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Soft Skills: The Key to Landing your next job

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 29, 2016

facesUntil very recently technical ability and experience were the only things that companies looked for when hiring new people. However, research has shown the importance of soft skills on job performance and more importantly the bottom line. Contrary to popular belief, being an expert in your field does not guarantee you regular employment. Companies are now demanding more than just job expertise, which means you must also fine-tune your soft skills.

Why are soft skills important?
In any company, big or small success depends largely on the ability of staff to collaborate on projects in order to achieve the necessary milestone for reaching objectives. The reality is that as soon as people have to work together there is sure to be a difference of opinion or some form of conflict. This is not necessarily a bad thing as different ideas could help to create better solutions, if these individuals have the necessary soft skills to manage this. If not, it will only result in wasted time, strained work relationships, and ultimately failure of the project.  

Important soft skills to develop:
The focus has shifted for hiring managers to look for more than just competency areas as they’ve realised that culture fit are just as important as the expertise required to succeed at a job. Developing your soft skills could be the key to landing your next job opportunity.

1. Communication skills:
A topic that has been discussed many time and although this seems obvious, the ability to communicate clearly both in written and verbal form is vital for any job. You need to be able to get your message across to a variety of people and to ensure there is a clear understanding of what you require from the other person.

2. Growth mind-set
In order to excel in any career this is an important skill to develop. It will allow you to face difficult situations and challenges as learning opportunities. It is important to continue to grow your experience and people skills as you move upwards in your career.

3. Perceptiveness:
The ability to understand the unspoken cues and underlying nuances of other people’s communication and action is a valuable skill to develop. We often focus so much on our own messages and what we want to communicate to others that we don’t watch and try and understand where other individuals are coming from. If you misinterpret other’s intention, you can easily encounter difficulties dealing with people and not even know why.

4. Cool headedness:
Staying calm in challenging situations especially when it comes to conflict will serve you well in your career. It’s important to keep your emotions in check in any situation and to approach problems with an open mind.

5. Pro-active problem solving:
Any work situation requires a certain amount of problem solving. Being pro-active and offering solutions will win you favour not only with your boss but also with your colleagues.

6. Negotiation skills:
The key to good negotiations is to create a 'win-win' outcome where both sides feel they have gained something positive through the process and both sides feel their point of view has been considered. Negotiation is essential in your career but also in your daily lives.

Looking for success in your career? We can help you untangle the steps to your next job opportunity. Communicate Personnel have placed thousands of top candidates over the last three decades at some of the most sought after employers in the country. If you are looking for a new career opportunity we have a variety of Finance jobs, IT jobsEngineering jobsSupply Chain jobs and Freight jobs. Browse our vacancies and apply today. 

 

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Hiring mistakes can be costly

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 22, 2016

hand hiring It’s no big secret that on average, companies loose three times the salary of a new hire that doesn’t stay with the organization. The cost of losing an employee actually starts long before the individual leaves. It’s the cost associated with disengagement, when passion and energy are no longer invested in the workplace. The bottom line is that, while economic realities do play a role, if total compensation satisfies one’s requirements, an employee is not likely to leave for this reason alone. Here are some tips to help you when you have to make your next hire.

Know who you're looking for
Experts say bad hires are often the result of the job description not matching the job criteria. The result: a new hire joins the organization and it quickly becomes clear that he or she does not possess the skill-set to effectively execute the job. The key is to create a job description that is laser-focused on the actual skills and competencies required for the job.

Hire the specialist, not the generalist
Conventional wisdom among hiring managers says hire the generalist who can adapt to whatever situation you have. However, the truth of the matter is that if you really look at it closely most people only really excel at one or two skills. When you are putting together a team you need to hire people that will have a specialist skill to compliment the areas in which the rest of your team might be lacking. It’s no good to have a couple of people that are all generalist but no real expert to help your organisation grow.

