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HR Future LITE: Complimentary August 2014 Issue

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 14 August 2014
HR Future LITE: Complimentary August 2014 Issue

To view the August 2014 issue of HR Future LITE, please CLICK HERE or on the cover below. To become an HR Future member and gain access to all the articles in the full version of HR Future (R950 ex VAT for 12 months), email Chantal at

Tags:  age management  APSO  emotional intelligence  ethics  HR Future  Management  organisational culture  personal growth  Psyche  standardisation  Technology 

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HR Future LITE: Complimentary July 2014 Issue

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, 08 July 2014

Complimentary digital edition of “HR Future LITE” 

To view the July 2014 issue of HR Future LITE, please CLICK HERE or on the cover below. To become an HR Future member and gain access to all the articles in the full version of HR Future (R950 ex VAT for 12 months), email Chantal at

Tags:  benefits  compensation  corporate culture  HR  HR strategist  Leadership  performance  wage gap 

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Mobile Recruitment

Posted By APSO, Friday, 06 June 2014
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2014

Mobile Recruitment
By: Daniela Bascelli


With technological changes fast on the rise, todays recruiting methods are changing to adapt to useful web-based tools that are readily available and increasingly affordable. Social media networks and popular websites of interest have seen a rapid increase of smartphone users, both local and abroad, browsing the web with their mobile devices.


The question is, can your business be seen from a mobile device? Can candidates find the positions you are advertising? Do you have a mobile recruitment strategy? Apart from South Africa, are their other countries you are targeting?


Tell you what, go grab a cup of coffee, sit down and read on. The next couple of minutes will really make you realize what is happening in the mobile landscape that your business can hook into to totally spearhead your recruitment efforts.


A recent mobile report issued by Native in March 2013 clearly defined mobile user behaviour and key areas in this space as gaining momentum.


Here are some interesting points to consider when evaluating the benefits:

  • Consumers carry mobile devices for up to 16 hours a day. For this reason, mobile search is a huge driver of conversions. A recent study by Google and Nielsen has proven that because of convenience and immediacy, mobile search can trigger, on average, at least two follow-up actions. That is powerful stuff!
  •  Mobile lifestyles affect the way people live and conduct business. Having a smartphone and using it has become an ordinary part of life.
  • One of the government projects which Cisco is particularly keen to boost in South Africa is the plan to provide all South Africans with broadband access by 2020.
  • Smartphones are expected to outsell feature phones for the first time in 2013, while tablets are set to explode in emerging markets as the hunger for smart connected devices continues to grow and the increasing availability of affordable devices makes them more accessible.
  • Mobile search is always on, happening on the go (17%) at home and at work (77%). That is a staggering stat and one which can be improvised on.  


Consequently, technology and service providers are faced with no alternative but to innovate for mobility. If they do nothing, they face a potential train wreck as consumers abandon gadgets, services and applications that do not fully support “changing mobile lifestyles”.


So, just how do South Africans spend their time online?

Can you believe South Africans spend more time on their mobiles than they do watching TV, listening to radio, or reading newspapers and magazines?

A new report examining the habits of South Africa’s Internet users shows that non-digital media are losing ground to online channels; this is according to a report commissioned by the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA). The survey was conducted among 2,263 South African Internet users between 21 September and 5 October 2012.

The report is meant to assist advertisers in understanding South African online consumers better. A full 95% of respondents said they used the Internet mainly for e-mail, whilst comparative assessments show that 84% used it for web browsing, and a whopping 78% made use of social networks, respectively. These figures combined with the significance of people utilising more and more mobile web resources, point the way to where businesses should be focussing their efforts now.

See the way the world is going in the “internet of things” and always think, is your brands’ online presence the right kind of presence to influence decision makers and potential candidates? Are you keeping past and potential candidates engaged and interested on the web for them to remain loyal to your brand? Are you adding value in this highly competitive space? How is the online experience your business provides affecting people’s lives? And now let the drums roll please, how is it making you stand out from the crowd?


What is the “the internet of things”?

A good description by SAP in a recent PC Magazine article is; "The Internet of Things" includes everything from smartphone apps that control your home's lights and temperature from afar to real-time analytics that help ease traffic congestion and city parking woes.

