Communicate Blog

Team Motivation: How to energize your team

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

people in office team Teams are the way that most companies get important work done. When you combine the energy, knowledge, and skills of a motivated group of people, then you and your team can accomplish anything you set your minds to. Keeping your team motivated can be a challenge but its key as engagement is linked to your company’s profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee retention.

When you make it easy for a person to learn, to succeed and to grow a little bit every day on the job, you never have to worry about motivation.

So what really motivates?
It’s an old age question and many managers have struggled with getting this right. It varies from individual to individual and that’s where the problems lies. However there are a few things that is a common trend:

  • Some companies get this so wrong, but money is never a motivator.
    However, lack of money is a demotivator.
  • People are motivated by applying their abilities to the fullest.
    Under-utilization is a demotivator.
  • Most are motivated by work that creates tangible results, especially if those results are born out of innovation, a new approach or a great idea.
  • Being engaged in decision making, especially around the choices of how to do work, is a great motivator.
    Being told how to do it, which is far too common, will at best lead to mere compliance.
  • Too much stress is unhealthy and can lead to un-productivity.
    Too little stress leads to idleness, procrastination and the sense of entitlement.

Tips to help you motivate your team:

Understanding the big picture
Many managers and team leaders have a good idea of what the overall target goals might be for the business, but often do not share those with the entire team. Everyone needs to get where they fit in. It is important to show each team member how they fit within the organizational structure and why their task is important for the big picture. This will help team members feel valued and take responsibility in their job.

Work environment
Team members often spent more time at work than at home. Workspaces should be designed so that each worker can do their job optimally and add the most value to their employer’s bottom line. Research showed that environment is more important to employees than money. This is a great chance for you to create extra motivation for your staff by making the work environment a beautiful place to work, rest and have fun at the same time. Honest design, spaces that reflect employees’ needs and concerns is something that employees notice, interpret and value.

Encourage personal growth
Successful leaders encourage personal growth and mentor their team. Provide reasonable objectives to shoot for, both as individuals and as a team, but make everyone stretch a little to reach them. Talented people generally want to advance in an organization and therefore want to improve their skills and broaden their knowledge. When growth opportunities are abundant and organizational doors open, employees worked with considerably more vigour.

Currently critical skills are in demand and companies are finding it harder and harder to replace top talent. Creating a team environment and motivating your employees to ensure they feel valued and deliver their best is key in today’s competitive market.

Staff retention and the war on talent is real. If you need to replace members of your team or add new skills to help your organization grow, we can assist. Communicate Personnel represent an impressive database of skilled candidates that have been built over the last 35 years of being in the business of specialist recruitment.
Contact us today. 

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Salary Talk During the Job Interview

Mallisa Watson - Friday, April 22, 2016

interview.png Money, money, money. We are all familiar with the saying that money makes the world go round and in a perfect world we’d all be working at jobs we love and make piles of money.

But in reality, when we go through the interview process we have to negotiate our salary. While a number of blogs have been written about how to dress for success and discussing your strengths and weaknesses, we tend to forget that one crucial question that will definitely pop up during the interview. “What is your salary expectation?

This is one of the top five questions that many job seekers dread and there is a possibility that you might find yourself in the same boat. But what is so terrifying about this question? Often people are uncomfortable talking about their salary, because somehow you have to “justify” what you are worth.

Here are some tips for the salary discussion before going into the interview.

Conduct salary research
Knowing how much others in your profession are being paid is very important. You have to enter into salary negotiations well prepared, by knowing what you are worth. Also, if you are going to ask for a higher salary, you need to be able to back it up by highlighting why you have unique skills that are worth the extra money.

Before you go to the job interview, spend enough time doing research to find out average salaries and salary ranges for similar jobs in your area, industry and geography. There are a number of salary surveys that can assist you in this process. If you are working with a specialist recruiter, like Communicate Personnel they will be able to consult with you, give you industry insights and what you can expect regarding salaries.

Practice, practise, practice!
When it comes to negotiating, one of the many things that creates anxiety and prevents you from negotiating in the first place is not knowing how the conversation is going to unfold. There are many different directions in which a negotiation can go. Ask a close friend or family member to help you prepare, take a moment to think about these various directions, and develop responses to each potential scenario.
You will go into the interview feeling confident.

