Category Archives: Industry Insights

Meet Johanna Thomas, a Public Relations Professional and avid film enthusiast whose marketing and social media internship with CRS ignited her desire to pursue a career in Digital Marketing.

How is your internship experience going?

It has been extremely productive and has invigorated my desire to further explore Digital Marketing and Communication as a career.  The opportunity to assist CRS in their Social Media content creation and management has challenged me to become more expressive, creative and authentic. Social media is always evolving and the chance to work in this field,  with CRS and fellow interns has been an amazing experience.

What are you studying and why?

I’m currently a 3rd year student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and a Minor in Film Studies. I have worked in the field of Communication & Public Relations and wanted to further my studies. I enjoy watching films and wanted to deepen my knowledge in cinema but mainly Caribbean Cinema. I believe we have amazing stories to tell and I would like to assist filmmakers or anyone  in the promotion of their ideas or concepts.

Share your projects, ideas and what you want to achieve.

I want to achieve 1st Class Honors in Communication Studies with a minor in Film Studies  and graduate in 2021.  To become certified in Social Media Management is a goal, so I want to attain a certification from Hubspot Academy or any accredited institution. I want to work in a production company or state agency using Digital Marketing and Public Relations to promote projects or ideas for creatives. Being part of a production team that makes a film, is also a project worth pursuing. I would also love to own a company that produces and sells local juices.

We enjoy chatting about communities a lot and we would be keen to know what you think you would like to do with regards to your community and interests.

I would love to see more activities geared towards Youth Development. I was involved in an Arts Programme in my community that introduced me to photography, film & singing and this propelled me to study communications and film. I also became a member of  The Marionettes Chorale due to my involvement in that Arts Programme , so I would like to see similar initiatives that  allow youth to learn and develop holistically.

What advice would you leave with future interns about doing a volunteer internship during the vacation period?

During this unforeseen time, opportunities such as internships like this are hard to come by. However, once selected absorb as much information, network, take any free and online courses but also put what is learnt into practice. Being able to work remotely and still receive hands-on experience during the vacation period can give one the edge needed to secure employment or stand out amongst your fellow colleagues.

CRS Recruitment in Guyana
Our social media and marketing intern, Futima Fraser met up with our General Manager, Mariska Seereeram to learn more about our company CRS and how we are shaping our space in the recruitment industry in the Caribbean and now in Guyana.

Adapting to new climates

When it comes to talent recruitment and building business relationships, Caribbean Resourcing Solutions (CRS) aims to always be accessible and adaptable. CRS prides itself on being the premier Caribbean based agency specifically for technical recruitment, and in keeping with their vision of supplying candidates to all of the Caribbean, they have taken a proactive approach when it comes to entering the oil and gas industry in Guyana.

General Manager, Mariska Seereeram said,

“One of the key things for CRS is to let companies know that they continue to evolve in facilitating processes virtually and are able to operate remotely.”

Supporting local in Guyana

CRS shows a real take-charge attitude in supporting the local businesses in Guyana, CRS is very driven towards local firms and cares for their livelihood. In a statement, Ms Seereeram said, “It’s keeping up to date and informed with developments in Guyana and how these companies would be affected and developing solutions beforehand. Building a partnership with local organisations is also key.” There’s no doubt that businesses who choose to collaborate with CRS, will be in great hands.

As CRS embarks on this new venture in Guyana, you may be wondering if anyone from around the world, including locals can join their database of candidates? Well it’s now easier and more accessible than you thought. Once applicants apply and send their information to CRS and it’s received, they contact the candidate and get an understanding for what they are looking for.

Maintaining relationships

“I believe that’s what sets us apart from the competition – we get on a personal level with candidates. This is also a plus for our clients whereby we are sending candidates that have a skillset that we understand fully and we know will be ideally suited. So expectations between clients and candidates are aligned.” says Mariska. This demonstrates the kind of meaningful relationships CRS cultivates between employers and employees.

As it pertains to Covid-19, there have been some challenges, but recruitment is not one of them. CRS has been able to adapt and also help companies adapt to the virtual world as communication is key in this time. Though the borders may be closed and business at a stand still, CRS is committed to helping companies evolve and find alternatives.

CRS has a track record that proves they have what it takes to support companies and create lasting relationships.

Due to their forward thinking, they have established, through their registered office, partnerships with local firms in Guyana. They are determined to make this current endeavor a success. Through these times CRS stresses the importance of adaptability and continues to make themselves accessible to all the world.

Author: Futima Fraser

Meet Futima Fraser, a budding interior designer and future entrepreneur who shares her experience on our remote internship program.

