Sep
09

Lloyd Dicks

Want to know the all time secret to keeping your staff out of the headhunters’ sights?  It’s really quite simple.  Put yourself in your employee’s shoes.

 

So many times I see employers making unbelievably stupid mistakes, and then wondering why they loose their staff. 

 

The other day I saw a classic case of this.  A large corporate decided to start charging each of their staff R20 per month for tea and coffee.  Without consulting the staff, they simply deducted R20 off the employee’s salaries and included this deduction on their payslips.  How do I know about this?  Within 4 days of this happening, I received CVs of 5 of their developers.  I was obviously curious as to why they were disgruntled and I asked them and they told me.  Now granted this was just the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the back broke.

 

I won’t bore you with the maths, but I worked out that just the recruitment fee to replace one of these developers could keep 410 employees in tea and coffee for an entire year.  That is not taking into consideration the downtime, training, knowledge, intellectual capital etc that they would loose with loosing just one of these developers.

 

What they forgot was that they are dealing with people, not machines.  R20 may not seem like much, but it was sufficient to irritate the employees enough to start looking around. 

 

So what do you do to keep your staff?

 

1)     Before making a decision, think of it from the employee’s point of view.  How would you feel if your boss did this?

2)     Try to find unique things which you can add to your employee’s package which will add more value to them, than the money it would cost you.  If your employee is a golfer, give him a Wednesday afternoon off a month.  You’d be surprised how he/she gets used to this, and this becomes a deal breaker when the employee is offered other employment.

 

I’d be interested to hear comments from employees with other good ideas of what bosses have done in the past which has kept you off the job market.

 

Employers, don’t wait until your staff resign before you decide they are worth looking after.  This is just insulting and leaves a bad taste in their mouths, even if you persuade them to stay.

 

Lloyd Dicks


Founder of the JobFishing website.  After many years contracting in IT roles, in South Africa and abroad, Lloyd has spent the last 12 years in the recruitment and selection business.  He is currently Sales Director of Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd.  While very much involved in the recruitment of top it staff, Lloyd is also a Job Coach and Trainer. 

Dec
10

Lloyd DicksIt sounds like it could be the title to Mel Gibson’s next movie.  What employers want!  It is the million-dollar question, and if you can find the answer, and provide the solution, you are hired.  It is as simple as that!

So what do employers want?  What every employer wants is a solution to their problems.  If they are recruiting – then they have a problem – they have a job that either isn’t being done, or it is overloading the rest of their staff, or they are expanding and therefore they have a new job to fill.

As a jobseeker to that company, it is your mission to find out what that company’s problems are, and then to show them that by hiring you, you can solve these problems for them.

So how do you do this?  Here are three steps to follow.  Lets take it that you have heard that a particular company is looking to appoint someone in your field of expertise.  

1)      First know yourself.   You would think that this is obvious, but you would be surprised how few candidates have really spent the time getting to know themselves.  What are your strengths, what are weaknesses?   Think of your skills and figure out how they will be a benefit to your employer.  (See “People don’t buy things").

2)      Do your homework on the company.  Look on the Internet, scan the business publications, and find out everything you can about the company.  First find out about the company itself.  What does it do, what business is it in.  Then learn about the industry they are in.  What products do they use?  Who are their competitors?  Find the name of someone who works there, and phone them and ask them some questions.  Find out about the job they have vacant.  What does this job entail, and what else would be a nice to have.

3)      Lastly, put all this information together.  Make a list of what you have to offer this company – what will make you valuable to them.  What are your differentiating factors, and what’s in it for them.  Where are you a perfect match, where do you fall short, and what extras do you have to offer.  

Once you know yourself, you know the company, and you truly believe that you can add value to the company, call and apply for the job.  You will be amazed at how much "quiet self-confidence" you will have in your ability.  It shows, it really does.

Lloyd Dicks


Founder of the JobFishing website.  After many years contracting in IT roles, in South Africa and abroad, Lloyd has spent the last 12 years in the recruitment and selection business.  He is currently Sales Director of Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd.  While very much involved in the recruitment of top it staff, Lloyd is also a Job Coach and Trainer. 

