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

March 2, 2015
11:26 am
by Christina Ratte

Back On Time

1. Back on timeConstantly 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!

  1. Make it non-negotiable to arrive early. Some set their clocks for earlier to help.
  2. Time yourself – how long does it take you to get dressed, feed the children etc. etc.
  3. Add 15 Minutes to your travelling time – or enough time for you to change a flat tyre on your way there!
  4. Forget you have a snooze button.
  5. Set alarms for when you need to leave the house or start dressing.
  6. Set timers for time consuming tasks like checking emails / facebook.
  7. Reward yourself with a coffee before the meeting if you made it on time.
  8. The way you start your day indicates how the rest of it will go. Maximise how you spend your mornings to set you up for a successful day.
  9. Remind yourself of the lost opportunities tardiness has cost you (if the carrot approach does not work try the stick)!
  10. Say NO. Sometimes this is all that’s needed.

Remember, even a few of the above tips can help improve your time management whether it’s at home or the office.


9:44 am
by Luisette Mullin

The Hottest Trends in Corporate Recruiting 2015 – Part 1

LM-corporate-recruitment-trends-march-2015Corporate 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

  • An increased emphasis on planning and future-focus
  • Generational shifts
  • Boomerangs return as a primary source
  • Women continue to move into power positions
  • Big data and metrics
  • The cloud
  • The mobile platform
  • Social / digital recruiting
  • Technology in recruitment
  • De-emphasizing CVs and accepting online profiles
  • Focus on candidate experience (the shift in power to the candidate)
  • A shift to compelling offers becomes essential
  • A shift in focus from headcount to total workforce costs
  • Doubling down on retention and recruiting

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.


  1. Visier predicts top recruitment, retention, and compensation trends for 2015
  2. 2015 global recruiting trends – LinkedIn
  3. 10 workplace trends for 2015 – Forbes
  4. The top 10 ‘bleeding edge’ recruiting trends to watch in 2015 – ere.netHow big data is taking recruiters from ‘I think’ to ‘I know’ – The Undercover Recruiter



9:01 am
by Hillary Myburgh

Aligning Talent Attraction to Business Objectives

HM-aligning-talent-and-strategy-march-2015The 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:

  • What business goals and strategies are we pursuing?
  • What will these changes mean for our talent requirements?
  • What skills and competencies will be required to execute on our goals and strategies?
  • Are there any external changes likely to impact our organisation?
  • What are additional internal drivers (such as retirement, redundancies or skills shortages)?
  • Who do we currently have on board that fits this profile?
  • Can we grow some of our existing talent to support our strategy?
  • Do we need to recruit from outside?
  • What will the selected leaders collectively and individually need to support their growth and ongoing development?
  • Does every employee understand how their job function contributes to business success?
  • Do we continuously work to identify developmental opportunities for our staff?
  • Has our leadership team integrated workforce planning into their daily activities?
  • Do we link workforce planning strengths to the performance of individual managers?

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

  • Candidate demand. To secure highly sought-after individuals takes a creative sourcing and attraction strategy and a winning ‘value proposition’.
  • Passive versus active candidates. Most companies still mistakenly see both groups as one and the same. Understanding the different hiring methods for each group is crucial.
  • Utilisation of relevant media channels. The use of media depends on who you are trying to attract.
  • Creating a winning value proposition. Interesting but challenging projects, merit-based career progression and flexible working are just some of the key criteria expected by candidates today.

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


  1.  How to Design and Implement Talent Acquisition Strategies to Meet Corporate Goals – Tom Bradley and Christian Steele
  2. Talent Planning and Attraction – Adecco
  3. Do Your People Strategies Mirror Your Business Strategies? – Rick Brandt, Ph.D., President, TalentQuest Consulting Services
  4. How to Align Talent Management with Business Strategies – Dr. Anton Franckeiss (article as seen on hrzone.com)


8:55 am
by Joanne Meyer

Is Your Talent Selection System Working for You?

JM-selection-process-march-2015The 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:

  1. Employees don’t stay around. If you’re not retaining as many employees as your competitors, or your staff turnover rate is high, your talent selection could probably improve.
  2. A shortage of internal candidates worth promoting. If your company usually hires externally instead of promoting from within, you might not be choosing people who have the potential to grow with your organisation.
  3. New hires require excessive training. Training new employees – and all employees, for that matter – is good practice. However, if new recruits aren’t able to become productive without excessive training, ask yourself if you’re hiring people with the right skills.
  4. Interviewers often disagree on candidates. In cases when interviewers disagree on candidates, you will most probably find that good job descriptions are not in place. This leaves it open to interpretation as to what the organisation really needs.
  5. Inexperienced or untrained interviewers. Interviewing effectively is a discipline. Coaching and training all your interviewers will improve the quality of selections and provide a better experience for the candidates.
  6. Neglecting to do reference checks. Reference checks help reduce the risk of bad hires, are inexpensive and easy to implement.
  7. Assessments are not part of the selection process. Integrating assessments into your selection process will add independent and unbiased information to the selection decision.
  8. New hires aren’t meeting or exceeding job expectations. If new employees aren’t achieving their goals in the expected time frame then many things can be going wrong and a total talent selection process review might be in order.

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.


  1. 6 Ways to Evaluate your Selection System – Scott Erker, Ph.D, DDI
  2. Evaluating Your Talent Selection Programme – Robert C. Satterwhite, Ph.D, The Partnering Group
  3. Taking Your Selection Systems from Good to Great Part 1 – Assess Systems
  4. Taking Your Selection Systems from Good to Great Part 2 – Assess Systems


8:27 am
by Judy Hofer

Core Leadership Theories

JUH-leadership-theories-march-2015Core Leadership Theories

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:

  • Great Man Theory

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.

