1st Runner Up

December 18, 2012

The Tricruit Team is proud of being awarded the 1st Runner Up Recruitment Solutions Agency of the year prize at the Inaugural AVUSA Media Annual Recruitment Awards (AMARA) the17th November 2012. With this award Tricruit was recognized once again for the valuable role played in ensuring the sustainable quality in service delivery, the success and development of the Recruitment Industry of South Africa, which in turn helps to further develop the South African economy.

Tricruit, now part of the EOH Group of companies, is looking forward in sustaining the quality of service offered to date and expanding the delivery of this service to a larger audience in South Africa.

Tricruit would like to thank all our valuable clients for their vote of confidence and for their much appreciated support and business throughout 2012. The Tricruit team assures you of their loyal commitment in the future.

The Tricruit Team is proud of being awarded the 1st runner up-Recruitment Solutions Agency of the year prize at the Inaugural AVUSA Media Annual Recruitment Awards (AMARA) the17th November 2012.

The Tricruit Team is proud of being awarded the 1st Runner Up Recruitment Solutions Agency of the year prize at the Inaugural AVUSA Media Annual Recruitment Awards (AMARA) the17th November 2012.


“The ConterOffer”

October 29, 2012

<<Congratulations, you managed to secure a great new job opportunity!! Upon resigning, you may be made a counteroffer.>>

A counteroffer is an offer made to an employee by his/her current employer of, for example, a salary increase or more job responsibilities or a possible promotion to a “dream” job or another department, in order to try to prevent the employee (you) from moving to another company or organization.

Career changes are tough, leaving you with anxieties about leaving the comfort of your current job and having to prove yourself again in an unknown environment. One may even compare a “resignation” to a “break up of a marriage” or a strong long term relationship to say the least!

Clear thinking can be difficult, and counteroffers can create confusion and “buyer’s remorse”…

It is important to understand what’s being cast upon you:

Counteroffers are typically made as some form of flattery:

• “You’re too valuable to this firm. We need you.” “The team needs you”

• “You can’t desert the team/your friends and leave them hanging.”

• “We were just about to give you a promotion/raise, and it was confidential until now!”

• “What did they offer you? Why are you leaving? What do you need in order to stay?”

• “Why would you want to work for that company?”

• “The President/CEO wants to meet with you before you make your final decision.”

He or she may be sincere in their quest to make things right, but your manager may not have the authority to follow through. Therefore, don’t take promises at face value; get your counter offer in writing.

Counteroffers usually take the form of “more” of something…

  • Money
  • A promotion/more responsibility
  • A modified reporting structure
  • Promises or future considerations
  • Disparaging remarks about the new company or job
  • Guilt trips – (even hugs and kisses)

While counter-offers may be tempting and even flattering, be aware of following:

  • Will your loyalty be in question from now on? Will you ever be considered a team player again?
  • If there are future staff cutbacks, will you be the first to go because of concerns about your loyalty?
  • If you accept the counter-offer for more money, are you just giving your employer the time they need to locate and select and train your replacement?
  • Will your career progress remain blocked if you accept the counteroffer?
  • Will your responsibilities really be expanded?
  • Will you have to report to a person you don’t respect?
  • Are you maybe just receiving next year’s raise or bonus early?
  • Is the counter-offer a ploy to avoid a short-term inconvenience by your employer?
  • What are your realistic chances for promotions now that you have considered leaving?
  • Where did the additional money or responsibility you’d get come from? Was it your next raise or promotion – just given early?
  • Will you be limited in the future? Will you have to threaten to quit in order to get your next raise?
  • Will your employer feel like they’ve been blackmailed?
  • Will your team view you as a traitor?

Your colleagues may become resentful that you were given a raise or company perks because, as they see it, you blackmailed the company into making a counter offer.

Counter Offer Statistics:

According to national surveys of employees who accept counteroffers, 50-80% voluntarily leave their employer within six months of accepting the counter-offer – because of “unkept promises”.

The majority of the balance of employees who accept counter-offers involuntarily leave their current employers within twelve months of accepting the counter-offer (terminated, fired, laid- off, etc.).

Accepting a counteroffer can have many negative consequences.

As attractive as they may appear, they can greatly decrease your chances of achieving your career potential.

Take into account the core reasons why you decided to begin searching for another position.

  • Was it because you wanted a prime parking spot?
  • Or was it because your efforts weren’t valued?
  • Was it because you wanted extended lunches?
  • Or was it because you want to get home at a reasonable hour?

When all is said and done, are the perks that you are being offered sufficient to overcome your initial objections that motivated your search for another job to begin with?

Prepare for all the possible scenarios that may arise in your “resignation meeting”, whether you decide to stay or make a clean break is up to you.

 Just be sure that your decision is an educated one.

Job Interview Tips

January 25, 2012

An interview is based on the exchange of Information in which people meet on equal terms.

The interviewer wants to assess:

  • Training and experience
  • Personality, temperament, behaviour, suitability for the vacant position, social adaptability and sense of responsibility.
  • Talent, potential for growth and leadership.

The interviewee wants to:

  • Present him/herself favourable, acceptably and confidently.
  • Find out more about the position, growth opportunities, salary and get the job!