There is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ candidate
This a mistake made often by hiring managers in that they believe that somewhere out there is a job-seeker who would be perfect for the position. This perfect individual will have endless motivation, outstanding skill and will be just thrilled to accept the job at the salary on offer. The reality is unfortunately that there is no such thing. Don’t bypass well-qualified candidates right in front of your face because you are holding out for the ‘mythical’ one.

Get a helping hand
Before you get your hackles up about recruiters fees, consider the value that the right new hire can deliver over the next 5, 10, or 20 years in your company.  Niche recruiters like Communicate Personnel know where to find top talent, can screen candidates and can guide you through the process of interviews, salary negotiation, saving you lots of time and money.

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.

Are you looking to make a new hire, want to avoid making a hiring mistake that will cost you time and money? Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. We specialise in the sourcing of top candidates in the FinanceITEngineering and Supply Chain and Freight industries, both for permanent and contracting placements throughout South Africa, and the African continent.  

We also have various vacancies, which includes Finance jobsIT jobsEngineering jobsFreight jobs and Supply Chain jobs

 Apply Here

Career Cycle: Starting A New Job

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 15, 2016

road with start and finish At some point in your career, maybe you too have made the life-altering decision to start anew. We’ve all done it, moved from one company to the next. Let’s face it that first 60 to 90 days are always a bit of a roller-coaster ride. Changing jobs is ranked among the highest stressors in a person’s life. It’s like traveling alone to a foreign country, it's exciting to learn and see new things but also nerve-racking to navigate logistics and interpret an alien language.

You want to start on the right foot, making a positive impression on your new boss and colleagues. We provide you with some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Courage
Your first day on the job is a bit like being the new kid on the block too. You are coming into a situation where relationships have already been formed. You're the only one who can't find the restroom, doesn't know where the boardrooms are located, doesn't yet realize that the receptionist wields all the real power, and doesn't know not to talk to the boss until she's had her first cup of coffee. There's so much to learn in addition to the duties related to the job you were hired for. It's quite overwhelming for most of us. But just show some courage and you will quickly learn the ropes of your new office environment.

Focus on your core skills
You’ve been hired for your experience and the competencies you bring to the table. So focus on that and you will be able to contribute much sooner, and provide you the needed time to figure out the landscape.  Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts, and believe in your ability to succeed in your new position. But also remember that no one expects you to solve all the organization's problems on your first days on the job - nor that you know everything so, relax a bit, and ask for help when you need it.

Learning is part of the process
You might be all excited about your new position and the opportunities available but it’s better to rather spend some time listening and understanding the culture before you make any changes. Especially in the first couple of weeks, make it your goal to listen 90% of the time, and talk 10% of the time.

Finding ‘that person’
There is always one individual at a new job that understands the underbelly and inner workings of a company better than others. This person is well connected and can make miracles happen at the last hour and is most probable part of the back office. The quicker you can track down this ‘go-to’ person, the easier time you will have.

Quick wins help you early on
Leave the “big vision” on the back burner for a while and identify problems that can be tackled in a reasonable period of time and  have solutions that will result in tangible operational and financial improvements. Jumping in and showing progress will kick start your reputation with solid credibility; increasing confidence in your ability to execute and get things done.

Your initial impressions will set the tone for the relationships, culture, and environment for the future in this company and your role – so be sure you make them good ones!

What’s your best advice for starting a new job?

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. We have placed thousands of top candidates over the last five years at some of the most sought after employers in the country. If you are looking for a new career opportunity we have a variety of Finance jobs, IT jobs, Engineering jobs, Supply Chain jobs and Freight jobs.
View our vacancies and apply today. 

 Apply Here

5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career

Sandra Olivier - Friday, July 08, 2016

hand with mechanical wheels Business is constantly changing and professionals everywhere must be flexible and versatile when it comes to their skills and knowledge. Individuals must redefine themselves on a constant basis and always be willing to learn new things. Organizations are currently looking to hire leaders who can take collaboration to a new level in building their teams, offers innovative thinking, the ability to anticipate the future and implement required strategy.

