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Healthy living - the new luxury trend you should adopt!
Healthy living encompasses more than Kauai smoothies and cutting off carbohydrates. It’s more than having a Nike app on your Apple watch and being rewarded by Vitality or Multiply for walking 10k steps a day. It’s holistic. It takes your work environment and home settings into account. It takes your dreams into account, your mind state, finances and spirituality.
healthy living
8/20/2019 2:00 PMTake the leadBridget Maoko8/20/2019 2:00 PM
Healthy living, South Africa, nutrition,

Healthy living.jpg

Read time - 02:59

I am a budding Yogini and Pilate Master. Well, not quiet. That's a statement I read somewhere on Instagram. Anyhow. I do practice yoga and pilates  for health and leisure purposes at least 3 to 4 times a week. Some days I am at the garden doing headstands and some days I am at the gym doing  wall squats. And nope, I do not post these on my Instagram account of 850 followers. I do these because they are congruent with my blue print of  healthy living.

Healthy living means different things to different people.
It takes into account more than just diet and exercise. Depending on where you are in the world it also takes into account your socio-economic  status, cultural and philosophical beliefs as well as your mental health.

Let's delve into what it all entails. We'll start with the body.

Great philosophers and great businessmen have, throughout history reiterate the importance of having a healthy body. ''What good are all the  riches of the world if you do not have a great body to enjoy them in?  Self-preservation is love they'd say.''
This is because a healthy body sets the standard of day-to-day well-being and determines how well you'll age.

According to research, having a great body also means having the right weight. You can check this against your BMI. A fit and healthy body enables  you to be fully functional and perform at your peak. But this won't come into play without good nutrition.   

In South Africa, the minimum wage is R3 500 per month and the costs of a nutritious basket of food for a household of four is R3 123 ergo  maintaining a daily intake of 2000 calories per day as recommend for an adult will be difficult. But assuming you live above the poverty line and   can afford to eat healthily like my boss - who snacks on Woolworths almonds nuts which cost around R175 per 500g then you are fine.

Nutrition plays a pivotal part in our overall wellbeing. It is not about strict limitations on certain foods or staying unrealistically thin and depriving  yourself of the foods you love. It's about vitality - having more energy and boosting your mood.

The Harvard School of Public Health published 'The Healthy Eating Plate.'
It offers a more specific and accurate recommendations for following a healthy diet. You can use it as a start.

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Healthy living is holistic and cannot be achieved without the right mind state. Having a fit body and eating nutritious foods is just one part of it. In  fact, you can have a great body, pay premium gym memberships, drinks smoothies all morning and still lead a dreary life. Why? Because your mind  is not in the right state and that is where mental health comes in.

According to new studies of positive psychology – having a positive attitude can boost your energy, increase your life span and help you become  better during hardships. All this starts with the small talk within and only you can fine-tune it.

You can gauge if you have a healthy mind state if the following reverberates with you: you have self-confidence and esteem, a sense of  meaning  and purpose in your activities and relationships, a sense of contentment and zest for life.
A strong mental health is not the absence of problems but rather of having and exuding more positive characteristics.

The reason I do yoga and pilates is because it's holistic. I can switch between meditation and core, between speaking great things into the ethos  and toning my abs.
Someone once said human beings are genetically wired to seek love, this being a 'god' or a super being of some sort that is above us as 'humans'  either through religion, spirituality or whatever fancy term relevant to your generation and culture. This part of your life needs to be nursed as it  plays a great role is your overall healthy living journey.

As mentioned before, healthy living encompasses more than Kauai smoothies and cutting off carbohydrates. It's more than having a Nike app on  your Apple watch and being rewarded by Vitality or Multiply for walking 10k steps a day. It's holistic. It takes your work environment and home  settings into account. It takes your dreams into account, your mind state, finances and spirituality. Best of all, it requires maintains and hard work.  Its  not for the faint hearted, so go ahead and prioritise it!

