7 tips on how to negotiate for a pay rise

<h3> <strong> 7 tips on how to negotiate for a pay rise </strong> </h3>

The art of salary negotiation is a key career skill that will help you throughout your working life. If you feel you deserve a pay rise and the time’s come to do something about it, make sure you approach the matter in the right way, and in a way that will leave everyone positive about the outcome. Here are 7 tips on how to do it.

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WHY USE A PROFESSIONAL STAFFING AGENCY ?

<h3><strong>WHY USE A PROFESSIONAL STAFFING AGENCY ?</strong></h3>

A study conducted by McKinsey Co. in 1997, predicted that the most important corporate resource over the next 20 years would be talent. The study went on to state that this would also be the resource in shortest supply and the search for the best and the brightest would become a constant, costly battle, a fight with no final victory.

Talented professionals are in extremely high demand today, with every employer seeking to attract and retain the same talent pool. The other day we hired a great senior executive for one of our clients and 5 months into the job, another company approached the same candidate for whom our client was really pleased with. The company gave them an offer that our client could not match. And so, as the battle for the best talent continues to intensify, it has become clear that companies need to increase their efficiency and effectiveness regarding recruitment.
Staffing agencies can help you score better in the battle for talent. You don’t need to go through hundreds of curriculum vitaes (CVs) that have no relevance to the role you are seeking to fill. When you use a staffing agency, the agency ensures that you don’t meet any candidate unless they satisfy the criteria for the role that you are seeking to fill.
Staffing agencies also conduct preliminary screening and testing. When you are busy investing in your company’s Strategic Business processes and tools that will help you grow your core business, staffing agencies on the other hand are busy investing in tools that will help them get the right fit for every role they are asked to fill. These tools range from interview techniques, psychometric assessment centers, document verification processes, to reference and background checks, application tracking systems and other strategic tools.
The advantages of seeking the services of a staffing agency include;

1. The recruiter will give you critical insights that will enable you to make the right hiring decision. Before they can support you, a reputable staffing agency will want to know why you are hiring. They will want to know if the position is new or why the position holder left. They aim to understand the context of the assignment as this guides them to the right fit for the role. They may also share insights around market trends, correct remuneration and benefits for the role. They normally will act in the best interests of both parties, therefore ensuring the right move for the candidate and the right hiring decision for the employer.
2. Saving time and money. A reputable staffing agency ensures only the best 3 or 4 candidates- those whose profile closely matches the role a client is seeking to fill- are considered for the face to face interview with the client. This saves you great amounts of time as you only get to meet the best fits. When you compare the cost implications of maintaining an in-house recruiter, including salary, benefits and leave, the benefits of using a recruiter far outweigh the fees that they charge. Recruiters have access to a wide pool of talented professionals who are not actively looking to change jobs, but if an attractive opportunity comes up they are always willing to discuss the details with the recruiter.
3. Recruiters know where to look for talent. They have dedicated resources whose primary role is to headhunt for talent. Every morning when they report to work they implement creative ways to narrow down to the right candidates, even if these candidates have not applied for the position. Assuming you sought to headhunt for a strategic role, can your HR Manager call your competition to invite potential candidates for an interview with your company? Of course not, as the competition would immediately know what you were up to. We therefore recommend that you release your HR teams to focus on optimizing organizational performance – this enables you to achieve desired output whilst leaving the staffing agencies with the task of finding the right candidates.
4. Access to application tracking systems. Technological advancements have revolutionized the way we do business and if you are still sieving through applications, you need to pay attention to this point. Top notch recruitment agencies have access to application tracking systems that allow for the automatic sieving of candidates as they make the application. The application tracking software allows the recruiter to customize questions that the applicant must fill as part of the application process. The questions are derived from the job advert and specific to the job being advertised. As the prospective candidates are applying, the system sieves the candidate who has the most perfect/ideal answer and ranks them on top. For example, if a position attracted 250 applications, the recruiter can quickly download the 10 or 20 strongest candidates and only cross check the CVs for this selected group and further decide which candidates to invite for pre- screening. Believe me, it works like a charm.
5. Reduction of administrative tasks. Whatever your industry, be it energy, gas and oil, mining, construction engineering, research, etc. outsourcing part of your human resource management function allows your HR teams to focus on the project deliverables and optimize hired staff to achieve expected output. This gives you complete peace of mind and releases your internal HR teams to focus on the big picture and not the mundane administrative duties arising thereof.

