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Are small recruitment Agencies taking a pounding, as a result of all the job portals that have sprung up?

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Recruitment

I am noticing a trend in companies doing their own recruitment, as its far cheaper to employ a person to search the job portals and advertise on the free job sites, than paying an agency commission for sourcing candidates, or paying a response handling agent to screen the CVs, resulting from an advertisement.

Clients that I have been dealing with for over 30 years are giving me less and less business for this very reason.  Times are tough, and companies are being pushed to cut costs, recruitment budgets are being cut, and of course, many companies are retrenching or consolidating,

In addition, small agencies are finding it extrremely difficult to get on to the vendor lists of big corporations.

So, what is the solution? 

You tell me! 

Response Handling – The answer to Recruitment Headaches in the Current Financial Crisis!

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

The worldwide financial crisis, in my opinion, has created massive opportunities for response handling for the following reasons:

Shrinking Recruitment Budgets

Large corporates are embarking on cost cutting exercises, and recruitment budgets have been slashed to the bone, making the cost of consultancies prohibitive. However, the cost of response handling is negligible, in comparison, and would be a cost-effective alternative for any HR Manager.
Large numbers of people out of work, as a result of downsizing

Massive volumes of CVs are being received when positions are advertised in the press. How many potentially productive hours are being spent screening CVs? Unless you are being paid specifically to screen CVs, this is a counter productive exercise! You should be spending your day generating income. Leave the screening of CVs to me – that is WHAT I AM PAID TO DO!
HR Departments are consolidating their functions

Large companies are consolidating the admin and recruitment sides of HR, which means that, to a large extent, gone are the days of HR Admin Officers, Recruitment Officers, IR Officers, Training Officers etc. This consolidation is making it impossible for an HR Officer to screen hundreds of CVs AND attend to training, job evaluations, performance appraisals, salaries, leave, IR matters etc, effectively.

Err on the Side of caution

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

Last week I was at a stop street, when I was rear-ended so hard by another car, my teeth rattled in my mouth!

I got out and looked at my car, and to my surprise, the damage was negligable (or so I thought).

The other driver was very apologetic, and I almost let it go, without taking his details, as I made a mental decision that I was not going to go thru' all the hassle of making an insurance claim for a tiny little scrath on my bumber.

BUT, something told to take his details, just in case.

On the way home I noticed that the dashboard lights indicating that the boot was open had come on. I got out and checked, but the boot was closed and locked.

To cut a long story short, I then noticed that the right back side of the car was out of alignment with the bumper so I took the car to a panelbeater, and was shocked to fnd out that my valence (I had never heard of a valence before!) was totally buckled, and the damage amounted to almost R19 000-00!!!

Phew, thank heaven I took his details! I doubt my insurance company would have been too impressed with me, if I hadn't.

There is wisdom in the saying "Rather be safe than sorry!"


Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

What would you say is one of the most important aspects of networking?
Trust, of course!
Abagail Alfano of Pine, Louisiana lives in a Hummingbird fly zone. As they migrated, about 20 of them were in her yard. She has been studying them daily and one morning put the  water cup from the bird feeder, in her hand. They had gotten used to her standing by the feeder and they had grown to trust her, and as a result, they came over to her, landed on her hand and drank from the little red bowl she was holding.
I feed a stray cat. He is a real alley cat, but over the years he has grown to trust us, and he will even let us touch him – on his terms of course!  
If you approach a strange dog, it’s natural instincts will tell it to fight or flee ie. it will either bite you or run away. But, if u put your hand out for it to smell, talk to it gently and then slowly try and pat it, it might relax and begin to trust you.
The same applies to networking.
You would be very loathe to recommend someone you don’t know to a client of yours, because your credibility is at stake, if that person lets your client down.
But, by attending meetings and getting to know the other members of the networking group, you gradually build up trust in their service and their product.
This applies to every single one of us.   Every one of us has received an accolade at one time or other for going that extra mile, and in this way, even if we haven’t had personal experience of that particular person’s business ethic, we build trust based on our fellow members’ experiences because we trust them!

Don't Have Regrets...

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

On Wednesday night I got one of those calls that everybody dreads! My mom’s sister had passed away suddenly.

Although, it was sudden, she was old and ill, and had been particularly confused for a couple of weeks, rambling on about all sorts of things, and at times, living way back in the past.

She and my uncle had been in a home for the aged for about 6 years and she hated it! She was a vibrant, fun loving person in her hay day, loved food, cooking and entertaining, and living in an institutionalised environment was just not for her. But, their age, inability to care for themselves properly, and financial constraints had necessitated the move to the home, and at the time, they felt it would be for the best.