It’s up to us as South Africans
Finally it’s youth month again! The spotlight falls onto our Youth and how far we’ve come as a country from a political perspective. However it feels like over the years the loud voice of our Youth is softening largely due to the muted growth of our economy over the past 10(9) years which has a direct correlation with the high rate of unemployment in our country.
It’s up to us as South Africans
6/18/2019 3:00 PMTake the leadMpumi Zingitwa6/18/2019 3:00 PM
Youth, South Africa, unemployment, economy

its up to us (002).jpgRead time - 02:00 
Finally it's youth month again! The spotlight falls onto our Youth and how far we've come as a country from a political perspective. However it feels like over the years the loud voice of our Youth is softening largely due to the muted growth of our economy over the past 10(9) years which has a direct correlation with the high rate of unemployment in our country.

There's a myriad of challenges that face our youth squarely in their wallets. Over the December period, I went home to spend a few days with my Family and childhood friends and boy unemployment left me disheartened. For the first time in my life, all of the unemployment stats that live in the corridors of my app and the Stats SA website pages were a reality as most of the men and women I hadn't seen from home were unemployed. Monday in the township generated the same amount of foot traffic as Sunday, which was highly unusual. Now that I was confronted by that rhetoric it makes sense that there is a frustrated amount of young people who endure the same challenge across our country.

In my opinion the road to reducing unemployment includes the critical role small businesses have to play in our economy. The even taller hurdle is for us as the Youth to believe in ourselves and actually start businesses up. We have to be patient with the process of building a business because it is a long term solution for a long term problem and not for the short term gain. No Chief, I'm not referring to tenders here. President Cyril Ramaphosa also spoke of other young people who became innovative and were now successful entrepreneurs at his 25 Years of Democracy Celebration Rally where he encouraged youth to create employment for themselves.

A lot of our youth seem not to be aware of the myriad of state funding bodies in the market that offer financial impetus to small businesses. SEFA (Small Enterprise Finance Agency), National Youth Development Agency and the Industrial Development Corporation are some of the notable players. Some of these funds are loans that have a low interest rate and some are grants. With funding, it's important to read the Tc's and C's because they indeed do apply.

As South Africans, we lack the depth of understating how imperative our role of supporting small businesses is. This has a knock-on effect towards our economy. I sometimes take a long look at my personal income statement and get ashamed of where my hard earned capital flows outwardly to. My begrudged 72 months car payments end up Ingolstadt, Germany then my house payments end up in easterly China. My cell phone bill after the Vodafone acquisition now lands up in the UK and my handset and ITunes costs are contributing to the growth the American economy. My gym bill ends up in Sir Richard Branson's already loaded pockets. The narrative here is that most of my hard earned Rands I made from a South African company end up outside our borders and not creating employment and wealth in our stagnant economy. With every purchase we make, let's repeatedly look at supporting small South African companies.

As citizens of South Africa we need to take the collective responsibility to solve the challenges that are facing us. Yes I know that investors are also critical to the economical typography of our country but we also have to help ourselves here before it's too late.

Top 5 benefits of using chatbots for your business
Some companies apply the 80/20 rule. They leave the bot to answer 80% of the frequently asked questions and 20% of the complex questions are left for humans to answers. The onus is always on the business to decide what will work best.
chatbots
5/7/2019 12:00 PMKnow the industryBridget Maoko5/7/2019 12:00 PM
AI based chatbots, command based chatbots, chatbots, business

shutterstock_777587719.jpgRead time - 01:25 
Globally, over 23 billion text messages are sent daily. WhatsApp alone handles just about 30 million messages daily. This can only mean one thing: consumers are used to instant communication in their private lives, and they expect the same when they communicate with companies, hence chatbots.

Anyone who knows how to use Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp can interact with a well-built chatbot without having to learn anything new.


There are two types of chatbots:

1. Command based chatbot

Command based chatbots rely on a databank of replies and heuristics. The bots reply by selecting an answer that matches the context of a query. They use template search or dynamic search for understanding and answering questions. The answer to the above-raised question depends on the business you are in and how your company is driven by innovation and technology. 

