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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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WHAT IS A “GOOD” CV AND HOW TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE ONE?
  1. First Impressions last and contrary to popular belief, the recruitment and interview process starts with the recipient receiving your CV, show effort in the design and layout or contact a professional CV writing company, like Lotus HR & Recruitment, to assist you.
  2. What is a bad CV, it is a document full of spelling errors, misalignment, bad grammar and punctuation; every computer has spell check, make sure you use it before saving the final draft.
  3. If you decide to include a photo, just make it a professional head and shoulders shot, not with an Instagram model pout, excessive cleavage or with beer in hand at a braai, it is your CV, not Facebook – present professionalism no matter what position you apply for.
  4. Ensure that your contact details like email address and phone numbers are correct – you will miss out on many opportunities if they aren’t and if you use a different number for WhatsApp, state that clearly.
  5. Ensure your CV contains relevant information, such as your educational information, date of birth, area of residence, whether you have a valid driver’s license, your software proficiency, etc
  6. Provide detailed information on your career history, starting with the most recent and working backward. Ensure that you have the name of the company worked for, the dates of employment, the position that you held, full details on your job description and responsibilities and reason for leaving. This is the info that employers and recruiters use to shortlist from, so make it easily legible and informative.
  7. Do not send photos or images of your CV, it is very often blurred and gets deleted because the employer and recruiter cannot read your information. Ask somebody to assist you to scan it into your computer or phone to email out.
  8. Do not send large files to prospective employers or recruiters, omit all your certificates and Diploma’s until they are requested, if blocks up the servers and some servers have a limit, so your large CV may not even be delivered.
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HOW TO WRITE A PROFESSIONAL COVER LETTER
A good cover letter should not be generic, each cover letter should be tailored to the position you are applying for. It should also not be overly long but must contain a punchy motivation of your application.

We suggest the following:
  1. Address the cover letter to the person advertising the role. This makes your application person and you are more likely to get a response, even if it is a No.
  2. In your first paragraph, briefly introduce yourself, stating clearly what your current position is or what you are qualified for and a little about character.
  3. In paragraph 2, give a brief overview on 4 skills that you have that is listed in the job ad and how you qualify or are a match to those.
  4. In paragraph 3, give a brief overview of why you would be suited to the role, how you could add value to the prospective company and what you would deem to be your individual and unique “trump” card, in other words why you should be the successful candidate, for instance an achievement or highlight in your career that pertains to the job
  5. In paragraph 5, thank the reader for the consideration in advance and state that you would welcome an opportunity to meet with them to discuss your relevance, skills and value-add to their business.
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TIPS ON JOB SEACHING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA AND JOB PORTALS
  1. Read the ad carefully in order to make sure you meet the criteria. Don't just read a job title and press send, as there are usually specific criteria to meet, like qualifications, software packages, qualifications and industry relevant exposure.
  2. Address your email, with the job title, that you are applying for and enclose a few lines of summary on your suitability in the body of the email. Employers and Recruiters receive 100’s of CVs daily, let them know what you are applying for.
  3. Present yourself well in your application, so spell check, check your grammar and punctuation; it is a recruiter or employer's first impression of you, make it a good one.
  4. Don't respond to ads on social media with just your phone number or "Interested, phone me". Recruiters and employees will never just phone you, not without a CV or some relevant information about yourself. Always ensure you read the ad and follow the application instructions.
  5. Did you ever think how your Profile pic on social media affects your application? I bet you did not. Think about it, you see a job, you want that job, you meet all the criteria for the job, you know you're perfect, you press "apply now" aaaaaannnd... you never hear a word back. Perhaps the profile pic of you is not portraying yourself in the best light? Remember first impressions count and it does not start with an interview, it starts with the moment you press send CV.
  6. When sending your CV to recruiters or prospective employers, make sure that your email address and contact numbers are correct and accessible on your CV and covering note; make it easy to contact you.
  7. If you are serious about looking for a job, be on the ball. Make looking for a job, like having a job, wake up in the morning with a positive mindset, have a good cup of coffee, then dedicate a little time to being proactive in your job search, make sure your CV is accurate, check up on emails (even in your spam folder), follow up on interviews you had and present yourself as a productive candidate, these little actions speak volumes.
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DO YOU KNOW THE ACTUAL FUNCTION OF A RECRUITMENT COMPANY?
Let's touch on a subject that many do not necessarily understand, especially if you have never worked through a Recruitment company, don't know a recruiter personally or have been part of the industry, many aspects are unclear about our role in job hunting and cause massive frustration.

