Going into 2020: How do you build a strong work force

Potential investors are more attracted to businesses that have empowered their employees and engaged them to go above and beyond to satisfy customers and ensure the company’s success. Ultimately, highly engaged employees boost company values.

There are five critical activities you need to employ to build a strong 

workforce:

1) Recruitment is where it all begins. Hire carefully — this is an essential step in building a workforce. Assembling a robust interview team with a coordinated process and proven methods for surfacing desirable attributes like self-motivation, resiliency, integrity, and work ethic will increase the odds of a well-chosen hire. By recruiting the right employees, your company can better motivate, retain, and engage your entire workforce.

  1. Competitive advantage can and should be a conscious part of your business growth strategy. It gives your company an edge in recruiting the most-talented candidates and keeping them. An appealing working environment, along with flexible work arrangements, also attracts and builds a solid workforce. Of course, offering competitive compensation and benefits is key as well.
  2. Engagement is the holy grail of employee satisfaction. Employee engagement is at an all-time low, according to Gallup. The emotional commitment an employee has to an organization and its goals results in greater expenditure of discretionary effort. Engagement is all about connecting and understanding your workforce. Positive, two-way communication across all levels of management encourages engagement.
  3. Performance evaluations should be used to provide feedback and confirm employees are accomplishing goals and making a valuable contribution. When evaluations have clear, achievable objectives that measure individual, team, and organizational performance, employees tend to register higher levels of engagement in their work. Measuring performance allows employees to be challenged, and those metrics can be tied back to retention. Employee performance evaluations serve as an effective tool to help management align workforce performance with company goals while also building meaningful career paths for valued employees.
  4. Line of sight as to how employee efforts impact the needs of customers creates purpose. The right motivation encourages people to work harder and longer as employees discover greater purpose in the execution of their jobs. Clearly communicating your business mission and jointly outlining a clear path for job advancement within that mission can mean the difference between a job and a calling for employees.

Landing the perfect recruit for your Organization.

Is there anything like landing the perfect recruit?

At VirtualHR we believe that to get a perfect fit for your organization you need to follow a set of processes to land the right candidate. Below is a sample breakdown which may vary from organization to organization

1.Improve Your Candidate Pool When Recruiting Employees

Companies that select new employees from the candidates who walk in their door or answer an ad in the paper or online are missing the best candidates. They’re usually working for someone else and they may not even be looking for a new position. Here are the steps to take to improve your candidate pool.

  • Invest time in developing relationships with university placement offices, recruiters, and executive search firms.
  • Enable current staff members to actively participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet candidates you may successfully woo.
  • Watch the online job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online even if they’re not currently looking.
  • Use professional association websites and magazines to advertise for professional staff.
  • Look for potential employees on LinkedIn and in other social media outlets. Encourage your employees to refer friends and professional colleagues who they may know online, to your company. Bring your best prospects in to meet them before you need them.

The key is to build your candidate pool before you need it. 

2.Hire the Sure Thing When Recruiting Employees

They say that you must hire the candidates whom you believe can hit the ground running in your company. You can’t afford the time to train a possibly successful candidate.

3. Look First at In-House Candidates

Providing promotional and lateral opportunities for current employees positively boosts morale and makes your current staff members feel their talents, capabilities, and accomplishments are appreciated. Always post positions internally first.

Give potential candidates an interview. It’s a chance for you to know them better. They learn more about the goals and needs of the organization. Sometimes, a good fit is found between your needs and theirs.

4. Be Known as a Great Employer

This is how you build your reputation and your company brand. You’ll want the best prospects seeking you out because they respect and want to work for your brand. 

Take a look at your employee practices for retention, motivation, accountability, reward, recognition, flexibility in work-life balance, promotion, and involvement. These are your key areas for becoming an employer of choice.

You want your employees bragging that your organization is a great place to work. People will believe your employees before they believe what you write in the corporate literature or on your recruiting website.

5.Involve Your Employees in the Hiring Process

You have three opportunities to involve your employees in the hiring process.

  1. Your employees can recommend excellent candidates for your firm.
  2. They can assist you to review resumes and qualifications of potential candidates.
  3. They can help you interview people to assess their potential “fit” within your company.

Organizations that fail to use employees to assess potential employees are underutilizing one of their most important assets. People who participate in the selection process are committed to helping the new employee succeed. It can’t get any better than that for you and the new employee.

