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Aimed at corporate employers, especially those who make use of recruitment and staffing companies. Great articles, advice and issues of general interest to HR managers and others involved in talent recruitment, selection and retention.

 

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Making sense of the Staffing Alphabet Soup

Posted By APSO, 24 April 2015

Making sense of the Staffing Alphabet Soup


At a CIETT conference a few years ago one of the industry speakers referenced the “Alphabet Soup” when talking about the growing number of acronyms in the staffing industry. It’s a very apt term and one that is becoming more applicable in the South African market. Getting to grips with the terminology is key, especially as many large corporates most notably multi-nationals are adopting these staffing models.


What is driving this change?

In today’s complex environment, companies are opting to focus on their core business, choosing to partner with other specialists when it comes to managing non-core elements. Think about how many companies outsource cleaning, security or IT. It was therefore to be expected that parts of the HR process would follow suit.

Decision drivers include: - outsourcing as part of the overall company strategy, reduction in costs (variable vs. fixed), access to specialist skill, knowledge and experience and enhanced business performance.

And whilst the initial knee-jerk reaction of recruiters might be that the client is changing the rules, there are definitely advantages for those offering (or participating in) MSP, RPO or BPO services. Most notably would be the shift from transactional service provider to partnership model.

 

Master Vendor (MV)

The concept of a Master Vendor (MV) is familiar to most South African recruiters as large companies, particularly those with multiple offices across different geographical locations, choose to appoint a Master Vendor. A single company that is given preference to provide labour and/or permanent recruitment services to the organisation. In most cases, the MV will be given first option to fulfill the client’s requirements but can also utilise sub-contractors to assist where necessary.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

RPO comes in many shapes and sizes, from end-to-end (organisation wide) to focusing on specific divisions or categories of jobs or levels of employment. It can also be structured in a variety of ways from full functional outsourcing, in the case where the organisation has no department internally, to outsourcing specific parts of the hiring process, management of permanent recruitment agencies through an MSP model or event customized solutions to specific client challenges.

RPO is typically structured to utilise technology effectively to manage quality of service and compliance to standards. It focuses on reengineering processes to shorten timeframes, improve effective recruit Unpacking Managed Service Provider (MSP)

Labour costs are a significant expense for most organisations and in today’s complex labour market where organisations have a mix of permanent, contract, temporary and outsourced labour, keeping a handle on this can be difficult. Employing a Managed Service Provider (MSP) means the client has a single Service Level Agreement and only has to manage the performance of one supplier, whilst reaping the benefits of accessing multiple sub-contractors.

Benefits for the Organisation include:

·         Risk mitigation through increase compliance

·         Cost saving (market rate management)

·         Access to Talent in an efficient, quality controlled way

·         Full standardised reporting on costs

·         Enhanced workforce planning and decision-making

Benefits for participating Agencies include:

·         Even/fair playing field with standard rates and service delivery

·         Reduced cost-to-serve (leveraging MSP technology platforms)

·         No chasing of payments

·         Access to more opportunities

Neutral or not?

There are typically two types of MSP/RPO – a neutral one, i.e. one that simply manages the process and the providers and does not participate in the provision of labour or candidates, and ones that also supply. Whilst there is no evidence that one is better than the other, it is clear that in cases where the MSP/RPO is also competing with sub-contractors (or providers) there needs to be a clear understanding of the process and service level agreements, trust, and high integrity and ethics.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

BPO Solutions, outside of MSP and RPO, are often more difficult for employment agencies/staffing firms to develop competencies (most require expertise in a specific business process) not related to acquiring talent. Despite the industry into which the BPO is being offered, there are several commonalities, including:

·       demonstrated expertise in the service or business process being managed;

·       “Ownership” of the responsibility to deliver outcomes;

·       not priced by headcount (hourly wage) but by management fees on deliverables and outcomes achieved;

·       governance by KPI’s, SLA’s and most often expected cost saving;

·       In addition to work product (outcomes), it is typical to expect BPO provider to be responsible for providing facilities, equipment and/or other components to deliver the programme

In today’s complex labour legislation framework there is a fine line between BPO and temporary employment service provider and in certain industries, opting for the true outsourcing model can eliminate issues relating to the “deemed” provision and other technicalities as workers are employed (and supervised directly) by the BPO and there is no employment relationship with the client.

Harnessing Opportunities

The market is changing – or has changed – and it is up to you whether you decide to adapt. There are of course opportunities to continue to offer services as you do today, avoiding these programmes altogether, but it may limit your ability to service large, especially multi-national companies.

If you want to get ahead, consider how you can:

       Build competencies to be a provider of RPO/MSP/BPO; and/or

       Participate as a staffing/perm placement agency to support these programmes;


Understanding the A, B, Cs

 

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

Contracting the operations of a specific business process/function to a third party service provider (usually non-core functions) who is responsible for agreed upon outcomes and deliverables. This often happens within the call centre or distribution centre environment where outputs can be easily measured.

