Communicate Blog

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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The Work Balancing Act: How to get it right?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, April 10, 2015

work life balanceIf you do a search on Google for work/life balance you will find over 180 000 results. It’s the most talked about, written about, blogged about topic -in fact- Hollywood has even made some movies about it. It’s an undeniable fact that when it comes to the workplace many of us are struggling to juggle the demands of work, home and family interests.

The recent announcement by Vodafone Group about their unusual new maternity policy made headlines around the world. To the surprise of many, they will institute a new maternity policy offering at least 16 weeks of paid maternity leave to its staff across the globe, regardless of the country they work in. After new mothers return to work, they only have to work 30 hours per week for the first 6 months to get their full-time salaries.

Companies are realising more and more that employees are the lifeblood of the organisation and their health should be a priority for any business. The health and wellbeing of employees is of the utmost importance for the performance and productivity of staff and companies are using this as a competitive edge in attracting and keeping the right talent. There however, continues to be discussions about how companies can do more for their employees, especially with the Millennium generation slowly becoming the biggest percentage of employees in the work force. 

The reality is that technology has blended everything together and where it used to be work and life it’s now all mixed together. That balancing act becomes more difficult each day, trying to find just the right equilibrium in your life between work and personal, family and friends, diet and exercise,  and even when job hunting. Where do you start?

Defining success
One of the biggest reasons why work life balance is such a talked about topic is that there is no magic process that solves the problem. The truth is that balance has a different definition for every individual depending on your reality, work responsibilities, and home life. In order to start understanding how to get that delicate balance back into our lives, it’s important to define what success means to you.

The demands at work often pushes you to blur the boundaries of work and life. Before you know it you’ve stayed late at the office or taken work home because you just haven’t managed to finish it all. If you really want to get back the balance in your life, you need to set strict boundaries. It’s important to work smarter and set specific time-out in your schedule for priority tasks but also to spend with your family without any interruptions.

Being dedicated and ambitious is admirable, but allowing work to define your self-worth and identity is dangerous.

Avoid negative people
Negative people around you can just suck your energy and waste your time. They slow you down and prevent you from achieving your goals. It will serve you well to identify negative people early on in your work relationships and to avoid them whenever possible.

Meetings: The black hole of time
One of the biggest time wasters at work is unnecessary or unproductive meetings. Before accepting an invite to a meeting, be sure to ask yourself if you really need to be there?

Meetings and collaboration are critical to most organizations, but the vast majority of meetings you attend on a regular basis are too long, unfocused, unnecessary, or otherwise wasting your time. It’s important to evaluate how many of these meetings really help you to get the job done at the end of the day.

It’s a juggling act, it will continue to be so, to find the right balance between work, and your personal life could mean that you need to make some changes. You might even consider a new job that will understand your family demands better. Avoid being stuck out of balance and in the same old routine, you need to decide what will work for you and then make it happen.  

Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding the right new job to accommodate all your responsibilities. We can assist you to find new Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!  


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Credit: by Stuart Miles

Things You Should Never Do At A Job Interview

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Signing The ContractThe landscape for job seekers today is more unpredictable than at any time in recent memory.  If you want a job today, you may actually have to work for it.

With so many articles out there explaining what to do in a job interview, we decided to take the time to focus on what not to do.  Whether you’re new to the interview process or an industry expert, if you're searching for new opportunities, don't make these job interview mistakes.

Not doing your research
“Tell me about your company" is not a statement that should come out of your mouth at any time other than if it’s during a social activity. You might have all the skills and experience to get the job done, but have you done the research of the company you interviewed for? Check out their company website and read their ‘about us’ statement, it would also give you some extra pointers if you can find out and mention who their major competitors are in the market.
You need to learn what you can about the company and the person. Walking into a meeting without any knowledge will lessen your chances of getting the job.