Aim for high
The first step to becoming an excellent negotiator is deciding to negotiate in the first place. When you take the steps to negotiate in a way that makes you confident and the others around you comfortable, you increase your chances of success. However, always keep in mind that what you’re asking for is justified.

Don’t settle for “good enough”. The higher your goals are, the better the outcome. Ask for more and you’ll get more. It’s that simple. But always make sure you are realistic in your expectation by doing your research upfront.

Don't be intimidated
Last but not least, be confident. Every employer should expect a salary negotiation with every new hire. Don't feel as if negotiating will start you off on the wrong foot. Not advocating on your behalf may even be perceived as a weakness and this is not the impression you want to give the person interviewing you.

If your current job is not giving you enough room to grow or you are not being paid what you’re worth, maybe a new job is just what you need.

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency with extraordinary consultants who will consult with you. They will give you industry insights, tell you what companies look for when recruiting and what you can expect regarding salaries.

We have career opportunities which include Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Visit our website and apply now!

 

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Difficult interview questions: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, April 15, 2016

question markStepping out in the job market is not easy, leaving the comfort of a secure position to take on new challenges can be daunting. However, if you want to grow in your career this is often the only way. For many job seekers the thought of having someone grill you face-to-face with questions and being under pressure to think on your feet in the interview process can be quite overwhelming.

The best way to prepare yourself for the interview is to anticipate what may be coming and practice for it in advance. One of the most common questions that candidates struggle with is ‘where do you see yourself in five years’.

We provided some insights to give you a new perspective on how to answer this when you are being stared down by the hiring manager in that crucial career changing interview.   

Understand why interviewers ask this question
The interviewer wants to understand more about your goals specifically for your career and how this position would fit into your future plan. They care about your career goals because they want to hire someone who is motivated, proactive, and likely to stick around and work hard if hired.

Your interviewer does not want to invest time and effort in someone who is already planning to leave for something better as soon as it comes along. They are looking for those who have a clear mind-set about what they wish to accomplish and most importantly those with a career plan.

Avoid giving a non-answer
Now is not the time to provide evasive or fluffy answer. Hiring managers can see right through those and will reject your candidacy on the spot. They do not want you to lie, manipulate or give an off-the-wall answer. They are just looking for an honest answer that will show that you have put some thought into your future.

Talk in terms of accomplishments and responsibilities
The best way to phrase an answer for this question is to focus on your professional development. Many people make the mistake of talking about money or rewards. It’s best to speak in terms of skills you'd like to acquire or ones you'd like to be using. You also have to address the issue around how you plan to contribute to, and grow with, the organization over the next few years. After all the interviewer want to know that it will be beneficial for the company to take you on in the long run.

Focused mostly on the value you can bring to the company
At first glance this question might seem about you and what your plans are for the future. Which is true but the bottom line is that companies are making a huge investment by hiring a new employee. They are often spending a lot of money in hiring and training a new employee. So, hiring managers want to know if you are worth the investment. They want to know that you are willing to stick around the company and grow professionally and solve their problems. This is your opportunity to sell the interview on your commitment to the career path and the position.

Each person being hired brings something unique to the business and it’s important to seek out those with the best qualities. The interview process are the most important platform for hiring managers to decide if you would be the right fit. Don’t shy away from difficult questions like these, ensure you prepare well and questions like this will provide you a vital opportunity to show interviewers why you would be the best candidate to hire.  

Whether you are a candidate urgently looking for a new job or somebody looking to form a long-term career building partnership, talk to us. We have a team of dedicated consultants specialising in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight and Supply Chain industries. They can connect you with Top Employers in South Africa while assisting you to map both long and short term career objectives and advise you on what steps to take to reach your ultimate career goal. Apply today.

 Apply Here

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The Interview: What is your Weakness?

Mallisa Watson - Friday, April 08, 2016

head on chalkboard with questions So you just walked into your interview. You are dressed in your best professional attire. Your handshake was firm, you’ve nailed every interview question and you’re feeling good, very good. The process is about to wrap up soon. But then, the hiring manager drops the bomb on you!

So tell me, what is your greatest weakness?

You start seeing the job opportunity slipping through your fingers, you shuffle through everything in your brain, trying to figure out how to answer this question. Where do you start? Can you even answer this question? You think to yourself, “Why do they even ask this question in the first place?” First, they want to know that you aren’t conceited and are aware that we all make mistakes. Confidence is great, but there’s a fine line between confidence and being over-confident.

