New South Africa job portal aims to help the country’s unemployed

One of the biggest challenges facing South Africa is to reduce its staggering 25.20% unemployment rate. A problem faced by many of those looking for employment is that they don’t have access to the internet but they do have access to Facebook and Twitter through their mobile cell phones. Some of the unemployed are looking for learnerships and jobs with no experience, so by bringing to attention employment required we hope to help reduce the unemployment rate.

JobsTown.co.za is a local job portal in South Africa that aims to help business owners and recruiters to get access to the provinces unemployed skilled and unskilled workers through its website and social media platforms. By concentrating the websites efforts on social media, JobsTown.co.za aims to help its users by sharing content from its website onto the various social media platforms. Then if the interested party wishes to apply they can then find the time to get access to a computer so they can then send their application through.

The portal offers a free service to employers and recruiters who can then post their vacancies free of charge and have the applicants send their CV’s directly to their email account. Job seekers also have the opportunity to create a profile and submit a CV both electronically and as an attachment.

This increases the job seekers chances of being employed as some recruiters prefer to browse through CV’s online rather than bring to the attention of the public the name of the client who is hiring. Registered users have a great opportunity to register for job alerts.

The new website will also focus its content on education, skills and career advice. Although in its infancy any providers who wish to share content can do so by emailing the editor for guidelines or by contacting the editor through its Facebook Fan Page. JobTown.co.za will help educate the youth on advice for job seekers and collect information from recruiters on what seekers could be doing to improve their chances of being employed. Often job seekers find that they apply in vain for work and never hear anything back on the progress of their applications.

JobsTown.co.za would also like to concentrate some of there efforts on learnerships and jobs with no experience required. We feel that this is one way to reduce the unemployment rate in South Africa. Through the introduction of the portal we wish to address these issues along with any others raised by the unemployed in South Africa.

Visit www.jobstown.co.za today to create an account!

The FMCG Market

FMCG

What is the FMCG market? Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) is defined as units of items that are sold quickly and at reasonably good prices. The term FMCGs refers to those retail goods that are commonly replaced or fully used up over a relatively short period. This contrasts with durable goods or major appliances such as kitchen appliances, which are generally replaced over a period of several years. Products are the type where they are generally sold at supermarkets, that we use every day, but cheap electronics and over-the-counter products are now being included. The term “fast moving” gets used as they bought regularly and used up rapidly.

Longer lasting products like furniture are not characterised under this category as you generally only replace these products every few years.  They are normally small items and get sold in large quantities at low costs. Typically, a lower amount of profit is made on each individual FMCG that is sold, but the constant demand helps to produce volume sales that help to create a healthy cumulative profit on all units sold within a given period. There are a number of retail products that fit this basic profile, with many of the items found in just about every home around the world.

FMCG don’t have a big shelf span. This is because the products have a high customer demand or because the product has an expiry date. Food products are highly perishable but move through a store very quickly. Other goods such as alcohol, toiletries, pre-packaged foods, soft drinks and cleaning products have high turnover rates. Cleaning and laundry products, over the counter medicines, personal care items and food stuffs make up a large bulk of the goods in the FMCG arena. Non-traditional health aids such as vitamin and herbal supplements would also be classified as a FMCG. Consumer electronics are considered a sub-classification of a FMCG. Known as Fast Moving Consumer Electronics, or FMCEs, items like cameras, computers, and cell phones are excellent examples of non-durable goods within this category.  These types of units get replaced fairly quickly by more technological advanced products.

The one way you can tell that a product is truly is a FMCG is that it is non-durable. There is a continuous need for these types of products and it makes sense to produce there products on a mass scale. Pre-packaged foods are a good example of this statement. The food is purchased, then consumed within a relatively short time and then the consumers return to a retail outlet to purchase more of the pre-packaged food when desired.

The top FMCG companies are known by their capacity to create the products that are in highest demand by consumers.

Product Characteristics

Products belonging to the FMCG segment generally have the following characteristics:

  • They are used at least once a month
  • They are used directly by the end-consumer
  • They are non-durable
  • They are sold in packaged form
  • They are branded
  • Industry Segments

The main segments of the FMCG sector are:

Personal Care: oral care; hair care; skin care; personal wash (soaps); cosmetics and toiletries; deodorants; perfumes; paper products (tissues, diapers, sanitary); shoe care.

Household Care: fabric wash (laundry soaps and synthetic detergents); household cleaners (dish/utensil cleaners, floor cleaners, toilet cleaners, air fresheners, insecticides and mosquito repellents, metal polish and furniture polish).

