Generations and the pay gap in the workplace

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 24, 2016

business womanRecent studies have shown that the pay gap between genders is smallest in the Gen-Y population. However, the gap still widens for Gen Y (as it does for all other generations) as responsibility level increases. Women are well-represented at junior levels, but not so much at middle, senior and executive levels with very little representation at management or board level. The South African gender pay gap is estimated, on average, to be between 15% to 17%. What this really means is that if you are a South African woman you will need to work at least two more months than a man to earn the same salary per year. The good news is that as the workforce matures, the subsequent generations will experience less and less of a discrepancy. Each year is a step closer to this thinking.  

But for those of you who don’t want to—or can’t—wait around until 2050 to see equal pay, here are four strategies to at least get you closer to even with your male counterparts.

Set the Tone in Initial Negotiations
That first salary negotiation with any employer is critical. It’s harder to get a bigger raise later, so that first negotiation can be make or break for the duration of your employment at the company. Failing to negotiate your salary from the start is not only an initial mistake; it is one that will continue to follow you and will be compounded over the years, disadvantaging you throughout the remainder of your career.

Smart Negotiations is Key
The smart first step for women is to reframe the conversation from a battle to a problem-solving collaboration, which opens a lot more options. You need to prepare for this conversation in advance and know how much more you want and why.  More importantly you need to know what you are worth, how to persuade your employers by also showing how it will benefit them.

Raise your expectations
Women are not as good negotiating for themselves as men are, mostly because of different expectations. Are you aspiring high enough? Raise your own price and you're guaranteed to achieve a better result. A higher salary goal communicates confidence, and confidence inspires confidence and with it higher salaries. Assume that your salary is negotiable, and that you don’t have to accept the first offer you receive. The first step toward successfully negotiating is making the decision to negotiate in the first place.

Don’t be complacent, check your pay status regularly
In business, and in life, things change. Always ensure that you are aware of your current market value and if you discover that your current salary doesn’t match then ask for a raise. Don’t just assume your employer will offer it to you. If you are not getting what you’re worth, you need to speak up. The more data you have to support your request the better. Instead of just assuming you will be taken care of, make sure to take care of it yourself.

Ultimately, if you are looking to negotiate your salary and do the work you also need to be willing to do the work. So, whether you’re negotiating salary with your current company or for a new opportunity, consider the steps above to negotiate the salary you deserve.

Need help in showcasing your worth to your next potential employer? Communicate Personnel is a specialized recruitment agency that can assist you with your job search. Our consultants will help you achieve your career goals and manage the entire recruitment process, from interview to offer stage. We Connect Great People with Great Careers. Visit our vacancies pages and apply today. 

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Benefits of Using A Freight Forwarder

Sandra Olivier - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

shipping-containersImporting and exporting are key components for many businesses. And in South Africa, trading is our life line. The process, paperwork and regulations involved in trade may seem intimidating. However, that's what a freight forwarder is there for. This professional is an asset to almost any company dealing in transportation of goods, and is especially helpful when in-house resources are not skilled in the shipping procedures.

Forwarders make a living off of excellent customer service and interpersonal skills, and the relationships formed with their global agents are often stronger than the relationships forwarders have with their own co-workers. Much of this has to do with the competitiveness of the marketplace, freight forwarders around the world are highly motivated and this is so they can earn more business and they have plenty of reasons to keep their own customers happy. Service, speed, and efficiency are top priorities.

Good freight forwarders can benefit your business in many ways, including managing your register better, get you the best price on local and international shipping, and they also protect your high-value or time-sensitive shipments on their way to where they’re going.

If you need some help to streamline your supply chain throughout the world, consider capitalising on hiring a freight forwarder.

Manageability and Planning
Managing and planning is important for every single business which requires a sense of control over their supply chain and can recover quickly in the event of a loss. If a shipment is lost it could take time and money to get the answers you need. On the other hand, freight forwarders utilize their networks to quickly trace the problem directly to its source, getting immediate solutions.

Flexibility & Effortlessness
Imagine you’re shipping goods locally and it has three international destinations to reach, however somehow one of your shipments got diverted to the wrong port due to unforeseen circumstances.  This is exactly where freight forwarders comes in, they have the resources to handle disastrous circumstances like redirected shipments or delays. How prepared are you to react and handle that smoothly? To a freight forwarder, situations like this are just another day at the office.