 

Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO)

A form of Business Process Outsourcing where an organisation transfers all or part of its recruitment process to a third party service provider (recruitment/hiring process for its full time, permanent workers)

 

Managed Service Provider/Program (MSP)

A form of outsourcing where a company chooses to contract with a third party to provide the management of its contingent worker program and its suppliers of contingent (temporary) labour. This has of late also come to refer to a third party managing permanent recruitment for the organisation including vetting and quality management of sub-contracted permanent recruitment agencies.

 

Vendor Management System (VMS)

An internet-based technology that provides both sourcing and billing applications to enable procurement and management of suppliers of contingent workers, the on-boarding and off-boarding of contingent labour, time and expense keeping, consolidated billing and reporting.  May be used with an MSP, or used internally by the organisation.  May also be used to manage permanent placement suppliers/services and statement of work (SOW) services.

 

Applicant Tracking System (ATS)  

Technology that integrates with the HR information System (tracking perm employee data) which specifically focuses on the management of candidates and housing a pool of candidates inquiring about potential perm employment.  The ATS is often linked to a career portal on the company website, that may allow candidates to apply online, undergo initial screening/assessments, self-schedule an interview and (if hired), be on-boarded using electronic documents and email notifications.

Tags:  applicant tracking system  APSO  apsogram  business process outsourcing  change  management service provider  master vendor  recruitment process outsourcing  transformation 

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Turn Reference Checks into Placements

Posted By APSO, 26 January 2015
Updated: 18 December 2014

On the surface, a reference check's purpose is to verify a candidate's background information: Education, work history, job title, salary, professional accomplishments and so forth.

Due diligence, after all, should play a key role in any important decision. And as recruiters, it's our professional responsibility to make sure the hiring managers we work with are empowered by the data we provide, and protected against misrepresentation, deliberate or otherwise.

To the savvy recruiter however, a reference check is much more than a fact checking exercise. It's a vast ocean of information to explore, and an invaluable tool that can turn doubt into confidence.



There are several different objectives—and potential objectives—with respect to reference checking. These range from the obvious, like making sure everything lines up properly in the candidate's chronology, to the less obvious, such as exploring marketing and lead-generation opportunities with the person you're talking to

Hidden Potential

But there's one objective that's mostly overlooked by recruiters. And that's the chance to cross-reference the prospective employer's concerns about the candidate, and find out whether any perceived weaknesses are real, relevant or potentially game-ending.

Here's an example. Let's say the prospective employer you’re working with and your candidate has interviewed with each other a couple of times. Both meetings went well. At the conclusion of your second-level interview debriefing with the candidate, you correctly ask the closing question, "Do you want the job?" and the candidate says yes. Later, at the end of your debrief with the hiring manager, you ask if he likes that person and wants to move forward, and he says yes. So then you ask the question, "Should I go ahead and contact the candidate's references and verify his degree?" To which the hiring manager says, "Yes, by all means."

Now, here's the point at which most recruiters end the conversation, go off on their merry way and start calling the references.

What you should do is slow down. Take a deep breath. And ask the following question. "Are there any areas of concern you have about the candidate? And if so, is there a question I can ask the referees that might be useful in evaluating the candidate with respect to that concern and how it could potentially impact the candidate's performance, if that person were to join your team?"

Now, you might think this is exactly the wrong path to take. In other words, why inject the element of doubt in the employer's head—or worse, reinforce a potential negative?

My answer is that the concern is going to be there anyway. And if that’s the case, I'd rather get it out in the open and deal with it now than sweep it under the rug and let it become a big problem later.

Besides, the most powerful aspect of a reference check is the ability to focus on the exact issue that concerns the prospective employer and let a disinterested third party allay that fear. If I, the recruiter, were to try to deal with the concern, it would probably be seen as an attempt to serve my own interests at the expense of the employer’s.

But if the former employer can vouch for the candidate, the whole issue can be put to rest—or depending on the judgment of the previous supervisor, might even have the effect of converting a negative into a positive. In sales, we call this technique "closing on the objection." And it can be a beautiful thing.

If it turns out the hiring manager's concerns are well-founded, I suggest you ask the same question to the next reference—and the next. If there's unanimity of opinion, it's your duty to report back what the references have said about the candidate. You may not be thrilled by this turn of events, but at least you've done your duty, by providing accurate information that can be used to weigh the candidate's suitability for the job.

If there's no clear consensus regarding the concern, it's also your job to put the feedback on the table, or even encourage a dialogue (if it's appropriate to the situation) between the references and the new employer.

I've learned that if you work proactively, reference checks can work not only to your advantage—but to everyone's advantage. On the flip side, being in denial or delegating the reference checking process to people who are less experienced only closes the door on opportunities. And once that door is closed, it can be a real struggle to get it opened again.

AuthorBill Radin is a top-producing recruiter whose innovative books, tapes, CDs and training seminars have helped thousands of recruiting professionals and search consultants achieve peak performance and career satisfaction. For more, visit www.billradin.com. Article first appeared on www.net-temps.com

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  candidate  placements  reference checks 

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Beyond the Bonus: Driving Employee Performance

Posted By APSO, 19 January 2015
Updated: 18 December 2014

Organisations are only able to achieve success through their people and the hard work that they do. Managers and leaders play a key role in this process, co-ordinating groups of skilled individuals to meet shared team and organisational goals. Team members need to feel motivated, inspired and empowered by their managers in order to want to perform at their peak and one of the core challenges facing both leaders and organisations is how to connect with and motivate these groups of individuals to deliver as a team and ensure a productive and efficient workforce.

