09 Jul 2018

Have what it takes to be a manager? by Debra Fraser

Aspiring Ainsley just passed his 90-day probation at an entry-level job and schedules a meeting with HR to ask where he can apply for a manager position. Ambitious or delusional? Who knows, maybe a bit of both! But it begs the question: How do you know if you are management material? What are employers looking for anyway?

The 70/30 Rule

Having worked with clients both locally and overseas (about a 30 per cent – 70 per cent split), I can tell you there is no clear answer, but there certainly are trends. Some local companies still look for the traditional pre-requisites: education, peer and supervisor references, industry knowledge and experience, and prior management experience. This last requirement is really a catch twenty-two. The result is that many high-potential managers are excluded from consideration due to one or two unchecked boxes. Companies from North America and the UK are more flexible on the education and qualifications side, but sometimes rely too much on ‘personality’ fit, preferring candidates who build rapport with them, at the expense of solid management skills. So what’s an aspiring employee to do?

The best advice I can give is simply this: build your experiences on a solid foundation, much like you build a house. Build it and they will come! Here are some competencies that all employers want to see:

Once you have these skills, half the battle is won.  The other half is being able to confidently present them in the interview process. Another hurdle that must be crossed!  Hiring an Interview Coach to work with you is an effective, and worthy investment.  Having coached job-seeking managers on interview skills I have seen time and time again that the best-skilled candidate will almost certainly NOT get the job if interview skills are lacking.

Finally, consider your motivation for moving into management, a role carrying much higher responsibility and stress.  Let’s say the management post would equate to an additional $20,000 JMD per month, then you must consider your options.  Perhaps a part-time job in teaching or real-estate, or working overtime, could yield a similar cash lift.  If selling Avon on-the-side would reward you an additional $35,000 JMD per month, which would you choose? If you still choose management, money is likely not your main motivator, and you will enjoy the sober pursuit of becoming a manager.

Debra Fraser M. BA, is CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions – a leading HR Outsourcing and Consultancy firm, a member of the BPIAJ, HRMAJ – Human Resource Management Association of Jamaica, and SHRM Society of Human Resources Management. Please direct comments to dfraser@caribbeanhrsolutions.com or www.caribbeanhrsolutions.com

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/have-what-it-takes-to-be-a-manager-_137328?profile=1270

05 Jul 2018

Professional Employer Organization (PEO): A Guide

Few entrepreneurs start their own companies because they love managing human resources. However, many become buried in the details of workforce management as their companies grow.

Small businesses with a headcount of 10 to 100 employees often find themselves in human resources limbo. They lack the time to address HR issues and also lack the resources to create an HR department.

Fortunately, many HR functions can be outsourced for a fraction of the cost of managing them in-house. Many small- to mid-sized companies hand those responsibilities over to professional employer organizations, or “PEOs.”

What is a PEO?

Put simply, a PEO is a third-party provider that can operate as your company’s off-site HR office. Just as an outside law firm might help your company with legal matters, the PEO can manage all HR-related jobs. Those functions include payroll, employee benefits, unemployment insurance taxes and worker’s compensation. The role of the PEO is to be an expert in all aspect of employing workers.

Used in Many Industries

What kind of a company would co-employ its workers with a PEO? The practice has become common across a wide range of different industries. Almost any kind of business may find value in outsourcing its employment work. Even companies with as many as 500 employees enlist the help of a PEO.

Small businesses lacking resources or expertise to perform most HR functions can gain the most from hiring a PEO. A good PEO offers efficiencies, integrated technology and cost savings in managing employees. A PEO also makes sure its clients comply with complex and ever-changing employment laws and regulations. Also, handing over most of the employment responsibilities to a PEO frees company owners to spend more time running and expanding their business.

A PEO appeals to many companies because it can help save money. Outsourcing employment responsibilities allow a business to maintain a scaled-back in-house HR department or no department at all. The PEO’s economy of scale also reduces costs related to recruiting and hiring, and software technology for HR functions.

