25th March 2013

HR Leaders in Local Government Forum – 10th April at The Guardian, London N1

Peridot Partners are bringing together senior HR people in local government to hear from inspirational speakers and gain perspectives on what is happening at the cutting edge both inside and outside of local government.  This is a free to attend opportunity to network with appropriately senior peers and to share ideas, challenges and good practice. It has been predicted that the £82bn a year spend on outsourced services may rise to £140bn by 2014, meaning that more than half of the annual £236bn public service budget will be spent on independent providers.  So what are the implications for HR strategy, HR delivery and people working in local government as a whole? Our first Forum seeks to discuss HR outsourcing and the challenges of employee engagement in organisations going through sustained periods of change and uncertainty. The Forum will be held on the morning of April 10th at the HQ of The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU (next to Kings Cross Station). The Forum will be held every 6 months thereafter. The agenda for the first Forum is as follows: 9:00:    Arrive for coffee and networking 9:30:    Introduction by Peridot Partners 9:40:    ‘HR Outsourcing: avoiding the pitfalls and making it […]
7th March 2013

My first week at Peridot Partners by Alison Nimmo

Up until a week ago I’d been working in traditional recruitment businesses for 9 years placing locums into the qualified social care market.  Whilst I built up a large network, and met some amazing people, many of whom I got to know personally as friends, I was frustrated with the numbers led approach to recruitment that restricted the time and ultimately the quality of what I could deliver to my clients and candidates.  I have been very successful from a financial perspective, but it started to dawn on me that I wasn’t adding any real value to the sector, or to my career, as I’d been conditioned to think about recruitment in terms of profit, margin and ultimately company gain. I joined Peridot Partners because the approach was so different to anything that I’d ever seen or heard of before.  It was refreshing to find out that both of my directors were Trustees of charities – I can’t think of any other consultancy where that’s the case.  When you walk into the office, the atmosphere is fun, but more mature than any other recruitment firm I’ve worked at before.  Everyone here seems to enjoy what they do and the whole […]
1st March 2013

A more commercial voluntary sector is a positive aspiration, says Philippa Fabry

The Secretary of State for Justice Chris Grayling has told MPs that the voluntary sector is not commercial enough in its approach to delivering public sector contracts and charities need to be more ‘commercially savvy’ to ensure they can viably bid in the governments new plans to contract out probation services. I can already hear some charities groaning at the prospect, but others have recognised the need to  modernise and adapt – and are successfully doing so,   to more effectively compete and bid for contracts in competition and partnership with both private and voluntary sector providers. And underpinning all of this they are creating a sense of accountability across the whole team and a ‘glass half full culture’, focusing on what can be done rather than what can’t. One of the catalysts for change is to introduce more commercially minded senior operations and business development professionals to stimulate new ways of working and drive greater performance, accountability and an enterprising spirit within their organisations. And if recruited and selected carefully,  balancing both commercial skills and acumen with the right values and motivation,  they can make a real difference. Peridot Partners have recently supported a number of charities, both large and […]
22nd February 2013

What does a high performing 21st century Trustee board look like?

The role of a board (corporate or charity) changed throughout much of the second half of the 20th century. Non-executive Directors and Trustees are becoming more independent, demanding higher performance both of the staff team and of themselves, and boards are less like social clubs and evolving into more professional performance focused entities. With this change came recognition that, more than ever, board members, whether Trustee or Non-Executive Director, had a responsibility to be more accountable. This accountability not only applied to their organisation’s performance, but also their own contributions and that of the board as a whole. In the 21st century the Trustee Board is no longer purely about compliance, managing risk and monitoring finances. Yes, governance plays a large part of what a board should do, but modern Trustees should come together united by the common goal of organisational success – making sure the organisation achieves and exceeds its objectives – not just playing the role of distant overseer. It is not just what a modern board does that has changed, but also how it does it. Turning up to meetings is part of the role, but that is not nearly enough. Modern Trustees are expected to be […]
17th January 2013

Considered being a School Governor?

