Author Archives: aegisintern01

After applying for a job, you suddenly realize it isn’t a good fit or you are presently uninterested in the position. Here are some tips on how to professionally and politely turn down an interview from an employer.  

Be sure you want to reject the interview 

Take some time (not too long) to consider why you turning down this interview. Consider the reasons both good and bad. If there are legitimate reasons such as changes in your personal and family life or you were offered a promotion within your current company, then it is understandable why you are rejecting this job. If you are still unsure, you can still take the interview and clarify any concerns. The job interview, is not the same as a job offer. So doing the interview would be good practice thus improving your interpersonal and communication skills.  

Respond ASAP! 

Promptly decline the interview via email or phone call.  Let the hiring manager know as soon as possible. Do not send a whatsapp message. Be respectful of people’s time, be professional and open up this opportunity for someone else.  

Keep the response short, simple and be polite 

Write a concise and simple response declining to be interviewed. Don’t give too much detail as to why you are rejecting the interview. Be polite by expressing gratitude for the opportunity and make sure you email or call the correct person.  

Don’t avoid responding 

Never ghost or do not respond to a hiring manager about turning down a job interview. This is just disrespectful. Only you know what is best for you in terms of doing a job interview or not. Be professional in your communication to maintain a positive relationship with this hiring manager and the company.  

 

Author: Johanna Thomas  

Training and development of staff is key.

CRS General Manager, Mariska Seereeram shares why companies must support staff with continuous skills development and training because even technical staff with relevant skills need to retrain for this changing world of work.   

Technical Training   

CRS specializes in recruiting job specific roles in Information Technology, Energy and Technical positions. Candidates in technical positions undergo significant training due to their job being very role centered in nature such as Business Analysts, business, sales and technology roles but not much is done to develop their soft skills.   

Delegate responsibility in projects  

Providing an opportunity for hands on experience is the best way to learn on the job. This can be done via “shadowing” whereby the potential managerial candidate spends a few hours a day with a well-informed person in their field. Invaluable insight will be gained from the day-to-day experience.  Also, a potential managerial candidate must be able to delegate or assign responsibility to a person to carry out a specific task. Delegation is one of the most important time management strategies for a manager. So, to delegate effectively as a manager, you need to a have a comprehensive to-do-list of all your tasks. Next, you will assign responsibility of a particular task based on the team, their area of expertise and willingness to do the task. Allowing a potential managerial candidate to team lead a project will provide the hands-on experience she/he needs.  

Identify the gaps in management and training  

It is important to conduct performance reviews with your employees and review the job description so that you can communicate their strengths and weaknesses and offer training where needed.  

For soft skills training, it can include:  

  • Communication Skills (Written and Verbal) 
  • Business Writing Skills  
  • Time Management Training  
  • Critical Thinking  
  • Problem Solving Skills  
  • Presentation Skills and Public Speaking  
  • Conflict Resolution  

Pairing staff with mentors in the organization  

This concept is well known across large organisations and there is no reason why small businesses cannot adopt the same concept. Ensure you are in continuous conversations with your employees so you can understand their goals and see how it fits the needs of your organization.  You may notice a particular strength in them or a skill gap that you wish to improve. Pairing them with a leader or manager in the organization is a key learning opportunity for them to hone their skills. Not to mention a networking opportunity, often across functions. This is key to the success and sustainability of your business as employees are able to learn across functions and meet leaders in the business.  

Mentorship is a relationship between the mentor and mentee. This process works when both parties want it be successful and are committed. A mentor will aid in your personal and professional growth and help guide you through your career journey. Mentors are connectors which leads to opportunities.  

Benefits of Mentorship 

  • Having access to a senior role model in your chosen field 
  • Help you identify the current gaps and strengths in skills and knowledge and correct them 
  • Personal and professional development for the mentee in terms of self-esteem and confidence 
  • Help you to develop Communication and Interpersonal skills  
  • Gaining insight and a border perspective on career options and opportunities  
  • Networking  

Adaptability is the key to success for any potential managerial candidate. Thus, the right balance of technical and soft skills training will position managers for tomorrow’s demands.  

