Equality and Diversity in Recruitment

Recruitment is one of the most important HR processes in your organisation’s toolkit as it allows you to seek new talent for your organisation and advertise to the market why people want to work for you. It is important that we apply certain principles to this process to ensure a fair and equal opportunity for all applicants, resulting in a more diverse applicant pool.

This one-hour seminar will go through the principles of equality in recruitment and how to ensure you adapt your styles to suit everyone.

Equality and Diversity in Recruitment – Roots HR CiC from NFP People on Vimeo.

Any queries?

If you have any queries related to recruitment, please do contact us on 01562 840060 or via info@rootshr.org.uk

Wag-tastic start to our free training

Buddy 2Hi all, Buddy here again!

It’s been a while since we last caught up!

Do you know that we are off to a wag-tastic start here in the Roots HR office this year with our 9 x ½ day free training courses? These are running in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London, Manchester and Nottingham throughout January – June 2016 for managers and leaders in social sector organisations. Course topics are Recruitment and Selection, Equality and Diversity and Essential HR.

Next courses coming up:
20th April – Essential HR – Nottingham
11th May – Essential HR – Leeds
22nd June – Essential HR – Bristol

To find out more and to book your space, click here.

And do you know that my team of office dogs at Roots HR has now reached 4? Sadly all come in on different days because apparently my tendency to play and bark with other dogs is viewed as “disruptive” to the working environment. I think the humans attach too much importance to this actually.

All the talk of training has made me realise that there is a need for some clarity on the duties of an office dog in organisations. If you are looking to recruit an office dog or already have an office dog, you may like to think about the working environment in accordance with some of my guidance below.

Firstly, and I find this hard to believe, but there are some humans out there that are allergic to dog fur, get anxious around us or just don’t like dogs. If you have an office dog, all visitors must be dog-tested by phone or email in advance of arrival. In our office a human lets them know that I or a member of my team will be in that day unless they would prefer us not to be. Almost everyone say they want to meet us!

Moving on to our specific duties. If your office dog is going to adopt the role of Head of Security like me, all staff must ensure that bags are ready for inspection first thing! I pride myself in getting cracking as soon as I get through the door and like to know who has a tasty lunch or best of all, fruit, to share with me during the day. There is usually considerable human resistance to my endeavours in this area, often linked to hygiene but again I don’t attach much importance to this.

Shredding can be a very important responsibility for an office dog and I take it very seriously! As long as any staples etc are removed, I can shred paper, cardboard and best of all, my personal favourite, bubble wrap! Katherine puts the documents marked Confidential through an electric shredder which I think is a shame but apparently we can’t take any risks with them.

Bud Security (1)A good dog also provides a warm and waggy meet and greet service when the doorbell rings, making sure visitors feel welcome and happy to see such an adorable face. I find that offering my belly for a scratch is a really good way to break the ice. Sometimes dogs might want to sit in on a meeting if this is appropriate; I have done so in the past so that I can keep a watchful eye over the biscuits (back to Security here, an office dog’s work is never done).

We ask for very little in return for all our hard work. Having a comfortable bed is definitely essential for an office dog so that when you’re working and between our various duties, we have somewhere to nap through the day. Some chew toys are also handy for our rest and relaxation. Don’t forget a water bowl and to schedule a walk between meetings! I hope my blog encourages you to recruit an office dog… and remember to reward your office canines with treats and toys every day!

Make sure you do check out our free training and request an application here and paws crossed you will secure a place!

Until next time,

Buddy paw print

Season’s Greetings

Tis the season all we canines have been waiting for! The spreading of dogwill all across the world! Santa Claws is coming to town! I’m so excited to see what I may receive this year, I’Bud - father christmasm wagging my tail just thinking about it!

It’s the time when all dogs of different breeds and sizes come together and play. It’s the exchanging of chew toys and messing up the living room with all of the wrapping paper. It’s about giving our owners the puppy dog eyes in the hope that they share their turkey (or nut roast) with us. We dogs deserve it after having the compulsory embarrassing Christmas outfit photo shoot for our friends and family to see on Facebook.

I have decided to take some time off this year to enjoy the festive season. It has been a busy year for me as office dog, with new colleagues joining the team, lots of bags needing regularly checking (for security purposes) and a whole load of shredding to make my way through, having a break is exactly what I need to clear my head and chase a few pigeons, fetch some sticks and of course have lots of naps!

Of course I couldn’t leave the office running itself in my absence; I’ve left it in the trusty paws of my good friends Archie, Belle and Billie! They have taken on the tiring job of being part-time office dogs this month and have been doing a really good job considering I have the most experience in the team! I’ve been keeping track of them though to make sure they have been working hard by checking their pictures on twitter, which is a very important part of being an office job – looking cute for the camera – and which we all have a talent for! Want to see some of their cute pictures that have been put on our social media? Then click here.