2. AI based chatbots

AI based or Machine Learning Chatbots can answer ambiguous questions. Meaning, you do not have to be specific when asking questions to these chatbots. The chatbots create replies from scratch using natural language processing.

It's important to know what your business needs are and which bot will serve its needs better. Some companies apply the 80/20 rule. They leave the bot to answer 80% of the frequently asked questions and 20% of the complex questions are left for humans to answers. The onus is always on the business to decide what will work best.

Here are top 5 benefits of using chatbots for your business:

  • Chatbots are always available, they are never rude, tired or irritated – they are pleasant 24/7/365
  • They are cheap to develop - in comparison to application development.
  • Audience who uses messenger Apps are willing to talk to a Chatbot
  • Language is the most natural interface humans understand and that is the interface that bots use
  • Chatbots are ideally placed to help streamline engagement between consumers and brands with the purpose of improving customer service.

If you're looking for Great Candidates, let's chat about our tailor-made recruitment solutions. Contact us today to find out how we can help up find the right candidates for your business.  

Globally, over 23 billion text messages are sent daily. WhatsApp alone handles just about 30 million messages daily. This can only mean one thing: consumers are used to instant communication in their private lives, and they expect the same when they communicate with companies, hence chatbots.

Anyone who knows how to use Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp can interact with a well-built chatbot without having to learn anything new.

There are two types of chatbots:

1. Command based chatbot

Command based chatbots rely on a databank of replies and heuristics. The bots reply by selecting an answer that matches the context of a query. They use template search or dynamic search for understanding and answering questions. The answer to the above-raised question depends on the business you are in and how your company is driven by innovation and technology. 

2. AI based chatbots

AI based or Machine Learning Chatbots can answer ambiguous questions. Meaning, you do not have to be specific when asking questions to these chatbots. The chatbots create replies from scratch using natural language processing.

It's important to know what your business needs are and which bot will serve its needs better. Some companies apply the 80/20 rule. They leave the bot to answer 80% of the frequently asked questions and 20% of the complex questions are left for humans to answers. The onus is always on the business to decide what will work best.

Here are top 5 benefits of using chatbots for your business:

  • Chatbots are always available, they are never rude, tired or irritated – they are pleasant 24/7/365
  • They are cheap to develop - in comparison to application development.
  • Audience who uses messenger Apps are willing to talk to a Chatbot
  • Language is the most natural interface humans understand and that is the interface that bots use
  • Chatbots are ideally placed to help streamline engagement between consumers and brands with the purpose of improving customer service.

If you're looking for Great Candidates, let's chat about our tailor-made recruitment solutions. Contact us today to find out how we can help up find the right candidates for your business.  

The Do’s and Don’ts of an interview with Recruiters
As a candidate centric company we help our candidates to avoid these interview mistakes. We’ve spoken to some of our top consultants and they shared some their candidate experience in an interview and how you can avoid them
Interview
4/24/2019 2:00 PMDevelop your careerBridget Maoko4/24/2019 2:00 PM
interview, candidate, advice

do's and dont's.jpgRead time - 02:36

If you live in South Africa, you should probably know that being invited for a job interview is almost a privilege. Unfortunately, some candidates do not see it that way and have a knack for blowing their own interview opportunities. We have all heard cringe-worthy stories about candidates sleeping during interviews or not even showing up at all.

As a company we help our candidates to avoid these interview mistakes. We've spoken to some of our top consultants and they shared some their candidate experience in an interview and how you can avoid them.


1.  Do not show up drunk.

This may sound cliché but it seems some candidates do not get the message and actually show up drunk in an interview or reeking of alcohol. No recruiter will want to sell you to a client in this state and will deem you a waste of time and resources as you are bringing them and their brand into disrepute.

2.  Not knowing your CV or lying about contents in it.

This is always a bad idea. Interviewers always expect you to know your CV chronology by heart. When a company discovers that you are lying, you will be disqualified and future opportunities may be denied. CV fraud is high and you do not want to come across as a CV fraudster. At the end of the day, it is your CV, it comprises of your life and work experiences there is no reason as to why you should not know it by heart.

