DAV Professional Placment Group
DAV Professional Placment Group


Johannesburg +27 11 217 0000

Cape Town +27 21 468 7000

JOHANNESBURG +27 11 217 0000
CAPE TOWN +27 21 468 7000

April 29, 2015
8:57 am
by Kelly Norton

Retention Begins with Hiring the Right People in the First Place



In Good to Great, author Jim Collins says the first job of management is to “get the right people on the bus, get the right people into the right seats on the bus, and then get the wrong people off the bus.”

Historically talent departments have tended to focus on number of requisitions processed and reducing time-to-fill, effectively stressing efficiency over effectiveness. Now, however, there is a shift of focus from quantity to quality, largely because of:


  • The scarcity of skilled talent,
  • The cost of labour; and
  • The importance of human capital.

Winning the war for talent means rethinking the recruitment process and this begins with getting the right people on board in the first place. We simply can no longer afford to make costly hiring mistakes.

Begin by thinking through the job carefully, along with the attributes, skills and competencies of the person you want to see in the role. Identify the specific measurable goals and outcomes you wish the employee to achieve. Think about your company culture and what kind of people will work well with your existing team and contribute to the atmosphere you want in your business. Although you want smart ambitious people, successful recruiting is not about high performance in isolation. Misfit employees tend to have a huge impact on company morale and visions. If you advertise, be very clear about what the role entails and what type of person you are looking for: skills and competencies as well as personal attributes and characteristics. Be sure to look internally as well and to broadcast throughout all available networks.

Once you have a thorough job description and a solid idea of what the new hire should look like, utilize the law of three:

  • Interview at least three candidates for a job, comparing and contrasting their qualities and characteristics. Check their suitability against your stated requirements. You would be amazed at how often people forget to do this.
  • Interview the candidate you like three different times: the true person is revealed once you get beyond the initial interview.
  • Interview the person you like in three different places. Brian Tracy of the American Management Association says that people have a “chameleon complex.” They appear a certain way in your office in the first interview and then seem to act and react differently when you move them to different environments.
  • Have any candidate that impresses you interviewed by at least three other people on your team.
  • Check at least three references from the candidate. Ask specific questions around their strengths and weaknesses and whether the referee can tell you anything to help you make a better hiring decision. Ask them whether they would hire the person back. If the answer is not an unequivocal “yes,” be cautious.
  • Check references three deep. Ask the given reference for the names of other people the candidate has worked with and talk to those people, too. You may be surprised at what you learn.

Throughout the interview process, don’t just ask questions about strengths and weaknesses and job history. Ask questions that help you identify what kind of employees they will really be, for example:

  • Who are you going to be 10 years from today?
  • Why do you work?
  • What makes you get up in the morning and do what you do?

Look for employees who show passion for your company, product and service and fit with your core company values. Make sure you like the person. This may sound like a no-brainer but when hiring a genius or someone with exceptional technical skills; it can be easy to overlook the reality that they might be problematic on an interpersonal level.

If you do end up with someone who is not a good fit, be brutal about ‘getting them off the bus’ quickly. It’s a painful process for everyone involved but better if dealt with quickly.

Last but not least, always be interviewing. Proactively keeping your hand in the talent pool gives you access to the best talent even if you don’t have an immediate need. You also don’t want to wait until you lose someone to replace them.

As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.


  1. How to Get the Right People – Lois Geller, Forbes Magazine
  2. Get the Right People: 9 Critical Design Questions for Securing and Keeping the Best Hires – Steven Hunt & Susan Van Klink, Workforce.com
  3. How to Hire the Best Person Every Time – Christina Desmarais, Inc.com
  4. Startup Success: 5 Tips for Hiring the Right People – Brittney Helmrich, Business News Daily
  5. How to Hire the Right People – Brian Tracy, American Management Association


April 16, 2015
11:00 am
by Christina Ratte

Ways To Reward Employees Beyond Salary Increases


Ever wondered what you can do to reward your employees beyond the annual increase? Leaders understand the importance of rewarding their employees and making sure they feel appreciated. There are a lot of interesting ways to do this:

Surprise them with tickets. This could be any type ticket. Check with your team what they enjoy: tickets to the local rugby or soccer game (depending on their preference, of course), ballet or music concerts (which star is coming to South Africa next?) We had an incentive once that offered tickets to Cirque du Soleil… what an experience that was!

