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

December 23, 2015
12:21 pm
by Maria Meiring

Talent Retention: Employee Growth Strategies

Talent Retention- Employee Growth Strategies December 2015 - Maria Meiring

Effective retention programmes address all the varied needs of your workforce: a good fit with company culture, mission and values; employee direct report and peer relationships; employee’s need for the correct tools and support to get the job done well; recognition and reward; compensation and benefits; work/life balance and of course both personal and career growth. Today I’d like to delve into the latter.

Best performing companies change and adapt as they grow and this is really only possible if the people they employ are given opportunities to expand their skills sets, take on new challenges, cultivate new behaviours and entertain new ideas. Companies grow when the people inside them grow: when they feel their growth and development is happening alongside that of the organisation. People feel increased loyalty towards a company that invests in them. Make growth a priority and create a learning environment: this way you avoid losing your best people to environments that prioritise their development.

Begin by helping your people realise the importance of identifying their own goals. And then implement regular meetings to chart ways of aligning these goals to the goals of the position, team and organisation through training and development opportunities. Even if there are no direct movements up the ladder available to the person at that time there are always ways to offer growth and development so don’t be afraid to have these conversations. It could be lateral moves within the company or involvement in cross-department projects. Bear in mind that different growth opportunities appeal to different types of people so be sure to ‘individualise’ your approach and consider each of the four following areas as detailed by Victor Lipman, writer on management issues and contributor to Forbes:

  1. Financial growth. It goes almost without saying, that outstanding employee performance could be rewarded through financial incentives. Of course that’s not always possible, especially when times are lean and business is down. But even when major financial rewards aren’t forthcoming, other kinds of growth opportunities can still motivate.
  2. Career growth. Talented people generally (not always but often) want to advance in an organisation. Many individuals are highly motivated by loftier titles, added responsibilities, plusher offices, and the respect of others in the organisation… the various components of career advancement.
  3. Professional growth. Even aside from the tangible benefits of advancing in a company, good employees want to improve their skills and broaden their knowledge. Writers and researchers for Harvard Business Review have identified and described eloquently the motivational power of progress, the importance of making headway on a day-to-day basis.  Whether employees are acquiring useful new skills or simply recording small workplace victories, such progress can motivate.
  4. Personal growth. So-called ‘softer’ aspects of life at work also play a constructive role in motivating.

Offer a spread of learning opportunities encompassing both professional and personal growth from a variety of channels, for example:

  • in-house curriculum for skills training and development;
  • outside seminars and workshops;
  • financing college and continuing education;
  • CD/DVD, podcast and online learning;
  • cross-training;
  • having employees present workshops in their areas of expertise; and
  • bringing in outside experts to educate employees about subjects that affect their personal lives.

It’s equally important to build in regular feedback sessions as to how the employee is meeting development goals and how this development is aiding the company in its growth. Help them set realistic timeframes and troubleshoot obstacles. Adjust their plan appropriately and recognise the accomplishment of milestones.

Investing in your employees’ growth is a lot less expensive than replacing them when they leave: it’s not just a warm, fuzzy management concept – it’s an active investment in the life and health of your company.

If you have any questions or if we can help in any way, please get in touch.


  1. Why Employees’ Personal Growth Matters – Geoffrey James, Contributing Editor, Inc.com
  2. Don’t Lose Your Best People Because Of A Poor Growth Strategy – Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard, as seen on Fast Company


December 22, 2015
2:34 pm
by Anita Hoole

Tomorrow’s Leaders: How to Attract Millennials to Your Talent Pipeline

Tomorrow’s Leaders How to Attract Millennials to Your Talent Pipeline January 2016 - Anita Hoole

Millennials, born between 1980 and 2000, are the largest generation in the workforce today. By 2025, they will comprise 75%, however not nearly enough companies are putting time and energy into bringing them into their leadership pipelines.

