HR Trends that cannot be ignored in 2020

The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet~ William Gibson

In 2015, the Judicial Service Commission advertised 1000 vacant positions. The commission received more than 80,000 applications which took weeks to sort through. It took the assistance of the National Youth Service, two academic institutions, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Directorate of Criminal Investigation to sift through the applications. The Judicial Service Commission would later admit that they were not prepared for the overwhelming response to the advertisement or the additional costs accrued in order to effectively carry out the recruitment process.

According to the 2019 Kenya Economic Survey, it is estimated that the current unemployment rate stands at 9.3%.  The rate at which jobs are being created in the country does not match with the rate at which skilled professionals are graduating from institutions. According to a recent report released by the World Bank, it is estimated that the country needs to create about 900,000 jobs per annum in order to keep up with the number of skilled graduates who are being churned into the job market.

Most human resources professionals admit that it is increasingly becoming impossible to keep up with the number of applications received following the advertisement of vacant positions within their organizations. As new technologies change the workplace and the war for talent heats up, all functions of the human resource departments must evolve and embrace new technologies. Below are some of the key trends that HR must embrace in the year 2020 and beyond:


1. Data-driven decision making

Decision making in this day and age cannot be separated from data. A report by Deloitte Global on human capital reported that while 84% of HR professionals surveyed from across the globe thought that people analytics was important, most organizations were hesitant to do it because they thought that they would not gain practical insights from it. However, as tools for analytics improve, more HR departments are embracing it.  The inclusion of digital interfaces such as employee self-service portals is crucial in ensuring that HR gather crucial information that will shape core functions such as recruitment and performance. Multinationals such as Google, use meeting-cancellation rates as an indicator of engagement and a predictor of future turn-over rates. Some of the questions that can be answered through data analytics include:

  • What are the possible reasons for the high turnover in XYZ department?
  • What are the skills gaps that need to be addressed through training in the next financial year?
  • What are the organization’s talent needs based on the projected growth of the organization?
2. Intelligent recruitment technology

In the case study cited above about the Judicial Service Commission, the use of technology would have saved the commission time and money. The bulk of the administrative work would have been done through the use of tools such as an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) therefore optimizing the entire hiring process. Most ATS come with a set of preliminary questions known as “knock out questions” which help sift out through some of the applications in order to reduce the number of applicants who move to the next stage. 

Research that was done by the Society of Human Resource Management showed that the use of social media in recruitment the past five years had increased significantly. It was reported that one out of five candidates who were surveyed during the study had applied for a job through social media. Platforms such as Jobmarket maker and Entelo have the ability to automatically obtain information about candidates from a number of platforms such as professional forums, social media platforms, blogs, personality and skills assessments. Such systems have the ability to rank applicants as per the requirements of recruiters by cross-referencing the information that has been obtained from forums with the internal performance benchmarks of organizations. By synchronizing these systems with virtual assistants such as Talla, it is possible for a recruiter to get a list of the best interview questions to ask the applicants from the system

3. Growth of the remote office

A  2018 study that was carried out by a Switzerland based serviced office provider showed that at least 70% of the respondents from different countries worked from home at least once a week. The traditional working hours from nine to five are paving way for flexible working schedules. A report by Gallup showed that there was an increase in the number of US professionals working from home from 39% in 2012 to 43% in 2016.  It is estimated that by 2020, half of the workforce in the US will be working remotely. This trend is not just limited to developed countries but it is also catching up with developing countries. This shift has been accelerated by the availability of digital tools that make it possible to communicate, manage projects and track performance. We recently interviewed software developers and one of their top concerns was whether the Hiring Employer had the option of working remotely before they could even consider being interviewed by the potential employer. This goes to show that flexible work hours and work arrangements are gaining popularity in an already candidate-driven market.

