Communicate Blog

Stressed out! Don’t be…

Mallisa Watson - Friday, August 07, 2015

Angry Business Professional YellingAll of us are stressed, right? Who wouldn’t be in this crazy modern world?  We literally have 24 hours in a day and we try to cram everything that we can into those hours. Our family and friends are expecting our time and attention, some of us have bosses driving us mad and demanding clients. Eventually this will all lead us to a place where we never thought we’ll ever be. Stressed out!

Although people have different ideas when it comes to how they balance their work and personal life, creating some clear boundaries can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that goes with it.

Most of you will agree with us that at some point in your work life, you have felt the pressure of work-related stress. Any job can have stressful elements, even if you love what you do. In the short-term, you may experience pressure to meet a deadline or to fulfill a challenging responsibility. But when work stress becomes prolonged, it can be overwhelming and harmful to both your physical and emotional health.

But although some jobs are certainly more nail-biting than others, we all deal with work-related stress on a daily basis.

So what are the common reasons for work stress?

  • Extreme workloads.
  • Few opportunities for growth or advancement.
  • Work that isn't challenging enough.
  • Not having enough control over job-related decisions.
  • Unrealistically high performance expectations.

Fortunately, there are a number of strategies for confronting workplace stress. Here are some simple but effective ways to manage stress in the workplace.

1. Identify what is stressing you out
Finding the source of your stress is the first step to fighting it, but it could be easier said than done. Stressors usually fall into the following categories:

Emotional stressors. This includes your fears and anxieties, such as worries about whether you'll be fired or if you will get that new job you applied for.

Family stressors. This can be changes in your relationship with your significant other or financial problems.

Work stressors. They may include tight deadlines or having to deal with a difficult boss every single day of your working life.

2. Organize your workspace
Taking control of your schedule can prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and stressed over small tasks.

When it comes to your schedule, figure out what you can control (such as when to take your lunch break or the order in which you’ll complete certain tasks) and what is fixed (the meeting with your boss, for example). This will help you manage your time more efficiently and maintain as much control as possible over your everyday routine.

3. Have a more positive outlook
This is a tough one. But adopting a more positive attitude toward stress can help you to deal with it more effectively, it could even transform your stress into something good that enhances your performance, health and personal growth. Yes, you don’t have any control over facing stressful situations but you do have control over how you think about stress and the way it will affect you.

There’s no doubt that stress can be used as a force for good, however an excessive amounts of it over the long term can cause serious problems.

If you feel stressed because your current job isn't challenging enough, maybe it’s time for a new one. Communicate Personnel is a recruitment agency with consultants specialising in finding you Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs. Check out our vacancy pages and apply now!

 

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What is the Cost of a Bad Hire?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 31, 2015

arrow Hiring the wrong person for the vacancy you want to fill can cost your company between three and five times their salary – so say internal surveys from CareerBuilder and the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). Irrespective of their skill level (entry-level or executive), there is no good reason for businesses to lose money on poor-performing or ill-fitting employees. We explore what a “bad hire” is, how they impact a company’s bottom line, and shed some light on the steps to take to avoid a bad hire:

What is a bad hire?
A bad hire is someone who is either the wrong culture fit for the job, team, and/or work environment they were placed in, or someone who is not delivering on their job requirements and performance expectations.

What does a bad hire cost?
Hiring the wrong person for the job has a much broader financial and cultural impact than the person’s annual salary. That impact can include:

Hiring costs
The time that HR and senior managers spent on the recruitment process – screening CVs, communicating with potential candidates, performing background checks and psychometric tests, interviewing and evaluating candidates, and inducting new employees – is wasted when they amount to a bad hire.

Direct employment costs
You wouldn’t pay for a bag of rotten apples – so paying the salary of a person who doesn’t contribute to the company’s growth is a bad investment.

Overhead costs
The employee’s office space, use of resources and utilities, travel expenses, training, and HR management costs all count as company overheads.

