PAYnotes on the ’Women on boards' review and employee recruitment referral schemes

On Wednesday this week, the government published the fourth annual review from Lord Davies showing that significant progress has been made with increasing gender diversity on the boards of the UK’s top companies. 

Greater gender diversity on the boards of the UK’s top companies 

The first annual report from Lord Davies on ‘Women on boards' review was written in 2011 and  asked all FTSE350 companies to set voluntary targets for the number of women they expected to have on their boards by February 2015. His recommendation was that the FTSE100 companies should aim for 25 per cent minimum by February 2015.

The latest report shows that the actual number of women on boards has fallen just below this recommended figure at 23.5 per cent for FTSE100 companies. Having said that, it has almost doubled since the first report when the proportion was only 12.5 per cent. For FTSE 250 companies, the proportion is lower at 18 per cent, up from 7.8 per cent in 2011. 

For the first time, there are now no all-male FTSE100 boards and the number of companies in the listing that have more than 25 per cent women on their boards has grown to 41. Diageo and InterContinental Hotels Group top the list with over 45 per cent of their boards being women. There are 65 companies in the FTSE250 which now have over 25 per cent of their boards made up of women. However at the other end of the scale, there are 23 companies in the FTSE250 who still have all-male boards. 

In the report Lord Davies says that he believes that the voluntary inclusive approach has led to real change in culture and that boards are being fixed. The aim now is to fix the low number of women chairs and executive directors as well as the executive pipeline for the future.

By Charlotte Cameron

Recruitment candidate referrals 

Whilst talkng about rewarding employees for long service at a recent HR meeting, I had an interesting discussion on employee referral schemes.  This is where employees are encouraged to refer someone they know to a position with their employer.

Interestingly the referral reward value can vary considerably from one employer to another. It is usually dependent on the level and requirement of the role.  Whilst some employers offer £500 to £1,000 per successful candidate, others offer significantly more – between £4,000 and £6,000.  

Most employers define a ‘successful candidate’ as someone who has passed their 3 or 6-month probationary period.  Whilst some employers pay the referrer half the sum on recruitment and the balance after the probationary period has been reached; others wait to pay the entire amount after the probationary period.  Interestingly the referrer and successful candidate sometimes choose to split the payment between them, which most employers do not mind.

Given that the employers at the recent HR meeting estimated that average direct cost of recruitment is £2,000 even before agency fees, employers find this a very useful way of finding candidates with key skills.  Nevertheless, employee take up still appears relatively low.

By Tim Kellett