CRS can assist businesses in the soft skills and professional development training of their staff. Book a session with Mariska at mariska@crsrecruitment.co.tt to chat about your needs. 

Author: Johanna Thomas

For employees, it is important to understand the key aspects of management, leadership and the job at hand. 

      What are your responsibilities and the skills needed in your capacity as manager?   

      Do I understand my role? 

In this new managerial position, employees should take the time to get a clearer picture of the key components required to be successful in their new role.  Time must also be spent in the managerial role doing the job in order to learn and gain hands-on experience.   

Pairing with a mentor 

Leaders should encourage employees to pair up with someone who has made the transition into management. Employees can shadow a colleague or someone they admire currently in a managerial position. A mentor can provide insight into the challenges of being a manager and how to overcome them. 

Technical people need soft skills 

Soft skills are essential for a person in a managerial role, as they influence how you work and interact with others.  As employees acquire these skills, it will lead to their personal growth and development enabling them to thrive in their new position.   

Here are some soft skills to focus on: 

  • Interpersonal Skills – These skills give managers the ability to communicate, work, interact and relate effectively with people. This will lead to an open and welcoming work environment for staff.
  •  Communication skills – Being an effective communicator will allow new managers to engage and collaborate with staff who was once their colleagues previously.  Exploring what is the best way to communicate both verbally and in written as a new manager is important.
  • Time Management – This can have a profound effect on the new role and the team. Creating schedules, sticking to deadlines and completing tasks or projects shows new managers their dependability and efficient use of time.
  • Creativity and Innovation – To stay ahead of the curve, newly appointed managers should be at the forefront of creativity and innovation. It is important to encourage and enable collaboration amongst staff, tapping into their creativity and input.  
  • Problem Solving – Managers who are problem solvers are an asset to any company. Newly appointed managers will need to be quick on their feet and offer solutions to problems in a productive manner. 

Making that move into management is not an easy road, but those who are willing to undertake this exploration will excel in their new role and strengthen by their drive to succeed. 

CRS can assist businesses in up-skilling or re-skilling their staff for the transition to management. Need help in preparing your technical staff for managerial roles? Book a session with Mariska at mariska@crsrecruitment.co.tt 

  

Author:  Johanna Thomas 

Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO) is a service where companies can transfer their Human Resource (HR) functions to an external consultant / team in the absence of a Human Resource Department or specific HR skills. 

There are many benefits to outsourcing all or parts of your Human Resource function. Having access to knowledgeable and experienced Human Resource consultants is one of them. Human Resource Outsourcing can significantly add value to any organization no matter size, industry or location, by reducing operational /administrative costs while improving efficiency.  

This approach allows companies the time to focus on their strategy and vision without spending time or have the hassle of administrative processes. 

Our comprehensive range of Human Resource Outsourcing Services (HRO) consists of:  

1) development and implementation of a strategic HR plan 

2) HR policies and procedures 

3)Employee handbooks

4) Performance Management

5) Compensation – Payroll and Benefits administration  

6) HRIS – HR Dashboard and Metrics 

7) IR and employee relations. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to reassess their HR strategies to cope with the many concerns surrounding the organization and its people. Our Human Resource solutions are customized and tailored to the needs of our clients. We believe understanding our clients’ culture, objectives, internal and external stakeholders are critical to providing the best solutions. 

Chat with us to discuss your HR Outsourcing needs and how we can help you. Schedule a call with Mariska Seereeram at mariska@crsrecruitment.co.tt 

Author: Johanna Thomas 

It’s time to propel your business forward and you may not know where to start. Subject matter experts are in high demand lately in the Caribbean and can provide a level of industry or technical expertise to help businesses propel their business forward by providing consulting services or guidance in the employee interview process and/or to also guide their staff in the field over a set period of time. 

Right now, expert guidance is invaluable to businesses and CRS can search and select the best experts and consultants needed for projects, contracts or 1-1 advisory support as and when the business requires it. 

Check your business strategy and determine whether you need a subject matter expert to help you interview the right staff for your business or you may decide to hire an expert on a contract basis to help you train your staff for a short time. 