Research by Deloitte and Virtuali show that:

  • Only 28% of millennials believe their current company is making full use of their skills;
  • Only 6% of companies report they have ‘excellent’ programmes to develop this generation;
  • However, 53% of these young employees aspire to leadership positions in their current organisation; and
  • 95% of them believe it’s important for companies to offer leadership development activities.

It’s clear that Millennials want the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, despite the sterotypes surrounding them (they can’t take criticism, they are entitled, they need constant recognition) and companies need to start doing a ‘better’ job of supporting their careers. It’s true that millenials are unafraid to switch employers as often as it takes to get the experience and opportunities they crave. Employers who fail to offer sufficient challenge and development face rapid turnover and an empty pipeline once the older generations leave the workforce. Understanding what they value and hence what will keep them engaged is critical.

According to the Virtuali study, 78% of them say they value experience over possessions. You as a company need to give them those experiences. This means instead of boosting salary, boost their exciting opportunities. They want to build relationships, take on a driving force in innovative projects, and interact with customers or other employee teams, depending on the nature of your business.

Leadership training should be both experience based and individualised. Too many companies believe this generation wants only online training but research shows they favour face-to-face training and experience based learning. Think job rotations, shadowing, externships, special job assignments, and helming new projects. Focus on each employee’s strengths and cater to them when assigning projects and job rotations.

In the Virtuali study, 87% of millennial respondents reported that the opportunity to work abroad would increase their desire to join a company, 80% would be highly engaged, and 81% said it would make them want to remain at their company. Don’t miss out on this opportunity if it’s available within your company.

Ashley Mosley of Business Insider suggests you key into the following wants and needs:

The Move Toward Social Responsibility. According to a 2012 study, 56 percent of Millennials would take a pay cut to work somewhere that is changing the world for the better. Having a clear company stance toward social responsibility will win you the much-needed attention of young workers.

Flexibility Is The Future. With 69 percent of Millennials believing office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis, it may be time to reconsider employee scheduling. Consider allowing your employees the freedom of working from home whenever their schedule allows it; they’ll appreciate your trust in their work ethic.

Continued Education Matters. Millennials are on track to become the most educated generation. This love of learning doesn’t stop after they’ve received their diplomas and entered the workforce. You may consider providing industry-related training opportunities every month, paid attendance to conferences and seminars, and even tuition reimbursement for employees looking to further their education in your field.

The Compensation Advantage. This generation is faced with more debt than others. By offering compensation packages that are slightly above the average for your industry or region, you may be able to gain an edge. Or, consider compensating workers in other ways, like with company culture perks such as a gym membership.

The Power of Feedback. Millennials often get a bad reputation for their interest in feedback, but what’s wrong with aiming for improvement? Transform your entire workplace into a more engaged, feedback-focused environment by putting new coaching methods into play. Forget yearly reviews and focus on giving feedback and coaching through quick meetings, e-mails, or even a brief instant message conversation.

Playing To The Entrepreneurial Mindset. Nearly 50 percent of Millennials want to start a business in the next five years. This could mean trouble if you’re planning to retain your recent graduate and Millennial employees. But it’s important to know that 90 percent of Millennials also say that being an entrepreneur is a mindset, instead of the role of a business owner. How can you keep the entrepreneurially-spirited employees at your company? Give them room to generate powerful ideas and solutions for your company and clients, and follow through on their ideas and recommendations.

Whether a Millennial is an individual contributor, a first-time manager, a high-potential or a proven leader, give them access to relevant programmes and experiences that benefit them now, and prepare them to take on something new tomorrow.

As always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.


9:46 am
by Anita Hoole

Questions to Expect in Your Interview… and How to Answer

Questions to Expect in Your Interview… and How to Answer December 2015 - Anita Hoole

You may encounter some uncommon or unusual questions during your interview and there will definitely be some industry or role specific questions, or requests for further detail about some of the info on your CV. However some questions are so commonly used that you can bet they’ll come up… and it’s best to be prepared with smart and insightful answers to show yourself in the best possible light. Don’t be tempted to wing it!