Branded and Packaged Food and Beverages: health beverages; soft drinks; staples/cereals; bakery products (biscuits, bread, cakes); snack food; chocolates; ice cream; tea; coffee; processed fruits, vegetables and meat; dairy products; bottled water; branded flour; branded rice; branded sugar; juices etc.

Spirits and Tobacco: There are many different types of these products.

Source

Wikipedia.com

Wisegeek.com

 

 

 

 

 

How to Market your B2B Business Online

So your business has developed products or services that you want to market and someone mentioned to you “why don’t you try an internet website”. So after a few months you ask yourself “why isn’t your site producing any leads”? You’ve most likely made among the greatest internet marketing assumptions: Simply because you believe you have gone out and produced an internet website, visitors and business leads will come! The truth is they wont and you must first decide on a direction of where you are headed when deciding how to conduct your B2B business online. Marketing your company online could be a lengthy, drawn out process so prepare to work at it.

Below we will cover one of the aspects which will help your company generate leads and accumulate traffic to your website. Regrettably, not everybody can perform this, but if it can it will be most useful in marketing your B2B business online. People try these techniques and fail constantly. The issue is people only hear the success stories and believe that internet marketing is simple. The truth is: it is not. But if it does work you could be well on your way to making your business a success.

The Basics

The most important element in creating an effective internet marketing drive is traffic. If you can’t build sufficient traffic, you will not have the ability to generate any leads and most importantly any money. And regrettably many people are really bad at building traffic as they are not applying the right techniques. They apply completely inept methods that do not work, plus they usually quit inside a couple of several weeks after beginning. Their keywords then just fall back down the rankings once again.

Again, you might find that a few of these online marketing methods tend to be more tedious for your firm than others.  The bottom line is that you will need to possess a plan that gives you a clear direction in which tools you’ll use to promote your items to ensure that your organization won’t be losing touch with the competition.

Building leads from marketing online is not remotely easy for most people. This issue isn’t unique to the net though, as many people fail to build business leads in other marketing techniques. The best thing to do is try to build multiple leads from different marketing areas. Many people can build a relatively simple website now days. They get their sister’s son to design a basic website that contains a couple of lines of relative information, about the business. But the problem is majority of them don’t understand how to attract considerable amounts of traffic to the website or how too build leads. If you’re able to effectively build plenty of traffic, it is simple enough to create earnings from this. You might also need time to figure out the best way to utilise your traffic. But in simple terms if you’re able to increase your legitimate traffic and you are able to keep this traffic with information that is key to them, you will slowly succeed.

You will find a lot of online promotion tactics which you can use to promote your items. Some you pay huge amounts, some you don’t. The important thing is to find things to work for you to help your business online. The internet marketing tools that you ought to use in your promotion plan depends upon your purpose, your audience’s online habits and preferences, along with your company’s financial and time limitations. The most basic traffic builder and most popular is: Organic Search engine optimization.

Organic Search engine optimization can be used to affect your website’s position inside the internet search engine recent results for relevant key phrases.  Pros: This tactic drives specific traffic to your web page and it has lengthy-term benefits that frequently outlive your time and efforts.  Viewers rely more upon natural results compared to what they do in compensated results. Why? Because that is what they are searching for and useless information is not thrown at them.  Cons:  It needs time to work for the advantages of organic Search engine optimization to materialize.  It may be very costly and time consuming.

How you can advertise your B2B business online

To learn to bring an item to promote, start by selling to customers who are looking for your product or service. This’ll provide you with confidence that there is interest in your products as well as create referenceable clients that you could contact for product and packaging feedback before you decide to hit the larger leagues. Where are you able to achieve your finish-customers: Through organic search engine optimization and people who are actually looking specifically for your products. Getting your B2B business online presence to top of search engine rankings will be imperative to the success of your online marketing.

The internet is an impressive channel in which you can market your products or services. The team from Online Management has developed a website www.onlinecatalogue.co.za that helps you market your products and services to locally based people in your area. Online Catalogue is promoting an internet site that can help the business develop leads. Online Catalogue is a leading B2B and B2C marketplace that connects various suppliers with buyers across South Africa. Suppliers and manufacturer post their various products under one website and Online Catalogue helps promote their products in out market place portal. Buyers can search and contact suppliers easily by our multiple categories and keywords built into the website.

Why does this work? Because, Online Catalogue, performs the online marketing themselves and helps the subscribers bring keywords that they require to the top of the rankings. With over 15 years of experience in the industry they can help bring your keywords to the top while helping you generate leads for your company.