Interview Do’s:

The ability to write a great CV/Résumé or cover letter may help you land an interview, but that’s not all it takes to get the job. An outstanding CV/résumé can open the door for you, get you in to meet with your potential employer but once you’re sitting across from them in the interview you will have to start over in order to prove that you are the best candidate.

Most interview errors occur because of the lack of practice and preparation. Of course even if you are well prepared, the interview may not go perfectly well–we all make mistakes after all. However, the following mistakes can easily be avoided by developing strong interviewing skills and preparing properly for the interview.

  • Dress appropriately for the industry. Err on the side of being conservative to show you take the interview seriously. Your personal grooming and cleanliness should be impeccable.
  • Know the exact time and location of your interview. Know how long it takes to get there, park, find a rest room to freshen up, etc.
  • Research the company and market before your interview.
  • Know what you want to say. The interviewer will be asking you “situational type of questions” to get an idea of the depth of your competencies, attributes, likes and dislikes as well as your management requirements. All the requirements are mentioned on the advert/job specification-think back in your career and prepare examples of situations where you portrayed such competencies and attributes. For example: “Give me an example with your current employer where you were involved in a project that required a high level of multitasking and deadlines”.
  • Arrive early to your interview; 5-10 minutes prior to the interview start time.
  • Treat other people you encounter with courtesy and respect. Their opinions of you might be solicited during hiring decisions.
  • Offer a firm handshake, make eye contact, and have a friendly expression when you are greeted by your interviewer. Be polite and courteous at all times.
  • Be formal. Introduce yourself by name and greet interviewer by name (rather use formal address than just first name). Listen to be sure you understand your interviewer’s name and the correct pronunciation. Remember interviewers name throughout the interview. Even when your interviewer gives you a first and last name, address your interviewer by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name, until invited to do otherwise.
  • Maintain good eye contact during the interview do small talk but always stick to the job and interview topic.
  •  Sit still in your seat; avoid fidgeting and slouching.
  • Respond to questions and back up your statements about yourself with specific examples whenever possible.
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand a question.
  • Be thorough in your responses, while being concise in your wording.
  • Be honest and be yourself — your best professional self. Dishonesty gets discovered and is grounds for withdrawing job offers and for firing. You want a good match between yourself and your employer. If you get hired by acting like someone other than yourself, you and your employer will both be unhappy.
  • Treat the interview seriously and as though you are truly interested in the employer and the opportunity presented.
  • Exhibit a positive attitude. The interviewer is evaluating you as a potential co-worker. Behave like someone you would want to work with.
  • Be preapred with questions. Have intelligent questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Having done your research about the employer in advance, ask questions which you did not find answered in your research.
  • Investigate the company. Evaluate the interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way street. Conduct yourself cordially and respectfully, while thinking critically about the way you are treated and the values and priorities of the organization.
  • Do expect to be treated appropriately. If you believe you were treated inappropriately or asked questions that were inappropriate or made you uncomfortable, discuss this with your recruitment consultant or the director.
  • Understand the recruitment process. Make sure you understand the employer’s next step in the hiring process; know when and from whom you should expect to hear next. Know what action you are expected to take next, if any.
  • When the interviewer concludes the interview, offer a firm handshake and make eye contact. Depart gracefully.
  • Take notes. After the interview, make notes right away so you don’t forget critical details.
  • Write a thank-you letter to your interviewer promptly.

 Interview Don’ts & How to Avoid Them:

  •  Poor presentation of portfolio documents: Don’t falsify application materials or answers to interview questions. Take certified copies of your CV, ID, drivers, certificates, letters of  recommendation and latest payslip.
  • Weak communication skills.
    Non-verbal communication or body language plays a crucial role throughout the interview. A poor handshake may weaken your chances of getting hired right from the very beginning. Also remember to make eye contact, avoid fidgeting and looking at your watch or cell phone (which should not even surface in an interview). Be aware of your body language–it may not be obvious to you but the interviewer will easily notice it. Poor verbal communication skills will almost certainly decrease your chances of getting hired. Giving a long, rambling answer to a simple question demonstrates an inability to concentrate and process relevant information. Avoid using any slang language–stay professional no matter what. Listening skills are also vital: don’t spend so much time thinking about your answer that you’re not paying attention to the question. Don’t start your sentences by “to be honest with you”….
  • Don’t go to extremes with your posture; don’t slouch, and don’t sit rigidly on the edge of your chair.
  • Don’t chew gum or smell like smoke.
  • Arrive to interview with other. Don’t take your parents, your pet (an assistance animal is not a pet in this circumstance), spouse, fiance, friends or enemies to an interview. If you are not grown up and independent enough to attend an interview alone, you’re insufficiently grown up and independent for a job. (They can certainly visit your new city, at their own expense, but cannot attend your interview).
  • Don’t spread all your belongings on the interviewers table, respect their space.
  • Failing to research the company.
    Be prepared to demonstrate an awareness of the company and the position for which you are applying. It’s going to be obvious that you did not do your research if you ask the interviewer to tell you more about the position or what the company does or the company vision etc. Read the job description advertised. Check out the company website. Know the organization the industry and competition. On the other hand, don’t go overboard with your knowledge and start showing off. When you know something about the company, wait for the right moment to share it. Do not interrupt the interviewer to tell them you already know the information. Wait until they have finished and then add a comment to what they just shared. 
  • Dressing inappropriately.
    When in doubt, err on the side of too formal. It is unlikely that there will be a good reason to show up for the interview casually dressed. Every company has its own dress policy, and it is a good practice to dress one level above what is acceptable for company. When you get the job you can adjust your dress code accordingly. Opt to wear approachable colours to invite trust and conversation.
  • Being late or too early.
    NEVER BE LATE. Develop a habit of being on time. It’s also important not to turn up too early because it creates the impression of having too much time on your hands and being desperate for the job. Five to ten minutes early is a good rule of thumb. Allow enough time for the interview (one hour is reasonable); the interviewer is taking the time to see you and you should award him or her the same courtesy.
  • Being negative.
    It’s important to have the right attitude during an interview. Never complain about your current job or boss and stay enthusiastic throughout the interview. Don’t use negative words in the interview such as “can’t” or  “ unable” or “personality clash” or “weakness” or “issues”, etc. Be careful to treat everyone you meet with courtesy, including the receptionist. Many companies watch to see how you treat their staff. It gives them an indication of how well you might fit in to the company.
  • A job search can be hard work and involve frustrations; don’t exhibit frustrations or a negative attitude in an interview.
  • Asking inappropriate questions.
    At the end of the interview ALWAYS take the opportunity to ask questions. By paying attention during the interview, you will ensure that you don’t ask about something that was already discussed. It’s ok to make notes in the interview and also take some time before the interview to think about the position, what it involves and what kind of information you need to know to learn more about it. Have several questions prepared before you go into the interview. Avoid asking questions about salary and benefits during the initial interview as these are only appropriate once you have been offered the job.
  • Reveal confidential info of your current employer.  Never reveal confidential information of your current employer to the interviewer. Your integrity is assessed this way. If the interviewer appears to probe brush him or her off politely and continue with the interview. Know beforehand what is confidential to your business and what isnt so you don’t come across as reserved and secretive in the interview.
  • Blame others for your shortfalls. ake ownership of your successes and failures. It’s ok to make mistakes and to fail but not to take accountability in this regard is one of the biggest weaknesses one could have!
  • Don’t act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don’t give the impression you are only interested in salary; don’t ask about salary and benefits issues until the subject is brought up by your interviewer.
  • Don’t act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don’t make the interviewer guess what type of work you are interested in; it is not the interviewer’s job to act as a career advisor to you.
  • Failing to follow up.
    Be persistent but reasonable. Send an email and thank you note after the interview, thanking the interviewer for their time. By following up and letting the recruiter know that you are still interested, you will increase your chances of getting a job.

2012 is the year of Change and Transformation! Transform yourself from within – Look into your Personal Branding…

January 12, 2012

Are you part of the group of people who need to re-look at their personal branding in order to achieve?

Personal Branding is an INTERNAL process that drives EXTERNAL performance and results.

There are 2 main types of people in this group:
POSITIVE (glass half-full outlook) or NEGATIVE (glass half-empty outlook) and ALL of them search outside of themselves for the things, items, places, positions or people that will “fix” their problems for them.

The type of solutions that these groups find most appealing is a “one size fits all” solution; one that fixes all of their problems – or if not all, then many.

But whether these solutions promise to “make them” – happier – more attractive – more popular
or “get them” – a promotion – a better job – a new business – a financial windfall…there’s something missing from these sorts of fixes.

These solutions distance people from their need to address how their internal perceptions
and performance impact their external reality – and that’s a problem.

While all of the goals listed above ARE totally achievable, a person’s INTERNAL perceptions
and performances need to change if they want to get significantly different EXTERNAL results.

But when an individual who wants their own personal brand is supposed to “get it” by listening to numerous branding metaphors and examples, all they “get” is frustrated!

Hearing an inspiring success story that you’d like to emulate gives you MOTIVATION, but it doesn’t give you the KNOWLEDGE, PROCESS or MECHANICS you need to ACHIEVE your desired result.

The famous quote, “Those who can — do. Those who can’t — teach.”
coined by Henry Louis Mencken, “an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, and acerbic critic of American life and culture.” often rings true.

Many people think that personal branding is exclusively for celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles or Kim Kardashian, yet each and every one of us is a brand.

Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. As a brand, we can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others and we can build brand equity just like them. We can also have just as much presence as most startups and mid-size companies and products.

Follow these simple 3 steps to revamp your “Personal Branding”:

Step 1: Discover your brand:

The single biggest mistake people make is that they either brand themselves just for the sake of doing it or that they fail to invest time in learning about what’s in their best interests.

The key to success, and this isn’t revolutionary, is to be compensated based on your passion. In order to find your passion, you need a lot of time to think, self-reflect, and research online to figure out what’s out there.

Brand discovery is about figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting goals, writing down a mission, vision and personal brand statement (what you do and who you serve), as well as creating a development plan, a work-in-progress plan.

Have you ever been called intelligent or humorous by your peers or co-workers? That description is part of your brand, especially if you feel those attributed pertain to you.

To know if you’ve discovered your brand, you need to equalize the following:

Your self-impression = How people perceive you

Step 2: Create your brand:

Now that you know what you want to do and have claimed a niche (your area of expertise and specialization), at least in your mind, it’s time to get it on paper and online. The sum of all the marketing material you should develop for your brand is called a Personal Branding Toolkit. This kit consists of the following elements that you can use to highlight your brand and allow people to easily view what you’re about.