At Communicate, we conduct thorough interviews, screenings, reference checks, verifying skills and experience. We are contracted to MIE, a background-screening agency to verify qualifications, criminal, credit, fraud and ID records. So if you are laying – it is likely we will know, and what are the chances we will call you for future opportunities?

3. Not being prepared for the interview.

Almost all our consultants stressed this point. Come prepared! You are being sold to a client, look the part! Look like you want the job!

4. Using an agency to get a counter offer.

If a recruiter discovers that you are using them just to get an offer at your current company, they might not represent you as you are a wasting their time and resourcing. Recruiters are less likely to represent people who job-hop and are prone to taking counter offers. Recruitment agencies are not there to help you get counter offers from your employer. During an interview, do not come across as someone who is likely to take one.

5.  Arrogance.

There is nothing wrong with having a higher sense of self and the same can be said about confidence. The problem comes when it borders into arrogance which infuriates the interviewer. No matter how educated or senior you are, you still have to respect your interviewer. They are your potential gateway to landing the next job.

6. Language barriers.

In South Africa like in most countries, English is an offial language and medium of instruction. When invited for an interview unless otherwise stated, you are expected to be articulate and or fluent in English. So brush up on your English and industry jargon before going in an interview. How else will an interviewer sell you to a client if they do not understand the language you speak?

This may read like another one of those tired articles giving advice to candidates about what not to do during an interview but we would not stress the message enough if candidates actually understood the importance of brushing up on language.

We have over 3 decades of experience in Connecting Great People with Great companies. Part of our process is to prepare our candidates before sending them out for interviews with our clients. Visit our website to find out how we can help you.

Literacy in Africa
Education is a crucial part of personal, national and global growth. In Africa, like in most continents the only way we can continue to develop and grow is through education.
Africa
4/10/2019 3:00 PMKnow the industryBridget Maoko4/10/2019 3:00 PM
Africa, literacy, education, growth

LINA.jpgRead time - 02:16

Education is a crucial part of personal, national and global growth. In Africa, like in most continents the only way we can continue to develop and grow is through education. But many families in Africa live below the poverty line and have limited access to quality education.

In South Africa, the government spends more money on education than the US and UK but the education system is rated 126th out of 138 countries according to World Economic Forum. There return on investment for the government on our education is low. According to the report released by the commission of inquiry into the provision of free higher education, South Africa has a significant NEET problem. NEET is an acronym used to describe a certain subset of youths in South Africa. Not in Employment, Education or Training.

Is you think this is bleak, South Africa ranks 3rd in Africa for having the best education system. That says a lot as most organisations can argue that the educational system is in dire straits. Be that as it may, it was still the country with the most educated people in Africa in 2018.

Here are the top 5 best education systems in Africa:

  1. Zimbabwe:
    The country supposedly has 90.7% literacy rate – the highest in Africa. The country is dominated by people who can read and write. English is the official and primary language.
  2. Equatorial Guinea:
    Its literacy rate is 87.0%. Every child is entitled to free primary education and this is one of the reasons why the county's literary is high.
  3. South Africa:
    The literacy rate is sitting on 86.40%.
  4. Kenya:
    In Kenya, 8 years is the specified period for primary education. Education is not mandatory in Kenya. Their literary rate is sitting on 85.10%
  5. Namibia:
    This country boasts a 85.00% literacy. It is mandatory for everyone in Namibia between the ages of 6 and 16 to receive education.

The best universities in Africa are:

  1. University of Cape Town
  2. University of the Witwatersrand
  3. Stellenbosch University
  4. University of Kwazulu-Natal and
  5. Makerere University in Uganda

The most educated Presidents in Africa are:

1.      Tanzania  - John Pombe Magufuli
Has a Bachelor of Science in education (Chemistry and History) from the University of Dar es Salaam. Has a masters and PhD from the same university.

2.      Malawi  - Dr Peter Mutharika
Studied law at the University of London before getting an LL.M degree from Yale University the next year. He then obtained the Doctor of the Science of Law
(JSD ) degree from Yale University.

