All posts by Tammy

Ethics & Integrity whilst job hunting!

We have noticed that in the last few months, there seem to be a complete lack of ethics and integrity, especially during job hunting.

In a small business world, the importance of business ethics and integrity is essential both on the side of businesses and individuals. We all know the expression that word travels fast, and in Africa it is like a bush fire, one unethical act is suddenly known by everyone and can damage reputations for life.

Due to this we ask all candidates to value ethics and integrity during the whole process and that common courtesies should be considered.

  1. Firstly, be accurate in the roles you apply for – if you are a Financial Graduate, do not apply for a Finance Director role – you will not be considered, and your application will be not be taken seriously. This takes away from the fact that you may a serious job hunter, and also begs the question of have you even taken time to read the job description. So please be realistic and on the Recruitment Matters website if you are unable to answer yes to the three questions at the bottom of the job description you are unlikely to be considered, these are requirements from our clients and are not flexible areas. Please use your ethics here and do not tick yes to things you can not do, or degrees you do not have.
  1. If you are successful in securing an interview, we will confirm the interview with you on three separate occasions. If at any stage you are unable to attend, please have the courtesy to advise us. If you do not advise us, and we receive a call from the client advising you were a no-show, we will be extremely disappointed as we have put our reputation on the line on your behalf. We will now advise, should this happen on more than two occasions it will become unlikely we will be able to assist you going forward.
  1. If you have received the offer, go to resign and are counter-offered by your current employer, ask yourself why are they doing this. On most occasions it is because the employer does not want to have to go to the trouble of going through a recruitment process and training up someone new, but put yourself in their shoes. If you were the employer, would you trust someone to be 100% committed to you now you know that they are open to other opportunities and wanted to leave? Career growth and further salary increases following a counter-offer are usually off the table.
  1. If you decide to take a job and sign the contract, please note you are signing a legally binding document. This seems to be forgotten and on several occasions recently we have seen candidates signing contracts and then not turning up for work with the new employer. This is absolutely NOT acceptable, and please note that should you follow this path we will not be able to assist you in the future. If you are unsure about a new role – DO NOT sign the contract and be honest from the start if you have concerns. We are here to help you, the candidate, make the right decision, if you do not want to accept a position we will understand, but can only help if you are honest with yourself.

We know currently finding a new position is difficult, however acting with ethics and integrity is the most important thing you can do to help yourself.

ProactiveThank you for all comments, applications and to all of those who have come in and met with a consultant. We please ask all candidates to bear in mind that we have close on 100,000 candidates registered with us, and therefore ask that you ensure the following –
1. Please make sure your profile and CV are updated with us and we have the most relevant information. (Visit the log in section of our website)
2. If you have not met a consultant before, please do call to book an appointment and come and see us to discuss your experience and requirements.
3. Please do apply for jobs that are of interest to you, but also please do make sure you are only applying for positions that you match the requirements for. These are client requirements and we will not be able to submit your details unless you have the necessary qualifications and experience. We  fully understand your frustrations of not hearing if your details have been submitted to a client, so we are currently rectifying this and you will start to receive emails once you have applied with an update. May you also please bear with us, we have an average of 1000 positions per year, and with the number of candidates currently looking for work it is a very competitive market, so we thank you for your patience.

We encourage job seekers to be as proactive as possible during these challenging times

Clients – are you interviewing your potential Employees correctly?