Often people are not aware of the fact that there are job skills and there are career skills. Although job skills are the most important as you need to first be qualified for a specific position, hiring managers all agree that soft skills and culture fit is also key. Here are some important skills you will need to develop if you want to take on a leadership role in your career. 

Social Capital
Having a strong network of business contacts can really help out your career. One where you have peers you can go to for advice and help when you need it. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again: It's not always what you know but who. Relationships mean everything professionally, and the people you’re connected to are vital to your success. The key to networking is that it is a mutually beneficial relationship between two or more people. So, give back where you can by sharing news you think your contact would be interested in. It’s never too early or too late to start building a smart career network.

Adaptability
Versatility is your ability to adapt. It’s your aptitude. People with adaptability are both flexible and versatile. This is an important skill to develop in today’s business world as change is a constant.

Each person that works in your organization or on your team is unique. It is true that people can be categorized by generation, gender, nationality, personality style, thinking style, etc. However, at the end of the day people are still unique.

People want to be treated as if they matter and what they think is important. If you step into a manager role you will be responsible for dealing with all of these differences and this requires flexibility, adaptability and the willingness to be innovative with your people to assist them to bring out the best in themselves.

Emotional Intelligence
Most companies nowadays consider emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability, and often base their decision on the same when hiring or promoting employees. High level of experience in emotional intelligence will boost your interpersonal skills and reduce stress, both of which are vital for hassle-free leadership.

Strategic Thinking
Being able to better analyse and deliver data in a way that everyone can understand is key to advancing. Effective leaders are constantly asking themselves where the company is headed in the near and long term, and proposing fresh approaches that will get them there. All of these abilities are critical as they tie directly into the development of business processes. People in leadership positions need to be able to clearly recognize where changes are needed that will help improve how a business functions.

Credibility
Credible leaders attract enthusiastic and committed followers, and people want to work for them. No single thing creates credibility. Rather, a combination of things must be in place for you to establish it. Credibility is something that all leaders and potential leaders must aspire to obtain. Establishing credibility as a leader isn't something that happens instantly. It's a process that involves time, effort, and patience. The sooner you start building your credibility the easier it will be once you have moved into a leadership role to have the support of your team.

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment agency, with the very best recruiters. We have placed thousands of top candidates over the last five years at some of the most sought after employers in the country. If you are looking for a new career opportunity in the Finance, IT, Engineering, Supply Chain or Freight industries, view our vacancies and apply today. 

 Apply Here

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Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Your Search for Developer Skills

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, July 05, 2016

needle in a haystackSo hiring - and retaining - software developers today requires thinking outside of the box and re-working all your hiring strategies. It takes creativity just to find candidates, let alone hire them. And even then there's no guarantee they'll stay long.

Stack Overflow's conducted one of the most comprehensive developer survey and recently released the results that revealed some interesting info regarding where developers work, what they build, who they are what they feel are important in their careers. This might just be the info you need to help you understand how to approach your talent search for those purple squirrels and rainbow unicorn in the development industry.

Multiple Languages
More and more developers are gravitating towards careers where they are simultaneously working on 5 to 6 programming languages or frameworks at a time. Traditionally developers like to specialize in one or two main programming languages but as technology is advancing and requiring more diverse skills developers are also investing in their knowledge and working on becoming experts in multiple programming languages.

Management Support
Developers identify this as one of the key influencers of their work environment. Unrealistic expectations and unspecific requirements are some of the most common workplace gripes. It however goes even further than that as a needs for mutual respect between management and employees are seen as key.  Developers want to know that if they build something cool that management can do their part in moving things forward in the right direction.

Challenging Projects and Current Technology
Most developers would tell you that they just want the opportunity to work on cutting edge technology. By nature good developers are always looking to improve their skills and learn new things. They want to be empowered to do so and pitch their ideas on how things can be done better.  This is important from a workplace environment and will determine whether developers stay or go at your company.