The use of machine-to-machine (M2M) technology is bringing "The Internet of Things" alive, SAP said. But while M2M may only conjure up thoughts of buzzing servers in a cavernous room, it has many real-world applications that affect your everyday life, from the connected home to the connected city.

By year's end, SAP said, mobile devices will outnumber the human population, data volume will reach 4 billion terabytes, and 90 percent of consumer-connected devices will have access to some personal cloud.

So, without a doubt, vertical is the new horizontal - just take a look at your mobile device!
You CAN reach as far as you want to jump! Take that leap and get mobi-ready.


Daniela Bascelli

Social Media and Digital Marketing Strategist | Trainer at Onyx Digital Team.



Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  digital marketing  internet  lifestyle  Mobile Recruitment  smartphone  social  social media  social media platforms  technological changes 

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Why relinquishing your flexibility will only hurt your business and the economy...

Posted By APSO, Friday, 30 May 2014
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2014

Why relinquishing your flexibility will only hurt your business and the economy...
By: Natalie Singer

South Africa has been grappling with the concept of flexibility for several years with extreme opposite positions on the issue of labour brokers being held by trade unions such as COSATU, and the business community. In reality, there is no longer a “job for life” and companies and individuals are seeking to explore more flexible working relationships.

Although a ban on labour brokers, originally touted ahead of the 2009 general election, was overturned by the ruling party in favour of regulation, the issue has been vigorously debated over the past four years. Throughout these negotiations, handled at NEDLAC, labour, government and business has bumped heads on how to effectively regulate the sector.

In its own Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) report, the Government acknowledges that a ban or serious curtailment of the temporary employment services (TES) sector would have disastrous consequences on jobs. Sadly, this – and other research on the subject – seems to have fallen on deaf ears and we once again find ourselves at the mercy of a few calling for “regulation” that would be tantamount to a ban.

It should be further remembered that the extension of restrictions on flexible workers reaches beyond those provided by “labour brokers” and includes all forms of part-time, fixed-term or contracted employees.

The world is an uncertain place at the moment with struggling economies and many businesses hanging in…barely.  South Africa finds itself affected by these, and other, challenges and businesses need to operate within the context of the following realities:

·         Extreme unemployment;

·         Dismal education standards;

·         Depressed economy;

·         Massive labour unrest coupled with increasing wage demands and falling productivity;

·         Escalating uncertainty around key issues, including the current labour law review processes, that make foreign businesses reluctant to invest in SA; and

·         Strangling red tape requirements for business, including draconian labour legislation


Within this context, South African employers need to carefully manage their operations and often choose to utilise flexible workforces to ensure agility.

Global research suggests that to be competitive in today’s global market, a business needs to have at least 30% flex within its workforce. This allows for contraction during tight times and the opportunity to upscale, at short notice, when business opportunities present themselves.

Businesses that utilise the expertise of professional temporary employment services (TES) companies have shown an advantage in tough times because they’re able to source the right skill at the right time to enable them to take on projects that their competitors, who would potentially have downsized through mass retrenchments, cannot.

The Boston Consulting Group research commissioned in 2011, “Adapting to Change: How Private Employment Services facilitate adaption to change, better labour markets and decent work” (available at ), proves this. According to the report, private employment agencies mitigate the impact of economic crisis in labour markets and those companies using agency work can be seen to accelerate faster out of the downturn. An IW Consult study carried out in Germany and covering the 2009-10 period demonstrates how those organisations using TES recorded revenue growth a full 5% higher than those who did not. The study clearly demonstrates that the ability to react to increasing demand quickly results in higher revenue growth and better financial performance. This outcome was confirmed by research undertaken by Eurofound, the European Foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions, which clustered companies into five different groups according to their flexibility profiles.

Evidence suggests that companies using a combination of flexible working hours, overtime, performance related pay schemes and TES were the ones experiencing the strongest financial results, highest labour productivity and greatest choice of staff and employee motivation.

Have you ever consider how you’d manage the inevitable highs and lows of business if you couldn’t rely on flexible labour that is efficiently managed within the bounds of the law?