Secondly, they want to get pass the big smile you’ve been wearing throughout the whole interview to get a sense of who you really are. The way you respond to an uncomfortable question can say a lot about your personality and communication skills.

You need to keep in mind that as a candidate, you don’t want to give them any reason not to hire you. That’s why the weakness question is so challenging and important. You need to find a balance, show that you are honest and genuine without saying something that will put your interviewer off and ruin your chances. Here are some tips on how to answer this challenging question.

Know your weakness
We are only human, we are not perfect. We all have our flaws. Everyone has specific strengths and everyone has specific weaknesses. It's pretty certain that if you are not clear on your weaknesses then you are not clear on your strengths, and your value at the office will be questionable. Take an online personality type quiz or sit down with a group of your closes previous work colleagues and blatantly ask them what they think your weaknesses are. Sometimes, we don’t see what it is that we do wrong but people from the outside can see things clearer. You might get a few negative answers but at the end of the day, this will help you in the long-run.

Describe your weakness
Don’t feel like you have to go into great detail. Be short and, most importantly, avoid sounding defensive. Pick a weakness that is acceptable for the job at hand. Be aware of the job requirements and don’t refer to a weakness related to any of the required skills or desired qualities. If you’re an accountant, don’t talk about how unorganized you are or your lack of attention to detail. This might just raise a red flag.

Give an example
Hiring managers who ask about weaknesses during interviews are looking for examples of how a person faced obstacles and overcome them in the past.

Don't just say that you struggle to meet deadlines, also provide ways in which you have worked on this. It's important to highlight that now when you work on a project, you don't just meet deadlines, rather you prefer to complete the project well ahead of schedule. Being aware of your weaknesses is a good sign, it shows that you know where your boundaries are.

Practice, practice, practice! The more you drill into your head the response you want to give, the more comfortable you will feel when you hear those dreaded words in an interview.

If you are looking to move on to a new job adventure, get in touch with us now! Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency with remarkable consultants who will match your skills with the relevant job and advice and consult with you throughout the job search process.  We have career opportunities which include Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs, Freight jobs.

Visit our website and apply now!

 

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How to answer that “what are your key strengths” question

Sandra Olivier - Friday, April 01, 2016

chinese symbol for strengthKnowing your strengths and weaknesses is something that is crucial in your career. Each of us has particular strengths: talents in thinking, habitual ways we approach problems that give us energy to solve them. These skills are what makes you unique and will ultimately benefit your career. But for many being asked the questions “What are your key strengths?” “What skills can you bring to our business?” in an interview gets treated with rehearsed answers of what you think a potential employee might want to hear.

However, if you answer this question well, it’s one of the best ways you can show off your skills and show that you stand out among other candidates. This is not the time to be humble. While you do not want to exaggerate your strengths, you should be comfortable articulating what makes you an ideal candidate.

Here are a few strategies to approach this question during the interview process:

Assessing your strengths
This is an exercise worth doing before any interview. The easiest way to determine these are to break it down into the following three categories:

  • Experience — Experience with a certain software or type of task, expertise in a particular industry, a track record of working with similar products or clients, etc.
  • Talents — Abilities such as programming in a desired language, writing proposals, selling widgets, litigating cases, organizing events, etc.
  • Soft skills — Personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people, for example; influencing, team building, negotiation, managing up, problem solving etc.

Once you have a clear understanding of your strengths you should also look for examples of how your strength is evident in your past work performance.

Choosing the right strengths
Before going to an interview look at the job requirements to guide you in what strengths you should select. Choose one to three attributes you want to mention and stop there. You’ll want to think strategically about what skills will position you as qualified for the specific job you are interviewing for and position yourself as a good fit for the company.

Steer away from general statements
This is one of the biggest mistakes candidates make when trying to answer this question. Don’t answer this question in any generic way. If you strength is something 90% of your peers claim as strengths then pick another one. Avoid all the over used clichés and meaningless phrases such as team player, hard-working, patient, positive, reliable, good time keeper unless you can quantify your answer with tangible results or scenarios.

Good Examples
Still not sure where to start in answering this question? Here are some good examples:

Being motivated
“One of my strengths is that I am motivated to achieve and exceed set targets. In my last role I achieved all my sales targets and increased these by 5% on the previous year.”