Ensuring employees enjoy their job is the single most effective way to motivate them to perform, with job enjoyment proving even more influential than salary in inspiring staff to work hard. In general, intrinsic motivators, such as how staff are treated and how well they get on with colleagues, were seen to be significantly more effective than extrinsic motivators like performance bonuses.





The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) research, conducted with over 1,000 employees in the UK, found that how much an employee enjoyed their role was the most important motivational factor behind their performance (59% selected it as one of their top three motivators). Basic salary (including pension), was shown to be the second most effective motivator for all employees (49%), followed by the quality of their relationship with their team and colleagues (42%).

Employees were asked to select three factors that influence their level of motivation to work as hard as they can. Intrinsic factors dominate four of the top five spots. Enjoying the role, getting on with workmates, how well they are treated by their manager and how much control they have over their work are all placed in the top five motivational factors.

When asked for one thing that would motivate them to do more, 31% of respondents suggested better treatment by their employer, including more praise and a sense of being valued, would be the most motivational thing their organisation could do.

Recognition, non-financial reward and support/ feedback are both highly motivating and increasingly desired by employees. Managers who are able to understand and utilise these tools effectively will be able to get the best out of their workforce and produce a happier, more productive environment.

Top Insights

·         Financial Incentives don’t work

While a fair and competitive base salary is a fundamental requirement for most people (it was a top three motivator for 49% of staff), additional financial incentives, such as performance bonuses, are shown to have little or no effect on commitment and performance for all but a small minority of staff (13%).

 

·         Positive Part-timers

Part-time workers were revealed to be significantly more motivated than full-time workers, with 76% classing themselves as ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ motivated at work, compared to 68% of full-time workers.

 

·         Lost in Translation: Managers & Employees not on the same page

Managers generally feel that they are being quite effective at motivating their staff. Four out of five (82%) managers say that their staff know exactly what is expected of them and how their performance is assessed, while 84% say they get on really well with the teams they manage. In contrast, employees feel less positive about the impact their managers are having, with 58% saying they know what they are supposed to do and how their performance is assessed and 61% saying they get on really well with their manager.

 

·         Men and Women are not the same

Overall, women were more likely to say they were highly or fairly motivated (75%) than men (66%). Women are also more intrinsically motivated than men, with enjoyment of their job the most important motivator (64% chose it as one of their top three), followed by ‘how well I get on with people’ (44%) and base salary (41%). In contrast, men chose base salary and benefits (58%) as the most important factor, followed by enjoyment of their job (53%) and how well they get on with colleagues (41%).

·         Under 30s more financially driven

Employees aged under 30 were shown to be more financially motivated than their older colleagues, and more likely to receive financial incentives for work. A similar pattern is evident in their attitudes to money generally, with 12% of under 30s saying that money is the root of all happiness compared to 9% of over 30s.

·         Appraisals aren’t working

Two-thirds (61%) of employees say their workplace has an appraisal system, but a quarter of respondents (25%) think that appraisals are performed poorly by their managers. The research indicates that appraisals are less effective at driving the performance and motivation of female employees than their male counterparts, with women more likely to give examples of poor practice in the appraisal process (29%) than men (21%). In contrast, men were more likely to say the appraisal process had a bigger impact on their careers, with 40% of men saying appraisals impact their financial reward compared to 26% of women and 24% saying they lead to promotion compared to 15% of women.

This research shows that financial incentives are relatively ineffective motivators for the majority of staff. Instead, a focus on improving the workplace and developing management relationships is more likely to lead to effective and well-motivated teams.

Drive Productivity through Effective Employee Motivation

The ILM has outlined four steps you can take to improve productivity across your organisation without relying on financial incentive schemes.

1.       Job enrichment

Employees indicated that enjoyment of their job was the single most important factor in motivating them to perform in the workplace. Whether someone likes what they do is influenced by a variety of factors, but well-considered job design and the structure of a team can have a huge impact on how motivated an employee feels. Allowing employees to have autonomy in a role (important to 22% of respondents), frequent interaction with other colleagues and a chance to innovate can all improve their sense of job enjoyment and increase their level of motivation. Training managers to motivate staff and create an atmosphere where they are listened to, coached and given autonomy to perform can all impact on how much an employee enjoys their work.

2.       Base pay, not bonus

The research showed that additional financial incentives outside of the base salary package are relatively ineffective motivators. Despite this, financial incentives are still commonly used by employers in an attempt to generate high performance. While performance-related bonuses were largely ineffective, a fair financial package (base salary, benefits and pension scheme) was highly valued by employees and ranked as an important motivator. Instead of costly and ineffective bonus schemes, the research shows that increasing base salaries and investing in improving an employee’s basic enjoyment of their role would be more effective ways of improving performance. Non-financial recognition and reward, improved office environments, team and company away days and schemes that encourage innovation and creative thinking are all more effective drivers of focus, effort and commitment.