It is therefore critical to retain your flexibility as well as your cost models during these times. If the legislation becomes final the organised private employment services sector, including APSO will be in the best position to advise you as to what the legal interpretation is. Our current legal opinions concur with those of the Government drafters indicate quite categorically that using a temporary employment service provider after 3 months is perfectly permissible provided you have a justifiable reason. All businesses have justifiable reasons in respect of using flexible staff for a variety of reasons. Contact us to find out the models that we have worked on to retain your flexibility and keep your costs down.

Author: Natalie Singer is the Strategic Engagement Executive of the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (APSO) and has been actively involved, under the Confederation of Associations in the Private Employment Services (CAPES) umbrella, in respect to the labour law amendments. For more information visit or call 0861 42 62 82

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  depressed economy  economy  flexibility  flexible working hours  labour brokers  labour unrest  organisations  productivity  temporary employment services  TES  unemployment 

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Who's who in the Recruitment Zoo

Posted By APSO, Friday, 23 May 2014
Updated: Friday, 16 May 2014

Who’s who in the recruitment zoo?

By Natalie Singer

After recently reading a blog post about the various kinds of recruiters that operate in our industry, I got to thinking...the recruitment industry really is a menagerie made up of very different creatures that all seem to achieve their recruitment goals by different means.

Although on the surface we appear to all be doing the same job, i.e. sourcing suitably qualified and skilled candidates for clients who have vacancies, the way in which we operate differs. There are obvious differences between corporate and agency recruiters, and between contingency recruiters and headhunters, but even amongst the general recruitment community there are different animals at work.

Contingency Recruiters

Your average agency recruiter is best likened to a Wild Dog. They are social, vocal and agile animals that need to have high levels of resilience and stamina to succeed. Of course, they’re more than capable of hunting and some of the more successful recruiters do proactively hunt for talent rather than passively screening job applicants found on job portals. Of course, they are opportunistic and if the chance arises to avoid the hard work of actually sourcing and hunting prey, they have been known to scavenge, happy with the leftovers of other, more successful predators.

Just as the wild dog is a threatened species, your average agency recruiter may be in danger too, especially if they do not lift their game and seek ways to add real value to the clients they serve.

Of course, the industry is also unfortunately littered with Hyenas, you know the ones, recruiters who do whatever it takes to survive, often relying on scavenging around the hard work of other more successful recruiters. Hyenas are the ones who give the industry a bad name, who are very vocal and defensive of their territory, and whose reputations are usually associated with questionable ethics, opportunistic attacks and generally picking up the scraps.

Technical or Specialist Recruiters

The niche recruiters is focused on a specific area or profession and is best compared to the Secretary Bird that spends hours focused on searching for their prey, the ideal morsel of choice; snakes. Like the secretary bird, specialist recruiters have adapted to deal with their chosen targets and immerse themselves in the world of their candidates, understanding how they think, where they hang out and how to lure them over. Although not highly social, specialist recruiters like their feathered counterparts, do tend to hunt in pairs or small groups, choosing to leverage their combined skill and knowledge. Once committed to an industry, profession or niche skill, specialist recruiters are mated for life and return over and over again to their nest to hatch new opportunities for success.

Executive Search Consultants

These recruiters specialise in finding leadership employees and those that hold C-level roles within larger corporations. Because this recruitment is most often done on a retainer basis, and with very clear intent, executive search consultants can best be described as leopards. Although a little aloof and unsociable, these creatures are highly skilled, shrewd and spend their energy wisely. In fact, many successful executive search consultants were once senior level employees who have built solid networks of similar professionals into which they tap to identify talent and facilitate transitions.


The term “headhunter” is used to describe the most aggressive and specialised form of recruiter. They employ cunning and tactics to identify and stalk their prey before determining whether to expend their precious energy on hunting the target down. Like Cheetahs, they are highly skilled and extremely fast but focused on using their limited energy wisely. They are shy and tend to keep to themselves, considering themselves more superior to other recruiters.