Management
 “One of my strengths is my strong relationship with my team. For instance, due to my constant ‘informal get-togethers’ with the team members, I was able to realize their work pressure and thus, modify the deadline of a project. As a result of which, the team worked enthusiastically and we excelled in overall expectations of the client.”

Flexible/Adaptable
“I’m an adaptable person. I work for three different managers, they have very different management styles and expectations of me. I am able to adjust my approach to meet each of their needs”

If you are in the market for a new job, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a candidate-focused recruitment agency: our primary intention is to create a lifelong connection with our great candidates.

Whether you are a candidate urgently looking for a new job or somebody looking to form a long-term career building partnership, talk to us. We have a team of dedicated consultants specialising in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight and Supply Chain industries. They can connect you with Top Employers in South Africa while assisting you to map both long and short term career objectives and advise you on what steps to take to reach your ultimate career goal. Apply today

  apply here

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Teamwork: Keeping the Momentum Going in the Workplace

Mallisa Watson - Friday, March 18, 2016

light-bulbs The workplace is where most of us spend many hours of our lives, so getting along and working productively with your colleagues is very important. That is why teamwork matters.

But what is teamwork? One of the most used words in the workplace, but what does it really mean? Well, perhaps the best way to define it is when a group of people work together with the same common goal in mind, creating a positive working environment and supporting each other resulting in an improved performance.

Leaders who are not afraid to make the tough call and establish standards of performance that should constantly be met, are what we call and effective leader. You must constantly foster commitment from each team member to embrace a mind-set where each of your employees must learn to apply the differences that exist in one another for their own success and that of the company. To manage people, organisations require effective managers. Highly skilled and trained managers can make or possibly break your business.

T- for together
An effective leader recognizes the importance of embracing differences in people and knows how to bring the team together and connect the dots amongst those differences to get the best outcomes from the team. This is what cultivates a workplace environment of continuous improvements, innovation and initiative.

Well-functioning teams are essential to running a well-functioning business. If there is no co-operation, employees do not work together effectively. Leaders can facilitate collaboration by highlighting the impact of individual productivity and clarifying team members; value's.

E-for engagement
Work teams need people who have strong technical and interpersonal skills and are willing to learn. Also, having self-leaders who take responsibility for getting things done is important. But if a few team members carries most of the burdens, the team runs the risk of a burnout.

To develop consistent engagement on a team, leaders should consider three factors that affect the level of individual contribution:

*Presence
*Confidence
*Empowerment

The more individuals feel like part of a team, the more they contribute and the more members contribute, the more they feel like part of the team. When workers are involved in the decision making process, they feel enabled and invest more of themselves in the company.

A-for accountability
When you’re part of a team, each member affects your productivity and schedule. When you rely on co-workers to review a document before proceeding, a month can go by before you have everyone’s input. As leader of the pack, it’s in your best interest to push your team to get things done more efficiently, so you can produce better results in less time with less frustrations.

One way to increase everyone’s response time is to arrange a meeting with your team at the beginning of each project, so you can plan it through to the end. Set out goals, discuss each member’s responsibilities, and set firm deadlines. Highlight what is expected from each person and when, also have them do the same for you.

M-for motivation
Employee motivation is important because in today's competitive economy, it's more important than ever to have a motivated workforce. That's because a motivated employee is a productive employee. And a productive employee is a more profitable employee.

At the end of the day, employees are people too. Each one of us have needs that are fundamental motivators that go beyond simply getting paid to do a job. Motivating by money only works if you have an unlimited budget. Instead, find out what they need by looking into employee personalities. Their behaviour will show you enough about their personality to determine what it means they need.

Being a leader is not an overnight thing. Your role should not be to settle problems or constantly monitor your team, it should be to create a team culture where people address concerns immediately, directly and respectfully with each other. Yes, this will take time but the return on investment happens fast as you regain lost time and see problems solved both better and faster.

Thinking of adding a few talented professionals to your team?
We are a well-known, reputable specialist recruitment company with over 35 years’ experience in the employment market. Get in touch with us. If you happen to be in the market for a new Finance, IT, Engineering, Freight or Supply Chain job, visit our website and apply today!

