Human Resource

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".

Leaders of the HR community have paid tribute to Shaun Schwanzer, the president of the HR Council, who died last week. "He was regarded with great affection by many across the South African HR community and the HR community has lost one of its most passionate and committed role players".

At the 3rd Annual HR Africa Summit, held recently in Sandton, three large South African companies were in the running for the conference?s award for excellence in HR practice.

Does your company have a performance management system? And if it does is it more about the procedures and filling in the forms correctly than about actually assessing workplace performance? We look at the ins and outs of performance appraisals and how then can be used effectively to improve personal and company performance.

Sometimes we can get so engrossed in the details, paperwork and procedures that our minds wander from the original point of what we set out to achieve. Sarah Babb argues that if we put aside all the compliance issues for a moment we can focus on the original intention of skills development - making a difference in learners' lives and increasing the national skills competence of our nation.

When communicating within the company it is cheap to copy all members of staff on all correspondence - but that doesn't mean its a good idea. Terri Brown from Actuate explains why it is just as important with internal communication to segment your market and avoid wastage.

The new year is set to see a more intensified fight against employment equity violators, Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana has said. "The issue of employment equity violation is going to be my project next year,' he said, adding that employment equity reports indicated that 11 years into democracy, there had been little change to equity profiles in management.

Debbie Goodman, MD of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters says, "School leavers need to research the profession or industry they?re studying towards entering and, if possible, to secure solid work experience in a potential career field prior to study".

Workforce has successfully listed on Altx, the JSE board for smaller companies with significant growth potential. "We are very pleased to have reached this milestone, taking us into a new era for the company as a listed entity," said Ronny Katz, Chairman and CEO of Workforce. The company specialises in staff outsourcing, recruitment and human resource support services.

We are approaching the time of year when employers historically offer a 13th cheque or a year end bonus. This has become the norm and employees are eagerly awaiting their bonus whether deserved of not. "But is it right?" asks Des Squire, who proposes that increases and bonuses should be based on input and merit.

RCA Consulting, a specialist family-owned recruitment firm, has joined forces with MVN Holdings in a BEE deal that is set to break new ground in the industry. Moses Ngobeni from MVN believes he has the answer to recruiting black professionals. "It is a common theme among recruiters that black talent is hard to find but we believe that the problem is they are just not looking in the right place,' he says.

"If I answer emails on a Saturday, why can't I go and watch movies on a Tuesday?" One of many questions being asked by 'bright young things' in the workforce. Juliet Newton from Avocado Vision explains that with these super-powered employees, "HR is out, talent management is in".

Thinking like a cyber criminal to enhance protection of IT systems and infrastructure is a growing trend within the IT security market says Clint Carrick, CEO of Carrick Holdings, a local provider of comprehensive IT security solutions and services.

It may be one of the more convenient and most accessible means of modern communication, but the reality of engaging in corporate e-mail communication is effective management and adherence to legislation.

GijimaAst, one of the largest empowered ICT companies listed on the JSE, received the "Fidentia Top Empowered Company of the Year: Information Technology? award. The award is for outstanding achievement as a leading black empowered company in the IT sector and for outstanding contribution to the growth and sustainability of the South African economy.

The new Change Management Practitioner course offered by Foster-Melliar not only provides candidates with a sound understanding of the underlying documented process that forms the back-bone of a good change management program, but also arms the learner with practical knowledge on how to effectively implement the program within the organisation.

While a good qualification is imperative to practise as a professional, a fast-changing business world requires all professionals to constantly keep up to date with developments in their industry. Things are no different for Human Resources so the SABPP, which is the standards body for HR in South Africa has launched an updated Continued Professional Development programme to ensure high standards are maintained.

How much latitidue should the CCMA have to determine whether a dismissal was fair or not? Employers will probably celebrate a recent Supreme Court of Appeal decision that declares the CCMA should have limited opportunity to interfere. Work-in-Solutions and Equity's Paul Cooley explains the implications.

Skills development focuses on developing the productivity of employees and, to a lesser extent, providing skills to the unemployed so they can gain employment or become entrepreneurs. But even with the skills in place there are still many factors impeding the development of our workforce. Sylvia Hammond investigates a number of social factors that could be just as significant as skills shortages in holding back productivity.

According to Professor Frank Horwitz, South African human resources managers have tended to be concerned mostly with procedural and maintenance issues. He believes that this approach is fast becoming insufficient in a global marketplace where many South African companies face challenges in competing with global companies who offer products at a lower cost. He prefers to focus on the innovative ways that HR can boost competitiveness.


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