This year CRS launched it’s first July/August vacation Caribbean remote internship in partnership with business outsourcing firm, Aegis Business Solutions’ and fellow recruitment agencies – Eve Anderson Recruitment and Professional Resourcing Solutions.

How is your internship experience going?

I have learnt so much and grown as a person. My favourite part about this whole experience is meeting so many inspiring and hardworking people. Aside from the Managers and employees at the company, every week we have virtual meetings with entrepreneurs and persons who are excelling in their chosen fields.

It is an incredibly rewarding experience, especially the fact that it is virtual. I am able to work full time and still be a part of this year’s internship.

What are you studying and why?

I have chosen to study Marketing because I would like to work in the creative field, and run my own business. It is a lot more interesting than a regular business degree and would be the perfect blend between the business aspect of my business and the creative aspect. This would allow me to run my business successfully.

I would like to be an Interior Designer. I enjoy art, graphic design, crafts, DIY projects, and videography. All of these will help me in my pursuit of becoming an interior designer.

We enjoy chatting about communities a lot and we would be keen to know what you think you would like to do with regards to your community and interests?

Currently I work alongside my NGO, Rotaract Club of Tobago to execute community projects. However, how awesome would it be to one day say that I make people’s lives better and more organized through a well designed space that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

What advice would you share to other interns about doing a volunteer internship over the vacation holidays?

Go for it 100%. I have learnt so much without sacrificing the traditional relaxation and leisure time of the July/August vacation holidays. However you have to be organized, so ensure you make note of due dates and set reminders for meetings etc. This is all made easy now with scheduling options and apps that you can download on your devices.

Lastly, just do your best!

Guyana’s developing energy industry has led to numerous opportunities for businesses, investments and prospective job seekers. With CRS establishing operations and partnerships in Guyana, General Manager, Mariska Seereeram shared her insights on this development.

She discussed how CRS can provide recruitment and talent management support to local and international businesses entering Guyana.

CRS focuses on talent management

CRS specialises in recruiting in the I.T. and technical field and this is a key service offered to firms in Guyana’s energy sector. CRS General Manager noted,

“The focus is on talent management solutions. Partnering with or assisting local businesses with their business objectives, strategies and understanding how we can assist them. Whether it be sourcing, full cycle recruitment or part of that function, training, interviewing process, on-boarding and even psychometric assessment.”

There are many ways in which CRS can provide support to firms in Guyana. Seereeram shared, “Recruitment is our core service but we support local businesses by providing solutions to problems beforehand. As a recruiter, providing advisory skills is key in recruitment. Keeping firms informed about ongoing developments in Guyana and how can this affect their business are some of the ways we can also lend assistance.”

With companies such as ExxonMobil in Guyana and recent discoveries of oil and gas in Suriname, CRS had the foresight to set up offices in Guyana.  This facilitation will assist firms and build strong relationships.

The need for talent management solutions is evident and when implemented strategically can align with the organization’s objectives and goals. Sourcing talent for various functions in engineering and I.T. are some of the areas CRS discovered is in most demand.

CRS is ready to partner with those companies and manage their recruiting needs.  This agency is also able to partner with other recruiting firms in Guyana to assist with those projects.

Attracting the best technical talent

The recruitment agency also lends support in talent acquisition which allows firms to acquire exceptional and skilled professionals in their respective departments. To note, attracting talent and aligning them with a company that is suitable and the right fit is also of importance. For example, a specialized engineer with specific skills is hard to find. CRS works with companies to develop attractive packages. Thus, compensation is an important course of action to recognize, reward employees and their contributions.  This acknowledges their value to the organization.

Innovation is key during COVID-19

It is clear that recruitment is an ongoing process and that it is evolving. Even in this unprecedented time, Mariska shared that COVID-19 has not stopped recruitment. It has forced companies to be innovative and adjust to this new normal. She stated, “In terms of COVID-19 we have been able to adapt.

Communication between client and candidate has become crucial during this time. The realisation is that businesses, employers and employees cannot do it alone. CRS is competent to recruit in the I.T. and technical field and can offer sound guidance in talent acquisition and compensation.

As firms chart their next quarters, CRS will be a wise resource to companies wishing to conduct business or employ people in Guyana.

To schedule a meeting, email info@crsrecruitment.co.tt

Author: Johanna Thomas

 

Energy Conference, 2020

This year’s Energy conference theme was ‘Shaping the Caribbean’s Energy Future’. Presentations from key players within the sector highlighted concerns and perspectives for strategic decisions.

While the future is bright regionally and globally, there are significant challenges with the Caribbean that needs to be addressed urgently.

