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  • Oklahoma inmate captured after daring escape from jail’s 12th floor

    first_imgKOCO-TVBy ABC News(OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Ok.) — An Oklahoma inmate has been taken into custody after breaking out of his 12th-floor jail cell window and shimmying down what appeared to be sheets tied together.Pablo Robledo, 34, escaped from Oklahoma County Jail with his cellmate, Jose Hernandez, early Friday morning, according to authorities.Just before 7 a.m., the Oklahoma City Police Department notified the Oklahoma County Detention Center that it had detained an injured Hernandez, according to authorities, who said the OCDC then determined that Hernandez and Robledo had gone missing.Officials said they believe Hernandez, who was taken to a hospital, broke his leg after jumping from the fourth floor, ABC Oklahoma City affiliate KOCO reported.Online records show Robledo was being held since June 2019 on charges including first-degree murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and misdemeanor domestic abuse.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • Downtown Chicago under lockdown in wake of looting, violent unrest

    first_imgKathryn Kirsch/iStockBy KARMA ALLEN, ABC News(CHICAGO) — At least 100 people were arrested in Chicago overnight as looting and violence overtook the streets, injuring multiple police officers, authorities said.Thirteen officers were injured, including a sergeant who was attacked with a bottle, and at least two civilians were shot during the unrest after midnight Sunday, in the early hours of Monday morning, as hundreds overran the city’s upscale Magnificent Mile shopping district and surrounding areas with vandalism and violence, authorities said.The suspects face several charges, including looting, battery against police and disorderly conduct, authorities said. Investigators are also searching for suspects who fired shots at police, Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said on Monday.“In one incident, officers were arresting a suspect who was seen carrying a cash register he had looted out of a store,” Brown said. “As officers were making the arrest, another vehicle passed by the officers and fired shots at the officers, as their vehicle turned the corner, resulting in an exchange in gunfire between officers and the suspects. A bullet was found lodged in the cage of the police vehicle.”The officers were not wounded by gunfire.Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she implemented a community protection program — a lockdown with massive police presence — that will be in place “for foreseeable days until we know our neighborhoods are safe.”Lightfoot said the criminal activity had nothing to do with “legitimate” organized protests and described it as “an assault on our city.”“These individuals engaged in what only could be described as brazen and extensive criminal looting and destruction. To be clear, this had nothing to do with legitimate, protected First Amendment expression,” Lightfoot said on Monday.Investigators said the unrest was sparked Sunday afternoon by inaccurate reports online about an unarmed juvenile being shot by police in the Englewood area. The shooting victim was actually a 20-year-old man who allegedly opened fire on police while being chased, authorities said.“Tempers flared, fueled by misinformation as the afternoon turned into evening. CPD became aware of several social media posts encouraging looting downtown,” Brown said. “Officers were dispatched to our downtown area once we got word of the social media posts. Four hundred officers were dispatched to our downtown.”Much of the unrest happened along the Magnificent Mile, one of the city’s most-popular tourist attractions, where looters were seen stuffing vehicles with shopping bags full of stolen merchandise and store equipment.ATM machine were compromised, cash registers were stolen and at least one bank was broken into, according to the Chicago Tribune.City officials said residents should expect a heavy police presence downtown until further notice. Lightfoot said the city was still “working on the specifics” of a looming lockdown that could include closing some bridges and expressways.“We are working on the specifics now,” Lightfoot told reporters Monday. “We are looking at the bridges. But we want to make sure obviously that the people who work and live downtown have easy access to the downtown area.”Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • Coronavirus live updates: Global case count surpasses 25 million

    first_imgMyriam Borzee/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 846,000 people worldwide.Over 25.2 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis — through clinical means or a lab test — has varied from country-to-country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the virus has rapidly spread to every continent except Antarctica.The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 5.9 million diagnosed cases and at least 183,083 deaths. California has the most coronavirus cases in the U.S., with more than 706,000 people diagnosed. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 629,000 cases and over 621,000 cases respectively.Nearly 170 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, six of which are in crucial phase three trials.Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern:Aug 31, 10:54 amIndia sees its 2nd-highest daily case increaseIndia’s health ministry reported 78,512 new coronavirus cases on Monday, just shy of Sunday’s record high of 78,761 new cases.Indian health authorities reported 971 new fatalities on Monday, bringing the nationwide death toll to 64,469.With over 193,000 active cases, Maharashtra is India’s hardest-hit state.ABC News’ Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.Aug 31, 9:26 amNJ to reopen indoor dining with limited seatingRestaurants across New Jersey can start opening for indoor dining this Friday, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday.Restaurants will be limited to 25% capacity and must incorporate social distancing between tables, he said.