Communicate Blog

How to ace your job interview and get what you want

Sandra Olivier - Friday, January 23, 2015
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It’s difficult enough for recruiters and hiring managers to notice your CV out of the thousands of CVs they receive, so getting the interview is a big win! This doesn’t mean you’re home free – it’s essential that you prepare properly for the interview and 1) give the interviewers what they want, AND 2) get what you want out of the interview.

These tips will help you to establish a good impression with your interview and ensure that the interview is a win-win for both of you.

1. Make a great first impression
We’ve all heard it before but the first three seconds after you met someone knew is the most important. When you first meet your interviewer, before you have uttered a word you would have made a first impression with how you’re dressed, your facial expression, and your overall demeanour. Dressing appropriately for an interview supports your image as a person who takes the interview process seriously and understands the nature of the industry in which you are trying to become employed.

2. Arrive prepared
Too many job candidates think that interviews are all about the company grilling them to see if they’re the right person for the job. However, a job interview is an opportunity to establish whether you’re right for each other. Do your research – visit the company’s website, look up the CEO, Managing Director, or General Manager on LinkedIn and social media to get an idea of their vision for the company, any awards they may have received, and what the media is saying about them. If your interviewer happens to ask the question, “What makes you the right person for the job?” – instead of answering with a point-by-point account of how your skills match up with the job spec, you can confidently talk about how the company’s philosophy is in line with your own goals, and then get down to how you’ll achieve the daily specifics.

It’s insulting to the company if you haven’t bothered to take the time to look them up and learn more about why the company was established and what they’ve achieved.

3. Be honest and straightforward
While you may be nervous about answering the interview questions with what the interviewer wants to hear, remember that if you got the job, you’ll need to follow through with your performance when you arrive for work – from Day 1. That means: no nonsense. Don’t bloat your career experience with white lies or adopt a “fake it till you make it” attitude. Interviewers are savvy about candidates telling lies or being too enthusiastic about their previous work experience and when they catch on to any BS, they will catch you out.

Don’t brag about your past achievements, but rather show how your problem-solving skills, specific expertise, or the right opportunity presented to you, helped you to meet your previous employer’s requirements. This shows that you’re aware of your position within a team – that it’s not just about you and your amazingness.

4. Let the interviewer know that you want the job
Sure, you’ve rocked up for the interview. You look your best. You know about the company. You’re answering your interview questions with ease. It should be a given that you want the job, right? Wrong. While you shouldn’t break down and resort to begging for the job, one crucial step that many interviewees miss is to overtly inform the interviewer that they are genuinely interested in the job.

How do you do this? Towards the end of the interview, you’ll be able to tell whether the process has gone well and if it has, this is the perfect time to add the cherry on the cake: “Based on what I’ve learned about your company and the requirements of this vacancy, I know I’d be a great fit because it really aligns with who I am and what I want to do. Your company seems like a great place to work because of X, Y, Z and I can certainly contribute to what you do.”

5. Above all else, practise.
Look in the mirror or take a video of yourself as you answer typical interview questions. This will help to build your confidence a bit and eliminate some of those nerves.

Looking for 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!


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The Career Advice you Probably Didn’t Get

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Leader standing with his members You’re doing everything right at work, taking all the right advice, putting in the hours, delivering the results but you’re just not moving up. Why?

According to Susan Colantuono CEO of Leading Women, leadership can be defined as individuals that are able to use the greatness in themselves to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others. Many individuals struggle to advance their careers from middle management to executive level, because they don’t understand their role and how to move the organization forward.

Susan offers insightful advice on this topic and explains how in her opinion the door opener for career advancement is your skills in business, strategic and financial acumen and all the other conventional career advice is just the differentiating factors.

This TED video is well worth watching and offers some great takeaways for us all as we think about where we are on our career path.

Do you need assistance to help your career advance to executive level? 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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Are you a job hopper? Find out how this can help or hurt your career

Sandra Olivier - Friday, January 16, 2015

Job HuntingThe job market is not what it was 20 years ago, not even the same as 10 years ago, and technological development has a lot to do with it. We live in an environment where convenience, access, and the need to constantly adapt are daily truths, so it’s not surprising that job hopping – once the bane of employers’ existence – is quite a common occurrence, even if you’d prefer to call it “career diversification”.

What is job hopping?
If you stay in a job for two years or less, or have had multiple jobs in the space of four to five years, you qualify for the label of job hopper. It’s true that job hopping has become more acceptable in the last five to 10 years, but it’s only acceptable if you can demonstrate that you moved from one company to the next for valid reasons.