Visit Online Catalogue to sign up today

So we’ve just covered one of the tools that you’ll want to undergo to be able to sell your items online.  Obviously the next steps are for you to take action and get marketing your business online.

Aluminium Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors are a key aspect of any house or structure that people design. They have the ability to add personality and value to any building. If you are redesigning or constructing a new building, choosing the right windows and doors could be one of the most important decisions of the design process. The design of these elements allow the building  to be more inviting, looks more spacious as well as increases value to the building. Also, one the most important element: it can provide improved safety to the inhabitants of the building.

Aluminium windows and doors have gained international recognition as one of the best products to use for building designs.  For many years they were perceived as expensive, but with low maintenance costs people are starting to see the attractiveness of the products. They are now among the most well-liked types of windows and doors in the industry. It is a material with a high strength-to-weight ratio that is easily formed into many shapes and configurations, remaining the most common commercial framing material. While aluminium offers various benefits, they do have a few drawbacks, so always consult your constructor to make sure that it is the right choice for you.

Aluminium Windows

Aluminium windows are considered a leading product when constructing large buildings where you need a lot of windows. They have an ability to give any structure an amazing feel. The advantages of aluminium are countless. The ability for the windows to be shaped into multiple numbers of customer designs while offering slim sight lines makes it a good choice when people have specific needs. They are also particularly good at protecting at moisture. So if you live anywhere near the coast they are a good choice. One of the practical benefits of aluminium windows is that they control noise much more that other window products. This makes them an optimal choice in schools and office buildings. And, also mentioned before, aluminium windows need very little maintenance to maintain optimal levels as it is more resistant to the elements and thus not likely to bend out of shape.

Aluminium Doors

Doors in building structures are often the most used element of a building. Doors serve the important feature of first entry as well as the basic purpose of closing and opening up of multiple entrances to different rooms. Therefore it is imperative that this function is well looked after and a product is bought in there that you don’t have to worry about. A weak entrance will increase the accessibility of robbers trying to break in your house. Aluminium doors are able to offer you some security while at the same time offering a level of attractiveness that you also desire.

So to sum it up the advantages of aluminium windows and doors are:

  • An increase in levels of security offering you peace on mind on your securing your property
  • Highly durable and low maintenance
  • Highly resistant to the elements: wind, rain etc
  • Eco-friendly
  • Increases visibility and light coming through the windows due to less frames required
  • Able to meet many architectural requirements
  • Easy on the eye
  • Available in multiple colours

Alu Wiz It in Port Elizabeth has the history and work experience to help you make the correct decision when purchasing and advising you on your Aluminium Windows and Doors. Please contact us to arrange your next quote or advise on your building requirements.  Contact us today on 0418196233

ONLINE CATALOGUE LAUNCHED – PUT YOUR BUSINESS ON TOP

Did you build a website for your business and now find yourself asking, Now What? Do you own a website that may help you market your business? Do you have time for the continual online marketing that is needed to keep your product range in front of new clients? Have you ever searched for a manufacturers product online only to be flooded with Chinese and foreign results? Online Catalogue addresses this issue by putting South African products back in the search and back in front of potential customer’s eyes. Branding all products under one roof our aim is to become the #1 site for manufacturing, raw materials, B2B supplies and consumer products. If you stock it we want it!

Online Catalogue is a leading B2B and B2C catalogue marketplace that connects buyers with suppliers all over . With the digital age entering its full swing in , Online Catalogue has developed a website that will help make use of online marketing to its full capacity. We provide the marketing support to the website allowing you to gain more exposure.

In today’s world, Search Engine Optimisation, (SEO) is critical to the success of any business that wants to market their business online. SEO is a critical part of marketing their presence on the internet. Not coming up on a search engine first page will leave you short changed. The main aim of SEO is to get the website higher in the rankings of keywords that are relevant to your business. There are techniques there will we offer to improve the success of this operation. Without a full online presence, you will struggle to maximise the full power of the internet and will be unlikely for you to attract the correct customers to your business.

Online Catalogue is a South African website to help business market their products to other businesses or consumers. The online shopping framework helps businesses trade with customers by allowing the customer to contact them directly by either emailing direct or phoning them up. Our aim is to connect the businesses with customers they would generally not know about. Online Catalogue is so much more than your usual online business directory, where you just add your business and a description of what you do. With Online Catalogue you list your business as well as numerous products, in a laid out catalogue fashion. Our Online Shopping framework allows multi vendor businesses to market their various products in one space. By doing this, this allows buyers to visit one location to find what products they are looking for.

