Author: Caribbean HR Solutions

06 Nov 2019

Show me the money by Debra Fraser

The legacy of the garment manufacturing industry which was buoyant in Jamaica in the 1980s and 1990s is that it created the perception that all outsourced business process services are created equal. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It is a fact that the core purpose of the outsourcing industry is to find more affordable labour markets to perform critical business functions remotely. This is done because it is usually more costly to provide those services in the company’s domicile country. However, a lot has changed with the evolution of global services, the style in which the industry is now being re-branded.

The Call Centre Stigma

With the enduring reputation of call centres in the minds of jobseekers, even blue chip employers of choice in the global services sector have to work on positioning their brands as premium service providers. Multinational corporations like Xerox, for example, have to continuously market themselves as innovation leaders, not mere cheap labour managers. This is where recruiters and human resource professionals have their work cut out for them, because a big part of that effort is engaging tertiary-level graduates at job fairs and pre-qualification information sessions. For, when attorneys-at-law, engineers and medical professionals are full-time employees for Fortune 500 companies operating in the business process outsourcing space, it is a clear indicator that high-level skills, as much as flexi-hours and virtual offices, are the new normal in this New Work Order.

Speaking of virtual offices, on Thursday this week — November 7 — the Business Process Industry Association of Jamaica (BPIAJ) will be facilitating the Global Leadership Summit in Montego Bay with a combination of virtual and live presenters. This type of innovation is proof positive that perspectives in how and where we work are evolving with our needs to be active and productive participants in a truly global community.

Perception vs Reality

Nearshore Americas, one of the region’s leading information sources for the process outsourcing sector, recently conducted work environment and salaries-based surveys in several companies based in Jamaica. Generally, the information revealed that a large percentage of the employees surveyed expressed comparative or high levels of satisfaction where working conditions, benefits and the overall compensation package is concerned. Some referenced the opportunity to make extra money by meeting quotas and qualitative targets and that they benefitted from savings made via lunch subsidies and health care benefits.

The reality is that average global services workers have higher starting salaries than their peers in similar positions. Additionally, the rate of ascension through the ranks via promotions and performance-related bonuses is even higher. Companies that perform analytics and provide trend insights affirm that the probability of promotion to supervisory and management levels in the outsourcing industry far outpaces the rate in traditional sectors. It’s no wonder workers employed to firms keen on keeping them happy and fully engaged in a holistic work culture tend to stay and grow their résumés and net worth faster with a proportionally rewarding working environment.

So, while it’s not all about the money, statistics prove that if it were, as a career path to upward mobility and financial independence, the average worker has much better odds in the global services sector than most other industries.

Until next time, leaders, keep lookin’ up

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http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/show-me-the-money_178682?profile=1270

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07 Oct 2019

Here comes the boom!

All indications are that Jamaica is trending upwards economically — from being ranked 7th in the world on the most entrepreneurial country index in 2015; being awarded a second time by Bloomberg as the world’s number one performing stock exchange, in 2018; and being rated as the 6th best place to start a business globally in 2019 by the World Bank’s Doing Business Report. It’s little wonder investors are eager to plant financial roots in Jamaica. But macro-economic optics aside, is all this foreign exchange and economic activity trickling down to the factory floor and into office cubicles?

Rising Tide Raises All Boats

It’s natural for employees at all levels to expect a salary increase when the company they work for flourishes. So when all factors point to a growing industry and sustained company profitability, human resource personnel get frequent nudges about opportunities for promotion and increases in basic salaries. It’s important for leaders to recognize that frank and frequent conversations must take place with their team members to prevent alienating them, and to be in control of the narrative. Simply put, perception is often reality, especially for the so-called average worker at the bottom of the corporate totem pole. Quite often, as HR professionals we do more mediation than team-building because organisations allow the communication gap to create an ‘US vs them’ internal stand-off, which is never good for manager-employee relations, or for business. Employers of choice ought to make it a priority to have an open playbook in place that clearly outlines paths to professional development, upward mobility, and succession planning if they intend to keep their employees fully engaged and committed.

