Spherion staffing operations under the hammer

Spherion’s Asia-Pacific recruitment business was recently put up for sale, after its parent company announced that it would divest all non-US businesses

Spherion’s Asia-Pacific recruitment business was recently put up for sale, after its parent company announced that it would divest all non-US businesses. Seventy-five per cent of Spherion’s regional business is generated by IT recruitment, however its call centre, office services and professional recruitment operations contribute about 20 per cent of its $210 million revenue base. Asia-Pacific president Andrea Galloway said that a number of international recruitment companies were interested in the business, and Singapore-controlled Easycall had already bought 13 of Spherion’s training institutes. Spherion employs almost 2,000 staff across a network of about 50 offices in the Asia-Pacific, and was established in Australia in 1968.

Commission cautions on male teachers

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission recently urged the government not to be hasty in legislating to allow teaching scholarships based on sex rather than merit. Commenting on the introduction of the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Teaching Profession) Bill 2004, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward said the government should first look to other programs before introducing a discriminatory scholarship scheme. She also said that young men are not attracted to teaching because they can earn better money elsewhere, as “women’s work has never been remunerated properly”.

HR metrics leader to speak in Australia

Dr John Sullivan, an international expert on recruitment and HR metrics, will be visiting Australia in early May. He is a frequent speaker and advisor to Fortune 500 and Silicon Valley firms, and currently serves as professor and head of the HR program at San Francisco State University. Author of HR Metrics – The World Class Way, Sullivan’s approach to measuring the quality of the recruitment process and assessing the return on capital from HR expenditure is gaining recognition amongst Australian employers. He will be delivering two half-day sessions to small audience groups on 4 May in Sydney and 7 May in Melbourne. For more information call Shortlist on 02 9267 3800.

The perils of reply all

A student careers advisor in the UK was recently lambasted by her employer after writing a email that contained saucy comments about her boyfriend and a sarcastic note about clients. She inadvertently clicked on the ‘reply all’ button – distributing the email to everyone on her boyfriend’s original recipient list, who in turn forwarded it on to the rest of the world. Sharon Dyson, who was working for careers firm Hobsons, was responding to comments from her travelling boyfriend about how the couple had pleasured themselves while apart and what she had planned for him upon his return. It also included the remark, “I have to write a sucky ‘Thank you’ email to clients now, w*nk, w*nk.” Hobsons was keen to stress that “the e-mail represented Sharon’s personal thoughts and not those of the rest of our staff”.

Caltex superannuation administration moves to Aon

Caltex Australia recently announced that the administration of the $260 million superannuation plan will move from Mercer to Aon Consulting on 1 April 2004. Caltex is the only petroleum refining and marketing company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and its superannuation plan is a hybrid fund with around 1,700 members. The Caltex appointment is the latest in a string of recent wins and a strong endorsement of Aon’s investment in its new service delivery platform, according to Steven Gaffney, director superannuation at Aon Consulting. Caltex Australia employs 2,986 people and owns and operates three refineries, two at Kurnell in Sydney and the other at Lytton in Brisbane.

Learning & development paradigms conference

Polson will be holding its national conference, Challenging Learning & Development Paradigms, on 31 March 2004 in Melbourne. The conference will look at what a number of leading organisations are doing to attract, develop and maximise performance outcomes of their people. Presenters include Dr Stephanie Burns, Paul Wilson, and the ABAF Circus Oz and Empower Group. The conference also features a number of senior level learning & development executives from organisations including Coles Myer and ANZ. For more information call 1300 551 955 or see page 16.

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