Keeping Control

For some business owners, handing over so much responsibility to an outside firm sounds risky. Can using a PEO to handle payroll, worker’s comp, health care benefits and other functions mean possibly losing control of your company?

The short answer is no. The PEO’s client retains ownership of its company and control over operations. In a typical PEO contract, the PEO and client share employee responsibilities and liabilities as “co-employers.” The company still has control over maintaining its worksite and complying with safety regulations. Because it handles payroll, taxes and maintains employment records, the PEO does reserve a right to hire and fire. Generally, however, the PEO has no control over a client’s business operations.

Looking for PEOs in Jamaica? Contact us at 1-876-971-7632 or email us at sales@caribbeanhrsolutions.com

Read full article

http://www.rtsfinancial.com/articles/benefits-hiring-professional-employer-organization-peo

28 Jun 2018

BioMetric Time Clocks “literally” putting money back in your pockets

As an employer, if you have hourly employees, you might be wasting unnecessary cash. GTM Business Blog (2018) identified numerous ways in which hourly paid employees are stealing time from their employers who do not utilize a biometric time clock system. The ways mentioned include

  • Time Theft
  • Staying On The Clock For Unpaid Breaks
  • Punching In For A Co-Worker
  • Human Error Inflates Labor Costs

Time Theft

On a timecard sheet, it is quite easy for employees to put in a time to state that they arrived at work, particularly if the supervisor is not closely monitoring the time placed. For instance, an employee will state that they started working at 9:00 when in actuality they arrived at work at 9:15. Because that employee’s shift would have started at 9:00 they place that time to avoid the consequences of being late.

Staying On the Clock for Unpaid Breaks

If not properly scrutinized, employees who are not paid for breaks might not clock out for break. In these situations, employers hope that they can place a level of trust in their employers, however, in industries where this practice is employed time theft is also very common.

Punching in for A Co-Worker

For companies that do not use a manual time clock, this situation can occur quite often. Usually, this occurs when an employee is running late and ask their co-worker to clock them in until they arrive. If the manager does not realize what has occurred the employee will be paid for the time even though they are not at work. There have also been instances of the co-worker punching in an employee that did not work at all for the day. This is very costly to the employer is it is both a loss in production but a loss in funds as the employer would have paid for an employee that is not present.

Human Error Inflates Labor Costs

There have been instances of employees simply forgetting to clock out or write down the time that they would have finished work. In instances like that, it is left up to the person to guess the time that they would have left, however, in those instances memory is not always accurate and the employee is likely to “remember” a time that would be in their favor.

So what is the solution? Employers might try to hire more managers that will monitor the employers time. However, this is a costly solution. Biometric Time Clock uses unique attributes that will ensure a reduction of time theft.  Dependent on the type of clock chosen they will scan your fingerprint, iris or face as a means of clocking in the employee ensuring that each punch is done by the employee.

Caribbean HR Solutions are proud to be a provider of Biometric Time Clocks in Jamaica that will aid your company greatly in reducing time theft and save you money. For more information contact us at 1-876-971-7632 or email us at sales@caribbeanhrsolutions.com.

20 Jun 2018

Taking the lead by Debra Fraser

Welcome to the first edition of Launching Leaders a bimonthly conversation about leadership and people engagement, better known as human resources. It encompasses leadership strategies, management issues, recruitment, business services outsourcing and just about everything to do with managing human capital.

It’s fitting we debut with a conversation about leadership given the wealth of knowledge and literature available in print and online about this subject area. Over the past few decades, we’ve witnessed the evolution of workplace philosophy from just focusing on managing staff to placing greater emphasis on leading team members. On the surface, the difference may seem semantic or mere wordplay, but the distinction is very important and in my opinion is a significant characteristic driving the BPO sector, an industry which is transforming Jamaica’s economic landscape.