Dec
09

Lloyd DicksIt fascinates me, how many times I speak with Jobseekers, who complain that they have been for interviews, and two weeks later they still have had no feedback from the interviewer.  When questioned, they admit that they have made no contact with the interviewer since their meeting.  

Think about it for a moment.  The chances are that the employer has interviewed a number of candidates for the same position.  One of those candidates has taken the trouble to write and thank the prospective employer for the meeting.  Who do you think will stand the best chance of landing the job offer?

It all comes down to making yourself stand out favorably in the interviewers mind.  At the end of the interview, after saying goodbye to the interviewer, swing by the reception desk (or phone when you get home) and ask for his/her e-mail address or better still their postal address.  Drop the person a thank-you note.  I guarantee you that even if everyone reads this message, only one out of ten of you will actually do it.

You may be thinking to yourself, “doesn’t this make me come across as desperate?”  I don’t think so.  What it does show is that you are polite and that you appreciate and value the time that they have spent meeting with you.  

Take a few moments to write a quick thank you.  You will be surprised at the result you will get.

Good luck, and tight lines.

Lloyd Dicks


Lloyd Dicks – Founder of the JobFishing website.  After many years contracting in IT roles, in South Africa and abroad, Lloyd has spent the last 12 years in the recruitment and selection business.  He is currently Sales Director of Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd.  While very much involved in the recruitment of top it staff, Lloyd is also a Job Coach and Trainer. 

Dec
09

Those of you who are regulars to this site will have noticed that we have changed the look and feel of the Jobfishing site.  The new site is more of a blog format.  We hope this will make it easier for our users to find the help and advice they are looking for as well as interact with those writing the articles.

We will appreciate your feedback.

Jun
10

Ray Dicks A “winning CV” or resume is an important part of finding a new job. Let us back up and say, that…unless you have a good well-constructed Curriculum Vitae or CV you are wasting your time…certainly when it comes to job hunting! Not only is a CV a useful tool in opening doors to those elusive interviews, it is also a confidence builder and therefore a vital document in finding a good job. There are a number of companies in the recruitment industry who advertise a comprehensive CV Service. In other words they will, based on the information you provide, construct a CV for you. There is normally a cost involved, but if it helps you to secure a good job, it will be worth the investment many times over! However, if you have access to a computer and are careful to keep a few things in mind, you should be able to construct your own… “winning CV.” One of the very first things to remember when constructing a CV is the fact that it is first and foremost a business document and not a work of art! Therefore, you should keep away from any decorative fonts or fancy lines or borders, and especially clip-art! If you really want a company to pay attention to your CV then be sure to include a small photograph of yourself and attach this to the front cover of your CV. As far as the body of your CV is concerned there is certain information that needs to be included and that information can be divided into four basic categories: Personal Details, Educational Details, Employment Record and an Addendum Section. Now with due regard to the Labour Relations Act, keep in mind the fact that you are not obliged to submit information that relates to Race, Sex, Religion, Political Opinion/Persuasion Ethnic/Social Origin, Sexual Orientation, Disability, Age, Conscience, Belief, Culture, Language, Family Responsibility, Marital Status or other arbitrary ground. However, having said that, I would strongly recommend that you volunteer as much information as you feel comfortable with and be sure to include all contact numbers and an e-mail address if you have one. After you have listed your Personal Details (allow one page for this), the next section is Educational Details. Here you need to supply all relevant information. If you have a tertiary education you must include the qualification, the date and institution where the qualification was obtained and the subjects involved. The same applies to diplomas and certificates. You must be able to provide proof of certification. Now for a word of warning….be very careful not to misrepresent your details or to try and mislead a potential employer or a recruitment company. The above information should, once again, take up no more than one page The following section of your CV should cover your Employment Record. Begin by listing your current or last position first. List the name of the company and include the location (i.e. Johannesburg etc). Show the full dates of your employment including the month and year. Mention your first and last designation or position with the company. Now give a full listing of your duties and responsibilities whilst with the company. Mention, to whom you reported and include your salary details upon leaving. Bear in mind you might be required to show proof of your earnings. Finally give your reasons for leaving. Be completely honest here, but try and keep it positive! “Personality clash” is usually not a good reason for leaving! Now proceed and give the same information for your last three or even four positions depending on how many positions you have held. After that, unless the previous positions are relevant to your experience, you may summarise the information, but don’t leave anything out and don’t have any gaps in your employment record. Finally, if you didn’t include possible referees under each position, now would be a good time to do that. Be sure to include contact telephone numbers. Your entire CV (the first three sections) should not be longer than four or five pages at the most! It might even be a good idea to have a shortened or condensed version of your CV (no more than three pages), for faxing or e-mailing purposes. The last or final section, the addendum, should be separate from the body of your CV and should include copies of any qualifications and, most important, any letters of testimonial etc. Do not include any unrelated or unimportant information. The idea of a CV is simply to open the door to an interview! Finally, here’s a tip to keep in mind…staple your CV, or only use a binder which allows the document to remain in an open position when placed on a flat surface. You should also be able to add or take out a page if you need to update your CV at any time. It is a good idea to include a pre-approach letter when distributing your CV. Remember, you only get one chance to make a lasting first impression…make sure your CV doesn’t let you down!  Ray Dicks


