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Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2015

Posted By APSO, Wednesday, 29 April 2015
Updated: Friday, 24 April 2015

Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2015


Author: Natalie Singer, Talent 3sixty

 

Each year Dan Schawbel, American author and management consultant, writes up his top 10 workplace trends for publication via Forbes.com and this year I have taken his predictions and applied them to the South African context.

Although South Africa definitely needs to be considered part of the global village, our socio-economic situation does make things different for us than for an advanced economy like the US.

Schawbel’s highest level trends include the skills gap, workers dropping out of the corporate system, use of automation, outsourcing and then pressure for companies to become leaner. I would concur that these are among SA’s greatest trends too.

There may be many challenges facing the workplace in 2015 but equally opportunity abounds for organisations willing to invest in understanding the changes and making adjustments as required.

 

Trend 1:  Companies hiring youngsters

Globally organisations are realising that in order to win (or rather build) the best talent they are having to engage them sooner than traditionally expected. In the US and Europe many multi-national companies are recruiting interns straight out of high school in a bid to address the skills gap that exists, particularly in the areas of science, mathematics and technology.

Whilst I believe that South African employees will, at least for the time being, still recruit at graduate level, the incentives provided by the Youth Employment Scheme and others are making the option of employing (and investing in) youngsters more attractive.

Trend 2: Millennials are taking up leadership roles

Increasing some of the youngest members of the workforce are taking up leadership roles. A recent survey by CareerBuilder, the largest global job board, found that 38% of the workforce is already managed by millennials and that is already causing problems including a sense of arrogance and favouritism towards others of their generation. The main problem it seems is that these youngsters have been promoted early, having not gained sufficient work (and life) experience nor appropriate management training.

Certain industries in South Africa may find this trend more apparent, such as IT, where the younger generation’s ability to adapt to rapidly changing technology is seeing them jump the corporate ladder at warp speed.

Trend 3: Honesty becomes a revered leadership trait

A recent global study found that more than half of Generation Y and their younger siblings, Generation Z, state that honesty is the most important quality for being a good leader. Social media may account for this as organisations and the individuals within them are pushed to become more transparent and to share their activities on a daily basis.

Whilst there may be some questions about leadership within the Government and public sector in SA, the private sector is being shoved towards greater transparency daily. Leaders will no longer just have to be good at inspiring and educating their employees, they will now need to instil trust though honesty.

Trend 4: The skills gap continues to widen

Ask any HR practitioner or business leader and they’ll tell you that skills shortages or mismatches are their biggest challenge. Despite a lot of talk about this, the gap seems to be widening rather than closing. Globally the education systems fails to keep up with needs of the current workplace.

In South Africa the education crisis is reaching epic proportions as FET colleges continue to produce abysmal throughput rates of just 9% and tens of thousands of graduates remain unemployed years after they’ve qualified. Until business and the education fraternity are able to sit down and co-create a curriculum that meets the needs of the market, the sad paradox of unfilled jobs and drastic unemployment will continue.

Trend 5: The continuous job search picks up

Technology has enabled individuals to easily find new jobs and to allow recruiters to identify, approach and “steal” talent in numbers. As a result employees are undergoing continuous job search and never really settle. Companies who wish to increase their retention rates need to focus on creating a superior work culture where employees make friends, are consistently engaged and get perks that appeal.

The average job tenure in South Africa is not quite two years, with younger generations “hopping” regularly. It seems that this trend is not likely to be reversed and so employers – and recruiters – need to adjust their perceptions and to find advantages to the myriad of jobs, environments and experiences that these individuals have been exposed to and what advantages these provide to their next employer.

Trend 6: Mobile hiring and the mobile job search explosion

Mobile access to the Internet and in particular job search functionality is increasing globally. According to Schawbel, 83% of jobseekers in the US use their smartphones to search for opportunities and yet just 20% of Fortune 500 companies have a mobile friendly career site.

In South Africa, just as it is across the continent, the vast majority of individuals access the Internet via their mobile. It is therefore no longer optional for an organisation, especially recruitment companies, to have a mobi-friendly website and ideally a mobile app.

Trend 7: Social media posts used to attract and retain talent

Employer brand is ever more critical in attracting and retaining top talent. A snazzy website and carefully constructed employer marketing material are no longer sufficient. Interested individuals wish to see into the culture of the company and social media provides a great platform to share work culture related posts and leveraging current employees to promote the brand.

