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

October 5, 2015
9:53 am
by Anita Hoole

Architecture of a Talent Pipeline

Talent Chronicle October 2015 1


Building an effective talent pipeline requires a shift from reactive to proactive recruiting: from recruiting to fill an open position to thinking about who your company will want and should hire in the future. Building one without cracks or blockages requires long-term focus and structured planning. It will take time and effort but the benefits are worth the investment.

Professor Jeffrey Gandz, of Ivey Business Journal, has outlined the architecture of effective talent pipelines as consisting of 4 dimensions:


  1. A clear, articulated picture of your talent requirements over the next several years. This picture should be clear on the competencies and other characteristics that you want in your talent pool, so that people can see what it takes to ‘make it’ in the organisation.
  2. Developmental pathways that you can use to get raw potential developed into polished performers. You will need to define the experiences, exposures and challenges they need to meet so they can emerge as high performers in the future, whether as organisational leaders, specialist leaders or simply advanced specialists.
  3. Key HR systems and processes that can enable potential to be realised as performance. Typically, this means having sound, integrated human resource planning, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, career management, succession planning, and compensation/benefits processes to ensure the talent pipeline is filled. This will allow people to move through the pipeline and ensure the pipeline delivers the talent where it needs to be deployed, when it is needed.
  4. Programmes that enable both talent to develop and talent managers to do a great job of ensuring your organisation becomes a talent-rich enterprise. Some of these programmes may be in-house, some may be obtained externally; many will involve forms of action learning or learning associated with delivering on accountabilities. Some will focus on strategy and values while others will seek to develop competencies.

Incorporating these 4 dimensions will ensure that high-potential people are recruited into your organisation, assessed regularly and given the opportunity to develop and advance. Note that some will reach the level of their potential and plateau, others will decide to drop-out or will be moved out because of their performance or because they block the development of others, hence the importance of continued assessment to ensure a healthy pipeline.

Some will show potential for leadership and they will need to be given broadening experiences, programmes, challenges and opportunities (commonly known as a leadership track – your company should design how this track looks within your organisation). Others will show either limited aptitude or desire for leadership roles but have high-potential for development along specialist lines.

Professor Gandz notes that there will be many errors in making these assessments since assessment of potential is an inexact science at best, an art at worst. So be prepared to recognise and reverse an error. In addition, be aware that you need to allow time for development to take place. As so much development requires experience and reflection on that experience, people need to be challenged with real-work demands and assessed on their responses, you have to recognise potential talent early and manage careers actively.

By implementing these talent pipeline strategies, businesses can improve the scope of their prospective applicants and continue to make smart hiring decisions.

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


  1. Talent Development: The Architecture Of A Talent Pipeline That Works – Professor Jeffrey Gandz, Ivey Business Journal


June 1, 2015
8:22 am
by Anita Hoole

Overcoming the Challenges of Strategic Staffing


In essence, workforce planning is simple: ensuring there are the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time and at the right price to execute business strategy. However, because it’s all about people and because it takes a longer-term look, in practice it’s much harder than it sounds.

As Dilys Robinson of HR Magazine puts it: understanding workforce demand is notoriously difficult. Priorities shift, managers get distracted and the economy does unexpected things. Added to this there’s often a lack of strategic direction, poor quality data, the battle to get workforce planning on the senior management agenda and to get the organisation thinking long-term, along with the difficulty of extracting sensible demand forecasts from managers.

Common problems include:

  • assuming the future will be the same as the past
  • failure to think through the implications of change, both internal and external
  • not factoring in productivity improvement

The end result is that workforce forecasts look remarkably similar to the existing picture, even though managers, often admit that their existing workforce profile is far from ideal.

