Human Resource

The Home Affairs Department has announced that 34 825 work permits will be available for foreign citizens who posess skills which are considered scarce in South Africa. Applicants with the relevant qualification and work experience will be able to secure a work permit without first obtaining a job offer - if they fall within one of 53 different areas of scarcity.

Public servants in a developing nation, such as South Africa, have been urged to be innovative in their approach to work. Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi said government, as a developmental state needed public servants to "push the boundaries and let the potential come through.'

The efficiency of a company and its Human Resource management is put to the test the moment someone phones or walks in through the front door. Unfortunately, corporate image is an aspect of business development that is too often neglected. Teryl Schroenn tells us that you shouldn't neglect the staff in your reception area.

"Employment Equity is currently enjoying a large amount of attention in the media. It seems to be getting the blame for everything that is either amiss, or wrong within the South African economy," says Pieter Lerm from EDGE Media. Lerm explains how the act has been misinterpreted and not related correctly to other legislation that the employer should be aware of.

South Africa, its people and its politicians need to learn from Zambia. In 1964 the newly-elected President - Kenneth Kaunda, began a countrywide ethic - with his oft-repeated statement, "One Zambia, One nation.' In a country with 60+ dialects this was to prove to be the concrete that united Zambia. And it still does.

The workplace is not what it used to be. Employees do not necessarily fit traditional profiles and cannot be easily categorized. At the same time businesses are under increasing pressure to keep up with daily innovation in digital communication equipment and resources. Clearly, the digital revolution and age of information has resulted in a renewed corporate landscape and the introduction of a new breed of information worker.

The Department of Labour has initiated court proceedings against a Durban based manufacturing company for breaching provisions of the Employment Equity Act (EEA). Cantoni Lounge (Pty) Ltd, a manufacturing company based in Stanger was served with papers ordering it to appear at the Durban Labour Court for contravening provisions of Section 36 of the EEA.

President Thabo Mbeki has featured a letter from a disgruntled former employee of Investec in his weekly email newsletter, ANC Today. Bonga Bangani's correspondence with a senior Investec manager became common knowledge when it was published by a leading financial publication last week. "He wrote this letter out of frustration at the racism he experienced in this branch of one of our major financial institutions," says President Mbeki.

Does your business consider its investment in its Intranet as more than a marketing tool? Have you considered that your Intranet could be a powerful tool to communicate Legal, Safety, Industrial Relations or Quality issues to your workforce?
Rival industrial have some advice on making your intranet more closely linked to you HR, skills and training requirements.

The increase in adoption and integration of payroll software into the workplace represents a significant step forward in the quest for effective management, calculation and processing of payroll. The rate of adoption of software solutions is such that a comprehensive "entrance-to-exit’ product range does add immediate value.

"One minister recently stated on national television he had delegated a task to a consultant and the problems that now existed were the consultants fault. This is a very good example of abdication and not delegation". Des Squire explores the issues to focus on to ensure your delegation is successful.

With winter around the corner HR departments are scratching their heads trying to assess the impact the change of season will have on their workforce. Traditionally winter brings a higher incidence of absenteeism and to a lesser degree presenteeism (The employee arrives but is less productive). Rival Wellness has some ideas about how HR departments can respond.

Frequent and thorough audits of the HR function in business is a sure method of improving the maturity of this area of a company’s operation says Teryl Schroenn, MD at Accsys, a provider of HR and payroll management solutions. "HR maturity is linked to the stages of an organisation’s development cycle. To accurately assess the level of HR maturity within a company or business, HR departments rely on a Human Recourses Audit or assessment. It is also used to evaluate the HR department’s own efficiency,' says Schroenn. "The overall purpose is to ascertain the level at which the HR department - encompassing all functional areas - is aligned to the organisation’s strategic objectives.'

Western Cape MEC Marius Fransman put the cat amongst the pigeons when he proposed a three-year moratorium on affirmative action. Fransman claimed that the policy was making it difficult to meet economic goals and he wanted to recruit white skilled workers. Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana was clear in his response: "affirmative action will never repealed, but will be intensified instead!'

Many "homecomers’ think that their overseas experience will provide the edge in landing a great job in SA but, the reality is, without local market knowledge, a surprising number of international high-flyers battle to perform in the SA workplace. Madge Gibson, Senior Associate at Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, has some tips for those coming home to the SA job market.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) has refuted claims that it is planning to cut down the number of white officers from service by offering them severance packages. "Our recruitment drive is an indication that we have not planned to reduce the number of white officers,' she SAPS spokesperson Director Sally de Beer.

What is the purpose of skills training? Some would argue that it is to uplift people - but Malcolm Birkin would disagree. "Our objective has to be to achieve higher rates of economic growth linked to dramatically improved levels of job creation. If we do not create jobs we will fail to uplift people, and no matter how good our training programmes may be, we will have succeeded only in creating better trained unemployed".

There is an art to CV writing that even top executives get wrong from time to time. "They often don’t consider the balance between excessive detail, which can make a CV too lengthy, and excessive summary, which may make it difficult for the employer to appreciate the range, depth and scope of their experience. Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters offers some tips to ensure your CV stays at the top of the candidate pile.

Your may be the greatest "schmoozer' a company has ever seen, but without being able to deliver on the deal, your networking talents are wasted in the corporate world. Debbie Goodman explores what companies really want from their top employees.

Another wonderful year ahead in South Africa has begun. Another year for job opportunities and career moves. A career plan involves a number of key factors, one of which is the CV. Do you have a current CV? Does it include updated KPAs and/or any relevant accolades and accomplishments? The Worksquad have some advice for you.

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released, employers across all sectors of the South African labor market have optimistic expectations for the first quarter of 2008, although hiring expectations are 4 percentage points weaker than the fourth quarter of 2007

You opened up internet and email access to all your employees to improve their productivity - so why are they now spending the equivalent of one week per month dealing with emails? Can they really all be work-related? And how do you ensure that all your managers know how to use internet research to gain competitive advantage? Peter van der Schyff has some Netiquette rules that will ensure your internet connection is used to best advantage of your business.

Settling in to a new job or position is never easy - and it doesn't get any easier as you get higher up in the organisation. Executives are expected to hit the ground running with no time for getting to know the job. Debbie Goodman, of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, has some tips that will help anyone move from 'outsider' to 'one of the team', as quickly as possible.

Any HR manager will tell you that a competent, qualified payroll administrator is a major asset to a company. Teryl Schroenn, MD of Accyss, explains that registered qualifications are now in place for payroll administration to make it easer to identify competent people. If your payroll administrator is only 70% competent is that really enough? Who would want to be treated by a 70% competent doctor?

Ivor Blumenthal, CEO of the Services Seta, has paid tribute to the late Shaun Schwanzer as, "a true human resources practitioner and professional who will be sorely missed. He wanted Human Resource Professionals to become accountable for their actions, not only to their Employers, but specifically to the Profession as a well self-regulated and officially acknowledge structure responsible to the Minister of Labour for their actions and behaviours".


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