Supervisor/Manager costs
The time that a supervisor or manager spends training, evaluating, coaching or correcting a bad hire costs money. The senior employee’s own work time is compromised, especially when the bad hire results in disruption or affects their ability to meet their own KPIs.

Team productivity and morale costs
When a bad hire is part of a team that has deliverables to complete, the rest of the team needs to compensate for the bad hire’s poor performance. Not only does this affect the team’s productivity, but company morale can also take a nosedive and can take a mammoth effort and considerable time to correct.

Negative impact on client relationships
A poor performing employee will cast a bad light on the company as a whole in the eyes of the company’s clients, especially if deadlines are missed or poor work is performed. The company’s reputation may have taken years to build, but can be destroyed in an instant because of a bad hire – the cost of which can run into millions if lost opportunities are factored in.

Severance costs
Many bad hires will be happy to stay in their jobs and while away their time – doing the minimum to earn a salary. When this behaviour and poor performance is costing your company money and lost opportunities in the long run, it may be better to legally terminate their employment. This means paying out severance benefits – however, these may be minimal compared to the long-term damage that a bad hire can do.

Take these steps to avoid a bad hire:

  • Have very specific candidate requirements – the job description and KPAs for that role should be up to date and used to measure suitability in the screening process.

  • Get input from a range of stakeholders – allow the HR manager, the job’s team lead, and even a team member or two to be part of the screening process and get their input on the people being interviewed.

  • Evaluate candidate abilities – put shortlisted candidates through a timed skills test to evaluate their capabilities under pressure and to truly determine if they possess both the skills and attitude you require.

  • Conduct psychometric and/or personality testing – these tests are expensive, but worthwhile when it comes to identifying high-risk hires and reducing employee turnover.

  • Take time with proper on-boarding – employee orientation and training should be a vital part of a new employee’s probation period, ensuring they understand company policies, what’s expected of them, and how they’ll be measured on their performance.

  • Get help – recruitment specialists not only have the necessary database from which to source great candidates for your vacancies, but also perform the initial CV screening and have the requisite skills and experience to identify, attract, and screen the most appropriate candidates and reduce the likelihood of a bad hire.
  • Wanting to avoid the cost of a bad hire? Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters and we want to help you. We specialise in the sourcing of top candidates in the FinanceITEngineering and Supply Chain/Freight industries, both for permanent and contracting placements throughout South Africa, and the African continent. Contact us today!

    Or if you happen to be in the market for new FinanceITEngineeringSupply Chain or Freight jobs, visit our vacancy page and apply now.

     

Why Recruitment is a good career choice

Mallisa Watson - Friday, July 24, 2015

road-signYour career is one of the most important things in your life. So if you get granted the opportunity to positively impact people’s lives, it can be extremely fulfilling. And that is exactly what recruitment does, it allows you to turn people’s lives around, for good.The recruitment industry can be very challenging and it’s not always a career that everyone will become successful in. However, if you master the art of brokering deals, then this industry is meant for you.

Have you ever considered a career in recruitment? Maybe the below will make you
change your mind.

It’s financially rewarding
Recruitment can be financially rewarding if done properly. If you follow the right methods then you will make placements that results in good commission. Most consultants would agree that this is one of the best incentives to achieve. We are in times of economic distress, so turning to a career in recruitment may be one of the best decisions you can ever make.

You get educated in business
Over the past years, I have learned so much about different sectors, company cultures, work environments, different organizational structures and different recruitment practices.

We go from dealing with construction one minute, a finance company the next hour and more later in the day. What career provides you with such variety and in-depth insight into the business world? The answer is definitely recruitment.

An opportunity to meet some interesting and rare people
You will work with a number of people. And recruitment will advance your network. You will get the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Interviewing people is a real window into some amazing lives and when you hear the stories of how companies have grown and prospered and how people have carved out a career and grown you truly appreciate that nothing’s impossible.

Communicative, target-driven and competitive
Recruitment needs you to network with different people every single day. The depth of interaction has developed over the years. With social media and mobile on the rise, the depth of communication with people is almost endless. What is more, as a recruiter you are helping people to discover a brighter future and a more fulfilling occupation.