Don’t badmouth your former employers or anyone for that matter
Your last boss was horrible? Everyone in the company was awful? You hated your job and couldn't wait to leave? It's sometimes a smaller world than you think and you don't know who your interviewer might know, including that boss who was so dreadful to you... You also don't want the interviewer to think that you might speak that way about his or her company if you happen to leave their company on bad terms.

Lying on your CV
Anything written on your CV could be discussed at an interview and a fabrication about your work or education could damage your reputation in the long run. There’s no room for lying.  Ever! This starts from the day you put together your resume to your last day on the job.  If you have gaps and glitches in employment, just be prepared to talk about it and explain what you did during this time.  If you don’t know an answer to a question, simply state that.  Don’t try to make something up that will only hurt your integrity.

Stop using generalities
For example, “I am a team player” and “I’m a very hard worker.” Generalities about strengths are ignored, forgotten, or sometimes never gets mentioned. When interviewers assess a candidate they recall the examples and stories the candidate used to prove a point. These examples help them decide whether or not the candidate possesses the strength or attribute.

Never say you don’t have any weaknesses
Everybody has weaknesses. The point of the question isn’t even about weakness, it’s an attempt to define your character, honesty, and self-awareness. On the exterior, saying you don’t have any weaknesses implies you’ve stopped growing, can’t learn anything new or you can’t be mentored. You can also try and use your weakness by describing how you’ve learned from it, this indicates a willingness that you want to get better.

Don’t show your desperation
Yes, you want that new job because it's a good opportunity and you can be an asset to the company. Don’t mention personal adversities in the middle of the interview. For instance, if the hiring manager asks you “Why do you want this job?” it may be tempting to tell him how you were laid off, and now you desperately need to put food on the table. It’s actually a very persuasive story and one that should probably be shared with the people close to you. However, that party is most likely not going to be the hiring manager.

Another way to answer this question is to not focus on the negative experience. Although you can share that you were laid off, you can also share how you have grown from going through it and feel that a difficult situation such as this has left you in a great place to give even more now that you are stronger and wiser. In other words, you can use this opportunity to be even more positive and show your resilience.

If you do blow in the interview, don't take it to heart. I don't think there is anyone who hasn't made a mistake or two in an interview. If it happens, look at it like it just wasn't meant to be, learn from your mistakes and move on to the next opportunity.

Regardless of how the job market is, job searching isn't simple, and it's not always easy to stay positive and focused. When you've sent hundreds of resumes without much of a response it can be difficult to keep going. It's important though to not give up on yourself, so make use of all the job search tools available and keep a positive outlook.

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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Credit: by Ambro

Do you have these personalities in your office?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, March 27, 2015

meerkat The diversity of people in every office environment brings with it some rather unique challenges. The ability to work together in a cohesive team and to get along well enough to ensure the success of projects and tasks is the objective of every team and department in the company – however, this doesn’t always go smoothly because, let’s face it, our personalities clash, our cultures and sensibilities may vary, and we treat our own and each other’s personal space rather differently.

We take a humorous look at some of the more familiar office personalities – can you identify these animals in your office? And which one are YOU?!

The Hadeda
The loud plaintive noises that emanate from the mouth of this prominent creature ensure that you know they’re nearing the office cubicles. You’d better make sure you haven’t left the microwave dirty, or that you haven’t illegally occupied the boardroom without consulting the relevant timetable. The hadeda will certainly call you on your tendency to break the rules… or they’ll leave passive-aggressive notes at every site of these terrible offences.

The Hyena
This laugh-a-minute animal may be the life of the party who brings a barrel full of innuendos and funny stories into the lunch area, but they’re also the chatterbox who keeps you unnecessarily occupied with their inanity while you’re fretting over whether or not you’ll make your deadlines. The hyena skits from desk to desk… leaving you to wonder what they actually do when it comes to work.

The Big Dog
The big dog has one helluva bark and they love to use it. They have excellent delegation skills and when they assign you a task or project, you know that you’ve been entrusted with something important and that they simply don’t have the time to do it themselves. Or do they? Sometimes the big dog barks and barks and doesn’t do much else… and you wonder why he has such an impeccable time management record.