Network your personal brand! Follow these simple steps and begin networking yourself the right way…

1. Wardrobe: Your personal style is tangible and is extremely important for standing out from the crowd. Select clothing that best represents and express you, because it will be viewable through your pictures/avatars online, as well as when you meet people in reality. Get a makeover if you feel it’s necessary.

2. Your CV/Resume/cover letter: These are typical documents that you need for applying for jobs and securing interviews. Be sure to prioritize each document with information custom to the target position. Take your CV/resume online and add social features to it promoting your personal brand to the world and making it shareable.

3. Business card: It doesn’t matter if you’re a college student, a singer, a CEO, or a consultant, everyone should have their own business card. The card should contain your picture (personal preference), your personal brand statement (such as Systems Financial Accountant), as well as your *preferred* contact information and your corporate logo if necessary.

4. Portfolio: Whether you use a CD, web or print portfolio, it’s a great way to showcase the work you’ve done in the past, which can convince someone of your ability to accomplish the same results for the future.

5. LinkedIn profile: This is a combination of a resume, cover letter, references document and a moving and living database of your network. Use it to create your own personal advertising, to search for jobs or meet new people in the professional space.

6. Facebook profile: Over 160 million people have profiles, but almost none of them have branded themselves properly using this medium. Be sure to include an appropriate profile picture i.e. avoid any obscene gestures or unnecessary vodka bottles. Also, input your work experience and fill out your profile, while turning on the privacy option that disables people from viewing personal pictures and videos while also untagging yourself.

7. Twitter profile: This profile should have an avatar that is carved out of your Facebook picture and used in your LinkedIn profile. You need to use a distinct background, fill out your profile and include a link to either your blog or LinkedIn profile. Twitterbacks.com, developed by internet mogul Jim Kukral, has templates you can use to sculpt your very own Twitter background (Photoshop skills not included). Twitbacks.com is another solution that also lets you promote your Twitter profile.

8. Video resume: A video resume is a short video of you talking about why you are the best for a specific job opportunity. You get about a minute or so to communicate your brand and are able to send the link, once you upload it to YouTube, to hiring managers.

9. Email address: Don’t overlook your email address as not being a significant part of your toolkit. Most people use email over all social networks and when you connect with someone on a social network, you are notified via email, so get used to it. Your email address poses a great opportunity for your brand. For your address, use “firstname.lastname@gmail.com”.

10. Blog/website: You need to own yourname.com or a website that aligns with your name in some fashion. Depending on who you are, how much time you have on your hands and if you can accept criticism, you should either start a blog or stick with a static homepage. Those who blog will have a stronger asset than those who don’t because blogs rank higher in search engines and lend more to your expertise and interest areas over time

Step 3: Verbal and Non Verbal Communication – Communicate your brand:

VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Deliver the message that you want received – Often, this is easier said than done. Doing so means understanding the communications process and the potential “noise” that could derail the delivery of your message. The key is to capture your audience’s attention, establish and maintain credibility, and to be clear and concise in delivering your message.

You will need to understand:

The communications process; Words you should and shouldn’t use; Vocal skills (e.g. voice tone/pace); and  The impact of non-verbal communications (e.g. body language/gestures) and how to use it to your .advantage.

Use the 30-Second Elevator Speech: Get your point across quickly – In today’s fast-paced society, where every second counts, it is critical that you be able to verbally convey your message about who you are, what you offer and how it’s unique (your value proposition), and what you want very quickly, succinctly and with confidence. Not being able to do so may well result in a missed opportunity!

Develop and hone your personal statement and coach yourself in your own quiet time on delivering an effective speech.

Etiquette: Know when to do or say what – Displaying proper etiquette in various business and social settings is a reflection of your overall image. Whereas in the past, etiquette for many people meant which fork or glass to use in a formal table setting, today, etiquette has evolved to include important topics like email and phone etiquette, what order to introduce a group of business colleagues and much more. Find out of the latest etiquette dos and don’ts so that you have the confidence to navigate in the business or social setting before attending.

Never use words that have negative connotations or are too general and are irrelevant to a position description.

Watch your intonation. Remember, intonation comes across in all media including emails and telephone conversations. I personally have a love-hate relationship with Blackberry’s for this very reason. Emails sent in a hurry can be not so well thought out and hurtful to your client relationship. When we text and email in a hurry, we leave off valuable punctuation and salutations that can make or break deals and relationships.

NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION: Many people think of communicating as talking. However, there is so much more to effective communication using your personal brand.

Image is unavoidable. If you have an online presence, people are making assumptions and forming opinions about you. They’re putting you into categories. It’s what people do. The conclusion they reach constitutes your image, whether you like it or not.

Maybe you don’t care. Not caring is certainly an option. But if you’re a professional, and I’m assuming you are if you’re reading this, you should probably care.  Image is like a shirt. Every morning you get up and pick out clothes that will be appropriate for what you’re going to do and who you’re going to see that day. So you just have to decide if the “online you” that you present is a guy in flip-flops with two days of stubble, or a well-groomed guy in a smart suit, or something in between. And you can have an “off-duty online you” and a “professional online you,” no problem! It doesn’t hurt someone’s image to seem like a well-rounded, multi-faceted person.