 

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Do you have a contingency plan for middle management?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, March 04, 2016

team spiritMiddle management consists of those senior employees responsible for implementing the company’s business strategy, overseeing and improving the work productivity of employees, making the work environment as efficient and effective as possible, setting budgets and administrating projects and work processes, and ensuring that the production environment is compliant with company requirements.

Middle managers are the production leaders and the people who report to senior management and executive levels – they are the ones that oil the cogs in the machine and keep them running.

So what happens when middle management is impacted by natural, technological, or organisational risk or disaster?

What is a contingency plan?
The success of a business is not only about sales and profits, business growth and development, but also about effective planning for the worst. Contingency planning – or “Plan B” – means preparing an organisation for a significant event where key players in the business’s success are impacted, and ensuring that the organisation can respond accordingly and continue doing business as soon as possible. If a natural disaster like a fire, hurricane, earthquake, etc. destroys the organisation’s commercial building, or a technological attack means that the company servers are wiped clean of all their data, how will the business recover? If the aeroplane that your middle management team is travelling in incurs a fatal crash, what then? A contingency plan covers the “what ifs” of risk management, disaster recovery, and subsequently, business continuity.

Implementing a contingency plan starts with a risk assessment
An organisation will not only be affected by major natural disasters or terrorist and hacking attacks. There are also more localised risks such as data losses, employee turnover, client departures, and supplier losses. By doing a risk assessment, organisations will have the information to prepare and implement a contingency plan to ensure that business operations aren’t affected so badly that the company will lose business, cut employees, or shut down altogether.

A risk assessment involves assessing all areas in the business that are critical to operations and identifying how these can become risk areas – how could these areas possibly threaten the company’s operations? Prioritise these risks from high to low, then identify how to address and mitigate them before they materialise.

Developing a contingency plan
Once the risks have been identified and prioritised, a plan needs to be put in place to ensure these risks are minimised and can be managed should they come to pass. Middle management’s main priority is to keep business operations going, so it’s important to identify the solution to keeping the minimum level of operations going. For instance: if your commercial building is made non-viable by a weather event or a fire, your employees should be provided with internet capabilities in order to work remotely: a 3G dongle, home internet connection, and a mobile device like a laptop or tablet.

As part of the contingency plan, the trigger events for each risk should be identified: what would make the risks materialise? And if they do, what needs to happen in the time periods following these events – an hour, six hours, a day, etc. after the event – to ensure that business remains operational? Also identify what constitutes the success of the contingency plan: should the business be running at 100% profitability, or only maintaining the most basic of client SLAs?

The contingency plan should not only focus on what to do should the risks materialise, but should also have a good risk management plan in place to minimise the risk events taking place. If a big organisational risk is employee turnover (and the departure of knowledge and skill), then effective risk management would involve ensuring employee job satisfaction and maximum retention. To avoid the disaster of losing large teams to travel risks, ensure that team members travel separately and don’t engage in dangerous activities together.

Communicating the contingency plan
It’s important that everyone in the organisation is aware of a contingency plan for operational success. Lead by middle management, the contingency plan should be compiled in a document in the form of a company contingency policy, which needs to be written plainly and clearly in a way that all levels of employees and executives can understand, and made available to everyone who will be impacted by the identified risks. Where possible, a contingency meeting or workshop should be held annually where risks are identified and evaluated by employees at all levels, and contingencies put in place to help mitigate any threats to the organisation. Make sure employees are aware of their roles and responsibilities in light of the identified risks, and ensure they are on board to implement “Plan B” should it ever be necessary.

Are you looking for skilled staff to fill leadership position in your company? Communicate Personnel is a specialized recruitment agency with years of experience in the Finance, IT, Engineering and Supply Chain/Freight industries. We can assist with the sourcing, assessing, screening, and matching of candidate to ensure you find the right fit for your company the first time. Contact us today. 


Leap Forward In Your Career

Mallisa Watson - Friday, February 26, 2016

boy February 29 is a date that usually occurs every four years, and is called leap day. According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women every four years to propose to men and not just the other way around. It’s not just about love, however in a bigger sense leap year is also about taking chances. Maybe it’s the perfect time to start thinking of making a job change.

You got rewarded with an extra 24 hours equaling to 24 opportunities to make this happen. We at Communicate Personnel suggest these steps:

Research
Look for a job that requires your experience. Visit local recruitment agency’s websites to get an idea of what others are doing and what jobs are out there now. One important tip is that you need to make sure your skills are still relevant to what is required in the job you want to apply for.

