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Manpower South Africa’s 2016 Annual Talent Shortage Survey

Manpower South Africa’s 2016 annual Talent Shortage Survey finds Skilled Trade and Management/Executive positions the most difficult to fill for South African employers.

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Manpower Group’s eleventh annual Talent Shortage Survey shows some interesting results for 2016 over the 2015 results, with Skilled Trades remaining in the top three most difficult positions for companies to fill, and Engineers falling down to fourth. The survey is conducted annually, using a sample of 750 businesses in South Africa.

The results show that 34% of local employers are having difficulty filling jobs, up 3% from the results of the 2015 survey and a staggering 26% when compared to the 2014 results.

Employers across the globe are facing the most acute talent shortage since the recession. Of the more than 42 000 employers surveyed, 40% are experiencing difficulties filling roles; the highest level since 2007.

As skills needs change rapidly, employers are looking inside their organisations for solutions, with more than half choosing to develop and train their own people. This represents a significant jump from ManpowerGroup’s 2015 survey, when just 20% prioritised training and development to fill roles or find new skills.

In the IT sector, businesses are reporting the most marked talent shortage in a number of years. IT roles jump from ninth to second place, the first time the sector has entered the top 5 hardest roles to fill.

Of the 42 300 employers surveyed globally, the hardest jobs to fill remain Skilled Trade Workers for the fifth consecutive year. Sales Representatives, Engineers, Technicians and Drivers all slip one ranking, 3rd – 6th respectively, and Office Support Staff drops two places to 10th. Production and Machine Operators also become harder roles to fill as they move from 10th to 9th when compared with 2015.

Related: How To Know If You’re Focusing On The Wrong Types Of Staff Skill Enhancement

The most difficult positions to fill in South Africa for 2016 are as follows:

Position 2016 2015
1. Skilled Trades Skilled Trades
2. Management/Executive Engineers
3. Office Support Staff Management/Executive
4. Engineers Accounting & Finance Staff
5. Accounting & Finance Staff Sales Representatives
6. Sales Representatives Office Support Staff
7. Technicians Drivers
8. Drivers Technicians
9. Teachers Teachers
10. IT Staff IT Staff

“This years Talent Shortage Survey presents interesting results for South Africa and for the global employment landscape. More than anything the results highlight the increased need for skilled individuals but also the number of employers who are focusing on training and development in order to fill open positions, which has increased globally,” explains Lyndy van den Barselaar, Managing Director of Manpower South Africa.

“As the talent shortage escalates, employability now depends not only on what you know but on your ability to learn, apply and adapt to the constantly evolving business landscape. Manpower has always been of the opinion that the desire and ability to learn new skills is the number one contributing factor to helping people remain employable throughout their career journey, and we are seeing this ring true more than ever.”

While 72% of local employers said they were experiencing similar difficulty filling positions when compared to last year, 7% said they were experiencing increased difficulty and 17% said they were experiencing less difficulty.

When asked why they are having difficulties filling jobs, 27% of local employers cited a lack of experience, 26% cited lack of hard skills, 14% said that candidates were looking for more pay than what was being offered, 9% cited a lack of available applicants (or none at all) and 8% cited issues specific to their organisation.

Related: 4 Tips On Hiring In A Small Business

When asked what strategies they were pursuing to overcome the difficulties created by the skills shortage, 86% of local employers said they are training and developing existing employees in order to fill open positions. Moreover, 60% of employers said they were looking to recruit outside of their talent pool, 54% said they were exploring alternative sourcing strategies, 44% said they were paying higher salaries packages to recruits and 41% said they were providing additional perks or benefits to recruits.

“In previous years the survey found that businesses were having to find new and innovative ways to face the challenges caused by the skills deficit in order to minimise the negative effects on their businesses; while this is still true, we now see that job seekers and current employees are also taking it upon themselves to remain upskilled and up to date with the latest technologies and advancements in the modern business environment,” van den Barselaar explains.

“We are excited to see that he number of employers investing in and focusing on training and development has increased significantly at a global level. Should this trend continue, it will inevitably have a positive effect on the skills deficit.”

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Surge In South Africans Swopping Their Cars For Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has experienced a seemingly interminable rise. Early adopters have experience lottery-sized pay-outs on minor investments as the currency exploded in value in 2017.

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The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has experienced a seemingly interminable rise. Early adopters have experience lottery-sized pay-outs on minor investments as the currency exploded in value in 2017.