Like any sales oriented role hitting and exceeding your targets is the key to a successful career in recruitment. You have to find ways to get there. You need to keep in mind that the process and framework should be your foundation. There is a remarkable amount of flexibility that can work to keep recruitment one of the most interesting and exciting jobs around. The beauty of recruitment is that it adapts to the times.

You develop your negotiating skills
This has to be one of the most exciting things you can learn and strengthen in recruitment. Sharpening your negotiating skills.  Becoming a better negotiator as an individual is a life skill that cannot be measured. Good negotiating skills will benefit you regardless of the industry you want to go into to.  

There are many other industries where you can make it big but nothing beats the recruitment industry for an opportunity to fast track your career, earn what you are really worth and build up a network. Why would you make any other choice?

Recruiting is such an exhilarating and impactful job, but there are obviously also some hurdles you have to cross. The strongest drawback is that when you are not closing that deals or making that sale, you will always be under pressure. The human element can be unpredictable so even though you’ve worked hard to get you candidate that job offer that they wanted, they can still turn around at the last minute and decline the offer.

Recruitment has given many of our consultants a career, help them develop new skills and an education in business. If you feel recruitment is the right job for you, check out our website today. We are always on the lookout for competitive, self-motivated team leaders and recruitment consultants to grow with our company.

If you happen to be in the market for Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Freight jobs or Supply Chain jobs, then get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants to get your career search off the ground.  

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Managers: Would you let your team work from home?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 17, 2015

technologyIn January 2014, some light was shed on the culture of flexible working hours especially for employees based in companies in Sandton, Johannesburg. Big corporates like Discovery Health and Nedbank, as well as law firm Norton Rose Fulbright, have adopted flexible working hours – also commonly referred to as “flexitime” – for their staff for a variety of reasons. We look at flexitime and working from home and ask: would you let your team out of your sight?

Why would you introduce the option to work from home?
There are a number of reasons why businesses have implemented or are considering implementing flexitime or working from home for their employees. These include:

  • to reduce time spent in traffic (and thereby also relieving traffic congestion)
  • to promote the idea of work-life balance, to allow parents to better cater to their family life
  • to reduce overhead costs (such as office space, workstations, electricity and other office resources)
  • to reduce staff turnover (according to a Regus report, 76% of respondents claimed that flexible working hours improved employee retention).

The upside to allowing staff to work off site
For South African companies trying to keep their bottom lines above water, reducing costs is a key objective. While it’s tough enough trying to extract more investment from clients, reducing office costs can come as a welcome relief to the balance sheet. From a business perspective, allowing your staff to work from home, even at least for some of the week, can significantly reduce office overheads. Not only will you require less office space (which is priced per square metre), but there will be less electricity used on extra workstations, laptop points, boiling kettles, air-conditioners and other peripherals. That’s not to say that managers will never see their team, but that they can arrange with staff to implement “hot desking” – where multiple employees use one workstation or work area at different times of the week, thereby making optimal use of fewer resources.

At Nedbank, the introduction of flexi-hours has shown an increase in staff productivity (which is closely linked to employee happiness), and Discovery Health’s policy of only allowing flexible working hours for high-performing staff means that employees see this as a reward that they are prepared to work hard for. Therefore, contrary to popular assumption, flexibility means that staff are more driven to higher productivity and don’t take advantage of flexi-time for their own leisure.

When it comes to staff working from home, many South African managers feel uncomfortable about not being able to keep an eye on “absent” employees. However, time-capture systems and various other digital check-in methods, as well as arrangements like weekly meetings in the office, can give managers the peace of mind that their staff members are indeed being productive. The usual adherence to KPI requirements will still apply.

Potential problems with flexitime and off-site work
There are still many environments, especially in banking, customer service, and support industries that do not lend themselves to the culture of flexitime and working from home. However, for businesses in work environments that can cater to off-site work, managers should still be cognisant of the fact that the success of allowing flexitime and working from home is still based on each individual given that privilege.