She became increasingly miserable and indigent and eventually she was confined to a wheelchair, as she needed a hip replacement, and was constantly in pain. It was too risky to consider surgery as she was suffering from diabetes, congestive heart failure and renal problems

I have to admit that I always felt guilty that I didn’t visit her as often as I should have, partially as a result of the pressures of life and partially because she was always miserable and down and I would leave there feeling depressed and helpless as I was unable to do anything to relieve her misery and suffering.

Apparently, 2 days before she died, she refused to eat her lunch, saying that she was waiting for me to pick her up for lunch. Nobody told me, as they just put it down to her ramblings, BUT I am sure that there was another reason for this. I know she wanted to see me :(

I am absolutely consumed with remorse, sadness and grief! I have cried and cried and asked her to forgive me for not visiting her more often.

So, if you are in a similar situation, take my advice...

Visit that person before it’s too late!

It’s a funny thing…. I hadn’t seen her for about 4 months, and wasn’t missing her, but now I miss her terribly. I actually ache to see her one more time.

Why? Because I can’t!

What is a Book????

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

My daughter works part time in a book store and she invited me to a book launch last Sunday night.
I was a real bookworm as a child, teen and young adult, but I am afraid that I am now a hopeless Internet Junkie and no longer have the time or the inclination to read. So, my immediate reaction to my daughter’s invitation was “What the heck is a book???” LOL! But, not wanting to be ungracious and knowing that she really wanted me there for moral support, I reluctantly agreed.
My daughter was taking cash and assisting customers with queries and I wandered aimlessly along the aisles, looking at shelves and shelves of BOOKS! Novels, non-fiction works, self-help books, biographies, business books, science fiction books, religious books, recipe books, children’s books…best sellers, sale books, classics, well-known and obscure authors… you name it! And, I felt deeply saddened that I no longer read.
The www, in all its wonderful and magical glory, has added much to my life, but in that moment, I realised that it has also changed me, and perhaps taken something away from me, and I made a firm decision to change that!
The first step? I bought 2 books!!!
I haven’t started reading yet, but I do intend to (if I can ever get away from this keyboard!!)
Do other Internet Junkies read? And, if so, when do u find the time to “feed” your addiction, work, run a home AND read????

Beware of Windows Updates!

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

My computer crashed last week, after I had downloaded a Windows XP update. When I called my Computer Technician he told me that I am the third person he has spoken to this week that this has happened to. He can probably retrieve all my data, but I think that the computer has taken an involuntary retirement package! It was an old computer and I knew I would have to upgrade soon, but I would have liked to have done it on MY terms.

So, if you have an oldish computer, please take heed of this and exercise caution befoe installing any updates!

My Pet Business Peeve!

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

How many of you can relate to this?

You are running late for a meeting, and you are putting your make-up on (if you are a guy, you are putting your jacket or tie on!), while your printer is printing the documents you need for the meeting. You grab your briefcase, the document and the stapler as you head towards the door. You put your keys in your mouth so you have 2 hands to staple the pages together, press the stapler down on the pages, and....


This has to be my pet business-related peeve!

When are salaries going to go up?

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

Eskom has been granted a 13.3% increase by Nersa, in addition to the 14.2% increase already granted in December. 

Interest rates have been steadilly climbing! The petrol price???? 

Let's not go there!

The inflation rate is astronomical and the price of staple foods is out of control! We are being taxed to death, but we still have to employ private security companies and pay an arm and a leg for medical aid.  So, where does this leave us...particularly the poor... if salary levels dont start rising?

Skills Shortage in South Africa

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

Johannesburg - Nearly three-quarters of SA business are more focused on attracting and retaining staff than a year ago, placing SA above the global average of 59%, a new report showed on Wednesday.

The Grant Thornton's International Business Report ranked SA in the top eight countries placing staff attraction and retention high on their agenda.

"It is interesting to note that the countries where attraction and retention is the greatest concern are developing countries, while countries least affected by this issue are already developed," said Leonard Brehm, national chairperson of Grant Thornton SA.

Other countries grappling with this human resource problem include Vietnam (84%), mainland China (81%), Botswana, India, Mexico and Philippines (all at 79%).

In SA the top three strategies used to attract and retain staff are ensuring the employees understand the company's core values and goals; training top performers for leadership positions; and developing competitive reward programmes.

Staff attrition is disruptive, the report noted.

In SA 61% of respondents reported that the greatest impact of staff churn is increased operating costs followed by an increased workload for remaining staff (56%), which also absorbs the time of management and human resources. Other problems include loss of business orders to competitors (38%), difficulties introducing new working practices (37%), fall in customer service standards (36%) and a fall in product quality standards (32%).