6.Pay Better Than Your Competition

Yes, you do get what you pay for in the job market. Survey your local job market and take a hard look at the compensation people in your industry attract. You want to pay better than average to attract and keep the best candidates

7. Use Your Benefits to Your Advantage In Recruiting Employees

Keep your benefits above industry standard and add new benefits as you can afford to add them. You also need to educate employees about the cost and value of their benefits so they appreciate how well you are looking out for their needs.

Employees treasure flexibility and the opportunity to balance work with other life responsibilities, interests, and issues. You can’t be an employer of choice without a good benefits package that includes standard benefits such as medical insurance and retirement.

8.Hire the Smartest Person You Can Find

People don’t change that much. Don’t waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough.

If you’re looking for someone who will work well with people, you need to hire an individual who has the talent of working well with people. You’re unlikely to train missing talents into the person later. 

9. Use Your Website for Recruiting

Your website portrays your vision, mission, values, goals, and products. It is also effective for recruiting employees who experience a resonance with what you state on your site. Your website should provide insight into the culture and work environment that you offer for employees.

You do want to create an employment section which describes your available positions and contains information about you and why an interested person might want to contact your company. A recruiting website is your opportunity to shine and a highly effective way to attract candidates.

10. Check References When Recruiting Employees

The purpose of this section is to keep you out of trouble with the candidates you are seeking and selecting and the employees you currently employ. You really need to check references carefully and do background checks.

When is the right time for a salary raise

1) When is the right time for a salary raise

Do you think there is an exact time to ask for a salary raise and what factors need to be considered before you request for a salary raise.
Below are 6 signs that will evaluate if the time is right for a salary raise.

1)Your Company’s Good Financial Health
If things are good, revenue is up, and goals are being met across the board, then have at it. You stand a much better shot of getting what you want if everything else is falling into place.

2)Other People Have Received Raises
If you’ve confirmed that other employees are asking for and receiving raises, and you’re either at their level or do better work, then that can be a positive sign to ask for a raise of your own.
The only thing we’ll caution you on here is not to reference the raises of other employees in your request. A raise should be about you, your work, and your potential future value to the company that makes you a worthwhile investment. Dont walk in to your bosses office and start whining.

3)It’s Time for Your Performance Review
Most companies plan out a schedule for performance reviews and subsequent raises. Try to coordinate your raise request with that schedule, because it’s easier for your boss to convince the top brass at the designated time for raises, as opposed to a request out of left field at some other point during the year.

4)The Company Just Had a Big Win
If your company had a huge win or, better yet, a string of big victories, then it might behoove you to strike while the iron is hot. And if you played an integral role in those wins, then all the better.

5)You’ve Picked Up a New Skill or Degree
Did you take a training course or complete a degree program that sets you apart? Then that’s a good reason to take action.
Proving yourself invaluable and indispensable is perhaps the greatest way to earn that pay increase. The more you can set yourself apart the better.
Any time you can prove you’re a high-performer with specialized skills that make you stand out in the crowd, that’s a positive.

6)You Have Other Job Offers
Fear of losing valuable employees to other companies is a company’s biggest reason to approve raises.
So if you feel you’re underpaid and you’ve tested the waters and been offered a more lucrative position elsewhere, that’s a valuable card to play. But play it wisely. Don’t be boastful or pushy about it. Highlight your performance, let the numbers speak for themselves, and simply let them know you’ve been offered something for more money.
But you have to be prepared to leave, and you should never bluff. If you’re not prepared to walk or you’re lying, then you’ll create a toxic environment with management and getting a raise in the future will be near impossible.

Happy Reading!!!!!

Virtual HR Premiers Use Of Social Media To Interview Job Candidates

Virtual HR, a human resource and talent management company based in Kenya, is introducing digital interviewing. This means that applicants need not have to be physically present for a job interview and can opt for a Skype call, video conferencing or mobile-based chats especially WhatsApp recording.

Gladys Ogallo, the Managing Director of Virtual HR, says formerly time-consuming human resources tasks have been vastly improved through technology. From digital interviewing to digital records, HR teams are now able to recruit and track data faster and more efficiently than ever.

“Some of the major HR processes influenced by technology include Job evaluation, performance management, training, recruitment and selection as well as data storage and retrieval,” said Ms Ogola.

“We now use a self-service module to ensure applicants’ details are updated and available online at the click of a button including LinkedIn, Google, Twitter and Facebook links as opposed to just manual records.”

This has eliminated the need for face-to-face meeting with potential candidate especially those in far areas.