4. Evolution of HR as a profession

With the ever-increasing adoption of technology in HR, HR as a profession is no longer about pushing paper and ensuring that employees stick to the rules. Experts predict that there are a number of new roles that will emerge as the future of work becomes a reality. These jobs include:

  • HR data scientists: Helps the organization incorporate the use of data analytics in its HR functions
  • Employee experience specialist: Focuses on the relationship between the employee and the organization. The benefits, the career trajectory, training needs etc. are evaluated and managed by the employee experience specialist
  • Head of talent acquisition: The war for talent is expected to continue as organizations strive to get the best talent in line with their business strategies.
  • Organizational psychologist: Uses psychological principles in the workplace in order to develop a more holistic approach towards HR, sales and marketing.
5. Evolution of HR service delivery

It is difficult for most HR professionals to keep up with the barrage of HR-related questions in big organizations. Chatbots are slowly being used to enhance HR service delivery. There are chatbots that can answer questions about HR related matters such as maternity leave policies, the status of the organization’s health insurance, etc.  The popular collaboration platform, Slack is one of the platforms that has successfully been integrated by HR departments to ease the management of questions from employees. Chatbots cannot effectively answer questions that lack definite answers or update policies hence there is still a need for the human element.

6. Employee training on demand

Learning management systems have enabled HR departments to make training easier to manage and more flexible. It is expected that there will be more reliance on virtual career coaches and context-aware platforms in an attempt to maximize on gains made through career training. Context-aware software analyzes the data that is available on the learning curves of employees then automatically recommends training based on areas where the employees are struggling. It is predicted that virtual career coaches will act like AI-driven mini managers by combining learning heuristics with virtual assistance. Human beings will still be required to create training material, set goals and creating career succession paths.

Are you ready for 2020 when it comes to smart recruitment? Do talk to us today and we shall walk the journey with you from talent identification, talent attraction to onboarding them right into your organization.

The future of the workplace in Kenya

A few years ago, banking halls used to be a mess. Clients would flock the banking hall at certain times of the month.  The bank employees would be overwhelmed by the number of requests. Fast forward to today, most banks have empty banking halls for the better part of the month. Most transactions are carried out online. There has been a significant rise in the adaption of mobile banking solutions by individuals and organizations. This is just an example of one of the sections that has rapidly evolved as a result of technological advances. With these advances, some jobs have been created while others have been rendered redundant. Many organizations have been forced to lay off staff as they seek to remain competitive in this ever-evolving business environment.

According to research on the future of work globally, that was carried out by Price Waterhouse Coopers, the future of work is unpredictable given that it is subject to competing forces whose relation to each other is complex.  In as much as technological uptake in most sectors has been on an upward trend over the last couple of years, it is subject to other forces such as government regulations, consumer trends and shifts in economies. Robotics, artificial intelligence and automation are beneficial in a number of ways. They enhance productivity and improve lives but they can also be a source of unrest due to their disruptive nature. There have been reports in many parts of Europe and North America about protests by taxi drivers due to the expansion of Uber. Driverless cars have raised concerns about safety and led to protests in some parts of the USA.  

There is widespread fear and alarm as organizations try and grapple with the realities that will be brought about by the rapid shifts in the workplace. These fears are to some extent based on the realities. Recently, East African Breweries Limited announced that it was laying off some of its staff. Telkom Kenya also issued a notice indicating that some of its staff would be laid off. As it is, it is estimated that 5.2 million Kenya youth are either underemployed or unemployed. Reports about the emergent challenges and opportunities brought about by the preparation of most organizations for the future of work can be demotivating for those who are seeking to find their footing in their careers or to remain relevant in their respective careers.

The future of work presents unique opportunities that are yet to be fully exploited. In spite of the job losses that have been experienced in certain sectors in the recent past, there is a silver lining. Research by PWC categorizes the emergent opportunities for organizations and individuals into four: the red world, the blue world, the yellow world and the green world. Estimate reveal that while there might be up to 75% displacement of jobs, there are about 133 million jobs that will be created1. The opportunities in the yellow world are tied to the social nature of the sector. Business in this sector is secondary to the desire to do social good.

The Red world presents opportunities for innovators. Organizations in the red world are quick to adapt to new advances as they constantly seek to fulfill the desires of the consumers. Recently, Little Cab which has been offering shuttle services in Nairobi via a hailing mobile application was forced to halt its services after the government transport regulating agency, NTSA, flagged the company for failing to comply with its regulations. The online betting companies, Sport Pesa and Betin were recently forced to halt their operations and lay off their staff following a protracted battle over tax compliance. Facebook has been on the spot in the recent past due to concerns about data privacy. These are just examples of how innovation outpaces government regulation. In spite of this, the red world continues to constantly create new products and services for the ever-changing needs of consumers.  

