Communicate Blog

How millennials should approach job interviews

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 26, 2015

dress for success suitThe millennium generation – or collectively, millennials – is a generation of (now) young adults that are redefining social, political and economic consciousness. It’s a generation of confident individuals who are tolerant of others, yet are also seen as self-centred and entitled. The characteristics of millennials are very different to the former generation, which are now made up of millennials’ managers and bosses, so does this mean that one generation needs to adapt to another?

Tech-savvy to the hilt, inspired and informed by global trends, thought leaders, and online influencers, and mostly raised by the baby boomer generation that empowered itself during economically successful times, millennials seem to have it all. Unfortunately, what they also have is a bad reputation – one that warns of being spoilt, entitled, and lazy.

So how would you as a millennial ace your job interview? Carefully follow this advice:

1. Present yourself well
Dress to impress. Even if the company at which you’re interviewing seems fairly casual and laid back – sporting jeans and All Stars – you’re not hired yet, so don’t dress like them. It’s not just about what you wear, but how you carry yourself in your business smarts, your demeanour and body language, and general confidence. Appearing over-confident can also ruin your presentation, so be humble and respectful to whomever you speak to before, during, and after your interview.

2. Show your enthusiasm for the position
While you shouldn’t beg for the job or say flippant things like, “So, when do I start?” you do need to show your enthusiasm for the position you’re interviewing for. How? Before your interview, do as much research as possible about the interviewing company: when was it founded? Who is the current CEO? How many employees work there? What awards has the company won? What is their CSI policy? What are their values and do your own values align with them? If the interviewer asks a question like: “Why do you want to work here?”, you can demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job by explaining in the company’s terms what makes you a good fit for them and vice versa.

3. Interview the interviewer
When the interviewer asks, “Is there anything you’d like to ask me?” you will certainly stand out from the rest of the interviewing candidates by asking insightful questions. Millennials have the bad reputation of being narcissistic, so ask questions like:

  • What are the company’s major pain points? (If you can respond to the interviewer’s answer by explaining how your skills and experience can help to solve these pain points, you are very likely going to get the job)
  • What is your policy regarding diversity?
  • How much are employees involved in your CSI initiatives?
  • What is your policy on flexible working hours and why? (This question shouldn’t come from the point of view of “Will you let me work from 10 until 4?”, but rather, what managers’ attitudes are towards employees’ ability to work independently. Explain this if you have to.)

If you have other questions that are important to you, how you will build your relationship with your potential employer, and your role in the company’s “bigger picture”, ask them.

4. Don’t focus on non-core issues
By all means, ask the questions that are important for your career development and the learning opportunities you’ll be exposed to on the job. But don’t appear to only be concerned about how much will be paid into your bank account at month end, the company’s policy on performance bonuses, and how much leave you’ll be entitled to. These questions can be addressed and discussed outside of the interview room (i.e.: when the job contract has been delivered to you and you are sussing out the terms), or only if the interviewer brings them up.

Demonstrate your ability to rise above the negative stereotype of the entitled millennial, your willingness to work hard and contribute as much as you can, and your passion for what you do, and you will put yourself streets ahead of the competition.

Looking for a new job?  Communicate Personnel can assist, we are a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 


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BEE offers both challenges and opportunities

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 19, 2015

skyscraperBlack Economic Empowerment (BEE) was first implemented in South Africa in 2003 as a socio-economic process meant to transform the economy to more accurately represent the country’s demographics. As with many policies although essential, it had some flaws. Therefore, after much consultation amended Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) codes, come into effect on the 1ste May 2015.

The aim of B-BBEE is to ensure that more black South Africans have access to employment, skills development, business ownership and management, socio-economic development and preferential procurement. It provides access to jobs and work opportunities that previously disadvantaged individuals would not have had before 1994. However, the negative side effect of these policies’ implementation is that adequately skilled and experienced non-BEE candidates have found it more challenging to find work opportunities.