3.       Embrace part-time

Part-time workers in this research were more positive, motivated and engaged with their teams than their full-time counterparts. A growing proportion of the UK workforce is employed in part-time roles, and organisations that employ part-time staff are reaping the benefits of a talented and engaged workforce. Employers should not be afraid of creating a ‘decimal point’ in their workforce, designing and recruiting for jobs that fall outside the traditional 40-hour week standard. Embracing a more positive attitude to flexible working will also help employers retain talented staff who move from one stage of their career to the next and whose work preferences change.

4.       Develop interpersonal skills

How well employees got on with their managers, how well they felt they were treated and valued and the sense of control they feel over their work were all important to employees in improving their sense of motivation. Results show that managers can never do enough of the basics of good management, so developing your managers’ people management skills is essential in improving and maintaining motivation. Train managers to use coaching styles, give effective feedback and encourage a culture of innovation where employees feel free to contribute ideas. Appraisals were also identified as a weak point in the research, with many employees giving examples of poor practice. The challenge facing HR and L&D teams is to design and implement an effective appraisal process that clearly links performance with review and to ensure managers are trained in administering it effectively. Without these, appraisals will continue to have little impact on motivation and performance.


Extracts from: ILM Research Report “Beyond the Bonus: Driving Employee Performance”. The full report is available www.i-l-m.com The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) is the UK’s largest management development organisation. They are passionate about good leadership and management, and its power to drive organisational performance and wider economic prosperity.

Tags:  appraisals  APSO  APSOgram  bonus  interpersonal skills  job enrichment  motivation  performance  productivity  salary 

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How to Get Clients to Love to Pay Fees

Posted By APSO, 12 January 2015
Updated: 17 December 2014

Clients love to pay fees, at least they do when they feel they are getting a value that is greater or equal than what they’re paying. If you can show a client your value, then you’ll never have to lower your fees. Why should you? But everyone else is, you might respond, and they can hire people cheaper through a competitor that works at a lower fee. Perhaps. But if they work through a competitor, then they don’t get YOU. YOU are a very large part of the equation, more than you might even realize. YOU are the reason this business never has been and never will be a commodity. It is an intensely difficult profession and an intensely personal one.




This people placing business is indeed a people business. And your clients are making a decision about working with you based on a certain hierarchy.

1.    First, they are judging your competence. They want to know that you can do what you say you are going to do.

2.    Secondly, they are judging your character. In their minds you might be able to bring them a great candidate, but are you going to stand behind your replacement if something happens to the candidate during the time of the guarantee period? They want to know that you’re not going to turn into a flake when you get called on the carpet.

3.    And third, they want to know that they will enjoy working with you. Will they look forward to your call, or are they dreading hearing the sound of your voice? By understanding this hierarchy, hopefully you can resist the urge to drop your fee every time a client hints at wanting to get a fee reduction.

Here is a four step process to give you a competitive advantage when a prospective client evaluates and compares your search proposal to others:

  1. Demonstrate your competence in the initial sales phase. Talk to your prospective client with a high level of professionalism. When you say you are going to call back, call back. When you say you are going to send an email or a brochure, then send it out, and follow up to make sure they received it. From the very first time you make contact with a prospective client, you are being evaluated.
  2. Show specifically how you have helped others. Mention companies, names, and satisfied client responses. If your prospective client has a concern, honour and respect that concern, and give him or her an example of another satisfied client that had the same concern.
  3. Don’t spout off how your company is known for integrity and other wonderful things in the market. Blah blah blah. Who cares about your company’s reputation? If your company has a reputation in the industry then the last thing you need to do is bring it up. If you have one, then you don’t need to mention it. If you don’t, then you’re either new, or you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you, or there might be some reason why you have not yet become the talk of the industry. Your client is concerned with you personally and those people who are going to be involved in doing the search work, more so than your company’s values. Tell the client what your personal values are as it relates to business, and why your values are important to you as a person. Remember that this search business is an intensely personal business, and you need to develop that sort of a strong rapport with your prospect.
  4. Your client will either hire you or someone else. You have no control over the decision that he makes. All you can do is put the odds in your favour. Sometimes the best thing to do once you have presented your case is to say "Call me if I can help." Forget about selling and selling and selling it. If you can show that you can meet their needs, and do it with a style that feels good to the client, then you don't need to keep selling them on how wonderful you are.

By showing your core competency to the client as a way that can provide value, you are well on your way to winning more business, keeping your fees high, and your margins healthy.

Author: Scott Love is a wacky management consultant who improves company profit margins by improving the sales performance of his clients. www.recruitingmastery.com

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  business  character  clients  competency  competition  fees  value 

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Recruiting Recruiters: Top Tips from Mike Walmsley

Posted By APSO, 05 January 2015
Updated: 04 December 2014

 

In the first of the APSO Lunch & Learn webinars, UK based recruitment trainer Mike Walmsley shared some of his top tips for Recruiting Recruiters. Many recruitment business owners in SA complain about the difficulty in sourcing suitable individuals to employ (and train) as recruiters and this webinar shared some ideas on how to do this effectively. Included hereunder are some of Mike’s top tips.