Employers are wary of job hoppers because they may show a lack of stability, an inability to properly confront and resolve conflict, and may be seen as “entitled” – unwilling to work for one or two years to prove their value, rather expecting salary increases and promotions whenever they complete a project (ie: do the job they were hired to do). However, on the upside, job hopping is a great way to explore which career is best for you before committing to it full time. Note: this only works if your job hopping precedes a period of relative job stability.

The advantages of job hopping

1. Demonstrate your adaptability
In the fast-paced environment in which we work, an employee who demonstrates the ability to acquire new knowledge and skills and to adapt quickly to the demands of the job and best practice in the market, is valued over those who dig their heels in and cannot transform along with what’s required of them. IT jobs are notoriously dynamic when it comes to candidates learning what they can, applying their technical skills in a range of different environments, and then moving on when the role is no longer challenging, or they cannot move up – only laterally – in a short period of time.

2. Get job culture and environmental experience
Job hopping when you’re still building your career provides the opportunity to explore a wide range of company types and cultures – whether it’s corporate, small business, non-profit, etc. – which will allow you to decide what kind of environment is ideal for you when you’d like to settle down into a long-term career commitment.

The disadvantages of job hopping

1. Your CV may give the wrong impression
Recruiters and HR managers have little time to sift through the hundreds (if not thousands) of CVs they receive for advertised vacancies. They may not give you the opportunity to explain why you seem to have so much short-term experience. If your CV tells them that you’re afraid of commitment, they won’t want to filter you through the long (and often expensive) recruitment process, only to see the back of you in a few months’ time. Job hopping makes you look volatile.

2. You forgo the opportunity to develop crucial skills
If you feel your feet getting itchy at the first sign of conflict with your new teammates and leave without resolving it, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to learn valuable people skills and staying power, to receive feedback and learn to improve your performance, and how to practise diplomacy and tact, which will help you in work and personal relationships in future.

3. You may come across as self-centred
Job hoppers come and go between different jobs as they please. They gather the skills and experience they need. They move to the next company because they want a comfortable salary bump. When the going gets tough for them, they move on to seemingly greener pastures, leaving behind a mess for their employers and teammates to clean up. They’re concerned about their career paths – it all seems quite self-centred, doesn’t it? In the long run, you may be harming your career by being a job hopper.

Job-hopping has advantages and disadvantages and it’s important to think carefully if you are making a career move for the right reasons and how it will impact your future career path. It may benefit you more in the end to be more selective in your application process especially if you have specific career goals in mind.

If you require support and guidance in terms of your job search, let us help you. 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. If you are looking to get the right job for you out there, visit our vacancies pages and apply today!


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Joining A New Team?

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Teamwork - Stack Of HandsThey say that working with people is one of the most difficult things to do and, you know what, it´s true! We all have a certain way of seeing things. But that is the beauty of it all. Getting to know people around you, your colleagues, learning how each of them works and what their likes and dislikes are, are the first steps to a successful professional relationship.

Many new employees struggle through their first team meeting while others breeze through with confidence. The overall experience is highly dependent on the process one follows when first joining a new team.

Over the years I have had the opportunity to talk with managers, past employees and had conversations with them on how they managed to transition to a new team or department. I want to share with you some of the things you can do when joining a new team to help you have a great relationship with your colleagues and boss.

Connect with your new manager and teammates early and often

  • Meet with your new manager to understand what they look for in each employee and learn what actions annoy them the most.

  • When meeting with your new teammates learn about their role, what they are passionate about, and identify ways of how to best work together.

  • If possible meet with team members of the teams your group partners with on a consistent basis because in the future when things get busy or hectic they will respond to your request (people tend to respond quicker to those they already have a relationship with).

Be responsible
There are no good or bad tasks. There are just tasks you are assigned to do and tasks you are not. For you, this means you get the chance to show how good you are!

During a project you can ask your manager for more responsibility. If they think you can handle it, you´ll get it. Basically nobody is waiting for you to learn how to do something. You´ll have to learn on the way.

So, if you want to get noticed, you have to be smart about it. Do an excellent job, take on small tasks but with greater responsibility, help a co-worker, learn the pace and finish your tasks before anyone else. This also means you´ll have to put in more hours than anyone else. But hey, nobody said it was going to be easy!

I know you are eager to prove you are the best of the best, I know there are things you can improve in your company, but everything in this life takes time, you have to learn to be patient, you have to observe what happens around you and then show how you can contribute.