Draw a career map
Setting goals is easy, but working towards them is difficult. Advancing in your career can seem overwhelming. Once you have some picture of where you want to go, get things moving by taking small steps towards that vision.
In order to pave the way for the future, your first and primary objective is to clearly understand where you are today and what you currently have at your disposal to help you take the next step in your career. To begin with you must accurately assess the progress you have made over the years. Ask yourself:

  • How did I get to this point in my career?
  • Are there things I would like to change?
  • Connecting: Tailor your LinkedIn profile to your goals
    Networking is important for all job seekers, but for people looking at changing their jobs, it's even more crucial. You must connect with people who can introduce you to decision makers. When you meet new contacts, make sure they understand why you're a good fit for the type of job you want. When you target your network, you will find people willing to support you.

    LinkedIn is the new CV, while it doesn’t necessarily replace the paper version, it’s the first place most people are going to look at when you apply for a new job, and the place where recruiters and head-hunters are most likely to come across your profile. It’s important to do whatever you can to ensure you’re found, maybe highlight the big accomplishments in your career? Get recommendations? And always present yourself in a professional way with your profile picture.

    Be prepared for delays
    Nothing will ever run smoothly, sometimes it can take up to two weeks before you get a response on the application you’ve send in and chances are that it might also take a while before you go for your interview. This process can be a little bit frustrating, however having patience and family and friends as your support system, will help greatly. They don’t have to be in possession of your dream, but be supportive.

    Taking a leap in your career isn’t always easy but remember, whatever motivation you need to get started, is the most important part of reaching your goal. Make no mistake, there will be delays and that's why you’ll have your friends and family at large watching you while you work towards your goals.

    Are you planning on looking for a new job anytime soon? Have you started with your search already? If not, start now and visit Communicate Personnel. Our specialized recruitment company has dedicated consultants who focus on finding you a job that is equivalent to your skills. We have vacancies in IT, Finance, EngineeringFreight and Supply Chain.

    So whether you are an Accountant, Civil Engineer, Java Developer, Project Manager or Supply Chain Manager, rest assured we can help you. Contact us now!

     

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    Social Media how much impact does it have on your job search?

    Sandra Olivier - Friday, February 19, 2016

    hand with mechanical wheelsRecently the media has been filled with incidents where politicians and public figures got removed from positions due to remarks or comments on social media. It sparked a debate in relation to what is considered freedom of speech and if it’s legal to use social media as part of the screening process during the hiring process.

    Social media has added a new dimension to the recruitment mix. In South Africa there are no laws prohibiting the use of public information like the information posted on public social media forums for background checks.

    LinkedIn is one such platform that enables recruiters to find out if a candidate has lied on their application about qualifications, experience or any other information. On the other hand, social media platforms are not always used just to try to catch people out but can also assist recruiters to determine if the candidate will be a good fit for a company’s culture and to see if the candidate is well-rounded, which are often things you can’t conclude off a paper CV.

    For hiring managers the risks of recruiting the wrong person are plenty, ranging from poor job and/or team fit resulting in low productivity; to financial loss through having to recruit again within a short time; through to financial and reputational risk to the organisation through economic crime.

    On the other hand, platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are now mainstream communications tools in a variety of sectors, and someone who has demonstrated that they can build and manage a professional web identity has a very marketable skill.

    So how do you go about cleaning up your social media profile if you are thinking of job hunting?

    1) It’s permanent remember that
    By now you should all know that what you put online is permanent. So here is a tip for the future, no matter if you are job searching or not consider carefully what you post online about yourself. It is true that your online presence is just a snapshot of who you are. But to a recruiter, your social media profile is like the cover to your book: It should give a little insight into your personality but not raise any red flags.

    2) Privacy settings
    Once again this tip is just plain good old online security whether you are in the job market or not. You don't have to share everything with everyone, most social media platforms have some form of privacy settings. Use it and be selective of who you connect with.

    3) Restrict Tagging
    When it comes to unflattering photo’s then Facebook is probable the biggest culprit. You might have spent some time in cleaning up your albums and adjusting your privacy settings but you never know when a friend is going to tag you in a comment or photo that casts you in a questionable light.