The Octopus
This creature seems to have their tentacles in every project, is always genuinely busy with something, never needs sleep, and is usually the first to arrive and the last to leave the office. Their large head is just full of brains, and just when you thought their capacity was full, they’ll offer to pick up that last bit of work that no one else has time for. The octopus also gets forced to take leave, even when they don’t want to, but they never turn their "Out of Office" notifications on… because workaholics don’t know when to stop.

The Meerkat
Your conversation or problem may be none of their business, but as soon as you mention whatever combination of keywords that gets the meerkat’s head to pop up and face in your direction, they’ll involve themselves in your stuff. Whether you mention an accounting problem, your partner’s annoying habits, or your opinion on a certain court case of national newsworthiness, the meerkat will take notice, immediately stop what they’re doing, and come over to offer their two cents. If you ever find yourself in need of unwanted advice, this is something the meerkat also provides.

The Peacock
Try as you might to avoid looking at the office peacock, you just can’t help it. Whether it’s their overtly noticeable make-up, hair that is too perfect, or their feature-defining outfits, they dress, groom, and primp just to be seen. They may never advertise the fact that they’re living out of a tiny one-bedroom cardboard box to be able to afford their posh clothes, shoes, hair products, and brand name fragrances, but that doesn’t matter when you’re graced with the aesthetic perfection that is the peacock. Their work areas are neat and well organised too, and how can anyone’s handwriting still be that legible in this day and age? You feel an irrefutable desire to improve your appearance (and neaten up your own work space) when you’re in the peacock’s presence.

If you recognise any of these animals, why not share them with your co-workers and see who gets the hint!

If you are currently a job seeker and need some assistance in job hunting we can help. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding an exciting 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.


Does age matter? The benefits and challenges of seasoned employees vs millennials

Sandra Olivier - Friday, March 20, 2015

arrows choice shows options alternatives Recently there’s been a lot of focus on the courage and audacity of the millennial workforce, so it’s time to shift the spotlight onto the generation of employees that has carried the flag for loyalty and long careers, for climbing the ranks slowly or immersing themselves thoroughly in a stable career. If you have real concerns about valuable knowledge and experience leaving your business when your older employees leave or retire, or if you are unsure of the repercussions of hiring seasoned candidates, then here are some things for you to consider:

The value that older employees bring to the table
While members of the millennial generation (born in the early 1980s or sooner) are perceived to be highly adaptable, skilled at multi-tasking, and exponentially more tech-savvy than older generations, it’s older employees who can offer a completely different set of expertise in the work place.

These soft skills include: dedication to their jobs, a respect for punctuality, polished communication skills, the ability to be accountable, pride in their work, and attention to detail that is being side-lined in favour of more modern skills for the survival mode that many companies find themselves in today.

The appeal of a switched-on youngster
Millennials are lauded for their ability to surf the seas of rapid change, to take big risks on new ideas because of the potential for even bigger rewards. They have a ‘here-and-now’ attitude and a capacity for quickly learning to work with new technology and the novel ways in which it is applied. The younger generation has a hunger for knowledge, which keeps them continuously asking “WHY?” – and many other new skills that are required for the rapid-fire environment of today’s employed environment.

The stability of the seasoned employee
This doesn’t mean that older employees have no place in the modern work environment – quite the opposite. When you’re considering hiring a seasoned candidate (age 45 to 50), the qualities they bring into your workspace will provide a strong foundation for the seemingly ungrounded millennial workforce that is characterised by short-term stays at different companies. Seasoned employees make for great mentors who can entrench strong values of honesty, accountability, organisation, self-confidence, maturity, and commitment to the job – into a workforce that is so focused on “making it” while they’re still young.

The older workforce may be stereotyped as being stubborn in their ways, difficult to train, and troublesome to manage (since they’re used to being more independent and not micro-managed), these stereotypes are far from the norm. And when these traits are inverted into positives – settled and secure, fiercely independent, and acquiring skills through experience and adaptation – you may recognise that these are the skills that may potentially be lacking in a workforce made up of hyper-vigilant and sharply competitive youngsters.