The reality of BEE and entrepreneurship
The implementation of BEE was intended to encourage entrepreneurship amongst skilled and passionate black entrepreneurs, who would then be given economic opportunities to grow businesses that would create jobs, provide skills development opportunities, and empower other black employees and entrepreneurs. In the face of this idealistic intention, the reality of BEE has emerged somewhat differently.

Businesses wanting to capitalise on making the most of their BEE Scorecards have hired BEE employees into strategic positions, which – while transformative – is allowing the objective of the BEE initiative to fall far short of reaching the majority of the previously disadvantaged community. It is benefiting educated and already advantaged BEE candidates, while forcing non-BEE candidates out of high level and government jobs, as well as minimising opportunities in SME environments.

In trying to address these ills, the department of trade and industry has hiked up requirements for large companies wishing to gain B-BBEE recognition while providing the announced relaxation for smaller companies.

Contracting and solopreneurship
On the upside, candidates who have been negatively impacted by BEE implementation are in a great position to offer their skills, experience, and innovative new ideas to businesses by contracting to them. While it may seem risky to “go it alone”, contractors and ‘solopreneurs’ can become the captains of their own destiny, positioning themselves as skilled professionals offering niche solutions to business problems.

The decision to own their calling as a contractor is further supported by the fact that recruitment agencies do offer contracting placements, and are best positioned to match up specialised contractors with businesses that have a short-term need for these skilled professionals. Not only do these businesses understand that it’s far more economical to hire a contractor on a short-term basis than to recruit a full-time employee, but recruitment agencies that know the various industries and their business requirements can offer companies the ideal candidates to provide short-term solutions. Candidates on agency books can be placed repeatedly, giving contractors a varied work experience as they learn new systems and network with business owners and managers in a wide range of industries, gaining valuable experience as they progress.

So, while BEE regulations may have it’s problems, to adequately qualified and experienced job candidates, the silver lining is that fruitful opportunities abound for those who are willing to embrace them and determine their own career without being held back by legislation.

Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding a new job, whether it’s  Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now as your next permanent or contracting job opportunity awaits you.


How To Dress Up Your CV For Success

Mallisa Watson - Friday, June 12, 2015

career The purpose of a CV is not to get you a job, it is to get you an interview. So when writing your resume it's important to include all the right information so that the recruiter can connect the dots concisely and see that you might be a strong candidate for the job.

Your CV speaks on your behalf when you’re not there physically. Make sure it conveys your personal details in the way that presents you in the best possible way. You need to "sell" your skills, abilities, qualifications and experience to recruiters to get an interview and they will have to sell you to one of their potential clients.

Here are two tops tips on presenting your resume.

Be concise: Don't feel that you have to list every single exam you have ever taken, or every activity you have ever been involved in, identify which are the most relevant and impressive. The longer your CV is, the more challenging it is for an employer to understand your achievements.

Be honest: Although a CV does allow you to overlook details which you would prefer the employer not to know about, you should never give wrong or false information. CV’s are not legal documents and you can't be held liable for anything within, but if a recruiter picks up an idea of falsification you will be rejected. However, remember an application form which you have signed to confirm that the contents are true is a legal document and forms part of your contract of employment if you are recruited.

Mistakes do happen, however try your very best to avoid making any on your CV. These are the most common once people make:

  • Spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Not double checking and getting someone else to proof read your CV for you.

The video below will give you more detailed pointers on what to do when compiling your CV.

How to write a cover letter

Contrary to what you may have heard, the cover letter is an important part of your job application. Cover letters gives you the opportunity to reiterate the ways your experience and skills qualify you for the job you are interested in. They are also a good way to address details of your CV which may look strange to an employer, such as employment gaps.

So compose your cover letters with the same care and consideration as you would put towards your CV.

Things to remember when writing your cover letter:

  • Make it personal. This can be a tricky one, put some emotion in it but keep it professional.
  • Tell them why you think you’ll fit into their company. Basically, you should convince them that you’re the perfect person for the job
  • Never let your cover letter exceed one page.

The short video below has more insight on what and what not to do, when it comes to composing your cover letter.

