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A pleasurable tool

HR for Creative Companies: What's it all about?

When I was asked to write this book, we agreed that HR had moved beyond the old negative clichés and it was broadly recognised that HR is a true support and valuable asset for companies in the increasingly competitive marketplace.

The trick with this book was to show how creative companies – who need space to be creative – can be properly supported by and have their work enhanced by HR – who are notoriously focussed on policies, procedures, legal compliance and documentation. I set out to show that this is possible and also, in doing so, how HR can also think creatively beyond those apparently restrictive or petty practices.

The book is simply structured with a chapter focussed on each aspect of the employee lifecycle: Recruitment, Reward, Retention, Recognition, Release/Restore. Also with chapters at the beginning and end to discuss the profession, HR and the future of each.

A brief peek:

1.The profession:
Like many professions and sectors, the architecture profession has been through a lot of changes in the past few years. This chapter describes the most common organisational cultures within the profession and discusses what these mean in terms of people management.

2.What is HR?
This chapter dispels the myth that HR is just about hiring and firing. It introduces the employee lifecycle and the different aspects of HR that make up the lifecycle.

It also discusses the different roles that HR can fulfil so that the reader can choose the best for their company and to support their core business. I also discuss the most important themes for HR in the current market, including the search for talent, hiring and developing the right people, succession planning and leadership.

Here, I explain the importance of your company's reputation as a recruitment tool. The recruitment process is discussed, along with how to know if a person suits your company and the importance of an induction process.

This is all about creating a reward structure that properly reflects your company's beliefs and values, whilst at the same time suiting both financial and non-financial rewards to the different characters in your company.

In essence, how you keep those staff who you see as the future of your company, by identifying motivators and using appraisals effectively to identify future stars.

Focussing on the topics of promotion, leadership and succession planning, I help you work out what it is that you want to recognise in your staff.

It is almost inevitable that people may leave your company and here I discuss how this may be handled sensitively and perhaps even as a positive experience for all concerned. I also discuss the integration of those who may return to the company in the future.

8.Conclusion: The future and drawing it all together.
I want to leave readers with the understanding that prevention is better than cure when it comes to people and people management. I endeavour to do this by illustrating the benefits that good, positive and enlightened HR practices can bring to your company.

I conclude with some thoughts on the priorities for HR in the near future and how creative companies can be prepared for those that are on the horizon.

So, the book is broken down into focussed, easily digestible chunks, illustrated with short relevant case studies or anecdotes. You don't have to read it in one go or even from the beginning. You can dip into it.

But you don't need me to tell you. Here are some comments by readers:

'..this easy to digest book shows architects and other design professionals that HR can be a positive, profitable and even pleasurable tool for business success.'
Nigel Ostime, Project Delivery Director at Hawkins/Brown.

'A thorough and concise guide covering every aspect of the career cycle, enriched with valuable recent and real case experience. Definitely worth having to hand whether you are an employer, an employee or just interested in what's what in creative industries'
Bob Fry, Managing Director, International, Aukett Swanke.

'Never has creativity been more important to this generation and our economy and ….our most important and expensive asset is our people. .. not just for architectural practices - interior design, product and graphic design, fine art, publishing, fashion, music, TV and film…… this guide demystifies with straightforward suggestions and methods…... Very handy to read and refer back to for all your HR needs.'
Paul Vick, Founder, Paul Vick Architects Ltd