  1. Give them some time off. Nothing is more important these days than time, especially if you have a family. We all have to juggle work and family life and know the value of spending an unexpected day with your family without the rush of getting to work.
  2. Give your staff a bonus. It makes a huge difference if you manage to pay some form of bonus to those deserving staff. This will have a large impact on their morale as well as their productivity.
  3. Be creative. Divide the year into quarters and think of something exciting to do with your team depending on what you’ve achieved during the quarter. This not only cements team spirit and relationships but also ensures that you and your team can take some time out. Here are a couple of suggestions:
  • Do a job swop i.e. you take over their desk for a day while they handle your manager responsibilities for the day
  • Lunch or coffee vouchers
  • Spa days or weekends away
  • Small things like a trophy to keep on their desk for a job well done

Good luck with thinking of creative ways to reward your staff!


10:58 am
by Christina Ratte

The Emotional Rollercoaster of a Job Search


Job seekers are often ill-prepared for the emotional turmoil that lies ahead when embarking on a job search.

Typically you start out with excitement at the unknown possibilities. However, the decision to leave your current job is never an easy one. Weigh up the pros and cons but don’t get stuck for too long pondering whether it’s the right time to leave and anxiously considering if you’re ready to take that next step.

Next you begin your search for an available position via the newspaper, online, referrals etc. This potentially holds the first emotional dip, as you often get little response from the applications you send out. Of course, it may be that you’ll get fast and furious responses and feel ecstatic. Be aware that this process might take time and don’t give up!

Your first interview… now this is emotional process! A combination of super excitement and fear of the unknown! Remember to breathe.

Waiting on feedback is perhaps the biggest rollercoaster of the whole process. There could even be a constant knot in your stomach that leaps at every beep from your phone.

Depending on the feedback you either end up exulted and signing a new contract or you start the process all over again!

Sounds like fun doesn’t it? There are ways to bolster yourself during the process:

  • Get the support of family and friends;
  • Keep yourself occupied: all these emotions are intensified if you’re not busy with something;
  • Make the decision and stick with it! If you’re not sure now is the right time to move rather wait it out. Going through all of this and stopping halfway through is rarely worth the emotional turmoil;
  • Trust your instinct. If your gut is telling you something’s wrong don’t stop digging until you have a definite “Yes” or “No”; and finally
  • Get lots of exercise and healthy food to keep your emotional state elevated.

Job searching can be a very exciting time in your life as it brings change. Be sure to make the right decisions that will support you during this process.


10:56 am
by Christina Ratte

Improve Your Leadership Skills

1.-leadership-skillsWhile many employers will provide you with opportunities, your career development path is something you need to take into your own hands.

Here are some ways you can improve yourself and your leadership skills to help in climbing the career ladder:

  • Education: I’m not necessarily talking about doing an MBA. Identify what’s required. Perhaps you need to up-skill on specific software or improve your conflict resolution skills. A good idea is to speak to your manager to find out how they got to where they are and what they think you could study to improve. If you need a better qualification, find out what it is and how to get to it.
  • It’s who you know: “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie Jones. Foster relationships with people that can take you further in your career. Attend those networking functions you’ve been ignoring. You’d be surprised at the advice and feedback you’ll get from those that have already walked the path you want to take.
  • Volunteer: When someone asks for something make sure you’re the first to raise your hand! This will get you noticed and afford you the right type of exposure. Promotion doesn’t happen to the person that blends into the background.
  • Know how to delegate: This will be your biggest challenge when moving up the ladder. It’s difficult but knowing how to delegate will not only empower your staff but free up your time to do more to become a better leader.


It’s up to you to decide how far up the corporate ladder you’d like to climb; then take the necessary steps to get there.


10:52 am
by Anita Hoole

Use Social Media Wisely in Your Job Search


According to Jobvite’s Social Recruiting Survey, 2014 93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social presence before making a hiring decision. Disconcerting if you tend to tweet first and ask questions later.

Hiring managers and recruiters use social media platforms to get an idea of who you are, your personality, what you’ve done and how you might fit within their corporate culture before they even talk with you.


