Constantly stressed and running late? Here’s some good news… According to research being on time or running late might have nothing to do with you! The research, carried out by Jeff Conte and Jerald Greenberg of the San Diego State University and published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, identified two types of people:
Type A: These individuals are usually punctual because they have an internal clock that estimates a minute being 58 seconds.
Type B: These unfortunate individuals estimate a minute as being 77 seconds.
See the difference? Type B is also a little more laid back than Type A, adding to the sometimes infuriating relationship dynamic between the two.
Here are some time management tips to help Type B be more on time and perhaps even improve Type A’s time management skills!
Remember, even a few of the above tips can help improve your time management whether it’s at home or the office.
Corporate recruiting has seen many changes over the past decade and as the economy continues to improve, the global competition for talent continues to heat up. All employers are under enormous pressure to stay relevant.
In this series of 5 articles I will be looking at the following corporate recruiting trends:
The skills gap continues to widen
The skills gap continues to widen
Technology and work are changing – will the workforce be able to keep up?
Unfortunately, the gap between the documented number of jobs available and the number of talented workers available to fill those positions continues to widen; a unanimously noted challenge for all HR executives and hiring managers. As the skills gaps widen so too does the demand for the combination of skills. There is also a rise, especially amongst the younger tech-savvy and increasingly nomadic generations, in the fluidity of talent. Restless employees on one hand and a skills gap on the other is not an easy place to be. As a result it will be even harder for companies to hold on to their best people.
The gap should have been addressed 10 years ago, and some steps were taken, but both public and private entities need to increase efforts now if we are going to catch up. Increasingly, the narrowing of the skills gap will be a key factor in determining which nations and economies are the most competitive in the next five to 15 years.
An increased emphasis on planning and future-focus
Knee-jerk recruitment and reacting to past trends will not give businesses all that’s necessary to align and act before the competition catches up. Recruiting shortages and high turnover rates mean we should expect an increased emphasis on all aspects of workforce planning, including talent pipelines and talent communities, supply / demand forecasting, succession planning, predicting employee turnover, and leader development.
There’s no doubt that succession planning is going to be a major concern for companies as more boomers start to retire. One of the ways that companies are handling succession planning is keeping some workers on the payroll. About 65% of workers plan to work for pay in retirement. You will start to see companies hold onto their older workers in order to transfer their knowledge to younger ones.
Look out for the next four articles in this series as we continue to look at the hottest trends in corporate recruiting for 2015.
If we can be of assistance in the meantime, please get in touch.
The most successful companies pinpoint critical success factors for their business and plan their workforce around these core objectives. Line managers identify how their department can contribute to achieving the larger corporate goals and then identify the roles and competencies required. This approach to talent management allows companies to identify which skills they need more of now, which they’re likely to need in the future, and how they address and rectify any gaps. It also allows organisations to plan adequately for talent attraction in a market where power is returning to the job seeker.
Once you have your business strategy locked down begin by looking at the key skills required to ensure business objectives are continuously met. Be sure to regularly review them – your company and industry will evolve and so will the skills required. You don’t want to be hiring ‘key’ people only to see their expertise become redundant within a matter of months. Next, do a skills gap analysis to show where you are exposed. Identifying those gaps early will help your talent acquisition team map the market to determine where that talent currently sits, how big a potential candidate pool there is and where the potential obstacles might arise, e.g. location. At the same time, develop an internal mobility and succession plan to ensure good people are being utilised optimally. Consider the current make up of your workforce: level, length of service, skill set, diversity metrics, potential, performance, ambition. This is not only a great motivator for existing key people but also acts as a retention tool. And then, plan for attrition. By forecasting future leavers it helps leaders plan accordingly for any skills gaps and back-fill appropriately, and in good time.