In the same breath, forwarders can offer you ease in an industry that is constantly shifting.
Rather than deal with all these shifts yourself, hiring an experienced person takes many of the administrative decisions out of your hands. You will still however have full control over your shipments, you won’t have to bother with the time-consuming task of scrutinising carriers, comparing prices, and negotiating services. You’ll have one vendor, one point of contact, and unlimited flexibility.

Save You Money
When possible, almost every single business tries to save money. But of course, you don’t want to pay less for something that’ll end up not working in the long-term right? For example, something like storing goods at an additional warehouse may seem unreasonable if you can transport them longer distances for less money. Freight forwarders are capable to negotiate lower terms with exporters due to the high volume of containers.

South African businesses are struggling with the demand for their goods from across the oceans and rails. Because freight forwarders have a unique depth of knowledge of roads and ports, they’re able to deliver your stock seamlessly between distribution centres and with markets turning global, there’s a competitive incentive to keep your business by saving you big bucks on your transport.

If you want to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace, hiring the right freight forwarder can help you.

With over 35 year's experience in the employment market, Communicate Personnel can find the right fit for your company. Get in touch with us.

Managing Different Generations in the Workplace

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

generations in the workplace There are many factors currently influencing the workplace but there is no arguing that it is an ever-changing environment. Today, many people are living much longer, which means you have employees in the work place that often times stay on after traditional retirement age of 65. The way organizations function and interact are changing fast and this is mostly attributed to a younger generation that is joining the workforce with different values and opinions. At this point in time, there are four generations that are active in our workforce, and there's little doubt that having that wide an age range in any organization is bound to come with challenges.

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Centennials: they all seem to want something different. Boomers are very loyal employees, they love the social interaction at work, will work long hours and are willing to invest time in working their way up the corporate hierarchy. Gen Xers think that boomers are crazy to work so hard, and are so much more sceptical about life in general. They are committed to do a good job, but find it important to go home at night and have a life. Millennials — are extremely impatient; if they're not happy, they won't work through it: they just leave. Centennials is a new breed of young worker that distinctly values independence and individuality. How are you supposed to pull all these people into a team and get them to work well together? Here are some tips:

Mentoring & Learning:
Learning and development matters to everyone, regardless of age or life stage. Overall the older generation tend to still prefer the more traditional forms of training, either from a handbook or presentation. The younger generations are much more comfortable with technology in their everyday life and therefore attracted to learning environments that utilizes interactive technology.

Each generation have a different strength, experience and knowledge they can offer. It’s important to encourage each generation to mentor the other. Inclusion helps to use those differences as leverage to maximize results. In addition, most employees’ value being included versus excluded. Inclusion equals teamwork. Teamwork leads to achieving results faster.

The differences in work life balance
Generations have a different perspective on what constitutes work life balance. Many baby boomers consider traditional company hours for purely business activities and find it unprofessional to take time off for handling personal business during this time. As a result, this generation don’t value things like flexi-time and alternative schedules very highly. In fact they are of the opinion the more time spent in the office the more successful you will be in climbing the corporate ladder.

On the other hand both Gen X and Gen Y yearn for better work-life balance to attend to family or pursue own interest. Generation Y relate to balance in terms of not necessarily working less but rather working differently, more flexibly. Millennials want to be able to work hard and have a life at the same time. Flexibility really is a foundational item for them, not just a 'nice to have’.

As managers it’s important to understand the difference in perspective in order to provide the right motivation for each generation if you want to retain your talent.

For Baby Boomers it’s important to feel in control, they want effective feedback as this helps them feel more in control in terms of what they work on and how they work on it.  They also desire public recognition for a job well done, and like to receive it from management or even peers.

Gen-Xers are motivated more by how their actions contribute to the organization’s success. For them it’s important that feedback should include how their individual progress impacts the company and its achievements.

More than any other generation, millennials crave positive reinforcement and seek to validate their value to an organization. To address these needs, provide daily acknowledgement of their contributions or redirect them immediately if they need to do something different.