“Reopening responsibly will help us restore one of our state’s key industries while continuing to make progress against” the virus, Murphy tweeted.New Jersey ranks No. 8 in the country for COVID-19 cases, with over 191,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. As of Sunday, the rate of transmission was at .87, according to state data.Aug 31, 7:50 amHungary to shut its borders amid rising casesHungary will shut its border to non-residents on Tuesday in an effort to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the country’s government announced Friday. Meanwhile, Hungarian citizens returning home from abroad will be required to either self-quarantine for 14 days or test negative for COVID-19 twice, within 48 hours apart. The move comes after Hungary identified 292 new cases on Sunday, the largest day-to-day increase the landlocked European nation has seen so far. Overall, Hungary has reported at least 6,139 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 with 615 deaths, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Aug 31, 7:09 amUS reports over 35,000 new casesThere were 35,343 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Sunday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Sunday’s tally is far below the country’s record set on July 16, when 77,255 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.An additional 429 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded Sunday. The latest daily death toll is well under the record 2,666 new fatalities that were reported on April 17.A total of 5,997,163 people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 183,068 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.However, the numbers of new COVID-19 cases and new deaths in the United States have both decreased by substantial amounts in week-over-week comparisons, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News last week.Aug 31, 6:36 am94% of COVID-19 deaths in US had underlying conditions, CDC saysThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released information showing how many people who died from COVID-19 as of last week had underlying health conditions and contributing causes.“For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned,” the CDC stated on its website, alongside the data. “For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or cases per death.”According to the CDC, some of the most common underlying conditions and contributing causes linked with COVID-19 deaths were influenza and pneumonia; adult respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory failure; hypertensive disease; cardiac arrest; heart failure; sepsis; diabetes; vascular and unspecified dementia; renal failure; and intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning and other adverse events.Aug 31, 5:16 amGlobal case count surpasses 25 millionThe worldwide number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 is now at 25,236,271, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.At least 846,574 people around the globe have died from the disease.The top five countries with the highest national tallies of cases are the United States, Brazil, India, Russia and Peru, respectively.The United States alone accounts for more than 23% of the world’s diagnosed cases.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • Deaths, hospitalizations and at least 68 COVID-19 cases after week-long church event

    first_imgSunnyGraph/iStockBy JON HAWORTH, ABC News (CHARLOTTE, N.C.) — At least two people are dead, four hospitalized and at least 68 positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed following a weeklong convocation event at a church in North Carolina.The week of events took place at the United House of Prayer for All People in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the numbers include attendees and close contacts of people who attended the services at the church. Authorities and health officials have said they are still trying to track down 94 more close contacts of the people who tested positive.Health officials in Mecklenburg County have said they have contacted local health departments in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey and New York to warn them of possible cases tied to the events.“We are aware that there were convocation activities throughout the week,” the church said in a statement obtained by ABC News. “Following initial case investigations, it was determined that the early cases were most likely connected to the larger events held on Saturday and Sunday. As the case count has grown, we are aware of additional cases likely connected to smaller events that occurred during the week. We are currently attempting to trace contacts for all cases who participated in any of the activities. Out of an abundance of caution, we recommend anyone who participated in any of these events to closely monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested as soon as possible.”One of the people who died was a resident at Madison Saints Paradise Independent Living and at least six of the people who tested positive live at the same assisted living facility in Charlotte, North CarolinaMeanwhile, Dr. Raynard Washington, deputy health director of Mecklenburg County, has warned those who attended the church events to not attend any further gatherings.“I have advised them to not have any gatherings in the coming weeks because we don’t know how far the spread has gone at this point, and it is not a good idea to reconvene those same groups of people,” said Washington.One man, who asked to remain anonymous, told ABC News’ affiliate station WSOC-TV in Charlotte that he didn’t feel comfortable going to the event.“I decided because of health reasons in my family, I wasn’t going there,” he said. “It should have never been held. It was just too many people.”Vilma Leake, who has been on the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners since 2008 and attends the United House of Prayer for All People, called on a leader of the West Charlotte House of Worship to address the board of commissioners.“We are very serious about bending the curve and leveling that out. We are very serious about the health of those who worship with us. We just appreciate all concern and are going to continue to take this matter under the strictest concern,” the church leader said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • CDC advisers call for 1st COVID-19 vaccines to go to health care workers, long-term care facilities

