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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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Give LIFE to your social media content with images

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 16 October 2014
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014

Give LIFE to your social media content with images


About the Author: Daniela Bascelli is the Digital Marketing Specialist & Founder of Onyx Digital. Follow her on Twitter @danielabascelli and follow the Onyx Digital Team on @OnyxDigitalTeam.  Website:


It is the creative and innovative content that gets noticed online and gets people talking.


Brands need to do much more than just put a simple social media update together. They need to be extraordinary to notice extraordinary results! Competition is stiff and ways and means to create the right type of attention has become more challenging. Content needs to be magnetic to attract engagement.


Brands as a whole need to understand the essence of visually compelling images and for smaller businesses, if the thought of hiring a graphic designer for your social media seems way out of your budget, then perhaps it’s time for you to look at simpler, yet still quality, alternatives.


This means you need to be ultra-creative and innovative. You need a collection of high resolution quality images (that communicate your messages) and that (engage with your audience), that can be easily accessed and used as key content pieces in your social media content.


Where should you begin?


Browse various stock photo websites, look at the quality and type of images they offer, the purchase process and cost, and most important what works with your personal requirements. Familiarise yourself with the websites license terms so you understand how to use their images, legally.


Lastly, please REMEMBER, for the successful process of getting these images onto your system, you need to allocate resource to take the time to source, collect and finally download the images.


Ensure you understand the download requirements of what you pay for and work it into your daily work schedule so that you never forfeit images that have mistakenly not been downloaded in the allocated access time period.


There are really great options out there and nothing is stopping you from creating the WOW factor. 


Some of the websites links you can browse to obtain good quality images are the following:


Always download images that are large because the resolution will be best and because you can use large images for other content pieces over and above social media.


Enjoy getting creative and having fun!


Tags:  APSO  apsogram  content  images  social media 

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 09 October 2014
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting

Jobvite, a global recruitment platform recently released their whitepaper, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting.” Included hereunder is an overview of these so-called “sins”...are you guilty?

We all (at least I think we all do) understand that the world of work has changed and with these changes, so too have the expectations of clients and candidates and the methods by which we source, engage and recruit them. Therefore, it stands to reason that the way that we operate as recruiters should change too.

Check yourself: Read the 7 deadly sins, according to Jobvite, and see if you need to amend your behaviour to improve your success rates as a digital age recruiter.

#1 “Find them and forget them”

It’s no longer acceptable to go out sourcing candidates and then, when the job is done, to simply forget them, starting afresh with each new job spec. Quality, skilled candidates require (and expect) nurturing. If you haven’t already invested in a candidate management system you need to start today. Build brand loyalty through regular, effective and efficient communication. Consider leveraging technology, including multi-channel communication platforms, to build and maintain strong candidate relationships.

#2 “Shots in the dark”

Analytics are essential for any business today, especially recruiters. If you don’t analyse where you source candidates, how best you engage with them and what behaviours translate into placements and future business referrals, you’re simply shooting in the dark. To ensure you have the right information at the right time, invest in technology that allows you to: (1) trace candidates back to the origin, (2) maintain contact and determine when/why/how they apply for your positions, and (3) pull reports that are simple, accurate and flexible.

#3 “Failure to feed the funnel”

You never have enough candidates. In today’s fickle society you always have to consider where you can grow your candidate base. Ensure that you consistently source new candidates through social recruiting, effective communication campaigns and candidate referral programmes.

#4 “Devalue the power of PR”

As important as Employer Branding is for your clients, Candidate Branding is equally important for your recruitment business. Invest time, energy and resources in building and maintaining your brand through consistent messaging and targeted PR campaigns.

#5 “Stuck with what we know”

As much as you shouldn’t throw out techniques that work, it is dangerous to rely too heavily on systems simply because “they’ve worked up to now”. Leverage new ways of finding and engaging candidates and clients, including social recruitment, digital marketing, use of specialised recruitment apps and platforms. Actively research what is available and give them a try. Remember too to integrate wherever possible to leverage every avenue and reduce administration.

#6 “Failure to get buy-in from the top”

Keep your management team informed and share the successes resulting from your innovation. When servicing clients, consider how you can educate them about your expertise and utilisation of technology, especially if you wish to increase fees and highlight your value!

#7 “If you build it, they will come”

No matter how much you invest in technology, fancy websites or snazzy marketing material, you still have to consciously go out and get the business. To really attract the right clients and candidates you need to properly understand your target audience and what appeals to them. Now, more so than ever before, marketing is about creating value, sharing quality content and positioning yourself as an expert. Enhance your success rate by: (1) Delivering quality, relevant content, (2) Make it easy for people to do business with you, and (3) Consider what would appeal to candidates in particular.