The sad reality is that inflation always seems to win. The true value of money erodes faster than the rate of increase in average salary levels and the cost of living, so to the majority of workers it can often feel like being on a treadmill where running as hard as you can still doesn’t get you closer to your financial goal. More and more companies internationally are awakening to the new mindset of the modern worker. Today’s tech savvy, free-spirited employee understands their personal value more so than the traditional punch-clock worker. They understand that technology makes work easier and hours spent doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity. Consequently, headhunters now find more and more that job seekers want to be in working environments that allow them flexible work hours and/or the opportunity to work from home. This means that they still expect to get paid well but also have freedom to explore other non-conflicting sources of income simultaneously. To acquire and keep employees’ full attention, leaders must recognise that a new day has come where a more knowledgeable workforce expects more for their valuable time, in dollars, and appeal to their sense of overall job satisfaction.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

Read more:

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/here-comes-the-boom-_176419?profile=1270

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24 Sep 2019

What’s love got to do with it?

For the new generation of workers, company loyalty is often a fluid notion; a commodity to be traded to the highest bidder. Employers of choice must therefore be mindful of the cost and customer service implications of high attrition rates and try to mitigate this by ensuring that their pay and benefits package is attractive. It’s especially important when employees see the company growing and being profitable but don’t see it reflecting in their salaries. Recognition programmes and company perks can only go so far, and it’s not like they are considered legal tender at the supermarket.

WHEN YOU DO WHAT YOU LOVE…

Some say the sweet spot is when you get well-paid to do something you’d probably consider doing for free anyway. Take for example an executive buyer whose job is to travel the world, shopping in the most exciting cities, purchasing designer wear. Who wouldn’t want that job, right?

However, any human resource (HR) professional can also attest that in order to keep employees happy and engaged at the end of the day, they must have enough disposable income to save, pay for school, or buy a house or car. In this regard, job satisfaction is directly correlated to compensation. That ultimately is what matters most, especially to line staff. Therefore, organisations that choose to retain earnings, pay higher stock dividends, or invest in expensive infrastructural projects in lieu of reinvesting in their most valuable asset — their team members — stand the risk of losing them to companies that recognise and value them enough to pay them what they’re worth.

Notwithstanding, many HR professionals struggle to access accurate or recent compensation information to create competitive compensation packages. Companies like Birches Group help to provide this type of accurate and up to date compensation data which managers can use to create competitive packages.

NO ROMANCE WITHOUT FINANCE

On the other side of the fence — where employers are concerned — job security as it used to be known is a thing of the past. Now it’s mostly about, what have you done for me lately? The concept may sound reprehensible to more seasoned campaigners, but the truth is that many organisations are no longer bound by that unspoken contract — that “we will do our best to ensure your job security and compensate you equitably”. The sad reality is that one day you will have a job and next week 500 employees are cut in rationalisation exercises designed to make the company more agile and efficient — which, in English, means you’re fired.

But people aren’t stupid; not most of us anyway. When staff members see the company’s profitability booming, new locations opening, managers’ motor vehicles being upgraded, they begin to ask questions, like, “What about me? Where’s my pay raise? I want nice things too!”

And you know what ultimately suffers the most from this situation, the company they USED TO work for. That’s when manager’s scramble for advice from HR service professionals about how to keep their best and brightest. No wonder many in the job market have become occupational mercenaries, ruthlessly seeking new opportunities when their future with their current employer looks bleak. It then becomes a case of ‘do unto others BEFORE they do unto you’. Thank you, next…

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

 

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/what-s-love-got-to-do-with-it-_175319?profile=1270