They can see:

  • How well you communicate (your spelling, punctuation, and grammar as well as your ability to clearly communicate ideas)
  • Your work history and education
  • Your industry knowledge
  • How you spend your non-work time
  • Your use of alcohol
  • Your use of profanity
  • Any inappropriate content
  • Whether you have bad mouthed previous employers, made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion, or lied about qualifications.

In short, while they’re looking for information that could possibly give you an advantage, they are also looking for reasons not to hire you; so it pays to be smart and strategic in your use of social media:

  • Create online profiles that do a really good job of representing your skills and experience in the workplace, as well as your personal attributes, attitudes and initiatives, including charitable donations and volunteering.
  • Strive to convey a professional image. Stay away from hate speech, overt political affiliations and any illegal activities. These actions will cast you in a poor light.
  • Think twice before you post photographs of yourself doing something you wouldn’t want an employer to know about.
  • Pay attention to your grammar and spelling: 66% of hiring managers say they would hold poor spelling and grammar against candidates.
  • Build strong networks, share expertise and engage. Job seekers who are silent or invisible online may be at a disadvantage, whilst becoming known as a resource is definitely to your advantage. Join LinkedIn groups and follow employer pages.
  • If you are actively looking for a new position, let people know (even better, let them know what type of job you are looking for). This could assist in finding out about open positions before they are officially posted.
  • Keep your name in front of people who are in a position to help your career. However, you shouldn’t ask people outright for a job. Make connections with the right people and let them see you are an intelligent, qualified candidate by updating your status often, providing content to the groups you join, and tweeting about interesting articles you’ve read.
  • Get organized. Have a game plan in mind when you set out to use social media sites as part of your job search. Plan on working on your profile one day, joining groups another, or following companies a third. Trying to do too many things all day, every day will dilute your focus and waste time.
  • Use your platforms to find advice on job-hunting and mingle with other job seekers. Join LinkedIn groups that focus on job search. Follow career experts on Twitter, and “like” their pages on Facebook.

You can also:

  • Search for information on the company and hiring manager to best be prepared for your interview.
  • Improve your odds by looking for jobs on company Twitter feeds, on their Facebook pages, and in LinkedIn groups. Don’t limit your search to career sites.

Nearly all hiring managers will use LinkedIn for every step of the recruitment process, including searching for candidates, getting in contact, and vetting them pre-interview. In contrast, Facebook is primarily used for showcasing the employer’s brand and getting employees to refer their friends. About two-thirds of recruiters also use the network to vet candidates before or after an interview. Twitter appears to be the platform least used by hiring managers, and is used similarly to Facebook, but with less of an emphasis on candidate vetting.

No matter what the platform, however, the takeaway for job seekers is clear: if you choose to share content publicly on social media, make sure it’s working to your advantage. Take down or secure anything that could potentially be viewed by an employer as unprofessional and share content that highlights your accomplishments and qualifications in a positive way.

Good luck with your job search! As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.


  1. The 7 Social Media Mistakes Most Likely to Cost You a Job – Time.com/money
  2. How Social Media Can help (Or Hurt) You In Your Job Search – Forbes
  3. Guide to Social Media & Job Search – Job-Hunt
  4. 10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media in Your Job Search – Money.usanews


10:48 am
by Hillary Myburgh

Your Employer Brand: Essential for Candidate Attraction

HM-employer-branding-april-2015Your employer brand is the impression candidates have of your company and what it would be like to work for you. It’s generally considered an extension of your company culture, which has become a critical differentiating tool for attracting the best employees. A full 87% of respondents in a recent survey said they want to join a company that ‘truly cares about the well-being of its employees.’  Only 66% rated a high base salary as important.

There’s no question we all care about attracting quality candidates to work for our companies so why do we, all too often, spend so little time on employer branding? As leaders, we need to get as savvy about promoting our employer brand to attract top talent, as we are about positioning our corporate brand to attract new business.

Creating a great culture; and an employer brand as an extension of that; really matters. To start with, these are questions all leaders should know the answer to:

  1. Why would someone want to work for you?
  2. What roles within your company are most critical to your success and what do you need to do to attract and retain the best talent in these areas?
  3. What percentage of your managers have received training in how to deliver the brand experience?
  4. What is the perception employees and candidates have about your employer brand?
  5. What percentage of your employees would recommend your company as a great place to work?