Red Tape and Bureaucracy
Overall, there's a strong correlation between job satisfaction and pushing code into production. 65% of developers who never check in code are satisfied at their jobs vs. 77% satisfaction rate among developers who commit code multiple times per day. The bottom line, developers want to do what they love and that is ultimately code!
They don’t want to have to play the political game or get bogged down by months of red tape to write code and implement it. This requires management to take pro-active steps in terms of processes that will make the work environment productive for your development team without adding unnecessary administrative challenges.

The industry is changing fast as technology develop at a rapid pace every single day. It is clear why competition for developers has never been higher, in part because there is increased demand from nearly every industry, not just traditional software businesses. But it also makes it a lot more difficult to recruit the right talent that is fundamental for the success of your business.

Talk about finding a needle in the haystack. Communicate Personnel have never backed down from a challenge. We have years of experience in the IT recruitment industry and are connected to some of the top Engineers, Experts, Hackers, Ninja’s it doesn’t matter what they call themselves we can find them. If you need assistance with finding the right talent for your team, contact us today

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Previous posts

  1. Soft Skills: The Key to Landing your next job Sandra Olivier 29-Jul-2016
  2. Hiring mistakes can be costly Sandra Olivier 22-Jul-2016
  3. Career Cycle: Starting A New Job Sandra Olivier 15-Jul-2016
  4. 5 Leadership Skills to Help Advance Your Career Sandra Olivier 08-Jul-2016
  5. Finding the Needle in the Haystack: Your Search for Developer Skills Sandra Olivier 05-Jul-2016
  6. Career cycles, where do you find yourself? Sandra Olivier 01-Jul-2016
  7. Generations and the pay gap in the workplace Sandra Olivier 24-Jun-2016
  8. Benefits of Using A Freight Forwarder Sandra Olivier 21-Jun-2016
  9. Managing Different Generations in the Workplace Sandra Olivier 15-Jun-2016
  10. Challenges Different Generations of Job Seekers Face Sandra Olivier 10-Jun-2016
  11. Water-shedding: Is it draught or lack of water management? Mallisa Watson 07-Jun-2016
  12. Different Generations working Together Sandra Olivier 03-Jun-2016
  13. How Business Analysts Benefits Your Software Implementation Projects Mallisa Watson 31-May-2016
  14. Superpower skills every employee needs to succeed Sandra Olivier 27-May-2016
  15. International Cooperation on Taxpayer’s Affairs Sandra Olivier 24-May-2016
  16. Building Your Team: Fantastic Four Mallisa Watson 20-May-2016
  17. Improving Your Supply Chain Efficiency Mallisa Watson 17-May-2016
  18. Influence and Lead Like a Superhero in your Career Sandra Olivier 13-May-2016
  19. Future of Engineering in South Africa: Sustainability Mallisa Watson 10-May-2016
  20. The Mission: Unleash Your Career Superpowers Mallisa Watson 06-May-2016
  21. Building a BI Strategy Mallisa Watson 03-May-2016
  22. Team Motivation: How to energize your team Sandra Olivier 26-Apr-2016
  23. Salary Talk During the Job Interview Mallisa Watson 22-Apr-2016
  24. Accountants and Ethics in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 19-Apr-2016
  25. Difficult interview questions: Where do you see yourself in five years? Sandra Olivier 15-Apr-2016
  26. The Future of Warehousing in South Africa Sandra Olivier 12-Apr-2016
  27. The Interview: What is your Weakness? Mallisa Watson 08-Apr-2016
  28. South African Engineering Skills Are Top Notch Sandra Olivier 05-Apr-2016
  29. How to answer that “what are your key strengths” question Sandra Olivier 01-Apr-2016
  30. Mobile Development Trends Sandra Olivier 29-Mar-2016