Image shouldn’t be artificial. A lot of people seem to have that sickliness reaction because they perceive that a personal brand is a facade. But the general consensus is that you have to be genuine in this day and age. So, just be yourself. Or, more accurately, your image should reflect the parts of yourself that you want to show the world. If your image is a fabrication, people will figure it out eventually, so honesty is the best policy.

Watch your body language in meetings and events. We never put enough importance on body language, yet roughly 90% of what you communicate to people is done through your body language, via non-verbal communication. So by the time you’ve got all the “perfect” words and sentences, you’ve already made your point- non verbally. The key is to watch your body language and communicate with intention. Are your arms titly crossed? Open up your arms and show people you are open to receiving their communication. Are your hands balled up in fists? Open up your palms to release tension and be open to receiving communication and gesturing. Are you leaning in to the other party, showing that you are listening and actively engaged, or are you sitting back?

Lastly, be selective about the words you use, choose your words carefully. As lawyers and professionals we are taught to word-smith in law school. However, we are never really taught to monitor what comes out of our mouths and account for the impact our words can have on our clients, colleagues and support staff. Our words combined with our body language and intonations are powerful. Have intention behind your actions so that your personal brand is well reflected.

Deliver your brand: Once you have established your personal brand, it’s time to showcase it to the world, especially your target audience. Don’t be fooled by the myth that if you build it, they will come. Unless you’re the luckiest person on earth, you’ll have to actually communicate to other’s everything you’ve created.

Written by Sylvia Thomaides – Operations Director in Tricruit (Jan 2012)

Source: The internet and personal experience

Tricruit wins AVUSA Award!

December 13, 2010

Tricruit Recruitment Specialists of Edenvale, Johannesburg, South Africa was awarded the Top Recruitment Solutions Agency Award at the recent Inaugural AVUSA Media Annual Recruitment Awards (AMARA) hosted by AVUSA Media on the 30th of October.  The spotlight shined on the biggest and best of the Recruitment Industry and leaders in HR and recruitment were recognised and honoured with a dazzling gala event held at The Campus in Bryanston. With a high calibre of entries, awards were given for the valuable role these industries play in ensuring the success and development of organisations, which in turn helps to further develop the South African economy.
The management and staff of Tricruit extend their heartfelt gratitude to their clients who voted and supported the team; their vote of confidence, positive comments and guidance has resulted in this prestigious award finding a home with Tricruit. Tricruit’s clients are the pillars on which Tricruit is built and without them Tricruit would not be standing firm as it is today. They are the real winners!! Hand- picked for their leadership values, principles and standards, business ethics, vision, devotion to employee wellness and their pioneering operations, the Tricruit clients set the recruitment quality standard that leads Business in South Africa.

Started in 1996, Tricruit is a total solutions recruitment service provider for the IT industry, and has been making waves ever since! The Tricruit team is comprised of mature, intelligent and ethical professionals experienced in the business sector in which they specialize.  Tricruit is a specialist in Permanent and Temporary employment services nationally in the following sectors: Information Technology, Financial services, Human Resources, Payroll, Sales and Marketing and Engineering.

Tricruit is committed to their clients and as they pledge their continuous loyalty and value added contribution to the industry, they strive even to surpass what they have achieved over the past 14 years. Tricruit assures their clients that their recruitment solutions needs shall continue to be their priority as the wellness of their business is Tricruit’s goal.

Tricruit wishes for a mutually successful 2011.

Contact Tricruit for your recruitment solutions needs 011 453 3001 or visit their website www.tricruit.co.za.

Tricruit Article in the Star Newspaper

December 13, 2010


Employer Branding

December 13, 2010

Aligning Employer Brand with target market to enable effective attraction, retention and development of talent.

What does “Employer Brand” actually mean?

An employer brand, or even better, a corporate culture is a collection of ideas and beliefs that influence the way current and potential employees view an organization, the employment environment or the experience that organization is offering.  A company’s mission statement should incorporate the company culture and values to ignite the employee’s passion to fit in with the organizational culture and aid the company’s forward growth.  Everything an organization does will influence how prospective employees view its employer brand.

‘Brand management was created by Procter & Gamble in 1931. These principles were first used by the US Army 80’s although the term ’employer brand’ wasn’t used until the early 1990’s as a term to help organisations drive greater employee commitment and compete more effectively for talent.  (Source: The Employer Brand, Simon Barrow, Richard Mosley 2005)”

Every company should align itself to the global market if they are to thrive in today’s interconnected economies. The competition for talent has become global and businesses are struggling to fill key roles as staff demand new horizons and new challenges.  Employer branding provides a strong employment promise to new recruits as well as points out the positive difference against competitors.

Successful companies’ objectives in developing their employer brand are to become an employer of choice. It is becoming harder and harder for any company in the market place to attract outstanding caliber people. Unemployment is at a record high but skilled Labour is at a record low so the need to compete against other companies and not only to draw talent but also to draw the right talent into your organization, is a priority!

Talent looks at the way jobs are designed; the way that tasks and activities are allocated; the way that managers and supervisors deal with and communicate with their people, through to the way their product or service brand is actually perceived by the wider market.  Even the way a potential employee’s friends and relatives see the “future employer” affects the decision making of a prospective employee!

 How do organizations create an Employer Brand that delivers results?