If you have found this article helpful kindly share it or if you have some additional tips you would like to share with us please do so by leaving your comments below.

Looking to join a new team?  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!

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How your social media activity is hurting your personal brand – and what to do about it

Sandra Olivier - Friday, January 09, 2015

social network background with media icons Social media used to be that thing that you snuck time into during work hours. Now social media is basically your potential employer’s “Google for job candidates”, which may very well make or break your chances of getting a job in the first place. In an age where anyone and anything can be researched online it’s important, that as a job seeker or young professional, you understand how crucially your social media activity influences your potential employer’s decision to hire you.

What is your personal brand?
All of your online activity – from Facebook and Twitter, to LinkedIn, Google+, and even your Disqus comments – embody your personal brand. While your potential employer may not discard your job application over a picture of you holding a beer while at a family braai, the sum of all of your social media activity will create a certain impression of you as an employee. Do you criticise your classmates, fellow employees, or superiors in snarky tweets? Do you complain about your boss/professor on Facebook? Do you post images to your Instagram account of how you live for weekends? This impression – your personal brand – creates an overall picture of who you are. And it’s this picture that will help the employer with his or her decision to hire you. Or not.

The social media activity that could hurt your personal brand
While almost everyone enjoys a cold beverage from time to time, it doesn’t go down all that well with your potential employer if you’re tagged in hundreds of social photographs, one weekend after the next. Limit the photos of you with drinks in your hand.

As tempting as it may be to get involved in heated polarising arguments (particularly if they involve political, religious, sexual, or crime-based topics), remember that many of the websites on which you’re posting require a simple sign-up from your Facebook profile. That means that these comments are public, can be tracked, and will come up when your name is searched on Google. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but it’s worthwhile to consider how that opinion will affect your chances of getting a job – particularly one that requires teamwork, empathy, and the ability to work in a diverse environment.

When you sign up on social media websites, the point is to be social. Simply having a profile online isn’t as effective as actually using it. Engaging on social media is the whole point. No activity on social media creates as much of a negative impression as the wrong kind of activity. Use your profiles to drive your brand – to subtly promote who you are.

How to create the right impression
Employers are looking for the candidates who stand out from the rest – considering that there are far more applications for jobs than there are vacancies. Here are a few pointers to positively promote your personal brand:

  1. Only post photographs of yourself that are professional; or smart casual at the very least. Un-tag yourself from the rest.

  2. When you voice your opinion, ensure that it is logical, not full of vitriol and negative emotion; and that it consists of impeccable spelling and grammar. Nothing creates a worse impression of a job applicant than a lack of attention to detail on something as basic as the correct use of language.

  3. The content you share on social media says a lot about the things that interest you, so make sure you are sharing articles, photos, videos, etc. that would also send the appropriate message to your potential employer. How would you know? Well, would you share that content with him or her directly?

  4. Google yourself. Do the results show that your qualification and interests align with the job you’ve applied for? Everything from your Twitter bio to the articles you share on Facebook, Google+, the photos you like on Instagram, and the pins you create on Pinterest will point towards whether you’re passionate about a particular field, or whether you’re applying for jobs in every field and hoping for the best.

Understand that when you’re job hunting, your potential employers will do a search for your name on social media. You can clean up your online act and be proactive about the impression you create, or forget about being hired any time soon.

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. If you are looking to get your personal brand out there and find your next big career opportunity, visit our vacancies pages and apply today!


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How to improve your leadership skills in 2015

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Solution Here’s the truth: As a leader, you have the opportunity to directly and positively have an influence on the success of not just your company, but also on each and every individual that works for you. One of the trademarks of successful leaders is that they really care about their employee’s personal growth and their success.

So if you consider yourself to be a leader, think carefully about changes you can make in these four areas and you will see fast results in how your employees respond to your leadership.

Accept Challenges
Exceptional leaders are not afraid of challenges, they embrace it instead. If you want to lead, you must understand that it is a way of life, not a list to check off on your way to the top of the corporate ladder. Great leaders want to help the people grow individually in their careers and this will help their company succeed.

This may sound simple enough, but it is not always so easy. To grow the team, you must constantly put into practice more interactive and social skills. Your job is to motivate, support and overcome obstacles so employees can do their jobs.

Don't Micro-Manage
The moment you start micro-managing your employees, you will lose focus on the bigger picture. You are either in the weeds of detail or you are managing a department. Also if you have an employee that needs to be micro-managed you need to equip them with the right skills to work more independently.