During the course of most managers’ careers it is highly likely that one bad hire has been made, where the candidate is not right either for the company or the specific position. Is this down to the Hiring Manager or the candidate? In most cases it is down to the Hiring Manager and the interviewing process.
There are common mistakes made when interviewing and while a CV may match all of your job requirements – does the person? Interviews are not a process to be rushed, especially when the candidate, if hired, will have influence over the business direction and perception of your company in the market place.
It would be worth considering your interview process, how you interact with the potential employee and beware of these interviewing mistakes:
1. Interviewer Doing All the Talking
Let the interviewee talk! Yes we want to explain about our company, the role and responsibilities, etc – but you need to allow the interviewee time to express themselves, watch how they interact and how they answer questions so that you can get as much information out of them as possible.
2. Relying Solely on the CV
A good CV is key, but believe me, a CV can be tailored, written by someone else, or just a copy and paste from a job description – use the interview as time to understand their personality, story, career path and confirm they have done what you need for your role.
3. Asking Typical Questions
Please do not ask typical questions – “Where do you think you will be in 5 years” , “What are your strengths and weaknesses” – all candidates have the answers ready and prepared, and this does not give a true representation of themselves. Ask questions that test their competencies e.g. can you give an example of a time where you had to sell a product during a tough market? How did you go about it? What were the results?
Use real-life and current situations when asking questions – potentially pick a current issue that this candidate would need to overcome if they are selected, see how they would handle it. Is their response in line with how you like to operate your business? Do they know how to approach the situation you have presented them with?
4. Hiring Based on Educational Background
It is always impressive if someone has an amazing educational background. 2 Degrees, an MBA, even a Phd may help, however, not everyone with several qualifications is suited to corporate environments. Use the interview to assess this.
5. Using a Script
Do not use a script, have a normal conversation with the interviewee. There are no scripts in life and no scripts once a person commences work. By all means take notes, but if you are directly going to managing this hire, you need to be asking yourself, “Can I work with them?”, “How will my team react to them?”, “Do they seem enthusiastic?”, “Do they have the right experience?’. Also remember that sometimes the attitude of the candidate is more important. Depending on the position, certain aspects of positions can be trained, but you are highly unlikely going to be able to change someone’s attitude.
Remember that on most occasions the best hire is the candidate who you feel will be successful in achieving the requirements of the job, who understands what is involved and can already provide suggestions on how they would handle the position if offered.
Also again – depending the position – is specific industry or function key? Skills are transferable and sometimes a fresh pair of eyes from someone who can think on their feet is more important than having worked in the same industry.
In conclusion, take your time, ensure you understand the person sitting in front of you, and while most ignore it, or avoid it as a valid reason – your instincts are almost always right!

Failing at Interviews?

Are you securing interviews but failing to be offered the job? Ensure that when you go to an interview you do the work, turning up is most definitely not enough, especially in such a competitive environment that we have in Zimbabwe at the moment.

Before you attend the interview – do your research –
– Ensure that you know about the company, if you are asked at interview – What do you know about our organisation?, you need to have a relatively detailed answer. The less you know, the less likely potential employers are to take your application seriously.
– Find out about dress code, if it is a corporate organisation, being very smart is key. If it is a more casual organisation, over-dressing can sometimes be a failure as the employer may wonder if you would be the right ‘fit’ for the organisation.
– Prepare questions before you go. A typical interview question is  – Do you have any questions? Saying No shows a lack of preparation.
 – Do you know were you are going? Have you checked directions and thought about how long it will take you to get to the interview location? Make sure you do. Being too early, is almost as bad as being late, you need to arrive 5 – 10 minutes before your interview time. If you are going to be late, immediately call the employer or agent who has arranged your interview and advise them – this is a common courtesy which must be done.
Once the interview has commenced –
– Pay attention – Listening is key, this will help you to ask any relevant questions and for you to ensure that this is the right career move for you. This is not just a chance for a prospective employer to interview you, but for you to interview them and the business – take this opportunity.
– Show eagerness but NOT desperation. We do understand that for some people the situation is desperate and you need a job to survive, but do not make the interview uncomfortable for your interviewer. Do NOT discuss personal or financial difficulties, or beg for any position which may fit your skills. I am aware this is a sensitive subject and especially when times are tough and markets are tight, but believe in yourself and the skills you have to offer. Your confidence in your ability, skills and experience is what an employer is looking for, so make this shine through.
If you would like any guidance we do provide interview training for a small charge, so please do contact us for more information.

Applying for a Job? Make Sure You Read the Job Description!

There is nothing more important prior to applying for a job than reading the job description. Read it thoroughly, or even read it twice. Applying for a job you do do have the skills and qualification for does you no favors.
If you apply for a job which you match the requirements, you are much more likely to make an impression on the hiring manager, and be selected for an interview.
If you only look at a job title and salary, and this is your guide for job searching – stop now, you are not helping yourself. Ask yourself, why am I looking for a change, what should my next career step be, do I want to want in a certain industry. Having a passion about looking for a new position is key.
As a recruiter, we probably receive between 300 – 1000 applications for every job we advertise and I will honestly say we are lucky if 10% match the specifications.
Therefore it is very time consuming and the specifications are not ones we have randomly made up – our clients have required candidates have these certain skills or qualifications. I will admit that while some clients do have some flexibility, be sensible on what you feel this would be classified as.
If a client is looking for a Finance Director, and is asking for a fully qualified CA through articles with 10 years experience. You may get away with applying if you have 8 years. If you are a Graduate, be reasonable – do not apply – and you may feel I am ranting – I assure you we see this situation in all industry sectors on a daily basis.
So work with the below to give yourself the best chance of being selected for a job –
  1. Know Yourself.
    To evaluate a job description, it’s important that your qualifications are fresh in your mind. This means you’ll need to evaluate your resume to ensure it is up-to-date with your most recent education, job skills and experience.
  2. Read Beyond the Job Title.
    Sure, the title will give you a clue about what the job entails. But many people see the title, read the only beginning of the description and quickly submit their resume. Take the time to read the entire document, focusing your attention on the most important parts.
  3. Make Note of the Company Culture and Job Roles.
    These are generally listed at the beginning of the job description. They are often standard language that is included in all the job descriptions the company produces. They are important clues that can help you decide if the organization is the right one for you; however, they won’t really help your recruiter decide if you are right for the organization. Bookmark these and come back to them.
  4. Pay Careful Attention to the Job Requirements.
    Requirements such as education, job skills and experience are areas in which you can set yourself apart from the competition. Focus your attention on the first three or four items in the list, which are likely the most important requirements for the job. Do you possess the required qualifications? Note whether the requirements are listed as mandatory or preferred. You’ll need to meet mandatory requirements to even be considered; preferred education, skills or experience could put you ahead of the pack if you have them. If you don’t, it’s possible other factors in your resume will make you an attractive option.
  5. Do You Want the Job?
    If you’re qualified, are you on board with the company culture and potential job roles? Don’t apply for a job you feel lukewarm about, because your insincerity could be detected in both your resume, and in your interview (if you’re contacted for one). Recruiters want to hire candidates who are enthusiastic about the job. If the position doesn’t excite you, move on.