Tags:  APSO  apsogram  candidate  employer branding  innovation  PR 

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HR Future Lite Complimentary October 2014 Issue

Posted By APSO, Friday, 03 October 2014
Updated: Thursday, 02 October 2014
HR Future Lite October 2014 Issue

Herewith the complimentary digital edition of the October issue of “HR Future LITE” and a blurb for you to use when you send it out:


To view the October 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 complete version in your own copies of HR Future (R950 ex VAT for 12 months), email Chantal at

Tags:  Age Management  APSO  HR Standards Roll-Out  leadership  Management  Trade Unions 

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Attract Better Candidates

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 02 October 2014
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014

Attract Better Candidates

According to, 77% of all candidates are open to new opportunities...providing these are presented well by recruiters. Their survey also showed that on average, candidates are using 16 different platforms to source jobs, working with recruiters, applying directly and networking to secure career development opportunities.

In a highly competitive marketplace how does your brand fair against those of your competitor recruiters and clients? Why would a candidate choose to work with you?

Be easy to do business with

How complex/tiresome is your application process? If it takes more than five minutes or a handful of fields to complete you’re at risk of losing their interest. This is particularly true of candidates you’ve headhunted and who may feel frustrated by administrative hoops you expect them to jump through.

Give candidates options to connect with you. Provide multiple channels of communication including telephone. Many skilled/senior candidates would like the chance to talk to you about the opportunity before deciding whether to apply. Consider who you might be missing if you insist on cumbersome application processes.


When creating a job advert or approaching someone via social media, think how your approach may be perceived by the candidate. What’s In It For Them?

What information would entice you to consider the job? Go beyond the duties and KPI. In most skilled occupations the daily tasks are the same, irrespective of where you work. The attraction to a new opportunity will likely be related to environment, career development prospect, flexible work hours, benefits or something beyond the “job” itself. Highlight the uniqueness of the opportunity and, if headhunting, do your research on the candidate to find out whether there is something about them personally (or their interest) that may be aligned to your client’s opportunity and that could be used as a push lever.

Recruiters, you need to think like marketers. Semantics matter! The words you choose and the way in which you describe things counts and can make all the difference in who you attract and who ultimately follows your call to action and applies.

Are you mobi-friendly?

51% of candidates globally use mobile devices to apply for jobs. And in South Africa (and Africa as a whole) the majority of people access the Internet using their mobile phone. Are your online platforms responsive and mobile compatible?

Consider how your adverts will appear on a phone screen. Do the online application forms work on a mobile device? Whilst checking your agency’s online platforms, also check that the suppliers you use, such as job portals, have also optimised their sites to give you the best chance of attracting great candidates.

Develop an ACTIVE network don’t just build a database

Too often recruiters simply begin the recruitment process with a new advert, aiming to source all new candidates. Why not review candidates from previous assignments and those on your “database”?

With the implementation of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) database management becomes more complex. It may even be best to reduce your risk and associated administration but focusing on building an active network rather than a large cumbersome database.

As a specialist or niche sector recruiter, nurturing a network of candidates will generate a far greater return on investment. Actively participate in industry-specific forums, groups and discussions. At the same time as learning from those in these circles, you get to grow your knowledge, share your experience and build a reputation as the “go to” recruiter in that industry.

Manage candidate expectation

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Ensure that every candidate that interacts with your brand has a positive experience, even if you’re unable to place them. Treat candidates with respect, provide feedback and manage their expectations. Great people are confident in referring others and this can assist you in building your reputation and driving good people to your door, hopefully exclusively as they choose to work with you only and not go into the open market.




Tags:  APSO  apsogram  candidates  expectations  job search  mobi-friendly 

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How to Avoid Burnout

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 25 September 2014
Updated: Thursday, 18 September 2014

How to Avoid Burnout

Author: Bill Radin is one of the most popular and highly regarded trainers in the recruiting industry, and has trained many of the largest independent and franchised recruiting organisations.

Like most recruiters, you're probably spending lots of time trying to fill the same job over and over again, talking to similar types of candidates. And that's precisely the type of monotony that can drive even the most resilient recruiter over the edge.

To make matters worse, monotony is infectious. So, if your candidates don’t seem excited about your job opportunities or thrilled by the sound of your voice, take a look in the mirror. Bored silly? They probably are, too.