Experts can join the interview panel 

Businesses also hire SMEs to join their interview panel when they are recruiting a specialist in a particular field.  Their expertise will aid any interview panel in securing the right person for that job specific role. Having an industry expert on your interview panel improves the quality of the interview as they understand the intricacies of the job specific role and what knowledge and skills this candidate must possess to be hired for that job.   

Experts can be hired on contract

We all know budgets are tight at the moment, yet you need to propel your business forward. CRS can assist companies in sourcing job specific experts on a contractual basis to help you move forward and help guide and train your staff.   

If a business wants to hire CRS to find an expert, there is some basic information we need to start the process such as a job description for the expert. For example, ‘Seeking an attorney for a contract position in the oil and gas industry to provide legal counsel for industrial relations matters.’ We will discuss their role, responsibilities, experience needed, the reporting and supervisory function, and where the position ranks in the organizational chart. We need to understand how this person adds value to your organisation and will thus satisfy your human resource objectives and business strategy. 

Book a free consultation to discuss how we can help you source the best consultants or experts in your industry – either for an interview panel or on a contract basis.  Schedule a call with Mariska Seereeram at mariska@crsrecruitment.co.tt 

Author: Johanna Thomas  

The changes in our work environments have forced business owners to increase HR’s impact within their companies. Here we discuss, HR’s role and how it will continue to evolve in 2021 and beyond. 

 

Work Life Balance  

If your place of work is your home, staff may find it difficult to separate the two. How to have worklife balance in the same space which is your home? This is the question on staffers and employers’ minds. HR and business owners must play a critical role in helping employees manage these uncharted waters Communication with staff is important to hear what issues staff are facing in this new work environment.  

CRS works with organizations and their HR teams to creatively engage their staff. When staff feel supported and listened to, this can propel the business to success. “CRS is able to help companies because we had to do it ourselves. We have learnt from the practical experiences within our own organization, thus we are able to assist our clients. 

CRS HR Advisory Services  

Companies need to have a clear understanding of their future goals. Once a company knows its next move, CRS can assist with meeting those human resources needsThings are changing  constantly and at some point, business owners may question if they need this resource or not. We can gage what processes, benchmarks or KPIs are needed to structure your resources accordingly. Basically, what resources do you need now but also for the future.”  

Measuring Staff Performance 

For an employee in an administrative position, this “new normal” can affect how they work and their role within the company. A manager provides new technologies but may not equip staff with the necessary trainingIt is not as simple as adding technologyOur HR advisory service can access how these changes as a result of the pandemic affect a persons performance, how you plan to measure their performance and what recommendations can be made for re-training staff.” 

 HR’s role in 2021 and beyond 

HR has to continually build relations with the staff and act as an advisor to staff and employers to resolve any issues Traditional employee interactions have forever changed where they may no longer host staff functionssports days or Christmas dinners. HR can partner with staff to reinvent the employee experience and make staff a part of the planning process.”  HR teams will measure results as staff engage in organized virtual interactive events and some outdoors excursions in small groups. This unforeseen situation has presented an opportunity for better camaraderie and teamwork but also a new found respect for HR.  

Chat with us to discuss what are your employee challenges and how we can help you. Schedule a call with Mariska Seereeram at mariska@crsrecruitment.co.tt 

 

Author: Johanna Thomas 

Knowing what to leave on or off a resume is sometimes difficult. CRS General Manager, Mariska Seereeram, offers sound advice to jobseekers and freelancers on what to put in their resume to bag that new job.

Showcase Competencies and Achievements

Jobseekers need to carefully review the job details of the role they are applying for and ensure that it is easy for the Hiring Manager to identify the key experience, skills and competencies  required for the role. “When the Hiring Manager reviews a person’s CV, they are looking for specific things. Case in point, for an accounting position, they are looking for certain key words; bank reconciliation, financial statements and the accounting software. Your résumé  represents you ,makes the first impression and determines whether you get the first interview or prescreening.”

Don’t resend the same CV

“If you are ready for the next career step, don’t re-send the same CVs as when you were an assistant or in a junior position. You must update your resume to show the new skills, qualifications and experience you have acquired, thus making you the right candidate for this new role.”