People want to work for interesting companies and when they see their social media posts they get a better sense of what the organisation is all about. Platforms such as Glassdoor, although relatively new to South Africa, give a glimpse into the true state of affairs within an organisation, ensuring a balanced perspective of employer brand.

Trend 8: Succession planning becomes a top priority

Loss of skill and experience is always difficult and as the workforce ages and more Boomers are set to retire, many organisations are facing a serious challenge: how do they ensure effective succession? Luckily more than 60% of older workers surveyed in the US indicated that they are not ready to retire entirely, requiring an opportunity to continue to earn into their “retirement”.

South Africa too faces a threat of too many skilled individuals retiring at the same time. Unfortunately too few organisations have amended their antiquated retirement policies, expecting 60-year-olds to pack up and go – with more than 20 years retirement facing them. Opportunities to remain employed, via contract or third parties, exist and will continue to be utilised by individuals who’re not ready to retire and their organisations who simply cannot afford to let them go.

Trend 9: Woman continue to seize power positions in the workplace

Pay gaps continue to exist across the world with woman earning as little as 75% of their male counterparts. Whilst research indicates that this gap is narrowing, woman in the workplace continue to hit glass ceilings although advances are happening to improve the representation, especially at senior levels.

South Africa’s constitution has always promoted equal treatment and in this regard SA must rank amongst the best in terms of female representation in the workplace and at senior levels of management. In 2015 more woman were enrolled at universities across the country and this bodes well for increasing the pool of skilled, experienced and ambitious young women in the workplace.

Trend 10: More people stepping out of traditional career paths

Every year an increasing number of individuals become freelancers, either through choice or out of necessity. Companies are opting to hire more contingent workers as they attempt to keep their organisations lean and mean, employing skill on a project, rather than permanent, basis. Technology makes accessing the world of work from wherever easier by the day, encouraging the growth of freelancers.

Although South Africa is grappling with the concept of flexibility and organisations will now have to manage increasing complexity of regulation, South Africa will not lag behind the global trend. Research conducted by Boston Consulting Group in 2011 clearly indicates that global competitiveness requires organisations to have 30% flexibility in their workforce.

How is your company adapting to the trends?

 

Tags:  APSO  apsogram  equal treatment  honesty  job search  Leadership  millenials  mobile hiring  mobile job search  skills gap  social media  succession planning  talent retention  traditional career paths  youth 

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Give LIFE to your social media content with images

Posted By APSO, Thursday, 25 September 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: www.onyxdigital.co.za

 

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:

 

www.shutterstock.com

www.istockphoto.com

www.depositphotos.com

www.dreamstime.com

www.stockphoto.com

www.gettyimages.com

www.fotolia.com

 

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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PROFESSION Articles

Posted By APSO, Friday, 05 September 2014

PROFESSION Articles - August/September 2014

Click on the below image to view great articles written by the APSO team.

  • Dress for the job you want - Natalie Singer, APSO COO
  • Credit & Criminal Records: The basics for job seekers - Attie Botes, APSO
  • Social Media Job hunting tips - Daniela Bascelli

Tags:  APSO  brand  credit  criminal record  dress  dress code  job hunting  job seeker  profession  social media 

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Complimentary PROFUSION magazine - August/September 2014

Posted By APSO, Tuesday, 19 August 2014
APSO is a proud partner of PROfusion and provides content for the job/work section of this bi-monthly digital magazine aimed at 18 - 30 year olds. 

Please click here  or on the magazine image below if you'd like to access your complimentary copy.

Tags:  APSO  e-learning retrenchment  job hunt  job seekers  liberation  social media 

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To be searchable, or not to be?

Posted By Natalie Singer, Thursday, 06 June 2013
Updated: Thursday, 06 June 2013

That is the question all candidates should be asking themselves as the online job search environment changes. In today’s online environment there are many ways to promote yourself if you’re seeking better career prospects, and for potential employers to seek you out. Some are obvious, such as job boards or perhaps your LinkedIn profile, but some, like your FaceBook page or where your weekend sports results were posted, are not.

Today, many candidates are unaware of the changing landscape in South Africa and the fact that many of the job boards, that traditionally only serviced recruitment agencies, are now making their service offering accessible to corporate employers, and this could have dire consequences for your confidentiality and job security.