 

Servant Leaders

There are many great books that speak to the core of what effective leadership should entail. Good To Great by Jim Collins comes readily to mind, as does The Servant as Leader by Robert K Greenleaf, who coined the term ‘servant leadership’. Greenleaf says “the servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve; to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.”

Truly effective leaders start from a place of appreciation for every team member’s contribution and exhibit a sincere desire to serve as much as they do to lead. This is the kicker — servant leadership turns the traditional hierarchy upside down. The higher you go in the organisation, the more you serve those who you manage. This is a philosophy that leaders must work closely with their HR and department leaders to flesh out.

It means that in a typical team setting, it is not the most savvy or best educated who is promoted, but the one who is most engaged with assisting the team in fulfilling their deliverables. This type of person is focused on ensuring his coworkers are truly successful at getting the job done, and does so in a way that balances efficiency with engagement. With this mantra, the leader who masters his tactical job does so while pulling up his teammates to succeed with her/him. It’s the opposite of the popular Jamaican colloquialism “…crab pulling down crab”. And who can resist a leader who genuinely wants to help you be successful?

 

Read more

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/career-education/taking-the-lead_136009?profile=1270

14 Jun 2018

Smart Ways to Manage Older Employees

Managing a team can be very challenging for anyone.  It does not matter if you are young and inexperienced or older and more experienced.  Perhaps the second situation might be slightly easier to handle.  Teams come with different kinds of skills, personalities and ages.  It might get a little awkward and uncomfortable if you have to manage a person who is older than you.  This is so because you assume that this person has more experience, knowledge and confidence than you.

There are 5 tips you might want to consider in such situations.

You have been given this job for a reason

Don’t you ever forget this.  You might perhaps want to have this inscribed on your desktop, so that no situation at the workplace can get the better of you.  You got this job for a certain reason, for the skills and the strengths that you bring to the table, as compared to the others.  Also, older employees’ priorities might be something else at this point in their careers.  It is a good idea to be patient and assertive, rather than being pushy.

Minimize friction

You should be very clear in your head and in your communication to your team about what you want them to achieve.  Adopt a democratic style of leadership which keeps friction in the team to a minimum.  By focusing on tasks rather than uncertainty and emotions, you indicate a clear direction and reasoning behind your requests.  Create an amicable environment where everyone is moving in the same direction together.

Do not underestimate the power of the elders

The elders bring a lot of experience to the table which you can use.  In life, there is not enough time to make all the mistakes yourself.  Learn from the mistakes of older employees and make use of their knowledge.  A good leader acknowledges the strengths of each member and their contributions to the vision of the team, thus recognizing their importance and making them feel good.

Understand what makes your team tick

It is very important to know what makes your team happy, what motivates them, what keeps them going and how to get them working hard.  Respect their opinions and find out from them how they would like to be managed.  Having the right conversations would help in bringing clarity to what makes them tick.  Older employees definitely want to learn and stay relevant and supporting them in the right way with appropriate development plans and meaningful rewards helps in building a motivated workforce.  At this point in their careers, they might be looking for flexibility rather than money.

Getting the best out of your team

As a leader, if you are clear about the vision of the team, the direction in which they are going and robust plans to back them up, you need not be intimidated by older or younger employees. Age is just a factor.  Create a healthy and motivated environment that uses the different skills that each employee brings.

Any workforce would definitely have a couple of employees who are older than their managers.  All it takes are smart and wise ways of managing them without making anyone feel uncomfortable.

 

For more info:

06 Jun 2018

4 Tips That Attracts Good Talent

1. Teach Your HR Team to Be Active on LinkedIn

Most of the time, talented candidates are already employed and aren’t actively looking for new opportunities. But you can find them on social networking platforms like LinkedIn where they show off their skills and share their expertise. That’s why your recruiters should create a LinkedIn profile for your organization and share news about vacancies. A well-written job description will attract talent hanging out on the network.

All members of your HR team also need to optimize their personal LinkedIn profiles so passive candidates can find them. Make sure your recruiters know how to effectively search for LinkedIn profiles of professionals who have the right skills and qualifications. Once they identify these candidates, recruiters should have engaging recruitment messages on hand so they can approach and target these professionals.