The myth of in-adaptability
Very often, the old vs. young argument is “decided” by the perception that millennials are highly adaptable, while the baby boomers are stuck in their ways. However, consider the fact that seasoned employees – who tend to stay in fewer jobs for longer – are subjected to more complex changes over the longer term and weather the storms of change, compared to millennials whose careers are characterised by shorts stints in highly varied environments.

Create the necessary balance
The reality is that you should consider creating a balance of younger and older employees with a strong aptitude for learning from each other as both generations offers important benefits to your company. If you prefer to hire older employees for their traditional qualities, you may lose the advantage of younger employees who hold innovation and risk highly. If you favour younger employees for their high-energy work ethics and their overtime capacity, you run the risk of a very unstable workforce that could disband at the slightest hint of conflict.

As Baby Boomers begin to retire more rapidly how are your company looking to manage the skills gap and transition of responsibility that needs to be taken on by the younger generation?

If you are struggling to find the answers on how you will recruit the right people to your organization and manage the generation gap in your workforce, then we can help you. Communicate Personnel is a well-known, reputable specialist recruitment company with over 30 years’ experience in the employment market.

Or if you are in the market looking for Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy page and apply now! 


Fast Track Your Job Search

Mallisa Watson - Friday, March 13, 2015

Businesswoman With Speedy Typing The job market is more competitive than ever, great career opportunities are hard to find and even harder to land. Employers are looking for talented people with the skills and smarts to succeed and they are being more selective than ever. Working with a recruiter is one way to increase your chance of finding a great job. While working with a recruiter clearly offers a number of advantages, it requires some work and patience on the part of the job seeker. Understanding how to navigate the do's and don'ts of working with recruiters can help you get the most out of your recruiter relationship, and ultimately lead to the best outcome; a great job and improved career opportunities!

It is important for you to ensure you have partnered up with the right recruiter. Often times, it’s best to select a recruiter that specializes in your industry because they will have a better understanding of the trends in that specific market. Make sure you have some questions written down to help you evaluate if this is the partnership for you.

Here are some suggestions.
• How long have you been in the recruitment industry? This will give you an idea of the knowledge and work experience of the recruiter.
• Now that you know a little more about me, is there a specific job you have in mind for me?
• What kinds of hiring trends are you currently seeing in my field?
• Do you help candidates prepare for interviews?
• After today, when can I expect to hear from you again?
• On average, how quickly do the candidates you work with find a new position?
• How long have you worked with some of your client companies?

Be clear
Your recruiter is meeting with you to clearly understand and define your goals and aspirations in order to;

a) Help source your next opportunity, and

b) Provide you with advice, recommendations and referrals that will assist you in your search.

It is imperative that you provide your recruiter with genuine information about what you do and don't want and openly discuss your motivations and career history.

Know your experience
Keep in mind that the recruiter is meeting with you to get to know and understand what makes you unique in terms of your skills and experience. Before you go into the meeting, glance through your resume. Think about some of the most important projects you have worked on in your previous job(s), what you liked and didn’t like about each job or task. Remember to acknowledge some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced and how you overcame them in each role.

One of the best ways to make your recruiter’s job easier is to evaluate the impact you had in previous roles. Recruiters want to hear about what you’ve done and how you did it, but understanding the big picture and the impact of your work is also vital. It’s important for your recruiter to know this information to help them sell you at a potential new employer.

The right connections
Because recruiters work closely and on a daily basis with hiring companies, you stand a better chance at being chosen out of the many candidates who applied for the position.  In presenting your CV to the employer, the recruiter has unique insights into the company and is able to presents your skills and strengths better. 