    first_imgsimon2579/iStockBy STEPHANIE EBBS and ARIELLE MITROPOULOS, ABC News(ATLANTA) — A group of independent experts voted Tuesday that health care personnel treating patients — as well as workers and residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities — should get the first shots of a COVID-19 vaccine when one is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee on vaccines, called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices or ACIP, voted Tuesday on who it recommends should receive the initial limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine.Early in the meeting, Beth Bell, a clinical professor of global health at the University of Washington and leader of the committee’s vaccine work group, took a moment to acknowledge the severity of COVID-19 in the country saying an average of one person is dying from the disease every minute.“In the time it takes us to have this ACIP meeting 180 people will have died from COVID-19, so we are acting none too soon,” she said.The committee discussed how to prioritize vaccine distribution within the population of health care workers, specifically, including considerations for pregnant or breastfeeding health care personnel since the vaccine candidates have not been studied in how they affect pregnant women. The recommendations include prioritizing health care personnel in direct contact with patients and who can’t telework, those who provide services to patients or family members of patients and those who handle infectious materials before moving on to vaccinate other groups.“Vaccinating healthcare personnel supports the principle of maximizing benefits and minimizing harms through what we are calling the multiplier effect,” explained Dr. Kathleen Dooling, Medical Officer for the Division of Viral Diseases, the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and the CDC.“Protection of health care personnel leads to preservation of health care capacity, and better health outcomes for all. It promotes justice because health care personnel put themselves at risk and will be essential to carry out the vaccination program. Vaccinating healthcare personnel also has the potential to mitigate health inequities, because the group includes a broad range of occupations, inclusive of low wage earners and racial and ethnic minority groups,” Dooling added.Nancy Messonier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at CDC, also said most jurisdictions anticipate being able to vaccinate all health care workers within three weeks.The recommendations also include guidance for hospitals and local health departments working on plans to vaccinate outpatient providers and personnel outside the hospital setting. They also suggest medical facilities should stagger vaccinations for people working in the same unit in the event of any side effects that could cause people to miss work. After the recommendations are finalized by CDC, they’ll be published online so states can use them to inform their own vaccine distribution plans.The committee also discussed how to ensure that health care providers, pharmacies, and health departments tracking the administration of the vaccine can collect data on any adverse side effects and communicate that information between different data tracking systems.“I just want to reiterate the importance that CDC places on the safety of vaccines,” Messonier said.“I know that FDA will not authorize a vaccine and ACIP will not recommend a vaccine, unless you are convinced, based on the phase three clinical trials, that the vaccines are very safe. But we all also know that vaccine safety doesn’t stop there and especially for these vaccines. We’re going to hold ourselves to an exceedingly high standard for safety monitoring after a vaccine is authorized and when it’s rolled out,” she said.While the focus this week is on which groups of Americans can receive the first round of vaccine doses for any COVID-19 vaccine, there will be more recommendations specific to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines after the FDA reviews their requests for emergency use authorization.HHS Secretary Alex Azar has said he will work with CDC so the FDA committee considering whether vaccines should be authorized and the CDC advisory group can meet at the same time so there are recommendations for how to distribute the initial doses of vaccine available as quickly as possible as shipments start to go out to states.Then, as more doses are produced and become more widely available, other groups of frontline workers or Americans with less risk will be able to access the vaccine.The ACIP committee is made up of experts from around the country who make recommendations about how vaccines should be used, including who should receive certain vaccines and when, and the recommended schedule for vaccinating children. The members don’t work for the government but provide independent expertise in how vaccines work, how the immune system responds, family medicine, and infectious diseases.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • Here’s how Derek Chauvin could try to get verdict overturned on appeal

    first_imgkuzma/iStock(MINNEAPOLIS) — Derek Chauvin’s legal battle is far from over.The nation watched with bated breath on Tuesday as the former Minnesota police officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.Chauvin will have 90 days to appeal the verdict, under Minnesota law, and it could take about a year for the appeal to run its course, according to Paul Applebaum, a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer.Following the verdict, Judge Peter Cahill announced Chauvin’s sentencing hearing will take place in eight weeks.Chauvin will only be sentenced on the second-degree murder charge because, per state law, if a defendant is convicted of two or more felony offenses from the same incident, the defendant is punished for the “most serious” of the offenses.The maximum sentence for second-degree murder is 40 years in prison, but Minnesota sentencing guidelines suggest he’s more likely to receive up to 15 years, based on his lack of a prior criminal record.All three charges are eligible for appeal under Minnesota state law — Chauvin could request the verdict be overturned and he be granted a new trialChauvin could seek to challenge the verdict based on a number of grounds, including arguing the jury was prejudiced by intense media coverage of the case and the $27 million settlement won by George Floyd’s family to settle a civil lawsuit filed over his death. That settlement was reached during jury selection.After the settlement was announced, Chauvin’s defense attorney Eric Nelson requested a delay in the trial or a change of venue, arguing the settlement had an “incredible propensity to taint a jury pool.” Cahill denied that request on March 19.Cahill’s ruling to not move the trial or delay proceedings could be challenged as part of the appeal. The decision to sequester the jury for only deliberations could also be an appellate issue.