Success Factors, in the paper Workforce Planning Pitfalls, outlines 6 common pitfalls to look out for when beginning the process of workforce planning:

  1. Expecting HR to ‘own’ the process. HR’s role is critical, of course, articulating the value, asking challenging questions of managers about what drives workforce demand, helping the business translate its strategies into human capital needs, providing the necessary tools and processes, driving accountability as well as ensuring the required workforce is delivered. However, the foundation for workforce planning is the business strategy; therefore workforce planning should be owned by the business units ensuring they are responsible for the success or failure of their strategic plans. The human capital requirements of the strategy are no less a part of their responsibility than the  financial, technical, operational or other requirements.
  2. Failure to see the bigger picture. Workforce planning is a strategic exercise, not a short-term budgeting endeavor. The goal is to ensure talent managers prepare a future workforce to execute company objectives, not to slot employees onto project teams or into schedules. It’s also critical for the workforce plan to estimate the impact of business changes expected to occur beyond the forecast time frame.
  3. Trying to run before you can walk. Attempting workforce planning for the entire organisation will almost certainly become overwhelming and limit success. Start small. Focus on five to ten critical roles, allowing time to refine the process before expanding company-wide. Additionally, starting small will help build internal credibility and solidify support.
  4. Talking in the wrong language to the board. It’s crucial to translate the impact of workforce plans into financial value and business success. This enables business leaders to make workforce decisions based on the same criteria used in other areas of strategic planning. It also demonstrates the value of the workforce planning function, building credibility and support for the process going forward.
  5. Falling at the last hurdle: Implementation. Too often, the workforce plan becomes an academic exercise: a document that grows dusty on a shelf and never gets actioned. To avoid this, each business unit should have an owner accountable for managing the outline of specific tactics, time frames, budget, check-in dates and a set of metrics for monitoring progress.
  6. Planning without the right skills. Workforce planning is a business process that requires a unique blend of skills and capabilities, at the core of which must be business acumen. Finding people with these skills (and preferably previous workforce planning experience) can be challenging. Many companies begin with outside consultants who provide training, technology and support for the first few planning iterations. Thereafter, the expertise develops internally and companies usually find they can successfully manage the process independently.

Workforce planning will continue to grow as a critical element of business success. Understanding how the process works, how to demonstrate its impact and how to avoid common pitfalls will enable organisations to focus on what really matters: having the right number of people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time and at the right price to execute business strategy.

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

Previous articles in this series:

  1. Why Care about Strategic Staffing?
  2. Key Issues Driving the Need for Strategic Staffing
  3. A Process for Strategic Staffing
  4. Success Factors: Strategic Staffing

Resources: Overcoming the Challenges of Strategic Staffing

  1. Recession brings problems that make workforce planning a must: Dilys Robinson, HR Magazine
  2. Workforce Planning Pitfalls: Success Factors


May 18, 2015
9:34 am
by Joanne Meyer

Optimize Your Hire: Pre-Employment Assessment


Given the enormous cost of bad hiring decisions, it’s a small wonder corporates are spending time and care on making sure they source and hire the right people. From ensuring excellent talent selection systems to the compilation of complex and accurate job descriptions, it pays to finesse every step of the process. However, there’s always a chance that one of the candidates, who looks great on paper, may turn out to have misrepresented themselves in some way, or may not be a good personality fit for either the role or your corporate culture. Thus the importance of pre-selection screening, which moves beyond past credentials and experience, and brings a certain objectivity to the process.

In South Africa, these tests typically take place once the field has been narrowed down to only a few likely candidates. However, internationally they often take place earlier in the process: after only the initial telephonic interview or even as the first step in the process (generally via short, web-based psychometric tests. Such tests efficiently clear out the least-suitable applicants, leaving a smaller, better-qualified pool to undergo the more costly personalized aspects of the process).

Types of Employment Tests

  • Personality Tests. Assess the degree to which a person has certain traits or dispositions or predict the likelihood that a person will engage in certain conduct.
  • Cognitive Tests. Measure a candidate’s reasoning, memory, perceptual speed and accuracy, and skills in arithmetic and reading comprehension, as well as knowledge of a particular function or job.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EI) Testing. The ability of an individual to understand his or her own emotions and the emotions of others. Testing job applicants for their emotional intelligence is a growing employment trend.
  • Talent Assessment Tests. These are called pre-employment tests or career tests, and are used to help identify candidates that will be a good fit for the role and predict a new hire’s performance and retainability.
  • Sample Job Tasks. Sample job tasks, including performance tests, simulations, work samples, and realistic job previews, assess a candidate’s performance and aptitude on particular tasks.
  • Pre-Employment Physical Exams. These may be required to determine the suitability of an individual for a job or to measure the physical ability of an applicant to perform a particular task or the strength of specific muscle groups, as well as strength and stamina in general.
  • Drug Tests. These tests show the presence of drugs or alcohol in the applicants system and can include urine tests, hair analysis as well as saliva and sweat screening.
  • Language Proficiency Tests.