Fortunately, burnout from monotony can be prevented. If you’ve ever wondered how a recruiter can survive—and thrive—for 30 years in a high-stress, high-turnover environment, listen up. The secret may surprise you.

Accounts, Pictures and Stories

Over time, most recruiters fall into a pattern of “recruiter-speak,” in which the colour and impact of your dialogue gets hijacked by verbal shortcuts, clichés and technical jargon. To fight the monotony of recruiter-speak, try to incorporate these simple strategies:

  • Educate and inform. When you describe a job, try to find some aspect of the work, the company, the manager, the industry or the culture that can’t be found on a job posting. Your goal is to have the candidate say, “Gee, I didn’t know that.” For example:

Old: My company is a highly specialised aircraft and aerospace manufacturer.

New: Did you know that over half the aircraft in service are actually modified from their original design? Well, that’s exactly what my company does: they retrofit “stock” airplanes for special purposes.

  • Paint word pictures. To do so, you’ll need to replace abstract or superficial descriptions with visual imagery.

Old: My company needs an engineer to convert conventional, fixed-wing aircraft into seaplanes.

New: My company needs an engineer to design and install retractable, lightweight pontoons to enable search and rescue planes to take off from a runway and land on the water, or vice versa.

  • Tell stories. I’ve found that examples, illustrations or anecdotes will spice up your presentation and provide context. So, every time you tell a story, you’re more likely to “connect” with your candidates and employers.

Old: My company’s customers include the U.S. military, foreign countries and non-governmental organisations.

New: Remember the ferry that recently capsized off the coast of South Korea? Well, one of my company’s seaplanes helped pull 31 people out of the South China Sea and bring them to safety. Had the plane not been retrofitted for water landings, all those people would have drowned.

It’s easy to re-colour your ideas; it just takes a little imagination and a bit of practice. Here are a few more examples:

Old: My company is in the high-tech medical equipment business.

New: My company designs a complete line of fully-integrated, “smart” respirators. So, if a patient’s oxygen level gets too high or too low, all medications and machines are automatically adjusted. Patients get better care, and costs go down.

Old: The job is with an international Fortune-100 company.

New: My company has offices in over 38 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. In fact, they just opened a brand new flagship office in London.

Old: The hiring manager is an expert in his field.

New: The hiring manager is so highly regarded by his peers, he was given a lifetime achievement award at the age of 42 and was appointed to a select Congressional committee on data mining.

See the difference? By converting your words from black-and-white to colour, you’ll reduce monotony—and hopefully, extend your career.

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  burnout  educate  pictures  recruiters  stories 

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It's a Question of Ethics

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 18 September 2014

Attie Botes, It’s a Question of Ethics

It may be legal, but is it ethical?

Since the beginning of the year the ethics department was especially made aware of a gruelling and highly controversial issue by candidates and members alike. The issue related to certain penalty clauses contained in a client’s offer of employment and/or contracts of employment. The most common of these are penalties related to being liable for repayment of the placement fee incurred when the candidate (then an employee) leaves the employ of the client within a certain period of time.

In the example a candidate’s offer of employment and/or contract of employment will contain a clause requiring him/her to stay in the employ of the client for a certain period of time (usually 12 months but in some cases even longer), failing which the candidate will incur the liability of repaying the placement fee that the client paid to the agency who placed him/her. In principle this appears to be legal and may even be seen as a logical way for a client to “protect” its business interest for which it has arguably paid a hefty fee. There are however, in my opinion, several problems with action like this.

Firstly, most agencies provide a guarantee for their service to a client, generally around three to six months. If the candidate’s employment is terminated for any lawful reason within this guarantee period the agency will usually try to find a suitable alternative candidate, failing which a part or the whole of the fee received would be paid back to the client. In this regard the client’s contractual provisions with the candidate would be superfluous. It is important that an agency discuss this with their client, especially at the risk of losing a good candidate and having your brand associated with the client and its actions.

Additionally the candidate was not a party when the placement fee was negotiated between you and your client. He or she did not have an opportunity to partake in the negotiations of a matter that would ultimately have an impact on his or her future. Also, candidates are somewhat on the back foot when it comes to securing employment as the current job market is tough. A candidate is just so happy to have got the job and do not want to prejudice their position with their future employer in any way and might therefore be unwilling to raise this concern/issue at the outset of the relationship. Here the agency plays a significant role as mediator in matter such as these.

Lastly such a provision may amount to a naked restraint, stopping the candidate from securing any future position outside the employ of the client for the contracted period. Ten to twenty five percent of an annual gross salary is a significant amount of money for anybody to pay and this is sure to be enough to stop a candidate from seeking alternative employment, even in circumstances where they are unhappy in their position or even when their personal circumstances warrants same. This is surely not a positive situation for your client or for your agency as the word is sure to spread to stay away from such and such a company or agency.