“You could be in Mombasa, Namanga or Dubai and we interview you from Nairobi but still manage to hold an effective performance review session,’’ said Mrs. Ogallo.

Virtual interviews solve geographical and distance challenge besides saving time and cost.  “There is no point of hassling both the candidate and ourselves to travel for miles for an interview while we would still achieve the same results through a simple a mechanism as even a WhatsApp chat that would end up saving us significant time and money,” she says.

She said three of every 10 interviews at Virtual HR are done digitally.

In digital Interviewing, candidates are allowed to use whichever technology they prefer — phone, tablet or laptop — to record their responses which are then reviewed by HR experts.

This saves both the recruitment firm and candidates hundreds of hours of travel costs and other logistical expenses associated with physical recruitment.

However, at the final stage of the recruitment process the candidate may be required to show up in person as the exclusive use of technology end to end may limit the recruiter’s assessment of the candidate’s personality and other softer details. It also assists in giving the whole process the human touch that technology cannot achieve especially on character judgement and detection of passion and commitment.

“Getting the right person for the job online does not end there. The real task begins as you place more focus on relationship building as this is where the true self of your applicant begins to show,” added Gladys.

Recruitment goes digital

Virtual HR premiers use of social media to interview job candidates

Virtual HR, a human resource and talent management company based in Kenya, is introducing digital interviewing. This means that applicants need not have to be physically present for a job interview and can opt for a Skype call, video conferencing or mobile-based chats especially WhatsApp recording.

Gladys Ogallo, the Managing Director of Virtual HR, says formerly time-consuming human resources tasks have been vastly improved through technology. From digital interviewing to digital records, HR teams are now able to recruit and track data faster and more efficiently than ever.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 4.17.56 PM

“Some of the major HR processes influenced by technology include Job evaluation, performance management, training, recruitment and selection as well as data storage and retrieval,” said Ms Ogola. “We now use a self-service module to ensure applicants’ details are updated and available online at the click of a button including LinkedIn, Google, Twitter and Facebook links as opposed to just manual records.”

This has eliminated the need for face-to-face meeting with potential candidate especially those in far areas.  “You could be in Mombasa, Namanga or Dubai and we interview you from Nairobi but still manage to hold an effective performance review session,’’ said Mrs. Ogallo.

Virtual interviews solve geographical and distance challenge besides saving time and cost.  “There is no point of hassling both the candidate and ourselves to travel for miles for an interview while we would still achieve the same results through a simple a mechanism as even a WhatsApp chat that would end up saving us significant time and money,” she says.

She said three of every 10 interviews at Virtual HR are done digitally.

In digital Interviewing, candidates are allowed to use whichever technology they prefer — phone, tablet or laptop — to record their responses which are then reviewed by HR experts.

This saves both the recruitment firm and candidates hundreds of hours of travel costs and other logistical expenses associated with physical recruitment.

However, at the final stage of the recruitment process the candidate may be required to show up in person as the exclusive use of technology end to end may limit the recruiter’s assessment of the candidate’s personality and other softer details. It also assists in giving the whole process the human touch that technology cannot achieve especially on character judgement and detection of passion and commitment.

“Getting the right person for the job online does not end there. The real task begins as you place more focus on relationship building as this is where the true self of your applicant begins to show,” added Gladys.

Virtual HR leads recruitment firms in digital interviewing – KBC Feature

Virtual HR a Human Resource and talent management company is introducing digital interviewing in the recruitment of personnel.

Virtual-HR-

This means that Kenyans no longer have to be physically present for a job interview and instead can opt for a Skype call, video conferencing or mobile-based chats especially WhatsApp recording.

Gladys Ogallo, the Managing Director of Virtual HR says that formerly time-consuming human resources tasks have been vastly improved through technology.

From digital interviewing to digital records, HR teams are now able to recruit and track data faster and more efficiently today than ever.

‘’Some of the major HR processes influenced by technology include Job Evaluation, Performance Management, Training, Recruitment and Selection, Data Storage and Retrieval. We now use a Self Service Module to ensure applicants’ details are updated and are available online at the click of a button including LinkedIn, Google, Twitter and Facebook links as opposed to just manual records. Our processes no longer require that we have a face to face meeting with a potential candidate.  You could be in Mombasa, Namanga or Dubai and we interview you from Nairobi but still manage to hold an effective performance review session,’’ said Mrs. Ogallo.

Factors that would make the recruitment firm consider online interviews include geographical distance, time and cost.