Ray Dicks, Founder of Star Personnel and the Linx Personnel Group, has spent nearly 20 years in the recruitment industry.  He has interviewed and placed a countless number of candidates in all industries and diciplines.  He is now sharing his knowlege with JobSeekers.

Jun
15

Lloyd DicksWe have all heard it before.  It is written in every sales or marketing book ever written.  People don’t buy things they buy what those things can do for them.  A man shopping for a  50mm bit for his drill, really doesn’t want a drill bit, what he wants is a 50mm hole.

This should be at the top of our minds when looking for a new job.  Your job, as the candidate, is to show the prospective employer, that you are the solution to his/her problems.  Think about it as if you were sitting on the hiring side of the desk.  What would you want to know about the person you were interviewing?  

If you were recruiting for a receptionist you would want a well-groomed individual, who spoke well, and would enhance your companies image.  The person would need exceptional people skills, a pleasant disposition, and the ability to work in an often-stressful environment when it gets busy.   The person will need to be efficient and accurate, you wouldn’t want them to take down the wrong number when taking a message.

When you think of it like this (from the hiring side of the desk), it is easy to identify what characteristics the interviewer is looking for in you, the candidate.  They want to know that you are presentable (so include a small photo of yourself in business attire in the CV and make sure you dress well for the interview).  They want to know that you enjoy people, so include examples of opportunities you have had in dealing with people.  They want to know that you are efficient and accurate, even under stressful environments, so make sure you demonstrate that you have handled this before.  

Before you start looking for a new job, sit for a while and imagine that you were on the hiring side of the desk.  What characteristics would you be looking for?  Write these down on a piece of paper.  Then decide how your personality and skills can solve these problems for the employer, and make sure that your CV shows this.  When you are interviewed, emphasise these abilities to the prospective employer.  You will be surprised how you suddenly understand why interviewers ask the questions they do.

It is all about making the interviewers decision to hire you, as easy as possible.  It is your job as the candidate to show them that you are the solution that they have been looking for.

Lloyd Dicks


Lloyd Dicks – Founder of the JobFishing website.  After many years contracting in IT roles, in South Africa and abroad, Lloyd has spent the last 12 years in the recruitment and selection business.  He is currently Sales Director of Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd.  While very much involved in the recruitment of top IT staff, Lloyd is also a Job Coach and Trainer. 

Jun
11

Ray DicksMet byna veertig persent van die potensiële werkersmag van Suid-Afrika sonder werk, is daar nog nooit 'n meer geleë tyd vir enige werknemer om hierdie belangrike saak in oënskou te neem nie.

Voordat jy opgewonde begin raak oor die moontlikheid van 'n nuwe of beter werk, moet jy jouself 'n belangrike vraag afvra…..kan my huidige werk na 'n goeie werk verander word?

