Building a BI Strategy

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, May 03, 2016

strategyWhen it comes to business intelligence, companies face a range of challenges depending on where they are in their BI journey. These include the cost, time and skilled professionals needed to implement BI tools.  As a business intelligence professional, your objective is to help the organization achieve its strategic, tactical, and operational goals.

Before embarking on a BI journey, you need to understand the importance of having one and assure that the strategy aligns with the business goals. BI can have a direct positive impact on business performance and dramatically improve the ability to accomplish the mission by making smarter decisions at every level of the business from corporate strategy to operational processes. To help you put a strategy together, below are a few guidelines you can follow to assist you.

Have a framework
Having a structure will provide you with a broad overview of how different components of your BI strategy fit together to assist the entire BI vision. It brings the three top forces together that drive business operations which are: people, processes, and technology in a collaborative environment.

Your BI framework should begin by setting the business’s overall objective and what is intended to be achieved. You should understand that a smart BI framework involves connecting together BI, business processes and collaborative applications. Having a framework will also improve the integration with business planning systems, supports business processes, performance management technologies and users.

Best practice and tools selection
Although industry product reviews can be a good source of research, particularly if you aren't familiar with the overall market, these reviews are often focused towards selecting the product with the most features. Your organization should instead select best practice BI analytics tool that's the best fit for your company needs, meets its budget and can be implemented given its resources and skills.

Considering the importance of BI advantages, managers are spending larger portions of IT budgets on BI. This is because the demand requirement to deliver consistent, accurate, and trusted information to management and to meet the business goals is growing.

Following are just three of many best practices for BI platforms and tools selection: 

  • Outline and classify business, functional, and technical requirements 
  • Categorize requirements as necessary, important, and desired 
  • Evaluate the functionality, features, and the fit

Collaboration and integration
Collaboration is nothing new, but for many companies, the collaborative BI journey is just beginning. With the rise of cloud computing and big data, they need to speed up the process because it is becoming increasingly important in the modern world, as we become more connected around the globe. You need to plan and adapt as BI constantly evolves and reinvents itself according to changing business needs. Consider the current BI trends and also the coming wave of forward-looking approaches for building the successful BI strategy. If implemented properly, the end result will significantly benefit an organization’s decision-making abilities.

The talent pool for individuals needed to analyze information continues to grow at a rapid rate and if you are a business intelligence professional, then you are on hiring managers most wanted list.

With over 35 years of recruitment experience, we have built lifelong connections with a number of prominent South African IT companies and placed skilled candidates in their businesses.
If you want us to help find you a new business intelligence job opportunity, head over to our website and contact us or apply directly on our vacancy page.

Written by:

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. 

Written by:

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!


Written by:

Accountants and Ethics in the Workplace

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

african-currencyIrrespective of where you work and who you are, ethical practices are important in every single workplace. However, the spotlight seems to shine more on the finance and accounting industry. Although one could argue that ethics are more important in public companies because they affect shareholders, and even a broader area of the market due to participation in stock exchanges, unethical accounting practices in private companies still do harm to business.
Ethical accounting is related to several forms of public good, including preventing illegal activities such as money laundering and tax evasion.

In South Africa, some people in the corporate industry and in government has found themselves caught in the money-laundering web and this news took the media by storm. Up to date, these professionals has been facing increased pressure from regulators and the public in the wake of scandals over the last few years.

It is extremely important for accounting professionals to be ethical in their practices due to the very nature of their profession. The nature of accountants’ work puts them in a special position of trust in relation to their clients, employers and general public, who rely on their professional judgment and guidance in making decisions. As an accountant, you wouldn’t want the trust relationship to be jeopardised in any way.

Your Personal Reputation
Getting hired depends on more than skills. How you present your image and experience is what they call in the finance industry, your personal brand.
This may seem less applicable for finance and accounting jobs than careers in acting or politics, but personal branding can be valuable in any line of work. After all, standing out from the crowd is what personal branding is all about, and that’s a plus in any industry. Personal branding has stepped up to be a key consideration within your career and it is essential to invest time and effort in how you choose to present yourself. It could make the difference between you being very successful in your career or not.