Follow these five steps to find a rewarding position that is right for you. Thorough review of the job description can save you tremendous effort and prevent frustration in your job search.  A little effort is worth the payoff: a job you love!

Counter Offers – Employers

All companies will face the situation when one of your valued employees walks into the office and says they are resigning to take up a job with another employer. The question is, what do you do? Should you make a counter offer? And if you do make one, how should you do it?

You should firstly take into consideration that studies have shown that 69 percent of employees who accept a counter offer leave their current employer within six monthsof accepting that counter offer. The problem is that a counter offer often only addresses the employee’s concerns in the short-term and can simply act to postpone rather than cancel the inevitable exit. So, in short making a counter offer does not really work in the long term or even medium term.

You really need to consider the following before making a decision, take the time and be 100% sure that this is a considered process and not a snap decision. It must be in the best interest of the business, as sometimes a change, “new-blood” is not always a bad thing.

Is the employee really irreplaceable?

Consider the loss of this employee, and what are the real consequences of this employee leaving and how quickly can his or she be replaced?’ I mean, could the employee be replaced in a reasonable time with an equal or better performer, at a comparable, possibly even lower pay rate? Especially in the current climate, there are candidates with outstanding skills and commitment ready to offer their services. Take the time to call your recruiter and ask them – “can you find someone? for me” understand the market.

Over the 12-month period do you think you can bring in a new employee who can provide a similar or better output and a lower/similar payroll bill as a result of your new hire and letting this one go? If so, then you may feel that a counter offer is not essential and you might consider easing the employee’s path to exit by not counter offering.

Remember, employees have to leave some time; statistics show that the average employee might hold up to 10 jobs in a lifetime, so you might want to be a little philosophical about it if the employee has served well above your firm’s average tenure.

Always ask for evidence of the job offer

If you really do feel that the current employee is irreplaceable I would highly recommend that you only consider a counter offer once you have written proof that a job offer has been made, be that email or contract. While I would love to say that we would all be 100% honest in the level of remuneration, new job level and responsibilities, some employees will take advantage of the situation. Do not make a decision which could come back to bite you.

Counter offers don’t always have to be about remuneration

If you do decide to make a counter offer, remember that it does not have to be financial, while yes, a higher salary always helps, many people are looking for career progression, growth, and the opportunity to prove their ability. You should have some idea of the employee’s all round frustrations and motivators, be that lack of career progression, boring job, wanting to work more flexibly, etc.  Sometimes it is more of a personal reason, does the employee want to be closer to family, in an area where there are better schools – can you relocate them? Once you understand all these factors you can then tailor a counter offer which is most likely to offer the employee the best outcome and encourage them to stay.

In our opinion, unless the employee really is invaluable your business, don’t do it. The employee looked around for another role, and their commitment to your company will never be as strong.

If you are in this situation, please do not hesitate to call our Consultants, we are here to provide guidance, and with over 50 years combined experience behind us, we have seen most situations that can occur.

Counter Offers – Employees

Counter Offers….

They really can be the most difficult decision one can make during the course of  your career, but think carefully.

You have a job offer which you have accepted and you feel it is the right time to move on, whether for higher remuneration or for career development, now is the time to resign.

You have your resignation letter in hand, you have thought out everything you plan to say to your employer (gone over it 100 times in your head), and you head for your meeting. You have probably visualized how this will go and suddenly your Manager is counter offering you.