We are a specialised recruitment company and we aim to help candidates find the ideal job that matches with their skills. As part of our services, our consultants guide you on how to present your CV in the best way possible to potential clients.

So if you are in the job market, let us assist you. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!


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What does dress for success mean in a new Millennium?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 05, 2015

dress for success suit In this day and age you would be forgiven for thinking that the only thing you require to ace that next ‘all important’ interview, that will excel your career, is the right qualifications and right skills. The reality is that appearance and how you come across still plays a very important role in your ability to impress your interviewers. It might be a new era, with new technologies and an ever-changing work environment but one thing that still counts is first impressions. Psychologically our brain is wired to make certain assumption about a person based on his or her appearance, especially in the first 30 seconds of meeting someone new. Therefore, how you dress is vital for success at any job interview.

What you need to know about ‘Power dressing'
Fourty years ago when the phrase was first coined, the notion referred to the use of expensive clothes with sharp, hard lines that were destined to make people look assertive and angular.

Now, years later, the concept is still very much alive even if the '80s are long gone. More than ever, we live in an era of appearances and power dressing. It's all about looking the part and projecting the right image. Fashion comes and fashions goes but knowing what to wear to an interview is still a conundrum for many job seekers.

We offer you some tips:

Solid colours projects confidence
In an interview you want people to focus on your answers and what you say, distracting flowery patterns on your shirt or odd colours might make it difficult for people to concentrate on that.

Although many people tend to lean towards black for an interview outfit as it shows authority, few realise dark blue or grey is actually a much better colour. It makes you come across as calm, trustworthy, confidant and secure.

Formal vs informal
The best advice is to dress for the kind of work you do. Conservative careers normally lean more towards conservative dress. However many companies have a pretty relaxed dress code. It’s always a good idea to dress up for a first interview, this is one situation where is far more excusable to be slightly overdressed vs too casual.

Accessories are important but less is more
Jewelry, watches, or accessories can add a little flair to your interview outfit, but don't go overboard. We all have our own fashion style but rather play it safe and try not to wear anything too distracting. Keep in mind that your accessories should complement your outfit.

Often candidates are so nervous they forget the basics of a smile. When meeting somebody for the first time be sincere not pretentious and avoid greetings like “Dude” and “Howzit.” It is best to take the polite, conservative route.

Focus on the details
A polished and well-groomed appearance will always make an impression. Make sure your shoes are shined your clothes are free of wrinkles and your body language is open and engaging. Select a simple, neat and modest hairstyle.

Know your audience
It would be key to try and find out beforehand who will conduct the interview and also take note of the possible generational gap that could exist. Hiring Managers are worried that Millennials lack commitment, professionalism, and reliability. Generation stereotypes are common and it’s important to not reinforce this in your interview, especially in how you dress.

It doesn’t matter which company you are interviewing at, the old adage still holds true - dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

If you are in the market for a new opportunity in your career, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 


How to get back into the South African workforce

Sandra Olivier - Friday, May 29, 2015

south africaIn spite of the social and political (and ultimately economic) ills that are presently informing the undercurrent of South African media voices, many South Africans are returning home from work and studying stints abroad. If you are a returned expat – whether you were away for three years or 10 – the job landscape in South Africa will have altered considerably. Before you try to dive straight into finding a job and getting back to work, consider the following steps before re-entry into the job market.

1. Fire up your business networks
Social media sites like LinkedIn will give you a window into the who’s who of South African CEOs, managers and employees in the industry you’re qualified and experienced in. If you are interested in working for a particular company – whether corporate or SME – find out who their top players are and start connecting with them on LinkedIn. Ask around. Attend seminars, and make contact with the people you’d like to work with.

2. Get in touch with recruitment agencies
Reinserting yourself into the South African workforce may take a considerable amount of time and perseverance, especially for some candidates in light of the country’s strictly enforced BEE and Employment Equity policies. Don’t shy away from asking for help, which you can do by contacting recruitment agencies to assist you with getting back on the workhorse. They will want to see your CV, so this is the perfect opportunity for you to update it with your foreign work experience and any qualifications you may have earned overseas. Important tip: slant your CV in the direction of how you can solve problems instead of simply listing skills, experience and accolades.