SGOSS – Governors for Schools, a national charity set-up in 1999 by the Department for Education recruit volunteers with transferable skills to become school governors. SGOSS services are free to schools, volunteers and employers. Being a school governor is one of the most important voluntary roles in Education. Schools are in real need of skilled volunteers with an external perspective to contribute to their strategic leadership. This includes making decisions regarding budget, curriculum, building management and school policy. The support of good school governors is invaluable for maintaining and improving school performance. You don’t need to be a parent to apply; anyone aged over 18 with an interest in raising the standards of education can volunteer. At any one time, around 33,000 governor positions are vacant. Every one of these vacancies is an opportunity for schools to benefit from the skills of people in their local communities. The benefits run both ways.  A recent study by the City of London Corporation into school governance shows that no other volunteering opportunity in education allows for such extensive professional development. The current Chief Executive of SGOSS is going through the application process herself, and promises us that it is simple, easy and […]
10th January 2013

The Rehabilitation Revolution

I am currently recruiting a Chief Executive for a charity called Foundation who provide support housing and specialist services to adult offenders, so it was with interest that I read the Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling’s announcements yesterday regarding a rapid expansion in the use of private and voluntary sector organisations to supervise short-sentence prisoners when they leave jail, on a “payment by results” basis. Under the proposals which have been dubbed –  The Rehabilitation Revolution, a nationwide Justice Data Lab will also be established to help rehabilitation organisations access data on reoffending. And the government will offer £500,000 to voluntary and community sector groups to help them as they prepare to bid for probation contracts. Going beyond the hue and cry that an announcement of this kind inevitably attracts,  this is surely an opportunity for the incoming CEO and Foundation , which is well positioned to play a part in delivery.  It strives to maximise positive outcomes for its clients and the wider community and has been pioneering and innovative in its approach to reduce re-offending, working at a local level and with Probation and criminal justice partners to achieve significant results. But there is an inherent risk and potential […]
7th January 2013

Trust me, I’m a fundraiser!

‘Fundraisers are all alike; it’s just spin, spin, spin.  How do I know what I’m really getting?’ This is a fairly typical conversation that I have with Chief Executives time and time again. As a senior fundraiser turned recruiter, I have a good insight into what leaders are looking for in their top fundraising staff… or so I thought. More people than ever before are questioning the authenticity of fundraisers. Often, they start a briefing by requesting that I don’t give them the ‘usual suspects’.  This is one of the problems of working in such a specialist industry, the same names for the top jobs keep coming up. So, I have the challenge of finding my clients their ideal candidate, a person who really wants their particular job, as well as ensuring that these candidates can prove that they can be trusted and successful fundraisers.  My advice follows, but essentially I do this by following the numbers and helping fundraisers to communicate their success to prospective employers in an authentic way. Very simply, here is a checklist that all prospective employers should expect to see: Candidates who acknowledge the work of the wider team and steer clear of a CV […]
2nd January 2013

Doom & gloom or personal development and challenge – what’s your mantra in 2013?

The news so far this year has been dominated by the Fiscal Cliff, which refers to the economic effects that will result from tax increases and spending cuts which aim to reduce the US budget deficit.  The US must implement these measures at some point or continue to overspend, but if they had come through now, and in full, they would probably have pushed the US back into recession. These measures have now been delayed in the hope that economy will strengthen and cope better with these measures when they inevitably come through.  But they can’t avoid the tough decisions forever! Here in the UK, local government continues to suffer with cuts to some councils’ core grant allocations could be as high as 15% next year – potentially rising to almost 40% by 2014-15 according to LGC analysis of data on the local government finance settlement.  The calculations are complex but it is clear that budgets will continue to reduce for the foreseeable future. The combination of national budget deficits, stuttering economies and financial markets that lack confidence means only one thing – government spending must fall – and therefore compromise becomes critical, particularly in areas such as adult social services […]