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09 Sep 2019

Adapt or die…the Kodak lesson

The laws of nature apply in the jungles of Africa as much as they do in the concrete jungle, aka the corporate workplace. Recent business history is littered with the obituaries of market-leading companies that snubbed or embraced new technologies and processes. Two companies come readily to mind — Kodak and Xerox. Both were so entrenched in their respective core markets that the very function of their flagship products became global jargons. A ‘Kodak moment’ was synonymous with using their camera to capture the moment, and ‘Xerox-ing’ a document meant you photocopied it. By virtue of that, one would have expected them to adapt to the requirements of the market and outclassed any competition. Kodak should have evolved into a massive digital imaging business insulated from the likes of Sony and Canon, but the company failed to adapt, filing for bankruptcy in 2011. Xerox, on the other hand, pivoted from focusing on machinery to become one of the world’s leading business processes firms. The difference? Adapting to emerging markets and technological trends, and a willingness to invest in their most important resource — their people.

Humans are naturally resistant to change, whether at the level of ownership, senior management, or employees, but i the intention is for the business to not only survive, but thrive, companies must come to terms with the need to adapt to changes in the market. In order to make adopting new technologies palatable, leadership and HR practitioners must collaborate to create the ideal culture and conditions for employees to embrace innovation and learn new technology.

The catch-22 is when more experienced employees need to acquire new skill sets just to keep up with fast-emerging global trends. The generational gap must be bridged as baby boomers and millennials learn differently and interact with technology from diverse and often differing perspectives. Many organisations will find it challenging to manage this fast-moving and dynamic process internally and may require assistance from an HR management company as a strategic partner to entrench sustainable talent acquisition and retention policies and procedures. Whether it’s executed internally or externally, clear, detailed goals, effective communication and continuous training are critical transitional deliverables of the process. These could go a long way in helping organisations develop workplace diversity and reinforce a culture change, thereby minimising employee uncertainty and increasing the longevity of the business.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/adapt-or-die-the-kodak-lesson_174225?profile=1270

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26 Aug 2019

Education or experience — Which is better?

The general consensus is that attaining higher education presents one with more employment opportunities. Consequently, the more advanced the accreditation achieved, the more a candidate will have his or her pick of attractive positions. While this is mostly true, there are numerous cases of college dropouts leading Fortune 500 companies. The irony of it all is that often, less academically qualified individuals are the ones hiring personnel with master’s degrees and doctorates, which gives rise to the question: Which is more important, education or know-how? The reality is that HR practitioners can attest that a healthy balance of qualification and experience is ideal; but which one is more likely to get you that job?

 

Level Up

The catch-22 of that overused word ‘experience’ is that you have to first be employed to gain it. Therefore, if as an academically qualified candidate your Achilles heel is your lack of actual, on-the-job experience, potential employers are going to have reservations about whether you can hit the ground running or will need time to match your theoretical knowledge with real world applications. Employers of choice unanimously seem to favour candidates with a ‘high ceiling’ or upside, that is to say, those with great potential and with most of the right qualities and qualifications, as opposed to those who are experienced but might have already passed their professional peak. This is where HR professionals and CEOs have an opportunity to create the environment for their employees to be continuously learning. By facilitating higher education and training opportunities, staff members not only become more competent at their jobs but tend to feel a sense of loyalty to the company. Inevitably though, while organisations should in their own self-interest and that of their employees seek to encourage skills and competency upgrades, the bulk of the responsibility lies with the individual if in fact they are serious about climbing the corporate ladder.

 

Moving On Up

It then becomes a matter of who most applies him/herself in all the ways that affect the company’s core targets and objectives. This means that some objectives may have different benchmarks than others. So, while a sales associate will be revenue driven, someone in quality control may be assessed based on how few complaints are recorded. The new approach to leadership now requires managers to always be in succession planning mode, constantly testing and preparing their charges to become upwardly mobile within the organisation. This paradigm dictates that any leader who isn’t hiring team members who can or will replace them are either stuck in the old ways or out of touch with what is required to make a business successful and sustainable in the long run. Recruiters and HR partner companies are recognising that organisations with a clear path to promotion opportunities and transparency, where documented cases of the company filling management positions from within the organisation are evident, those companies lead the way in attracting the best, brightest and more experienced candidates. But make no bones about it, one way or another, the rules of engagement must be learned and strategically applied if the office mail delivery person is to one day occupy the CEO’s chair.