‘’There is no point of hassling both the candidate and ourselves to travel for miles for an interview while we would still achieve the same results through a simple a mechanism as even a WhatsApp chat that would end up saving us significant time and money. As long as it is efficient there is no need,’’ said Gladys Ogallo, who also noted that 3 of every 10 interviews they conduct nowadays are done digitally.

Through digital interviewing candidates are allowed to use whichever technology they prefer — phone, tablet or laptop— to record their responses and HR screeners are given an opportunity to review either immediately or on their own time.

This saves both the recruitment firm hundreds of hours of travel costs and other logistics accrued in physical recruitment. The candidates also save on time and money to get to location.

However, it is important to note at the final stage of the recruitment process the candidate may be required to attend in person as the exclusive use of technology end to end may limit the recruiter’s assessment of the candidate’s personality and other important finer details.

It also assists in giving the whole process the human touch that technology cannot achieve especially on character judgement and detection of passion and commitment.

‘’Getting the right person for the job online does not end there. The real task begins as you place more focus on relationship building as this is where the true self of your applicant begins to show,’’ added Gladys.

Don’t be too impatient, you need to earn your stripes

 

… Gladys Ogallo is the founder, Virtual Human Resource services ltd.

My first job, after graduating with a bachelor of education degree from Kenyatta University, was teaching Business, English and Office management at Kianda Secretarial College. I was earning Sh20,000.

After the college was taken over by Strathmore College, now Strathmore University, my scope of teaching expanded and I did my MBA.

I went on to hold a leadership position at Africa Online, where I was head of training in charge of nine countries. I held another top management position at UUNET before moving on to start my own company.

My ultimate dream is to mentor as many women as I can, to grow board membership of competent and strong women.

  1. What were you doing at 21?

I was a happy-go-lucky University student.

  1. Which two qualities of Gladys would you attribute your success to?

The first is that I pay attention to detail. This helped me get ahead of the pack especially early in my career. My other valuable quality is my ability and willingness to compromise. I interpret it to mean “two heads are better than one.”

  1. From your experience in HR, what is the one career mistake that young people are making today?

Being too impatient with career progress. They need to earn their stripes. Most young people want instant gratification. They want promotion now. They don’t realise that their seniors have laboured patiently to be where they are.

  1. If you could go on your career journey all over again, what would you do differently?

I would spend less years heading HR departments and move on to consultancy four years earlier than I did. I feel those four years didn’t grow me much and could have been done by someone else.

  1. What advice can you give the young person reading this?

Be the CEO of your career. Make the right choices, and when you make a career mistake, don’t panic. Just get back to the drawing board. Also, be creative and innovative with your career. When you are young, you can afford to make mistakes and get back on board.

One of my favourite media personalities, Laban Califf Onsero, was my mentee, as a HR professional. He found his career joy elsewhere, in media. He left HR. He was ready to be creative and innovative and make the jump from a career that he felt wasn’t his.

MY SUCCESS SECRETS

  1. I am widely read. I strive to know more today than I knew yesterday.
  2. I believe that image matters. I take care of my physical image as well as my reputation.
  3. I am a woman of my word.
  4. I pay attention to detail. No one likes sloppy work.
  5. I laugh freely and feel deeply.

The last book I read and enjoyed is The Jewish Phenomenon by Steven Silbiger. It is a must read for everyone.

In Summary

  • Most young people want instant gratification. They want promotion now. They don’t realise that their seniors have laboured patiently to be where they are. 
  • After the college was taken over by Strathmore College, now Strathmore University, my scope of teaching expanded and I did my MBA.
  • I went on to hold a leadership position at Africa Online, where I was head of training in charge of nine countries. I held another top management position at UUNET before moving on to start my own company.

What Managers Can Do To Improve Employee Performance

Any time an organization carries out a performance review, the participants must be ranked. Just like in the recently concluded IAAF championships, there will be excellent performers, good performers, average performers and poor performers in any organization. It is easy focus on the excellent and good performers. The alternative demands a critical examination of the underlying causes behind the poor performance. Quite often, the poor and average performers need assistance in order to boost their performance. This could be in form of mentorship or training.

There is no shortage of literature on how to mentor employees or how to improve staff performance. Most managers fail in their efforts to improve staff performance as a result of having misguided intentions. Improving staff performance is not just about healthy profits and accolades for the team leader. It is about doing the difficult, messy work of understanding the employees, their motivations and the organization’s role in their performance.