At this level recruitment goes beyond merely the processes. A headhunter is imaginative and resourceful in locating top talent and facilitating the introductions. They engage in meaningful business conversations and get involved more deeply in the requirements of both client and candidate, seeking to build long-term relationships. A true headhunter is a master of networking and cold calling and possesses exceptional interpersonal skills including being an expert interpreter of body language. He/she is a serious negotiator and is focused on providing solutions. And, like his cheetah counterpart he/she must be methodical, organised, and manage his time and resources expertly to be successful.

Corporate Recruiters

Increasingly companies are employing their own in-house recruiters and whilst they may possess some of the skills associated with external agency recruiters, there is a big difference. Corporate recruiters support a specific corporate culture, are responsible for recruitment across a multitude of roles, and are also often tasked with handling other HR-related duties. Best compared to Vervet monkeys, corporate recruiters have a strong social bond with their colleagues and understand that there is a clear hierarchy in place although politics and power struggles are common. Generally social and communicative, they have been known to attack if cornered.  

The menagerie of recruitment is interesting and no two recruiters are ultimately the same. Of course this provides for much entertainment and interest. Where do you feel you most associate yourself?


Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  contingency recruiters  corporate recruiters  executive search  headhunters  recruiter  recruitment  recruitment sectors  specialist recruiters  technical 

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It's All about the Brand

Posted By APSO, Friday, 16 May 2014

By: Ann Ninaber

With over 3000 Employment Agencies in South Africa and 78% of South African companies making use of Employment Agencies – a potential exists to unlock one of the most exhilarating transformations in the South African Employment Agency industry.

Putting people at the centre of the brand

“The line between internal and external brand is not simply blurring – it’s being erased.  Consumers own the brand – it’s meaning lives in them.  Employees perpetuate the brand by making it real every day. Consumers need to hear how employees deliver the brand.  Employees need to hear how consumers experience the brand.” (Schumann 2009:23-26).

Brand leadership is a discipline that teaches us that a healthy brand can only be cultivated from the inside-out.  To achieve this, organisations are implored to take an inside-out approach through systemic approaches that allow a certain brand cohesiveness to exist, throughout every brand touch point.  One of these touch points, and the most powerful one, is the internal stakeholders of the brand – the brand’s human capital. 

With employees being at the centre of the brand, the innovative management of this stakeholder group becomes key to cultivating a healthy internal brand.   From this point forward, each stakeholder relationship should be nurtured through active systems that are intentionally designed to reinforce the brand’s promise throughout the organisation’s entire value chain.

Organisations that are over managed and under lead, run the risk of neglecting its brand’s essence and its purpose become forgotten.  Each and every brand has its own ‘Raison d'être’ and research has shown that brands are psychological constructs that houses a unique and identifiable character, much like people do... The greater the congruity between the human characteristics that consistently and distinctively describes an individual’s actual or ideal self, and those that describe a brand, the greater the preference for the brand.

Why are employees so unhappy, so often...?

Organisations’ internal brand has always been something that’s fascinated me.  During the last 14 years of my career I noticed that the same organisational challenges seem to be repeated, time and time again.  When skill set and money is taken out of the equation, people are all that is left.  Why is it then that people work for organisations when they don’t believe in the organisation’s purpose?  Why is it that people work for organisations when they don’t feel a particular camaraderie with their colleagues?  Why is it that people work for organisations when their own value system clashes with that of the value system of the organisation?  These are the kinds of questions that inspired me to delve deeper into the concept of aligning people to brands.  And so a thesis topic was born...

We neglect our passion

For any brand to be ‘on brand’ – all the time, organisations would need to give much more attention to their Employer Brand.  It starts with the people that work for the brand.  Without them, their passion, their belief in the brand and their respect for the brand, a healthy brand that embodies cohesiveness throughout the entire value chain, will never exist.

With the seemingly abundant resource used by organisations to create emotive brands that are designed, marketed and sold to consumers based on the brand’s uniquely underpinned personality, as well as the resource that is dedicated to gather consumer insights that will strengthen brand equity, it appears as though many organisations take a backwards approach to achieving the brand’s promise.  While not nearly enough resource is focussed on the very people that are responsible for delivering the brand’s promise to its consumers.  

