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

January 29, 2016
9:20 am
by Maria Meiring

Talent Retention: Employee Compensation Strategies

Talent Retention - Employee Compensation Strategies January 2015 - Maria Meiring



Nowadays companies understand that attracting and retaining high performance individuals (and keeping them engaged) requires a mix of factors including environmental, relationship, support, growth and, of course, compensation. When considering your compensation strategy it pays to realise that money alone will not retain most employees, hence organisations need to consider a mix of hard (monetary) and soft (non-monetary) employee compensation approaches:


  • Salary. This is the most popular method of employee compensation due to its stable nature. Despite so many innovative employee perks and work life initiatives, it continues to be essential that employees feel they are paid fairly for the work they perform.
  • Benefits. Often the key differentiator between employment offers. Benefits focus on stability, health and wellness as well as lifestyle.
  • Incentives. Incentives are drivers of employee performance and are aligned with business goals:
    1. Short-term incentives: these may include an annual performance bonus, profit-sharing and commission plans.
    2. Long-term incentives: these may include share options.
  • Non-cash Compensation. Like benefits, non-cash compensation focuses on the employee’s lifestyle and values. These may include flexible work arrangements, time off or office space improvements.

You could also consider:

  • Corporate Recognition Awards. Employees thrive in a work environment where they receive frequent feedback and praise from superiors.
  • Industry Educational Support. Giving employees the tools and resources to achieve industry certifications and degrees can help to elevate the quality of work produced, whilst providing a meaningful career incentive.

To be successful, a company’s compensation strategy should:

  • Include direct and indirect forms of employee reward;
  • Support, encourage and drive desired business outcomes;
  • Strike a balance between business affordability and employee value; and
  • Be fair and equitable, without any form of systemic prejudice.

Keep the following in mind when developing and documenting your corporate compensation strategy:

Budget Allocation. How much of total compensation budget will be spent on salary and what percentage will be spent on benefits and other incentives?

Salary Ranges. Benchmark like jobs within the same industry and create a pay structure, establishing salary ranges that match all job descriptions. This is critical to ensuring employee pay is competitive with other organisations.

Salary Audits. Markets change therefore it is important to perform routine salary audits to ensure salary ranges reflect current compensation trends in a particular industry.

Benefits Package. Being competitive with health, retirement, tuition reimbursement and other benefits can be the determining factor for a candidate deciding whether to accept a position with an organisation or an employee deciding to stay with an organisation.

Legal Compliance. A well defined compensation strategy will incorporate legal requirements to eliminate natural biases made in hiring decisions and to ensure the organisation is in compliance.

Structured Administration. As with any other business process, structure is important. Develop an annual review process, salary audit, raise process timeline and make sure someone is responsible for ensuring all areas are completed.

A comprehensive compensation strategy can be the foundation for creating an environment that attracts, retains, recognises and rewards employee performance and helps to establish a strong culture of employee engagement.

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




January 27, 2016
7:53 am
by Joanne Meyer

Onboarding: Beyond the First Day

Onboarding - Beyond the First Day January 2016 - Joanne Meyer


When we talk about onboarding what we are really talking about is retention. The first 90 days on the job are acutely vulnerable: managers are under pressure to build productivity as fast as possible whilst boosting engagement, morale and motivation, so as to minimise turnover. According to Bersin research, 4 percent of new employees leave a job after only 1 day, and 22 percent of staff turnovers (1 in 4!) occur within the first 45 days of employment.

Extending well beyond the first day on the job, onboarding should be considered a continuous process lasting anywhere from 3 to 12 months and including employee performance acceleration, performance objective setting, instilling the company culture within the new employee and developing the behaviours that will lead to the employee’s long-term success.

A proper plan for this crucial period leads to:

  • Correct communication of goals and expectations
  • Accelerated performance
  • Heightened morale
  • Better decisions
  • Employee retention

Consider implementing an individualised 90 day programme to build your newly appointed employee, into an organisational asset whilst measuring their progress.

 Week 1. Make sure the new hire is comfortable with their responsibilities and maintain an open door policy. Set objectives/goals, introduce them to team members, assign them a mentor and task them with a project early on to help them get their feet wet. At the end of the week assess their feelings of orientation, motivation, assimilation, adaptation, familiarity with organisational philosophy, and more.

15 Days. Check in on the employee’s progress toward the goals discussed during week one, helping the employee identify and resolve any challenges.

30 Days. During the first 30 days familiarise your new employees with company culture, make sure they have a soild understanding of their responsibilities, what they can expect in their new role and what’s expected of them. This is also the time to review procedures and train on company systems and software as well as products, services and client accounts. Assign a mix of short and long-term projects. Help them get up to speed as quickly as possible and check in regularly regarding their objectives as well as the tasks and projects they have been assigned.

45 Day Benchmark: Sit down with the new hire to assess their familiarity with the company, their role and to see how happy they are. You can assess performance on some of their shorter projects as well as where their mind is regarding their bigger picture projects.

