Do you have Job Evaluation as part of your 2020 plan for your Organization?

Objective evaluations set the foundation that moves leaders to the tipping point…

As organizations streamline their operations in 2020, it is critical to align the talent needs of the organization with the business strategy of the organization. One of the ways of doing this is to carry out job evaluation. Job evaluation refers to a system that assesses a job in relation to other roles in the organization based on common criteria. It is often carried out using one of the following approaches:

  • Analytical job evaluation: This is based on method in which jobs are viewed as whole elements that can be broken down into smaller, defined elements namely: scope, knowledge, communication, level.  Using a matrix that assigns values to these elements, a score is derived for each job. The total points assigned to each job are used for determination of the overall grade
  • Non analytical job evaluation: Compares one job to another without considering the definite factors that make up each job

Job evaluation can be carried out by observation, questionnaire or survey.  The approach depends on the job environment. A production environment would best be evaluated through observation followed by a survey. An office based job would best be evaluated through a questionnaire or a survey. All the relevant stake holders need to be involved during job evaluation. Job evaluations help establish the natural relationships within the organization. As organizations grow, they become complex in terms of the structure. Discernible differences between the roles may not be as clear as the organization continues growing. For instance, is there a difference between an entry level clerk and an executive assistant?  The answer may seem obvious but it is not always obvious. A job evaluation provides data to help differentiate roles in terms of scope, knowledge and range of skills required for a role.

  Job evaluation is preferred and should be carried out regularly for the following reasons:

  • Promotes rational decisions about pay within the organization

Carrying out job evaluation enables the organization to minimize inconsistencies in key decisions such as the scope of a role. Evaluation of a job based on a consistent set of logical factors provides the leadership of an organization with a structure for rationale decision making on the roles that need to be filled within the organization. It also helps in the identification of replicated roles thus providing for an opportunity to redefine the roles in order to maximize the potential of the employees.

  • Promotes fair system of pay

There have been complains about poorly structured pay systems in most organizations. Job evaluation can help address some of the concerns about pay structures within an organization. The pay structures in organization fall into one of these structures

  1. Narrow- graded structures: Jobs that are considered of equivalent value are placed in one category. The pay for that category is determined
  2. Broad grade structures:  Fewer and wider grades are used as reference points. Progression is tied to the reference points
  3. Job family structure: This allows for the co-existence of different grade structures and is particularly useful when operating in different job markets
  4. Pay spine structures:  This type of structure is common in the public sector. There are a number of pay points to which job grades are aligned. The relevant pay points determine the pay ranges for the grades. Length of one’s service determines one’ s pay progression

Each of these models has its advantages and disadvantages. Fairness in the payment system can be promoted in spite of the model of pay that is adopted by the organization. It is important for HR to align the pay structure to the values, culture of the organization and the HR strategy of the organization.

It has often been argued that is difficult to determine whether manual or administrative roles deserve more pay. Job evaluation provides a mechanism for establishing whether roles are of equal values hence deserve the same pay. In addition to this, job evaluation would provide a framework for determining where different jobs involving similar skills are being carried out hence the need for harmonization of the pay.

As a golden rule, it is important for your organization to ask whether the HR team or external HR consultant has the most recent data on the pay structure from market surveys. Given that talent retention also entails offering a competitive package to your employees, a job evaluation would provide one with an opportunity to compare the pay offered for a particular job from one organization to another. Some of the rates in the market may not match the rates offered by your organization. Some positions may also not be matched by the positions in the market. For instance, organizations are increasingly phasing out some administrative roles while others prefer to maintain lean administrative units. Bearing these differences in mind as the job evaluation is being carried out will help the organization determine whether their employee retention strategy is future-proof.

  • Supports recruitment, succession planning and career development

In this era where talent is highly competitive, it is important for organizations to retain their talent by offering them competitive packages. The framework for carrying out job evaluation provides the most useful tool for comparing internal jobs to external market data on similar jobs.

For organizations that have a career family structure, the career development paths are often defined clearly. These are defined by level profiles that describe the skills, knowledge, experience and competencies that are required at each level of the structure. Carrying out a job evaluation can provide information for employees of an organization that will enable them to develop their skills for the next level as they seek to progress in their careers. Top management can identify gaps in the organization’s succession plan and put plans in place to address the gaps that have been identified.

Do you need help with carrying out job evaluation? Talk to us today and let us help you evaluate the jobs in your organization.