Now you are in an unexpected state of confusion with two offers on the table, how do you move forward from here? The answer is think seriously. You had many reasons why you choose to take the time to look at other positions, attend interviews, and come to the decision to leave – does a counter offer change any of these?

If you are seriously open to reviewing an offer from them, document in writing what you need to stay. Is it more responsibilities, a promotion, better remuneration, improved working conditions, shorter working hours, being closer to home? Ensure they understand all reasons as to what it would take to get you to stay, but remember greed is not the answer, it will only stab you in the back further down the line.

Once you have a counter offer in writing, ask yourself if it will really change want made you want to move on in the first place.

Most recruiters, just like ourselves, will advise you against accepting a counter offer. Your immediate reaction to this may well be that they have to gone to all this work to find you a new position, and now you are withdrawing. Yup, when counter offers get accepted, most consultants will spend probably a good 10 minutes jumping up and down and banging their heads against a wall.

However, we are here not just to find the perfect employee for a client, but to find you, the employee, your perfect next career move, and if the counter-offer is the best option, we do understand.  But as recruitment experts, we have seen the pitfalls that have come from accepting a counter offer, and you must bear in mind the following should you accept :

You have accepted the counter offer, have been promoted / received a higher salary / secured more benefits, but I can assure you that if you think you still hold the same respect in your employers eyes you are sadly mistaken. You may well end up in a hostile work environment, excluded from certain situations and actually compromising your career success.

Are you irreplaceable in the short-term? An Employer may have a requirement for someone to be in your position and faced with the possibility of having to find other solutions immediately, he/she has made a fast agreement to keep you there. But really they are buying time to find a replacement, and before you know it – two offers is now none and you are out of work.

Can accepting a counter-offer when you have signed a new employment contract put your reputation at stake? Absolutely! We all seem to forget that an Employment contract is a legally binding document, that once accepted a commitment has been made in more ways that one. If an employer withdraws a signed contracted – says they no longer need someone – I can assure you – the employee will state the employer to be in breach. But even if your new employer is generous enough not to hold it legally against you, they will remember, for they are now back to square one looking for someone to fill the gap you created.

Candidate & Client Update – April 2016

Hello to all our Clients and Candidates!News

Yes, our blog has been quiet, but we are now rectifying this situation, and we would firstly like to take this opportunity to wish you a Happy Independent Day for Monday, and hope you all have a good break over the longer Easter holidays.
I would like to highlight, and to our candidates, don’t panic, the market is quieter than we would like to be at the moment but this is really very normal at this time of year. Recruitment tends to have traditional peaks and troughs during the course of the year, and those troughs are in line with the school holidays, so April, August and Christmas, are not necessarily the best times to look for work.
We have had a very good start to the year, with our first quarter resulting in more job opportunities than over the same period last year, so we are optimistic that once we are into May, more roles should be on the market. However, please do rest assured that should suitable opportunities arise, we will be in touch.
The Recruitment Matters Team!

How to Find your Perfect Agency Match

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A few things to consider when choosing an agency to represent you.

 

What to look for in a recruitment agency

There are so many recruitment agencies out there it can be difficult to know who to trust with your career. Most recruitment agencies sell themselves to employers (companies), so it’s difficult to see their value to you as a job-seeker in all their marketing speak.

 

However, this is key to choosing the right recruitment agency: Zimbabwe has a skills shortage and finding and securing top talent is fast becoming the business differentiator that sets good recruitment agencies above the rest. Identifying high quality candidates is imperative in being able to deliver on the promises recruitment agencies make to their clients, so if your experience with a recruitment agency leaves you feeling disrespected, undervalued and more like a commodity than a person, then move on.

 

What to look for in a recruitment agency:

  • Experience – Look for a recruitment agency with a track record. This industry is known for its fly-by-night agencies, so ensuring that the recruitment agency has traction in the industry, has a good brand name and ideally has      specialised experience in your chosen field is vital.
  •  Client base – The larger and more impressive the client base the more jobs they will be recruiting for. If you are targeting a specific company, call their HR department and ask which recruitment agencies they utilise then ensure you get added to their   database.
  •  Communication and feedback – The number one candidate complaint about recruitment agencies is their lack of      communication and feedback. Ask the recruitment agency early in the registration process, what their communication policy is.

 

  • Legal compliance and affiliations –Recruitment agencies have to adhere to legal guidelines in the recruitment process and no recruitment agency is allowed to charge candidates for a job application or their services.

 

“Quality recruitment agencies will align themselves with professional industry bodies that audit them and require them to comply with quality standards. All good recruitment agencies should be registered with the Ministry of Labour, and no reputable organisation will ever ask you to pay for their services or deduct fees from your salary for such services. Ask for details on these professional affiliations and associations.