60 Days. The second month on the job should focus on taking their newly acquired knowledge and applying it towards accomplishing tasks as well as taking on bigger responsibilities. Outline how the employee’s role is expected to contribute towards the organisation’s business goals and, where appropriate, give them the opportunity to collaborate with other teams. Continue to review progress and provide feedback.

90 Days. During this period the employee will take a more proactive role in the organisation, working with limited guidance and taking accountability. This is when you should start seeing results from your new employee: a superstar employee will begin making suggestions, implementing new strategies, and addressing strategic initiatives.

New employees want to feel part of your company, but still want to be treated as individuals with talents and objectives of their own. Demonstrate that you value both, and they’ll be far more likely to invest themselves in your company.

If we can assist in any way, please get in touch.


January 21, 2016
2:22 pm
by Hillary Myburgh

Measuring the Success of Your Employer Brand

Measuring the Success of Your Employer Brand January 2016 - Hillary Myburgh

By now, most companies have accepted that employer branding is of strategic importance, but many are still not sure how to measure something they often consider intangible and belonging to what was historically viewed as tactical rather than strategic. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), only 25% of companies have taken steps to measure the impact of their employer brand. Clearly, measurement (and thus the ability to demonstrate value) is integral to gaining internal support from senior executives and to the ultimate success of the initiative. Figuring out what to measure, however, is often the tricky part. There’s no one-size fits all and much depends on making sure you first have a well-developed strategy.

Certain results can be measured with a high degree of accuracy and according to the statistics found in Employer Branding International’s 2011 study there are several different possible metrics to use when considering the ROI of your employer branding:

  • Employee satisfaction: closely related to employer brand because organisations with better brands are perceived to be better places to work
  • Employee engagement: measured by length of service, turnover statistics and targeted surveys
  • Quality of hire: the matching of ability, education and credentials of the qualified applicants to a position
  • Time and cost per hire
  • Job acceptance rate of candidates
  • Number of applicants
  • Employee turnover: a leading indicator and measurement of employer brand. In general, an increase in employee turnover is indicative of a weaker brand
  • Increased level of employee referrals: clear evidence that employees believe the company is a good place to work
  • Decreased absenteeism

The study found that retention rate is the most common metric used to measure ROI of employer branding, followed by employee engagement, quality of hire, cost per hire and number of applicants.

Other less traditional measures include promotion readiness rating, external/internal hire ratio, performance ratings of newly promoted managers and manager/executive failure rate.

So which metric(s) should you use? This will depend on your business and recruiting objectives as well as where you are in the evolution of your employer branding strategy. Make sure you have understood your audience/s and that your chosen metrics are reliable and predictive. Your objectives will change as your company grows and changes, and will be impacted by many factors such as market conditions, product innovation or employee engagement. Brett Minchington says “The link between creating employer brand value and financial (e.g. cost per hire, profit per employee, staff turnover cost) and non-financial measures (e.g. employee engagement, employee loyalty, employer brand awareness) is variable and must be evaluated on a case by case basis and re-evaluated over time as the strategy evolves.”

He goes on to offer an action plan you can share and discuss amongst those responsible for your employer brand strategy to improve your measurement and ROI:

  1. Clearly define your employer branding objective(s). Conducting a strategic audit of your employer brand is a good place to start to define your objectives and identify where your resources are best invested.
  2. Understand the key drivers of achieving your objective. If you can identify the cause and effect of how you attract and retain the best talent, you can focus your efforts on these activities.
  3. Develop an employer brand scorecard. Your scorecard should identify the financial and non-financial measures that drive employer brand value. It should allow you to track and report on those measures most likely to impact on achieving your objectives.
  4. Allocate responsibility. The responsibility for reporting on the performance should rest with the employee(s) responsible for the employer branding activity, whether housed in a single or multiple departments. Ensure everyone is on the same page!
  5. Obtain baseline data on your workforce. Gather data on your current workforce to obtain a solid understanding of your target audience. Seek information on hobbies, commuting patterns, family situations, interests and behaviours. Go beyond demographics and search for patterns amongst subsets of employees. Your most talented young employees may all share an interest in gaming so use that to your advantage rather than send them to a full day of training on a topic unrelated to their interests!
  6. Dispel assumptions. Share the data with your leaders and dispel assumptions they have about the typical employee. Break down employee likes and dislikes. Share intuitive data about commonalities you found amongst ‘A level’ talent. Create new personas that are data-based and not assumption based.
  7. Listen closely to employee feedback and observe behaviours. Pay close attention to the channels your current employees use and map marketing strategies to their preferred channels. This will ensure you have tactics to allow for a deeper, richer perspective into how well your employer brand and EVP strategy is resonating with employees.
  8. Evaluate your progress. Business conditions aren’t static, nor should your measures be! They’re ever changing and more valuable when measured over time. Make comparisons and don’t be afraid to report failures. They’ll drive change and show you’re paying attention to your investment.