Always be recruiting

Mike believes that one of the biggest problems recruitment business owners have is that they tend to leave recruitment of their own staff until they actually have a vacancy or a sudden upsurge in business and he believes that this often leads to employing someone out of desperation, rather than focussing on employing the best people.

In our business, great recruiters pay for themselves and then some and so you don’t necessarily have to have a vacancy in order to employ a great recruiter. Mike believes that his success in finding recruiters stemmed from the fact that he was always on the look-out, constantly considering individuals he met – whether call centre sales people, barmen or others – as potential recruiters.

“I always kept an eye out for recruiters trapped in the wrong job”


He says that what you should be looking out for individuals who possess transferrable skills and the discipline to succeed in our industry. In his experience some of the most successful recruiters have come from sales, the armed forces and debt collection call centres.

Appoint a Recruitment Champion

Mike believes that to properly drive the process, someone in the business, if not the owner, should be made the recruitment champion and should have to report regularly on the recruitment plan. He says that all businesses, irrespective of size, should have a recruitment plan that includes action items like:

  • Empowering other recruiters in your business to understand what you’re looking for and to advise you of any candidates they meet that could potentially become a recruiter;
  • Ensuring your LinkedIn profile, website and other business marketing material actively indicates “We’re Hiring” and that it SELLS what it would mean to work for YOU;
  • Create literature that you leave in your reception, have on your website and can provide to interested individuals on what a career in recruitment actually entails, what you’re looking for and why working for you would be a great career move;
  • Identify “stars” that you’d like to have working for you and then track them to ensure that you’re able to approach them – either now or in the future – keep a map of these individuals and talent track. Don’t be afraid to be ambitious!

Grow your Recruitment River of Talent

Ideally you’d like to have a metaphorical river of talent running past your door and the ability to dip into this river to pluck out the recruitment starts that you need to take your business forward. The river could be populated by experienced recruiters or potentials, “trainees” in other words, and could be grown by yourself, your network or even the use of Rec-to-Rec specialist agencies.

Mike shared several tips on how to grow the river, including:

  • Relationship building with clients, candidates and others within the industry;
  • Good old fashioned networking at industry events, sector-specific conferences and the like;
  • Name gathering (through references, interviewing and general sourcing strategies);
  • Mystery shopping to find out what other recruiters are really like;
  • Creative adverts on the platforms that recruiters frequent; and
  • Building a good relationship with a trustworthy Rec-to-Rec agency who truly believes that you’re a great place to work and who will then send the best talent your way

In closing Mike reminded everyone that the key is to understand what the key traits and skills are that you need from recruiters in your business (why not profile your most successful recruiters for this?) and constantly be on the look-out for individuals that match. 

Tags:  APSO  apsogram  discipline  empowerment  potential  recruiting  recruitment champion  recruitment plan  talent track  transferable skills 

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Creating Action Plans that Work

Posted By APSO, 19 December 2014
Updated: 04 December 2014

        

In recruitment activity equals results. Contingency based recruitment means that if you’re not careful you can be VERY busy but end up losing money as you chase down “placements”’ that have no chance of actually coming off. Having clear action plans are critical to focusing your efforts and working towards measurable results.



Step 1: Know where you want to be

All great leaders understand that if you don’t know where you’re going you could end up anywhere. Do you have a clear focus of what kind of recruitment you want to practice? The kind of clients and candidates you want to service? If not, now is the time to reassess and make some clear decisions.

Step 2: Be specific

Not only must your goal be specific, but you must also create a specific intention as well as very specific tasks or steps that will move you toward the completion of that goal. Assess the activities and actions that you need to perform in order to move towards your overall goals.

Step 3: Create measurable milestones

Once you have a clear picture of what you’re out to accomplish, as well as the targets you will need to hit throughout the specific period you’re measuring, the next step is to create measurable milestones. Of course ultimately placements are the key measure of success for recruiters but set up some interim milestones, such as CVs out to clients, interviews set up, etc, to track your progress.

Step 4: Make a list

Create a list and accompanying timeline of specific action items or tasks to complete in order to hit those milestones. Lists are great ways of keeping on track as well as visually reminding yourself of what needs to be done and/or how far you are in the process.

Step 5: Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. 

Some tasks or milestones may seem more daunting to achieve than others. That’s when it makes sense to break larger tasks down into sub-tasks or steps. For example, “source scarce skills” might be broken down into several sub-tasks, such as, scope task, search LinkedIn, contact network, etc.

Step 6: Assign deadlines

Without specific time frames and deadlines, work will definitely expand to fill the time allotted, and certain tasks may never get completed. An effective “To Do List” has clear timeframes that enable prioritisation and planning.

Step 7: Visualise your Goal

Once you’ve created your action items and set a specific timeline, the next step is to create some type of visual representation of your plan. You might use a flowchart, a Gantt chart, a spreadsheet, or some other type of business tool to accomplish this. This is particularly useful for individuals who better interpret and comprehend information in visual format.