The business dynamics of today demand that organizations explore strategies that will give them a competitive edge. And by seeking the support of staffing agencies, organizations can gain the necessary advantages needed to propel them to victory in the war on talent.

The Writer is the Managing Director of Flexi Personnel, Ltd. www.flexi-personnel.com. Email alice@flexi-personnel.com

Why It’s Necessary To Conduct A Human Resource Audit In Your Organization

<h3><strong>Why It’s Necessary To Conduct A Human Resource Audit In Your Organization</strong></h3>

What is a HR audit?
A Human Resources Audit is a comprehensive method to review current human resources policies, procedures, documentation and systems to identify needs for improvement and enhancement of the People Management function as well as to assess compliance with ever-changing laws and regulations in Kenya.
It determines if the current processes are valid and adequate, legal and effective therefore identifying gaps in the current HR practices of your organization, prioritizing closure in an effort to minimize exposure to litigation and lack of compliance.
It also aims to ensure that the Human Resource function is proactive in introducing modern methods and ideas of managing employees that cater for millennial employees as well as consistently introducing innovative ways of working for all that improve productivity while injecting loads of fun in the work place. After all most employees spend all their days working in that environment it’s critical that they enjoy their work.
HR Audit aims to identify and establish best practices for that company in its industry by identifying key opportunities for development that will give the company a huge boost in its competitive edge in its industry establishing it clearly as a market leader and an employer of choice.

What to Audit?
Deciding what to audit depends largely on the perceived weaknesses in the organization’s HR environment, the type of audit decided on and the available resources. Keeping a log of issues that have arisen but are not covered in the organization’s procedures or policies helps identify areas of potential exposure that HR can address during the annual review process (if they do not need to be addressed immediately).

Litigation exposure And Poor HR Compliance
Most lawsuits are dues to lapses in compliance in Labour laws and Employment Act, they can be traced to issues related to hiring, overtime issues, personnel record keeping, performance management, Health and Safety, compensation strategies, Employees benefits, Employees retention and exit reasons, Employee Relations, Learning and Development issues, Promotions procedures, discipline management or termination. These areas will be closely scrutinized by the HR consultant to ensure all gaps that exists are identified.

Value of a HR Audit
To identify the gaps, lapses, irregularities, outdated policies, short-comings, in the implementation of the Policies, procedures, practices, directives, of the Human Resource Department and to suggest remedial actions across the organization.
To know the factors which are detrimental to the non-implementation or wrongful implementation of the planned Programs and activities.
Recommend measures and corrective steps to rectify the mistakes, shortcomings if any, for future guidance, and advise for effective performance of the work of the Human Resource Department.

Major benefits of an HR Audit?
HR audits may accomplish a variety of objectives, such as ensuring legal compliance; helping maintain or improve a competitive advantage; establishing efficient documentation and technology practices; and identifying strengths and weaknesses in training, communications and other employment practices.

• Stimulates uniformity of HR policies and practices across the organization.
• Identifies the contribution of Human Resource department to the organization
• Improves the professional image of the Human Resource department.
• Encourages greater responsibility and professionalism among member of the Human Resource department.
• Clarifies the HR department’s duties and responsibilities.
• Ensures timely compliance with legal requirements by identifying critical HR challenges.
• Reduces human resource cost through more effective Human Resource procedure.
• Creates increased acceptance of needed change in the Human Resource department.
• Requires thorough review of Human Resource department’s information system.

Methods of Audit
The HR Consultant usually conducts an audit by using a questionnaire that asks for the evaluation of specific practice areas and those identified by the senior management as challenging areas. This helps the Consultant to review all critical areas of an organization’s HR practices and organizational Strategy.
The audit may also include interviewing or using questionnaires to solicit feedback from selected employees and other department managers to learn whether certain policies and procedures are understood, practiced and accepted across the organization.