These are some of the questions to ask during the alignment of talent development to strategic objectives:
Talent acquisition needs to be viewed as strategic rather than operational. It’s essential, therefore, that your talent acquisition team has strategic strength and really understands your business and your objectives. If they do, they can be creative in developing and implementing a variety of sourcing plans defined by the variable parameters that matter most, for example:
Business critical needs
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
The cost of a new hire is significant. The cost of a bad hire is infinitely more: hiring costs + total compensation + cost of maintaining the employee + disruption costs + severance costs + mistakes, failures and missed opportunities. Talent decisions have real bottom line implications and so it’s critically important to examine every step in your hiring process to make sure that, as often as humanly possible, you end up with the right candidate in the role.
How do you know whether or not your talent selection system is working for you? The following points are good indications:
I came across this list compiled by The Partnering Group, which outlines the 10 questions you should be able to answer yes to for each of the key steps in the talent selection process (line management can be considered subject matter experts):
|Selection Criteria||Do you conduct a job or competency analysis to identify key criteria?|
|Are subject matter experts involved in the analysis?|
|Is the job / competency analysis conducted and reviewed regularly?|
|Selection Techniques||Are structured selection techniques used to evaluate job candidates? If so, are the techniques designed based on a job / competency analysis?|
|Are subject matter experts involved in the design of the selection techniques?|
|Are the selection techniques validated following legal guidelines? If so, is the validation study documented in a technical report?|
|Is the scoring process determined based on the validation process?|
|Are hiring managers trained on the selection process?|
|Onboarding & Development||Do selection results inform the onboarding process?|
|Do selection results inform the talent development process?|
In developing job descriptions 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. Have a look at your current top performers – their qualities are likely to be good predictors of success. It’s important, also, to evaluate the whole person, not just their technical skills. Behaviours, motives, values and personality traits are just as important.
In today’s competitive climate it’s essential to ensure alignment between employee skills and the company’s culture, values and business direction. If I can assist in any way, please get in touch.
Mankind has long been fascinated with what, exactly, makes one person emerge as a leader over others. Personality? Character? The situation? It’s only been since the mid 19th century or so, however, that we have formalised this fascination into theoretical exploration. Early leadership theories focused on what qualities distinguished leaders from followers, while subsequent theories looked at variables such as situational factors and skill levels. Eight major theories, commonly categorised by which aspect is believed to define the leader the most, have emerged:
Originally proposed by Thomas Carlyle in the 1840’s, the Great Man theory assumes that leadership is inherent; that great men are born not made – they are destined from birth to emerge as leaders. The term “Great Man” was used because, at the time, leadership was thought of primarily as a male quality, and leaders were often ascribed the qualities of mythical heroes.
Great Man theory did much to establish and reinforce popular support for trait-based leadership thinking then, and for many years afterwards.
Similar to Great Man theory, Trait theory assumes people are born with inherent traits, some of which are particularly suited to leadership and those with the right (or a sufficient) combination of the right traits will make good leaders. The focus is on discovering what these traits are, often by studying successful leaders. Indeed distinct traits DO arise in the profiles of effective leaders and in the way that followers desire to be led; however, this does not alone adequately explain what effective leadership is or how it can be developed.
General acceptance of trait-based leadership theory remained virtually unchallenged for around a hundred years.
Behavioural theory offers a new perspective – that leadership is based on definable, learnable behavior: leaders are made, rather than born. This theory looks at what leaders do rather than who they are. This implies that anyone can learn to be a leader simply by learning how to behave like one: a remarkable shift. Behavioural theory divides leaders into two categories: those concerned with task and those concerned with people.
This theory suggests the ideal leadership style is one that takes others into account. The assumptions, as summarised by changing minds, are:
Situational theory proposes that leaders choose the best course of action based upon situational variables. Different styles of leadership may be more appropriate for certain types of decision-making. For example, in a situation where the leader is the most knowledgeable and experienced member of a group, an authoritarian style might be most appropriate. In other instances where group members are skilled experts, a democratic style would be more effective.
Similar to Situational theory, Contingency theory proposes that success depends upon a number of variables, including the leadership style, qualities of the followers and aspects of the situation: there is no one best way of leading – a leadership style effective in some situations may not be successful in others. The main difference is that Situational theory focuses more on the behaviours the leader should adopt, given situational factors (often about follower behavior), whereas Contingency theory takes a broader view that includes contingent factors about leader capability and other variables within the situation.