“Most of the arguments are going to center around the publicity, because being downtown Minneapolis, it was like the Green Zone in Iraq where the U.S. military was living. I’ve never seen anything like that — Rodney King wasn’t like that, O.J. Simpson wasn’t like that,” Applebaum told ABC News.“First you have the pretrial publicity, which was horrific if you’re the defendant. For almost one year, it’s just been a daily barrage of negative emotions and feelings towards the defendant. Then you’d have the $27 million settlement on the eve of the trial, which is horrific for the defendant in terms of the City of Minneapolis, his employer, giving $27 million payout for his conduct,” he added.Another strategy in the appeal could be pointing out the uproar over the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright on April 11 in the Minneapolis suburb, which reignited protests in the state.Chauvin’s attorney could also cite comments from California Rep. Maxine Waters, who urged protesters over the weekend to “get more confrontational” if Chauvin was found not guilty — a comment Nelson used to request a mistrial. Cahill denied that motion but admitted the comments were controversial.“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result on this whole trial being overturned,” Cahill said.“All of these things most certainly have spilled over into the trial,” Applebaum said. “Prosecutors will probably argue it doesn’t matter where we try, this evidence was so overwhelming. No amount of negative publicity would change the verdict.”Chauvin’s lawyers could also focus the appeal on challenging the third-degree murder charge. Under Minnesota law, third-degree murder is defined as an act committed “without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life.”Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, who was convicted of third-degree murder in the 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, filed an appeal on that charge with the Minnesota Supreme Court.Noor’s appeal, which is still pending, will focus on if a person can be convicted of third-degree murder if the actions of the defendant only targeted a single individual, not multiple, and if recklessness of the action warrants charges of “evincing a depraved mind,” according to the Star Tribune.While Noor could argue that his actions only targeted Damond and no one else, Chauvin could similarly argue that he didn’t harm any bystanders in Floyd’s death.The original charges against Chauvin included third-degree murder, but Judge Cahill threw out that count in October, saying prosecutors could not show probable cause that Chauvin’s actions put people other than Floyd at risk. Prosecutors fought to include the charge and the Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered Cahill to reexamine the third-degree charge saying the application of the count in Noor’s case established a precedent and in March Cahill reinstated the charge. However, this may not be an effective route to pursue as Chauvin was also found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, a more serious charge.Despite having a number of ways to challenge the verdict, the statistics suggest Chauvin has an uphill battle. The National Post-Conviction Project, a nonprofit, says 90% of civil and criminal appeals are denied in the United States.Applebaum said Chauvin’s prospects for a successful appeal are slim.“Chances are slim to none and slim just left town,” he said.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

  • Hire on the wire

    first_imgHire on the wireOn 2 May 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article On-line recruitment sites look as though they could be the answer to makinglife easier for the HR manager, but a site without proper management andtechnological infrastructure behind it may only cause more problems when tryingto find the right candidateWhat makes a good site?1 At their simplest, on-line recruitment sites are electronic jobboards which look and act like on-line models of recruitment pages in anewspaper or magazine. An HR manager posts a job on them and people respond,only the CVs usually arrive by email, not in the post. It may well be that asimple site like one of these answers your needs but they are unlikely todeliver a long-term, cost-effective recruitment solution for the HRprofessional. If you’re expecting an on-line recruitment site to make your lifeeasier, lower costs, speed up recruitment times and, most importantly, find youthe right employee every time, you need to look for a site which has the propermanagement and technological infrastructure behind it.Sites such as Monster (www.monster.co.uk), TotalJobs (www.totaljobs .com),Peoplebank (www.peoplebank. com), Stepstone (www.stepstone.co.uk) and Wideyes(www.wideyes.com) are typical of the new breed of more well-rounded recruitmentsites, which claim to offer these features. In design terms, such sites oftenlook more like an on-line magazine, carrying articles and other content, suchas expert advice, career healthchecks and psychometric testing. Rather thancalling themselves job sites, some refer to themselves as “careermanagement” companies and the emphasis is on servicing an individualthroughout their career or an organisation throughout its corporatedevelopment.It’s all a far cry from the early job boards which did little more thanbombard