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Style Guide

Article requirements

  • 800-1,000 word count
  • Gets straight to the point  – there’s no pointless scene-setting
  • Offers something new, fresh or thought-provoking – it’s not something we’ve seen a thousand times
  • Is made for reading online – no huge chunks of text but light paragraphs with extensive use of subheadings
  • Provides real insight – it’s not just pushing forward towards a particular course of action
  • Outlines clear next steps – what should a reader do after reviewing the article?

Use of generative AI to write articles

Do not use generative AI to write your article. If the editor suspects it has been used, it is at their discretion to reject the article. You may, however, use it within sections of your article up to a maximum of 250 words, but you must reference when and where it has been included.

Standard style requirements

  • Article titles: should not be submitted with upper case letters for each word.
  • Statistics: all statistics and claims MUST be hyperlinked to the source.
  • Full stops: please ensure that single spaces are used after full stops only.
  • Job titles: job titles have initial caps only when the title is next to the name, in whatever order e.g. "Vice President John Doe" compared with "John Doe, who will be appointed vice president next year, commented on the matter.
  • Numbers: one to nine should be spelt fully, 10+ should be numerical.
  • Percent: all percentages should use the symbol e.g. 50% except at the beginning of a sentence where the number should be spelt out fully and the word ‘percent’ used e.g. Forty percent.
  • Speech marks: double speech marks should be used ONLY for direct quotations. Otherwise use single quotation marks.
  • Paragraphs: should be kept short – 45 words is good to aim for.
  • Sub-headings: just be used to break up the flow - no more than three paragraphs prior to using a sub-heading. Only the first letter of the first word of the sub-heading should be capped up.

Content types

When pitching articles, let us know which of the below content types you would like to submit. Please adhere to the guidelines for each content type.

How-tos

Guidance pieces should offer clear, detailed guidance on a narrow topic. These can be formatted as listicles, ‘how-to’ guides, tips or takeaways. We do not want vague advice on a broad issue; it has to be specific.

  • Bullet points and subheadings are your friends in guidance pieces – use these to clearly break down steps
  • Provide examples where possible to illustrate your advice better
  • Avoid long introductions and scene-setting – get straight to it
  • Use concise, decisive, simple language  – ditch the jargon and avoid waffling
  • Always include a short round-up with key takeaways and an inspirational message
  • Consider a headline that will entice the reader in (decent clickbait), but make sure your content 

Provocative opinion 

Articles that are likely to provoke a strong opinion through an unconventional approach to traditionally biased topics, tackling controversial or sensitive issues or uniquely approaching a topic. We do NOT want opinion articles that claim to be provocative but under closer inspection are regurgitating widely held views.

  • Considers tricky topics such as politics, ethics, power dynamics and self-criticism
  • Tackles the topic critically, transparently and authentically
  • Aims to question believes and approaches, why we think and behave why we do and encourage readers to look and approach things from a different angle
  • Creates debates and discussion by deconstructing traditional belief systems and thought patterns

Food for thought:

  • Visualise your dream working scenario. How could that become a reality or partial reality for the modern workplace in a corporate environment?
  • What do you hold back from saying every time you speak to your CEO, clients or team? 
  • What was the last disagreement you had at work? How would you approach it differently.?
  • In what ways is HR viewed negatively and why? What can we learn from this and what needs to change?
  • What is the most radical opinion you have about your working environment? Can you explore this?

Lessons learned

An honest appraisal of an approach that seeks to understand and dissect with the intention of learning from the experience.

Please note – this is an in-depth article form that goes into a lot of depth with complete transparency. Do NOT provide vague, generic answers that we already know and do not explore the topic with any real insight.

The key questions to consider:

  • What’s the biggest mistake you made at work? 
  • Why did you choose this path?
  • What led to these mistakes?
  • What did you learn? 
  • How would you do it differently? 
  • What advice would you give so others don’t repeat your mistakes? 
  • How did it make you feel? 
  • How did it make you act?

Interviews with people leaders

We do not regularly publish interviews; however, we will consider arranging these with top-level people professionals who are doing progressive things within their organisation or who hold a standpoint that veers away from the norm.

We will not accept interview requests unless you provide details on how the individual meets the above criteria.

Sponsored articles 

Sponsored articles are a way for brands to position themselves as experts on a topic related to their offering. These features are NOT advertorials. These articles are required to be vendor agnostic and to avoid product or service placement in the main body. At the end of the piece, 70 words of promotional copy, with a link, can be included. For more details, download our media pack.

Research articles

These articles analyse contemporary and ground-breaking research relating to important areas of the HR profession, pulling out key findings and summarising the most startling data to come from the research. These articles will critically analyse the significance of the findings and their impact on HR professionals. The article should aim to follow up with new and significant insights arising from the research analysis.

These pieces should NOT cover research that has been overdone or research that is not particularly illuminating or is inundated with stats and figures. All data must be linked to the original source. 

  • Provide an overview of the latest research on a specific topic
  • Includes key learning and action points for HR professionals
  • Pulls out the most extreme findings 
  • Provide critical analysis on the relevance and implications of key findings

Content we do not want

  • Unoriginal thought leadership – Content on the current state of [insert broad HR topic here] and why it needs to change, with only a vague direction on how to change it
  • Broad overviews – Features that attempt to explore a vast HR topic rather than going into greater depth on a specific sub-topic
  • Self-promotional pieces – any self-references or links to products, services, or events that have not been agreed upon with the editors
  • Statistical overkill – Research pieces that are statistic-heavy, but lack analysis and follow-up guidance
  • Well-covered topics – Articles that explore issues we’ve read about before, without any fresh perspective or nuance added
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