The blue world thrives on having large corporations that are constantly seeking ways to expand their business portfolio. Mergers have been witnessed in Kenya in the retail and banking sectors as organizations prepare themselves to handle the challenges that will come with operating in an ever-evolving world. Large corporations possess the muscle and the skills to devote resources to research that will enable them to compete in the dynamic business environment in the future. Green world organizations pursue business models that factor in sustainability and concerns about demographic changes and climate change. By 2030, it is estimated that the world’s demand for energy and water will have increased by at least 50%. In Kenya, the pressure on water resources is increasingly being felt as the effects of rapid urbanization and deforestation threaten the traditional sources of water. The Green world provides opportunities for new engineering processes, recycling technologies, alternative energy sources and waste management processes.

The future of Organizations

Given that the changes in the workplace cannot be stopped, it is paramount that organizations and society adapt accordingly. For organizations, it is important to place more emphasis on training and retraining. People, not jobs, should be viewed as a priority in every organization.

In as much as the responsibility to acquire new skills is largely dependent on the individual, organizations that will thrive in the future need to make room for their employees to try new ideas, learn from their experiences and constantly rethink the ways in which they do their jobs. In order to remain relevant, the war on talent in the four worlds of work will remain fierce as organizations strive to remain relevant. It will be paramount for organizations to explicitly draw the link between people and performance and use this data to link the business objectives of the organization and the talent strategy of the organization. Traditional contracts that offer benefits such as medical insurance and pension may be rare as the world of work evolves. Organizations may find themselves grappling with the size and scale of their workforce as they seek to keep up.

What does this mean for the Workforce?

Adaptability is crucial for anyone seeking to advance his or her career in the future. In spite of the technological advances that have been made in the recent past, skills shortages are still being experienced particularly in the STEM areas. This does not mean that there are no opportunities for those whose education and skills does not fall under the STEM areas. A report of the top emerging professions listed sales and organizational development specialists alongside data analytics and software development. A survey of chief human resources officers drawn from various organizations listed the following capabilities as critical in the future workplace: creativity, complex problem solving, management capability, originality and entrepreneurship.

The World Economic Forum report on the skills required for the future workplace indicates that there will be a need for the aforementioned skills set to be blended with soft skills such as active listening, emotional intelligence and critical thinking.

In conclusion, work as we know it is constantly evolving. Those who will thrive read the times and adapt. Those who are keen spot the opportunities and take advantage of them. Change, as they often say, is the only constant thing in life.

We at Crystal Recruitment are in the business of getting you the talent that is adaptable to your business needs as the workplace keeps changing. Do reach out to us today.

Exit Interviews; Necessity or formality?

When John*, a highly talented manager took over the technical team at an assembly plant, he had eighteen members in his team. By the end of the third quarter, eight of his team members had left the team. No one could understand why the turnover in the team was so high. It took the intervention of a junior member of the human resources team to find out why the turnover was so high. After interviewing some of the former members of the technical team, it became apparent that John was the reason why most of the members of the technical team had left the organization. Most of the ex-employees described him as highly driven but difficult to work with. They described him as arrogant, impatient, prone to anger outbursts and a poor communicator. Most of them stated that they loved working for the organization but they found it impossible to continue working with John.

Like John’s organization, most organizations do not conduct exit interviews. Others conduct the interviews but they do not analyze the data. This could be as a result of the lack of appropriate skills and tools to enable them to analyze data. In this era where evidence-based approaches to talent management are the key to winning the war on talent, this could be detrimental to the organization. In some instances, organizations have data gathered from exit interviews but are hesitant to implement the findings. This is could be as a result of failing to align the overall objectives of the organization with the talent strategy. As a result of this, evidence gathered through observing the trends in the organization’s talent is disregarded and the organization continues to suffer from high turnover and lack of motivation among the employees.

Any organization seeking to constantly improve its talent strategy needs to conduct exit interviews.

An exit interview can be conducted via phone, an emailed questionnaire or one on one conversation. A one-on-one conversation gives a personal touch giving the panel an opportunity to gather more information through nonverbal communication cues. However, if the organization lacks a culture of transparency, it could be difficult to gain useful information during exit interviews in spite of the mode of data collection that is employed. The timing of the exit interview needs to be carefully considered. It is difficult to get employees to give honest answers in the last few weeks of their notice period. This is because most employees would like to make a good impression and get a good reference. If possible, it would be better to carry out the exit interview at the start of the notice period before the employee gets disengaged. Some organizations that have reaped the benefits of exit interviews conduct the interviews before the employee leaves the organization and a few months after the employee has left the organization in order to compare the perspectives.