Step 8: Acknowledge your accomplishments

Large tasks can be intimidating and overwhelming. Keep your positivity by acknowledging and recording your accomplishments. Why not utilise a highlighter when “crossing off” tasks on your To Do List that have been completed. Rather than the negative association with a strong black line, the use of coloured highlights helps to positively reinforce the items on the list that are finalised.

Step 9:  Work your plan and don’t stop until it’s complete. 

Once your plan is established take daily action and follow up with any other responsible parties to ensure that everyone is doing their part towards the overall goal. If you’re the only one responsible, set aside time at the beginning and end of each day to review your list and assess whether you’ve achieved the goals you’d hoped.

Step 10: Change the date if you must, but never give up on the goal. 

Occasionally, circumstances or unforeseen events can arise that throw a wrench in your ability to meet deadlines, complete tasks and achieve your goal.  This is especially true in recruitment when your ultimate goal – making placements – is dependent on the actions of at least two other people, the client and the candidate. If this happens, do not get discouraged – revise your plan and continue working to meet targets and move forward.

Tags:  action plans  APSO  apsogram  deadlines  decision making  goals  planning  results 

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8 Traits of Successful People

Posted By APSO, 12 December 2014
Updated: 04 December 2014

Ten years of research and 500 face-to-face-interviews led Richard St. John, a globe-trotting marathon runner turned motivational speaker, to a collection of eight common traits in successful leaders around the world.

He interviewed individuals from a broad range of backgrounds, businessmen, sports stars, Hollywood greats, Nobel prize winners, academics and others, including Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s, Bill Gates, James Cameron, Matt Groening and even Dan Ackroyd. The list of successful, influential people he interviewed goes on and on.



After analyzing everything he’d learned, he settled on these eight common traits:

1.       Passion. Love what you do.

2.       Work. Really hard.

3.       Focus. On one thing, not everything.

4.       Push. And keep on pushing yourself.

5.       Ideas. Come up with good ones.

6.       Improve. Keep improving yourself and what you do.

7.       Serve. Serve others something of value.

8.       Persist. Because there is no overnight success.

Whilst there are many technical skills that will be needed to drive your career forward, without exception every successful person Richard interviewed believed that without the “8 to be great” traits above, they would never have reached their goals. 

Tags:  APSO  apsogram  focus  ideas  passion  persistence  success 

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Corporate Recruitment Trends: How do your clients measure up?

Posted By APSO, 24 November 2014
Updated: 10 November 2014

Corporate Recruitment Trends: How do your clients measure up?


The reality is simple. Your clients are no doubt spending time and money trying to gain control of their talent management including recruitment processes and in many cases this means employing in-house recruiters, utilising recruitment software and trying to lessen their reliance on external providers.

And whilst the temptation may be to throw your hands in the air and cry “woe is me”, it’s best to acknowledge that clients will try to streamline their processes in the hope of improving their talent pipelines, decreasing their costs and employing the best people. Knowing what the trends are in corporate recruitment can help you to better understand how to work with your clients during their process and to adapt your service offerings to ensure continued relevance.





#1 Social Sourcing

In SA it is already clear that companies are equipping their internal HR teams with LinkedIn recruitment licenses and they’re actively using the web to source potential employees. Even though LinkedIn is widely used, it’s used by everyone and is now considered a necessity rather than a competitive advantage.

Globally there are a myriad of new tools that have been created with the specific purpose of empowering companies to find (source) and attract candidates. As recruiters, it’s important to keep abreast of technology and wherever possible embrace and utilise these tools ahead of your clients. We will always have access to the same online sources, stay one step ahead and ensure that you can use them BETTER to continue to be of value.

#2 Building Corporate Talent Networks

Companies have evolved from focusing on “candidate management” to building “talent networks” from which they recruit. The “talent network” is not just a place to post jobs - it’s a place to attract people: and it includes fans, candidates, employees, alumni, and even customers. Integral to this, is the development of an end-to-end talent brand, not just an “employer brand”. Today’s internal recruiters work closely with their marketing counterparts and focus on sharing research-based, authentic  employment brand campaigns on the company’s website home page, not just their careers section.  

According to recruitment expert @josh_bersin, “a modern talent brand is highly specific, authentic, and narrow – so you attract just the right people.”

#3 Technology enabling process

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are becoming a standard tool for companies and whilst there is definitely room for improvement, particularly in regards to the experience for candidates (and external recruiters) applying online, they are here to stay. They are critical for managing and monitoring the recruitment process and become critical for analysis and future improvement.

Assessments continue to be an important part of the candidate verification process and with the increase in cloud-based assessments that are now quicker and cheaper to employ, companies are once again incorporating these into their standard recruitment process.

#4 Focus on candidate experience

Good news for recruiters....companies are now spending more time, money and energy in improving the candidate experience, ensuring that the experience of applying and being considered is a positive one. As networks get smaller, companies must ensure that from application, through interview, feedback timelines and even regretting, candidates have a positive experience, lest word spread that will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the company’s attractiveness to future employees.