Knowledge is power. If in answering the above questions you find areas of your culture that are less than desirable, address them. Go about creating a culture people will want to be part of. Universal characteristics of attractive brands include the following:

  • A culture that practices its values
  • A culture of appreciation and gratitude
  • A culture that is functional and communicative

Once you have a clear idea of what your culture really looks like, design your recruitment strategy to reflect it: fun and relaxed or serious, fast-paced and ambitious. Make sure your corporate website and social media pages do a fantastic job of representing your culture and that anyone who represents your brand to potential employees understands your culture and is a good ambassador for it.

Invest in your current employees. It’s crucial that all you claim as an employer brand is true and accurate; only then will all employees ‘live’ the brand, and demonstrate it’s desired behaviours, beliefs and culture. Everyone in the organisation is responsible for your employer brand, not just HR and marketing.

Try and see your company and all its touch-points (including your interviewing, hiring and onboarding processes) through the eyes of the applicant. Are you standing out head and shoulders above your competition as a great company to work for? This kind of strong employer brand offers significant benefits:

  • Improves application rates
  • Deepens and widens your talent pool
  • Keeps you top of mind (a great advantage in this age of fierce competition for talent)
  • Increased employee engagement and motivation leading to greater productivity and higher retention rates.

Ensure that the creation of a strong culture and a strong employment brand is an ongoing effort that is ingrained into how you do business.

As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.


  1. Building a Compelling Employer Brand: Real Staffing
  2. Your Employer Brand Owns the Candidate Experience: Meghan M. Biro, Forbes Magazine
  3. How Does your Talent Brand Affect Talent Attraction? Laua-Jane Skarkodee, Find the Edge
  4. 15 Employer Branding Best Practices You Need to Know, Brett Minchington, ere.net
  5. What is Your Employer Brand Saying Behind Your Back? Darcy Jacobson, Globoforce


10:43 am
by Joanne Meyer

Attract Better Candidates with Better Job Descriptions


Jo-job-descriptions-april-2015In my last article I spoke about evaluating your talent selection system to make sure each step along the way helps you identify, source and hire the very best candidates, both for the role and for your culture. Probably the very best place to begin is in how you compile your job descriptions, as these will form the basis for how and to whom you target your advertising, as well as for your interview questions and selection decisions.

Crucial in helping you attract the right people, well compiled job descriptions have an ongoing purpose throughout the employment lifecycle, so it’s worth time upfront getting them right. They give both the employee and the line manager a reference point for the responsibilities and level of performance expected from the role.

Here are the essentials you should include in each job description:

  • Job title and summary. Choose a title that reflects your industry’s standards and your company culture as well as the required level (assistant, senior, lead, etc.). Remember that most people search for employment by job title so keep it clear and simple and avoid getting too creative. Include a brief overview of the purpose of the position and where the role sits within the team, department and wider company structure.
  • Key responsibilities and expected deliverables. Often the lengthiest section. Include between 5 and 10 essential functions of the role. Phrase these in the present tense and include an action verb, e.g. “manage a team of 3 engineers.” Indicate what percentage of the employee’s time will be spent on each task to help them form a picture of their typical day. Include short, medium and long-term objectives. This is also the best place to indicate whether the person will deal with customers, the public or only internal employees. You can also use this section to place priority on activities.
  • Scope for progression and promotion. The majority of candidates want to know where the role can take their career.
  • Department and supervisor. Who will they report to and where does that person fall in the company’s structure? If there are other key interactions, list them.
  • Skills and qualifications. List both mandatory as well as preferred. Include skills, years of experience, certifications, licenses, education levels and necessary technical proficiencies. Of equal importance are soft skills, behaviours, motives, values and personality traits. Remember to take into account your organisational talent profile. Certain qualities and attributes will fit better within your culture and with your corporate values, and will better drive your business strategy forward. If the position involves the use of machinery (or computers), spell out what type of machines or software the employee will use. This is also the place to provide some insight into the type of work environment you want to maintain. Is it pure business, or must the person be able to contribute to the overall spirit of the organisation?
  • Evaluation criteria. Be specific. Writing this section will enable you to define what’s most important for the company as well as the employee. Try to make sure the evaluation criteria will promote the type of activities that’ll enhance success within the role and ultimately the business. Provide information on when evaluations will take place.
  • Company overview. Even though it’s expected the applicant would already have researched the company, it’s handy to include a company overview (as written by the company): your mission, goals, industry, location of HQ, number of countries in which you operate, number of employees, annual sales, etc.
  • Location. Where will the position be located and will travel be necessary? What percentage of time will be spent travelling and where will he/she be going?
  • Type of employment. Full-time, part-time, internship or contract?
  • Salary range and benefits. Include details such as bonuses, annual leave, flexi-time, pension, medical aid, etc.
  • Recruiter Contact Information. This may seem obvious but you’d be amazed how often it’s omitted!