    4) To speak or not to speak
    So does that mean you are not allowed to take part on Twitter or voice your opinion? No, you don't have to shy away from these conversations or hide what you believe in. But be wary of how you engage in them. Too many F-bombs, or even one instance of offensive name-calling, can ruin your online reputation and make you appear to be a risk to employers.

    Social networks offers a great new platform to engage with peers, network with people across the world but also rub shoulders with potential employers, opening up a whole new world of career opportunities. Managing it in a responsible way will go a long way in building your own online identity.

    If you are in the market for a new job, we can assist. 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, IT, Engineering, Freight or Supply Chain industry. Check out our vacancy page and apply now!

     

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    Why effective workplace communication is crucial

    Sandra Olivier - Friday, February 05, 2016

    word cloud for business conceptWorkplace communication is one of the very first skills you’ll need to master in any new job. How you communicate with your teammates, your manager, your boss, and even the person at the front desk can have a huge impact on your team coherence, work performance, job satisfaction and the longevity of your career. Let’s look at what constitutes workplace communication and why it’s so important to communicate effectively.

    Communication in the workplace
    Whether it’s direct communication in an email, instant messaging on the company intranet, talking to your colleagues around the lunch table, or how you communicate non-verbally with your manager – communication is defined as any method of transferring a message or information from one person (sender) to another (receiver). Effective communication happens when the receiver receives and understands the message exactly as the sender intended it. This requires a clear method of sending a message – be it concise writing skills for email, clear enunciation for face-to-face communication, and an understanding of how body language and facial expression help to convey your message. Effective communication also requires good listening skills, which means the receiver is 100% focussed on the sender’s message (not being distracted by their thoughts or other background noise) and is also able to receive non-verbal cues.

    But why is effective communication so crucial in the workplace?

    1. Effective communication improves productivity
    If you are required to complete a project with the rest of your team, your manager should provide you with a clear and well-explained brief that details all the specifications of the project: who is required to produce what, by when, and according to which guidelines? If the brief is communicated thoroughly and leaves no questions unanswered in terms of what’s required to complete the project on time and on budget, the project should run smoothly with everyone delivering their outputs in time. The team works well together because you all understand your role and what’s required.

    If anyone on the team is sick or they’re not working as fast as the rest of the team, they should be able to communicate openly with their teammates and manager; to ask for help or for further guidelines so that the team isn’t adversely affected. Without effective and open communication, team productivity and morale will be on the line.

    2. Effective communication bridges the diversity gap
    South African work environments are highly diverse. Teams can be made up of people who speak different languages, come from different cultural backgrounds, practise different religions, different sexual orientation, and cross generational lines. All of these factors will have an influence on the work environment and how teammates perceive each other. Effective communication serves the purpose of conveying messages with respect, integrity, and purpose. If diversity is what sets people’s individuality apart from each other, then the agreement on how we communicate is what bridges that divide: speaking and writing clearly and formally in English, for instance, is the common ground that will help the company to reach its common goal irrespective of the workforce’s diversity.

    3. Effective communication boosts job satisfaction
    A large part of job satisfaction is feeling challenged and improving your skills with each new project you work on. As an employee, you should not only be able to communicate effectively and build trust with your teammates, as well as communicate upwards with your manager, but you should also be able to receive downward communication from your superiors – in the form of feedback. Being able to accept constructive criticism and to improve your skills and work quality can lead to a highly rewarding career with lucrative future prospects. If you are sensitive to feedback or take it personally when your manager or peers critique your work, you will quickly find that your job becomes difficult or stale.

    4. Effective communication aids problem solving
    The point of effective communication is to minimise the number of misunderstandings and problems in a team and in the company. That’s not to say that if we all communicate via email in perfect written English that there will be no problems. When problems do arise – a client is unhappy, a project is running over time, someone gets injured on the job, etc. – your level of accountability or your ability to mitigate the problem is only half of the solution; the other half is how these factors are communicated. If you’ve messed up and you immediately own up to it as well as provide a solution to your bungle, you will earn people’s respect for being honest and for wanting to fix your errors, without blaming others.

    Now that you are aware of the importance of effective communication in the workplace, consider how your own workplace communication – whether you’re in an finance job, a IT job, or engineering job, – impacts your team, your job satisfaction, and the level of trust you earn amongst your teammates and with your manager. Are you communicating effectively?

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