“If you’re after candidates with niche skill sets, consider building a candidate database. Your recruiters will be able to keep track of professionals and respond quickly to candidates who apply for a position.”

2. Keep Your Recruitment Process Short

Glassdoor recently revealed that the typical hiring process lasts around 22 days.  If you ask any candidate, they’ll tell you that three weeks is way too long. A recruitment process that drags along will never attract and engage talent. A slow response from your team won’t keep talented candidates interested in your offer. And other employers might snatch these candidates out of your hands.

How can you shorten your recruitment process? Here are some key strategies you should start implementing in your team right now:

  • Make your careers website mobile-friendly – candidates like to check new job offers on mobile devices, so reach them by optimizing your content for mobile.
  • Ensure that your team reviews applications daily – you can’t afford to lose talented leads who come knocking at your door. Recruiters need to pay close attention to incoming applications and address them promptly.
  • Schedule interviews as soon as you accept a resume – your HR team should quickly respond to applications from talent and be flexible in adjusting to their schedules.
  • Follow up with candidates on a regular basis – talented candidates need to be informed about their current stage in the recruitment process.
  • Don’t hesitate to present the offer when the hiring manager agrees to hire a candidate – recruiters should be quick in following up with an offer. It can be the same day or a day after. Otherwise, they risk losing the candidate to another company.

3. Personalize Your Hiring Process

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that recruiters should personalize their communication when hundreds of candidates apply for vacant positions. Personalization is a challenge, but your team should never forget that resumes represent real human beings who deserve respect. Talented candidates spend a lot of time crafting their resumes and tailoring their applications to match the job description. From their perspective, it’s fair to expect a personalized approach in return.

A cold and impersonal recruitment process will inevitably damage your employer brand. You’ll never attract the type of candidates that you’re trying to source. Help your HR team realize that every time they get in touch with a candidate, they’re representing your company. The hiring process should be efficient and transparent. That’s how you build a positive employer brand that catches the eye of top talent.

4. Emphasize Return on Investment (ROI)

A recent report showed that companies that actively source talented candidates can boost their revenue by over 200% compared to organizations that don’t engage in such activities. That’s why your HR team should stop focusing exclusively on candidate skills and qualifications, and look instead into their quantifiable achievements. If a candidate writes on their resume that they’ve increased sales by 12%, your team can bet that they will achieve similar results in the position they’re trying to fill.

Your HR team needs to have a good understanding of how significant ROI and revenue are for your company. They’ll look for candidates who can streamline processes and optimize them to impact your bottom line.

Key Takeaway

Attracting, sourcing and engaging talent is a top priority for every organization these days. You need a smooth and personalized recruitment process to engage these passive candidates efficiently, especially if you’re searching for unique skill sets. Use these four strategies to teach your HR team how to hire the most impressive talent in your niche.

 

For more info:

 

29 May 2018

Inside Knowledge about the Recruiting Process

The recruitment process comes about because of a need for employees by an organization to carry out different tasks. Once the need arises the recruitment process has been initiated. In order to understand what the recruitment process is all about, lets firstly set the foundation by having a concrete definition of what the recruitment process really is. Recruitment is a systematic process of finding and hiring suitable candidates, from within or outside an organization, for an open job post in a timely manner. The recruitment process can be a long and exhausting process, however with a strategic team, the process can be finished in the shortest possible time. This process can be summarized into five easy steps.

  1. The first step is analyzing. Within this step, the organization that needs the candidate does their research to see how many spaces they need to be filled and what positions are to be filled. This is a very important step, as this step analyses the job description for the open positions within the firm. Without a job description things are like a train at top speed that has lost all control, so it is very imperative to have the job description sorted out.

  2. The next step is the attraction. Within this step, the necessary tools are used to drive interested candidates to apply for that job. Without this step, there will be no candidates to be considered for the position.