As South Africans are itching to get their hands on the digital currency, there’s been an increase in swops and bitcoin-only sales on Gumtree.co.za, says Claire Cobbledick, Head of Core at Gumtree. “This is particularly true for high-value items like cars, bikes and boats. Many sellers are willing to take a gamble with their assets in hopes of a large pay-out.”

This is on trend with other marketplaces. In the United States a McLaren 720S was put up for sale in exchange for 25 bitcoin, a theoretical value of $425,000.

Related: 11 Things You Need To Know About Bitcoin

While Gumtree does not allow for the sale of bitcoin miners or services, Cobbledick says that customers can exchange goods for bitcoin on the site, but should be fully aware of the risks. “Bitcoin is a volatile currency, so while you could easily see a 50% increase in your investment, you could just as easily end up with nothing. It’s up to the seller to decide if they are willing and able to take a gamble.”

Some cars currently up for sale in exchange for bitcoin includes a Land Rover Defender, BMW X5 and a rare 1970 Mercury Cougar V8.

“There are also a few other sellers accepting bitcoin in exchange for Kruger Rands,” says Cobbledick. “Perhaps proving that gold as a store of value is falling out of vogue.”

But the most unusual swop would have to go to an entrepreneurial seller who is offering carnivorous plants in exchange for the cryptocurrency.

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Zando Sold 80 Items A Minute During Black Friday – By Doing This

Black Friday has brought immense success for numerous local online retailers – reflecting the potential of e-commerce in South Africa. Why not learn from Zando’s success in 2017 to ensure your success during the 2018 Black Friday sales season?

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For South African e-retailers, Black Friday is a big sales event. But you need to ensure you’re prepared for the web traffic and that your e-commerce store can handle the logistics of thousands of orders.

zando-sascha-breussAccording to Zando, they experience 100% up-time during Black Friday and less than a week after the season sales event, 95% of customer orders have already been shipped.

To help fellow e-tailers perform better next year, Zando’s CEO, Sascha Breuss answers some key questions about the company’s preparations and learnings around Black Friday:

1. How did you encourage greater sales on Black Friday?

Over the last few years Black Friday has developed a following in South Africa, so we benefitted from the existing hype around it. We didn’t focus too much on upfront marketing, but put our energy into flawless execution and of course great deals for the customers.

Related: The Evolution Of Retail: From Corner Store To Artificial Intelligence

2. How much planning went into ensuring your store platform ran at optimum?

The real ‘hot phase’ started with the first day of November when our IT department went into a ‘feature freeze’ and we focused 100% on site-stability and scalability.

We went through some intense testing of our site with loads up to 15 times the average daily amount of visitors. So, when the actual day came, we were confident in our systems.

3. How were you able to successfully co-ordinate logistics during Black Friday?

Early preparation and experience from past years have been the key to success. We increased our head count in both Warehouse and Customer Service well in advance so that we could rely on well-trained and experienced colleagues come Black Friday.

4. How did you ensure a seamless experience between your website and your app?

We know that our customers are browsing Zando on all platforms, desktop, mobile and app so we implemented some handy features to make the transition between each platform easier. For example, shared baskets and wish lists are now a feature. Some of the deals however have been app-only and sometimes we reward our app users with early access to shop the best deals. So it is definitely worth it to download our app.

Related: How SA’s Online Retailers Can Cash In On Black Friday Fever

5. How did you scale your entire operation for a single event?

This is easy to summarise in one word – TEAMWORK. The Zando staff did an amazing job and were the backbone of our success. Not only did they put the required extra hours in and worked hard until the job was done, but they also showed real team-spirit. When you called our Customer Service during Black Friday it’s very possible that you spoke to someone in our HR, Social Media or Legal team who helped out answering calls.

6. How did your marketing campaign affect traffic on your platforms?

The most surprising element was probably the high volume of traffic that we saw during the night. Visits started to increase every minute before midnight and during the first two hours of the day we saw peaks that were higher than on our strongest week day. This traffic never dropped with a lot of orders being placed between 2am and 3am on Black Friday.

7. How did your technology systems handle the influx of shopper traffic?

In the build up to Black Friday we added additional server capacity and changed the way we handled the flow of traffic. This made us very flexible to switch on additional capacity wherever required. So it was a combination of intensive preparation, close monitoring and ultimately very little sleep for a couple of days to ensure we monitored our system health 24 hours a day.