Ultimately, these tools are most effective in screening out non-appropriate candidates when used in conjunction with background screening to obtain hard facts about a candidate. Pre-employment background screening works in four critical ways:

  1. It can discourage applicants with something to hide. A person with a criminal record or false CV will simply apply to a company that does not pre-screen.
  2. It limits uncertainty in the hiring process. Although using instinct in the hiring process can be important, basing a decision on hard information is even better.
  3. Demonstrates an employer has exercised due diligence, providing legal protection in the event of a lawsuit.
  4. Encourages applicants to be especially forthcoming in their interviews.


Other important tools include CV verification, financial background checks (when relevant to the job), ID verification and drivers license verification.

Common Concerns Even with all the advantages of a screening program, these are the four most commons concerns that employers express:

  • Is it legal? Tests need to be valid, reliable, properly implemented and conducted with the candidate’s written permission. Companies can legally use these tests, as long as they don’t use to them to discriminate based on race, gender, national origin, religion, disability, or age. Employment tests must be validated for the jobs they are being used to hire for and for the purposes for which they are being used.
  • Is it cost-effective? It is cost-effective when compared to the damage one bad hire can cause.
  • Does it discourage good applicants? A good candidate understands that background screening is sound business practice, which helps a company’s bottom line and is not an invasion of privacy.
  • Does it delay hiring? No. Background screening is normally done in just 48 to 72 hours.

Administered correctly, pre-employment testing can help companies save time and money in the selection process, decrease turnover, increase productivity, and even improve morale.

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


  1. When Hiring, First Test, and Then Interview – Forbes Magazine
  2. Handling Pre-employment Screenings and Assessments – Quintessential Careers
  3. Pre-employment Testing: A Helpful Way for Companies to Screen Applicants – Forbes Magazine
  4. Employment Tests – About Careers
  5. Pre-employment Screening is Critical – HR Future


May 14, 2015
7:37 am
by Christina Ratte

How To Stay Positive During A Job Search



I frequently have conversations with candidates that have been on the job search for a while, often through no fault of their own, and it’s sometimes (understandably) difficult to stay positive.

  • It’s a marathon
    Any runner knows that a marathon and a sprint are two different things. As with a marathon a job search can take time. It has highs and lows (the most positive person can feel down in the dumps at times) and it can feel like an eternity before you reach the finish line.


  • Take one day at a time
    Do a little bit each day. Every day there might be a new opportunity, or a new job advert you can apply for. Some days there’ll be no response at all, some days you might get only regret emails. Focus on doing something small every day; this prevents you from falling into a negative rut.
  • Continuously improve
    Get some feedback from a recruiter, family friend or the internet. Then implement it. Continuously improve yourself, improve your CV and practice your interview skills with family and friends. Listen to motivational CD’s and read motivational / self-improvement books. If you are unemployed use your time constructively!
  • Never give up!
    Remember the cartoon where the frog fights against being eaten by a bird? This is you: don’t ever give up on a job search; you don’t know what’s around the corner. Your dream job might just be waiting for you. If you really want it you will get it.
  • Do something, anything
    The worst evil is sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring! Get busy and get yourself off the couch! Who wants to know what’s on during the midday TV slot in any case? Here are a couple of ideas I’ve come across:

    • Volunteer work
    • Contract work
    • Helping out in family / friend’s businesses
    • Au-Pair for your nieces and nephew
      There are many more, the key is to keep busy.
  • Prepare and research
    The key to success is preparation and planning: before your interviews, make sure you’ve done your research on the company and have prepared questions. Before sending out your CV make sure it speaks to the requirements of the role.

It’s a numbers game, and although an opportunity might be the perfect job with the perfect company, there’s always some competition. Until you’ve signed the contract there’s no guarantee. Use the above tips to stay positive while you search and you will get your day in the sun!