But, before you panic, let’s assess the risks. There are most certainly pros and cons to being found easily in cyberspace, and it depends entirely on your current circumstances.

Flying below the radar

If you want to be in direct control of who has access to your CV, then you’d be better off not registering on any portals and simply watching the career sections of newspapers or websites for positions that catch your eye. You can then make a conscious decision to forward your CV for consideration. However, this can be extremely time-consuming and you may miss out on the perfect job simply because you didn’t see the advert on that particular day.

Pro:        You are the only person who has access to your CV until you choose to apply directly

Con:       You could miss out on the ideal job

Targeted selection

As a skilled candidate, you may wish to rather begin a relationship with a specialist recruiter who works within your niche sector. By registering with a particular agency, or perhaps two, you could benefit from their expertise and network of clients with the right kind of opportunities. You would take the time to register with the agency once and then liaise with them from time-to-time as your needs changed, or they had suitable opportunities to discuss with you. This form of relationship allows you to control where, and to whom, your CV is sent because a professional recruiter, especially one that is registered with APSO and adheres to the APSO Code of Ethical & Professional Practice, should always contact you to discuss any potential career move and get your express permission to send the CV to that specific client, for that specific role at that specific time.

Pro:       Your specialist consultant will be able to identify those opportunities that meet your specific skill set and requirements and market you effectively to the potential employer, including assisting you with the interview and offer stage.

Con:      You need to ensure that you’ve registered with the right recruiter who will be proactive in assisting you with your next career move otherwise you run the risk of missing out on other suitable opportunities. 

Leveraging your network

If you’re a social media fundi you may wish to leverage your own network when seeking better prospects. Keeping your job search solely to cyberspace associated with social networks can be risky as your network may not be big enough to uncover the right opportunity for you. Remember to manage your profiles carefully because social media is equally used to reference potential employees as it is to recruit them.

Pro:        You can control all engagements and work with people in your network.

Con:       Your profile/s may in fact cause potential employers to disregard you entirely.

Signing up to a job portal

For a long time, job portals in South Africa were only accessible to recruitment agencies and this meant that candidates could register and make themselves searchable confident that their details were not at risk of being found by their current employer or someone in their immediate network. However, several of the job boards, including some of the leading brands, have recently changed their service offering and now make it possible for their corporate clients to utilise the search functionality. Some portals provide candidates with the option to "opt in” or "opt out” from this extra layer of accessibility but it’s not always clearly laid out. As a result, candidates are recommended to investigate their rights and understand what they are signing up to, before simply assuming that their information will be handled only by recruitment agencies.

The job portals can be an excellent way to manage your career search as they provide resume creation services, direct online applications, application tracking and other tools. Many recruitment agencies, and increasingly corporate employers, are also making use of these portals so the number of job vacancies being posted is increasing. However, in light of the changes, we strongly recommend that candidates do their research and choose their job portal wisely, especially if they’re currently employed and don’t want to risk being discovered by their own boss.

Pro:        One stop shop with many vacancies and other useful career-seeking tools

Con:       You could end up with your details openly available and this may risk your current job.

All or nothing

If you’re currently unemployed or work as a freelancer or contractor, it may be in your interest to be as accessible as possible to anyone who is seeking your skill set – recruiters and employers alike. It makes sense in this case to register your CV on as many job portals as possible, including those that allow employers direct search access to the CV database. You should also invest in creating a detailed LinkedIn profile that clearly outlines your skill set and experience as this social media site is being used more and more often for recruitment purposes. Remember to always consider your online profile and consider limiting access to your FaceBook profile to friends and family – after all, seeing the "good time” you had on Tuesday night, is unlikely to be seen as an advantage by a potential employer.

Pro:       All potential opportunities are available to you.

Con:      You lose control of your personal information and there is always the potential for it to be used unethically or illegally. 

Whatever method you choose to use when seeking a step up in your career, remember to carefully weigh up your options. Remember too that your circumstances will change throughout your career, and what was suitable today may not be right for tomorrow. Maintain your online profiles, including registrations with recruitment agencies and job portals, to ensure that they’re up-to-date and have privacy settings that are appropriate for your current situation.

Tags:  candidate rights  CV  Facebook  job portal  job search  LinkedIn  networking  recruiter  reputation  social media  vacancies 

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