 3.      Mauritius  - Ameenah Gurib

Has a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Surrey in. She holds a PhD degree in organic chemistry from Exeter University.

4.      Ivory Coast  - Alassane Ouattara  

BSc degree from present-day Drexel University (the Drexel Institute of Technology) He earned his master's degree and PhD in economics from the same university.

5.      Mali  - Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta

The president of Mali has a Master's degree in History and Master's degree in Political Science.

 South Africa, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya and Nigeria remain the most influential African countries to date. We connect great people in the IT, Finance, Engineering, Freight and Contracting industries throughout Africa and South Africa on a permanent or part-time basis. Visit our website to find out how we can Connect you. 

Forbes list - African billionaires 2019
Every year, Forbes tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary business in Africa. They calculate their net worth using assets, paper stock and currency exchanges among other aspects. Of the 20 selected this year, five of them were from South Africa and only two are female
Forbes
4/2/2019 12:00 AMKnow the industryBridget Maoko4/2/2019 12:00 AM
Forbes, Africa, rich list, Africa’s billionaires in 2019

shutterstock_1214639215.jpgRead time - 02:11

Here is it again, the famous list from Forbes, showcasing Africa's billionaires in 2019. You are probably not on the list, but here is some inspiration.

Every year, Forbes tracks the wealth of African billionaires who reside in Africa or have their primary business in Africa. They calculate their net worth using assets, paper stock and currency exchanges among other aspects. Of the 20 selected this year, five of them were from South Africa and only two are female: Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola's former president, Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Folorunsho Alakija of Nigeria.

In a per country ranking, Egypt and South Africa were tied with five billionaires each, followed by Nigeria with four and Morocco with two. For the eighth year in a row, Aliko Dangote of Nigeria is Africa's richest person. The second richest person is Mike Adenuga, also of Nigeria worth $9.2 billion. Number three is diamond heir Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa, his grandfather founded diamond mining firm DeBeers, which he ran and then sold to mining giant Anglo American for $5.1 billion cash in 2012.

Three South Africans fell off the list last year, they are: Stephen Saad, founder of generics drug firm Aspen Pharmacare; Desmond Sacco, chairman of iron ore mining company Assore Group; and Chris Wiese, founder of retailer Pepkor and former chairman of the now embattled furniture retailer, Steinhoff International.

Overall, the number of African billionaires has shrunk to 20, down from 23 a year ago.

The Richest Africans as of February 2019 are:
  1. Aliko Dangote
  2. Mike Adenuga
  3. Nicky Oppenheimer
  4. Nassef Sawiris
  5. Johann Rupert
  6. Issad Rebrab
  7. Naguib Sawiris
  8. Patrice Motsepe
  9. Isabel dos Santos
  10. Mohamed Mansour
  11. Strive Masiyiwa
  12. Koos Bekker
  13. Aziz Akhannouch
  14. Mohammed Dewji
  15. Othman Benjelloun
  16. Abdulsamad Rabiu
  17. Yasseen Mansour
  18. Youssef Mansour
  19. Folorunsho Alakija
  20. Michiel Le Roux


    The five South African billionaires are:

    1. Nicky Oppenheimer
    Age: 73
    Net worth: R102 billion
    Source of wealth: Sold his family's 40% stake in De Beers, the world's biggest diamond producer to mining company Anglo American in 2012 for $5.2 billion

    2. Johann Rupert
    Age: 68
    Net worth: R74.2 billion
    Source of wealth: Rupert controls the world's largest luxury watchmaker, Cie. Financiere Richemont, through a family trust. 

    3. Patrice Motsepe
    Age: 57
    Net worth:  R35 billion
    Source of wealth: Mining business and his investment portfolio: He's the founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals and became a billionaire in 2008

    4. Koos Bekker
    Age: 66
    Net worth:  R33.6 billion
    Source of wealth: Bekker is revered for transforming South African newspaper publisher Naspers into an e-commerce investor & cable TV powerhouse.