Brand identity match making

“An investigation into the method of recruiting by Cape Town Employment Agencies to find like-minded employees to fit the Employer’s Brand Identity.”

One of the delimitations of this study was to find an entrance into as many Employer Brand related insights as possible within the shortest amount of time as possible.  With the assistance of APSO, it was possible to gather such insights through a survey that was sent out to all Cape Town based Employment Agencies that are registered with APSO.

The literature of this study further unpacked concepts such as:     Human Resource Management, Human Capital, Consumer Brand Impressions, Brand Identity and Personality, The Employer Brand, Employer Brand Attraction, Internal Brand, Organisational Culture, Brand Archetypes, The Person Brand, and Outsourced Employment Recruitment. 

The survey covered questions pertaining to employers, employees and recruiters within the context of brand leadership.  The majority of the questions within the quantitative section were implemented by means of a Likert Scale, while respondents were also given an opportunity to share their general observations and opinions within the qualitative section of the research.

Employer related results

§      50% stated that the most popular reasons why organisations use Employment Agencies are time constraints within the organisation for screening applicants themselves, prior to final interviews

§      50% agreed that the key person that they deal with on the organisation’s side is the human resource manager

§      64% stated that the majority of the organisation’s brief consist out of skills related requirements for specific job openings

§      65% stated that less than 30% of the organisation’s brief shares insights about the employer’s brand.

Employee related results

§      86% believe that employees can directly influence an organisation’s brand equity

§      36% ask employment candidates what their favourite brands are

§      71% ask employment candidates who the preferred brands are that the candidate would like to work for

§      64% ask employees less than 30% individual personality or personal interest relevant questions

§      64% stated that less than 30% of candidates enquire about the brand’s identity when showing interest in a position

§      57% stated that less than 30% of employment candidates enquire about the brand’s organisational culture when showing          interest in a position

Recruiter related results

§      86% have recruiter for over 5 years

§      79% always interview employment candidates face to face prior to introducing them to organisations

§      86% agreed that it is possible to align an employment candidate to an organisation’s brand, based on similarity between the personality of the candidate and the brand’s personality

§      93% take the client’s brand identity into consideration when looking for an employment candidate

§      93% think that each brand has its own set of brand values

§      64% have a good understanding of the ‘brand equity’ concept

§      86% are aware that consumers update their impressions of a brand after interacting with an employee of the brand

§      86% believe that each brand has its own unique and particular brand identity system

§      72% ask organisations less than 30% brand personality relevant questions

Someone, give us a brand centric Employment Agency – please!

The research results were indicative of a discord between Employer Brand and Employment Agency to accurately design a brief that will capture the exact specifications for an ideal employee candidate – based on the brand’s identity.     

There is an opportunity for Employment Agencies to create inspired systems that are geared towards finding matches in identity between that of employment candidate and that of Employer Brand.   Employment Agencies will be able to position themselves in the market place as brand centric agencies that: a) are knowledgeable about brand leadership and have a clear understanding of the importance of brand identity, and b) communicate their knowledge to the Employer Brand (their clients). 

This transformation would suggest that Employment Agencies grow in their capacity as service providers of Employer Brands to extend, and ultimately transcend, their purpose from that of mere employment agent, to human capital acquisition partner. 

Employment Agencies could make it their business to not only find employment candidates that are more suited to specific Employer Brands based on the congruity between identity, but can position themselves as specialists within the Employment Agency industry by doing so.

The future of recruitment practices

Globally the trends are showing us highly strategic workforce planning whereby the industry leaders of outsourced recruitment are moving away from just addressing immediate recruitment needs and moving towards creating employment branding and talent communities that create integrated pipelines within the recruitment industry.  The literature also revealed that the next generation of recruitment will need to focus on driving true business results in addition to their traditional role as a support function.  The literature further stipulated that the recruitment function should be aligned to business goals in order to provide a holistic set of objectives for the recruitment outsourcing programme.  Of crucial importance is that recruiters have to promote the Employer Brand to enhance name recognition and educate employee candidates on the organisation’s culture and differentiators.  