 What to avoid

  • Using internal terminology that has no meaning to an external candidate.
  • Not involving all stakeholders. Get input from HR, line management and employees in similar roles; this will yield the most accurate specifications.
  • Being unrealistic. Make sure it is an accurate representation of what is required to perform the role, not an impossible wish-list of every skill that may come in useful. Be honest in your description of what the day-to-day responsibilities look like, be upfront about less glamorous aspects and give candidates the right expectations going in. The only thing more expensive than unfilled jobs is high employee turnover.
  • Any discriminatory language.
  • Not regularly reviewing. Your company is constantly evolving so it pays to regularly check job descriptions to make sure they stay relevant.

Your job descriptions will form the basis of your job advertisements. Many job postings start with the company description instead of speaking directly to the job seeker. Remember, this is your sales pitch to potential candidates, with the hope that you land your company’s next star employee. So instead, begin with an attention-grabbing first paragraph that clearly states who you’re looking for, what they’ll be doing, and why they should want the job.

Using job descriptions will help you better understand the experience and skill base needed to enhance the success of the company. If I can assist in any way, please get in touch.


  1. 10 Tips for Writing Job Descriptions That Work: Alison Hadden, Glassdoor
  2. How to Write an Effective Job Description: Michael Page
  3. How to Write a Standout Job Description: Mashable
  4. The Importance of Job Descriptions: Financial Wisdom



10:39 am
by Luisette Mullin

The Hottest Trends in Corporate Recruiting 2015 – Part 3

LM-corporate-trends-april-2015A successful recruitment strategy is made more effective by awareness of the latest trends happening in corporate recruiting. Why not be one of the first firms to adopt trends that one day, all progressive companies will have to follow?

Part 1 in this series looked at the widening skills gap and an increased emphasis on planning and future-focus, and part 2 looked at generational shifts, the return of boomerangs as a primary source and the continued move of women into power positions.


Today I’ll be covering:

  • Big data and metrics
  • The cloud
  • The mobile platform

Big Data and Metrics

While it’s certain big data is the future of recruitment, understanding how to make sense of it will be critical to a company’s success. You can’t just “data mine” your way to the right candidate; you need the right tools namely workforce analytics and applicant tracking systems to analyze it, and the right people to interpret it and provide insight on the importance (or lack thereof) of each data point. The best recruiting teams will use technology that bubbles up the right candidates, and know how to weight the data points to provide the best possible fit for a position.

2015 is the year for recruitment metrics. Historically, recruitment success has been gauged by time-to-fill quotas or cost-of-hire numbers. All these numbers do is tell you how quickly you hired someone at the lowest possible price. The shift now is to quality of hire, as measured by performance and retention. Other valuable metrics to keep track of include:

  • Qualified applicants-per-requisition which indicates whether your sourcing practices are delivering what you want: people who can do the job effectively.
  • Offer acceptance rate (declined offers are very expensive for tangible and intangible reasons).
  • Resignations and involuntary turnover for less than 3 months service – if someone leaves within 90 days of starting, you most likely have no return on the time and money invested in finding, onboarding and training.

The Cloud

Here are just three of the reasons why cloud computing matters for recruiting professionals and talent management:

  • Access on Demand: Cloud computing offers access to numerous HR-oriented tools and technologies allowing access to information over the internet, on demand, from any device, without the need to store it locally.
  • Multiple Sources for Candidates: The evolution from paper to paperless recruiting means that there are as many different databases for housing candidate information as there are places and platforms for reaching passive and active talent alike.  A proprietary “private cloud” in the form of HR software as a solution means combining these many potential sources of hire into a single source for tracking, measuring and reporting.
  • Improved Candidates and Analytics:  In an age where search is the new killer app, having the ability to look across these previously disparate sources of information means being able to find and compare top talent faster, transforming “big data” into highly relevant, highly targeted results.