3. Investigate South Africa’s skills shortages
Many South Africans are opting to leave the country in the wake of socio-economic and political upheaval. This coupled with the country’s rocky education system and many learners’ poor performance, means that skills shortages are increasing. As a returning expat potentially possessing the right skills and qualifications, this is good news for you. There are plenty of opportunities for critical skilled professionals it’s just about connecting with the right people.

4. Think about becoming an entrepreneur or contractor
If you find that you are hitting employment walls, or you’ve had a hankering for going the solo route - contracting or becoming an entrepreneur, this might also be the perfect time for it. South Africa’s entrepreneurial activity is sitting at around 7 – 10%, which is only one third of what it should be (according to the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation), so it’s clear that South Africa needs entrepreneurs. This shortage may be attributable to entrepreneurs experiencing a tough time finding the appropriate funding, market access and mentors. However, these issues can be mitigated by collaborating with other entrepreneurs and developing ideas that could potentially solve many of South Africa’s job and development headaches.

There are many work options for returning South Africans, so do your research, discover the direction you feel passionate about pursuing, send your updated CV far and wide, and prepare yourself for job interviews. Welcome home!

If you need assistance in helping you navigate the South African job market we can assist.  Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 


Soft Skills: The Key to Landing your next job

Sandra Olivier - Friday, May 22, 2015

facesUntil very recently technical ability and experience were the only things that companies looked for when hiring new people. However, research has shown the importance of soft skills on job performance and more importantly the bottom line. Contrary to popular belief, being an expert in your field does not guarantee you regular employment. Companies are now demanding more than just job expertise, which means you must also fine-tune your soft skills.

Why are soft skills important?
In any company, big or small success depends largely on the ability of staff to collaborate on projects in order to achieve the necessary milestone for reaching objectives. The reality is that as soon as people have to work together there is sure to be a difference of opinion or some form of conflict. This is not necessarily a bad thing as different ideas could help to create better solutions, if these individuals have the necessary soft skills to manage this. If not, it will only result in wasted time, strained work relationships, and ultimately failure of the project.  

Important soft skills to develop:
The focus has shifted for hiring managers to look for more than just competency areas as they’ve realised that culture fit are just as important as the expertise required to succeed at a job. Developing your soft skills could be the key to landing your next job opportunity.

1. Communication skills:
A topic that has been discussed many time and although this seems obvious, the ability to communicate clearly both in written and verbal form is vital for any job. You need to be able to get your message across to a variety of people and to ensure there is a clear understanding of what you require from the other person.

2. Growth mind-set
In order to excel in any career this is an important skill to develop. It will allow you to face difficult situations and challenges as learning opportunities. It is important to continue to grow your experience and people skills as you move upwards in your career.

3. Perceptiveness:
The ability to understand the unspoken cues and underlying nuances of other people’s communication and action is a valuable skill to develop. We often focus so much on our own messages and what we want to communicate to others that we don’t watch and try and understand where other individuals are coming from. If you misinterpret other’s intention, you can easily encounter difficulties dealing with people and not even know why.

4. Cool headedness:
Staying calm in challenging situations especially when it comes to conflict will serve you well in your career. It’s important to keep your emotions in check in any situation and to approach problems with an open mind.

5. Pro-active problem solving:
Any work situation requires a certain amount of problem solving. Being pro-active and offering solutions will win you favour not only with your boss but also with your colleagues.

6. Negotiation skills:
The key to good negotiations is to create a 'win-win' outcome where both sides feel they have gained something positive through the process and both sides feel their point of view has been considered. Negotiation is essential in your career but also in your daily lives.

Looking for success in your career? We can help you untangle the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel has a number of exciting new career opportunities which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobsSupply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply today!


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How recruitment agencies service the contracting industry

Sandra Olivier - Friday, May 15, 2015

keybord job search Contracting employees are experts in their fields, who have decided to work independently, contracting to employers on a short-term basis. IT specialists, experts in project and programme management, financial consultants, strategy experts, or consultants in specific industries are the kinds of employees that companies will hire on a short-term contract.  These skills are required to fill a specific gap or to provide a valuable service that is crucial to the company’s growth or to complete a specific project, but not necessarily required in the long term.