  • Trait Theory

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

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.

  •  Participative Theory

This theory suggests the ideal leadership style is one that takes others into account. The assumptions, as summarised by changing minds, are:

  • Involvement in decision-making improves understanding of the issues by those who must carry out the decisions.
  • People are more committed to actions where they have been involved in the relevant decision-making.
  • People are less competitive and more collaborative when they are working on joint goals.
  • When people make decisions together, the social commitment to one another is greater and thus increases their commitment to the decision.
  • Several people deciding together make better decisions than one person alone.
  • Situational Theory

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.

  •  Contingency Theory

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.

  •  Transactional Theory

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:

  • Social systems work best with a clear chain of command.
  • When people have agreed to do a job, a part of the deal is that they cede all authority to their manager.
  • The prime purpose of a subordinate is to do what their manager tells them to do.
  • Transformational Theory

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.


  1. Leadership: Current Theories, Research and Future Directions – Bruce J. Avolio, Fred O. Walumbwa and Todd J. Weber
  2. Core Leadership Theories – MindTools
  3. Leadership Theories – Changing Minds
  4. The 8 Major Leadership Theories – about.com
  5. Leadership Theories – Leadership-central
  6. Leadership Theories – Business Balls


7:41 am
by Hillary Myburgh

Talent Attraction is More Important than Ever

Talent-Attraction-is-More-Important-than-Ever-HM-Feb-2015Talent attraction has become a make-or-break issue for many businesses.

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.


  1. Building a Game-changing Talent Strategy – Harvard Business Review
  2. Talent Attraction – A Strategic Approach – Yfactor
  3. The Year of the Employee: Predictions For Talent, Leadership, And HR Technology In 2014 – Forbes Magazine
  4. Define or Be Defined – Andrew Collett from Edelman
  5. Winning the Talent Management War During a Skills Shortage – Forbes Magazine


7:35 am
by Crystal Gertze

Engagement and Retention Need to Become More than Buzzwords

CLG-engagement-retention-march-2015What 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:

  • Customer satisfaction levels are 10 percent lower
  • Employees are 21 percent less productive
  • A business with 22 percent lower profits

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):

  • 79% of business and HR leaders believe they have a significant retention and engagement problem (26% see it as urgent)
  • 77% do not feel they have the right HR skills to address the issue (25% urgent)
  • 75% are struggling to attract and recruit the top people they need (24% urgent)
  • Only 17% feel they have a compelling and engaging employment brand.

An alarming number of executives rate themselves or their companies as either “weak” or just “adequate” in several key retention capabilities:

  • Integrating social, community, and corporate programs
  • Aligning employee and corporate goals
  • Helping employees balance their personal and professional lives.

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.


  1. Global Human Capital Trends 2014 – Deloitte Consulting
  2. Why Retention Now a Big Idea: Why the Tide has Turned – Josh Bersin, writing for LinkedIn
  3. Why Companies Fail to Engage Today’s Workforce: The Overwhelmed Employee – Josh Bersin, writing for Forbes Magazine
  4. Worldwide, 13% of Employees are Engaged at Work – Steve Crabtree, Gallup



February 27, 2015
3:23 pm
by Christina Ratte

Summertime Blues

2. Summertime BluesIts 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!

  • Grab some foldable chairs

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)!

  • Keep a beach bag in your car

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!

  • Plan an office outing

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.

  • Organise group walks

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!

  • Eat lunch at the park

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.

  • Organise office sports

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.

  • Join a professional networking group

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.

  • The office braai

Everyone brings something, you get the fire going, and then sit back and relax. Its summer after all!

  • Wake up earlier

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.

  • Use public holidays strategically

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.

  • Cycling to work

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!


February 25, 2015
12:34 pm
by Anita Hoole

Key Issues Driving the Need for Strategic Staffing

AH-Strategic-Staffing-March-2015Recruitment 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:

  • Why do we need more of this and less of that? What are the business drivers that define our workforce needs? In addition to strategy, these drivers can include changes in the environment (new technologies, shifting customer demands and competitive threats) and uncertainties for which the company needs to be prepared.

Once the “why” is understood, SWP helps business and HR leaders answer four more questions:

  • What do we need as a consequence of the business drivers—not just how many people but also which organisational capabilities and skills?
  • Where do we need them? The answers to this question can be based on the locations where we plan to shrink or grow, local labour supply, regulations and so on.
  • When? How soon will we need X, Y and Z? Which needs will take a long lead time to fulfil and which ones can we meet on a just-in-time basis?
  • At what cost? How much will it cost to secure these resources? Can we afford it?”

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):

  • There are fewer available candidates, especially when it comes to scarce skills.
  • Higher costs for scarce skills.
  • Skills and education gap.
  • Changing career patterns and expectations.
  • Staff turnover, especially amongst the “change careers ten times in a lifetime” younger generation, is very high. Even at senior levels tenure is diminishing.
  • Loyalty is diminishing.
  • Corporate needs and strategies are subject to rapid change, bringing with it a need for changing competencies.

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.


Workforce Planning: The Strategy behind Strategic Staffing – hr.com

Reframing Traditional Workforce Planning – ere.net

Tomorrow’s Workforce – The Hay Group

Strategic Workforce Planning vs. Talent Management – The Conference Board


February 13, 2015
1:02 pm
by Christina Ratte

Reinvent yourself

3. Reinvent YourselfIt’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

  • Some questions to ask yourself include:
  • What are you good at?
  • What do you love?
  • What are your natural talents?
  • What are the things that really frustrate you?

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.

 30 Days

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!