Suppliers and manufacturers can post and promote their products in our market place portal. Buyers can search and contact suppliers easily by our multiple categories and keywords. Join the online catalogue portal and boost your business and benefit from this unique selling tool. Each product you list will have its own page with its unique description, rating description and links to your website and details in which the potential customers can contact you by directly.

Products will be listed in easy identifiable categories in which users will have no doubt in where to find a product. Prices do not have to be included as you are marketing to customers what sort of products you do supply and they can contact you directly for quotes. The unique front end product loading system was designed with an ease of use in mind. Even the most novice internet user will soon be able to add products hassle free.

The internet is an impressive channel in which you can market your products or services. The team from Online Management has developed a website www.onlinecatalogue.co.za that helps you market your products and services to locally based people in your area. Online Catalogue is promoting an internet site that can help the business develop leads. Online Catalogue is a leading B2B and B2C marketplace that connects various suppliers with buyers across South Africa. Suppliers and manufacturer post their various products under one website and Online Catalogue helps promote their products in out market place portal. Buyers can search and contact suppliers easily by our multiple categories and keywords built into the website.

Submitted by Online Catalogue

Tel: 0418196233

How Media-Ready is your candidate? – Puseletso Mompei

By Puseletso Mompei

Communication and Media skills were once thought of as a nice-to-have for Managers, Corporate Executives and other business leaders. Those who were blessed with the ‘gift of the gab’ were as happy to address shareholders as they were to appear on the evening news business segment. Meanwhile those who didn’t want much exposure could afford to shy away.

But times have changed. 24 hour news cycles have made the media hungrier, coupled with internet and social networking-driven exposure, executives can be easily ‘Googled’ and called on to be part of conversations happening in the public arena in multimedia platforms ranging from online webinars, to radio, print and television interviews

As an HR practitioner, it can sometimes be difficult to assess whether candidates are ready for the new responsibilities of having a more public profile.

Tips on how to assess media readiness:

Prior experience

A candidate who has been exposed to the media in the form of past interviews or providing information or opinion, has an advantage when they step into a more senior position which turns the spotlight on them. Familiarity with the media allows candidates to engage more effectively and comfortably than those who find this space totally alien.

Have they undergone any training or coaching?

Many sectors, such a technology and finance emphasize highly technical or specialized skills, and over time professionals in these areas develop a great understanding and aptitude for the complexities of a specific industry. However, they are then faced with a serious shortcoming from lacking skills such as communications and media relations, which often come into play at more senior levels where they have to account to broader, more diverse audiences. Individuals with specialized or technical backgrounds benefit greatly from a systematic introduction and explanation of the media and communications landscape.

Do they have a grasp of how they fit in?

Some appointees often underestimate how much weight their voice carries with a more senior position, and may be unprepared for how closely tied they are to a company’s reputation, and even share price. Having an in depth understanding of the different audiences he/she now addresses- ranging from consumers to government and competitors- as well as knowing the different ways they can interact with him/her, such as via twitter or call in radio shows, allows senior staff members to be more strategic in how they conduct themselves and business.

What is their grasp of media fundamentals?

Some people have a natural ability to speak in front of the camera or microphone, but are they savvy enough to know when to reject an interview? Do they understand what being ‘off the record’ implies? Would they be able to lead at a time when there is a Communications Crisis? Understanding how they and their company fit into a broader context will allow a manager or leader to anticipate opportunities, and address challenges far more astutely.

Puseletso Mompei is a Communications Consultant and Trainer. She offers Communications and Media training for corporate executives, spokespersons, managers, entrepreneurs, government officials, diplomats, academia and public relations officers. Contact her at [email protected], or visit www.kwazicommunications.co.za for further information.

Recruitment Meets Communication – Puseletso Mompei

Recruiters under the limelight

Puseletso Mompei

In the process of recruitment, there tends to be a belief that the spotlights sit firmly above the prospective employee. Along with their credentials and experience, their communications skills are up for scrutiny. Their written and verbal skills are critiqued, and their appearance and body language are analyzed to see if they are a good fit or not.

The flip side is that prospective employees, likewise judge the Human Resources personnel of a company to see if they want to join on their team. Human Resources personnel are the face of the company in a lot of ways; outsiders see them as the barometer of a company’s culture, as expressing its values and setting the tempo and pace for the internal workings of the company. Therefore the Human Resources professional’s image and conduct plays a crucial role in attracting top professionals.
In order to engage with and appraise high level candidates, Human Resources personnel require matching, if not better, written and oral skills. These should be coupled with a knack for reading people, and weighing their strengths and weaknesses in a way which is tactful and professional.