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26 Aug 2019

When you do what you love…

There’s a saying that when you do what you love, you never really work a day in your life. It does make a big difference, but the thing is: other factors have to be ideal to bring about this synergy. Often, people think that a particular position is their dream job, until reality strikes. As an HR solutions company, we’ve experienced countless instances in which candidates enter the interview process supremely confident about what they want. That is, until the truth is revealed to them. This is why professionals with years of tertiary education sometimes switch careers to pursue something they find more fulfilling, or just less stressful.

Occupation vs Career

So how does one find that sweet spot — doing something you’re passionate about that also suits your priorities? Your dream job may be right there waiting for you — in another country. Are you willing to do what it takes to follow your passion? Would you migrate to China, for example, with an entirely different way of life and language? That may sound extreme, but even local companies providing staffing solutions can attest to how difficult it can be to meet expectations. So how does one differentiate between a job you’ve been in for 20+ years and a career? Years of tenure may add up to you spending your life in a position, but does that mean you chose a career in a field you love, or just ended up staying for stability? The lines can get crossed, but in the end, each individual, whether at the start, mid-point or near the end of their working life, ought to determine what they want to spend the majority of their time doing.

Finding Your Passion

I know of doctors and lawyers who ditched their scrubs and wigs to pursue careers in music and art. It happens all the time — top executives leaving Fortune 500 companies to start non-profits or start-ups because what they were doing didn’t satisfy their soul. However, outside of the emotional considerations, anyone seriously considering their career path would be advised to speak with a talent acquisition specialist to guide them as to the current opportunities and potential future trends. Having said that, here are some factors to consider when making a career decision:

1. Marketability. Don’t just think of what’s hot and trendy now; think about what will be in demand in 15-20 years. Automation will replace many current jobs. Think about the future, not just the present.

2. Environment. Are you willing to uproot and swap worlds to do what you love? Can you adapt to a culture that requires you to adjust your behaviour and preferences?

3. How you work. Are you a free-spirited person looking to start a career in a very structured vocation? Do you prefer working partially or completely from home or outside an office setting? Are you a morning person or a nocturnal?

4. Priorities. How much time will you be required to give this passion of yours? Will you be able to strike a work/life balance? Your happiness should be your primary reason since you’ll likely spend most of your life doing this thing from which you intend to make a living.

 

Your work should leave you fulfilled and well-paid. Finding that balance may require a few stops along the way to figure out, but it’s well worth the journey.

Until next time, leaders keep lookin’ up!

 

Debra Fraser, MBA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions, a board member of the BPIAJ and the Global Services Sector, a member of the Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and Society of Human Resources Management in the US. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

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29 Jul 2019

Step inside my office by Debra Fraser

Being asked to meet with your manager is enough to give anyone cause for pause. Your mind starts racing, searching for your latest alleged transgression; thinking, “what did I do now?”

While it is that all that has happened is that you’re just being told “I need to talk to you,” this one sentence can send many people searching for their resumes. However, more often, these days, it’s simply an actual invitation to, well, talk.

Leaders are now recognising that, while intelligence in terms of skills and competence are the primary employment factors, emotional awareness and intelligence are of equal importance.

I HAVE BAD NEWS

Too often, especially in our culture, bosses and managers only interact in any meaningful way with staff members to berate or correct them. Hence, many employees have been socialised to expect that any arranged meeting must be to read them the riot act, which usually means a reprimand, being written up, or worse. However, in high-stress vocations, such as the security forces or health services, it is critical that team members not only feel empowered to express themselves in a safe and confidential environment, but have ready access to counselling, and if necessary professional treatment. And since organisational culture is shaped by individual behaviour, it’s noteworthy to mention some of the key benefits of counselling and other intervention measures. It tends to:

• reduce depression and improve mental health;

• mitigate workplace stress;

• improve communication between managers and staff; and

• promote employee job satisfaction.