Mariska shares one simple adjustment she made to a client’s resume. She recalled a situation where the role the candidate wanted to apply for required supervisory experience. The candidate’s current role was junior and leading a team was not one of her core responsibilities. When coaching the candidate  Mariska  realized that the candidate did participate in a project to develop a new product line in the company over five months in which she did have a lead role. The was not part of her normal daily duties but a major achievement which the candidate did not consider highlighting in her resume.

Be concise. Showcase the best.

For our candidates applying for executive or even leadership positions, their resume must be tailored to show these competencies. Mariska shared her experience of helping a candidate apply for a COO position.  Mariska recalls, “This candidate had all the qualifications and experience but her resume was 6 pages long and the format only showcased her legal background.  I redesigned her resume to a C Suite format and highlighted her experience in strategic planning ,business and management while still including details her legal background.”

Hiring CRS Resume Writing Service

There is added value to our CRS Resume Writing Service. CRS is not just a recruitment provider, we work closely with candidates in improving their CVs via our Resume Writing service. Ms. Seereeram said, “We offer the service of looking at your CV from the Hiring Manager’s perspective and provide continuous support through including interview preparation.”

In our current work environment, CRS has adapted to using Zoom and Microsoft teams to conduct virtual sessions with our candidates. These sessions are used to get a proper understanding of the candidates and their prospective career opportunities. Mariska states “We go through line by line together. There is collaboration in how the CV is written. It is drafted, then re-drafted and recommendations are made. Then we go it over again with suggestions and do some further editing.” At CRS, it is a collaborative process with the candidate as we provide additional support.

Freelancers’ portfolios as marketing tools

Freelancers, are very certain of what they want and the type of projects they want to work on. On the other hand, as compared to other jobseekers who are looking for a permanent job in a different company. Mariska notes that, “With freelancers the structure of their CVs will be a little different. It will not be a regular CV.  They can showcase their work via an online portfolio with links to current and past projects if possible.”  This portfolio has to be designed as a marketing tool rather than just a CV. She adds, “This is where we can help freelancers really put their accomplishments, their projects down and format the portfolio properly.” This will also allow prospective companies and clients to verify their work as well as references.

CRS is not just a recruitment agency. We offer a unique, collaborative and supportive experience for our candidates and clients via our professional resume writing services as they venture into new career paths.

 

Need our help? Book a session with Mariska at mariska@crsrecruitment.co.tt 

 

Author: Johanna Thomas 

 

By Angela Lee Loy, Chairman – Aegis Business Solutions, Eve Anderson Recruitment and Caribbean Resourcing Solutions

 

We can all agree that COVID-19 is going to be with us for a while and this is forcing us to change the way we do business. I don’t have a magic ball to see the future and how 2021 will evolve. But there are a few areas businesses can explore further for development and this is based on some key areas that emerged over the last year.

 

Are you reviewing your physical space?

Many companies are shrinking their offices spaces and testing the capabilities of their online networks. Although many parents are struggling to meet the demands of homeschooling their kids whilst managing work, the reality is, many of them may not have a reason to return to their physical office once things improve.

The Banking Sector is also reviewing their real estate space(s) and are restructuring based on their current and future needs. As they begin to restructure, some retail operations have already started exploring the process of moving inventory to increase sales transactions online. Foot traffic continues to decline therefore making rent and leases more difficult to sustain.

The landscape is changing at an unbelievable pace. The real estate business continues on decline as many of the traditional brick and mortar stores are now operating online or are in the process of transitioning to that model. This is happening globally. Our cities and downtown areas will evolve as we continue to move operations and customer experiences online in the Caribbean.

As a leader in any business, irrespective of the sector, it is important to invest the time now to move your operations online. It is extremely important to support your staff in getting the right tools, training and, developing the right attitudes for successful remote working.

 

Are you exploring new areas of service?

We have to pivot our business as the landscape changes. People need to re-examine and analyze which of their services cannot work during this pandemic and explore new areas for development.

One example is the hotel industry. Across the Caribbean, we are dependent on tourism. With a significant decline in air travel, our hotels and bed and breakfast businesses are suffering and a critical part of this is food and beverage revenue. Some restaurants have implemented ‘curbside pick-up’ and others have reduced their services in one area to make room for new services. This is to help generate the revenue and to also support the business through this challenging time. There are even those business owners and sole traders who have completely changed their entire business. I anticipate many people may take this route and completely start another business.