It is often said that a company or organization is only as good as its people. If a Human Resources Manager is not able to successfully recruit the skills an organization needs to thrive, this can result in weak team composition which in the long run compromises productivity and profitability. Poor written or speaking skills such as the use of slang in professional e-mails, projecting a disappointing image through weak handshakes or lack of phone etiquette, have the potential to repel highly prized talent.
In these dynamic times, when communication channels have opened up with the proliferation of electronic tools, it is imperative that the skills, as well as image of Human Resources personnel be up to scratch to ensure the success of their company, as well as their own personal accomplishment.

Puseletso Mompei is a Communications Consultant and Trainer. She offers Communications and Media training for corporate executives, spokespersons, managers, entrepreneurs, government officials, diplomats, academia and public relations officers. Contact her at [email protected], or visit www.kwazicommunications.co.za for more information.

The private/public debate and social media – Puseletso Mompei

Written by: Puseletso Mompei

Before smart phones, laptops and the internet, everyone would go home at the end of the day, retreat to their private lives and only connect again the next day. But that’s no longer the case. E-mails sail in at 11pm on Friday nights, twitter conversations involving your business can happen at 2pm on Saturday and your staff can be on facebook at any time of the day or night.

What does this mean for your company?

Re-evaluate public/private divide.
Technology and Social media have created an overlap in our lives with the 24/7 connectivity we now enjoy. What is private or company time can be informed by various factors, such as the platform, mode of access and context. Depending on the business you are in, the demands of the work and the utility of tools by staff may yield varied answers. In the PR space for instance, being on twitter can be part of your job description, but for a hospital technician it is not a necessity.

Work with a social media practitioner and legal team to inform your parameters. Once your company has arrived at a definition, communicate the company’s interpretation to your team, with clear reasons as to why this position is being adopted.

Educate staff
Reputation management is no longer the domain of your Media and Communications team, every staff member is an important stakeholder in upholding the company’s brand. It is important that staff understand how search engines and aggregating tools operate.

Team members will benefit from knowing that results are not separated according to what suits them, that even if you delete a post, people can still find it, and more importantly, that pictures, videos and comments posted in their private capacity can have an impact on their employer. Also include provision for concepts like cyber bullying and identity theft which have the potential to severely disrupt the dynamics of the workplace.

Discuss and engage
Discussing the social media guidelines or policy with staff and helping them understand where company versus personal parameters lie is important. People may want to know if the rules apply if they are communicating on their personal devices or if their accounts get hacked into. As an HR practitioner, your guidance is crucial.

A simple, straight forward definition of what the company considers private or public should be provided in writing. This allows staff to refer back to something in their daily interaction, and also provide the company some recourse should an employee behave irresponsibly.

Incorporate Personal responsibility
The integrated nature of social media and its’ impact on our everyday lives, as well as the rapid development of tools and platforms, means that you cannot police staff 24 hours(nor would you want to) so you have to trust your staff to carry out their lives in a responsible manner. Educate them, provide clarity and leadership and you will be able to guide your staff through the brave new world of a socially connected workplace.

Puseletso Mompei is a Communications Consultant and Trainer. She offers Communications and Media training for corporate executives, spokespersons, managers, entrepreneurs, government officials, diplomats, academia and public relations officers. Contact her at [email protected], or visit www.kwazicommunications.co.za for more information.

Social media and Productivity, challenges and opportunities – Puseletso Mompei

It seems almost instinctive to think that employees who spend time on Social media platforms will have reduced productivity. After all, how does chatting with friends on facebook, sending tweets and browsing through Pinterest contribute to the company’s bottom line?

The truth is that depending on who is using a specific platform, how they are using it and how well they understand the medium, you get different results. The key differentiator for productivity is whether time is spent on personal entertainment like chatting with friends, or on social business activities where they are engaging with those who can spend money on the company’s products and services or boost the brand.

Outward facing functions such as PR, Marketing and Customer Service, are easily aligned to social media and staff in these functions can justify online activity. But increasingly, new platforms are popping up all the time with the potential to create utility for roles like HR, Operations or Distribution, putting a further spin on managing social media related productivity.