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

Additional Resources

  1. How to Measure Your Employment Brand – Glassdoor
  2. Employer Branding ROI – There’s a Metric for That – Andrew Greenberg, Recruiting Division


January 12, 2016
7:29 pm
by Judy Hofer

Why Leadership Development Programmes Fail

Why Leadership Development Programmes Fail January 2016 - Judy Hofer


Company’s monetary investment on leadership programmes and leadership development is listed by the vast majority of organisations as a top priority. However, the act of training even a high potential does not guarantee they emerge as a leader capable of courageous and visionary leadership. So what makes development programmes fail?

Beyond the pragmatic, there’s perhaps something fundamental at the root of the problem. Mike Myatt, leadership myth-buster and contributor on Forbes, says it is primarily because we mistakenly believe the term training and the term development to be interchangeable. This small but critical distinction is lost on most companies, he claims. He lists 20 essential differences between the two:

  1. Training blends to a norm – Development occurs beyond the norm.
  2. Training focuses on technique/content/curriculum – Development focuses on people.
  3. Training tests patience – Development tests courage.
  4. Training focuses on the present – Development focuses on the future.
  5. Training adheres to standards – Development focuses on maximizing potential.
  6. Training is transactional – Development is transformational.
  7. Training focuses on maintenance – Development focuses on growth.
  8. Training focuses on the role – Development focuses on the person.
  9. Training indoctrinates – Development educates.
  10. Training maintains status quo – Development catalyzes innovation.
  11. Training stifles culture – Development enriches culture.
  12. Training encourages compliance – Development emphasizes performance.
  13. Training focuses on efficiency – Development focuses on effectiveness.
  14. Training focuses on problems – Development focuses on solutions.
  15. Training focuses on reporting lines – Development expands influence.
  16. Training places people in a box – Development frees them from the box.
  17. Training is mechanical – Development is intellectual.
  18. Training focuses on the knowns – Development explores the unknowns.
  19. Training places people in a comfort zone – Development moves people beyond their comfort zones.
  20. Training is finite – Development is infinite.

Peter Bregman, writing for Harvard Business Review says there is a massive difference between what we know about leadership and what we do as leaders. Every person deemed a leader has read innumerable books on leadership, taken leadership skills assessments, and attended multiple training programmes; including executive leadership programmes at top business schools. But somehow they fail to lead. He believes what makes leadership hard isn’t the theoretical, it’s the practical. It’s not about knowing what to say or do. It’s about whether you’re willing to experience the discomfort, risk, and uncertainty of actually saying or doing it.

It’s about emotional courage: which means being prepared to stand apart from others without separating yourself from them. It means speaking up when others are silent. And remaining steadfast, grounded, and measured in the face of uncertainty. It means responding productively to political opposition without getting sidetracked, distracted, or losing your focus. It is staying in the discomfort of a colleague’s anger without shutting off or becoming defensive.

Perhaps not something that can be easily taught? His recommendation is two-fold.

Integrate leadership development into the work itself. You can’t just learn about courage and communication, you have to be put into situations that demand that you do it, in the heat of the moment, when the pressure is on, and your emotions are high; and

Teach leadership in a way that requires emotional courage. Most leadership programmes strive to create a safe environment for people to learn. At best, they teach about courage. They articulate why it’s important, what it looks like, how it plays out in a case study. Maybe they do a simulation. But that’s a mistake.

The only way to teach courage is to require it of people. To offer them opportunities to draw from the courage they already have. To give them opportunities to step into real situations they find uncomfortable and truly take the time to connect with the sensations that come with that.

McKinsey tells us there are 4 common mistakes made in the implementation of leadership development:

Overlooking context. A brilliant leader in one situation does not necessarily perform well in another. Too many training initiatives rest on the assumption that one size fits all and that the same group of skills or style of leadership is appropriate regardless of strategy, organisational culture, or CEO mandate. Focusing on context means equipping leaders with a small number of competencies (two to three) that will make a significant difference to performance instead of a long list of leadership standards, a complex web of dozens of competencies, and corporate-values statements.

Decoupling reflection from real work. Companies should strive to make every major business project a leadership-development opportunity as well, and to integrate leadership-development components into the projects themselves.

Underestimating mind-set. Becoming a more effective leader often requires changing behaviour. Identifying some of the deepest, “below the surface” thoughts, feelings, assumptions, and beliefs is usually a pre-condition of behavioural change; one too often shirked in development programmes.

Failing to measure results. When businesses fail to track and measure changes in leadership performance over time, they increase the odds that improvement initiatives won’t be taken seriously. One approach is to assess the extent of behavioural change, perhaps through a 360-degree feedback exercise at the beginning of a programme and followed by another one after 6 to 12 months. Another approach is to monitor participants’ career development after the training. Finally, try to monitor the business impact, especially when training is tied to breakthrough projects.

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