Here they are, along with suggestions on how to best answer them:

Tell me about yourself. Most interviewers use this to break the ice, but also to get a sense of your poise, style of delivery and communication ability. Prepare about a one-minute broad overview of who you are (professionally speaking), where you’re at in your career and what you’re especially good at, with an emphasis on your most recent position and anything that pertains to the opportunity you are applying for, along with what you can bring to the company. Keep your personal life out of it.

Why did you leave (or why are you leaving) your last position? Your primary goal here is to not throw up any red flags, and to keep your answer positive. Be truthful but don’t disparage your last employer or co-workers and don’t offer up any negative details. Also, don’t mention money at this stage. Give a reasonable reason as to why you left (or want to leave). Focus on the opportunity the new role provides and be specific about what challenges most excite you.

What attracted you to our company? The interviewer wants to guage whether your interest is genuine and that you haven’t just sent out your CV to all and sundry. They are looking to see that you have done some research, understand the company and are a good fit. Talk about the company’s brand, mission, products or services, achievements and culture, and how you’d like to contribute (link your career goals with company objectives in your response).

Why would you excel in this position? For most vacancies, employers are flooded with qualified candidates. You need to show not just that you’re qualified to do the role in question, but that you will excel at it. Talk about ‘evidence’ from your career that demonstrates your success in each of the key qualifications the employer is looking for. Focus on what about the substance of the role most interests you. Don’t talk about benefits, salary, the short commute or anything else unrelated to the day-to-day work you would be doing, or you’ll signal that you’re more interested in what the position can do for you rather than that you are passionate about the opportunity itself.

What are your greatest strengths? Read the job description carefully and highlight strengths that would lend themselves to being successful in the position. Mention a number of them such as being self motivated, taking initiative, the ability to work well in a team, willingness to work long hours, a good motivator, problem solver, performing well under pressure, being loyal, having a positive attitude, eager to learn, taking initiative or attention to detail. Prepare anecdotes that demonstrate these skills in action. Don’t claim to be good at something you don’t actually know how to do.

What do you think your weaknesses are? While it’s often suggested, it’s not actually a great idea to answer citing a positive trait disguised as a weakness, e.g. “I’m a perfectionist.” Instead be sincere and honest and mention a genuine weakness and add to this what you have done/are doing to overcome it. Concentrate on professional traits, not personal ones. Interviewers essentially want to see your level of self awareness, your willingness to learn and improve; and be reassured that any weaknesses you have won’t get in the way of doing the job well.

Why should we hire you over other applicants? Basically, what skills separate you from the herd? Know which skills make you a typical candidate and have an explanation ready that shows why you will be indispensable in the position. Your best bet is to look at skills you’ve acquired outside of the industry (through interdisciplinary study, volunteer work, etc.) and make those major talking points. Draw attention to any skills that haven’t already been addressed.

Where do you want to be in 3/5/10 years time? What they are really asking is what you expect to achieve with their company. So, talk about what you will achieve for this company and where that might take you both.

What’s your salary expectation? It’s better to hold off discussing salary until after the first interview (you can deflect it by saying something like “let’s hold off on the numbers till we are sure I am right for this position”) but when the time comes be ready to negotiate your own worth. Know what the position is offering and research the market rate for the type of role you’re applying for, so you can ground your answer in real data and an understanding of what a reasonable range is. Know your own bottom-line walking away rate.

Do you have any questions? This will always come up. Don’t answer “no.” Show your interest in the company by preparing some key questions in advance. Asking smart questions can demonstrate your knowledge of the industry, and that you’re already thinking about how you can contribute to it. You will also convey confidence and competence. Asking about corporate culture or what the interviewer likes the best about the company, will give you insight and let the interviewers know that you’re interviewing them as well.

Practice and preparation are key: remember, interviewers are looking for a competent, confident candidate who not only wants the job, but also understands its requirements and can quickly hit the ground running. Answering questions with poise and conviction helps you outshine other applicants, and puts you in a good position to land the role you want.