    5. Michiel le Roux
    Age: 69
    Net worth:  R15.4 billion
    Source of wealth: Completing our list of SA billionaires on the Top 20 Richest Africans list is Le Roux. He founded Capitec Bank in 2001 and owns about an 11% stake.

    While we cannot help you get on the Forbes list of billionaires in Africa, we can certainly give you the edge by helping you with your next career opportunity. Visit our website to find out how you can earn a better salary.
The cost of owning a drone in South Africa
The drone industry has been gaining traction both locally and abroad over the last couple of years. With vloggers, media agencies and photographers using these nifty devices to take their passion to new heights, the public are also beginning to hop on the band waggon
Drone
3/20/2019 12:00 AMKnow the industryBridget Maoko3/20/2019 10:00 AM
drone, usage, drone licensing, laws, technology

DRONE.jpg​Read time - 02:33

The drone industry has been gaining traction both locally and abroad over the last couple of years. With vloggers, media agencies and photographers using these nifty devices to take their passion to new heights, the public are also beginning to hop on the band waggon.

But, how much does it cost to own and operate a drone in South Africa? There are a few key points to consider when discussing this:


  • Type of drone
  • Usage
  • Area
  • Licensing
  • Laws

In many instances, you can get a decent drone for a few hundred Rand, if you're a hobbyist. However, with the likes of DJI, Parrot, GoPro these can go into the thousands. It ultimately depends what you'll be using the drone for.

You can purchase drones for personal, professional and enterprise use. If you're looking for a semi-decent drone to use in your personal capacity and don't intend on making money from your images/video, you can pick up a DJI Spark for around R6 495.00 (Drone only).  The DJI Mavic range is where you start seeing value in drone photography and videography. With the recent release of the Mavic 2 Pro, the features just get better. The Mavic 2 Pro starts at around R29 500.00 for the basic drone only (no fly more pack included). Your professional and enterprise drones can go for anything between R48 000.00 and R150 000.00 each.

You are able to purchase accessories and add-ons for your DJI drones at an extra cost. They also make "fly more" kits available which include extra batteries, a case, extra propellers and other nifty items.

There are cheaper options for those just wanting to have some fun at home – national retailers like The Gadget Shop and Dion Wired, along with online stores like Takealot sell affordable alternatives. For those that want to mess around, you can fetch a drone for as little as R499.00.

Licensing

If you'd like to operate your drone commercially (make money from selling your images and video) you would need to obtain a RPL (Remote Pilot License) from an accredited school. Your RPL is comprised of a theory section and a practical.

The components covered in the theory include air law, flight planning and navigation, meteorology, human factors, principle of flight, technical aspects and other related items. Along with the theory module, students will also need to complete restricted radio license training and an English proficiency course. After your theory (which is between 5 and 7 days) you would then move on to your practical. This is done with a licensed instructor to test your practical know-how and see if you're equipped to man a drone.

Various RPL schools charge different rates for their courses but you can expect to pay anything between R20 000.00 and R50 000.00 for your license.

Legalities

The South African Civil Aviation Authority outlines the uses, dos and don'ts when it comes to RPA's (Remotely Piloted Aircrafts) in South Africa. They define RPA's as "unmanned aircrafts operated from a remote pilot station excluding toy and model aircraft". They also state "acceptable" uses of RPA's in personal and non-personal cases.

The law tries to protect both sides of the fence here – the operators and the general public. The CAA outlines that potential threats could include, but are not limited to:

  • Collision with aircraft
  • Injury to bystanders
  • Damage to property
  • Legal liabilities for breaking laws

There are a range of laws that should be adhered to when operating a drone, which you can read more about here.

Connect with us and take your Career to new heights. We are a specialist recruitment company with over 30 years of experience and can help you source top candidates in, IT, Finance, Freight and Engineering. Contact us today. 