Employment Agencies as agents to the brand

Consumers update their brand impressions every time after there is an interaction with an employee of the brand. Previous research in this field determined that consumers may even develop certain expectations of what a typical employee should be like, based on the identity and characteristics of the brand.  Employees have the power to develop sustainable brand differentiation, through specific emotional Brand Values, and evoked by particular styles of service that is distinctive of those brands.

When an inside-out approach to value creation within the organisation is applied by aligning the identity and characteristics of employees to the Employer Brand, this value is automatically translated externally as well.  In other words, the more prominent the fit between these Brand Values and the individual, the more consistent and aligned the behaviour of employees will be in delivering the brand’s promise to its consumers.

The future of Human Resource Management will become more integrated with Brand Leadership and Brand Management to ensure a concrete approach to Human Capital acquisition.  This will align external recruitment promises to the employee and consumer experience.  A Human Resource function that is led by the Employer Brand, reinforces overall organisational leadership and protects the integrity of the brand. 

Our changing societal needs, combined with the fact that human beings can no longer be profiled merely according to the total sum of one’s experience, education and expertise, suggests an opportunity for identifying new criteria to match individuals to brands.

A brand strategy that is led by an inside-out approach to value creation within the organisation will be conscientious about aligning the identity and characteristics of prospective employees to the Employer Brand.  A brand strategy that follows this principle would be able to leverage its human capital assets by means of creative and systemic solutions.  These Employer Branding practices should extend to all candidate touch points, resonate effectively through all recruiting channels and be leveraged across all recruitment partners.

The transformation of Employment Agency profiling methods that stimulate matches between employment candidates’ identity and the identity of Employer Brands, seem not only plausible, but absolutely necessary.

My gratitude to

A special note of thanks to APSO and all Cape Town based Employment Agencies that participated in this research.  Please contact me to receive a copy of the complete research dissertation.  Thank you to everyone at VEGA School of Brand Leadership for your ‘wisdom with magic’.


About the author

Ann Ninaber holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Brand Leadership from VEGA School of Brand Leadership, A Bachelor of Arts in Language Practice & Dynamics from Tshwane University, as well as certified qualifications in Copywriting and Project Management from AAA School of Advertising.  She started her career as a copywriter, later moved into project management and currently works as a marketing manager.  She has worked for three major incentive houses, two Johannesburg and one Cape Town based.  Her current interests are very much focused on organisations’ internal brand, organisational culture and systemic approaches that create brand value and equity from the inside out.  She is contactable on +27 83 513 9620 or

Tags:  Ann Ninaber  APSO  APSOgram  brand  brand centric  branding  consumer  consumercentric  employee branding  employment agencies  internal brand  organisational branding  passion 

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4 reasons to become a staffing professional

Posted By APSO, Monday, 17 March 2014
Updated: Monday, 17 March 2014
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Empower Yourself in 2014: Become a Super Recruiter!

Posted By APSO, Monday, 09 December 2013

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Invitation to Scoping Meeting: Development of Recruitment Manager Qualification

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 04 July 2013

Thabo Matjabe, Deputy Director for Occupational Qualifications Development at the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO), in conjunction with the Services SETA, cordially invites you


The meeting will take place as follows:

DATE:          Wednesday 14 August 2013
TIME:           09h00 for 09h30 until 15h30
VENUE:       TBC (Johannesburg, Gauteng)

Draft Agenda

  1. Welcome
  2. Attendance and Introductions
  3. Expectations
  4. Presentation "Overview of the Occupational Qualifications Development Process"
  5. Outcomes to be achieved
    1. Confirmation of the scope
    2. Confirmation of Stakeholder participation
    3. Recommendation of a body to manage the development and verification process - role of a Development Quality Partner (DQP)
    4. Recommendation of a body to manage assessment processes - role of the Assessment Quality Partner (AQP)
    5. Agreed process to establish "Working Groups" and agreed broad timeframes

 NB! Please note that accomodation and travelling costs are not catered for in this project.

Please confirm your availabilty and attendance on or before 22 July 2013 by contacting Tyrone Nunn ( or via fax 086 607 9882

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Nozipho Zondo ( or call 011 276 9600

Members are advised that APSO will be actively participating in this process and we welcome additional participation from interested members.

