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Monthly Archives: August 2011
Learn the most common phrasal verbs used in Human Resources in English:
‘close down’ = to shut
- We have closed down the small local branches and created bigger regional offices.
- The factory closed down in the 1970’s because it was too expensive to produce here.
‘fight against’ = to make an effort to stop something happening
- All the workers fought against the closure but the plant was no longer profitable.
- The unions have been fighting against the proposed changes as they think it will mean job losses.
‘go back on something’ = to change an agreement
- We had come to an agreement but now she has gone back on it.
- The company promised to review the situation but went back on its word and didn’t.
‘put back’ = to postpone, delay in time
- They promised to make a decision today but it has been put back until next week.
- My visit has been put back until a later date when it will be easier to plan.
‘fall behind’ = not risen as fast as, fail to do something as fast as required
- We have fallen behind schedule. It won’t be completed on time.
- Our salaries have fallen behind the national average with the small increase we have had.
‘turn down’ = to refuse, not accept
- We offered a two per cent increase but it was turned down.
- We offered him a much higher salary but he turned it down and didn’t join our team.
‘fill in for someone’ = to replace someone during an absence
- I need to brief the person who will be filling in for me while I am on maternity.
- I filled in for Jamie while he was on holiday.
‘back someone up’ = to support or to help
- Whenever there is a dispute with someone in my team, my manager always backs me up.
- Nobody backed him up when he said he had been discriminated against.
‘work out’ = to calculate
- I don’t know how much holiday I have left. I need to work it out.
- We need to work out how much this is really going to cost.
‘drag on’ = to last a long time, go on longer than anticipated
- The negotiations are dragging on. I think we’ll never reach an agreement.
- The meeting dragged on and on. I thought I’d never get home.
We shoul parctice, the exercises given below: ( to understand English for Human Resource Management)
In English, we use a lot of phrasal verbs. These are verbs with more than one part; the verb and one or two particles. Let’s continue looking at some of the most common in the area of Human Resources:
‘get on’ = to have a good relationship
- I don’t like my boss. We just don’t get on.
- The atmosphere is terrible. He doesn’t get on with his co-workers.
‘follow up’ = to find out more about or take further action on something.
- Before we offer her the job, we need to follow up on her references.
- The training is followed up by regular refresher courses over a six-month period.
‘set up’ = to arrange for an activity or event to happen
- I’d like to discuss it further. Can we set up a meeting?
- I’ve set up interviews with the remaining three candidates.
‘make up’ = do or pay extra to cover a difference.
- I’d like to leave early on Friday. I’ll make up the time next week.
- There was an error in your expenses. We’ll make up the difference next month.
‘hand in’ = to give something
- He’s leaving at the end of the month. He has handed in his resignation.
- I haven’t handed my time sheet in yet. I must do it now.
‘work out’ your notice = to continue working through the period after you have resigned.
- They asked him to leave immediately. He didn’t have to work out his notice.
- He negotiated a deal so he didn’t have to work out his notice and could leave sooner.
‘sort out’ = to resolve
- We don’t know who is going to replace Sue. We have to sort it out soon.
- I have finally sorted out the error on the time sheets. It’s all correct now.
‘carry on’ = to continue
- We still haven’t found a suitable candidate. We’ll have to carry on looking.
- Until we get the new software installed, we’ll have to carry on using the old.
‘back out’ = to decide not to do something previously agreed.
- They had agreed to do it but then backed out.
- He had accepted the post but backed out at the last minute so we’re considering other candidates.
‘go with’ = to adopt or support an idea or plan.
- I think your idea is a good one. I think we should go with it.
- We’re not really sure which agency to go with. We don’t think any of them are really what we are really looking for.
We shoul parctice, the exercises given below: ( to understand English for Human Resource Management)
Learn the vocabulary to talk about being absent from jobs in English:
to take time off = to be absent from work, at home or on vacation.
- I’m going to take a few days off to visit my parents.
- I’m taking Monday off to go to the dentist and do some jobs at home.
to take a vacation = to take time away from work, especially when you travel for pleasure.
- I’m taking my vacation next month. We’re going to Spain.
- I have to take my vacation during the school holidays because of my children.
to take a sabbatical = to take time away from work to study or travel, usually while continuing to be paid.
- He’s on a sabbatical while he does his MBA. He’ll be back next month.
- She’s on a sabbatical from her job while she does research for her thesis.
to take unpaid leave = to have an authorized absence from work but without salary.
- She’s taken some unpaid leave while she moves house.
- I don’t have any paid holiday left so I’d like to take unpaid leave.
to be off sick = to be absent from work due to illness.
- When you are off sick, you must provide a doctor’s note.
- He has been off sick for a few days now. I think he’ll be back at work on Monday.
sick leave = the time that you can be absent from work, often while being paid part or all of your salary.
- She is having an operation and so will be on sick leave for the next two months.
- When you are on sick leave prescribed by your doctor, you get paid your full salary for the first three months.
maternity leave = the period a mother is legally authorised to be absent from work before and after the birth of a child.
- Her maternity leave finishes next week but she is not coming back to work.