A smarter way to banking is here
Experts say, however, that we are surprisingly not yet in the ‘digital era of banking.’
They reckon what we see today is not necessarily digital banking but simply digitized banking: ‘old financial products being adapted to the digital era and distributed via smartphones and the internet’.
banking
2/27/2019 10:00 AMKnow the industryBridget Maoko2/27/2019 10:00 AM
fintech, banking, technology, biometrics technolgy, trends in banking

shutterstock_653652982.jpgRead time - 02:39

It all started with the prolific use of smartphones, built upon by the increasing customers need for speed and convenience. It then spiralled into peer-to-peer banking and to some extent, eliminating the need for cash - epitomising a true modern way of banking. Experts say, however, that we are surprisingly not yet in the 'digital era of banking.'

They reckon what we see today is not necessarily digital banking but simply digitized banking: 'old financial products being adapted to the digital era and distributed via smartphones and the internet'. Nevertheless, the same cannot be said about the likes of Discovery Bank which describes itself as the 'world's first behavioural bank', a fully digital bank that anyone with a smartphone can join and Tyme Bank - which deems itself as SA's first digital-only bank. These digital only banks are definitely disrupting the banking industry.

Here are some trends shaping the banking industry as we know it:

Vertical cards
Bankcards were designed in landscape because of the way old machine cards work, but we don't use ATM machines anymore or at least most of us and banks realised this hence the vertical card. Take for example how you hand over your card to a cashier, tap it to make Contactless payments or dip in into a point-of-sales machines you are likely holding the card vertically, right? 

The same can be said about how we put our cards in our wallets and cell phone cardholders. Vertical cards are a growing trend among card issuers worldwide, who believe that the vertical orientation fits better with how we handle our cards these days.

You choose how you pay
Tech companies are now making it easier for their customers to make payments. Take Apple for example, they have made making a payment on Apple Pay as easy as sending a message. The same can be said about Samsung Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, Microsoft pay, WeChat pay et al.

Companies like Amazon, Uber and Starbucks are already starting to focus on prepay accounts that internalise payments by offering incentives to use their property app. So, will tech companies compete with banks in future? Probably. It's only a matter of time until they eliminate your bank altogether and give you a full-on service.

Personalisation
Imagine your bank letting you know if you are paying slightly more for utilities than your neighbour or if your rent repayments are seriously burdening you financially. Thanks to AI, this is possible. Banks will offer truer financial advice that you do not find irritating.
They will offer improved offer targeting which will lead to increased loyalty, improved profitability and increased engagement from customers. Moreover, as a customer, you will enjoy a better banking experience that saves you time and money.

Biometrics technology
Biometrics are methods of recognizing customers through their biological features like fingerprint, iris and voice recognition. It goes as far as finger vein patterns and heartbeat rate. At the moment, fingerprint is reigning supreme, followed by facial recognition - thanks to our devices.

Locally, FNB introduced an ATM that uses biometrics as a means of authentication. The TouchPoint on the ATM validates your identity by scanning your fingerprint, which is then verified with the Department of Home Affairs. Customers can also open new accounts using selfies - through biometric facial verification.

Most of us are frighten and feel like this technology is infringing on our privacy, but what's more secure between your password and finger vein pattern?  Are fraudsters likely to forge your signature or heartbeat rate?

According to research, biometric authentications are more secure than traditional methods of authentication and will gain more traction in future. 

As technological advancements continue to rise in the digital banking world, so does the need for qualified staff to manage it all. We are a specialist recruitment company with over 30 years of experience and can help you source top candidates in, IT, Finance, Freight and Engineering. Contact us today. 

The big question: are cover letters still relevant?
if a cover letter is  written, it serves as a powerful tool to help you secure the ‘job.’ It gives you a chance to sell yourself to an employer in a narrative format and explain why you are the perfect candidate
cover letter
2/20/2019 9:00 AMKnow the industryBridget Maoko2/20/2019 9:00 AM
cover letter, CV, job searching

shutterstock_326111600.jpgRead time - 01:31

The recruitment industry continues to evolve, like any other industry should. Technology is playing a big role in how things are done; new ways of doing things emerge causing old ones to be redundant, like writing a cover letter when applying for a job.

