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Fake recruiters’ jobs scams

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Fake recruiters’ jobs scams


The Federation of African Staffing Organisations (APSO) has issued a warning about job-offering scams.

The organisation urges South African businesses to participate in the regulation of the staffing industry, play a role in promoting transparency and stop the exploitation of job seekers by bogus organisations.

APSO vice-president KC Makhubele says deception in the recruitment industry is forcing employers to consider their options when identifying a partner.

He says businesses will aid in closing down fake recruiters by working with employment agencies that have opened themselves to regulations and scrutiny by industry peers.

Today bogus recruiters pose a threat by offering attractive employment opportunities for money in advance.

This is usually under the guise of work visas, travel expenses or background and or credit checks “required for the position”.

Once the money has been paid over, the job seeker is left with no employment – and no money.

Makhubele says con artists are sophisticated in the way they operate, even posing as companies that already exist. They target job seekers for identity theft and money laundering.

To read the full article, please click here

Tags:  APSO  exploitation  fraud  job scams  placement  regulation  Sunday World  valid jobs 

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LRA 'may have devastating jobs impact' - Cape Times, Career Times

Posted By APSO, Wednesday, 29 April 2015

LRA 'may have devastating jobs impact' - Cape Times, Career Times
Written by: Staff Writer


THE recently amended Labour Relations Act (effective from January 2015) will have a devastating impact, not only on the national recruitment and staffing industry but also on the economy and the country's unemployment rate – which the act seeks to relieve- if it continues to be interpreted by some stakeholders in a narrow light. This is according to KC Makhubele, vice president of the Federation of African Professional Staffing Organisations (APSO), quoted in a recent Business Day article. He said the amendments to the act had caused uncertainty in the market and had been highlighted as likely to cost the country 254 000 jobs. He said: "The interpretation of and uncertainty surrounding these amendments has already resulted in the folding of a number of small to medium recruitment companies- a number of which are black owned-and as a result goes against the government's intention to support and grow black business." Makhubele said this major impact on the already strained job market had been revealed in APSO's interaction with its over 800 members.

To view the full article, please click here

Tags:  APSO  Cape Times  Career Times  Job loss  Legislation  LRA  Press Release 

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Making sense of the Staffing Alphabet Soup

Posted By APSO, Friday, 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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Five Major Reasons Employees Choose to Stay

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 23 April 2015

Five Major Reasons Employees Choose to Stay

About the Author: Bruce Katcher, PhD is President of Discovery Surveys, Inc. His firm conducts customized employee opinion and customer satisfaction surveys.

1 out 3 employees are seriously thinking about leaving their job.

I recently consulted to an international management consulting firm. The partners hire only the best and brightest. They pay their employees well and offer challenging work assignments.

However, they work their employees very hard, monitor their time closely, and demand that they excel at everything they do. The firm is known for its unwritten rule of "up or out." If you aren't a superior candidate for promotion, you're asked to leave. Needless to say, it is an extremely high pressure environment.

The problem is that many of their "keepers," (i.e., those they want to stay with the organisation) are voluntarily deciding to leave. The long hours and near impossibility of living a normal life outside of work are just too much of a sacrifice.



This is a problem for many organisations. Turnover, especially of good young employees, is extremely expensive. It often takes a year or two for new employees to learn the ropes. Losing a valuable employee represents a wasted investment of time and energy.


There are many ways to keep good employees.

We recently conducted a statistical analysis of the Discovery Surveys' normative database to identify the issues that correlate most highly with the intentions of employees to stay with their organization. In analysing the responses from more than 50,000 employees from all types of organisations, the following five factors emerged as the best predictors of whether people will stay with their organizations.

  • Enjoyment of the Actual Work

Those employees who enjoy their work activities and feel a sense of personal accomplishment are most likely to stay.

  • Communication With Supervisors

Employees want to feel respected and encouraged by their supervisors. Those most likely to stay receive ongoing performance feedback from their supervisors throughout the year, not just annually. Those most likely to stay also believe that their supervisors encourage them to make suggestions.

  • Provide High Quality Products and Services to Customers

Employees want to be part of a culture in which people really care about doing good work. They are more likely to stay if they believe their organisation is operating efficiently, is committed to providing high quality products and services, and makes it easy for their customers to do business with them.

  • Pride in the Work of the Organisation

Employees want to feel they are contributing to a cause that is important. Those who are proud of their organisation and believe their work contributes to the organisation's objectives are more likely to stay.