the poor HR manager with untargeted CVs and earned on-line recruitmenta bad reputation. “Every job is only a click away now and the HR managercould easily find themselves being emailed 500 CVs which they then had to printand look at,” says Bill Shipton, managing director of Peoplebank.Unfortunately, residuals of this practice still exist and even the inclusionof an email address in a press ad is sometimes enough to encourage a lack ofthought before a job seeker applies. “One week we had a candidate send thesame e-CV for every job we advertised: head of IT, logistics director andbanker,” says Joelle Warren, managing director of recruitment specialistWalton Churchill Search and Selection. “We are seriously consideringremoving our email address from job adverts to make candidates think before theyreply.”What should HR managers look for?2 In the light of the comments above, what clearly sets a goodrecruitment site apart from a bad or indifferent one is the ability to targetCVs precisely. This means that one of the major concerns for an HR manager isthe accuracy of the site’s candidate matching and the quality of its peopleassessment tools (this is dealt with in more detail later). Aside from this youshould also be asking questions like how often they clean their database ofcandidates (if it boasts several hundred thousand names but hasn’t been cleanedfor three months, it’s meaningless) and how much traffic the site is getting.”Numbers are important because they make it all possible, but you’ve gotto have the tools on top to do the job and the right CVs,” says SimonParker, UK marketing director of Monster.com, the current worldwide marketleader in on-line recruitment.It’s easy to get overwhelmed by figures but ask about site traffic, numberof jobs posted and the size of CV databases because it starts to build apicture of the major players in the market. Monster, the US company which cameto the UK in 1996, has hubs in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore andthroughout Europe. Its Monster.com, as opposed to Monster.co.uk site, is visitedby 9 million people a month, lists over 450,000 jobs and has a database of over2.7 million CVs. The .co.uk site receives around 100,000 visits a month and theaverage user session is up to 10 minutes. Over 7,000 CVs sit in its database.Reed Business Information, publisher of Personnel Today, has 27,000 jobs on itsTotalJobs site. It claims to have 3 million page impressions a month and over200,000 users, which is impressive for a Web site that went live just sixmonths ago. PlanetRecruit, launched in February, claims to offer 50,000 jobson-line and has a CV database of 28,000, going up by 400 a day. It puts pageviews at 1 million a month.All sites should be able to give you such figures and while you shouldn’tnecessarily believe everything you hear, always bear in mind the quality overquantity adage (remember, how current is that database). You should then startto accumulate some useful benchmark figures.User profile is another important issue. As you’d expect, there is a veryhigh proportion of IT people who use the Net for recruitment which is good newsif all you want are IT professionals but not if you’re after a less technicalmember of staff. It may well be that a niche site catering for your ownindustry already exists (see 8).How much does it cost?3 As with anything, this is negotiable but can range from a one-offfee of £250 to simply place a job advert to upwards of £10,000 for a completecorporate strategy. In theory, on-line recruitment should lower the cost of recruitment becauseit streamlines the process for job seekers and employers and therefore lowersoverheads. For instance, if you place a one-off job ad at Peoplebank(www.peoplebank.com) for £499, it guarantees to deliver 10 well-matchedprospective candidates. Peoplebank, set up in 1995, is the most establishedon-line recruiter and if its matching is as effective as it claims, you mayfind that you make more than one appointment from that 10, which will have madefor a very economical recruit indeed.At the newly launched Wideyes (www.wideyes.com), individual job adverts arefree and clients can have a detailed corporate profile for one year at £500.TotalJobs rate card starts at £250 for a single job ad but with bulk deals thiscan be reduced to as little as £70 for 500. As it is still early days inon-line recruitment’s evolution, companies are very keen to state that costsare “negotiable” and there are nearly always bulk deals to be done. Many of them want to forge long-term relationships with clients so HRmanagers are in a strong bargaining position. Test them out with someindividual job adverts first and drive a hard bargain when it comes to the costof these. If the on-line recruiter has confidence in his or her product, you’llprobably get a good price. After all, if the site can deliver a crop ofwell-matched CVs to your desk the following morning (or even that afternoon,such is the immediacy of the Net), you will feel far more inclined to involvethem in a longer term strategy. If, however, they do no more than spam you withuntargeted CVs (the equivalent of electronic junk mail), you won’t have losttoo much money finding out that they are not for you.Candidate matching4 Any on-line recruitment site worth its salt will offer effectivecandidate matching but assessing how good that matching is before you use asite isn’t easy. If a site offers no more than basic keyword searches onelectronic CVs, the chances are it isn’t sufficiently sophisticated to make aneffective selection, says David Taylor, e-commerce consultant and president ofthe IT directors’ association Certus. He adds, “Many search engines canonly really do boolean searches on CVs and a CV isn’t necessarily anenlightening document anyway, for a start, it’s self-penned. Sites really needto use some form of structured application process and forms when puttingtogether their database.”This sort of approach, combined with psychometric testing, offers the HRmanager the best on-line solution. “The Net represents a tremendousopportunity for the HR profession,” says Roy Davis, head of communicationsfor SHL, which has been involved in candidate testing technology behind anumber of sites in the US and most recently in the UK for Wideyes.Davis cites