Opportunities
Marketing and Brand communication

Social media engagements can be used to reach new audiences, and boost existing off line communications. For instance, facebook can be used to publicize a company sponsored event and You Tube can be used to show a demo of a new product. Therefore an employee who is responding to comments and following up on leads generated from social media is in fact being productive

Reputation management and market intelligence

From a reputation management point of view, social networks can serve as a barometer of public sentiment. If you are in the luxury goods market, you can tap into what people are saying about yours and competitor brands or products, and if you are in financial services, you can gain insight on why customers are struggling to save, and feed that information into your strategy and products.
Additionally, people tend to be frank about their consumer experiences when they are talking to their ‘friends’ on these platforms, and your brand very well be the subject of discussion. You can either ignore this information or use it to manage public perception.

Diversity of ideas and intelligence

Given that 2 billion people (and growing) are online, they provide a massive resource for information. Employees can use their networks to learn best practices from other companies, to pick up on new technologies in their industry and even have the opportunity for someone thousands of kilometers away contribute to solving some work-related challenges.

Challenges
Time management

Ensuring that if time is spent on social networks, the social commerce component exceeds the socializing aspect can be difficult to determine. The line between ‘work’ and ‘social’ can get blurry very quickly, so your staff need to have good time management skills to work well in this space.

Quantifying outputs

If your company does not tie indicators to online activity, quantifying whether social media interactions result in business success, or lack of, can be quite difficult. Loss of revenue and time lost can only become clear when it is too late.

Level of understanding

Social platforms aren’t monolithic, and unless your people are clear about how each platform plugs into achieving goals or how their target audience likes to be interacted with, then they could be wasting time, or worse still, alienating their market. Education also bears on areas like leaking of sensitive or confidential company information and understanding how to avoid online threats like viruses.
Since social media isn’t going way, the onus is on companies to ensure that employees are as well equipped, educated and as enabled as possible to use these tools for the benefit of the company, rather than to its detriment.

Puseletso Mompei is a Communications Consultant and Trainer. She offers Communications and Media training for corporate executives, spokespersons, managers, entrepreneurs, government officials, diplomats, academia and public relations officers. Contact her at [email protected], or visit www.kwazicommunications.co.za for more information.

Hiring for Social Media roles – Puseletso Mompei

Finding the perfect fit for social media roles ranging from executives such as Social Media Directors, to more junior positions such as Content Creators, Customer Service Representatives or Bloggers can be challenging because quite simply, a lot of these positions only came into existence recently and finding the right talent can be tricky.

Social media hires in 2012 and going forward are set to rise, and because the pool of people who started and grew their career purely in social media are rare, recruiters will have to select candidates based on a more indirect set of skills than they would for more traditional roles. Here’s what to look out for.

Communications experience

On a basic level, you want someone who has a proven understanding of traditional media, public relations or marketing. Because social media works within the context of the ‘real’ world, a keen understanding of audience segmentation, market needs and how teams such as sales, event management and marketing’s functions feed into each other, is key.

Relevant business skills

Each role’s specific requirements will, for instance, inform whether experience in the B2B space versus B2C skills weighs in more heavily. Someone who has analytical skills is valuable across the board, because regardless of whether the position is senior and strategic, or more junior and operational, the candidate should be able to quickly spot trends, patterns and interpret what is happening in the ultra-dynamic social media space.

The candidate should be conversant on how companies and individuals who succeed on social platforms do so, supported with a clear business case for each, beyond being ‘liked’ or being popular.

Individual experience

The candidate should be up-to date on what is happening on and be active on relevant social media platforms. A ‘living’ track record illustrates his/her quality of interaction. Be sure not to merely focus on quantity, i.e., his/her number of followers or friends, as the size of a network can be falsified; look more at the quality of his/her interactions to see how they interact various people, and respond to feedback.

Personal character

Broadly speaking, you want your social media team to be composed of people who thrive in a 24/7 connected environment because being ‘on’ all the time comes with the territory. If your candidate is likely to get stressed by fielding comments at 10am on Sunday morning, or supporting junior staff members with a crisis at midnight, then they will not make a good candidate.

Look for candidates who are emotionally intelligent, have the ability to operate calmly in a crisis and will not rise to taunts. Twitter wars are on the rise and when entrusting someone with a company’s reputation, you need to be sure that they will resist the urge to tell people off or put them in their place.

There is no one-size fits all for social media hires, therefore it is essential that as a recruiter you have a very clear idea of the skills the job requires. You will often need to see how expertise derived from traditional roles, can be translated to working in the social media arena.