Each generation brings to the office unique strengths, knowledge and even challenges, such as a preferred communication style, desired benefits or how they like to be motivated and managed. These differences can be an asset if managed correctly, but they also can lead to misunderstanding, conflict and miscommunication. Understanding the differences will go a long way in ensuring your multi-generational teams are working together productively and effectively.

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.  


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Challenges Different Generations of Job Seekers Face

Sandra Olivier - Friday, June 10, 2016

ipadThere are currently more and more Millennials entering the workforce and Baby Boomers are preparing for retirement, which leads to some definite generational gaps developing at work. Whether it’s younger people managing older employers or vice versa, there is a huge number of challenges arising because of the differences in age.

While generational diversity in the workforce promotes a broader range of talent, the awareness and impact of these different role players are key to understand in your job search.

One such area is during the job search and interview process. The challenges in terms of generational gaps are plentiful so what do you need to know?

Baby Boomers
If you’re a job-seeker of the baby-boom generation, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by the way things have changed in the job market. Job boards and networking are now seen as vital ways in which to start your job search.  There are many misconceptions around older workers but the reality is that as baby boomers you are flexible when it comes to chances in the workplace, goal-oriented and more devoted and engaged than your younger counterparts.

When you interview for a new position, you have the opportunity to convince those in charge of hiring that you’re just as passionate, energetic, adaptable and technologically savvy as those half your age. It’s important to show how you are open to new ideas and how you’ve been proactive in learning about new technologies or systems in your field.

Use your age and knowledge gained to your advantage by making sure you convey the impression that you’re mature and experienced but also an enthusiastic individual who’s eager for new challenges.

Don’t emphasize numbers of years of experience, but rather, hindsight, learning from mistakes, self-awareness, and the value you can add as a result of your rich background.

Gen X
The Generation X-ers were born between 1965 and 1980, caught between parents who are aging and children they are raising, many from this generation are trying to balance family priorities and work responsibilities. You’re in your 30s and 40s, in the middle of your lives, your careers, and have a lot of responsibility. You’re caught in between two huge groups of people who are, in their own ways, competing with you head on head.  Boomers to the left of you, Millennials to the right — and you with all the frustrations that come with being part of a smaller generational cohort.

If you are part of this generation you are known for being self-reliant and entrepreneurial, traits that show potential employers that you are ready to tackle any project and don’t need a lot of hand-holding. Your priorities for job search may be different than other generations as you need your career to fit into your life especially with the multitude of responsibilities you have at this stage of your life.

If a boomer is interviewing you, be sensitive to the fact that they might have different views around benefits like flexitime and working remotely and therefore avoid leading with this type of questions.

On the other hand if a millennial is interviewing you talk more about your enthusiasm and interest for growth within the company as they tend to be more involved.

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 indulged, entitled, and lazy.

First and foremost it’s important to be mindful that different generations exist especially during your job search. It’s your job to adapt to the communication styles of the people you are trying to convince to hire you. You may find that some interviewers have negative stereotypes about your generation. Make sure you do your research before going to an interview and review and prepare some of the tricky interview questions that will be asked.

The chances are very good that you will be interviewed by someone in an older generation so it’s important to highlight the positive attributes of your generation, like that you are highly motivated and intensely focused. Many hiring managers also perceive Millennials as tech fluent, flexible and excellent team players which are all sought after skills. Use that to your advantage.

It doesn’t matter which generation you represent, we understand that job search is not always easy. 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, Supply Chain and Freight 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.  Communicate Personnel connects Great People with Great Careers. Apply today.


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Water-shedding: Is it draught or lack of water management?

Mallisa Watson - Tuesday, June 07, 2016

drops-of-water After one of the driest rainy seasons on record, South Africa is still in the grip of a severe drought that is beginning to take its toll.

Every two to seven years, SA often suffers a drought as part of a complex weather patterns known as El Nino. This results from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific. However there is more to South Africa’s current water crises than just the current draught conditions. The real crisis relates to SA’s water management and a critical scarce skills shortage in the water engineering industry.

Water management
Global water crises, from drought in the world’s most productive farmlands to the hundreds of millions of people without access to safe drinking water, are the biggest threat facing the planet over the next decade. Almost 50% of our available drinkable water is lost, wasted or simply leaking away every year. Rather than having a water shortage problem, we have a water conservation and utilisation challenge.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Register listed the challenge of water security and the possibility of water crisis as constituting the single highest risk factor to the global economy. The importance to efficiently manage, conserve and expand our limited water resources is increasingly critical.