psychometric testing as a vital stage in on-line recruitment’sevolution and one which is really going to make the difference to an HRprofessional. The Wideyes technology, called TrueFIT, incorporates test resultsthrough matching logic to ensure a better fit between candidates and employer. The candidates are taken through detailed profiling questions which aredesigned to help them find jobs best suited to their personal goals andaspirations. “With Wideyes, SHL has been exploding the myth that socialand emotional skills are of secondary importance,” says Davis. “Theyare equally important to the employer because it is increasingly recognisedthat unless the candidate has the right cultural and emotional fit, that personwill not be a success.”Similarly, the launch of Jobsift.com, an Internet screening tool that can beported to a client’s website or bulletin board or used as a standalone product,is another potential landmark development. Developed by specialist psychometricconsultants PSL, Jobsift is designed for situations where a large volume of candidateshas to be rapidly reduced to a shortlist. A structured questionnaire helps acompany match candidates’ skills, abilities, attitudes and experience againstits own required competencies and corporate values. Jobsift claims to processsuch information instantly so it is possible to get real-time feedback on how arecruitment campaign is going. Candidates who have the right fit are informedimmediately via their PC.Do you still need a traditional recruitment arm?5 In short, the answer is yes, for the time being anyway. As with anyservice provided on the Net, it doesn’t mean you have to score out what wentbefore – it’s far better to see it as another recruitment tool. “There aresome 6,000 recruitment organisations out there with people who are too good tobe overlooked,” explains Chris Moore, marketing director of Stepstone. Hiswords are echoed by Simon Parker of arch rival Monster. “You don’t need todo away with one because you’re using the other.” Similarly, it doesn’thave to follow that you stop using press advertising.Reed Business Information’s (RBI) TotalJobs site is intended to workalongside its set of trade magazines whose lifeblood is recruitmentadvertising. Paul Ivory, TotalJobs’ web producer, points to the importance ofhaving the backing of RBI’s traditional recruitment experience. “That’svery important because it gives us a lot of kudos in the marketplace; peopleknow we know about recruitment and that history is pivotal.”Market share and profile6 There are huge branding exercises going on by the larger sites,which are jostling for position. Stepstone’s poster and press campaign has donemuch to raise the profile of Internet recruitment as a whole and it is about tounveil a mighty sponsorship package with a terrestrial TV channel. Press andposter campaigns from the likes of TotalJobs, Monster and Top Jobs inrecruitment sections of newspapers and trade magazines means that the jobseekeris already feeling spoilt for choice when it comes to depositories for his orher e-CV.So how will the market settle down and who will win out? Monster’s SimonParker says that it’s “myopic” to place too much importance onMonster’s position as worldwide number one. “We’re more concerned withbeing the best site for our customers,” he says. In truth, because acertain scepticism still surrounds on-line recruitment, the major players allhave an industry-wide image-building exercise as well as their own profiles toraise.Technology7 It is reasonable to expect search and assessment technology to be furtherhoned over the next 12 months. But you also need to be aware of some of thetools you can use in-house to screen and track CVs. We’ve already mentionedJobsift, screening technology which can be used on a Website, as part of anintegrated system or else as a standalone product. SHL has a similar systemcalled ApView, which is used in the US by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which onlyaccepts applications made via the Net for some jobs.Another useful tool is Halcyon’s Nemesis Intranet Search, which lets youbuild a resource of candidate information, including CVs and related documents.Nemesis indexes the data so it is fully searchable and the user sets the searchcriteria. Personic Software’s Personic Workflow suite is also designed tostreamline the collation and tracking of these vital but often very disparateelements and in turn help HR managers instantly compare candidate data.As for delivery technology, the recruitment world, like everybody else, isexcited by the prospect of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol technology),which allows access to parts of the Internet on mobile phones. The Internetconsultancy Proteus is already working with recruitment companies to implementWAP technology so applicants can view job vacancies through a mobile phone. Italso means they could send their CV from their mobile phone, which is far morediscreet that doing it from a workplace PC. “I think WAP will be reallyuseful for recruiters,” says David Taylor. “If an IT contractor is inthe US while his recruitment campaign is going on over here, he can stillmonitor how it’s going and have a CV sent to him at a keystroke.”Bill Shipton of Peoplebank is less convinced about WAP but is optimisticabout the potential of digital TV as a delivery medium. “Within three tofive years, you’ll be able to come home and look at your job offers on theTV,” he predicts.Also expect faster ways to access the Internet. Most people have heard ofISDN, which offers high speed transmission of data compared with standard phonelines, but expect to hear more about ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line),which will offer even faster delivery, when its available in July. It willoffer an ‘always-on’ high speed connection to the Net. For more information, goto BT’s web site at www.btopenworld.com.Employer options8 On-line sites currently are tending to be all things to all people,with the niche emphasis coming in the shape of tailored features on the site.TotalJobs, for instance, has 28 vertical markets on its site with hyperlinks tosome of its publications.In the long-term, it looks like niche and general recruitment sites willhappily co-exist, much like general and