If you work with a specialized recruiter, they will know dozens (hopefully hundreds) of hiring managers who work within your field.  If you don’t get the first position you are interviewed for, your recruiter will likely have a few more in mind or know of several more that will open up in the future. Recruiters sometimes gets exclusive vacancies, they get job specs from these hiring companies even before the job gets advertised. So you will have a head start.

Additional insights into the company
Because the recruiter is familiar with the hiring company, they will be able to tell if you will fit into the company's culture, work well with the employer and be able to cope in their kind of work environment. They can give you valuable information regarding the interviews process, the type of interview style and some questions they might ask you. This will help you walk into the interview with confidence and well prepared on what to expect.

We spend half of our waking hours at our work place, so make sure you select your next job carefully. Partnering up with the right recruiter will give you an advantage, save you time and help connect you with the right potential employers in your industry.

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 adamr

Expect the unexpected: Counter offers

Sandra Olivier - Friday, March 06, 2015

arrows choice shows options alternativesFor weeks you’ve been battling with the decision. You’ve considered all the angles, how it will impact your family, your travel time and your career in the long run. Finally, you’ve made a decision. It feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You get up the nerve to walk into your boss’s office and resign. You are ready to move on to a job with more pay and growth prospects. Relief and excitement sets in.

Then, just when you least expect it your boss calls you back in and makes what appears to be an attractive counter offer. Confusion hits you once again, you are stuck in an uncomfortable position. The offer on the table is now more than what the new company is offering you. Should you stay or should you go?

Counter offers to employees who get job offers are becoming more common. The main reason for making a counter offer is to hold onto employees with hard-to-find skills, although for many companies it’s also about retaining long-term employees who have knowledge of the company.

The decision to accept a counter offer may be as simple as understanding its pros and cons.

So why would it be a good idea to accept a counter offer?

If your biggest consideration for searching for a new job is based on the need for a higher salary, then accepting a counter offer might be a good idea for you. If you are happy at your current company and feel challenged in your job, staying in a comfortable environment that you are familiar with at a more competitive salary is the answer for you. After all, it’s been said that changing jobs are one of the highest stressors in a person’s life.

Counter-offers can provide an opportunity for employees to voice issues about their jobs. However, many would argue that you shouldn’t have to threaten to resign for your employers to acknowledge your problems. That being said, the truth is that many employers might not be aware of your concerns and once they realise they might lose you, they are willing to accommodate your request in order to retain you.

Why do so many people recommend against accepting a counter offer?

Trust: One of the biggest concerns for many is the break in the trust relationship between you and your employer. If you were planning to resign to only accept a counter offer it will cast some doubt over your loyalty to the company. Employers will always remember your attempt to resign in the future and you will now be labelled ‘un-officially’ a risk especially when it comes to promotions.  

Time:  The unfortunate truth is that many companies might just be playing for time when the make a counter offer. If you accept the offer, it gives them the time to start looking for a replacement and to make the necessary contingency plans to ensure when you do resign it has minimum impact on them. Recruiters will tell you that 70 to 80 percent of people who accepted a counter offer either leaves or are let go within a year.

No Change: This is the key consideration and most important to consider with a counter offer. What are the exact reasons you decided to leave in the first place? You are frustrated in your job, don’t get along with your manager, don’t get to work on bigger projects? If you decide to stay, will any of these problems disappear? Unless you’re able to negotiate a new assignment or some changes to your current job, you will still have to deal with the same negatives.

Burning bridges:  Declining an offer could damage your professional reputation. The new company went through the interview process and invested considerable time to get you on board, only to be rejected at the end. They will now have to go through the whole process again, putting you in their bad books for future opportunities.

Whatever you decide to do, accept a counter offer or stand firm and move to a new opportunity be respectful and tactful in how you deal with both your current manager and the one who is offering you a job.

Communicate Personnel is a specialized recruitment agency that can assist you with your job search. We have Finance jobs in accounting, auditing, taxation, and corporate finance jobs. A variety of IT jobs ranging from developers to architects, consultants in CRM and ERP, through to project managers, systems engineers and BI or BA. Engineering jobs in industries like civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, production and trade. Supply Chain jobs as well as Freight jobs in procurement, production, logistics, freight as well as warehousing and distribution. Check out our vacancy page and apply now.