In order to benefit from the data obtained from exit interviews, the organization should treat the information with the utmost confidentiality. One of the best ways to ensure confidentiality is to use an external human resource consultant to carry the exit interview. In order to fully reap the benefits of such a partnership, the organization should identify a Recruitment Firm that understands its talent needs and wants to help the organization to improve the talent strategy. The organization should be willing to learn from the insights gathered and work with the firm towards ensuring that the findings are incorporated into the talent strategy.

An exit interview is an opportunity to gain insights into the leadership styles within the organization and their overall effect on talent in the organization. It is often said that while some leaders are born, others are made. In the case cited above, the organization would have identified John’s weaknesses and strengths as a leader and helped him grow in his areas of weakness. Future training initiatives for leaders in the organization should include lessons on effective communication. Leaders in the organization can develop mentorship programmes for their employees where learning is emphasized and mistakes are seen as opportunities for growth. The shame-based learning culture in the case cited above can be corrected by ensuring that team leaders provide inspiration and motivation for their team members. In the future, the organization can also ensure that all team leaders undergo personality assessments.

Organizations can use exit interviews as a strategy to identify areas where they need to employ innovation. As the business environment becomes competitive, an organization can only thrive by being proactive in their approach. Some of the best ideas on how organizations can grow in terms of their products, their services and their talent can be obtained through the analysis of the data gained from exit interviews.

Would you like us to help you conduct exit interviews? Talk to Crystal Recruitment today and let us help you improve your talent strategy.

5 THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE TERMINATING AN EMPLOYEE

Firing an employee is one of the hardest decisions that an employer needs to make but it is necessary and unavoidable in some instances. Prior to firing an employee, there are a number of considerations that the employer needs to have in mind. We remind you of the top six things you need to consider before firing an employee:

  1. Consider the Reason for Firing the Employee

As an employer, it is important to be capable of clearly articulating why you have terminated an employee. Due to harsh economic conditions, it may be necessary to reduce one’s workforce in order to manage labour related costs. Some positions in an organization can be rendered obsolete or redundant as a result of organizational changes or technological advances. An employee’s less-than-acceptable performance could be a pivotal reason to let go of the employee. The reason for firing an employee should be backed up by adequate documentation. If an employee is being terminated due to poor performance, the results of previous performance reviews should be documented. If the employee is being terminated due to position redundancy, the employer needs to clearly justify his decision to fire a section of employees in the section e.g. seniority, qualifications etc.

  1. Consider Taking Corrective Actions Before Firing the Employee

In some instances, an employee needs to be given a second chance before being terminated. The employee and the employer can discuss a plan to correct the mistakes of the employee as a mitigation measure. This plan should be discussed after the employee has been made to understand his or her mistakes e.g. failure to meet performance targets. Clear outcomes of corrective actions to be undertaken by the employee should be spelt out in the plan. A meeting to review the employee’s conduct should be held after a set amount of time.

  1. Consider Individual Employment Contracts Entered into with the Employee

There may not be any clause in an employee’s contract that guarantees perpetual employment but there may clauses that indicate that the employee can only be terminated after the fulfillment of certain conditions. In organizations where the workers are part of a union, it may be necessary to show cause in order to demonstrate that an employee engaged in behaviour that is contrary to the organization’s code of conduct. Termination due to economic reasons could be limited to seniority by a collective bargaining agreement which is a legally binding agreement between the union and the employer. Such factors need to be carefully considered before terminating an employee.

  1. Consider the Needs of the Clients

Most organizations depend on the relationships established by their employees with their clients. The sudden termination of an employee can have a devastating effect on the relationships that have been established with clients hence the need for a transition period. If proper checks and systems are not put in place, an organization can make serious losses due to failure to manage client’s relationships that had been established by terminated employees.

  1. Consider When to Fire the Employee

Is it better to fire someone on Friday afternoon or on Monday morning? The answer may seem obvious but it is not always a black and white affair. An employer needs to fire someone as soon as the decision to do so has been unanimously arrived at by the top management. However, failing to determine an appropriate time might lead to involving the employee in key projects, much to the detriment of the team’s needs. For some positions, there might be a need for handing over crucial information or instructions. A clear timeline should be set and adhered to once the decision to fire someone at your organization has been arrived at.