The bottom line is that your agency’s name will inevitably be associated with your client’s and the candidates you source. Just as important as it is to source high calibre candidates the same applies to servicing your clients and making sure that they remain preferred employers for candidates. It is therefore imperative that you engage with your clients on topics such as these and make sure that they are aware of the repercussions, especially negative, of them. Educate your clients and try to find ways to develop your service offering to them in an effort to avoid scenarios like this. It will no doubt result in you becoming the “go-to” agency because of the high level of service and business solutions you can offer to clients.

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  candidate  client  ethics  placement fee 

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HR Future LITE: Complimentary September 2014 Issue

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 11 September 2014

HR Future LITE- Complementary September 2014 Issue

To view the September 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  brand  coaching  economics  ethics  HR Future  leaders  legal  opinion  retention  talent development  technology 

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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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The Link between Transparent Recruitment of processes and Employee Retention

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 29 July 2014
Updated: Monday, 19 May 2014

The link between transparent recruitment processes and employee retention

Author: Natalie Singer

According to the latest (2012) survey results from The Candidate Experience Awards, a research organisation dedicated to improving the candidate experience, more than half of candidates are likely to tell their inner circle of friends about their experiences finding, researching, and interviewing for a job whether it is positive of negative. And of course, when one considers the size of online networks and the viral nature of this type of sharing, the implications for employers and recruiters is huge.

“What happens during the recruiting process determines how an employee views the company, the job and their role in the organisation and sets the tone of the entire employment relationship.”

Getting recruitment right can have far-reaching impact on employee engagement, productivity and retention. And whether organisations embrace it or not, workplace transparency exists. It is for this reason that establishing open and transparent communication during the recruitment phase is critical and ensures that the organisation (1) acquires the right talent and (2) that the talent integrates and aligns with broader business goals.

Unfortunately many organisations mislead candidates during the hiring process, either inadvertently or because they are aware of the war for talent and make every effort to encourage these scarce skilled individuals to join them.

Improving communication upfront can increase employee satisfaction and productivity and for candidates not selected, it raises the likelihood that they will apply for future positions or share a positive experience with others.

With increased access and accessibility to information, candidates are learning more than ever about an organisation before interviewing or joining a new company, sometimes even more so than the employers learned about the candidate.

The benefit of transparent recruitment processes

During the recruiting phase candidates want accurate information about the company culture, the people they will work with, what the job entails and how performance will be evaluated and rewarded. Organisations that are transparent about the hiring process, job requirements, how performance is managed and evaluated, and rewards employees for meeting or exceeding business goals can deliver a better candidate experience and work environment that aligns with expectations.

“Being clear on expectations, including how performance is evaluated, can create more satisfied employees who are motivated to perform and who are highly committed to business success.”

Contract employees also look at these processes and relationships as an indicator of how they’ll be treated as a full-time employee should they convert from a flexible status. Organisations that set strategy and expectations during the recruiting and onboarding stages can create a more connected, engaged and high performing workforce.

7 Steps to create a more transparent recruitment process

1.      Experience your process as a candidate

To truly succeed in candidate experience, you have to think like a candidate. Test drive your candidate processes including recruitment and onboarding and see whether there are any areas for improvement. Keeping candidates informed and taking simple steps to provide acknowledgment and closure can create a positive impression and deliver a better candidate experience.


2.      Ensure you have well-defined job descriptions

Presenting job information in an exciting, compelling manner is important to get talent in the door. However, if it isn’t based on reality you will not succeed in retaining talent as they will feel ‘duped’. Conduct a detailed job analysis to understand the position requirements, the skills needed and how they contribute overall success. An accurate job description helps candidates to understand the specific job responsibilities, ensures that they have the right skills to succeed, and minimises surprises after they’ve started.


3.      Focus on telling employment brand stories

Employees want more than salary and benefits from their employer making pre-hire conversations about workplace culture, job scope and how the organisation invests in developing its talent. Rather than dangle carrots about the individual’s future, as yet potentially unrealistic possibilities, rather tell real stories that demonstrate how other employees, on similar career paths, have been advanced with the organisation’s assistance.


4.      Establish a formal onboarding programme

The time from onboarding to job proficiency is one of the most important metrics in retaining talent. Transparency in the onboarding phase should include communicating expectations and how their role contributes to overall business success. Employees should understand what they need to do, what resources are available, including peers and mentors, so as to help navigate the first few months, and what milestones are expected to be achieved at the start of the employment relationship.