Puseletso Mompei is a Communications Consultant and Trainer. She offers Communications and Media training for corporate executives, spokespersons, managers, entrepreneurs, government officials, diplomats, academia and public relations officers. Contact her at [email protected], or visit www.kwazicommunications.co.za for more information.

WOMEN – AND THEIR BABIES – WELCOME, SAY TOP SA COMPANIES

South Africa’s top employers are unanimous in their open policy of employing women
of child-bearing age in senior positions, a recent survey reveals.

Unlike their global counterparts who, according to at least two recent international
surveys, tend to show a reluctance to hire women who are or could fall pregnant, a
local poll by a top SA headhunter found all the SA companies polled were not swayed
by family matters.

One international survey, conducted by UK executive search agency Hanson Search,
found that nearly 10% of employers questioned had ‘serious reservations about hiring
women aged between 30-40 years old’ because of a fear that they would at some point
fall pregnant. Another survey, conducted by UK agency Business Environment
specifically among female managers, found that a quarter of them were reluctant to
hire a woman who has children or was of child-bearing age.

The local survey, conducted among SA’s top corporate employers by leading executive
search firm Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, stood in stark contrast. All of the
respondents indicated unequivocally that a woman interviewing for a top job* would
be neither overtly nor covertly discriminated against for reasons of having or
potentially starting a family.

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters, says although it
would be prudent to consider that respondents had perhaps responded in what they
perceived to be the politically correct way, the anonymity provided and the nature
of the responses gave weight to the stated positions that top female execs of
child-bearing age would be welcomed.

“The responses show that what was most important to employers were skill and fit,
and that personal circumstances could be accommodated,” says Goodman-Bhyat.

Employers were asked two questions: “Would you be hesitant to hire a woman of
child-bearing age” and “Would your position change if she had recently married”.

All of the respondents answered no, or even ‘not at all’ to both questions.

Among the motivations for their answers, employers said current day egalitarian
parenting made employing younger men and women who are new parents or who plan to
become parents much of a muchness. Other comments include:

* Being as rare as top women in the corporate workplace are, you cannot fuss
about things like that. This may be an issue at a more junior level where you need
an employee who is going to be at their desk ploughing away, but not at an
executive level. We have just had one of our senior executives come back from an
extended period of maternity leave, and in retrospect it remains a good hiring
decision.

* There has never been a discussion where this was ever a factor. It is accepted
that this is part of life and consequently part of what needs to happen in
business.

* The company supports a flexible organisational structure that makes room for
people who need the space for the unexpected things that happen in life.

* The company will not be open to that kind of prejudice.

* There is a great deal of consideration that goes into making the decision. But
given that the company’s target market for filling top executive positions is
black women of child-bearing age, a huge percentage of its work force falls in
this group. The company therefore does its utmost to plan properly.

* The company recently appointed a six months pregnant woman to a top position.
Pregnancy only has a bearing related to timing of changes and becomes very
individual specific, but it always works around it and it is never a barrier to
entry.

* There are a myriad of options to manage maternity leave where it is of value
to the business and the individual. Most people who have a balanced life tend to
perform better in a working environment as well.

Goodman-Bhyat says that South Africa’s unique labour imperatives combined with the
country’s strive for gender equality meant that local employers tended to have a
different attitude to the appointment of younger women to senior positions.

“While there are still many improvements to be made to enable women to maintain a
better work-life balance, it is clear that employers are starting to realise the
value of accommodating women and putting in place processes to enable the retention
of this vital demographic,” says Goodman-Bhyat.

But she warns that, although attitudes may be changing significantly, actual
appointments continued to lag.

“Most industry average ratios show a continuing male to female segmentation of 70%
vs 30%. In some industry sectors this is even more heavily swayed to male
domination. However it appears that perceptions may be shifting, and that this could
soon start to effect a correlating change in gender representation in the C-Suite.”

* Note: The survey was conducted specifically to gauge attitudes relating to senior
executive positions, and can not necessarily be translated to the entire female
workforce.

ENDS

ISSUED BY: Lange 360
ON BEHALF OF: JACK HAMMER EXECUTIVE HEADHUNTERS

For more information contact:
Debbie Goodman-Bhyat at Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters on 021 425 6677
(www.jhammer.co.za)
Mervyn Dziva at Lange 360 on 021 448 7407

About Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters
Jack Hammer provides a fresh approach to executive headhunting by cutting through
the ordinary. They have achieved this over the last decade by using strategic
research to drill down and expand their market intelligence beyond the obvious and
source the real gems of talent. The knowledge gained in the process enables them to
give clients a competitive edge by ensuring they find the right executive talent –
in a manner that is both responsible and ethical.