May 13, 2015
11:22 am
by Hillary Myburgh

Employee Value Proposition: the Backbone of Your Employer Brand


A strong employer brand that helps you create competitive advantage in the talent market begins with a well defined Employee Value Proposition (EVP). The two terms are often confused so let’s begin with a simple explanation for each:

  • Employer brand is the impression candidates have of a company and what it would be like to work for that company.
  • The employee value proposition defines the full array of elements a company delivers to employees in return for the contribution they make to the organisation. It’s a deliberate construct of the underlying “offer” on which the organisation’s employer brand is based.

According to research by the Corporate Leadership Council, a well thought through and executed EVP can:

  • Improve the commitment of new hires by up to 29%.
  • Reduce new hire compensation premiums by up to 50%.
  • Increase the likelihood of employees acting as advocates from an average of 24% to 47%.

However, the value of an EVP goes way beyond cost and time savings, it also:

  • Helps you attract and retain talent you might otherwise lose to organisations with more attractive EVPs;
  • Helps you appeal to people in different markets and tough-to-hire talent groups;
  • Helps you re-engage a disenchanted workforce;
  • Helps you understand what your HR priorities should be; and
  • Helps you gain a reputation as a great place to work.

The EVP encompasses both reward elements and intangible benefits, such as:

  • Various forms of pay and benefits;
  • Learning and development programmes;
  • Flexible work arrangements;
  • Wellness programmes;
  • The offer of challenging and meaningful work;
  • The opportunity for personal achievement;
  • An appealing organisational culture;
  • A sense of purpose; and
  • A pride-inducing set of workplace values.

Whether formally defined or not, all companies have an EVP, albeit often unconsciously. Organisations typically fall into one of four stages on a value proposition evolutionary scale:

Stage 1 – Tactical: Roughly one third of organisations have made little progress in defining the coherent set of factors that make up the value proposition to employees and candidates. They certainly provide rewards and have cultures, but employees are on their own to understand and interpret them.

Stage 2 – Integrated: These organisations have established a formal EVP and typically have stated objectives for each reward and talent management programmme with key connections amongst them (e.g., clear links between competencies, hiring processes, learning programmes, career paths and compensation bands).

Stage 3 – Communicating and Delivering: Third-stage organisations have gone further by cogently communicating the EVP to employees and delivering consistently on their EVP promises. In effect, they’ve established an internal brand.

Stage 4 – Segmenting and Differentiating: Stage 4 organisations have differentiated their EVPs from those of their talent market competitors and are more likely to measure the effectiveness of their rewards programmes. They view their employee brands as strong and, in some important way, uniquely attractive. This advantage comes from the way they respect the order of the phrase employee value proposition. They start by understanding the employee, then define and deliver rewards that have true value, and then convey a clear and compelling why-you-should-care proposition to the target audiences.

There are many ways an organisation can approach developing an EVP, but most fall into these four key steps:

Step 1. Review and dissect your data. This might include employee engagement, onboarding or exit surveys and recruitment and retention metrics. Analyse all data by key employee populations to identify trends and key themes. Remember to look beyond the top line numbers; the real insights come from the verbatim comments of employees that provide context to the numbers.

Step 2. Discover and dive deeper. This step should include interviews with key stakeholders including senior management, HR, marketing and most importantly existing and target employees. External customer value propositions are often based on a “tell” approach, where a brand will define what it wants to stand for and then use marketing channels to deliver this brand promise. However, an EVP is an employee-centric approach informed by existing employees.

Step 3. Develop your EVP. Based on the research and insights from steps one and two; craft your value proposition as a simple overarching statement. This will become the essence of your employee experience and employer brand commitment. Clarify key areas of focus to support your EVP, such as career development, work-life balance or CSR. Remember to keep these areas focused and don’t try to be all things to all people. Test your EVP against your HR strategy. If your EVP does not support your HR strategy you need to revise it.

Step 4. Deliver your message. Implement your EVP across the employee experience from your recruitment processes, through to onboarding, career development and even through the exit stage. Build in methods to measure the EVP, this will help you demonstrate the value of the EVP, return on investment and financial benefits to the organisation.