Top three reflections before you make a career move in 2020

As we celebrate getting to see the new year 2020 (Happy New Year), it is important to reflect on the milestones and learn. For some, this is the time to plan for one’s career growth in the coming years.  It is difficult to maintain a positive outlook towards career prospects in the New Year given there are gloomy reports concerning the state of employment in the country. Recent reports indicate that more than 300 firms have closed in the course of the year. In addition to job losses, it is estimated that 50,000 graduates join the job market every year.  Even with the sharp increase in job losses in the country, there is no reason why you should not future proof your career prospects. We look at the lessons learnt in our interactions and interviews with top notch candidates who have succeeded in their careers:

Lesson #1: Learn a new skill

It is often said that those who do not learn eventually rust. This could not be truer than in this day and age where technology is becoming part and parcel of every aspect of life.

It is no longer wise to say “I am a marketing professional, not a techie.” Technology is changing how we work, where we work and the kind of work we do. A World Economic Forum that was carried out recently indicates that 65% of school going children will do a job that does not exist in the current market but is likely to emerge as a result of technological advances in the next few years.  It is estimated that the ICT sector in Kenya has been growing at a rate of 10.8% since 2016. This is expected to continue in the near future as the uptake of technology tools such as AI and IOT continues. The sector is regarded as a promising source of job creation but there have been concerns about digital displacements as technological advances render certain jobs obsolete.

Recently, Singapore implemented a plan to prepare its young citizens for the work environment they are going to work in by creating a learning account for all its citizens above the age of 24 years.  Account balances can be utilized on acquiring skills from approved training providers.

In France, all employees in the private sector get a learning account from the time they are employed. The account remains operational until they retire. Each employee gets 24 hours of training in a year of full time work until they get to the threshold of 120 hours.

A marketer who understands data analytics is more likely to advance in his or her career than a marketer who lacks these critical skills. Acquisition of skills can be inexpensive due to availability of free online tools such as EdX and Coursera. If technology will shape the future of work, lifelong learning will shape the future of workers. Growth in one’s career in the future is pegged on one’s willingness to learn.

Lesson #2:  Make a move

Sometimes, you need to move vertically in your career in order to grow. Sometimes, you need to move horizontally in order to grow in your career. In the not-too-distant past, it was possible to work in one industry until one retires. In today’s dynamic job market, this is unlikely to happen. A global study showed that the average worker today can hold up to 11 jobs over the course of working years. Employment contracts have diversified with an increasing number of open ended contracts and part time contracts being issued by organizations. A report by the McKinsey Global Institute indicates that by 2030, up to 14% of employees globally will need to shift occupational categories in order to meet the needs of a changing labor market. If your current organization lacks opportunities for you to grow, consider moving to another organization. In doing so, you might acquire the skills you need to remain relevant in your skills as well as the much needed experience in your field.

Lesson #3:  Think and act like a global citizen

A factory that makes shoes in Kenya can sell them in China through its website or platforms such as Amazon. As technologies improve, firms are finding more efficient ways of running their operations and opportunities beyond the confines of their borders. While there are fears that automation will induce unemployment, there are emerging opportunities in most countries in Africa. Rwanda has positioned itself as the tech startup capital of Africa hence competing with Kenya and other African countries. The gig economy is not limited to the confines of a particular economy. For instance, Andela, a US company provides training for software programmers across Africa using tools that are availed online. The software developers work in Lagos, Kampala as well as Nairobi. Kenyans are finding job opportunities in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi, and South Africa among other African countries.

If opportunities for growth of one’s career are not available locally, it is time to think and act global.

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

Mental Health in the Workplace

“The strongest people are those who win battles we know nothing about.” 

According to the World Health Organization, mental illness affects one in four persons globally. In Kenya, it is estimated that about one out of ten individuals suffers from mental illness. 25-40% of people seeking treatment from general medical facilities suffer from mental illnesses. Most of the individuals who are affected by mental illnesses are below the age of 35 years.  A survey carried out by Dr. Edith Kwobah which was published in the BMC Psychiatry Journal indicated that there might be close to 5 million Kenyans affected by mental illnesses.   

The effect of the subtle and often ignored mental illness is made evident by the rising number of suicides in the country. Conservative estimates indicate that the suicide rate in Kenya is about 7.9%. Mental illness related suicides are not limited to any tribe, religion, gender or social class. In October 2018, Steve Mumbo who had worked as business recovery manager at PwC, a leading audit firm in the country plunged to his death from the 17th floor of a building. It was speculated that his death may have been as a result of work related stress and depression.  Mental illnesses can take various forms including bipolar disorders, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and psychotic disorders. The underlying causes of mental illness are complex and multifaceted but work related pressures have been known to trigger or aggravate pre-existing mental health conditions.