- Statutory maternity leave is paid for up to 26 weeks and can start 11 weeks before the baby is due.
parental leave = the time that a parent is allowed to spend away from work to take care of their baby.
- He has taken parental leave to look after the baby while his wife returns to work.
- You have to work for an employer for one year to qualify for parental leave to look after your children.
statutory sick pay = the money paid by a company to an employee who cannot work due to illness.
- If you are absent from work due to illness, you may be able to claim sick pay.
- To claim sick pay, you have to have medical certificate from your doctor stating that you are unable to work.
a public holiday = a day when almost everybody does not have to go to work (for example in the US July 4th or January 1st).
- We have 25 days paid holiday plus 10 public holidays.
- When there is a public holiday on a Thursday, many people take the Friday off too.
Learn the vocabulary in English to talk about the many changes that take place in a company or organization :
‘to promote’ = to move someone up to a higher position in the organization.
- He handed his notice in last month when he didn’t get promoted to senior manager.
- She wants to be promoted to supervisor but doesn’t have the interpersonal skills for that job yet.
‘to renew’ = to make new, to extend the life or replace something.
- I originally had a two-year contract but it has been renewed twice.
- We need to renew the work permits for the foreign workers who have been here a year.
‘to lay off’ = to make redundant, to stop employing someone
- When we closed the warehouse, we laid off more than fifty people.
- Technological advances means that we have had to lay off more and more unskilled workers.
‘to demote’ = to move someone to a lower level in the hierarchy
- She was demoted after the terrible changeover to the new accounting system.
- Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to demote anyone who does not live up to expectations.
‘to sideline’ = to not promote someone, to move them to a position with less effective power
- When the new CEO was nominated, he was sidelined to another department.
- After a period as a very ineffectual head of department, he was sidelined until he retired.
‘to replace’ = to exchange one thing for another, to put a person in the job of someone else.
- Ken replaced Tanya when she left to pursue another career.
- When David left, he was replaced by two people as the job had grown enormously.
‘to retire’ = to stop working due to ill health or age.
- Jack suffers from ill health and has had to retire early.
- The statutory age for retirement is 60 although people often retire early if they can.
‘to increase’ = to get bigger in amount or size.
- Contributions that employees pay increased faster than salaries so cutting their net incomes.
- Even though profits have increased, we are not in a position to increase salaries above the rate of inflation.
‘to expand’ = to increase in size, number or importance.
- We have expanded our retail operations very quickly over the last three years.
- The company expanded very quickly in the 1990s but has since stopped growing so fast.
‘to restructure’ = to organize a business or system in a new way to make it more efficient.
- Currently we are restructuring our organization and dividing it into five cost centres.
- He lost his job when the company restructured the department.
Let’s Do Exercises:
Learn the vocabulary to talk about working hours in English:
to work overtime = to do more than the usual hours required by the contract
- We aren’t paid when we work overtime, we can take time off in lieu.
- We had to work overtime to get the project finished on time.
to work shifts = to work in teams at different times of the day and night
- In today’s twenty-four hour society, more and more people work shifts.
- We get paid more when we work shifts to compensate for the irregular times.
shift work = when groups of workers work at different times of the day and night
- The irregular rhythm of shift work can be very hard on family life.
- Production keeps going non-stop so we have a lot of people who do shift work.
to be on the night shift = to work with a group during the night, often from ten pm to six am
- It’s very hard on the night shift because I can’t sleep very well during the day.
- Some people prefer to be on the night shift because they are at home when the children come home from school.
flexitime = a system where people can vary the start and end times
- As we work flexitime, I take the children to school and arrive at nine thirty.
- With flexitime, as long as I have done my seven hours, I can leave at four thirty.
a roster = a list of who’s working when and where
- The weekly roster is put up on the board so that you can see who is working.
- Look on the roster to see what job you are doing.
to have time off = to take vacation or leave
- I’d like to have some time off next month. I need a break.
- If you want to have time off, you have to fill out a request form and give it to your line manager.
to take a day off = to have an authorised absence from work for a day
- I had two days off last week so I have a lot of work to catch up on.
- I’d like a day off next week to deal with some family matters. Friday if that is convenient.
full-time = work a whole working week
- At the moment I only work two days a week but I would like to work full-time.
- After the birth of my son, I didn’t want to go back full-time so do three days a week now.
Learn more of the vocabulary to talk about working hours in English:
part-time = to work a part of the day or week
- When I was a student, I had a part-time job in a bar.
- We are looking for a part-time receptionist to work mornings.
to be punctual = to start or arrive at the specified time
- She’s very punctual, always here on time.
- Please be punctual. I don’t want to have to wait for late arrivals.
home working = to work from home rather than going into the office
- Home working misses the social element of going to work.
- Modern technology means that home working has become a real possibility for many people.
time sheet = a record of the numbers of hours worked by an employee
- Fill out this time sheet every day and hand it to your manager on Fridays.
- We no longer have time sheets as this is done automatically by the electronic ID badges.
unsocial hours = hours outside of the normal working week
- Although the hours are rather unsocial, I don’t want a nine to five job.