 

Did you terminate an employee’s contract recently and need a replacement? We at Crystal Recruitment help you with your HR policies and Recruitment needs.

FIVE UNTRUTHS YOU NEED TO ADDRESS BEFORE ENGAGING AN OFFSHORE RECRUITMENT PARTNER

As the world increasingly shrinks and becomes a global village, most organizations find themselves grappling with the need for offshore talent. For most organizations, it is better to partner with an offshore recruitment partner than to rely on internal recruitment networks which take time to set up and manage. Making the most informed decision about offshore recruitment can be difficult because there are certain misconceptions that are associated with offshore recruitment partnerships.  Surveys that have been carried out across the globe indicate that most hiring managers are unsure as to whether they are working with the most suitable recruitment agency. This uncertainty particularly applies to offshore recruitment partnerships where the financial implications of recruitment errors are much higher. While the fears are based on valid reasons, there are certain untruths that also prevent organizations from engaging offshore recruitment partners:

Untruth #1: Offshore Recruitment Partners in Low-Cost Destinations Have Poor Infrastructure

What comes to mind when you think of an offshore recruitment partner? Offshore recruitment firms are often judged by their physical addresses. A fancy address does not always mean that an offshore recruitment firm is competent, techno-savvy and customer focused. A startup offshore recruitment firm might be the best offshore recruitment partner because of high levels of employee morale, dedication to its customers, investment in the best technological tools and data-driven decision making. For these reasons, an organization seeking an offshore recruitment partner should evaluate offshore recruitment partners based on their track record, competence and ability to make sound recruitment decisions that are backed by data.

Untruth # 2: Offshore Recruitment Firms are Not Dedicated to A Single Business Entity

Some organizations avoid engaging offshore recruitment firms because of the fear they have about the team structure. This is based on the belief that all of the firm’s employees are not dedicated to a single client hence they end up submitting the same candidates to a number of competing clients. Some organizations consider this threatening because it slows down the hiring process as a result of a low submittal-hiring ratio. While this may happen in some instances, not all offshore recruitment agencies are willing to compromise on their results and ability to deliver. Competent offshore recruitment agencies understand the organization’s culture and best practices hence they are dedicated to proper offshore candidate sourcing and screening practices.

Untruth #3: The Metrics of Offshore Recruitment Firms are Difficult to Determine

This misconception not only applies to offshore recruitment firms but it also applies to onshore recruitment firms. It is a byproduct of years of having incompetent recruitment firms that fail to develop metrics that are significant to their customers. This problem is further compounded by lack of transparency and accountability in the process of offshore recruitment. Prior to engaging an offshore recruitment firm, it is important to work with your preferred offshore recruitment partner to fine tune the metrics and align the recruitment services being offered with the objectives of your organization.

Untruth #4: Offshore Recruitment Makes an Organization Lose Control of Its Recruitment Process

Having an offshore recruitment partner can make one lose control of their recruitment process especially if the metrics are unclear. To avoid this, an organization should work closely with the offshore recruitment partner in order to give its input as the process of recruitment is going on. Unlike internal recruitment networks, offshore recruitment partners can provide an objective look into your organization’s talent needs and give a much needed fresh perspective.

Untruth #5: Offshore Recruitment Partners are Expensive

This misconception is often guided by a one-sided look at the recruitment process. Some organizations only look at the cost of engaging a recruitment partner but fail to consider the return on investment. A good offshore recruitment partner not only performs well but also provides a return on your investment as an organization. Some of the ways of evaluating an offshore recruitment partner’s ROI are:

  • Satisfaction ratings: Previously conducted surveys can give an indication of whether the firm’s offshore clients are satisfied with the services that they have been provided with.
  • Placement per recruiter: An effective offshore recruitment partnership should be measured by its effectiveness in placing candidates per recruiter.

In evaluating the cost of engaging an offshore recruitment firm, the organization should determine whether it wants to engage the firm on a permanent or on a temporary basis. It is advisable to have this in writing in the terms and conditions prior to any engagement. Your organization should also leverage the nature of the relationship it wants to engage in with the firm when negotiating the price.

To maximize on the ROI, an organization should ensure that its offshore recruitment partner provides some form of guarantee. For instance, it can offer a free replacement for a candidate who fails within the probationary period. The terms and conditions should also cover any eventualities such as waiting period for work permit approval.