#5 High Value Staffing Firms

Whilst generalist recruiters may be feeling the pinch, a whole new breed of high value recruitment ‘outsourcers’ have sprung up to help companies find the right people in critical roles. The belief that external recruiters and staffing firms would disappear as LinkedIn and other online job boards grew, is prevalent in SA at the moment. However, global lessons prove that this is not the case. The complexity of the sourcing landscape has made it more important than ever for companies to look for seasoned professionals (and often specialists) to help them find just the right people.  

In fact, trends indicate that in-house “recruiters” are actually becoming “sourcers” as they focus their time, skills and efforts on sourcing potential employees. The shift for assessing, interviewing and ultimately recruiting talent has moved to line managers who are often ill-equipped. This provides a great opportunity for innovative external recruiters to offer their services in the short-listing (even candidates that were originally sourced by the client) and assessment and perhaps even hand-holding to line management in making a final selection.

#6 Harnessing Big Data
Recruitment is the number one driver of big data within HR. From understanding where the best candidates are found, to why people choose to work for, or leave, the company, harnessing the data is critical. Of course, accessing the data is one thing, unpacking it and determining the trends something else entirely. Companies that measure recruiting well are dramatically outperforming their peers but not many have the time or expertise to do this; yet another opportunity for forward thinking recruitment companies to add value and cement their role as experts.

 

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  building corporate talent networks  candidate experience  harnessing big data  high value staffing firms  social recruiting  technology enabling process 

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How storytelling can help you make more placements

Posted By APSO, 17 November 2014
Updated: 10 November 2014

How storytelling can help you make more placements


According to Rivka Willick, a story coach and writer who works with salespeople to help infuse a story into their brand and content, storytelling is the hot new trend in sales. She believes that the ability to tell a story escalates a salespersons success dramatically and says, “A good salesperson knows how to talk; a great salesperson knows how to tell a story”.


Whilst reading the associated article I got to thinking: in my experience the most successful recruiters are those who are able to tell their clients the candidate’s story and help them to visualise why the candidate would be a great addition to their team. Far from simply pushing CVs at a client, the ability to unlock the candidate’s story from them, and then to tell this to the client in a way that helps them to understand why this candidate would be a great fit is crucial to making long-term mutually successful placements.

 



Why stories sell

It is well documented and scientifically proven that stories have a profound effect on our brains and our behaviour. Experiments by neuroeconomics pioneer Paul Zak found that for stories to be highly engaging they should contain key elements including a climax and the final wrap up where all the strands come together connecting the dots. A successful story can trigger empathetic responses, associated with the release of Oxytocin, often referred to as the “trust hormone”, that when released in the brain of your prospect can help to build trust in you, your brand and product or service, and in doing so increase sales.


Building a Successful Story

Killer stories are those that are full of visual and sense-based detail and should move in “real time”. Of course, no matter how good the story, unless it is relevant to your audience, it is not likely to have the impact you’re looking for. Here are some top tips for building a successful candidate marketing story:


1.       Appeal to both logic and emotion by combining facts with narrative

Combining compelling facts with attractive stories is a winning recipe as the combination of logic and emotion helps to engage both the left & right hemispheres of our brains.

E.g.: Incorporate facts about the candidate such as their qualifications with stories from their previous jobs, ones that illustrate just how the candidate has utilised their qualification, experience and expertise in solving a previous employer’s problem, particularly if this is a problem that your client (and their prospective employer) is also experiencing.

 

2.       Be structured

Stories that do not have a clearly defined beginning, middle and end do not engage our brains in the same way, in fact, according to Zak, people ignore them. To tell an effective story you should spend time developing it. Find the story. Write it. Hone it to perfection by re-writing it. Run it by someone you trust and then commit it to memory. Stories should ideally be confidently told, not simply read, in order to have the most effect.

 

E.g.: Once you’ve interviewed the candidate and have sufficient stories from them, review your client’s key issues and find the relevant candidate experiences that would clearly show why they are a good option. Build the story logically, taking care to structure it in a logical flow.

 

3.       Use metaphors

Stories, especially metaphors, work on the subconscious mind. In sales situations, stories allow the subconscious mind of the prospect to truly “get” and see the valuable application of the product or service. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) shows that all humans run 99% subconsciously and only 1% consciously and so metaphors help our brains to experience the story, as if we are living it ourselves. Semantics matter! Choose your words carefully to help the prospect feel the message you’re trying to convey.

 

E.g.: When presenting a candidate as a potential employee, take care to use descriptive words that resonate with the client and help him to imagine him/her in that role.

 

4.       Do your homework

No matter how compelling your story, if it does not mean anything to the listener then it will not have the desired effect. You need to do your homework and truly understand your client’s points of pain and what they believe they need to resolve them. Once you understand this, you can craft the story to illustrate exactly why the candidate you’re presenting will be their best choice.

 

E.g.: If your client has previously had difficulty finding someone to lead a team of highly strung creatives you need to find examples from your candidates that can clearly show the client how he/she has previously worked in a difficult environment and ideally provide examples of where they have managed difficult individuals to maintain team dynamics and overall goal achievement.