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Credit: by Mister GC

Benefits South African companies offer and what to look for while job hunting

Sandra Olivier - Friday, February 27, 2015

life balanceThere used to be a great stigma attached to the serial jobseeker, the job-hopper in search of the perfect position, who flitted from one job to the next in fewer than 12 to 18 months – leaving a string of confounded employers in their wake. If this sounds like you, rest assured, you’re not alone… and you’re probably a millennial (born between 1980 and 1995). But if you want to settle down into a job and turn it into a meaningful career, perhaps it’s time to proactively seek out that employer who knows how to tame you and other millennials into staying in one place for longer than a year.

Here are some sure-fire ways to identify a great match when it comes to finding a company to work for – the benefits on offer to keep you committed to your employer while meaningfully using your time to grow.

1. Flexi Time
Flexible working hours are the Holy Grail for employees working in South Africa’s larger cities. Instead of spending two to three hours in traffic every day, flexi time gives you the choice of more traffic-friendly working hours, or the choice to work from home for a day or two each week. Flexi time still represents treacherous waters for many managers who feel like they need to see their team members in order to trust that they’re being productive. However, if you find a company willing to offer you flexible hours, it’s definitely one to consider because it also shows that they’re more likely to be flexible in other areas – such as encouraging team members to provide creative solutions to company problems, and being open to strategic input from all levels.

2. Work/Life Balance
Argh – such a cliché, but a true one at that. A company that states outright that you “might be expected to work after hours, unpaid” doesn’t understand the meaning of work/life balance, and you should probably give it a wide berth if you value time outside of the office. There’s nothing wrong with a company that expects you to work hard and put in long hours, as long as those extra demands are countered with free healthy breakfasts in their well-stocked kitchen, all access to an onsite gym, and/or complimentary dinner when you do have to work late. A quarterly bonus won’t hurt, but sometimes a monetary reward is not enough of an indication to show that your employer understands – now – that you’re sacrificing family/social time for your job. An employer who insists that you leave at 17h00 and “carry on tomorrow”, or that you get free lunch for a week because you have to eat it at your desk while you work, is a rare find and not to be taken for granted.

3. Social purpose and making meaning
Baby Boomers and Generation X employees prioritised financial stability and long-term assurance over realising their dreams and experiencing and expressing purpose through their work or job. You – as a millennial – may feel frustrated with the day-to-day, work-eat-sleep routine of your job, and crave more meaning from the work you are doing. A company that is passionately involved in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, growing their community, and working towards a higher purpose without it directly improving their bottom line may be something that you’re interested in. Giving back to society for the sake of feel-good (and not simply as a PR stunt) is very attractive in a company, so while you’re job hunting, that’s an important criterion to add to your “benefits” list.

4. Mentoring and coaching
A company that provides in-house mentoring, coaching, and training is special indeed. It shows that they value innovation, sharing, and skills transfer – it shows that they’re willing to invest a lot in their employees, that you’ll be valued when you work there. A company that encourages the seniors to mentor and coach the juniors is likely to also be an inclusive company – one characterised by its willingness to be transparent. Transparency means that, as a junior, you’ll be privy to information about expenditure and revenue… and your role in influencing it. Inclusion is important and points back to the idea that your company values you.

As a millennial, you probably value teamwork and a constant feedback loop that encourages you to take on more responsibility and consistently improve on the quality of your work. When you attend job interviews, be sure to ask the interviewers questions that will reveal whether the company is millennial-friendly, and whether it’s worth it to take the job.

If you are currently a job seeker and need some assistance in job hunting we can help.  Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with specialist consultants that will assist you in finding an exciting new job, whether it’s jobs in the Finance, ITEngineering, Freight, or Supply Chain industries. Check out our vacancy page and apply now.


Credit: by Signpost