When it comes to writing a cover letter, there are two school of thoughts to it:

  1. If well written, it serves as a powerful tool to help you secure the 'job.' It gives you a chance to sell yourself to an employer in a narrative format and explain why you are the perfect candidate. In a nutshell, a strong cover letter can tip the scale in your favour when applying for a job.

2. If poorly written, a cover letter makes you come across as a weak candidate and can harm your chances of landing the job. No letter is worse than a poorly written one.

But is it still relevant?
Look at it this way: companies can now get a lot of information about you before you even set foot in the interview room. You leave digital breadcrumbs everywhere and they can use it for or against you. So with or without the cover letter, the employer will know more about you. What's important to note is that they care more about your qualifications and experience than the 300 word document accompanying your resume.

What's actually happening then?
In the digital era, your professional profile extends to your social media profiles, online portfolio et al. More and more candidates are making use of unconventional ways of standing out and unfortunately, a cover letter is not one of them. For example, some candidates would solve a problem a company is facing and approached them with a solution.

The rule of thumb is: don't always rely on your resume, the job market is competitive, and with South Africa's unemployment rate sitting on 27.1% you may want to be more creative than writing a one-page cover letter to help you stand out in the concrete jungle.

We are a recruitment company with over 30 years of experience. Contact us; we just might be able to Connect you with your next career opportunity, sans the cover letter.

The culprit in the workplace – depression!
If you feel that your work is contributing to you being depressed, try to address it with your line manager and if work isn’t the primary reason you are depressed then try to identify what else in your life could be contributing to you feeling depressed.
Depression
1/24/2019 10:00 AMTake the leadBridget Maoko1/24/2019 10:00 AM
depression, work, stress, workplace

shutterstock_536964073.jpgRead time - 02:03
According to the South African depression and anxiety group, depression is a 'whole-body' illness, involving your body, moods and thoughts. It affects the way you eat, sleep and feel about yourself. All age groups and all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups can experience depression. People living with depression are often blamed and ostracised due to the disease being poorly understood. But during the last few decades scientific research has expanded our understanding and firmly established that 'mental illnesses' like  depression are biologically brain based diseases and can be treated like any other disease.  

Intellectual functionality
Depression is a biologically brain based disease and will impair your cognitive functioning if not treated.

So are you stressed or do you have depression?
The answer lies in the severity and the duration of your symptoms. If you have been sad for over 2 weeks, you are likely depressed. Stress should last a couple of days and you should be able to bounce back. With depression however, you cannot make decisions, you struggle with problem solving, trouble sleeping, forgetfulness accompanied by feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that last for months and sometimes years. Depressed people cannot respond to positive events in their lives. They are stuck in a loop of negativity and sometimes they feel suicide is the only way out.

Could your workplace be the reason you are depressed?
The answer is no! You cannot get depression simply from ''work.'' Unless there is something deeper going on there and work serves as a trigger. According to science: a person's life experience, genetic inheritance, age, sex, brain chemistry imbalance et al, all play a significant role in the development of depression.  

However, if you feel that your work is contributing to you being depressed, try to address it with your line manager and if work isn't the primary reason you are depressed then try to identify what else in your life could be contributing to you feeling depressed.

Assuming you are depressed

  • To your co-workers:

You will come across as someone who is indifferent, indecisive and unsure of their abilities, lacking confidence and generally lacking motivation to carry day-to-day tasks or taking longer than usual to complete simple tasks.

  • To your employer:

You may come across as a risk to the company. If you are lucky, your employer may offer support, which has yielded better results in terms of employee satisfaction and retention.

Truth is, depression, left untreated, may have a significant impact on your work performance and further contributes to presenteeism (at work but not engaged) and absenteeism. Like most health conditions, early detection and effective treatment diminishes the severity and impact of the condition. Taking time off to get medical help is crucial to the healing process.

If you are feeling stressed at work and think that a new job opportunity is what you need, we can help you with your next career move. However, if you think your depression is in its severe stages and needs professional help, please contact the South African Depression And Anxiety Group.

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