Good luck and as always, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.


December 15, 2015
2:38 pm
by Luisette Mullin

Gamification in the World of Recruitment

Gamification in the World of Recruitment December 2015 - Luisette Mullin

Gamification is a term still widely misunderstood. Often thought to have something to do with online gaming, it is in fact using game theory, mechanics and design (with all its fun, play, competition and addiction) to engage, motivate and recognise people in workplace situations – anything from learning & development to yes, recruitment. As Matt Jeffery, SAP vice president, global head of sourcing and employment brand, HR talent acquisition, says: “What we are really talking about are the dynamics of engagement. A great computer game ingrains itself into the consciousness and subconscious of the player to make them have one more play. We need to take that philosophy and work out how we can apply it in recruitment.”

Capable of being cost effective if well delivered, gamification is set to become an intrinsic tool in the attraction, recruitment and retention processes. It is capable of an impact few people yet realise. Gamification in companies is becoming so popular that, according to Gartner research covered in a Harvard Business Review blog post, elements of gaming were expected to be used in 25% of redesigned business processes by 2015, and 70% of Global 2000 businesses expected to manage at least one gamified application or system in 2014.

Here’s a real-world example of how gamification can be deployed, thanks to Jeanne Meister, Contributor on Forbes.com:

PwC Hungary developed a game called Multipoly to simulate what it’s like to work for the firm (candidates solve real world business problems). Traditionally, prospective candidates spent less than 15 minutes on their career website, they spend up to one and a half hours playing the game! Noémi Biró, PwC Hungary’s regional recruitment manager, noticed candidates who have played the Multipoly game were better prepared for the “live” face-to-face interviews, as the game “pre-educated them about PwC and its vision, services and skills needed for success.” Biró says new hires with Multipoly experience also find on-boarding at PwC easier, as they have already experienced company culture through the game. Since PwC launched Multipoly, the firm has reported 190% growth in job candidates with 78% of users reporting they are interested to learn more about working at PwC.

Games, simulations, and other multimedia-rich applications are not only predictive of on-the-job performance in that they show the natural behaviour of candidates, but they also help the hiring organisation to:

  • Attract a more diverse group of applicants.
  • Project an image of innovation.
  • Provide insight into different lines of business within the organisation.
  • Make the recruiting process more fun.

If you are not quite ready to launch a full-scale game, there are still ways you can build elements of gamification into your recruitment process, according to Isabel Williams, HR Specialist at BizDb:

  • Virtual job fairs. The web is full of tools that allow you to easily create a virtual job fair, perfect for sharing more information about various positions. This will help you attract candidates and, if the design is suitably engaging, help you to test their qualifications.
  • Tests and puzzles. This is both an effective and relatively inexpensive strategy for getting some valuable data throughout the hiring process. Incorporate games, multi-person discussions, short tests and problem-solving tasks to help assess a candidate’s competencies.
  • If you’re running a candidate focused website as a part of your recruitment process, this could be a place for gamification. Every time a candidate leaves a comment, rates a video, takes a poll or performs a different action, you can give rewards like points and badges to make the process more engaging.
  • Real-time progress. Another good idea for candidate focused websites is to provide a neat progress bar so candidates can instantly see how far they are into the recruitment process, helping them to focus on reaching later stages and collecting the ‘prize’.
  • Video-based interviews. Giants like Sherwin-Williams or Starbucks are already using ‘video try outs’ for some jobs. It really is a perfect tool. Use a camera, prepare a script and you’re ready to test your candidates. Review their real-time reactions later; it will only add support to your hiring decision.

As always, if we can be of any assistance please get in touch.


  1. Using gamification in a recruitment strategy – Sue Weekes, Recruiter Magazine
  2. Can gamification improve your recruitment strategy? – Alex Avery, Applause IT
  3. Gamification in Recruiting: Trends and Best Practices – CEB HR