Some staff members are focused and organised enough to set daily, weekly and monthly tasks for themselves and to complete them in due time, whether they are being monitored or not. This works well in a production environment where workflow is controlled by deadlines and managed by individuals responsible enough to complete their tasks in the allotted time; and where work is distributed via a server or other virtual location. It is this kind of digital collaboration that is driving the justification for off-site productivity.

Conclusion
While working from home and flexitime cannot be applied across the board, in working environments that allow for flexible staff arrangements, it can prove to be a highly economical and successful method of work. Good employees want to work for companies that embrace technology as a means of being more efficient, and most will be more productive for the benefit of more permeable work parameters.

As a manager, will you encourage the independence and productivity of your staff? Have you tried before? What were the outcomes?

Communicate Personnel want to assist you in finding a company that is just as forward thinking. So, make that move and browse through our available vacancies, which include Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs .

 

Roadmap to success at a new job

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 10, 2015

roadwayChanging of a job can be daunting, in fact, most people consider it one of the most stressful things besides relocating and divorce. Although it’s exciting to take on a new challenge and move up on the career ladder, it is during these first weeks on a new job that your boss and colleagues form the most lasting impressions about you. The following suggestions can help you make the most of this new job opportunity:

Establish yourself
The truth is as soon as you step into a new job your colleagues will pass judgment of some sort. It’s important to create a positive first impression by being friendly and warm. This immediately forges the beginning of business relationships that will become important as you settle into your role.

Don’t jump in with major changes
Often times new employees are expected to come in and make changes as well as bring new ideas to the table. Although this is true it’s important to first understand the exact challenges of the project but also listen before you jump in with any solutions. The first months at a new job is the best time to earn the needed respect and trust of other employees. So, listen, learn and ask intelligent questions.

Know the right people
In any organization it's often times the secretaries, admin and office staff that really make things happen. It’s important to early on establish who is the real ‘go-to’ people that will help you to settle in much easier and will be able to perform miracles at the last minute when needed.

Understanding team dynamics
In any job there will be some teamwork required and as the new guy everybody is looking to try and decide what type of team player or manager you would be. Those first months are crucial in establishing what roles each member in your team plays. In addition, you want to access the strength and weaknesses of each person to understand how you would be able to grow and develop each one.
Earning peoples trust and respect takes time and it’s important to understand that each person has their own career journey within this company that you might not be aware of. Spent time with people, ask question and observe. The more you understand the team dynamics early on the easier it will be to get up and running.

Get on the same page as your boss
Clear communication from day one is important. Have a meeting with your boss regularly to understand what is important to him or her. It is always better to set clear expectation so be careful to over-promise especially initially as you are still trying to understand the lay of the land. Understand upfront how involve your managers wants to be but also what type of reporting they would require. Sorting out this early on will help you establish a productive relationship much quicker.

Show your value quickly
As the new guy everyone is looking towards you for great new ideas and to solve their problems. Although you want to be cautious about jumping in too quickly and making big changes, it is also important to establish some quick wins early on to show your worth. Ask yourself: What are areas of opportunity in which you can quickly make an impact? How can you make that impact visible?
Talk with team members to identify gaps and find something that will be quick enough to execute and show immediate impact.

Starting a new job can be challenging but it also offers a host of new opportunities for your career. Starting out strong in your new job will help you to build a strong personal brand within your new company.

If you are currently on the look-out for a new position and wanting to take on the challenge of a new job, we can assist. Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. Browse through our available vacancies, which include Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs  and apply now. 

 

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How millennials should approach job interviews

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 26, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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BEE offers both challenges and opportunities

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 19, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How To Dress Up Your CV For Success

Mallisa Watson - Friday, June 12, 2015

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

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

Here are two tops tips on presenting your resume.

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

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

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

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

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

How to write a cover letter

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

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

Things to remember when writing your cover letter:

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

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

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

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

 

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What does dress for success mean in a new Millennium?

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 05, 2015

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

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

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

We offer you some tips:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How to get back into the South African workforce

Sandra Olivier - Friday, May 29, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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