Article written by Winrose Mwangi HR Operations Director and Human Resources Consultant Flexi Personnel Nairobi, Kenya.

WHY EMPLOYER BRAND PROPOSITION MATTER?

<h3><strong>WHY EMPLOYER BRAND PROPOSITION MATTER?</strong></h3>

The employer value proposition (EVP) is a unique set of values  and benefits to positively influence target candidates and employees. A company needs a unique employer selling point . The EVP gives current and future employees an inspiration and motivation to work for an employer and reflects the company’s competitive advantage.

What is an employer brand?

An employer brand refers to the views and perceptions key stakeholders, and current and potential employees, have of your organization. It is about how they view the company in the market, through to what they think it would be like to work for your organization.

An effective employer brand presents your organization as a good employer and a great place to work and can help with recruitment, retention , interest by job seekers to join the company based on their market perception.

Employer branding is therefore about effectively communicating your organization’s values and culture to create the desired perceptions. Employer branding affects every touch point the organization has with the employee, starting with the recruitment and on-boarding process. It then extends to every aspect of their employment including; training and development, support networks, the development of career paths and benefits and incentives, right through to their exit from the organization and beyond.

What are the benefits of having an Employer Value brand.

It can significantly improve application rates and put your company in the enviable position of having a wide pool of talent to choose . In the competitive search for great talent it can make your company stand out in a crowded market and provide compelling reasons to potential great talent to join your company rather than going elsewhere.

Employer value Proposition

It ensures that the communication and branding done by a company is consistent, unique and relevant to important target talent pools. Employers that develop their EVP successfully benefit from an increase in their talent pool and employee engagement.

Retention & Engagement

For the current employees it gives them a sense of purpose and understanding of what they’re being asked to do, which in turn reflects in their attitude. They’re engaged and an engaged employee walks with a spring in their step. They’re loyal and know what they’re working towards. They’re not the people you want to lose. By attracting and retaining people with the right fit, you can create a more productive workforce and position your organization for long term success.

A great employer brand can help you stand out because many people prefer to work for employers aligned with their values therefore becoming their employer of choice. Aim to build a great employer brand to build a successful company and become the employer of choice for great talent .

If you need to strengthen your Employer Brand Flexi Personnel Consultants will work relentlessly to ensure you become an employer of choice.

Winrose Mwangi HR operations Director and HR Consultant in Flexi Personnel LTD.

Why Talent Measurement Matters?

<strong><h3>Why Talent Measurement Matters?</h3></strong>

It is always satisfying to engage with motivated and passionate employees because they set the pace of business performance and delivery in any work environment.

Identifying the right employees for your organization is one the most important jobs of any manager as the new hire directly affects business performance depending on their contribution and innovativeness. Partnering with the right recruitment and selection firm to headhunt and identify the right people that will fit into the roles that you want to fill is paramount to realizing efficiency in business operations. A headhunter identifies the kind of people you want to work in your organization from the Industry and points to them how they can connect with your brand to make a great contribution with their skills to your organization whilst making a successful career for themselves.

It is critical to support the face to face interviews with psychometric tests and assessments that provides a level of measurement whilst giving you deeper insights about the personality of the person especially on their traits, drive, energy levels, emotions and their preferred ways of working. This ensures you have more information at the hiring point as an employer to pick the right fit that will bring in innovative thinking and performance to boost productivity and profitability. And with the right development and deployment, their performance will reach new levels.

To keep a recruit engaged keep a robust method of measuring performance of your talent daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. This ensures that every manager is consistently in touch with their team and is able to identify the key talent that drives productivity, continually resolving the challenges that come through during the discussions to ensure that the company is delivering quickly and effectively in the market place. Always remembering what is not measured will not be done. Measuring performance activates the ‘getting things done culture’ which creates a robust and energized working environment.