The focus from keynote speakers this year at the conference were in the areas:

  1. Energy costs, also affected by technological innovations
  2. Climate changes – especially advocated by the youth
  3. Good local content policies and structures
  4. Upskilling  -continuous unlearning and learning, training in the use of technology to solve real world problems
  5. Moving towards a low carbon energy future
  6. Re-establishing the objectives of the Treaty of Chaguaramas in dealing with the issues around energy. Prime Minister Mottley expressed the need for the regional commitment amongst the sovereignty of the nations. Working towards the benefit of all, leveraging expertise.

Engaging Young Talent

The conference also highlighted those companies such as Shell, Atlantic and BHP who have demonstrated their creative approaches to engaging their young talent, harnessing the value that the millennials can bring to the table, especially in the time of digital transformation. Companies continue to demonstrate their continuous efforts and support in giving back to our local communities, which is so important in building a stronger society.

Our Chairman, Angela Lee Loy shared her perspective from the conference and her key takeaway for us as a tech recruitment firm in the Caribbean market was to continue to push boundaries and lead the way in connecting technical people to companies locally and internationally.

Caribbean Integration is needed

The address from the Hon. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados particularly resonated with us. “She was brilliant on pushing the focus on Caribbean integration and supporting each other through collaboration. After all, we are all small nations but collectively we have greater bargaining power and able to leverage on each other’s strengths across the Caribbean region particularly when it comes to renewable energy,” said Angela.

Going forward, our General Manager Mariska Seereeram shared, “With the increased focus on renewable energy, stakeholders are focused on re-training and developing the digital skills required to transition through this change. This shift in focus is what CRS has pushed for the last five years in encouraging and sourcing talent in the tech sector. We continue to pitch to companies the top IT talent that join our database locally, regionally and internationally.”

View pictures and full address by Dr .the Hon. Keith Rowley at the conference here via the Energy Chamber

The Annual Trinidad & Tobago Energy Conference and Trade Show concluded today, the theme was Technology: Transforming the Industry.

Presentations and updates from Upstream /Downstream Operators and Service Providers were of the highest calibre, also participation in this year’s conference was at record levels, surpassing attendance for the previous two years.

In his welcoming remarks Eugene Tiah, Chairman of the Energy Chamber of Trinidad and Tobago, highlighted the need for regulatory reform and local content to foster growth of our local Energy Services Sector. The Prime Minister (Dr. Keith Rowley) and the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries (Sen. Frank Khan) gave optimistic views of the outlook of our Energy Sector in the near to medium term. Listing contracts with Upstream Operators such as BHP, BPTT, EOG, Shell and DeNovo. And citing statistics on expected gas in 2019 /2020 and beyond.

Panel discussions focused on technology efficiencies dominated conversations. Claire Fitzpatrick, Regional President, BP Trinidad & Tobago indicated that society has a growing preference for cleaner energy, and producing from maturing fields with ageing infrastructure requires investment. Technology is needed to ensure efficient deployment of investment capital. Dereck Hudson, Vice President and Country Chair of Shell Trinidad and Tobago gave an example of how Shell used technology to keep business running at full capacity despite only having 20% of staff situated in a temporary office due to damages sustained during the major earthquake Trinidad and Tobago experienced  in 2018. Vincent Pereria, President of BHP indicated that technology and innovation would give our companies a competitive advantage in the future.

In general Speakers agreed that technology was a disrupter that would determine how T&T could make future possibilities a reality. Business leaders of Upstream Operators gave examples of the new technologies being used for deep water drilling, listing some of the required jobs in a technologically advanced Oil and Gas Sector including Data Scientists and Wind Turbine Technicians as well as the use of machine learning and coding. There was an overall belief that the future of the Energy Sector was one where there was a marriage of hydrocarbon energy, energy efficiency, and renewable resources. To that end a Charter on Energy Efficiency among Trinidad and Tobago’s Upstream and Downstream Companies was initiated.

In his Vote of Thanks Dr. Thackwray Driver, President and CEO of the T&T Energy Chamber indicated that the Chamber was making efforts to balance the score on gender equality in the Sector. The Chamber moved the statistic for female presenters at the Conference from 10% in 2018 to 20% in 2019. This year the Conference had its first “All Female” panel discussion which included Claire Fitzpatrick, Regional President of BPTT, Pria Narinesingh, Country Managing Partner EY, Penelope Bradshaw-Niles, Permanent Secretary (Ag.)  Ministry of Energy & Energy Industries, Siana Teelucksingh, Renewable Energy Consultant, Kristen Ray, Vice President Technology, BHP (Petroleum), and facilitator, Dr. Carla Noel-Mendez, Corporate Affairs Manager, BHP.

This morning I attended AMCHAM Trinidad & Tobago’s session on our Economic Outlook for 2019.