To develop a successful employer brand, you must first understand what perceptions and beliefs your current employees and the talent market already have about your organization’s culture and brand promise.  This requires research by the right people.  It is really important to understand why potential recruits either want to join your organization or wouldn’t even consider you as a potential employer.  It is equally important to understand what your employees, in all departments and office locations, understand to be your employer brand.  What the ‘added value’ of being an employee with your company really is and if these perceptions don’t match up to your business goals then it is time to begin looking at readdressing your employer brand.

Companies can utilise their labour suppliers’ feedback, exit interviews, employee surveys, external surveys and many other means across a wide range of stakeholders to bring their current employer brand into focus.

1)       Research your company’s current talent attraction and retention performance:

  • Ascertain in which departments or job titles you have problems hiring.
  • Assess whether your current employees represent the calibre of employees you would like to hire in the future.
  • Ensure that the right people at your organization are conducting the interviews; do they represent the image you would like to convey to the market place?
  • If you make a job offer and it is declined, find out why the applicant wasn’t interested in joining your team.
  • Conduct exit interviews to establish why people are leaving your organization.

 2)       Conduct an audit on your company’s values and points of difference from competitors:

  • List the reasons why someone may opt for employment with your organization.
  • It may be worthwhile to conduct a survey and/or a focus group with internal and external stakeholders to compare your stated company values with the reality of internally and externally held perceptions and opinions about your organization.

 3)  Consistency between brand reality and the image you sell are critical for success: 

  • Ensure current employees are aware of what the organization represents in terms of culture and values.
  • Measure the consistency of your employer brand across all channels.
  • Become business partners with your Labour supplier, let them advise you of the daily challenges they face regarding your talent acquisition requirements. 

Placing an advertisement in the newspaper is no longer sufficient to source talent. One needs to use a very diverse range of print advertising, online and networking channels to attract candidates and your labour suppliers can talk you through the merits of each one.  Your labour supplier can also help you identify and highlight your organizational selling points based on what candidates give them as feedback and on what is offered in the market place.

4)   Initiate your roll-out plan:

  1. Establish an ‘Employer Brand Team’ which includes at lease one C-level Executive.
  2. Ensure the values and attributes are conveyed in your hiring channels such as advertising, company websites, labour suppliers and public relations programmes.
  3. Review the messaging on a quarterly basis to ensure your organization continues to adhere to the guidelines you have established.
  4. Conduct an annual ‘brand health check’ to measure the perceptions of your internal and external stakeholders.

Once this is achieved, it is important to create a brand development team that encompasses a wide range of stakeholders to ensure that the final product truly reflects the ideas and beliefs of the entire organization. This will be a costly but necessary exercise!

This would be the role of the Strategic Manager to ensure that the Mission Statement is communicated from higher levels of the company through to the lower levels and to ascertain whether the company is working towards the unified goal.

Once your employer brand has been defined and implemented, consistency is key to success.  All communications (both internal and external), policies, actions, goals, business plans – everything you say and do – must be consistent with your employer brand promise.

Finally, just as a business is not static, neither is an employer brand.

It is important to periodically measure the success of the employer brand and its continued relevancy to employees through ongoing research.

How does an effective employer brand assist in the attraction and retention of quality staff, particularly Generation X and Y?

  • The silent generation is probably exiting the working environment, probably retiring, age group of about 60-70’s and they have been influenced by world events such as the rise of the apartheid era, WW2, colonisation etc.
  • The boomer generation is in their 40-50’s, and generally occupy positions of authority; are optimistic idealists who place tremendous value in team orientation and excellence through hard work. They are image conscious, strive for personal growth and gratification, and would do anything to stay young!
  • The X generation are in their 20-30’s; they are rising to the ranks of management. Influenced by globalisation, information revolution, political and socio-economical turmoil.

 Technophile pragmatists!

These individuals want choices, are very adaptable to change, are not afraid of failure and expect INSTANT GRATIFICATION in most instances.

  •  Finally, generation Y!  Those are our youngsters, just entering the work environment. They are optimistic, confident and have a high self esteem. They have grown up in a world of TV, cell phones and the Internet. They know terrorism and protectionism quite well. They are technophiles comfortably engaging with people through social networking sites such as Facebook and Mxit. They crave a sense of community and commitment.

Currently, many businesses are still geared towards the values of the silent and boomer generation even though this has began to change in the last decade, and Boomers are taking over the reigns of leadership.  Things will have to change drastically in the near future and businesses will have to put emphasis on flexibility and be more accommodating for the new generations entering the work force.

Attracting Talent

Gen X’s and particularly Gen Y’s are very sceptical about companies that don’t have a web presence.  If they’re actively seeking new job opportunities they’re going to search the Internet and visit job portals, they will not rely on traditional classified adverts.  If you’re struggling to attract the younger talent, perhaps it’s time that you re-looked at your website  and assessed the image you’re portraying to the market place.

Changing The Way You Recruit (reference: www.apso.co.za)

In order to achieve success, recruiters have to develop new tactics to deal with the changing attitudes and expectations of talent across the different generations.  There is definitely no longer a “one size fits all” approach to handling counter-offers and other recruitment issues.

Your labour suppliers have to be professional strategists and not just a “CV pushing” service!

Choose your labour suppliers carefully, they too must represent your brand and be able to share your vision just like your managers do!

The latest trend in recruitment procedures will be devastating to businesses!