Why companies use recruitment agencies to source contracting staff
If a business needs an IT systems integration specialist, it’s possible that someone in the company “knows someone who knows someone”. While word of mouth is a very common way for contracting individuals to source work opportunities, it’s not always ideal for finding those specialist skills required for project work. 

The benefits of agencies connecting contractors and companies
Firstly, agencies may act as the gatekeepers to a larger company’s recruitment requirements. Their reputation will be built on their ability to quickly find the perfect candidate for their requirements, at the right cost. If the companies deal directly with contracting candidates, they may find that they get bombarded with CVs or proposals from candidates who are not suited to the short-term contract they’re trying to fill. This is a waste of recruitment time and resources. If an agency is in charge of handling recruitment, they will only provide the most suitable CVs to the company, narrowing down the pool and significantly reducing the time the company spends on resourcing.

Secondly, agencies will have a pool of CV’s of contracting candidates from which to source the ideal candidate for their client requirements. These CVs will be from candidates they’ve interviewed and whose references have been checked, significantly reducing the recruitment time to fill a position.

Thirdly, agencies that specialise in resourcing for a specific industry – IT, supply chain, financial services, engineering, etc. – will know the ins and outs of servicing that industry, which provides them with better leverage to negotiate pay, benefits, and contracts for their candidates. They know their clients, they understand the business climate, and they will more directly be able to connect the company with the right contracting candidate.

How contractors benefit from sourcing work through an agency
Contracting candidates that have built up a solid reputation may not be hard-pressed to find work, but as experts in their field, they have earned the right to be selective with the clients they want to work for. They may prefer to work with large corporates or blue chip companies, but arranging a meeting with a strategic person in their preferred employer company might be difficult for them to pull off on their own. However, if they can find out which recruitment agency manages that company’s (or a specific division’s) recruitment process, they’ll have a better chance of obtaining contract work in the company of their choice – if they have the right skills, the agency will put their CV in front of the right hiring person.

Once a candidate has provided their CV to the recruitment agencies they want to work with to source contracting work, their CV will stay in those agencies’ resourcing files, and they may be able to source future opportunities too. Each candidate on the agencies’ files will be able to fulfil more work for contracting employers down the line too – it’s a win-win-win.

Are you in the market for a new contracting job?  Communicate Personnel is a recruitment specialist with vacancies which includes Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Visit our website and apply, our consultants are waiting to help you. 


Credit: by Sura Nualpradid

What To Look For In Your Next Hire

Mallisa Watson - Friday, April 24, 2015

Hand Pointing Outstanding WordHiring a new employee can be an exciting and challenging experience. When you are in the position to make the final call on who to hire, there are so many things to take into consideration.
Do they have the required qualifications? Are they enthusiastic? What skills do they have? As you critically consider the individual’s answers, there is another question that you need to ask yourself: Will they fit in? Behind all the degrees and certificates (which are just as important), is also a real human being with values.

When it comes down to searching for a new employee, it can be a time consuming exercise and a little daunting to know what exactly to look for. That is why you need to partner up with a prominent recruitment agency that can help you through this process. Apart from specialized skills needed for a role, you need to think about what character traits might be the most important, and how do you go about identifying them. Below you’ll find just a few of the reasons why personality is just as important as skills and experience in a job interview.

Some of the main character traits to look for in your next hire.

Leadership is an important quality employers seek, as the strong personality of a leader and willingness to lead others is a priceless asset needed in teamwork environments. A candidate with the ability to follow is valuable, but a candidate with only the ability to follow, not lead, is a candidate that will only maintain, not further your success. Identifying this quality in an individual can be done in different ways, one is in an interview setting, an employer might ask a question such as, “explain a situation in a previous position where you were asked to lead, and how you did so.”