The Keynote Speaker; Professor Gerry Brooks, Chairman of NGC Group of Companies, gave some interesting statistics on Global Economic Growth for 2018 / 2019, which was estimated at 3.7%. He also gave comparative figures of estimated GDP growth for T&T in 2018 of 1.9%. Mr. Brooks said that 2018 was the first time in some years that our economy had returned to growth, citing gas field development and production as the main contributor. He expected the Energy Sector would continue to grow in 2019.

Mr. Brooks also indicated that Non- Energy Sectors were not expected to grow and the rate of decline in these sectors was not expected to change throughout 2019.

He purported that for our economy to continue to grow in 2019 and beyond, there was a need for diversification away from Oil and Gas, a revival of entrepreneurship, and support of the SME Sector. He also said that digitalization was a must, indicating that Government Ministries should invest in data platforms and shared services.

Mr Brooks remarks were the catalyst for a panel discussion,  which included; Patrica Ghanny (President of AMCHAM T&T), Gregory Hill (Managing Director of Ansa Merchant Bank), Ravi Tewari (Group CEO, Guardian Holdings), Garvin Joefield (Manager and Economist at Republic Bank) and Facilitator; Nirad Tewarie (AMCHAM CEO).

This morning I attended the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce’s Post Budget Analysis Meeting at The Banquet and Conference Centre Movie Towne.

Speakers included Mr Anthony Paul, Energy and Strategy Consultant, who showed compelling reasons for the need for diversification of Trinidad and Tobago’s Oil and Gas sector through knowledge and technology transfer from foreign technical experts to locals. He also made the case for increasing local content and boosting exploration activity.

Brian Jahra, Co-Founder and Chairman of CinemaONE Limited put forward a case for enabling greater SME activity in the economy saying that approximately 70% of businesses are SME’s and that good preforming economies have a high percentage of strong performing SMEs.

Wade George, Tax Managing Partner at Ernst & Young said that while this years budget didn’t have a heavy focus on tax he could recommend areas for future improvement.

The Feature Speaker, Finance Minister Colm Imbert, indicated that according to CSO statistics there was 2% real growth in GDP in 2018.

He also said the Manufacturing sector grew by 7% and the Petrochemical by 9%.

The Minister promised to pay VAT refunds over the coming year and hold off on increases to income tax for the next two years. He said that the La Brea Dry Dock Project is expected to provide 13,000 jobs. And the Foreign Exchange Tax Credit incentive will be operational by January 1st 2019.

I look forward to seeing more incentive mechanisms for SMEs and the Non-energy sector in future budgets.

Our Chairman Angela Lee Loy shared a few perspectives as guest speaker to the opening ceremony of Trinidad and Tobago Association of Retired Persons (TTARP) 25th Anniversary today.  To celebrate their milestone, TTARP hosted a two day expo at Centre of Excellence, Macoya.

“We must not underestimate the power and influence of those approaching and in retirement. Many executives are now rethinking what it means to retire” she said.

One of her key points was the contribution retirees make to society in areas such as charitable work with NGOs in mentorship and the time they can give. Another important aspect was their voluntary work and care to their grandchildren. This is crucial for parents, saving the family economy. She highlighted professionals who have retired are making great strides in our country’s development as they offer advisory services and expertise in various industries.

Above all, wisdom comes with age and this age group is able to provide the emotional support and friendship to their networks. She encouraged the next generation to build an inclusive society and appealed to parents to continue to engage their kids to collaborate with elders.

From all of us at CRS, we wish the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Retired Persons a happy 25th anniversary!

The Human Resource Association of Trinidad and Tobago (HRMATT) held its annual HR conference on “Disruptive HR, Leading Your People Through Economic Contraction” at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain in July.

The conference had 4 sessions with key speakers such as Alana Beaubrun, HR Manager at Methanex Trinidad who discussed talent development in challenging times. Alana demonstrated various ways to develop talent at zero cost. One way to develop talent was to allow employees cross functional acting opportunities.

Other areas discussed were people management playing an integral part of businesses’ ability to deliver goods and services to their clients. Effective people management is key to business performance. HR Managers must inform business  strategy by working closely with CEO’s / MD’s to achieve improved business performance,  efficiency and profitability. Especially in the current economic climate.

Another key aspect in these times, is HR practitioners ability to display high levels of emotional intelligence. Businesses can perhaps start employee engagement within the HR team before moving to other areas of the business.

Other key speakers were Richard Dick Soloman on “Redesigning the Organisation for Longevity”, L. Anthony Watkins on “Reframing Engagement” and Francis Wade who spoke about “How to develop an Assertive Blueprint to rescue your company’s productivity.”