The office obviously isn’t the same without me and I know the team all miss me, and of course I miss them but sometimes you have to make time for yourself, put your back paws up and relax. Which is exactly what I’m doing, don’t worry!

Sorry must dash! I have a squeaky toy that needs some attention! Have a fantastic festive season from myself and all of the other office dogs, I hope you all get what you want from Santa Claws and I will see you when I return to work!

Lots of woofs,
paw print



P.s. Festive wishes from the Roots HR team and office dogs, have a great festive season.

office dog xmas

A day in the life of an office dog! An interview with Buddy.

In celebration of National Dog Day on 26th August 2015, Buddy felt that it would be appropriate to inform us on what life is like working as an Office Dog. He requested an interview with colleagues immediately.
UWhat are your main duties in the office?
Aside from my favourite duty – supervising lunch times – I am partial to a bit of shredding. As Head of Security, confidentiality is my number one priority and it is my job to ensure that any confidential documents are chewed until the writing is un-recognisable.

When you are bored in the office, what do you do to keep yourself occupied?
My schedule is pretty full – I rarely have any spare time on my paws. I am frequently found cleaning the kitchen cupboards and bins. I like to try to take time to unwind with a wuffin or two to take my mind off things.
Of course, I deserve the odd treat now and again. I don’t expect readers to understand – the stresses of being an Office Dog are beyond human comprehension.

I can get accidently shut out of meetings. Coincidentally, these are usually the ones with the good biscuits. Then it can get fairly boring – but it’s cool, I take the time to catch up on my beauty sleep.Bud Security (1)

How would you compare the importance of your role in the office with the roles of human colleagues?
Well, of course my colleagues are important, but the office couldn’t function without me. I make sure that everyone has a helping paw when they need it.

If you could tell your human colleagues one thing, what would it be?
More treats wouldn’t go a miss – cake might be ‘human food’, but I do appreciate a good sponge once in a while. Sharing never hurt anyone.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I already have the best job, but apart from that, being a used car salesman or a regimental mascot has always appealed.

Thank you for the interview, but this has all been awfully tiring. I think it’s best if I got some rest – today has been terribly busy in the office and I think I just heard somebody opening a bag of crisps downstairs.


Happy New Year!

Buddy recovers from the bangs with which 2013 went out and looks forward to a healthy and safe 2014.

Happy New Year everyone! Have you had a good festive season? Did you get lots of presents?

Santa Claws was kind to me. I got a doggie sleeping bag, some chews and a ruffty tuffty ball thing that I haven’t eaten yet. But New Year was even better. We were in Mousehole in Cornwall where they were celebrating 50 years of fabulous Christmas lights, all funded and co-ordinated by volunteers. The best one was the whale that winked and spouted water! Fantastic!

Pic one Pic 2

So New Year is when you get to walk on a beach every day for 4 days as long as you can put up with fireworks and loud bangs for 10 minutes at midnight on 31st December. I struggled with that but Mum cuddled me to reassure me while Dad said, “Great, I’ll do Auld Lang Syne by myself then, shall I?” So they both had a good New Year too.

We’re all back at work in the Roots HR office. The Consultants are sorting out the January employment cases and HR projects. I wish I could go to a Christmas party because it’s astonishing what interesting things you humans can find to get up to. I thought it was only us canines that pee up trees but it seems not. I can’t say too much or I’ll be threatened with a muzzle but no one thought of risk assessing what happens when liquid gets into fairy lights, did they?? Sparks are still flying now in that organisation. Literally.

Seasonal misconduct and health and safety episodes aside, everyone’s focus is on managing you humans in 2014. The Consultants are getting requests to help teams and individuals to perform better and to sort out problems like underperformance and absenteeism. Apparently there are lots of funding cuts ahead and this means restructures and redundancies or changes to your terms and conditions of employment. If your organisation needs help with this, you should call us. We have this service called COMPLY which means that you can phone or email us to get advice. And the really great thing is that we offer a discount if you are a member of Social Enterprise UK, NCVO or GMVSS Market Place or if you are a Social Enterprise Mark holder and even more discount if you sign up for over a year. You can even try us free for 1 hour first to see if you like us. Much better than getting it wrong. Who wants to be worrying about employment claims when you can be walking a dog on a beach instead?

Pic three

We’re offering free Essential HR training courses in Birmingham and London for the humans who are in charge of other humans at work. If you lead, manage or supervise other humans, or if you want to know about the risks of being in charge of other humans, you should come to one of our training courses. Because Roots HR is a social enterprise, we pay for these from our trading surpluses. You can book a place here. We’re also running a special one for Social Enterprise UK members very soon and you can book here.