  • Optimism About the Future

Those who intend to stay with their organisations believe that management is doing a good job of planning for the future. They also believe that they personally have a good future with the organisation.


You don't have to run your company like a country club in order to keep good employees. You do, however, need to provide them with five things: a sense of personal accomplishment, good one-on-one communication from supervisors, a commitment to quality, a sense of pride, and confidence in the future.

Tags:  APSO  apsogram employee retention  communication  enjoyment  quality product 

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HR Future Lite March 2015 issue

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 02 April 2015

Complimentary Issue of HR Future Lite March 2015 Issue

In this issue:

  • Role of synchronicity in your success
  • Use segmentation to your advantage
  • Learn like a U232 pilot rather than a AF447 pilot

To download the magazine, please click here or on the magazine cover


Tags:  APSO  company transfers  HR analytics  HR Future  leadership  organisational culture  reward management  skills development levies 

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Posted By APSO, Thursday, 26 March 2015


Dear Member,

At a recent CAPES meeting APSO, together with several other Industry role players, unanimously decided that the time has arrived to approach the Court to obtain a Declarator on the interpretation of the “deeming” clause in the Labour Relations Amendments Act (applicable from 1 January 2015).

The CCMA and Government appear to interpret the clause to mean that assignees/temps transfer permanently to the client after the 3-month period. We do not believe that this is the correct interpretation. The Industry obtained a number of legal opinions, including senior legal counsel, which support our stance on the deemed provision.  

The question whether or not to go to Court was discussed 8 months ago and a “wait and see” approach was taken. However, due to the current situation facing many members and their clients, and the resulting confusion being created, it has been decided that the time has come to challenge this incorrect interpretation in a co-ordinated manner.

In the event that we lose in the Labour Court, we will then take it to the Labour Appeal Court and eventually, if necessary, to the Constitutional Court.

This is the biggest challenge that we as an Industry have embarked on and will require much effort. It is likely that the case will be vigorously defended from other quarters, especially organised labour.

We therefore call on you our members to stand together and support this cause – financially and in practice, including PR, support services and others – to ensure the survival and longevity of our business models and, indeed, the Staffing Industry.

The Industry, through its advocacy and lobbying arm CAPES, has mandated Jonathan Goldberg to proceed in this matter.  The process of ensuring that this very complicated issue is approached and scoped correctly to ensure the best possible outcome is currently underway. Should there be any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact Jonathan Goldberg on


The Labour Relations Amendments Act (applicable from 1 January 2015) has had unintended consequences on the flexible job market. In particular, the numbers of temporary jobs lost due to the "deemed provision".        

As an Industry, we would like to compile data on job losses being experienced due to the related new legislation. The Job Loss Barometer aims to encapsulate those contracts that have been affected in the run up to 1 April 2015, so that this information can be utilised to strengthen our case and highlight the inadvertent consequences of the legislation.

A Job Loss Barometer has been created that provides the consolidated/cumulative number of jobs that have been lost as a direct result of this legislation. To access the Job Loss Barometer, please click here.

To assist, please provide urgently the following information (as a minimum):

·         Contract affected (not necessarily the client’s name although at least the industry/sector) and ideally how long this contract has been in place

·         Number of temporary employees on site (that you manage)

·         Number that have been affected; and nature of the change in employment status;

·         Taken on directly by the client

·         Contracts terminated

·         If appropriate, reasons that the client has made the decision (expressly as a result of the changes, business needs, fear of the uncertainty, etc.)


Please note that information will be held in confidence and only shared in a consolidated/cumulative format as part of the Job Loss Barometer.

 Click here to begin the survey. 


Tags:  advocacy  APSO  barometer  contsitutional court  court  deeming provision  Industry News  interpretation  job  job loss barometer  Labour court  Labour Relations Act  lobbying  LRA 

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Turn Reference Checks into Placements

Posted By APSO, Monday, 26 January 2015
Updated: Thursday, 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 Article first appeared on

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  candidate  placements  reference checks 

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Beyond the Bonus: Driving Employee Performance

Posted By APSO, Monday, 19 January 2015
Updated: Thursday, 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 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, Monday, 12 January 2015
Updated: Wednesday, 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.

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  business  character  clients  competency  competition  fees  value 

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Recruiting Recruiters: Top Tips from Mike Walmsley

Posted By APSO, Monday, 05 January 2015
Updated: Thursday, 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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