8. What was your sales strategy?

For us everything that had a discount of 40%-80%, and was still a relevant and recent look, qualified for Black Friday 2017. Once these criteria were fulfilled we made sure that we had sufficient stock available – in some cases the demand was so high that we brought on additional stock from our suppliers during the Black Friday weekend.

Related: 5 Last-Minute Tips For Small Retailers To Boost Black Friday Sales

9. What were your biggest learnings?

We have been very successful in our approach to remain true to the idea of Black Friday – offering great deals on relevant product and not outdated clearance ranges. The customer is very educated and will identify a good deal, and we have seen consumers’ negative comments on stores who used Black Friday solely as a warehouse clearance opportunity.

10. What surprised you about Zando’s success during Black Friday?

Thanks to extensive preparation we have been able to achieve an uptime of 100% for the full month of November. We also kept the deliveries and returns 100% free regardless of discount or basket size. It seems like our customers appreciated this approach and we have actually seen very positive sales numbers after Black Friday while we expected a drop. I believe the full focus and investment on the Customer Experience has worked for us.

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Team Resolutions: 11 Tips To Uncover Passion And Potential In New Hires

If there’s one resolution HR departments should make this new year, it should be to transform the onboarding experience for new hires.

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If there’s one resolution HR departments should make this new year, it should be to transform the onboarding experience for new hires says Michelle Seko, Talent Acquisition Manger at Sage Africa & Middle East.

The importance of a good candidate experience cannot be underestimated. Research has shown that 88% of job applicants are more likely to buy from a company if they’ve had a positive experience when applying for work there. Research has also shown that candidates talk about their experiences with a company, regardless of whether they got the job. Some candidates would even refer a friend to the company and others will re-apply for a future role, if the experience was a good one.

Research also found that:

Related: Why You Should (Seriously) Stop Hiring People

Win-win

Businesses enter into a relationship with a new hire the moment they sign on the dotted line. And, as with any relationship, it will only flourish if built on trust, respect and a commitment to self-improvement.

When you set new hires up for personal success, the outcomes naturally feed into your business’ success, which means you both win.

Here are a few ideas to get the most out of your new hires:

Make them feel welcome

Introduce them to the people they’ll be working with as soon as possible so that they immediately feel part of a team. At Sage, we partner new hires with a buddy, or Sage Ambassador, who helps them settle in and meet new people, contributing to the positive on-boarding experience.

Focus on the benefits

Compelling benefits not only attract the best candidates but also boost loyalty and job satisfaction. People are motivated by different things: one person might value flexi-time while another could place more importance on growth opportunities or bonuses. Focus on the benefits that align with the individual’s values when onboarding.

Set goals early and outline a plan to achieve them

This keeps your team focused, especially if they will be rewarded for achieving their goals.

Assess performance

Monthly, at least. Adjust goals and plans where necessary, reward good performance, introduce new challenges and deal with issues promptly.

Show genuine interest

Regular catch-ups and remembering children’s names, for instance, makes people feel appreciated.

Empower them

Let your new hires apply their knowledge to business challenges and offer training opportunities outside of their comfort zones. Reward ideas that help you do things better and faster.

Related: Hiring The Right Person Is Critical When Growing A Business

Encourage collaboration

People thrive when they can learn from others and when they can share their knowledge. Involve experienced team members in the new hire’s training. This is a great way to recognise and appreciate their loyalty and skills.

Be transparent

Do you have difficult clients? Will the new hire have to work overtime? What are the business’s goals? New hires should know what they’re getting into.

Provide solid training on everything from company culture and benefits, to opportunities for growth

The biggest cost associated with training people is the time it takes for them to become productive. But rushing through on-the-job training could lead to a host of other problems, including repeated mistakes and a lack of confidence.

Openly communicate any changes in the business

Manage your team’s expectations and be clear about yours. Allow new hires to question and understand how you do things and to point out errors – their past experience probably gave them new ideas and ways of working that could boost your team’s efficiency and productivity.

Be upbeat

Your mood sets the tone for everyone else. You can have the best product in the world but unless your team is passionate and enthusiastic about that product, you won’t get the results you’re hoping for.

Keeping people motivated and productive is hard work

But if you provide them with the tools, knowledge and support to do their best work and to contribute their best ideas, motivation and productivity will come naturally.

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