The process of uncovering and re-telling candidate stories may seem like extra work but the rewards will be evident. As access to information becomes increasingly easy for clients directly, consider this a unique opportunity to reinforce your value.

Don’t be a data-seller, be a story-teller!

 

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  emotion  facts  logic  metaphors  narrative  placements  storytelling  structure  success 

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Agility: The number 1 trait of Future Leaders

Posted By APSO, 11 November 2014
Updated: 10 November 2014

Agility: The number 1 trait of Future Leaders


Over the past decade or even just the last five years, managers have worked in an almost constant state of change. We have witnessed the continued march of globalisation and rapid pace of technological development. Virtual teams made up of globally dispersed members now communicate in real time via multiple channels, sharing data, information and ideas via the cloud. Major social and demographic changes have been taking place with the Baby Boomers starting to relinquish power to the Millennials, the oldest of which are now in their 30s. As we progress through 2014, we hope to fully emerge from the shadows of the 2008 financial crisis but there is still a degree of economic uncertainty ahead.


Through their online community members and a survey of more than 1000 managers, ILM concludes that the 2020 Manager will need to be agile and adaptive but also that the fundamentals of good leadership and management will matter more than ever. It should be noted that should be noted that flexible working, identified as one of the key trends, has a correlation with some of the other trends highlighted. It is a driver for increasing importance placed on relationship-building and one of the reasons why managers will face more complex challenges over the coming years when it comes to performing core management functions.

 



Flexible Workforce gather momentum

Unsurprisingly, the growing trend is driven by improvements in IT and data transfer speeds. It isn’t only about technology though. Organisations are increasingly recognising the benefits of working more flexibly for the benefit of consumers and their staff. Flexible working provides an additional and highly effective incentive to attract and retain talented employees. It will be expected by the Millennials who are becoming an increasing part of the workforce although flexible working is popular with older workers too. By giving individuals greater control over their working day, they also feel more empowered and this can lead to increased engagement and productivity levels. When implemented correctly, flexible working can also reduce office overheads.


Better Together

The research revealed that working relationships are increasingly important both within teams and with external stakeholders. More than half of managers surveyed recognised this as a future trend and the same percentage though that working relationships were now more important than five years ago. The results underlines that the ability to form and manage working relationships will be central when it comes to leading and managing people in the future. The business of managing such relationships is far more complex that it was: it involves far more than holding a weekly meeting or addressing a room full of people but also projecting a presence via multiple channels as well as being an expert listener. This is as much about emotional intelligence and trust as it is about technical proficiency.


Core Competency required

The core functions of good leadership and management will be more important but harder to achieve. Overall, more than half of managers agreed that skills such as communication, delegating, goal-setting and motivating direct reports were more important but 46% agreed that tasks related to these skills were harder to achieve. Flexible working will continue to impact traditional working patterns and structures. Work is something that can be done anywhere, any time with traditional 9 – 5 parameters being eroded. For many managers there is no clearly defined “end of the day”. Less time due to competition from other priorities, and the growing complexity of structures, processes and systems were cited as reasons why basic management tasks are proving more difficult to perform. The top three areas for development highlighted by respondents include clear communication, effective planning and problem-solving.


Employability vs. Stable Employment

The traditional legal and psychological contracts that long existed between employers and employees are changing rapidly. Few buy into this concept of a job for life any more. While this is unpleasant for some, for others it provides opportunity for career progression and to adjust their work/life balance to best suit their personal circumstances.

 

More measured approaches

The majority of managers agree that the means of measuring and rewarding performance has changed over the past five years. Increasingly sophisticated performance indicators are possible and there has been growing interest in big data, which some expect to revolutionise a number of areas, including performance management.

 

Know...Do...Be = Future Leader Success

To succeed in the future, managers must be more agile, responsive and able to adapt to the needs of a radically different workplace. They must also continue to contend with further technological and cultural changes that will impact how organisations operate. At the same time, managers must ensure the core management and leadership practices are successfully carried out.


Know

And understand the core functions of leadership and management from planning to vital people skills such as motivation, effective communication and driving engagement. Crucially, the key to being a successful manager will be, knowing how to apply these skills within the change workplace.


Do

With the increase of flexible working, managers must trust their reports and avoid micro-management. Some may struggle if they cannot adjust their style and techniques and learn to measure performance on outcomes rather than hours worked.


Be

Agile and adaptive but also reliable and solid managers. They should be comfortable themselves working flexibly and leading virtual and flexible teams. They should be emotionally intelligent as the qualities that embody this will be required in all aspects of management whether it be engaging and motivating teams or building successful working relationships and partnerships.

 

Extracts from: ILM Research Report “2020 Vision: Future Trends in Leadership & Management”. The full report is available www.i-l-m.com The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) is the UK’s largest management development organisation. They are passionate about good leadership and management, and its power to drive organisational performance and wider economic prosperity.

 

 

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  core competency  employability  engagement  flexible workforce  measurement appraoches  stable employment 

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