- Lots of professions work very unsocial hours and don’t necessarily get compensated for it.
to take a break = to stop work for a short time to relax
- You can buy tea or coffee when you take a break.
- Sometimes it’s a good idea to take a break and come back to a job refreshed.
to clock in/out = to record the start or finish time of work on a special machine
- The staff clock in when they arrive and clock out as they leave.
- Flexitime means that everyone has to clock in and out to keep a check on the hours worked.
public holidays = national holidays that are not generally worked
- Your holiday entitlement does not include public holidays like Christmas Day.
- If a public holiday is on a Thursday, many people take the Friday off and have a long weekend.
hourly rate = the salary that is paid per hour of work
- We are paid a considerably higher hourly rate for Sundays or evening work.
- The part-time employees are paid an hourly rate but the permanent staff are paid a fixed salary.
fixed hours = the working hours of an employee do not change or cannot be varied
- The admin staff work fixed hours; nine to five, five days a week.
- As a freelancer, I don’t have any fixed hours but work when the work is there.
If you think you have better understood these things, you may exercise to test yourself!
Learn the vocabulary to talk about getting or changing jobs in English:
If there is ‘a vacancy’, there is a job available because a new post has been created or a person has left.
- Larry’s move to London has created a vacancy in Marketing if you are interested.
- We don’t have any vacancies at the moment but we will keep your CV on file.
When a post becomes vacant, the company ‘advertises the post’ in the press.
- Although the post was advertised last month, we promoted someone internally.
- We advertised the post in the national press last week and have received lots of applications.
If you ‘apply for a job’, you send in a CV or letter because you want the job.
- Ten people have applied for the job just from advertising it internally.
- I’ve applied for that job in Glasgow even though I don’t really have enough experience.
When you want a new job, you send ‘letters of application’ to the company concerned.
- I’ve written letters of application for four different jobs but had no reply yet.
- We have received letters of application from a wide range of candidates.
The candidates who apply for the job are also known as the ‘applicants’.
- The number of applicants is very high. There are a lot of people with the right qualifications and experience.
- We do a pre-selection of the applicants based on their previous experience.
A company can use a ‘recruitment agency’ to fill their vacancies
- We use a recruitment agency to advertise the post and do a pre-selection.
- There are several recruitment agencies who specialize in our sector so we can find highly qualified candidates quickly.
A ‘job description’ details all the duties, responsibilities and personal qualities necessary for a specific job.
- We have written new job descriptions for all the jobs in our department.
- I don’t think making the coffee is in my job description!
Your ‘qualifications’ are your academic or professional diplomas.
- For a post at this level, we consider experience to be more important than academic qualifications.
- For this post, we give full training. The only qualification necessary is a high school diploma.
‘Experience’ is the knowledge acquired through time already spent in work, in different jobs.
- I have a lot of experience managing a small team and would now like to manage a bigger one.
- The best candidates are those who have previous experience in the food industry.
‘Salary and benefits’ are what you are paid and the extras you receive in return for the work you do.
- Although the starting salary is not very high, the benefits include health insurance.
- We pay very competitive salaries and provide some of the best benefits in the sector.
Let’s continue learning vocabulary to talk about getting or changing jobs in English:
Applying for a job may mean filling out an ‘application form‘ giving your personal details.
- If you are interested in the job, could you fill out this application form, please?
- I have completed the application form for that job and sent it back to the personnel department.
The application form includes your ‘contact details‘; your home address, your phone number and your email address.
- We have your contact details so we will be in touch soon.
- If you give me your contact details, I’ll call you to set up an interview.
It also includes your ‘employment history‘ where you list the previous positions you have held with the name of the company, job title and dates of employment.
- I have already held similar positions as you can see from my employment history.
- There are gaps in her employment history. I would like to know what she was doing during these periods.
A list of previous positions held needs to highlight the ‘relevant experience‘ showing why the candidate is suitable for the job.
- As you can see from my CV, I have all the relevant experience you require.
- This candidate doesn’t have the relevant experience in our sector but is very well qualified in every other aspect.
A ‘job description‘ is drawn up for candidates giving all the relevant information about the job detailing responsibilities as well as location and salary.
- I don’t think that my job description includes all the task I am currently doing.
- We are currently writing job descriptions for the new jobs being created in the sales team.
After the final interviews, a formal ‘job offer‘ is made to the best candidate.
- We hope to make a formal job offer as soon as we have had replies from your referees.
- I turned down the job offer I received from them because the salary wasn’t as good as my present one.
The job offer will include information regarding salary and ‘holiday entitlement‘. (British English)
- The holiday entitlement is only 20 days a year but that doesn’t include public holidays.
- Although the holiday entitlement is very generous, holidays have to be taken at certain times of the year.
The job offer will also give a ‘starting date‘ for the job.
- I have to work out my notice in my present job so can we put back the starting date?
- Originally they wanted me to start next week but as I was available, I suggested an earlier starting date.
The job offer will also specify a ‘probation period‘ at the end of which a new recruit can be dismissed if they are not suitable for the position.
- They let him go at the end of the probation period.
- She is still on her probation period. We have another two weeks to make a final decision.