Soms lyk weivelde aan die ander kant wel groener, maar deeglike ondersoek bewys dikwels die teendeel. Onthou die verhaal van die "akkers met diamante besaai" — van hoe 'n Suid-Afrikaanse boer 'n soektog op tou gesit het na diamante en hoe hy brandarm en na 'n leeftyd se soeke en frustrasie homself uiteindelik in 'n rivier gewerp het om te verdrink. 'n Paar jaar na sy dood ontdek hulle toe 'n paar diamante op sy plaas en hoe langer hulle gesoek het hoe meer diamante het hulle daar ontdek totdat daar bevind is dat die plaas akkers vol diamante kan lewer. Betreurenswaardig is die feit dat die diamante al die tyd daar verskuil gelê het. Al wat die boer moes doen om die waardevolle edelstene te vind en ontsaglik ryk te word was om te grawe. Laat my toe om jou te vra…het jy al jou akker vol diamante ontgin, of is jy soos die boer wat oral elders kyk in die hoop dat jy eendag die geluk sal tref?

Voordat jy van werk verander (met die aanname dat jy een het), of van baas, loopbaanrigting, plek of die mense met wie jy saamwerk verander, moet jy moontlik eers JOUSELF verander!…. en dan in die besonder jou gesindheid jeens jou werk. Sodoende vind jy soms dat allerhande nuwe en opwindende dinge begin gebeur.

Die meeste maatskappye vandag werk volgens 'n begroting en soek geleenthede om hul personeel op te lei, maar die individue moet self die inisiatief neem. JY moet gesien word as een wat die ekstra myl loop en begerig is om jou vaardighede te ontwikkel, en om sodoende waarde aan jou maatskappy toe te voeg.

Ongelukkig dink baie werknemers vandag dat hulle vir 'n leë kaggel kan sê "maak my eers warm, dan stook ek jou met hout", maar die lewe en die arbeidsmark werk nie so nie. Ons moet eers die hout verskaf en dan kan ons die hitte geniet. Maak eers erns met jou werk en jy mag verbaas staan oor die resultate.

Een van belangrikste eienskappe waarmee jy die arbeidsmark kan betree is 'n positiewe ingesteldheid. Soms dra 'n positiewe ingesteldheid meer gewig as die diploma teen die muur. Ek sê nie 'n diploma is nie voordelig nie! In wese sê ek dis soms belangriker….jou gevoel omtrent dit wat jy weet, eerder as jou kennis self. Liewer minder kennis en goed oor jouself voel….met stille vertroue.

Soos wat 'n werknemer 'n paar jaar gelede aan my gesê het, "jy kan 'n sekretaresse aanstel wat 92 woorde per minuut tik maar 'n swak gesindheid openbaar en jy sit met hope probleme, of jy stel 'n sekretaresse aan wat 60 woorde per minuut tik en 'n goeie gesindheid openbaar, gewillig om te leer, en daar het jy 'n absolute STER". Dink 'n oomblik na, wat sal jy verkies indien jy die werkgewer is?

Dus….voor jy impulsief van werk, baas of loopbaanrigting verander, beskou jou huidige situasie, is dit werklik so sleg? Is daar iets wat jy kan doen om die situasie positief te verander? Is daar geleentheid vir jou as individu om 'n skuif binne die maatskappy te maak?

Werkgewers vandag wil nie die ongerief van personeelvervanging ervaar nie. Dit kan baie frustrerend en duur wees en tot allerhande komplikasies aanleiding gee!

Nou goed…..wat nou as jy wel alles probeer het, maar sonder sukses, of jou reeds tussen een werk en 'n ander bevind, of deur afdanking in die gesig gestaar word na jare by dieselfde firma? Wel, daar is besliste maniere waarop mens 'n goeie werk soek en dit vind. Besoek gerus “Current Jobs” www.linxpersonnel.co.za 

Ray Dicks.


Ray Dicks, Founder of Star Personnel and the Linx Personnel Group, has spent nearly 20 years in the recruitment industry.  He has interviewed and placed a countless number of candidates in all industries and diciplines.  He is now sharing his knowlege with JobSeekers.