5.      Incorporate performance feedback into the regular business routine

Ongoing and regular performance feedback helps employees, especially new hires, understand what they are doing well, where there is opportunity to improve, and the available development tools to help them advance professionally and personally. Incorporating a 360-degree feedback process also gives employees a voice and demonstrates that their opinion matters, something that research proves is an important consideration for top talent.


6.      Increase transparency around compensation

Compensation is an important element in the decision process. Recruiters have a critical role to play here as well as they need to consider their candidate’s salary expectations and how it benchmarks with the market and aligns to the organisation’s budget. If a candidate’s minimum is far above the employer’s budget, being more transparent upfront can avoid a feeling of being mislead or undervalued later, protecting the employment brand and the reputation of both the candidate and recruiter.


7.       Provide social and collaborative learning and development opportunities

Whilst employees may be hired for one role, shifting business priorities necessitate the need to cross-train and develop people’s skills and capabilities. Informal learning via social collaboration technologies benefits employees and the organisation, giving them daily opportunities to share and learn from one another, ultimately contributing to a more rewarding work experience.

  Bridging the gap between recruitment, performance and succession

Being honest with candidates about what the job entails and their role in the organisation’s success increases the likelihood of loyalty, engagement and commitment. Transparent processes can minimise the flight risk of top talent and ensure that the business retains its talent to support innovation and the achievement of business goals.

Whether intentional or not, inconsistent, hush-hush recruitment processes can seriously damage the employee relationship and the organisations employment brand in the marketplace. Building transparency into the process and being honest with candidates about the work environment and how employees are recognised and rewarded for their contributions can eliminate the risk of talent pools drying up.

Source: Peoplefluent Whitepaper: Why lack of recruiting transparency is drying up your talent pools

Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  brand  business goals  collaboration  compensation  development  employee engagement  employee retention  employment brand  feedback  information  performance  talent  transparency  transparent recruitment  well-defined job description 

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What Employers Want - Top 5 Candidate Personality Traits

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Updated: Monday, 19 May 2014

What Employers Want.

Top 5 candidate personality traits


Recruiters are all too familiar with the intangible characteristics that employers seek and that are often difficult to quantify and ascertain during the recruitment process, especially as these rarely form part of the assignment brief.


A recent study, conducted by Swedish employer branding firm, Universum, has highlighted the top five traits sought by today's leading employers. The annual global survey draws on responses from more than 400 000 professionals and students  as well as over 1200 employers in determining the latest trends.


"88% of employers are looking for "cultural fit" in hiring their next employee, especially as they struggle to cope with high attrition rates associated with skills shortages and Gen Y attitudes to employment."


The survey asked employers what they are looking for in employees, and what they're struggling to find in the job market. The key insight was that employers are grappling to come to terms with hiring individuals who will be with the company long-term and finding a "fit" between the company's organisational culture and the inherent traits of the candidates is deemed paramount.


Professionalism, high energy and confidence are the top three traits employers say they are looking for in new hires. These are also the most crucial for candidates to be aware of as recruiters and hiring managers make an assessment of these traits within 30 seconds of meeting the individual.


"A manager can read you the moment you walk in the door," says Executive Search consultant Kathy Harris, "from the clothes you wear to the way you stand to the grip of your handshake, presenting yourself as a confident, energetic professional is about as basic as career advice gets." Despite this, even seasoned senior professionals get tripped up and its therefore unsurprising that the employers surveyed ranked confidence as the skill that most candidates are missing.


"We remind every candidate of the most granular advice," says Kathy. "The most successful applicant is the one who walks into the interview with his hand outstretched for a firm handshake, who has done his homework on the company and the role, and who is dressed to fit effortlessly into the culture of the workplace."


The other traits listed by employers in the survey are not so easily determined. Self-monitoring ranked highly and makes sense in a workplace environment where working effectively independently is as important as being a contributing team member. Assessment of this trait is best managed through behavioural interviewing techniques where candidates are asked to provide examples of their own self leadership.


The final trait, intellectual curiosity may on the face of it appear strange, but speaks to employers' desire for employees who are able to solve problems and who want to keep learning; an essential skill in today's rapidly changing environment.


Considering these traits, how does your candidate assessment process hold up? Can you ascertain how your candidates rank in terms of these five employment -critical skills, and can you clearly articulate this to your clients when presenting your shortlist?




Tags:  APSO  APSOgram  cultural fit  intellectual curiosity  personality traits  professionalism  self-monitoring  what employers want 

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