  3. The next step involves screening the candidates. Within this step, the candidates undergo a preliminary interview, that determines who has the required set of qualifications for the specified job post. This step is also important as it reduces the number of unqualified applications sent in to the recruiter.

  4. The fourth step involves doing a more in depth interview that will really determine whether or not the applicant is able to fulfil the requirements of the job.

  5. And the final step involves assimilating the qualified candidates within the position within the organization.

As stated before, the recruitment process can be very tedious without a very strategic team as Caribbean HR Solutions. As such we are always ready to take that burden from your shoulders, and do the recruiting for you. We have filled both small and big gaps, so come in and have a conversation with us today. 

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02 May 2018

Training and Development of my Staff – Are my Programs effective?

Training and development of staff is arguably an important part of the development of your company and ensuring that your company grows. Onboarding a new employee is costly and similarly, every company wants to ensure that their employees are not only effective but also efficient. Training and development programs provide employees with that necessary skills and knowledge to grow and also implement in their current work to be more efficient and effective. As an organization, it is therefore critical to examine training and development programs and ensure that they are effective.

Here are 5 tips to ensure that you have a successful training program

  1. Identify Clear Goals and Outcomes

Any good program starts with clear and definable goals. Training merely for the purpose of having it is futile. You need concrete outcomes in order to stand any chance of deploying materials and a curriculum that add value to your firm.

  1. Develop Engaging Training Resources

In addition to having the correct goals and the best intentions, you also need materials and a curriculum that is sufficiently interesting to engage your employees and keep them focused. It comes down to three choices:

  1. Establish a Consistent Schedule

Effective training is all about consistency. Instead of trying to cram all of your company’s required training into a three-day period at the end of the calendar year, try spreading things out and commit to a couple hours of training every week or month.

This kind of consistency not only lessens the burden on your company, but it also raises the probability that your employees will become committed to ongoing learning. (They’ll also retain more information this way.)

  1. Give Employees a Say in the Curriculum

Though you’ll have the final say over which curriculum your organization uses for its training programs, don’t deny your employees the opportunity to get involved. Ask them about concepts and topics they feel would help them grow as employees, leaders, etc. There’s a lot of potential value in getting their input, and you may stumble across some ideas you hadn’t previously considered.

  1. Bridge the Gap Between Knowledge and Action

One of the biggest mistakes organizations too often make is failing to bridge the gap between knowledge and action. In other words, they expend generous amounts of time and money on training but don’t give employees a timely opportunity to transfer the knowledge they’ve acquired into action.

Employee training expert Julie Winkle Giulioni believes in developing an action plan: “Organizations, leaders, and individuals invest heavily in training and development through traditional classroom-based workshops, e-learning, webinars, apps, mentoring, experiences, and more,” Giulioni explains.

“But formal and informal learning efforts fall short of the full range of possible outcomes if we don’t metaphorically cross the finish line by bringing the learning to life. Action planning is what does this, bridging insights and intentions to results.”

You can increase the odds that your employees will convert knowledge into action by setting them up for success. Always enable employees to debrief before they leave any training session.

Ask questions like “What will you do differently now that you know X?” Host follow-up meetings with your team to see what progress they’re making. Simple things like these can have a significant impact.

 

For more info

23 Apr 2018

Industry Talent Composition & Improvement Areas to Foster Growth

The 1st Outsource2Jamaica Symposium & Expo was held on April 11-13, 2018 at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Montego Bay, Jamaica.

This BPO event hosted by the BPIAJ (Business Process Industry of Jamaica) is the 1st of its kind to be held in Jamaica bringing together a diverse group of global experts, technocrats, local entrepreneurs, Government officials, BPO leaders, buyers and service providers at the first ever Outsourcing Symposium and Expo in Jamaica. It was a great opportunity to network and interact with key stakeholder’s in the BPO industry and listen to presentations made by experts in the industry.