On a final note, here is our office mantra for 2014.

go fast











And if you want to go up a tree, make sure it’s outdoors.

Have a great January, everyone

Licks and woofs,


Every year in the UK, over 7000 healthy, stray, unclaimed and unwanted dogs are euthanized in pounds before a rescue space can be found for them. The majority of these are Staffordshire Bull Terriers like Buddy. Profits from the purchase of Buddy’s Christmas sleeping bag went to Safe and Sound, a charity dedicated to getting “poundie” Staffies into rescues so they can be rehomed. Please raise awareness of the work of Safe and Sound and support them if you can at www.safe-and-sound.org.

Autumn’s in the Air

Halloween’s gone and they’ve put the cauldron away in the office for another year…Bonfire Night has passed and I can come off the tranquilisers now that all the loud bangs are over.

We’re getting very excited about the next big event in our office…Social Enterprise Day on Thursday 21st November. We’ve got so much going on here that week…our new website launches on Monday 18th and then on Thursday 21st, Louise is launching her free learning and development services for the year ahead. You have to book early to get a place so keep an eye on our website, our Facebook page, our Twitter feed and our Linked In page!

So how is your week going? This week’s been so busy for me so far. There has been a lot of paper to be shredded, sandwiches to supervise and security checks to be made along with the many other office dog duties I have undertaken.

Here’s a picture of me doing what I do best, shredding!

Here’s a picture of me doing what I do best, shredding!

Recently I’ve been assisting with the handling of the recycling in the office. We’re introducing an Environmental policy and I want to make sure my contribution is recognised. My next project will be to introduce general patrols of the office at lunch time to inspect for crumbs on the floor. We wouldn’t want an untidy office, of course.

I sleep well at night from all of this hard work during the working day, oh and often I take a sneaky couple of naps during the day but it’s nothing I don’t deserve. As you can see, a dog’s work is never done.

My favourite day of the week has to be Friday. Firstly its Cake Friday in our office. Secondly I look forward to my weekend ahead – I especially like to go down south to visit my Grandpa and have a lovely morning run along the beach…bliss! What are you up to this weekend?

One last thing… it’s November and with that it brings the month of Movember! The idea is that men grow a moustache for the month of November to raise money and the awareness of men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer. I’m definitely getting involved with this, it’s for such a great cause and means a little less grooming for me for the month, leaves me so much more time to carry out my office dog duties. It’s exciting to see how many people get involved with this brilliant cause and see how much is raised.

School’s out for summer!

(But not for important working dogs with canine hay fever who are worried about their sickness record.)

So it’s that time of year again; all the school kids get to break up for the summer and spend their days soaking up the sun and even playing football. It’s great when the kids are playing football because when I walk home from work I get to join in – I’m well known for my 5-0 score. That’s 5 footballs I ate last summer that the kids couldn’t get back from me. I’ve heard mention of £50 so far in compensating angry parents. I don’t know what that’s all about, nothing to do with me for sure.

The other reason that I am so tightly restrained whenever there are footballs near is because I am suffering from a touch of doggy hay fever. My mum and dad give me some cold baths to make me feel better and this seems to help, thankfully. I don’t sneeze very much and my eyes don’t water or get painful but my fur gets very itchy and I can’t stop scratching, I feel like a toddler with chicken pox (with the exception of the red spots and the onesie of course!). My mum thinks it’s to do with the pollen from the beautiful green park right outside our house. She thought it would be a good idea to stay at home today because she said it’s not very nice weather for dogs as it can get too hot.

buddy-pictures-with-glasses-2I now have to face the doggy dilemma. Do I try to ignore it, try to stay away from itchy pollen but have more sick days off work or do I just dive straight in and pop some meds so I can keep up my Receptionist and Security role at the office? This is a working dog’s worst nightmare, I don’t want to suffer any longer but giving up and taking some pills soothe my condition? What if gets out of hand? I’ve read about these celebrities who were stars before they could even lift a paw or have a wag of their tail. I don’t want to be sucked into that dangerous path. But then if I keep taking sick days off of work, my absence will surely cause problems in the office and they might find another dog to replace me who can attend work on a regular basis (without scratching all day). But I have had to come to the decision to just enjoy lots of cool baths and fuss to make me feel better so I can keep up my role at Roots HR. That sounds perfect to me.

As it happens, I don’t mind staying at home, my friend Ady comes and walks me at lunch time to make sure I get enough exercise to keep up my perfect physique – it is swimsuit season after all. Then my afternoon is free to unwind, relax and wait for mum and dad to get home.

I think that’s enough out me for now, until next time pedigree pals!


Thank dog it’s Friday!