Once the stage has been set, managers can embark on a journey towards improving staff performance in three easy steps:

Engage the employees

Research has provided sufficient evidence to support the need for employee engagement. Employees are likely to perform better when they report to managers who understand what they do and provide them with opportunities to do what they do best. Managers need to understand their talent pool and work towards managing the talent effectively. For instance, an accountant might be struggling with his job because his natural talents dictate that he should be a salesperson. The identification of talent mismatch goes a long way in enhancing employee engagement which ultimately improves staff performance.

Praise publicly, critique privately

Kenyan athletes were recently feted for their sterling performance in Beijing. The Deputy President expressed his pride and joy as he hosted the team at his private residence. The Kenyan team may have placed Kenya on top of the world but this does not mean that all the athletes got a medal. Some of them performed poorly, contrary to the expectations of their coaches and their country. Criticizing the athletes who did not perform well in public would be a miscalculation. Praising the team, on the other hand, boosts the confidence of all the athletes. Tactful managers praise publicly and critique privately. Critiquing privately provides the employee with an opportunity to confront his or her failure without the fear of shame or ridicule. Once this has been done, the path towards a better performance can be charted.

 

 

Be a resource to your team

Are you an approachable manager? Can your employees ask for your assistance? There was a time when management was all about hiding in the corner office, barking orders and spreading fear. Those days are long gone. It would be a shame to drag management back to those days in the current knowledge-based work environment. A manager’s job begins with managing his character: his words, his time and his relationships at work. A healthy working relationship between a manager and his employees fortifies the bonds of the team and promotes seamless communication. Attaining the organization’s vision in such an environment is much easier since the employees see themselves as a pivotal part of the organization’s vision.

What are you doing to improve your organization’s performance?

 

How to improve your organization’s interview process

There is no shortage of advice on what candidates seeking jobs need to do before interviews. We, the HR practitioners have said it all: how to dress, how to answer interview questions, how to ask questions about remuneration and so on. As the candidates pore over time tested advice on successfully going through an interview, it is important to consider what HR practitioners need to consider before interviewing candidates. After all, practice makes perfect. If you are seeking to improve your interviewing process, try incorporating some of these tips:

Research, research, research

A great interview should be based on sound research. If you are seeking candidates to fill a vacancy in another department, it is important to get the specifics of the position from the head of that department. What is the job description? What qualities and skills should the candidate seeking to fill the position possess? Whenever it is necessary, invite the head of the department to the interviewing panel. For instance, a candidate seeking to fill the position of a software developer needs to be conversant with programming languages. Inviting the head of the IT department to the interview panel could help in determining the competency of the candidate in programming.

Running a HR department can be a daunting task. At times, HR practitioners get bogged down by other responsibilities thus sparing little time for researching on candidates. HR practitioners need to carefully read and review resumes before an interview. Doing this provides the HR practioner with an opportunity to pick out gaps that are questionable such as a long break in work history or sketchy details about a special project.  It may be necessary to do a background check in some instances.

Ask the right questions

The role of an interview is to determine the suitability of a candidate by engaging him or her in person. HR practitioners need to tailor their questions in a manner that enables the candidate to provide information about their work experience and area of expertise. This does not mean that the HR practioner can rapidly fire questions at the candidate as soon as he or she walks into the room. Instead, the 80/20 rule should be followed. The interviewer should do 20% of the talking while the interviewee should do 80% of the talking.

There are questions that should be avoided because they could be deemed as discriminatory. Some of these questions include:

  • Are you married/ single/ dating?
  • What ethnic group do you belong to?
  • What is your religious affiliation?

To avoid getting into murky territory during an interview, the HR practitioner should ask open-ended questions that lead to further discussion on the candidate’s’ work experience and area of expertise. Some of the questions that the HR practitioner can ask include:

What are your primary responsibilities at your current position?

How does your job relate to the overall goals of the organization?

Which aspect of your job do you consider most rewarding? Why?

What are you looking for in your next job?

Listen carefully

There is always a task pending in the world of an HR practitioner. In this success-oriented age, it is easy to get lost in the next email, or project in an attempt to maintain a successful track record. An HR practitioner who approaches his or her job like that will easily miss what is in front of him. Good HR practitioners avoid the next-high trap. They engage every candidate during an interview. They pay attention to every detail. They are always seeking an opportunity to attract and hire the best talent because that is the first step towards winning the war for talent.

What steps do you take as a HR practitioner before conducting an interview?