The Mobile Platform

83% of job seekers currently use smartphones to search for job openings and 45% of active candidates have applied to a job on their mobile device. Yet only 20% of companies have a mobile friendly career site. Companies are going to have to start optimizing their websites for mobile; perhaps even creating mobile applications; in order to appeal to the on the go job seeker and to be able to promote opportunities to people at all times, no matter where they are.

Because of its versatility and incredibly high response rate (compared to other communication platforms), the mobile platform is set to become the primary mechanism for communicating with prospects/candidates, spreading employer brand messages, viewing recruiting and job description videos, and pushing relevant open jobs to applicant communities. Eventually it will be used by most to offer live Hangouts/Meet Ups, for candidate skills assessment, for most candidate interviews, to find referrals, and finally to allow individuals to accept job offers directly on their phone.

Look out for the next two articles in this series, which will cover the following trends in corporate recruiting for 2015:

  • Social / Digital Recruiting
  • Technology in recruitment
  • De-emphasizing CVs and accepting online profiles
  • Focus on candidate experience (the shift in power to the candidate)
  • A shift to compelling offers becomes essential
  • A shift in focus from headcount to total workforce costs
  • Doubling down on retention and recruiting

If we can be of assistance in the meantime, please get in touch.


  1. 2015 global recruiting trends – LinkedIn
  2. 10 workplace trends for 2015 – Forbes
  3. The top 10 ‘bleeding edge’ recruiting trends to watch in 2015 – ere.net
  4. 7 Recruitment Trends to look out for in 2015 – Auburn Rose
  5. Recruiting Trends for 2015 – ECS
  6. Hottest Trends in Corporate Recruiting – Eazyhire
  7. 5 Reasons why Cloud Computing Matters for Recruiting and Hiring – Monster


10:27 am
by Judy Hofer

Leadership Styles


Leadership styles are not fixed in place, cast in stone for all time and permanently attached to an individual’s personality. They are interchangeable. The best leaders know that different styles are applicable to different situations and to different people, and will choose the style best suited to get the desired results. It’s probably true to say, however, that each leader has an instinctive, dominant style. Following on from last month’s article on leadership theories, let’s look at some of the main leadership styles:


Useful for when there is no need for team input or input will not change the end decision. This style has the leader making decisions without consulting anyone and has been shown to be the most demotivating.


Builds consensus through participation and is most effective when the leader needs the team to buy into or have ownership of a decision, plan, or goal. It is not the best choice when a quick decision is called for.


Leaders offer support and advice but largely give the team freedom in how they manage their work. Very high job satisfaction for people with high autonomy but damaging for people who don’t manage their time well or need additional knowledge, skills or motivation to get their job done well.


Moves people towards a shared vision and openly shares information, telling them where to go but not how to get there. This style is best when a new direction is needed but can fail when trying to motivate more experienced experts or peers.


This style connects wants to organisational goals, helping people find their strengths and weaknesses and tying these to career aspirations and actions. This style is good when delegating challenging assignments, demonstrating faith that demands justification leading to high levels of loyalty. Done badly, this style looks like micro-managing.


A very collaborative style focused on emotional needs over work needs, creating people connections and harmony. Often used alongside visionary leadership, it’s useful for healing rifts and getting through stressful situations, but used badly allows for the avoidance of emotionally distressing situations such as negative feedback.


This “do as I do” style expects and personifies excellence and self-direction. Great if staff are already highly skilled and self-motivated and quick results are needed. Over the long term though, this style can lead to exhaustion and decline.


Soothes fears, gives clear direction and expects full compliance (agreement is not needed). This approach is best in times of crisis when safety is at stake, when you need rapid in questioned compliance or with problem employees who do not respond to other methods. It should be avoided in almost every other case, because it can alienate people and stifle flexibility and inventiveness.

Bureaucratic Leadership

Rigorous rule-followers, this leader ensures that people follow procedures precisely.

Appropriate for managing people who perform routine tasks or for work involving serious safety risks or large sums of money. This style is much less effective when flexibility, creativity, or innovation are called for.


This style is exemplified by integrity, self-awareness, empathy, humility and high emotional intelligence. Transformational leaders motivate people and communicate well. They set clear goals, have excellent conflict resolution skills and hold themselves accountable for their actions.