At Crystal Recruitment, we make it our business to find the right talent for your company as we are a leading Recruitment Agency in Kenya. We have recently started engaging candidates who would like to work abroad in Dubai.

Talk to us today and let us help you find the right talent in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibarand for your offshore Needs in Dubai!

TOP FIVE REASONS WHY EXECUTIVE SEARCHES FAIL

Executive recruitment is a daunting task. It entails working with a limited pool of talent in a given segment. The candidate who will ultimately fill the role must be someone who can be held accountable for the growth of the organization or growth of a key department within the organization. Some organizations successfully navigate the murky waters of executive searches then end up with a candidate who is not cut out for the job. Most organizations work with headhunters in their quest for executive talent yet they still end up with a failed executive search. Below are the top five reasons why executive searches fail:

Poor Research

Information is power, particularly in this age. In the quest for executive talent, some recruitment firms assume that all the information that they require about a candidate can be found in the candidate’s online profile. This conclusion is often arrived at following the delegation of the research work to someone who has little or no experience in research. As a result of this, the executive research is done haphazardly. The executive mapping process is characterized by gaping holes. The candidate sourcing process lacks discipline hence the recruitment firm ends up missing out on the best candidates who are hidden in plain sight. The digital age makes research even more difficult because recruiters need to have the ability to distinguish between the noise and the signal. While there are many executives who are a click away on LinkedIn, there are very few interested, qualified and passionate executive candidates.

Conflicting/ Unaligned Needs

This problem arises if there are multiple decision makers with conflicting views on the executive search process. For instance, the co-founders might consider a candidate’s experience more valuable while the board members consider the candidate’s educational background more important. Whether the executive search is being carried out by an external party or it is done in-house, conflicting expectations within the top leadership of an organization are bound to interfere with the process. Sometimes, it is not clear whether the organization desires to have a leader who will have an impact on revenue growth as soon as possible or a leader who will set up operational procedures that will translate into revenue growth in the long term.  The conflict in expectations can arise from an unrealistic desire to have a candidate who can solve all of the company’s problems.

Shifting Priorities Mid-Search

This problem is an extension of the aforementioned problem (refer to no. 2). A company begins an executive search, creates a job description, searches and interviews several candidates. Mid-way through the process, the organization realizes that there are aspects of the executive role that were not covered in the initial job description. A quick shift in gears takes place in order to correct this. In the process, precious time and money is wasted. To address this problem, firms need to recruit external recruitment firms to help them in the identification of priorities and drafting of a job description. An organization does not have to retain the recruitment firm after this. Consulting an external party gives the organization to save time and recruit more efficiently.

Creation of a Wish List

There is a common saying that states that perfect is the enemy of the good. This applies to organizations during the process of creating a wish list for the perfect candidate to fill a certain role. For most organizations, the wish list often comprises of a long list of acuities and experiences that the ideal candidate for the executive role is expected to have. This list may fail to account the realities in the talent market. For instance, it is difficult to find an executive who will accept a mid-level salary in order to perform a C-suite role. In other instances, a firm may require an executive with 10 years of experience yet the organization is in its infancy hence does not necessarily need someone with such experience. It is important to go through the wish list for the executive talent that is being sought by the organization and sift through the “nice-to-haves” in order to remain with “must-haves.”

Last Minute Executive Hires

Sometimes, organizations simply drop a post on their LinkedIn profile for an executive role and expect that executive talent will simply show up at their doorsteps the next morning. This often happens whenever an executive is leaving the organization or the company is launching a new service or product that requires a leader to spearhead the process.  Last minute executive hires often fail to meet the organization’s expectations. On average, an executive search can take up to 2 months from the signing of the contract to offering the letter of acceptance. If you know that your CFO is leaving in May, do not wait until mid-April to begin the process of recruiting a new CFO. Give your organization and your recruitment partner time to find, engage, interview and onboard talent that meets the needs of the organization.