Innovative people
"Creativity is not the finding of a thing, but the making something out of it after it is found." Creativity in the work place and amongst employees is key to keeping ideas and work fresh as well as innovative. A creative mind creates and chases new opportunities while a predictive mind continues to think inside of the box and doesn’t overachieve. Recognizing creativity won’t be easy as pie though, there are certain personality traits that are signs to a creative mind. Someone with good communication skills and problem solving can have the creative capacity to communicate with others and work creatively with his team to solve a problem.

The workplace can sometimes create a stressed environment where expectations to produce can cause an unconfident employee to burn out. Especially in leadership roles, employees are expected to handle stressful situations with utmost confidence. Confidence in themselves and their abilities gives that employee the mental tools they need to approach a challenging task. When trying to identify a possible hire’s level of confidence, ask questions about their achievements and what they are most proud of. How they answer the question can give you a clear idea of the things they take pride in and are confident about in themselves. A strong individual will take pride in their work and the accomplishments they have made in their career.

Once you are positive that you’ve found a potential fit for your company, have a checklist for reassurance.

The checklist:

Are they flexible? Like most businesses, we tackle different things every day. Some days it’s market research, other days we work with business development and budgets. The best thing a person can do is be prepared, but they need to be flexible when circumstances change.

Are they willing to learn? Supporting a wide range of clients and working in a constantly evolving space means a candidate should be ready to learn. An inquisitive person is a huge plus, and it’s even better when they ask a lot of questions and do their own research.

Are they dynamic? When you have your own established company, you cannot afford to employ a person who is not looking to grow out of their current position. Look for someone who is always finding something to do next.

Are they enthusiastic? To get the best results, you need to make sure the person you’re planning on hiring is passionate about what they are doing. Having motivated employees in your company will have them and your business striving for success.

So, how do you choose through the stacks of resumes to find these individuals, the ones that will help you move from good, to great, to remarkable? Leave your comment below; we’d love to hear from you.

For additional help in finding candidates for your company that represent all of these qualities and more, talk with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today.

Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 

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Credit: by FrameAnge

How to bounce back from retrenchment

Sandra Olivier - Friday, April 17, 2015

keybord job searchIt was in 2009 that retrenchments in South Africa became a reality for many employees, and while our economy didn’t suffer as badly from the 2008 global economic downturn, retrenchments still continue in 2015 on a smaller scale. If you’ve been retrenched, we’ve got some strategies for you to use, to help you bounce back from being retrenched.

1. Tell everyone
Telling everyone you’ve been retrenched sounds counter-intuitive, especially when a retrenchment can hit you right in the self-confidence. However, telling people about your retrenchment can serve two purposes: firstly, it can relieve you of a lot of the stress that comes from being retrenched; knowing that you’re not alone in this experience. You may even help other “retrench-ees” to open up about their own work situations and find mutual support.

Secondly, telling people you’ve been retrenched is a great starting point for networking yourself and your skills. Instead of: “Oh no, poor me, I’ve been retrenched”, the narrative can sound more like: “Now that I’ve been retrenched, my broad skills range and vast experience can be invested in a company with a vacancy for which I’d be perfect.”

2. Review your budget and finances
It’s necessary to take care of business first, so now’s the chance to review your budget (which means perhaps tightening your belt a bit on the spending and ensuring your money only goes towards the bare necessities like home and car loans, retirement annuity, medical aid, and existing investments, etc.). If you’ve been contributing towards UIF during your employment, then you have up to six months from the date of your retrenchment to apply for UIF claims, which will certainly help to keep money worries at bay while you…

3. Make the job hunt your new full-time job
It might be tempting to fall into the trap of waking up late (because you can) and staying in your PJs all day (because you can) while you browse the internet for potential new jobs. Instead, to keep your confidence up and feel like you have a sense of purpose, treat your job hunt as you would an eight-hour work day: shower, shave, dress up, and be at your computer by 08:30 to work on finding a new job. Arrange meetings with recruiters and see them as business meetings – be punctual and professional.