Embrace Failure on Projects
The ability to embrace failure, or at least the perspective of it is important for success. However, this doesn’t mean you should not try and avoid failure, but you should embrace it when it becomes unavoidable.

Without a willingness to fail, you will always hold back. And most of the time, the biggest successes require the biggest risks.

Always be Learning
If you aren’t constantly developing yourself in your market and specialty, you will be left behind. Update your skills, decide which area needs more attention and work on it.
Whatever it is, don't wait. People often say lead by example, many of your juniors and co-workers will take their cues from you. If they see that you take learning seriously they are more likely to as well.

The above is just some of the many areas in which you can work on to become a better leader. We would love to hear how you improve leadership in your company or your personal career.

If you are a leader that is ready to take the next step in your career, 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 BI and BA. Engineering jobs in industries like civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, electronic, engineering sales, production and trade. Supply Chain jobs as well as Freight jobs in procurement, production, logistics, freight as well as warehousing and distribution. Contact us today to apply!

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Strategies to help you start the new year

Mallisa Watson - Monday, January 05, 2015

Business Team Of Three Reviewing Project Plan Many of our offices are starting to get back to the normal routine, as vacation time is up for most of us. And most of us know that coming back to the work routine after a relaxing and enjoyable time off can seem quite overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some simple strategies to help you start the new year off right after changing your pace:

Make and follow a to-do list
One of the main difficulties we can all relate to after coming back from a break, is remembering all your passwords to your computer and what we last worked on or what needs to be done. Instead of just getting started on the first thing that presents itself, sit down for a few minutes and make a list of what needs to be done. Having a list will help you prioritize so that you don’t end up trying to stuff too much into your first day back at your desk.

Having a plan is an essential part that will allow you to start off with success.  Think about your objectives for the new year.  Do not just focus on high-level aspirations, “the what”, but consider what steps you need to take in your day-to-day life to get, “the how”. 

Also, a to-do list is also a good way to battle the overwhelming feeling we often get at the beginning of the year.

Touch base on communications
Time to open up your emails that has accumulated while you’ve been gone? In many cases, this has to be one of the biggest tasks one has to go through. There is however, a way you can approach this in the right way which can save you time and hassle. Try to pin down what the most important emails are.

Reviewing your inbox from most to least recent will help you as some issues may have already resolved themselves.  Just remember, other people are often struggling through their inboxes too!  You can extend each other some mutual understanding of this challenge.

Get involved in new projects
It is quite difficult for some workers to get their motivation going once they’ve gotten back to the office.  It’s natural to feel a little blue after your time off has come to an end.  Tackling new projects right out of the door is sometimes a good way to get quickly engaged in the workplace. However, a break from work can help us come back to the office with a fresh perspective and can benefit us when we tackle those projects.

Is there anything you want to change? How do you get back into your usual routine or even a better routine after taking a break? What tips would you add to this list?  Add your comments below.

Back from a well-rested vacation? Ready to take on new career ventures with a fresh perspective? Let us help you!

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!

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How to manage the developing workplace environment in your organization

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

table with laptopOver the past few months, there have been a number of thought leaders and CEOs who’ve found themselves embroiled in a heated discussion around the convention around how we work, how we lead, and how we build our companies.

Employees, which were once thought of as expendable commodities, are the most valuable asset that any organization has. However, the employee from a decade ago isn’t the same as the employee who we are starting to see today.

The workplace continues to evolve to meet the needs of a new work culture focused on fostering creativity, collaboration and flexibility. And today's work environment is blurring work style with lifestyle, impacting how space is viewed and used by occupiers.

Work is not a physical location any longer
According to a recent survey on workplace flexibility, 65% of organizations say that flexibility has an extremely positive impact on employee engagement, motivation, and satisfaction.

The concept around open office space or not have been debated time and time again, but more recently resulted in  conversations around how do you create a diversity of places that support the way people want to work. The reality is that in today’s working world, not one size fits all, it’s very different from in the past. In an age when finding and retaining top talent is among the strongest predictors of a company’s success, workplace flexibility must be viewed as a necessary tool to increase employee satisfaction and productivity, rather than a perk that may or may not be bestowed.

Shift To A Creative Economy
The shift from a manufacturing to a knowledge economy has lasted two decades. Now the next shift is coming: from knowledge to creativity. This means that for the future employee it’s not knowledge that is the most important but the employee’s ability to learn new things and apply those learnings to new situations and scenarios that come up.