Many organizations are cutting budgets to accommodate for increased costs of operations and reduced turnovers due to external factors.  As a result, organizations attempt to cut down their recruitment costs by recruiting on their own, staff whom they perceive to be easy to find e.g., receptionists, secretaries, credit controllers, call centre staff, etc.  Big mistake!  Organizations create a weak link in their operation this way … Why?

  1. Most in-house recruiters are not experienced or even trained in talent evaluation and acquisition.
  2. No third party buffer to overcome objections from Gen Y recruits.  As a result, offers are declined!
  3. Internet portals deny corporate access to their “CV pool” databases and therefore limit organizations to only “today’s fresh career seekers”!
  4. Close the door to the constructive criticism they would receive regarding their company branding and recruitment processes.
  5. Gen Y’s doing understand hierarchy and formalities!  They need coaching regarding interviews and recruitment procedures, and assessments – something that your labour supplier should be doing!

The battle for the ‘first interview’ is often the most important battle to win

An employer brand and reputation go a long way in attracting people and this is particularly beneficial for many larger companies.   Smaller companies, however, need to better communicate their culture, philosophy and vision to potential candidates.

The first interview is absolutely crucial!

Companies in today’s times that insist from their suppliers to do a skills assessment prior to the first interview will be short-lived!

It is surprising how little emphasis is placed on a “first impression” by most organizations!  Serious consideration should be given to whether an HR person tasked with ‘getting through the CV numbers’ can communicate the correct culture and vision at this critical stage.

As Jack Welch says in his book ‘Winning’,  “If your company does not have the competitive advantages then don’t compete”.

Communicate Effectively

The younger generations are technophiles and expect their recruitment professionals to be the same!  X and Y career seekers want to know why it’s necessary to interact face-to-face if Skype, web cam is available.  Why they can’t do the typing assessments online from their home/office or an Internet café?  Why does your labour supplier not have SMS facilities or the ability to engage with them via Facebook or LinkedIn?

Managing Expectation

Gen X’s and Y’s demand instant gratification and don’t always understand why the recruitment process takes so long!  It is therefore even more important that you spend time with them at the outset explaining the process and what you, and their, responsibility is during the recruitment cycle. Do the same with your labour suppliers.

Ensure that you schedule regular feedback opportunities.

Listening and Meeting their Requirements

Gen X’s place a great deal of importance on their individualism and opportunity to control their own lives through choice.  As a result, they require a great deal of information about the position, the management style, their promotional prospects and their ability to control their working life. Make sure that your labour supplier has all this information so that they can execute the required tasks efficiently and to your expectations.

They are interested mostly in perks, the hours, the salary and how this job is going to benefit them, rather than what they can bring to the company.  This can be particularly tricky when one considers that the majority of decision makers are Boomers who have a completely different perspective on things!

Handling the dreaded “Counter-Offer”

My initial training in recruitment (late 1980’s) taught me to approach the counter-offer issue by repeating to the candidate how a counter-offer was an insult because it meant that their current employer hadn’t appreciated them all along.  The tactic works if you need to attract the Boomers who place emphasis on loyalty and a sense of belonging but it doesn’t work for Gen X or Y.  Gen X’s, and in particular Gen Y’s, are all about “what’s in it for me, right now?” and will have no qualms about accepting a counter-offer today and resigning again in a couple months time when the extra few thousand Rand is no longer an incentive to stay.

As a result, your labour suppliers and your recruiters need to re-assess the way they approach counter-offers and be aware that, when dealing with younger generations, and in particular, those with skills that are high in demand and in short supply, the counter-offer is to be expected.  By understanding what truly motivates the career seeker and core values of each generation the recruiter will be more equipped to find things within the organization’s operation to offer the new recruit that will be more attractive than just money!

Case study:

Company Delta is one of Tricruit’s most valued clients a leader in their field with a well aligned “employer brand” and a proven talent acquisition, development and retention track record.

(Real names relating this case study are withheld for confidentiality reasons)

Company Delta has a low turnover of staff and a competitive edge in technology!

About 10 years ago when Company Delta began operation in SA recruited ambitious degree grads who are still in their employ and now in their early or mid 30’s; they are successful people with family responsibilities.

Company Delta had to change and adapt in order to retain their human and intellectual capital as business evolved in the last 10 years.

These skilled and competent individuals no longer thrive on clubbing, red bull or getting home at 03:00 in the morning! They are generation X achievers who have a wife or a husband, kids with school fees, house with a bond to pay and a few cars to maintain!

In most instances the wife and husband work to provide for the family so they need more money to hire an aupair for the kids, pay for after school, exciting birthday parties, etc.

Generation X talent needs MONEY and FLEXIBILITY!

Family wellness is a serious priority at Company Delta.  Employees work flexi-hours with the laptop and 3G card from the beach or from home, save in travel costs, cut down the daily traffic frustration and are personally looking after their baby when it’s sick!    A Company Delta employee, for example, can take their kids to the beach on a Tuesday without neglecting their job’s deadlines! That is Quality of Life!

Company Delta aids the well being of their staff by providing them easy access to essential services: Gym, Hair salon, Spa, Drycleaners, CNA, Computicket, various staff restaurants including franchises such as Nando’s and Fego’s Café, postal services, parking shuttles for easy and secure access to their parked cars.  Plus, they offer their employees life plans and progressive salary reviews bi-annually based on individual performance!