This theory bases leadership on a system of reward and punishment. Transactional leadership is often used in business: when employees are successful, they are rewarded; when they fail, they are reprimanded or punished. Additional assumptions are:
The essence of transformational theory is that leaders transform their followers through their inspirational nature and charismatic personalities. They inspire followers to change expectations, perceptions, and motivations to work towards common goals. Overall, they balance their attention between action that creates progress and the mental state of their followers. Perhaps more than other approaches, they are people-oriented and believe that success comes first and last through deep and sustained commitment.
The leadership field has made great strides forward since the 1840’s in uncovering whether leaders are born or made, how followers affect how successful leaders can be, how some charismatic leaders build up societies and others destroy them, as well as what impact leading through technology has on individual and collective performance. Where leadership theory and research will take us over the next decade is indeed intriguing.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.
One in four CEOs indicate they were unable to pursue a market opportunity or had to cancel or delay a strategic initiative because of talent challenges, according to recent research from PwC. The study also showed that one in three is concerned skills shortages will impact their company’s ability to innovate effectively.
Clearly, the skills shortage has now become an ongoing concern. And this is exacerbated by a number of factors, including aging populations leaving the workforce and the fact that current candidate pools are more selective – often with several job offers.
The candidate has become king. As Forbes magazine puts it: (Since the 2008 recession) Companies have reduced costs, restructured, rationalized spending, and pushed people to work harder than ever. More than 60% of organizations tell us one of their top is dealing with ‘the overwhelmed employee’. This year the power will shift: high-performing employees will start to exert control.”
Never has it been more important to take control of how your company is seen as an employer.
For most organisations, recruiting is a tactical operation – a series of things that take place resulting in qualified people getting hired. It is mostly reactive. To ensure that your company has a chance at hiring the best people to successfully operate in a global, competitive environment, you will need a strategic plan coupled with appropriate resources and tactics. This plan should provide a comprehensive blueprint for not only who your organisation should recruit, but also for when, where and how that recruitment should take place. It should of course be aligned very closely to your organisation’s overall business strategy, taking into account any planned changes of direction.
Your plan needs to encompass a solid employer-branding component, the foundation of talent attraction. In today’s age of radical transparency, organisational values, integrity and ethical standards matter to customers and shareholders but most importantly, to current and potential employees. Marketers have for decades used tools to build brand awareness, loyalty and trust to win the hearts and minds of consumers. Now HR practitioners are being increasingly called upon to use similar marketing skills to win the hearts and minds of employees.
Companies must sell themselves as employers. In the age of the information avalanche, candidates can and do conduct extensive research on potential employers – especially in-demand candidates – and they have the ability to access the opinions of past and present employees, together with all those candidates previously having gone through the interview process with that company. Employers are affected on two levels: 1) Identifying and broadcasting the employer’s differentiating factor is crucial, and 2) Conveying the employer’s culture in and beyond the office is critical to employer brand fulfillment.
At the core of a successful employer brand is a clear employee value proposition or EVP, which defines what the organisation would most like to be associated with as an employer and defines the “give and get” of the employment deal (the value that employees are expected to contribute with the value that they can expect in return). EVP’s have become closely related to the concept of employer branding with the EVP being used to define the underlying “offer” on which an organisation’s employer brand is based. An EVP must be unique, relevant and compelling if it is to act as a key driver of talent attraction, engagement and retention – which is ultimately what your employer brand aims to do.
In the coming months I will be writing more in-depth on employer branding and EVP’s as well as how to design an effective talent attraction strategy.
Until then, ask yourself: Do you know what attracts people to your company? As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
What we want as employers is simple: to find the right people, keep them happy and have them stay. However this seems to be increasingly challenging to achieve: young employees want more career growth; people change jobs more often; the work environment in companies has not kept up with the outside world; management doesn’t always understand how to motivate younger people; an aging workforce; the skills gap and the resulting fierce competition for talent.