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


  1. What’s the difference between the Employee Value Proposition and the Employment Brand? – Kennedy Communications Global
  2. Employee Value Proposition – Talent Smoothie
  3. Employer Branding – ICMA Group
  4. The 4 Stages of the Employee Value Proposition – TLNT


May 11, 2015
10:16 am
by Judy Hofer

Challenges Facing Today’s Leaders


The life of modern-day leaders is more demanding than ever. Internally, they need to motivate diverse groups of people, work across organisational boundaries, improve efficiency and achieve growth. Externally, they face a complex and globalised environment in which they have to keep ahead of competitors and exceed the expectations of other stakeholders.

According to a survey conducted at the Center for Creative Leadership, involving 763 leaders across seven counties, there are six primary leadership challenges facing all leaders no matter where they are in the world:

  • Developing managerial effectiveness: The challenge of developing relevant skills; such as time management, prioritization, strategic thinking, decision-making, and getting up to speed with the job; to be more effective at work.
  • Inspiring others: The challenge of inspiring or motivating others to ensure they are satisfied with their jobs and motivated to work smarter.
  • Developing employees: The challenge of developing others, especially through mentoring and coaching.
  • Leading a team: The challenge of team-building, team development, and team management.
  • Guiding change: The challenge of managing, mobilizing, understanding, and leading change.
  • Managing internal stakeholders and politics: The challenge of managing relationships, politics, and image, such as gaining managerial support and getting buy-in from other departments, groups, or individuals.

These are difficult challenges, and many leaders feel ill-prepared to tackle them. The most frequently mentioned challenge is developing managerial effectiveness. Here are some recommendations:

  • Goal-setting is important. Be proactive in setting goals, as well as timelines and deadlines which are required to meet those goals.
  • Delegate more. Delegating can, in fact, make you more productive. The act of delegation can also empower the people to whom you have given work.
  • Work on tasks that maximise your unique value-add. There will always be important tasks that only you can do. These are the tasks on which you should focus as you will maximise your specific value to the organisation. Everything else, try to delegate.
  • Gain some role clarity. Understand what your work does and does not entail. With that, you may have to practice and be comfortable saying “no.”

The division between task- and relationship-oriented leadership has long been a challenge. Three of the challenges namely inspiring others, developing employees and leading a team; are all related to the relationship-oriented part of leadership. Here are some considerations:

  • Take an active role in mentoring, coaching, and developing others. Provide challenging opportunities, broadcast successes to upper management and empower others to increase their area of competence. Support your employees by providing guidance and feedback.
  • Meet the needs of your employees. It’s not just about making sure your employees have the right software or enough office supplies. You also have to meet their psychological and social needs.
  • Manage team effectiveness. Make sure your team has a clear purpose, strong support, and effectively shares information among the group and with important stakeholders outside the group.

Guiding change is a key challenge for leaders. Organisations exist in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) and leaders need to be adept at managing, mobilising, leading, and dealing with change. Some suggestions include:

  • Try it, you might like it. It’s natural that people don’t like change. Leaders should try to transform their own thinking, and be more open to fresh ideas. People may witness that shift in attitude and embrace change.
  • Embrace emotional reactions to change. It’s not enough to use rational arguments. Leaders also need to be sensitive to employees’ emotions and show empathy.
  • Since you cannot be clairvoyant, be clear. Nobody can tell others what the future holds, but you can definitely tell others about the present and what you’re doing to reach the desired future stage.

Another frequent challenge is managing internal stakeholders and politics. To more effectively accomplish this, leaders need to develop and enhance their political savvy, defined as “the ability to effectively understand others at work and to use such knowledge to influence others to act in ways that enhance one’s personal and/or organisational objectives.” There are several ways to do this:

  • Mingle strategically and build strong networks and relationships.
  • Manage up. Proactively keep your boss informed: the struggles you and your team are having, and what is going well.
  • Read the situation. Observe and gather information from others and the environment.
  • Leave people with a good impression. Being politically savvy is not being manipulative. Having integrity and being authentic are of the utmost importance. Get feedback on how your message and behaviour really come across to others. Avoid gossiping. Keep confidences. Deliver on the promises you make.

If you have any questions, please get in touch.


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.