We at Crystal Recruitment make it our business to find the right talent for your company as we are a leading Executive Search Firm in Kenya. Talk to us today and let us help you find the right talent

SIX CAREER MISTAKES YOU NEED TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR

“A step backward, after making a wrong turn, is a step in the right direction.”- Kurt Vonnegut

Anyone seeking to grow in his or her career will make mistakes along the way. Some of the mistakes made as one seeks to grow career wise will be costly. Some of them will hardly be noticeableRegardless of the mistakes you have made in your career, there are valuable lessons that can be learned by reflecting on the mistakes, owning them and learning from them. If you are just starting out career-wise, here are some of the mistakes you need to look out for and avoid:

#1:  Pursuing Status at The Expense of the Growth of Skills

In a world that is increasingly becoming image oriented, many people get lost in the pursuit of success. We interview candidates who want to look the part but do not want to do the hard work. In the process, they lie, put in very little or no effort yet they desire to be applauded for barely showing up. The problem with this approach is that it keeps you from taking advantage of some useful career opportunities that do not necessarily come with a high status. It is often said that opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed as work. That entry-level marketing job might be an opportunity to develop meaningful networks that will help you grow two or three years down the line. The drab accounting job could be an opportunity to hone skills that will help you become an auditor.

Pursue the skills that matter, the status will come. Pursue the status, you will never develop the skills you need to succeed in your field.

# 2: Staying in the Comfort Zone

It is easy to get comfortable in one’s current position. You rarely take any risks in your comfort zone. The environment is predictable. There is a certain way of doing things which ensures that you get the expected outcome hence uncertainty is greatly reduced. Successful people are not necessarily the people who take big risks. They take small risks every day which prepare them for the big leaps that they need to take in their careers.

#3: Not Asking People for Help

You cannot get the help you need unless you ask for it. It is often assumed that the most successful people have it all figured out so they do not ask for help. This could not be further from the truth. The quickest way to avoid mistakes that would waste your time and effort is by asking those who have gone ahead of you in your field for advice. You just need to ask in the right way and you will get the help you need.

#4: Getting Distracted by the “Shiny Object Syndrome

There will always be a position that seems more attractive than your current position. This position might be in your organization or outside your current organization. Because it is often said that all that glitters is not gold, the allure of a certain office or position can become a trap. Countless hours that should be spent being the best you can be in your current position can be wasted as you try and reach out for the elusive position. In addition to this, the “shiny object” might not necessarily be as attractive as you think it is. A higher position with better pay requires a certain level of dedication, skill, experience and commitment. You can only develop this by giving your best in your current position.

# 5: Assuming that Your Career Should Be Linear

The current job market is characterized by rapid technological changes as well as nonlinear career trajectories. Most successful people in this age did not just “move up the ladder.” Some of them have to “jump” in order to advance to the next level. The “leap” is different for everyone and can only be made based on a high level of self-awareness and personal drive. Successful people do not wait for their experiences to fit into a linear career trajectory. They seek opportunities to grow their skills and make the leap once the right opportunity comes along.

#6: Assuming That What You Have at Level 1 Is Sufficient to Keep You Going at Level 2

Most people assume that being good at their craft is enough to get them noticed. While it is important to grow one’s skills, it is equally important to go the extra mile. You need to be emotionally intelligent in order to grow. You need to learn how to identify gaps in your company and provide solutions. You need to learn how to work with people. You need to an avid reader who can tell where your industry will be in the next couple of years based on an in-depth understanding of current trends.

If you are ready for a career change, then reach out to us, as Crystal Recruitment is a Leading Recruitment Agency that connects top talents to top brands every single day.

TO HIRE OR NOT TO HIRE? HERE IS YOUR FOOLPROOF CHECKLIST

Sometimes, hiring a candidate can seem like rocket science before the era of Google. You hire an experienced sales manager only for you to realize that the manager cannot handle the changes in market dynamics. You hire a candidate who seems to have immense potential as an executive assistant only for you to realize that the assistant is tardy and untidy hence he can hardly keep up with the demands of the job. What are the indicators or clues that an employer should be on the lookout for before hiring a candidate?

Hire a candidate who has the right potential

Potential is often defined as the ability to grow and adapt to different working environments. It is easy to weed out the candidates who lack potential during the preliminary stages of an interview. However, determining whether the candidates possess the right kind of potential takes skill. Globally, jobs are increasingly subject to change due to the fast-paced nature of advancement.  A good employer knows that uncertainties are a part of the future hence he or she hires with that in mind. Look for interview questions and assessments that bring out a candidate’s inquisitiveness. Ask candidates about practical steps they have taken to learn something new and apply it in their field. Having the right potential is demonstrated through one’s eagerness to learn in order to reach one’s full potential. A candidate with the right potential is competent, curious, insightful and engaged. A candidate with a few years of experience may have more potential than a candidate with many years of experience. A candidate with the right potential does not want a new job because he/she “can no longer learn anything from their current job”. Instead, he or she wants a position in your organization because it is in line with his or her career goals.