specialist advertising in the press.David Taylor believes the market will settle down to around four or five bigplayers and maybe a couple of other “big databases” which will use aniche focus, he says, to drive traffic into those databases. Chris Moore ofStepstone is of a similar mind: “There’ll be two or three major playersand there’ll be little niche sites – such as a site that caters for theconstruction workers in the south-east, for instance, there’s room forboth.”The idea of a niche site is not new although the next few months will likelysee their real emergence. Good working examples include Recruit Media(www.recruitmedia.co.uk), set up in 1989, specialising in media professionals.Its own particular niche, the media, made it a natural for the Net and founderVictoria Lubbock set out Recruit Media’s store early as an evaluator of qualityand also as a partner in long-term recruitment partnerships.A more recent specialist site launched in April is Onvocation(www.onvocation.com) dedicated to the banking and financial sector. The sitefeatures updated lifestyle and career-related content each day. “Thefuture of on-line recruitment is specialisation, combined with the added valueof unique content created for that niche market,” says Dierk Mueller, oneof the company’s co-founders. “The problem with many generic sites is thatthey try to please everyone and end up pleasing no-one. Job seekers know thatwhen they go on to Onvocation there will be banking and financial jobsavailable – and plenty of them; while recruiters can be confident that theywill be reaching quality candidates who are interested in what they have tooffer.” Employers can post four job adverts on the site for four weeks for£500.Other options include sites dedicated to temporary workers. Claiming to bethe world’s first on-line temp agency, tempz.com recently went live,incorporating everything on-line from registration, skills-testing andtimesheets to invoicing and BACS payments.Personnel behind the sites9 Expect a mixture of backgrounds, with a good crop of e-commerce entrepreneursand movers and shakers involved. It’s been impossible to miss the dotcomentrepreneurs who have become multi-millionaires over the past few months. Someof these have migrated into the jobs sector because they know the potentialscale of the market. And there has been defections of key personnel to rivalagencies. Smarterwork.com, which isn’t an on-line recruitment company in the puresense of the word, but rather an on-line skills marketplace which allows arecruiter to source everything they need to get an on-line job done, hasfanfared the appointment of former Monster senior producer Denis Gaynor asproduct development manager. Its management team also includes Ft.com’s andSportal’s former head of marketing, Yehuda Shapiro. Wideyes boasts a mix ofe-commerce and traditional expertise with the UK manager Keith MacKenzie, aformer consultant for international recruitment company Michael Page and JonasGranstrom, who founded Sweden’s first on-line recruitment company calledJobline.As an HR professional you would be unlikely to appoint a traditionalrecruitment company without knowing who was behind it so adopt the samephilosophy with an on-line recruiter. All sites should have an “about us” button or contact detailswhich will enable you to find out more about who’s behind the site.Security and codes of conduct10 The entire world of e-commerce is dogged by these two issues.Everybody should be familiar with the fear of using a credit card on-line eventhough good e-commerce sites have secure servers that enable these transactionsto take place safely. The job seeker’s equivalent of this is “how safe isit to put my CV on-line?” Although figures prove that plenty of peoplehave overcome this fear (there are an estimated 4.5million CVs on-line), horrorstories of a candidates CV ending up on their employer’s desktop aren’tentirely without foundation. As in the world of e-commerce transactions, any reputable site will havesecurity mechanisms, such as security ID numbers attached to a CV, put in placeto track and control precisely where that CV goes.Unscrupulous activity such as unauthorised duplication of CVs fromcompetitor sites, the creation of fictitious vacancies to attract traffic andexaggerated pay and packages will also hopefully be on the way out thanks to astrict code of conduct that is being enforced after a working party was set upby the Government. External relations director for the Recruitment andEmployment Confederation (REC), Christine Little, says, “We plan to createa code or standard relating specifically to on-line recruitment agencies. Wewant to involve people who use the industry, as well as people who work init.” She adds: “The code will go beyond the minimum standards imposedby regulations. They will be higher than the standards proposed in theEmployment Agencies Act. The code should be published by the summer.• Sue Weekes is deputy editor of the net magazineWhat’s next? The Net could become HR professionals most powerful toolFigures from Forrester Research say that 96 per cent of all companies willuse the Internet for recruiting by 2001. In Europe, the on-line recruitmentmarket was worth £46.5m last year, double what it was in 1998. A survey by theIPD in May 1999 found that a third of employers were using the Net for jobadverts, compared with only 14 per cent two years ago.Nobody can ignore these figures and as long as codes of conduct are inplace, the Net will become the HR professionals most powerful tool ever. Themost exciting aspect is that as well as speeding things up and saving money, itwill let you integrate and implement a more tailored approach to recruitment.Mini job boards or job sections are already appear on corporate sites whichwill be powered by some of the bigger player – Peoplebank has just done thisfor Pret a Manger. Also the database of profiles and psychometric analysis thatmanagers can build up for prospective candidates and existing staff isimmeasurably powerful.Computer-assessed psychometric testing can’t replace human assessmententirely but one day when your department profile of core competencies is helddigitally, it will be possible to pinpoint precisely the kind of person neededto complete the fit of the team. And because it is much easier to shareinformation across networks, it will be simple for line managers to getinvolved in the recruitment process earlier. “Line managers can share inthe assessment process and, for instance, generate questions they want the HRmanager to ask,” says SHL’s Roy Davis. “This will mean we’ll getbetter selection because stakeholders in the recruitment process are being morewidely involved.”But Davis warns, that to take advantage of the new technologies, HR must bereceptive in order to capitalise on it. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

