprenticeship places. Peter outlined the reasons why older workers in their sixties contacted Forties People looking for jobs and commented their reasons were largely related to the pensions they had built up and whether the projected income from them was enough to live on. Peter also provided some background information about the benefits of employing older workers which included reliability and commitment, greater wisdom and experience and having a stabilising effect on work teams. Download and listen to this short interview here