In a speech that was delivered by the Director of Medical Services, Dr. Jackson Kioko, it was revealed that 10% of absenteeism from work is related to mental illness. It has also been found that an episode of depression can lead to a loss of up to 36 working days. Mental illness can also result in presentism which results in employees being present but mentally disengaged from their jobs.  While statistics on the effect of mental illness on business in Kenya are scarce, other countries have found that mental illness has serious financial implications. For instance, statistics from the USA indicate that depression costs the economy $51 billion. Estimates from the UK indicate the mental illness costs UK businesses about €26 billion. 10% of these costs go towards the replacement of staff, 20% are attributed to absenteeism while 60% are attributed to reduced productivity at work. In the report on the costs of mental illnesses in the UK, it was reported up to 30% of these costs can be reduced by implementing work place well-being programs at the workplace.

 Mental illness remains a taboo subject in Kenya with most people attributing it to spiritual causes. The country only spends 0.05% of its health budget on mental health making access to mental health facilities beyond the reach of many. There is a scarcity of psychiatrists and psychologists in the public and private health care sectors. Insurance companies are hesitant to cover costs associated with mental health related illnesses in the country. These factors contribute to making it difficult for organizations to take steps towards the improvement of mental well-being at the work place.

On average, a person will spend 90,000hours at work. Internal or external factors related to the work place can contribute to poor mental health which in turn affects employee’s productivity and career prospects. Work related matters such as an overload of work, long working hours, unreasonable deadlines and job insecurity contribute to poor mental health. A review of 228 research studies on employee wellbeing reported that there was a significant relationship between work place stress and health outcomes. Job insecurity was found to increase the odds of reporting poor health by about 50%. Having high demands at work increased the odds of being diagnosed with illness by a physician by 35%. When a local office technology company in Kenya carried out a survey, it was found that most of the employees only had functional relationships at work. Most of the employees stated that they felt isolated and unrecognized which made them anxious at times. This is just one of the many organizations in Kenya whose employees may be courting poor mental health at the work place. Most organizations lack data on the status of the mental health of their employees in spite of the significant contribution of mental health to productivity.

In as much as there has been an increase in awareness about mental health in the workplace, most organizations have been slow to implement mental health policies. Traditionally, most organizations implement mental health initiatives at work following a mental health related incident in their organizations. Reactive measures towards improving mental health at the workplace often have little effect as compared to proactive, data driven measures. Most organizations also lack an understanding of the business case for having initiatives that promote mental well-being at the work place. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) for workplace well-being programs often stands as a barrier to companies seeking to improve the mental well-being of their employees.

In spite of the existence of these barriers, a number of organizations are leading the way. Unilever is a good example of an organization that has a mental wellbeing program in place. The company provides training for its managers to enable them to recognize signs of mental illness. The Copy Cat Group Limited in Kenya has an employee assistance program in place which allows employees to call a counsellor who works for the organization and discuss matters relating to their mental well-being. Kenya Railways has trained peer educators and counsellors as part of its work force who help their colleagues navigate matters related to mental health.

There are still many organizations in Kenya and in other parts of the continent that are lagging behind in promoting mental well-being at the work place. This mirrors the low priority assigned to mental well-being in the continent. Statistics by World Health Organization indicate that about 46% of countries in Africa lack a mental health policy. Employers need to create a culture of mental health awareness and promote initiatives that help prevent mental illness. Leaders play a crucial role in encouraging employees to talk about mental health and providing support for those who suffer from mental illness. This would help in mitigating stigma associated with mental health hence improving outcomes associated with mental illness. Barclays Bank (currently trading as Absa Group) provides a good example on how to do this. The bank had a campaign dubbed “This is Me” in which employees suffering from mental illness talked about their struggles and triumphs with mental illness. There are other actions that can be implemented by organizations such as:

  • Creation of  a culture of proactive, preventative management of  workplace well being
  • Having leaders model work-life model
  • Evaluation the effectiveness of  workplace well-being interventions using tools such as Mind Workplace Wellbeing Index

There is no one size fits all but a company needs to start somewhere; and what better place than how you hire by really getting to know your potential employees. Talk to us today for your hiring needs and we shall be part of your employee’s journey.

HR Trends that cannot be ignored in 2020

“The future is already here – it is just not very evenly distributed”

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