Charismatic leadership resembles transformational leadership: both types of leaders inspire and motivate team members. The difference lies in their intent. Transformational leaders want to transform their teams and organisations, while charismatic leaders often focus on themselves and their own ambitions.


If you’d like to identify your instinctive leadership style, here’s a handy online quiz.


If you have any questions, please get in touch.



  1. 6 Leadership Styles and When you Should Use Them: Robyn Benincasa, Fast Company
  2. 8 Common Leadership Styles: Rhea Blanken, FASAE
  3. Leadership Styles: Changing Minds
  4. 6 Emotional Leadership Styles: Changing Minds
  5. Leadership Styles: Kendra Cherry, Psychology Expert



April 1, 2015
7:48 am
by Anita Hoole

A Process for Strategic Staffing

AH-Strategic-Staffing-April-2015In the first two articles in this series, I looked at the reasons you should care about strategic staffing and key issues driving the need for it. It’s so much more than the 3 R’s of recruitment, retention and retirement; it’s the strategic alignment of a company’s human capital with its business direction so it can achieve its mission, goals and objectives. Today, I’d like to outline a process for this strategic alignment.


Step One: Set the Strategic Direction

Review the performance requirements of your organization’s strategic plan and annual performance / business plan, along with work activities required to carry out the goals and objectives of the strategic plan (long term) and performance plan (short term). Identify all core skills and competencies needed for success. Start with specific key positions or occupations, particularly critical staffing issues or job categories; not entire business units or organisations. Interview senior executives and leaders to gain their buy-in and ensure they understand the importance and value of the planning exercise.


Step 2: Analyse the Workforce, Identify Skills Gaps, and Conduct Workforce Analysis

  • Understand external trends, both macro and micro. While this doesn’t need to be exhaustive its critical to have a handle on trends such as the aging workforce, and changes in how people access information. Along with trends relevant to the sphere in which you do business, such as projected shortages or surpluses in key occupations, and the strength of competition for employees with critical skill sets.
  • Understand internal trends including items such as retirement risk in key leadership or technical positions, the level of succession planning, the age distribution of the workforce, recruitment and retention statistics, and the proportion of positions filled by internal candidates.
  • Create a current workforce profile; number, turnover, location, demographics (age, gender, race), competencies, job levels, education, certifications, etc. Identify trends. Validate findings with executives and business leaders.
  • Create a projected workforce profile based on trends and assumptions. Ask:
    • What changes (technology innovations, organizational structure, outsourcing etc.) are expected?
    • How will that affect volume, type and locations of work? Skills mix?
    • What will the planned organisation look like (what competencies, how many people, what certifications)?
  • Determine what gaps / excesses exist between the current and projected workforce needs i.e. gaps and excesses in headcount, grades, knowledge, skills, abilities, experience.

Step 3: Develop Your Action Plan

Refine needs in terms of total numbers and competency requirements. Identify strategies to close gaps, plans to implement the strategies, and measures for assessing strategic progress. These strategies could include such things as recruiting, training / retraining, restructuring, contracting out, succession planning, technological enhancements, etc. Critical roles should not just be senior roles but those that bring significant value or are “mission critical” to the overall value chain of the business. Review with key stakeholders to gain buy-in, confirm their role and establish critical success factors and ways of working together (collaboration on interviewing, tools in place, hiring process, who has final say on compensation, etc.).


Step 4: Implement Action Plan

Ensure that human, technology and fiscal resources are in place, roles are understood, and the necessary communication, marketing, and coordination is occurring to execute the plan and achieve the strategic objectives. Know where your company will look for the talent it needs (internally versus externally); the build versus buy talent approach. Integrate with other company planning processes.


Step 5: Monitor, Evaluate, and Revise

Monitor progress against milestones, assessing for continuous improvement purposes, and adjusting the  plan to make course corrections to address new workforce issues.


In the next articles, I’ll be looking at some tools and tips for effective workforce planning. In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.



  1. KPMG’s 1-0 Steps to Strategic Workforce Planning
  2. Strategic Staffing: A Comprehensive System for Effective Workforce Planning – Thomas P. Bechet
  3. Seven Steps of Effective Workforce Planning – Ann Cotten, University of Baltimore