  • Site targets youth safety

    first_img Previous Article Next Article Site targets youth safetyOn 1 Sep 2000 in Personnel Today Surveyhighlights employer negligence of young, inexperienced workers in health andsafety practicesBetween1998 and 1999 20 young people were killed at work and more than 20,000 wereinjured. Asurvey of small businesses has shown four out of five small firms put youngworkers lives in danger by failing to carry out proper health and safetyprocedures. Dyingto Start Work, carried out by insurer Norwich Union highlights the confusionamong employers about their responsibilities: although 99 per cent of respondingemployers said they have a moral responsibility to ensure young peopleunderstand health and safety issues at work, only 20 per cent knew how to goabout it.Thefindings have led Norwich Union to join forces with the Royal Society for thePrevention of Accidents (Rospa) to create a web site offering advice on how toprotect young people from accidents. The site highlights the responsibilitiesyoung people, employers and work experience organisers all have to ensuresafety in the workplace and includes risk assessment forms and checklists to bedownloaded.Rospaoccupational safety adviser Roger Bibbings said,  “Young people are often more at risk in the workplacebecause of a lack of experience and trained judgement. This makes it even morevital that they are given additional support and guidance.” www.young-worker.co.uk99%of employers think they have a moral duty to ensure young people understandhealth and safety issues at work90%of employers take on young workers even though they are not entirely sure oftheir readiness for the world of work80%of employers blame schools for ill-preparing pupils for the workplace20%of employers think their young workers are over-confident17%of employers carry out risk assessments on workers under the age of 186%of employers admit a young person on work experience or doing a summer job hashad an accident in their work place, of which a third were serious or requiredtreatment Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

  • Call for employers to open jobs to disabled

    first_imgFour yearsafter the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act, a raft ofinitiatives are being launched to get employers on board.TheDisability Rights Commission, set up to give teeth to the Act, is launching itsfirst major initiative since its creation last April. The Actions Speak LouderThan Words initiative, due to be launched by Tony Blair on 11 December, willsee employers pledge to increase the number of disabled people they employ. Theanniversary also coincides with the European Day of Disabled People on 3December.LloydsTSB, the TUC and bus company Arriva have been recruited by the commission totake part in its initiative. It is hoped their example will lead to a host ofother organisations signing up.Acommission spokesman said the initiative aimed to create a “trickle downeffect” that would help disabled people both in the workplace and in theirday-to-day lives.BertMassie, chairman of the Disability Rights Commission, said, “There is this viewfrom some quarters of business that we want to see blind people as fighterpilots. They (businesses) do not seek to ask the basic questions that they askin all other employment contexts: has this person got the skills to do thisjob?”Lawyersexpect a rise in the number of cases taken by the commission over the next yearto provide greater clarification of the law.RobMcCreath, employment partner at Eversheds, said, “It is still a difficult areabecause it is often hard to get to the bottom of whether someone is sufferingfrom a mental health-related disability and where to draw the line to accommodatea disability.”By HelenRowe Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Call for employers to open jobs to disabledOn 28 Nov 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

  • Companies reflect value of HR directors in pay awards

    first_img Comments are closed. HRdirectors are earning greater rewards as companies realise they play anincreasingly  key strategic role inachieving business aims. Thisis the view of the CIPD in light of a survey by the Reward Group, which showsheads of personnel are now being paid more than the average company director.Thisyear’s survey of pay and benefits for personnel professionals reveals that at£56,757 average pay for personnel directors is 3.2 per cent above the averagefor other directors.Theresults show HR directors have now overtaken their contemporaries on the payscale.NickPage, CIPD adviser on pay and employment conditions, commented, “These figuressuggest personnel directors are highly valued by their organisations. Itreflects a change in views from one of personnel management being mainlyadministrative to being viewed as one of people management – a key strategicrole.”Thesurvey’s findings also reveal that the pay gap between male and femalepersonnel professionals has virtually disappeared at all levels except directorlevel where the differential has increased to 17.7 per cent. This figure hasrisen from 2.5 per cent in 1998 to 12.1 per cent in 1999. SteveFlather, managing director for the Reward Group, added, “These results aredisappointing, the personnel profession should be taking the lead in closingthe equal pay gap at all levels. Unfortunately this expanding gap is the resultof more women reaching director level than ever before but not being rewardedas a male counterpart may have been.”www.reward-group.co.ukByBen Willmott Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Companies reflect value of HR directors in pay awardsOn 27 Feb 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more