It is critical to reward good performance since differences in people’s performance impact the bottom line. Strong performers increase revenue and profit by developing effective ideas and strategies, winning support for them, and inspiring others to get them implemented. They are able to cut through bureaucracy and complexity with ease bringing ideas to market quickly, meeting commitments and reducing costs. Marginal performers, on the other hand, hurt the bottom line by making poor decisions, working inefficiently, failing to get others support and being slow to change. They are frequently also slow learners.

Used in both selection and development contexts, talent measurement provides the foundation for contemporary talent management strategies and initiatives in any firm.

Article was written by Winrose Mwangi, a Certified Psychometric Assessor with the British Psychological Society, Winrose is the Head of HR consultancy at Flexi Personnel Kenya.

Are you an employer or individual in need of psychometric assessment services? Contact Flexi-Personnel Ltd via email: admin@flexi-personnel.com or call +254 714 702 443 for a customized quotation.

 

Why You Should Outsource Your Payroll Management Function

Long gone are the days when bosses would call their employees into their offices and hand them their salaries in envelopes. Today, paying salaries to staff has become a complex process with legal repercussions if handled incorrectly. Salaries are a very important aspect of any business and how you handle your salary processes will influence a number of factors including employee trust in your company, reputation of your company and employee motivation.

The best way any business or company can ensure effective and efficient payroll management is to outsource this function to a professional and reputable payroll outsourcing firm. This article looks at the benefits your company will reap by outsourcing its payroll management functions.

Convenience and Time Saving

Attending to payroll matters will demand a great deal of time and resources (these resources include setting up the payroll unit, hiring payroll personnel, acquiring payroll management systems etc.) Additionally, payroll work is very time consuming requiring lots of data input, double checking to ensure correct dues and deductions are made for each staff, transferring salaries to staff accounts and remitting statutories to relevant agencies.

Outsourcing this function will immediately free you and your management team from payroll issues and lets you concentrate on formulating and implementing growth strategies for your company.

Work With Professionals

When you outsource your payroll function, you will get the expertise of experienced and professional payroll officers who know everything concerning payroll management. With an outsourced payroll service, you will be guaranteed an efficient payroll management system with no hiccups. Your payroll outsourcing company will also be in a position to advise you on the best payroll system to implement for your staff and set it up.

Payroll outsourcing firms usually employ the best payroll officers and letting them manage your payroll will give you peace of mind as you will be comfortable knowing that experts are handling your payroll.

Enhanced Payroll Security

Because payroll processing is a complex process, some of your staff and employees might collude and use existing loopholes like double data entry, identity theft or tampering with payroll data to embezzle company funds. The only way companies in Kenya can maintain the integrity of their payroll system is to outsource this function.

Outsourced payroll companies have invested in state of art payroll software and security systems which ensure integrity of your staff data and payroll. Additionally, their payroll staff are usually vetted and have undergone background tests to ensure they are persons of integrity meaning you will have no cases of payroll fraud.

Compliance

As an MD, CEO or Operations manager, you may not be always aware of the ever changing employment laws and regulations with regard to payroll management. You will have to calculate government taxes for each employee remit statutory deductions to necessary collecting agencies and undertake any necessary deductions from the employee like loans and salary advance. Mistakes, wrong calculations or even failure to remit taxes and other statutory deductions will result in legal action that could negatively affect your company.

On the other hand, professional payroll companies will stay up to date with any changes in payroll laws and regulations to ensure 100% compliance thus helping your company avoid any penalties or fines including those related to errors, improper filling and late submissions.

Are you a company in need of Payroll services? Contact Flexi-Personnel Ltd via email: admin@flexi-personnel.com or call +254 20 2500211/ +254 714702443 for a customized quotation.
About Flexi Personnel Kenya
Flexi Personnel Ltd is a HR Company that was founded in 2008. It is currently the fastest growing HR firm in Kenya offering a wide range of services including Headhunting and Executive selection, Outsourced Labor management, Outsourced Payroll Management, HR consultancy, Psychometric Assessments and Expatriate Services and relocation support.