According to the WEF Global Risks Report 2016, water crises are one of the three biggest challenges we face. A new study has backed up these findings, estimating that 4 billion people, (two-thirds of the global population) are facing water scarcity.

In South Africa, the government has declared five of the nine provinces to be drought disaster areas. The North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Free State bear the effect of the growing water crisis and some areas have been declared disaster stricken. Most are maize-growing areas. Gauteng, SA’s economic heartland, is also experiencing severe water scarcity.

Could talent be one of the solutions?
An ongoing scarce skills shortage in the water sector is a threat to achieving and implementing sustainable water resources management and meeting compliance targets, and the country needs the correct skills to manage water resources which requires the development of a much larger need of skilled talent in the water sector.

Skills and capacity are critical to the implementation of correct infrastructure and strategies. Seta said that they have been focusing on the energy and water sector education and training authority to prioritise skills development.

A pipeline approach to create more skills is needed and this approach must start at a general education level and continue to the levels of further education and training (FET), higher education and the workplace. Also, mentorship is vital to addressing the skills shortage in the water sector.

Skill shortages are one of the many obstacles we are faced with in South Africa today. And with the current skills gap in engineering, it can be challenging to find, retain and develop the right talent. Communicate Personnel represents a range of experienced, skilful engineers in the various fields such as civil, electrical, structural, mechanical and electronic.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you.



Previous posts

  1. Generations and the pay gap in the workplace Sandra Olivier 24-Jun-2016
  2. Benefits of Using A Freight Forwarder Sandra Olivier 21-Jun-2016
  3. Managing Different Generations in the Workplace Sandra Olivier 15-Jun-2016
  4. Challenges Different Generations of Job Seekers Face Sandra Olivier 10-Jun-2016
  5. Water-shedding: Is it draught or lack of water management? Mallisa Watson 07-Jun-2016
  6. Different Generations working Together Sandra Olivier 03-Jun-2016
  7. How Business Analysts Benefits Your Software Implementation Projects Mallisa Watson 31-May-2016
  8. Superpower skills every employee needs to succeed Sandra Olivier 27-May-2016
  9. International Cooperation on Taxpayer’s Affairs Sandra Olivier 24-May-2016
  10. Building Your Team: Fantastic Four Mallisa Watson 20-May-2016
  11. Improving Your Supply Chain Efficiency Mallisa Watson 17-May-2016
  12. Influence and Lead Like a Superhero in your Career Sandra Olivier 13-May-2016
  13. Future of Engineering in South Africa: Sustainability Mallisa Watson 10-May-2016
  14. The Mission: Unleash Your Career Superpowers Mallisa Watson 06-May-2016
  15. Building a BI Strategy Mallisa Watson 03-May-2016
  16. Team Motivation: How to energize your team Sandra Olivier 26-Apr-2016
  17. Salary Talk During the Job Interview Mallisa Watson 22-Apr-2016
  18. Accountants and Ethics in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 19-Apr-2016
  19. Difficult interview questions: Where do you see yourself in five years? Sandra Olivier 15-Apr-2016
  20. The Future of Warehousing in South Africa Sandra Olivier 12-Apr-2016
  21. The Interview: What is your Weakness? Mallisa Watson 08-Apr-2016
  22. South African Engineering Skills Are Top Notch Sandra Olivier 05-Apr-2016
  23. How to answer that “what are your key strengths” question Sandra Olivier 01-Apr-2016
  24. Mobile Development Trends Sandra Olivier 29-Mar-2016
  25. Silence! Non-verbal Communication in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 22-Mar-2016
  26. Teamwork: Keeping the Momentum Going in the Workplace Mallisa Watson 18-Mar-2016
  27. Corporate governance just as vital to SMMEs Sandra Olivier 15-Mar-2016
  28. Tips to Hiring Right, the First Time Sandra Olivier 11-Mar-2016
  29. Shaping the Future Supply Chains Mallisa Watson 08-Mar-2016
  30. Do you have a contingency plan for middle management? Sandra Olivier 04-Mar-2016