According to Gallup research, only one in eight workers are actively engaged at work and likely to be making a positive contribution. The signs of a disengaged workforce are myriad: missed deadlines, poor customer service, careless (and costly) mistakes, and employees who count the minutes until they can leave for the day. Statistically, according to Gallup, in companies with a disengaged workforce, employees take 37 percent more sick days and the inventory shrinkage rate is 28 percent greater.
Ultimately, this is what you risk if your employees’ engagement level is low:
By way of contrast, companies with highly engaged employees outperform those without by 202%, product defects are up to 41 percent less common, and safety incidents happen 48 percent less often.
And naturally, companies with high engagement levels have 25-65 percent better retention rates than companies with low engagement. Unfortunately most companies feel they have a long way to go. According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends Report 2014 (in which executives rate “retention and engagement” their No. 2 priority):
An alarming number of executives rate themselves or their companies as either “weak” or just “adequate” in several key retention capabilities:
Employees are an “appreciating asset,” as Josh Bersin puts it: the longer they stay with a company the more productive they are and the more they add value. Our focus as employers, however, cannot solely be on retention or “holding people here.” Better to keep people engaged through measures that build commitment, align employee goals and experience with corporate purpose, and provide engaging work and a culture of development and growth. In other words, we want people to stay because they want to, not because they have no other alternative.
Ultimately the most successful companies are those that know engagement and retention are more than just buzzwords. They have a common sense of mission, a deep respect for their employees and put time, energy, and money into building a highly engaging environment.
As always, if we can assist in any way, please get in touch.
Its back to work, our brains have already had a couple of weeks to get out of holiday groove. Outside however, the sun is shining gloriously in beautiful blue skies and the sea or swimming pool still glitters in our mind’s eye! So how do we make the most of summer even though we’re back at work? Here are some great tips!
The best accessory since sliced bread, they are easy to keep in the boot of your car and take out at any place you can catch some rays (whether in the park or the braai you’ve been invited to)!
For those not living on the coast this might seem a bit silly – but having handy sun screen, beach towels, a swimming costume and sunglasses keeps you ready for anything! Friends hitting the pool after work? Once you hang up your hat at the end of a workday you’re ready for anything!
Take advantage of our beautiful country and go someplace nice; whether it’s a wine farm trip, or to the local bush restaurant. A nice table outside with a view keeps the happy thoughts flowing.
It’s boring going for a walk alone. Why not share the fun by organising a group walk? Choose an area stimulating for the senses such as your local park, beach promenade, a suburban area that you want to explore… you can be as creative as you choose!
South Africa has some very beautiful areas to explore. Pack a lunch and make a picnic out of it! If you can afford to eat out, choose a patio or deck type restaurant.
For those competitive types this is an excellent way to get out and enjoy the weather. Certain team sports have corporate leagues during the summer months. Don’t like your competitor? Joining a corporate sports league and beating them can be quiet satisfying.
Lots of these groups organise networking mixers, harbour cruises and pub crawls. Not only do you get to enjoy a bit of night life but it’s an excellent way to make networking fun this summer.
Everyone brings something, you get the fire going, and then sit back and relax. Its summer after all!
This is probably one of the worst tips for someone like me as I am a notorious morning grouch! BUT – it does allow for going for a morning run or having breakfast with a loved one before dashing to work. All in all, great ways to start the day.
Nothing is as refreshing as having a short break away. Spend a long weekend in the bush, mountains or at some glorious spa being pampered. Plan the days, and use the public holidays to your advantage.
If you are in the advantageous position of living relatively close to work, make use of arriving traffic-stress free and having had your exercise for the day. Just remember to check for shower facilities beforehand.
Right, I am off to the beach with my handy beach bag and foldable chairs. Enjoy the summer!
Recruitment is more often than not a tactical game. We project one or two moves ahead – for the coming financial year, say – or we scramble reactively when someone resigns. We might use the word strategic when it comes to HR conversations but we very rarely understand what that means.
I think we grasp, in theory, the value of long-term talent planning but very rarely – in a world that changes at a dizzying pace – do companies adopt the infrastructure necessary to fully execute on it. Quite often this is because successful strategic staffing planning requires sweeping changes to company-wide processes and procedures, and demands the full involvement and commitment of all levels of management. Not an easy challenge.