Why Manufacturing Companies Need To Outsource Their HR Functions

The reliance on human capital by manufacturing companies in Kenya cannot be understated as many factories have employed hundreds of skilled and semi-skilled staff. Managing hundreds of staff is usually a challenge for many manufacturing companies as they will have to allocate time and resources dealing with HR and other staff issues instead of focusing on their core objectives of growing and expanding the company.

As a manufacturing company operating in Kenya or one that is just setting up shop, the most recommended solution to ensure your company remains focused on its core objectives is by outsourcing its HR functions to a professional and reputable staff outsourcing agency. Some of the benefits your factory stands to gain by outsourcing its HR functions are discussed herein;

Recruitment and Management of Staff

When you need to undertake mass recruitment for short term contract workers, the staff outsourcing company that you work with will be able to undertake an efficient recruitment process for you. Staff outsourcing agencies have a database of already vetted candidates whom they can contact if you need immediate or short notice placement.
After recruitment, the outsourcing agency you partner with will provide you with an onsite Human resource officer to manage the daily activities of the outsourced staff. This is advantageous as you will only concentrate on your production and growth objectives and not in any way deal with HR functions like shift management, leave management, sick offs and time attendance management.

Payroll Management

Managing a mass payroll for short term contracted staff is not an easy task and may end up taking most of your time as you will be dealing with lots of payroll issues like delayed payments, overtime payment and underpayment issues.
When you outsource your payroll you will not have any issues when it comes to staff payroll management as all outsourced staff, regardless of the number, will be paid their deserving dues in a timely manner. This is because staff outsourcing agencies have a team of experienced and professional in house accountants and payroll officers who will effectively manage your large payroll accounts.

Statutory Deductions and Employment Laws in Kenya

Employment laws in Kenya are ever changing and your company might become embroiled in legal issues with the government due to non-adherence of labor laws. This can never be the case when you partner with a staff outsourcing firm as they are always up to date on all labor regulations and will advise you accordingly to ensure compliance. All statutory deductions will be done and remitted to relevant bodies/collection agencies in a timely manner.
Additionally, and depending on the nature of operations, all staff being managed by the staff outsourcing agency will be provided with personal protection equipment (PPE) like helmets, protective clothing and any other protective equipment required by law. The outsourcing agency would also ensure procurement of WIBA (work injury benefits Act) as required by law.

Protection against Staff Disruptions

Another major benefit why companies requiring the services of large numbers of short term employees should outsource their HR function is because staff outsourcing agencies have well-developed labor management strategies that ensure few or no cases of staff disruptions in form of strikes or go slows. Staff outsourcing agencies in Kenya have perfected the skill of labor management as is their core business enabling clients to focus on their core business too.
Are you a manufacturing company or factory in need of staff outsourcing services? Contact Flexi-Personnel Ltd via email: admin@flexi-personnel.com or call +254 20 2500211/ +254 714702443 for a customized quotation.

Valentine Blues in the Workplace

Even though valentine is regarded as a day of love, media reports are showing that the day after valentine is associated with employee suspensions or dismals due to inappropriate work place behavior or taking the valentine celebration too far in a way that embarrasses the company’s image.

As employers, it is prudent that you have a workplace dating policy that will safeguard your company against negative valentine day effects like employees overwhelming each other with valentine gifts and kisses, employees using the office space as a venue for their valentine dates or even senior staff asking junior staff out on a valentine date.

When putting in place a Workplace dating policy, it is important to ensure you do not infringe on any rights or privileges your employees enjoy or trying to change the existing office culture. Even though many HR professionals recommend every company to have a clear workplace dating policy, some experts believe that restricting workplace dating in its entirety is not a good move in the long run.

K’Opiyo Ogogo, a HR policy specialist at Flexi Personnel Ltd is categorical that workplace dating should not be entirely banned but allowed as long as staff follows company policies and guidelines.
According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), an effective workplace dating policy must be one which prohibits dating between senior and junior staff. The policy should also provide for the disclosure of any dating in the office and provide for appropriate measures which may include staff transfers to another department or location.