It doesn’t require a death on the job or in the family for someone to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Oftentimes, just the sheer magnitude of the work portfolio can be the reason. Many companies are not equipped internally to handle job-related anxiety or tension and require assistance from outsourced human resource professionals to implement effective solutions.

THE GOOD NEWS IS

In order to effectively address and treat matters related to mental health, depression, and, in turn, workplace productivity, organisations often turn to specialised human resource consultants and other trained practitioners. Even outside traditionally stressful occupations the corporate landscape can be a mean dog-eat-dog battlefield in which targets met equal temporary job security. So while fanning the flames of competitive spirit is encouraged, doing so at all costs could mean short-term gain and mid- to long-term burnout and high staff attrition rates.

Although counselling, culturally, has been stigmatised as something for crazy people or team members who can’t hold it together, in the present-day workplace in which doing more with less is key and automation is rapidly taking human jobs, both employees and employers have to develop effective and sustainable strategies to create and maintain a healthy work environment.

Improved staff morale and productivity are the usual by-products of engaged and satisfied employees. For this formula to work, ease of access to get help, if only to talk it out with a sympathetic ear or receive counselling, is critical to team members feeling heard and valued, which eventually augur well for the bottom line.

 

Read More

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/step-inside-my-office_170967?profile=1270

 

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26 Jul 2019

4 reasons to use a RPO company

A Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) company is a third-party company that is responsible for all or a part of the recruiting process of a company. This third party will serve as an extension of the companies existing HR or Recruiting function playing its role in ensuring that companies find the right fit for the available position(s). There are many benefits that can be gained from using a RPO company to address your recruiting needs.

Here are the four (4) reasons companies can use a RPO company.

Cost Reduction

One of the key advantages of using a RPO company is that it is cost-effective. Many companies spend a lot of money on advertising and sourcing candidates, lose money  as a result of high turnover rates or simply waste time as a result of lengthy hiring or outdated technology. Using a RPO provider allows companies the ability to streamline their recruitment process which will in turn reduce the overall recruiting cost. RPO companies work to improve the time-to-fill and the quality of hire which will increase overall productivity of the company and also reduces the amount of HR resources that will be spent on sourcing the candidate.

Stronger Quality and and Larger Pool of Candidates

RPO companies have the resources and capabilities to ensure that they identify candidates that would  be the right fit for the job using skill and psychometric assessments  (where necessary). In addition RPO companies have access to a constant pool of candidates from which they can draw from as opposed to hiring managers who generally begin search when the job need arises.

Scalability

Organizations experience seasonal highs and lows in their recruiting requirements throughout the year.  RPO company provides such organizations with the ability to scale up and down with their hiring needs easily. This is also a good option for companies that are expanding and need to hire a large volume to meet a specific deadline.

Access to Recruiting Experts

Finding the right person that fits with your company is important to the growth of your company. The overall recruiting process can be time-consuming and requires skills and effort; especially when your have high-volume hiring needs. As experts in the recruiting field, RPO companies are particularly poised to with the skills, technology and know-how to address your recruiting needs.

 

For more information and to fill your RPO needs contact Caribbean HR Solutions at 1-876-971-7632 or email us at sales@caribbeanhrsolutions.com.

 

https://blog.rpoassociation.org/blog/bid/246841/6-awesome-benefits-of-recruitment-process-outsourcing-rpo

https://www.sigmarrecruitment.com/blog/2017/12/10-benefits-of-rpo-recruitment-process-outsourcing

 

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15 Jul 2019

The right partner can make all the difference between finding the best and settling for the rest by Debra Fraser

In the 80s and 90s, the US Army had a very aggressive recruitment programme focused on wooing young men in particular to enlist to ‘defend the greatest country on Earth’. While the American constitution sanctions drafting recruits, the focus of the recruitment programme was strategic voluntary enlistment — appealing to the sense of patriotism and dangling the opportunity to gain a college education.