Maintaining Confidentiality
Accountants are given a large amount of trust with personal information. It is imperative that an accountant be able to keep this information confidential. If a supplier’s personal information gets out, it could lead to theft of assets and a possibility of a lawsuit. In order to avoid this type of situation, which would at the least ruin the professional reputation and the also get the business name dragged through the mud, accountants must take steps to protect information, including bank account numbers and tax files to name a few. Examples of these steps include limiting file access, coding computers and servers and avoid discussing information with co-workers or friends.

Conflict of Interest
A professional accountant who is in practice may be confronted with a of conflict of interest when he or she carries out a professional service. Examples of situations in which conflicts of interest may arise includes:

  • If one of the managers in one of your departments at work asks you to ‘cook the books’ because an audit is soon to be done in the company and they somehow messed up, this is always a difficult dilemma to face.  

  • Fraud tendering seems to be the cherry on the cake. For example, if there is a tender contract out and you give the job to someone because he or she is a friend or family, this is definitely seen as conflict of interest.

Financial Reporting
This is perhaps the most common area in which ethics in accounting come into play. How you record information can echo throughout your firm and beyond. It can mean the difference between one department showing a profit, another showing a loss. It can even impact stock prices. Sure, legal laws are a good guide, but many laws have gaps. Is it ethical to take advantage of them, say, by moving around numbers to meet certain revenue criteria? After all, you wouldn’t be breaking any rules, but what about the essence of the rules?

In the end, only you can figure out the best road to take, but to help steer you, consider consulting the ethical codes developed by professional organizations. You don’t have to be a member to benefit from the advice.

No matter what industry or business, you need to take full responsibility to uphold the highest standards of ethics and professionalism.

If you’re looking to get hired as an accounting professional, we can assist. With years of specializing in the finance industry, we understand the market and know what is required from South Africa’s top companies. Visit our website and apply now.


Written by:

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

Written by:



Previous posts

  1. Building a BI Strategy Mallisa Watson 03-May-2016
  2. Team Motivation: How to energize your team Sandra Olivier 26-Apr-2016
  3. Salary Talk During the Job Interview Mallisa Watson 22-Apr-2016
  4. Accountants and Ethics in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 19-Apr-2016
  5. Difficult interview questions: Where do you see yourself in five years? Sandra Olivier 15-Apr-2016
  6. The Future of Warehousing in South Africa Sandra Olivier 12-Apr-2016
  7. The Interview: What is your Weakness? Mallisa Watson 08-Apr-2016
  8. South African Engineering Skills Are Top Notch Sandra Olivier 05-Apr-2016
  9. How to answer that “what are your key strengths” question Sandra Olivier 01-Apr-2016
  10. Mobile Development Trends Sandra Olivier 29-Mar-2016
  11. Silence! Non-verbal Communication in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 22-Mar-2016
  12. Teamwork: Keeping the Momentum Going in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 18-Mar-2016
  13. Corporate governance just as vital to SMMEs Sandra Olivier 15-Mar-2016
  14. Tips to Hiring Right, the First Time Sandra Olivier 11-Mar-2016
  15. Shaping the Future Supply Chains Mallisa Watson 08-Mar-2016
  16. Do you have a contingency plan for middle management? Sandra Olivier 04-Mar-2016
  17. GAST Kusile Project Approaches Completion Mallisa Watson 01-Mar-2016
  18. Leap Forward In Your Career Mallisa Watson 26-Feb-2016
  19. Promising outlook for IT in 2016 Sandra Olivier 23-Feb-2016
  20. Social Media how much impact does it have on your job search? Sandra Olivier 19-Feb-2016
  21. Trends: Finance Sector Forecast for 2016 Mallisa Watson 16-Feb-2016
  22. Congratulations New Manager! But Please Avoid These Mistakes Mallisa Watson 12-Feb-2016
  23. The Future of Freight Sandra Olivier 09-Feb-2016
  24. Why effective workplace communication is crucial Sandra Olivier 05-Feb-2016
  25. Operation: Build Smart Mallisa Watson 02-Feb-2016
  26. 5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career Sandra Olivier 29-Jan-2016
  27. Data Management undergoing substantial changes Mallisa Watson 27-Jan-2016
  28. The Bump: Before and After Maternity Leave Mallisa Watson 22-Jan-2016
  29. Integrated Reporting: Benefits and Challenges Sandra Olivier 19-Jan-2016
  30. Are You Looking For “The One”? Mallisa Watson 13-Jan-2016