Mr. K’Opiyo Ogogo further adds a good workplace dating policy should be one that provides guidelines on office dating to ensure the brand image of the organization is maintained at all times even when staff have intimate relationships that is not disclosed.

Are you a business/company in need of HR services? Contact Flexi-Personnel Ltd via email: admin@flexi-personnel.com or call +254 20 2500211/ +254 714702443 for a customized quotation.

Best Way to Fire an Employee

Even if you own a company or are the CEO, long gone are the days when you would fire someone because you do not like them or just feel like dismissing them. Current labor laws and regulations favor employees and have made it difficult to dismiss staff.

Once an employee is in your payroll, they can only be dismissed in accordance with your company’s HR policy and existing labor laws. if dismissed on any other ground, you will be forced by labor tribunals or a court of law to pay heavy compensation for unfair dismissal.

Once you believe your employee has breached their contract terms or committed gross violations against the company, below are the best ways to fire them while protecting yourself or company against future legal disputes.

Have a Witness in the Room When Dismissing an Employee

One advice given by Flexi Personnel Kenya HR policy specialist is that you should never dismiss a staff without having a witness present during the dismissal. According to an analysis done by Flexi Personnel on unfair dismissal cases, many employees who have been fired usually claim that their bosses abused them either verbally or physically while handing them their dismissal letters.

Documentary Evidence

Ensure there is documentary evidence and a trail to show that the employee has committed gross violations and dismissal was the only disciplinary option that could be considered. Having documentary evidence will shield you against any legal action as it will show that the employee was dismissed according to company HR policy and due procedure was followed.

Employee Should Be Given a Chance to Defend and Clarify Their Actions

Any company that fires an employee without giving them an opportunity to defend or clarify their actions will have future legal problems as employment laws in Kenya state that anyone facing eminent dismissal must have an opportunity to clarify or defend their actions either before a panel or in written form.

Are you a company in need of HR consulting services? Contact Flexi-Personnel Ltd via email: admin@flexi-personnel.com or call +254 20 2500211/ +254 714702443 for a customized quotation.

Top HR Issues Kenyan Companies Should Watch Out For This 2016

<strong><h3>Top HR Issues Kenyan Companies Should Watch Out For This 2016</h3></strong>

As a HR manager, it is important to stay abreast with current changes and trends in the HR industry. HR is an ever evolving profession and not being up to date may result in your company not being an attractive place for potential employees or you might even face legal action due to non-compliance with current labor laws. This 2016, some of the top HR issues you need to watch out for include;

Changing Labor Legislations

In Kenya, the labor sector is transforming fast and the government is putting in place policies to protect employees in the workplace. Currently the employment amendment bill 2015 which is currently before parliament seeks to align the Kenyan workforce with provisions of the new constitution and accepted best practices in the labor industry. According to Flexi-Personnel HR policy expert, It is important for HR managers to follow this bill closely and be ready to abide by it once it is enacted.

Additionally, HR managers should be updated on any changes in statutory remittance. Today companies are being fined by the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) for failing to remit deductions from employees who once received the loan.

Millennial In the Workplace

Many HR specialists are still grappling with the best way to deal with millenials in the workplace. (Read separate post on how to deal with millennials in the workplace). The term millennials is generally used to describe people who were born after 1995. Most of these people are currently aged 21 and will soon be joining the workforce. Millennials are tech savvy, have a deep understanding of social media and most have an entitled and a know it all attitude.

Even though millennials can help your company grow and remain relevant in this age HR managers should be able to know how to effectively deal with them so as to increase their productivity. According to a research done by Flexi Personnel, most Kenyan companies are still lagging behind in forming effective HR policies that address millennials in the work place.

Employee Benefits in the Workplace

With continued competition between businesses this 2016, it is imperative for companies are seeking to recruit and retain the best talent within their workforce. The only way to ensure your company retains best talent is to have employee benefits like medical cover, employee bonuses, insurance and other benefits that will entice employees to remain in your company.

Are you a company in need of HR consultancy services? Contact Flexi-Personnel Ltd via email: admin@flexi-personnel.com or call +254 20 2500211/ +254 714702443 for a customized quotation.

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