So, let's start by saying this, Recruitment companies do not "find" jobs for people who send their CV's randomly or unsolicited, as we call it, so that means you are not applying to a specific job advertised. Sure, there are labour brokers and some personnel companies, who take in CV's randomly, in order to supply staff, mostly on an ad hoc basis, to clients but in general, Recruitment companies do not take your CV and rush out to find you a job, it is not possible to do that for every CV that gets sent.

Finding a job is your responsibility, you need to be proactive in marketing yourself professionally and effectively. Recruitment companies are merely a channel to the end result.

The function of a Recruitment company is to work on behalf of their clients, to source a suitable shortlist for vacancies they have within their organizations. That we do through advertising, networking, headhunting, interviews and so on. We are mandated a detailed job description and responsibilities guideline to follow from our client and seldom can we deviate from that, without the client’s approval.

Recruitment companies are paid by the employers/companies to source a certain skill and experience matrix shortlist to fill a role they have in their business.

We can receive 200 to 300 CV's a day (I'm not even joking with those numbers), depending on how many positions we are sourcing for at the time and we need to narrow that down to the best 3 or 4 applications.

Many factors play a role in short listing, such as:
  • skill set,
  • personality traits - fitting into the team, management abilities, attention to detail, different jobs require different traits
  • qualifications and years of experience,
  • industry specific experience,
  • level of expertise and
  • geographical location vs skills required
So, to sum up, a Recruitment company is an extension of their client companies, tasked to source a shortlist of possible candidates, to fill positions they have. It is these companies who pay us a fee to perform this function, that's how we generate an income. Please remember, it is illegal in South Africa to charge a job seeker money for any part of seeking and securing employment – don’t fall for those ads or requests.
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A BIT RUSTY ON INTERVIEWS AND ETTIQUETTE?  HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO ACE IT
  1. Decide the night before what you are going to wear, make sure it is professional, smart casual in appearance and that it fits you well. There is the age-old debate about tattoos and body art in the workplace, so try to present yourself professionally, cover up where you can and it should not make any difference to the interviewer if you sell yourself and your skills upon first impression.
  2. Do research on the company and even the person who will be interviewing you, LinkedIn is a great professional network to find out more about companies and senior /line or hiring managers.
  3. Study the job spec, make notes on where there is synergy between their requirements and your qualification or career history. Make some notes of these and bring them up during the discussion if the opportunity presents itself.
  4. Study a few general interview questions, such as what are your strengths, weaknesses and career ambitions; practice these in front of your family or a mirror.
  5. Make notes of questions you may have about the job, possible career growth, the company’s vision for this role but never ask about the salary, wait for that to be raised by the interviewer.
  6. Leave home or work a few minutes early to ensure you reach your interview on time.
  7. Upon arrival, switch off your cell phone before entering the building.
  8. Greet the receptionist and the company representative with a smile, a firm handshake and eye contact (but not in a creepy way). Be confident and friendly at all times.
  9. Make sure you maintain eye contact with your interviewer, especially if there is a panel interview, look directly at the person who addressed you and answer them in a clear and concise manner and try not to fold your arms, body language does speak volumes in interviews.
  10. If you did not fully understand the question, don’t be embarrassed to ask the person to repeat or explain what information he/she is hoping to obtain from you.
  11. Upon finishing the interview, thank the interviewers for their time and that you hope to hear favourably from them in the near future.
  12. It is usually a nice gesture to email the interviewer afterwards and that him/her for affording you the opportunity to meet with them.
  13. Following up after 7 -10 days after your interview is not construed as rude or pushy, so drop them an email or give them a call to enquire about the status of your application but do not be harassing or come across as desperate. Remember, they have jobs to do and sometimes recruitment is last on their “To-Do” list.
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A FEW TIPS ON HOW TO SET UP YOUR NEW HOME OFFICE TO BE PRODUCTIVE
  • Keep your work and leisure space separate in order to avoid blurring the lines between work and personal time e.g. A small desk in the corner of a spare bedroom.
  • Try to create physical boundaries and general rules if you have small children e.g. If the office door is closed, it means you’re working and can’t be disturbed.
  • Get out of your pyjamas! Mentally, getting dressed up for work is important and sets the mood for the day.
  • Create good habits from the start and get into a daily routine.
  • Use tools like WhatsApp to check in with team members and managers regularly.
  • Unless it’s part of your job, download block-out apps that won’t allow you to access social media during working hours.
  • Make sure you have good lighting, a chair that promotes good posture and great wi-fi.
  • If you're going to use the phone a lot, it’s worth investing in a headset or noise-cancelling headphones.
  • Make sure to charge your laptop and phone overnight.
  • If you're worried about load shedding, consider investing in an entry-level UPS device online, a power bank and surge protectors for your electronic devices.
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WHAT IS A COUNTER OFFER AND HOW TO HANDLE A COUNTER OFFER FROM YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER
Congratulations, you’ve received a new job offer, a super opportunity, a new start, a promotional opportunity even and you’ve handed in your resignation but your current company is offering you more money to stay. Should you stay? Or should you go?