Leaders that are willing to step away from old school organization structures will find that the talent pool is that much greater and building an all-star team is well within reach. Remote work and contractors are being embraced more and more, creating further flexibility and agility for company's on the rise that don't have access to tons of financial resources. On the other side of the coin, people no longer have to pack up their entire lives in order to follow a dream job. For both parties, the world at our fingertips can be a complete game changer.

Hierarchy structures are falling away
Forward-thinking leaders are looking for a new organizational model, one based not on the pre-historic ideas from the all control hierarchy, but rather a form in which people choose where, and how to contribute on their own. Hierarchies cannot possibly succeed in the same way with the current ever changing business environment. When most large companies try to move too quickly they break apart and crumble. The hierarchy is great for maintaining predictability and repeatability. It simplifies planning and makes it easier to control a large group of people from the top down, but in a digital, big-data world, the needs of the organization has changed.

Definition of leadership is changing
As the work environment has changed considerable in the last couple of years so has the challenges around leadership.

It’s now not just about business skills, but others factors like global awareness, innovation, collaboration, transparency and the ability to make quick decisions which are all becoming more and more important. Title and position no longer make someone a leader. If you don’t inspire your employees they will find a leader that does.

Proactively adapting to the changing workplace landscape can make the difference between business agility, improved productivity, and faster sales. How we work, how we lead, and how we build our companies are changing at a rapid pace.

If you are looking for employees to help take you into the future contact us today. Communicate Personnel represents a range of exclusive, skilled candidates across all levels of the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight sectors. Contact us today.

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Sticking to your word

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Businessman Looking Target“This is my year come what may; I am sticking to the career goals I have set for myself. I am going to have an extraordinary career and really look for growth opportunities”. Was this you at the beginning of this year, busy writing down your to-do list for the months ahead?

We know that it is difficult to stay focused on all the goals you have set for yourself, because there were so many little things that needed to get done every day. We understand how challenging it can be to get all of the “little things” done, while still making progress towards your bigger, more meaningful career goals.

But you can overcome it; it just takes a little strategy. Here’s how you can re-focus on your career goals for next year:

Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing
Deep down, you probably know what your goals are. And you probably know what it will take to get there. But remembering that sometimes that means you need to take some time-out from the rest of the work you’re doing.

When you start feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to breathe deeply, recharge and reload!

Remind yourself of the bigger picture,the dream you’re working towards-and take a moment to envision it. Really see it and feel it.

List down all those “little” distractions
Jot down everything that’s distracting you, things to remember, things to research, ideas you don’t want to forget and save your list for later. Afterwards sit down and focus on the big task at hand. Knowing that all of the “other stuff” is safe and secure preserved on your list… for later.

Dig deeper
If you’re still struggling to keep your mind focused on your career goals, this might be an indication that there’s something deeper going on. Fear might be holding you back?
Fear of success: you believe that if you achieve success, you won’t be able to keep going.
Fear of failure: not succeeding with your career goal or
Fear of what people will think of you if things don’t go the way that you planned.

There are different ways to deal with those kinds of fears, if that’s your case, from writing in a journal to gain insight and understanding about your fears to consulting a professional to help you overcome that obstacle.

Regardless of what you’re feeling and no matter how much still needs to get done, it is possible for you to create the career of your dreams. All you need to do is make that choice and try and stick to your word.

What’s that one career goal that hasn’t been getting much of your time or attention lately? It’s not too late yet. Have you tried anything to focus on it? Leave your comments in the box below.

If you made that choice to take that step and ready to re-focus your time and attention on your career, allow us to be a part of your journey. 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!

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Managing Risk vs Opportunity in Your Career

Sandra Olivier - Monday, December 08, 2014

risk magnifier Risk tends to get a bad rap. We associate it with losing money or failure, which is not always true. However, risk isn’t the enemy--it’s a permanent part of life and also of your career, so your focus should be on taking the right kinds of risks that offer the right kind of opportunity. The reality is if you can intelligently take on risk, you will find opportunities others miss. It will set you apart from others that lack the initiative to try something new. It’s okay to fail if it helps you to figure out the solution.

In this interview with entrepreneur, speaker, and bestselling author Seth Godin, he talks about taking initiative, failure and evaluating risk to create opportunities for yourself in your career.

“If I fail more than you do, I win. Because, built into that lesson is this notion that you get to keep playing. If you get to keep playing, that means you get to keep failing and sooner or later you’re going to be able to succeed. The people who lose are the ones who don’t fail at all and get stuck or the ones who fail so big they don’t get to play again.” — Seth Godin

If you want to take a risk and challenge yourself in your career we can assist with a new job opportunity. 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!

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