Debra Fraser, CEO for Caribbean HR Solutions, presented on “Industry Talent Composition & Improvement Areas to Foster Growth”. She examined the need for training in the BPO sector and possible improvements that could be made to the existing training avenues. She highlighted the importance of having pre-trained candidates and the need for assessments to determine the skills and talents of individuals prior to training as this will help to boost productivity and profitability.

 

Here are four steps that need to be used by the training institutions and the organizations in the BPO sector to ensure that they receive the best performance from their employees.

  1. Better Pre-Assessment of natural giftings, skills, and attitudes and desire.
  • Assess #1- What industry and job is this job-seeker best suited for? BPO, Finance, Hospitality? Entertainment? Construction? -assessed for industry ‘fit’ – not just typing and talking, but a deeper and more objective assessment of natural proclivities
  • Assess #2 – If the person is suited for the BPO industry, what type of BPO job are they best suited for: Sales? Collections?  specialized in areas like Customer Service, Sales, Collections and Technical Support, comprising while others Virtual real estate schedulers, remote data analyst, remote payroll administrators, virtual Executive assistants,
  1. Use objective assessment tools. i.e psychometric assessment, computer-based test etc
  2. Use technology to ensure the assessments can be fairly administered and administered in mass. If you have the discipline to screen persons ‘out’, then you will need a much higher number of persons to screen in order to supply providers with necessary requirements. We have developed a Prescreening Psychometric screening tool, cloud-based skills and personality assessment which our clients use to ‘weed out’ and find the best candidates.
  3. Begin to use the same objective approach in selecting and accepting students for supervisory and leadership development courses. here is a large training gap in the BPO sector particularly as it relates to the training of middle-level management. Some BPO companies, for instance, Sutherland, Teleperformance, and Startek have invested heavily in training and development internally and this has contributed significantly to their sustainable growth.

 

In Summary, finding the right fit requires employers to source true talent. Employers in the BPO industry can achieve a greater ROI when more time, effort and resources are invested in effectively assessing raw talent by leveraging the use of technology and specific assessment tools.

 

 

18 Apr 2018

Working Your Way Through Talent Management Crisis in Jamaica by Talent Management Expert Debra Fraser CEO Caribbean HR Solution

Jamaica BPO Stakeholders Communicate Honest, Actionable Awareness of Talent Crisis

Jamaica BPO has been reaping the benefits of a desirable workforce, low wages, and cultural alignment with US customers, but talent is still a challenge, and the industry is vocal about it.

Whatever caused it, BPO buyers are now paying very close attention to Jamaica, with companies such as Amazon, Lyft, Hilton, and AT&T betting big on the sector. As a result, the country is under close external scrutiny, leading local stakeholders to identify what is holding Jamaica back from the next level.

As the third largest English speaking nation in the Americas, Jamaica and its BPO sector have been capitalizing on the benefits of a desirable workforce, low wages, and cultural alignment with US customers, but greater demand for talent is where the difficulties lie. As client demands also become more technical, Jamaica’s meager IT talent pool has become another top concern.

Offering another potential solution to the training deficit, Debra Fraser, CEO of Caribbean HR Solutions presented some examples of where technology is successfully being used to create a better fit between agents, employers, and roles.

“We need leaders that will bring the entire labor force up, and there are lots of tests that can help with that by identifying the right people to invest in,” she said. “We don’t just want the masses, we want quality masses, and we can do that with technology and objective standards. Pre-screening tests can weed out non-fit and high performers, along with tools that measure personality fit, basic skills in grammar, logical reasoning, math skills, and whether a person suits sales/outbound or service/inbound. I haven’t yet seen many companies use any of these in Jamaica.”

What is clear from the O2J conference is that Jamaica has a remarkable willingness to adapt, a willingness to find business, the country is open to change, and people are empathetic to the customer. These are all traits that clients want in their providers and agents, so, if the puzzle of healthy talent development is solved, particularly on the IT side, these core values will ensure the country retains its upward trajectory.

Read full article at