As a business owner, you must continue to look at your business differently now, without the emotional attachment of your original vision. Businesses have to evolve. Think about what services are needed at present and determine how you can meet those needs with the current resources you have.  Continuously ask yourself, ‘What else can I do?’ and do your research and adjust accordingly.

 

How often have you asked your employees, ‘How are you doing?’

We all have different personalities. Introverts may enjoy working from home at this time and avoiding their videos on Zoom meetings. Extroverts on the other hand, need social interaction. They may feel isolated at times and miss coming in the office environment to see their colleagues.

As we continue to navigate the challenges ahead in 2021, we have to book time in our diaries to check-in on those who work for us. Exploring ways to continuously keep our employees engaged in our business during this challenging period is important. As an owner, ask yourself, ‘How can I better understand the challenges my employees are experiencing so that we can work in solidarity with each other?’

 

Find new ways to support local

As foreign exchange continues to be more difficult to obtain, businesses should begin to explore how to produce things more locally and collaborate with local suppliers, innovators and research institutions. We cannot do it alone. But, we can do it together. This is the time to innovate, plan and prepare. This could well be a time when your businesses ‘leap frogs’ into the future.

Our manufacturing sector is extremely vibrant in Trinidad and Tobago and there are a lot of things that can be produced locally. This could be a period of innovation and adaptability for the manufacturing sector.

 

Invest in technology

If you are already investing in technology, that’s great. But it does not end there. As a business owner, I am constantly looking into new technologies with my IT Manager to ensure I have the competitive advantage. Technology is changing so rapidly. As we buy a new phone or software, there is already another version out on the market.  Delve into the details of your business to explore what efficiencies you can create through the use of technology so that you can focus on your staff to manage more meaningful work.

One of the areas I am fascinated by is – hydroponics in the agriculture sector. I firmly believe we need to continue to encourage people to grow our own food, buy local and support the new local products many people are developing. If you are not into technology and innovating  your services, you will be left behind.

Further your knowledge

The world is your oyster. You are no longer limited by geographic location to learn something new and with technology, you can have a wide array of products and services to market and sell.  Education is going to be key.  What education do you need to give your children now as we move forward? What skills do you need to learn as a business owner to move your business more online? We can look at every area across all industries and dissect it – how can I learn to do this better? What are the tech trends in my industry? There is so much to learn.

 

Be an authentic leader

People are struggling and things are getting more difficult. Whilst profitability is important, in 2021 it is not the most important thing as we work towards resetting. We have to think about the people working with us. If we don’t have people working, economies cannot move forward. Yes, businesses will take a massive hit and these businesses will dive into reserves for survival.

As difficult as it is, we have to look at maximizing your people. You can come together as an organization, communicate the situation and let them know what compromises can be done. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

You do not always know individual employees’ situation, so you need to have these honest conversations and be prepared to be vulnerable. Your employees will surprise you. The profitability will come. You cannot think short-term for long-term solutions but you need to work together.

If you are a leader and reading this – don’t lose sight of what is important. You have to understand this – ‘It is important to have business but the business you have is dependent on the people working for you.’ If you don’t treat your people right, you cannot expect them to give 100 percent? It is a partnership.

Shareholders with a dual role of director are in the position to determine their remuneration, as well as, they had many years to build their nest egg. Managers  and staff do not have that discretion. During these COVID times, shareholders/directors could survive on less.

 

There are going to be many things you can do differently in 2021 but there are some fundamentals that are emerging:

  • Isolation is real. Stay connected regularly.
  • Technology is the way forward. Educate yourself.
  • Retail space is on the decline. Build an online business.
  • Support local and seek opportunities.
  • Authentic leadership is key at this time.
  • Whilst profitability is important, it is not the main thing.

 

Angela Lee Loy is Chairman of leading business outsourcing firm, Aegis Business Solutions and the two longest standing recruitment agencies in the Caribbean, Eve Anderson Recruitment and Caribbean Resourcing Solutions. All three companies work together as a business hub for local and international companies operating in the Caribbean including Guyana. For more information, visit www.aegistt.com, www.eveandersonrecruitment.com, www.crsrecruitment.co.tt

View our story on page 19 and other stories here – https://amchamtt.com/Linkage-3/2020

 

How 20 minutes with your staff can lead to creative solutions and increased engagement? 