Tags:  development  occupation  QCTO  qualification  recruitment manager  SSETA 

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Why you need to make HR your ally in the hiring process

Posted By APSO, Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Updated: Thursday, 04 July 2013

HR Insights, Recruiting and Staffing
Why You Need to Make HR Your Ally in the Hiring Process
by David Fishmanon Jun 25, 2013, 11:27 AM

Almost every training class, seminar and professional group I’ve attended has warned that human resources departments are the recruiter’s obstacle.

They block deals! They cut our fees! I’ve been repeatedly cautioned to avoid human resource departments and get direct access to the hiring managers.

But, I would like every recruiter to know that I have billed millions of dollars throughout my recruiting career largely due to one department: human resources.

Having HR quarterback the deal

Before you call me crazy, I certainly understand the need to work with hiring managers. I prefer, however, to have HR introduce me to the hiring managers and then have the HR manager quarterback the deal.

Yes, many of us avoid human resources because working directly with hiring managers can lead to quicker placements. But let’s face it – hiring managers can be sloppy. A "quick” placement has often not been properly screened and can be a potential land mine. Nothing smashes a relationship with a company like a candidate who doesn’t cut it at work or quits six months after starting.

During the economic downturn of 2008-2010, and subsequent HR cutbacks, I worked with several hiring managers. Some hiring managers made offers to my candidates before the applications were completed. In one case, a client had to rescind an offer once it was learned that the candidate had a felony.How HR helps

Here’s one example of why you should go through HR:

After briefly interviewing a young candidate who said he had a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, I sent his resume to the hiring manager and waited for feedback. Within a few hours, the hiring manager reviewed the resume, quickly contacted the candidate, and asked him to fly out for an interview.

Instead of thoroughly screening the candidate, the hiring manager emotionally determined this candidate was an excellent fit for the position. The hiring manager never once called me to discuss the candidate or ask me to further screen the candidate. Actually, if the candidate had not called me, I would not have known that the hiring manager had even spoken to him.

After the on-site interview, the hiring manager quickly offered the job to the candidate, and the candidate accepted. Corporate HR then stepped in, ran its routine background checks, and found the candidate actually did not have a degree in chemical engineering.

The hiring manager called me, absolutely furious, screaming that I misrepresented the candidate. I, of course, called the candidate who explained that although he did "walk” at his graduation, he was still finishing his last course.

I almost lost the client due to impulsive actions by a hiring manager.HR crosses your "t”s and dots your "i”s

Human resources will take longer to approve placements because HR is very thorough, dotting every "i” and crossing every "t.” It will, however, ensure a better, lasting match for the position, which is ultimately best for the recruiter and the client.

Like all professions, there will be some human resources professionals who do not want to work with recruiters; this comes with being a headhunter. However, in my experience, most HR professionals clearly understand the need to fill open positions as well as the great amount of work require.

Most HR professionals are swamped with work, and simply do not have the time to even think about recruiting candidates for positions. In fact, I know many HR professionals who have gone to their hiring departments and advocated for the need to pay headhunters.

Absolutely do not try to bypass human resources. Remember, HR is your key to future placements with the client. If you know that HR is handling a position yet go directly to the hiring manager, you most likely will not receive another job order from that company.Make HR your ally

To put it simply, your work with that company will be done. If you had respected protocol and worked with human resources, these same HR professionals could have given you countless opportunities within their company. Also, in this economy it’s likely that an HR professional may eventually be working for a new company, providing the favorite recruiter with a new client.

The success I’ve had with my No. 1 client has been based on great relationships with its HR departments. I have placed more than 100 candidates with this client, including eight HR managers with the company.

I made it my priority to know many of the HR managers on a personal level, and I consider many of them to be my professional friends. We may not go out every weekend, but we certainly will take the time to go out to dinner when our paths cross.

These HR professionals aren’t hurdles for recruiters. They’re an ally.


David Fishman is the managing partner of Sparrow CompanySparrow Company, a professional recruiting firm based in Southern California. He has been a recruiter for 15 years and partners with several multinational companies, successfully placing individuals into top and mid-level management positions.

Tags:  cooperation  hiring process  HR  recruitment  success  support 

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