Hire a candidate who understands their career trajectory

Some candidates are one disaster away from a career head-on collision. Their career journey is a random doodle with no goals, ambition or direction in sight. Other candidates know where they are headed, why they want to head in a particular direction and how they are going to get there. Job hopping might look like it is in vogue but from a recruitment perspective, it might also speak of indecisiveness and red flags in one’s character. There might be a shortage of permanent jobs in this economy so it’s okay for one to have some temporary jobs in one’s resume. However, if the stories behind the departure from one organization to another do not add up, then there is a problem.

Hire a candidate who can ask good questions

The wise man, as it is often said, poses the right questions. A candidate who asks questions for the sake of asking questions might be a disengaged candidate who is not curious. A good interview is engaging because it is a two-way conversation. Be prepared to answer a candidate’s questions with clarity and honesty. A candidate’s questions can be an indicator of the candidate’s ability to think creatively and learn. It is also an indicator of whether the candidate is eager to join the organization and bring new ideas.

Hire a candidate who is passionate and determined

Does the candidate have new ideas that can be applied in solving problems in your organization? What practical steps would they take to bring that idea to life? How would the candidate counter the legal/ economic challenges that might be encountered in the course of the implementation of their idea?

Sometimes, the most determined and passionate candidate who would be the right fit for the job does not have the academic skills required for the job. A good programmer might have coding skills that he or she learnt through open courseware on the internet while he/she was working at a restaurant to make ends meet. Such a candidate might lack some of the technical skills but their passion and determination makes them an excellent fit for the position. A good project coordinator might have the right skills and attitude but he or she studied biology as their first degree then took online courses in project management.

Do not hire a candidate who is overconfident and proud

Confidence is essential in successfully executing any role. Overconfidence, on the other hand, is a success killer. A candidate who is overconfident does not understand the importance of taking calculated risks. He or she does not know the limits of what they know and the importance of acknowledging that there is a lot to learn. Such a candidate will overpromise and under deliver, take unnecessary risks and constantly pass the buck to others instead of taking responsibility for their mistakes. Ask questions that will help you determine whether a candidate knows their limitations and is willing to seek help where it is necessary.

Do not hire a candidate who brags about other job offers

If a candidate is bragging about other job offers, then he or she should probably be allowed to pursue other job offers. A candidate who brags about other job offers is manipulative and greedy. He or she is probably trying to arm twist the organization into offering more in terms of monetary benefits by overstating the value that he or she would bring to the organization. Bragging about other job offers is also an indication that the candidate will accept other job offers using your organization’s offer as leverage.

 

Are you looking for talent with the above qualities? Do talk to us.

Crystal Recruitment is a leading Recruitment Firm in Kenya, with presence in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda and a reputation of getting the right people for your open vacancies.

RANDOM CV WRITING TIPS

Maybe it is time we did a recap of what we know when it comes to CV writing?

Below are random tips that I think can help your CV stand out you can get that desired job or an interview invitation at the very least.

Your name and contact details should obviously be at the top of your resume.

There is no need to include your home address really.

Leave out your personal information such as date of birth, religion, marital status etc. (There is a reason we have employment laws against discrimination in regards to age, race, religion and the like.)

When it comes to Email address, try keep things professional and avoid the ‘hotprettydude@youremail’ et al. Ideally use your first and last name.

Be careful on the long list of carefully selected key words used to describe yourself. Some get read but can work against you if you do not know for example how to explain “your strategic skills” in an interview and in most instances they rarely get read.

Volunteer work, involvement in clubs/societies and in the community; definitely include that.

Awards and scholarships – brag all you can. A resume is intended to sell you.

Experiment with a unique font other than the usual New Times Roman.

On the experience part, write more about what you did achieve as opposed to what you do/did.

And lastly for today, make it short and sweet. Try 2-3 pages tops and if you are new in a career, one page is actually fine.

Bonus tip: Tuck away your references till when asked about them as you want to be aware when they are being contacted and by whom. 

 

PS, Got more questions? Hit my  Twitter and our  Facebook so we talk