Deciding to accept a counteroffer can be difficult and confusing, we understand that and there are many factors to consider. This choice is likely to have a significant impact on your integrity with future employer, recruiters and more importantly, your career, so shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Why do companies make counter offers?
Is it because your current company is worried about losing a valuable staff member or for other reasons? Employers may also make counter offers because recruiting a senior level employee is expensive, time consuming in the recruitment process or because they would need to retrain and develop somebody to do your job? Probably all of the aforementioned, so, it’s not surprising that nearly 50% of employers offer a counteroffer when employees resign.

Why You Might Accept a Counteroffer
Over 50% of employees accept counteroffers, despite the wonderful alternative opportunity being offered. At the time, it can seem like the right decision as you won’t have to master the working methods of another company or build relationships with new colleagues. You already know your current company and how to do your job. The extra money doesn’t sound bad and certainly, it’ll be easier to stay.
However, 80% of employees that accept a counteroffer leave within six months and 90% within a year. Money isn’t always enough to overcome the problems that made you want to look for a new job in the first place.

Why You Shouldn’t Accept a Counteroffer
  • Only 10% - 12% of employees resign due to money, this is a fact. So, if you dig a little deeper into why you wanted to leave in the first place. Was it the new manager who treats you poorly? Was it the fact that you have been doing the same job for 10 years and there is no growth or development – were you feeling bored, frustrated or stagnant? Maybe you felt unappreciated for always being so dependable and hard working? Ask yourself, wasn’t I worth this increase before I resigned?
  • Accepting a counteroffer is likely to damage your relationship with your current employer. After all, you’ve just told them you were leaving and are now only staying because they offered you more money. This might cause them to question your loyalty and whether you’ll resign the second you receive another better offer.
  • Most employees that accept a counteroffer often end up feeling “pushed out” of their current organisation. Sometimes, companies go as far as to create a contingency plan and start looking for someone to fill your position before you start looking at other options again.
  • Many independent case studies show that after accepting a counteroffer, your job security drastically decreases. If your company needs to make changes, downsize or retrench, you’ll probably be at the top of the list. Afterall, you already expressed a desire to leave and aren’t as loyal or committed to the company as other employees. Or worst-case scenario, your current employer may have only given you a counteroffer to buy them time to find a new employee to replace you. It happens more often than you think
Deciding whether or not to accept a counteroffer can be challenging. It’s important to think about each of the previously discussed points and make a list of pros and cons and remember why you wanted to leave in the first place, I am betting money was not top of that list.
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DOES YOUR COMPANY HAVE A POSITIVE CULTURE?
Very often, as a recruiter, we hear about toxic and negative company cultures, which usually is the reason the employee is now seeking better prospects and a new employer.

Here are a few signs of a positive company culture:
  • Your company is well known for all the right reasons and people are contacting your Line Managers and HR Manager enquiring about possible opportunities to join the company in the future.
  • You have a low staff turnover, with many staff enjoying long service and dedication to your business.
  • You feel and see the enthusiasm to be at work and your staff work well together as a team.
  • Many employees will feel job security in a positive environment and this is very important for most folk, especially in uncertain times. In feeling job security, they will automatically be more productive.
  • There is open dialogue and communication between staff and management. There is no “us” and “them” mentality and employee will naturally feel acknowledged and appreciated if they are encouraged to address issues or make suggestions to further the development of the company.
  • Your staff are more willing to go the extra mile to further the success of the business
Many companies negate that the investment in human capital is the corner stone of the success of the business. A positive company culture is the best way to retain the return on your investment in employing them.
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