Stay Interviews are informal one-on-one structured discussions between a supervisor and a team member. It’s designed to provide insight into what keeps employees working for an organization and what aspects need improvement.  It is a conversation meant to identify the factors that drive an employee’s individual retentionengagement and morale. 

This is good way to get employees to feel part of the decision making of the company, get creative solutions on how they think the company can look at their services , new technologies and tap into the talent apart outside of the strategic level. This virtual world is a great setting for millennials thrive. By engaging staff this way, employers show individual support, empathy and motivate employees to be continue pushing through the pandemic, because now they engaged. 

 

The Benefits of a Stay Interview  

  • The information from interviews can also help to redefine your human resource strategy going forward. 
  •  Stay Interviews show that you recognize and admire the commitment and contributions of valued employees and that you care about their job satisfaction.  Furthermore, the employer can learn from employees their definitive reasons for continuing to work for this organisation 
  • These interviews will provide knowledge on how to retain current and valued employeesManagers can engage their teams to work better and increase productivity while still motivating them. 
  • Stay Interviews can create a trusting employee-employer relationship.
  • COVID-19 pandemic has led companies to adopt a work from home approach to ensure the safety of workers. Additionally, staff interaction and activities are less frequent or non-existentStay Interviews allows employers to know how staff want to be engaged and that they want to contribute to planning and organizing of such initiatives. 

 Tip: For new hires, Stay Interviews should be held in the first three to six months. For confirmed employees, it should happen at least once a year  

The saying, “You don’t’ know what you have until its gone.”, are very wise words employers should heed. You don’t want to receive a resignation letter from one of your valued employees. Caribbean Resourcing Solutions (CRS) can assist you with this stay interview process 

As your external Human Resource Partner, we will assist you in learning the possible reasons for why your staff stay and why they may possibly leaveStay Interviews can build trust between employers and employeesMost importantly, the insight gained in these interviews causes changes to be made to support and motivate staff in their work environment which leads to the betterment of the organisation 

 

 

 

New year and new opportunities await jobseekers. As candidates enter the workforce or continue the job search in 2021, here are some tips to help jobseekers’ level up and bag that job.

 

It’s time to upskill 

Upskilling refers to the process of individuals learning new or additional skills. In this competitive job market, stand out by embracing and acquiring new skills. There are a number of free online courses being offered by FacebookLinkedIn and Coursera. For example, take this time to learn how you can improve your communication, organizational or even leadership skills.  

 

Keep your video interviewing and tech skills sharp 

As companies continue to work remotely, some Human Resource Managers and Recruiters are conducting online interviews. Thus, job seekers need to be prepared for video interviews and conduct themselves the same way as if it were an in-person interview.  Furthermore, the interviewee (you) must dress appropriately, set up for the interview in a well lit sound proof room and be prepared. Being technological savvy is also an asset in 2021 as this skill can aid in attaining a job. For instance, more computer-based and smartphone devices are being utilized by companies to conduct business, so being competent is a must.  

 

Tailor your resume for each application 

Customize different applications for each employer. Also, mention your capabilities and successes in different areas or industries.  

 

Apply for jobs in industries that are still hiring despite the COVID-19 pandemic  

Technology and Telecommunications industries are still hiring. In spite of the COVID-19, both sectors have continuous growth as technical expertise, connectivity and videoconferencing are in demand at this time. Click to view job postings for an  IT Analyst  and aInformation Technology Administrator. An expanding industry may just be the place for you to work right now. Furthermore, remote work is the new normal so do not dismiss jobs that are not in an office. View vacancies for BookkeeperPayroll Officer and Administrative Assistant. Be open as the workplace is now anywhere once you have a laptop and internet connectivity.  

 

Stay up to date on trends in your industry  

It is important to learn as much as you can about the position or industry you plan to work in. So, stay informed of developments by following companies and professionals in your field on LinkedIn, Facebook and also check companies’ websites or blogs. Also, networking with industry professionals will also keep you in-the-know.