In addition, eight out 10 local businesses indicated that it was costing them more to pay salaries than it was 12 months ago. In this category SA ranked fifth behind mainland China, Botswana, India and Turkey.

And you thought you had a bad day???

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

I don’t know why I bothered to wake up yesterday????

The first thing I was presented with was a blocked loo! As I flushed, up came a deluge of water and sawdust! Sawdust! My daughter had cleaned her hamster cage and emptied the last bits of sawdust into the loo and voila! Blocked loo! Of course, she vehemently denied it, in spite of the “evidence”! I rushed to the hardware store and bought a plunger and thankfully managed to clear it, but now I was running hopelessly late for an appointment.

I almost killed myself getting there on time and then proceeded to wait…and wait…

I had arranged to meet a client at M&A. He is a printer who had to see me “urgently” to discuss web copy he needed written. Eventually I called him and guess what??? He forgot! And hastened to tell me that he was in CARLETONVILLE, so clearly there was no point in waiting for him.

I set off to my next appointment and no sooner had I pulled off, than my daughter called to say that my little toy pom had caught a bird and injured it! I told her to put the bird in a box and take it to the vet. She was screaming and crying that she couldn’t do this alone …blah…blah… I remembered the sawdust in the loo (ohhh..she is 24, by the way!), and said “Make like Nike and just do it!!!”.

I got to the office and was just starting to unwind when I got a frantic call from my son to say he has a stomach ache! He is almost 17, by the way! OK, I am a genius (pun intended), I know, but what the *&^% was I supposed to do??? So, I told him to take a Buscopan and stop bothering me!

Half an hour later the phone rang again…I was afraid to answer it!

It was my husband to tell me he feels like death! I told him to go to the doctor. He then proceeded to tell me that he can’t go the doctor, because it’s the month end he has to report to Chicago before the end of the day, etc etc (He is an Accountant, by the way). Ok, so what the *&^% can I do??? ARRRGHHH!!!! Make the death feeling go away? Make Chicago go away??

From then on the day just descended further and further into the quagmire! Nothing serious…just stuff like losing a document on my computer due to a power failure. Not load shedding…that I would have been prepared for. Just click! And blank screen in front of me! And, then of course, there was the little issue of dropping a bottle of tomato sauce, which naturally broke, and guess who spent an hour cleaning “tomato sauce spatter” off everything but the ceiling!?

Enough said!

Thank G-d it’s now Thursday!

Until One is Committed....

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.

Concerning all aspects of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans.

That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one, that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no-one could have dreamt would have come their way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Begin it now!

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1832)

Von Goethe, German poet, novelist, playwright, courtier, and natural philosopher, is acknowledged as one of the greatest figures in Western literature.

The above piece is a direct translation from the original German, and carries a powerful message about commitment.

Imagine if Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell or Louis Pasteur had not been committed and just given up????

How to write a good Recruitment Ad!

Written by Joy Dembo. Posted in Archive

I thought I would share some tips on how to write a good recruitment ad, with all of you!

Recruitment ads should be written with the AIDA principle in mind!

A = Attention

I = Interest

D = Desire

A = Action

So, how do you attract attention?   With your Headline of course!  If you don’t address your target market or use some form of attention getting device, such as clever use of words, you are wasting 80c in every Rand you spend!
Now you have your reader’s attention, how do you get him to read further?  By generating interest ie.  Tell him a little about the job!  Not your entire 12 page job spec, but try and get across the challenges that the position offers, as well as the key performance areas.

You want that perfect candidate to drool!  So, you have to entice him with benefits… ie. remuneration package, great working environment, fabulous offices, sexy boss (just kidding) etc.

Ok.. he WANTS this job!  Now its time for action!  Your response para must be clear and simple.  Don’t make it difficult for him to respond…include fax and e-mail contact details and if you are up to handling queries, include a telephone number.

Always remember who you are talking to.  If you are recruiting for an executive post, it’s usually best to write in the third person and try and keep it formal.  Use as many relevant corporate buzz words as you can get away with!

If it’s a creative or more junior position, let the creative juices flow…write in the second person and avoid corporate buzz words and the “hot potato” approach.  

Of course, your media selection is very important too, as is the use of  clever concepts and/or colour and/or visuals, if you have the budget!   

Consider composite advertising if you have more than one position  - its cheaper than having to include the common matter (Intro, benefits and response) over and over!

There is a high desperation level in SA, with millions of people unemployed, so remember to clearly outline the inherent requirements of the job!  If you are looking for a “rare animal”, you need to make sure that your man spec is right on target or you will get thousands of chancers applying!

If you need any further advice, give me a shout!