I interviewed the recently appointed Deputy CIO of Company Delta, Mr James Bond, a 33 year old Generation X inspirational man who has achieved, against all odds, a good balance between work and personal life!   He has a Masters in Business Administration and is in the process of enrolling for this doctorate.  Mr Bond joined Company Delta about 9 months ago; was previously at a leading banking institution where he was the Head of Infrastructure, Personal loans division for two years; and prior to this he was with a leading hospitality group where, after 8.5 years of achieving, he left the organisation as the General Manager if IT of the Group’s largest Resort. 

Mr Bond has a long list of achievements and awards to his name!  He feels that the Business Unit Manager, in general, should undertake the development and execution of the company’s Human Capital Management.  The Business Unit Manager is the one who should translate strategies, set goals and has the passion as well as the business acumen to inspire and motivate his/her team in achieving the overall business strategies.  Most people fail to acquire talent due to their inability to translate business objectives into simple execution goals.

Businesses should promote their image through their labour suppliers, public relations, advertising and word of mouth.  If your employees love working for your company and buy into your employer brand they will be your best advertising tool.  Happy employees are beacons not just for customers but also for prospective employees.   A strong vision for a brand has the potential and personality to aid the organization to overcome many of the cultural issues in terms of bringing people on board.

The skills shortage is a major challenge when it comes to talent retention.

A few aspects of an organization’s culture impacts both on the talent acquisition success and also on talent retention rates.

If the employer brand is effective it will attract staff with a solid cultural fit who integrate easily with the organization.

Mr Bond is a firm supporter of psychometric testing. Most organizations use this practice for senior level positions due to the cost factor but Mr Bond recommends that it’s used for around the board talent acquisition. It’s an expensive exercise but certainly a fruitful one! In order to achieve real value from such assessments it is pivotal to ensure that the key outputs of a job specification is what is being assessed in the form of a psychometric test. There has to be alignment of this in order to ensure that the prospective candidate delivers value from day one.

The main challenge for most companies is to create a culture in which people enjoy working in and the challenge isn’t salary levels it’s about getting the culture right! 

If the employer brand delivers on its promise, these staff members will be more willing to stay with the organization, creating strong talent retention.  The effectiveness of internal communication, the extent to which employees are motivated to perform to expectation and the quality of the leadership given by management play an important role in retaining staff.  All these factors relate to the strength of the organization’s employer brand and the way that this is perceived internally by current employees, as well as externally by potential future recruits.  

Mr Bond recommends innovative On-Boarding Practices for Organizations and Strategic Succession Planning.

Let’s look at Mr James Bond as “the career seeker”! 

What influenced Mr Bond’s decision to accept the opportunity at Company Delta?

  1. He would be part of a family, not a number or a statistic.
  2. People’s well being is a serious priority at Company Delta.
  3. The Culture is young, energetic, dynamic, and resourceful.
  4. He respected the CEO and CIO and what they represented. Company goals and challenges were aligned with his.
  5. Technology used as competitive advantage.
  6. Company is striving to achieve operational excellence by means of technology.
  7. All software is developed in-house. This process reduces the decision turnaround time.
  8. Remuneration offered was aligned with his expectations.

 We asked Mr Bond, in his opinion, how can a company achieve “Competitive advantage” in today’s market?

  1. The Information Technology needs to be recognized as the Company’s competitive edge. The CIO of Company Delta sits with the board of executives.
  2. Achieve operational excellence.
  3. Create “centres of excellence” within your business.

Today’s employees need to understand the bigger picture!  They must be equipped with business acumen to understand what every delay or error in their performance or deliverance means to the Customer, Shareholder and to the bottom line!

New recruits must be fit for the industry expectations, not only from a skills competence level but also from a soft competency perspective.

According to Mr Bond and the research conducted, Talent wants:

  1. MONEY
  2. Career growth and direction
  3. Location, location, location!  Rising petrol costs and traffic have made this an issue.
  4. Quality of life – flexibility, family wellbeing and stability.

To attract the X and Y generations you need to offer instant gratification (money), self actualisation (become all you can be), and a life plan (career path)!

How to retain your human capital and therefore your intellectual capital!

Deliver the promise your company branding makes.

  1. Be consistent with your deliverance.
  2. Listen!
  3. Develop strong succession planning; most companies do not have a “skills transfer plan”.

Brief pointers on developing your talent?

  • Psychometric testing.
  • Performance management.
  • Talent Management and Succession planning.
  • Leadership Development.
  • Team dynamics.

Here are a couple of important questions to assess your readiness as a company with a clearly identified company branding strategy:

  1. Do you know the average age of your organization’s workforce?
  2. How are the different generations (Boomers,  X and Y) represented in your workplace?
  3. How familiar are you with the newest Competency-on-the-block:  “Generational Acumen” and its implications?
  4. Do you, as a Manager, still believe that workers should be in the office from nine to five to be productive?
  5. How familiar are you with the technological preferences of your Generation X and Y Workers?
  6. Are you sometimes struggling to engage and retain the services of your skilled employees?
  7. How do you accommodate the needs of your Generation X and Y Workers i.e., work/life balance, flexible work practices, flexible compensation and pay, etc?

Sylvia Thomaides

Operations Director