Now, while companies don’t necessarily go to those lengths to source candidates, executive search agencies can sometimes wage all-out psychological warfare when it comes to coaxing the best talent from one organisation to another.

Double-Edged Sword

The rule of thumb in relationships is that if someone is willing to leave someone else for you, then best believe they might end up doing the same thing to you. This is a also reality for organisations and third-party partners who offer recruitment process outsourcing services. To use a sports reference, it’s almost like the free agency mayhem we see taking place in the NBA right now. While the Toronto Raptors won the NBA title for the very first time, there was nothing they could do to convince their star player Kahwi Leonard, who spent only one year with them, to remain in Toronto for at least another year. Nope. He was recruited to join the LA Clippers and that’s the end of that. It’s a similar risk companies take when they draft star corporate athletes from a competing team; think FLOW to Digicel, or vice versa. Questions abound. Where do their loyalties really lie? How long will they be a player on their team? Sometimes it makes more long-term sense to recruit players with promise and develop them than to focus only on superstar talent. Google Steph Curry.

HR On Call

No doubt though, for companies whose labour force needs require them to be responsive to opportunities, other options than case-by-case recruitment may be required. A typical business process outsourcing (BPO) company, for example, can have a staff complement of 100 employees today, and need 100 more in two weeks. In order to effectively source the ideal candidates at such short notice, the retained services of an HR service provider may be necessary and may be a more cost-effective method of finding the right people on call.

Even conventional organisations use this outsourcing medium to bolster existing internal recruitment programmes and afford themselves greater flexibility when targeting and retaining candidates with a long-term view in mind. Most in-house HR departments wouldn’t normally have the resources to focus on this aspect of business.

Which takes us back to the US Army reference. Although the Army had communications specialists enlisted, they hired advertising agencies to craft and deliver the message to the right media. The point is this: having the right partner can make all the difference between finding the best and settling for the rest.

Until next time, leaders, keep lookin’ up!

 

Read on Observer

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/the-right-partner-can-make-all-the-difference-between-finding-the-best-and-settling-for-the-rest_169791?profile=1270

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11 Jul 2019
high-volume-recruiting

Points to consider in the High-Volume Recruiting Process

High volume recruiting or mass recruiting is the process of hiring a large number of individuals (usually more than 10) to start within a short time frame. This would correspond with the business’s need to grow rapidly and usually in Jamaica, the industries that generally do mass recruiting are the BPO and the hotel industry. Mass recruiting, however, is not limited to those industries as based on seasonal need other industries also tend to ramp-up as well.

This type of recruitment is generally time and people consuming. Typically based on the total number of persons that you want to hire in a short time is not able to manage solely by your current HR team. Here are three things to consider when you are recruiting a large volume of candidates.

  1. Your Employer Brand – Your employer brand is an important element in the candidate recruiting. A strong employer brand will attract more candidates to job posts. Promoting your company culture can go a far way in gaining interest once positions are advertised.
  2. Your ideal candidates – A crucial step in the hiring process. It is important that you create a job profile that will clearly define what is expected of potential candidates and identifying what knowledge, skills and abilities are needed to fulfil this role. If possible, observe current employees in the position to identify what is needed to be effective in the role.
  3. Your Talent Pool – Based on the total number of persons needed to fill the role, you might not be able to fill those vacant positions only with those that applied. It is therefore needed to take advantage of existing talent pools to find identify additional persons. Staffing companies have an extensive candidate list, so using such a firm can provide you more potential candidates to fill the roles. With their access in the industry, they are better able to source and identify candidates that best fit your job profile.

 

Caribbean HR Solutions has a growing talent pool and a team of experienced recruiters in Jamaica that will help you with all your high-volume recruiting needs. For more information feel free to contact us at 1-876-971-7632 or email us at sales@caribbeanhrsolutions.com.

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