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat

Debbie is the founder and Managing Director of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters –
rated by the Business Day as one of SA’s leading executive search firms.

Jack Hammer, with Debbie at its helm, has become a cornerstone of the South African
headhunting sector, continually and vocally aiming to raise the bar in the local
executive search industry. As a result, in 2011 Jack Hammer was selected as the
exclusive South African partner of IRC Global Executive Search Partners, a top 10
global search firm, and has now extended its global footprint to more than 70 cities
worldwide.

Debbie is a founding member of the Cape Town Chapter of EO – a global
Entrepreneurship Organisation with more than 8500 members worldwide.

COMPANIES PAYING BONUSES DESPITE TOUGH MARKETS

End-of-year bonuses are on the cards – for both staff and top executives – at many
of SA’s leading companies, a recent survey reveals.

Throughout the year, many have been faced with the prospect of a bleak festive
season as news broke of tough trading conditions, and the chance that packages would
be frozen and bonuses slashed. In SA, top staff have felt ongoing pressure on their
packages as salaries and bonuses have taken a continued battering from the ripples
of the 2009 financial crisis.

Although the economic environment remains strained, the latest Jack Hammer Corporate
Survey reveals that companies are sticking with their bonus culture – and their
obligations – even though company performance may be tepid.

Asked whether their staff would be receiving a 13th cheque or bonus this year, 100%
of the companies polled answered in the affirmative.

The survey was conducted this month among South Africa’s top corporate employers by
leading executive search firm Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters. Entities polled
were from the banking, investment banking, wealth management and FMCG sectors, as
well as government, manufacturing and insurance.

All respondents indicated that their junior and mid-level staff would be receiving
end of year sweeteners, says Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, MD of Jack Hammer. “But what
needs to be kept in mind is that many companies are contractually obliged to
disburse 13th cheques regardless of performance,” she added.

“I would not say that the response indicates an easing of the extreme
belt-tightening experienced over the past few years,” says Goodman-Bhyat.

“Rather, companies have recognised that to withhold the expected 13th cheque because
markets are tough becomes a big issue with staff morale and ultimately productivity
and staff retention.”

The survey indicates that of the companies polled, 75% indicated without
qualification that employees would receive end-of-year bonuses or 13th cheques,
while bonuses linked to staff performance would also be paid should the company show
a profit.

What is clear is that in all sectors, from investment banking to manufacturing,
performance or profit share bonuses would be paid out to senior staff where
individual and company performance targets were met – but that the expected sums are
set to be smaller than they would have been prior to the global financial crisis.

“Since then, bonus sums have consistently remained weak. The bonus structures,
formulae and ‘potential’ have not changed, but the amounts disbursed have in almost
no instances reverted to pre-2008 highs,” says Goodman-Bhyat.

“Nevertheless, hope remains; because we still have executive candidates discussing
their bonus ‘potential’ and the sums they used to receive 3 or 4 years ago when
negotiating offers with a new employer. However the new reality has set in and a
‘new normal’ in terms of bonus payouts is emerging.”

ENDS

ISSUED BY: Lange 360
ON BEHALF OF: JACK HAMMER EXECUTIVE HEADHUNTERS

For more information contact:
Debbie Goodman-Bhyat at Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters on 021 425 6677
(www.jhammer.co.za)
Mervyn Dziva at Lange 360 on 021 448 7407

About Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters
Jack Hammer provides a fresh approach to executive headhunting by cutting through
the ordinary. They have achieved this over the last decade by using strategic
research to drill down and expand their market intelligence beyond the obvious and
source the real gems of talent. The knowledge gained in the process enables them to
give clients a competitive edge by ensuring they find the right executive talent –
in a manner that is both responsible and ethical.

Debbie Goodman-Bhyat

Debbie is the founder and Managing Director of Jack Hammer Executive Headhunters –
rated by the Business Day as one of SA’s leading executive search firms.

Jack Hammer, with Debbie at its helm, has become a cornerstone of the South African
headhunting sector, continually and vocally aiming to raise the bar in the local
executive search industry. As a result, in 2011 Jack Hammer was selected as the
exclusive South African partner of IRC Global Executive Search Partners, a top 10
global search firm, and has now extended its global footprint to more than 70 cities
worldwide.

Debbie is a founding member of the Cape Town Chapter of EO – a global
Entrepreneurship Organisation with more than 8500 members worldwide.