So we fully understand its importance let’s look at strategic staffing in context. To do this, I find the following from Mary B. Young, DBA, of The Conference Board, extremely helpful:
“Strategic workforce planning (SWP) is the process that translates business strategy into its workforce implications. But business strategy comes first, answering the “why” question:
Once the “why” is understood, SWP helps business and HR leaders answer four more questions:
Why is it so crucial that we become truly strategic vs. tactical in our staffing approach? There are a number of issues driving this need (beyond the obvious: the more strategic a player we become, the more chance we win the game):
Strategic staffing/workforce planning puts you “one step ahead” of these issues, helping you create a workforce that is, and will continue to be, flexible and responsive in these fast-changing times. Its many advantages, however, are not limited to recruitment and selection; it also provides a framework for other HR policies and programmes such as training, compensation, and diversity management.
In upcoming articles, I will be looking at how to get started along with models for effective workforce planning. In the meantime, if we can be of any assistance, please get in touch.
It’s a new year, it’s supposed to bring new beginnings right? Still feeling as if you are stuck in a rut? Doing the same things over and over again? Just a little more than 5 weeks in the New Year and you feel as if you are returning to the same old little bad habits that you did not like from the last year…
Time to reinvent yourself! In the spirit of one of the masters in the art of reinventing herself, Madonna, here are some tips to change your environment! From the inside out!
Evaluate where you are
Take an honest look at yourself and really see the situation for what it is. What you are taking away from it and if it really is as bad as you think it is. Remember, sometimes the problem is all in our head!
Identify opportunities your current situation presents
Life is about whether the glass is half full or half empty! Are you focusing on the empty glass? Perhaps it is time to take the tough situation you are facing at work and make an opportunity out of it! Someone once told me that to deal with a problem effectively, you need to view it as you would a big teddy bear! Its HUGE, it’s in your way, and it’s not going anywhere! So what do you do? You hug the bear – you hug it until it melts, and disappears. Tightly! Take ownership of the situation and you will see that not before long the problem disappears and you have moved passed it.
Say Yes! (and No!)
Anybody ever watched Jim Carey in “Yes Man”? It’s a motivational story about a man, stuck in a rut, who goes on an adventure by saying yes to every single thing that comes his way! It transforms his life! I am not saying you should go to this extreme, but perhaps it’s time to think about the opportunities that you are saying yes to.
Same goes for the other way around, if you find yourself unable to say no, overwhelmed by responsibilities for others and commitments that you really should not have made in the first place! Say No! No, I cannot pick up your children as well because driving to your house is 45 minutes out of my way and then I will be late in helping the children with their homework. Set your boundaries!
Change your job
No, I am not saying that to resign is the answer here, perhaps a different way of doing things. Changing jobs takes time, and you don’t want to jump from the boiling water into the fire! If you are bored it might be that you are not stimulated enough! Ask for more responsibility, put up your hand when the next project is up for grabs. Volunteer to organise the next work function! Be creative! You will find that it changes your perspective and changes your attitude by making a positive contribution to your office environment. The possibilities can be endless but it is up to you to sit up and start taking notice!
Start with Why
This is essential. Why are you here? What are you doing here? You can go so far as to ask yourself why you are on this earth!? Combine it! Work and Play does not need to be two separate entities in your life. It could be anything from making people’s life easier or working to provide for your children. Everyone has something special.
365 Days can be overwhelming. Its long, it’s tedious and by the time your reach Christmas the goals, aspirations and fun have all but disappeared into the daily dredge of life and survival! Yuck!! Make life fun by focusing on small things for a short period of time. 30 Days is all you have to do, 30 days of avoiding sugar, alcohol or walking every day. 30 Days of connecting with a colleague, compliment someone or trying different ways of doing things! Once done you can congratulate yourself on a job well done or splurge on the bag of chocolates you have been eyeing at the local supermarket!
Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! We spend most of our time at work, more even than we spend with our families or friends! Doesn’t a dead-end job, only living for the weekend, sound absolutely soul destroying?
Come on, you can do it!