Take the opportunity to really review and polish your CV, using it to communicate the job you want. That being said…

4. Reflect honestly on your career
If you’re able to keep a positive mindset, you’ll likely treat your redundancy as an opportunity instead of a tragedy. Be 100 % honest with yourself: was your last job the job you always wanted? Or have you secretly been wishing for a job in a different industry? What do you really want to do with your life? A redundancy is the perfect (and exciting) opportunity for change – if you’re willing to see it that way.

5. Embrace the change – upskill
If you do decide to change your career, the upside to retrenchment is that you’ll get a retrenchment pay-out. This doesn’t mean you can avoid the realities of your life by going on a cruise in the Mediterranean or buying a new car. It means that you can afford (the money and the time) to upskill in order to make a proactive shift into your new career.

6. Get a recruitment specialist involved
No one knows the employment landscape in your industry better than a recruitment agency that specialises in it. Approach the relevant agencies and provide them with your newly polished CV as well as a well-articulated motivation letter for why you’re the perfect candidate for the job you desire. Keep your interview skills fresh and talk about your accomplishments and your passion for what you do. There are companies out there that need you – involving a recruitment agency will make it easier for you and your new employer to find each other.

Need a hand in finding a new job?  Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 


Salaries, do you really understand what you earn?

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, April 14, 2015

arrows choice shows options alternativesWe all get very excited at the end of the month when payday is finally on the horizon. It’s after all what we work for every month, that all important pay cheque. When asked how much we earn, almost all of us can tell you the amount of money that ends in our bank account, but very few of us knows the difference between total Cost To Company, Gross, Basic or a Cash package.

Many times the confusion around earnings and exactly how your salary is structured only becomes known when you start looking for a new job or are trying to negotiate your salary. As a result, many jobseekers mistakenly accept a job offer before carefully considering the salary package on offer.

The reality is very few companies in South Africa structure their salary packages in the same way, so it’s important to ensure you are very clear on what you are currently earning and what you would like to be earning at a new job.

Here are the key terms explained to help you out:

Basic Salary:
Your "Basic Salary" is the amount you earn before any additional benefits such as medical aid, pension, and allowances are added to your salary. Your basic salary is the section of your salary that is fixed every month and would not include any bonuses or 13th cheque.

Cost to Company:
This is a term used to calculate the total cost to the Company to employ you, in other words all the costs associated with your employment contract. This could include company contributions to Medical, Pension/Provident, UIF, SDL, group insurance etc.

Net Salary:
This seems to be the one that people have the least problems with, as everybody is very much aware of the money that is paid into their bank at the end of the day. Nett salary is also referred to as “take home pay” – the amount of money that you take home every month.

The process of deducting or withholding tax from remuneration as it is earned by an employee is referred to as Pay-As-You-Earn. All employers are required to deduct Employees’ Tax from their salaries. The amounts deducted must be paid by the employer to SARS on a monthly basis. This is calculated by your employer using the latest tax tables. Depending on what you earn, you will pay SITE and/or PAYE tax.

It is compulsory to pay 1% of your gross earnings into the governments Unemployment Insurance Fund. Your employer also has to pay 1% of your gross earnings, making the total contribution 2% each month.

Medical Aid
Some larger companies have medical aid schemes for their staff. If you join, you qualify for the Medical Scheme Fees Tax Credit. This is a fixed monthly amount that increases according to the number of dependants and is taken off after you calculate your taxable income.

Besides your salary and leave, there are a number of other benefits that companies offer that can add real value. The Top Employer Institute's 2014 certification programme recently identified the most popular benefits that are offered by some of the top employers in the country.

-          Flexible working hours
-          Learning and development programmes
-          Travel opportunities
-           Day Care or Crèche facilities

When you are scouting out a potential employer, make sure it’s the right fit for you. Understand your salary breakdown and know what’s your worth. If you want to be happy with your job, benefits will matter as much as (if not more than) salary in the long run, so make sure you find out exactly what a new company would be able to offer you before you make a final decision.

If you need assistance in your job search, Communicate Personnel are waiting for your call. We represent some of the top candidates out there. Contact us today to become part of this elite group. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs and Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 

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