It’s the time for blue skies and sunshine.

It’s the time for blue skies and sunshine.

It’s Friday and it’s summer in the Roots HR offices and Buddy reflects on workplace motivation and the availability of apples…

Do you ever get those days when you’re body just doesn’t want to get out of bed? Not even if you know that you have to get up as you’ve got a hard day’s work making sure there’s no security breaches at the Roots HR office. Well today was one of those days. My mum was out of the office today and Dad left early too so I thought that I could have a sneaky lie in. But alas, the time came when I had to put on my lead and bound off to work.

It’s a beautiful day here today. The sun was shining through the trees and as soon I got out the door the warmth hit me. I made my way through the park, my usual route to work, then down to the canal and the tow path and into town. One of the things we all like at Roots HR is a short walk or drive to work in the morning

I saw the apples starting to grow on the trees. I can’t deny I have a particular fondness when it comes to apples. It made me wonder if anyone had any apples at work that they didn’t want. I have been known to ‘borrow’ apples from staff and clients bags at work. Apples are so lovely and round, aren’t they? Very like a dog ball. I start off just wanting to play with them but they’re also so handy for a snack and good for you too. If people don’t eat them, I am only providing a service really by eating them for them. And I’m sure they’d rather make sure the security watch keeps up his strength, just in case I need to keep the filing cabinet in check in the afternoon.

When I got to work everyone was there already but you know me, I do like my entrances! I whizzed around and did my usual first thing bag check. There were no apples but I found a banana. It’s important to have a varied diet. This year we have got 2 new directors and 2 quite new HR consultants and Paige is here on work experience which I am very happy about as there are more fruit, cuddles and head scratching for me. Also, everyone in the office is really excited as we’ve been shortlisted for not only the Charity Times Consultant of the Year Award but the CIPD Consultant of the Year award too! I like to think that it was partly because of me as I bring a touch of glamour to the team – especially my glossy coat, it’s all about conditioner. I’ll be having a new collar and lead for the award ceremony, no doubt.

Well that’s enough out of me, I best get back to standing guard and my favourite job around the office – shredding!

Happy Friday everyone, keep your tails wagging and eat apples.

I’ve passed my probation review!

A few weeks back I was notified that the CEO (who looks very like my Mum) wanted to hold a probation review meeting with me. This would determine whether my work in the past months has reached the exacting standards that I always diligently try to achieve and, most importantly, whether I have met the canine specification and will be able to continue my job as Office Dog. I was in fact wondering if this would even happen – as in our office, we often hear from clients who have not given employees their probation reviews at the right time and once the time has gone by, probation is deemed to have been passed through a lack of any indication to the contrary. However, I clearly work for a diligent employer and the date for my review was set.

Not being able to continue my job was unthinkable… what would I do? The job market for Office Dogs is extremely competitive and those who manage to gain employment do so through personal connections. I think I would struggle at interviews too as being a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, some humans may not understand tail language and also might think I would be a disruptive addition to the team. In fact I, personally, am the complete opposite: conscientious, friendly, approachable and only a little bit stinky on occasions. In my current role I also have an extremely generous benefits package including weekly treats, quiet on site sleeping areas and flexible working from home when consultants are out of the office. It would certainly be difficult to negotiate this with any future employers.

On the day of the meeting I had a bath, combed mycoat and put on a clean collar. When I entered the meeting room I was extremely nervous and had to take a good few slurps of water before I was ready. I then shook hands/paws and awaited the verdict. My concerns were slowly disappearing as Mum (sorry, the CEO) first of all mentioned my professionalism and diligence in ensuring tasks get done to a high standard. She then went on to mention how I provide a friendly meet and greet service and extend a warm welcome to all visitors, which was great to hear and that I can continue to practice doing this Gently. There is always a lot of focus on Gently.

She was also pleased to see how I have addressed certain “lapses in judgement” such as when I took a pasty from Louise’s desk thinking she didn’t want it any more, confiscating a satsuma from Deirdre’s bag due to mistaking it for a hazardous item and carrying out my untidy version of paper shredding as opposed to asking someone for help to use the electronic shredder. These were completely deliberate as far as I am concerned but it was all going so well, I wasn’t going to let on. I will just have to be more stealth-like in future.Anyway, in light of all this, I was told that I had passed my probation review! The organisation feels that I am an integral member of the team and it was pointed out how having dogs in the office can reduce stress levels too! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17561272

I was informed that my job role would also expand to include offsite client visits, (I went to Witton Lodge Community Association just last week and GMCVO in Manchester tweeted to ask when I would be going to see them https://twitter.com/BuddyBlog).

So it looks like I will retain my role as Office Dog for the foreseeable future. Much positive tail language has taken place!