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Never Give Up on Your Job Search – Target, Adapt, Succeed!

Are you feeling discouraged in your job search? It’s essential to remember that landing the perfect job can be a challenging journey, but it’s also one filled with opportunities for growth and success. Don’t give up! Instead, let’s explore some strategies that will help you stay motivated, focused, and ready to seize those opportunities as they arise.

  1. Target Your Job Search: Begin by identifying your strengths, skills, and passions. What do you excel at, and what truly ignites your enthusiasm? Tailor your job search to align with your aspirations and strengths. This focused approach will not only make your search more manageable but also increase your chances of finding a role that brings you satisfaction and fulfillment.
  2. Set Clear Goals: Define your career goals and objectives. Whether you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder, switch industries, or start your own venture, having a clear vision will help you stay motivated and on track. Break your goals down into smaller, actionable steps to make them more achievable.
  3. Stay Informed and Adaptable: The job market is constantly evolving, so staying informed about industry trends, new technologies, and emerging opportunities is crucial. Be open to adapting your skillset and learning new things. This adaptability will make you more attractive to potential employers and open doors to unexpected opportunities.
  4. Networking Matters: Don’t underestimate the power of networking. Reach out to colleagues, friends, and industry contacts. Attend events, join online forums, and engage with professionals in your field. You never know when a connection might lead to your dream job or provide valuable insights into your chosen industry.
  5. Investigate Opportunities as They Arise: Sometimes, opportunities may present themselves when you least expect them. Keep your eyes open for job postings, even if you’re not actively searching. Your dream job might be just one click or conversation away. Be ready to act when an exciting opportunity crosses your path.
  6. Stay Persistent and Positive: The job search process can be challenging and sometimes disheartening, but remember that rejection is a part of the journey. Stay persistent, maintain a positive mindset, and learn from each experience. Each setback brings you one step closer to success.
  7. Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from friends, family, mentors, or career advisors. Sharing your challenges and successes with others can provide valuable insights and encouragement to keep moving forward.

In conclusion, your dream job is out there, waiting for you to claim it. Stay focused, set goals, be adaptable, and never give up. Investigate opportunities as they arise, and remember that each step you take in your job search is a step toward achieving your career aspirations. Keep your determination high, and success will be yours. Your journey might be tough, but it will be worth it!

Embracing Retainer-Based Recruitment: A Paradigm Shift for South Africa

In today’s competitive and fast-paced business landscape, the “war on talent” has become an all-encompassing challenge for companies worldwide. The ability to secure top-tier talent is essential for sustained growth and success. Internationally, the recruitment industry has been adapting to this reality by shifting towards retainer-based recruitment, a practice that offers a myriad of advantages for both clients and recruiters alike. However, in South Africa, this trend is yet to gain the momentum it deserves. In this article, we will explore the benefits of appointing a recruitment firm on a retainer basis, rather than a traditional success fee (contingency) model, and how it can revolutionize the way companies secure top talent in the region.

Advantages of Retainer-Based Recruitment:

  1. Enhanced Commitment and Priority: By engaging a recruitment firm on a retainer basis, companies foster a stronger commitment from the recruiters. Retained roles receive heightened priority, ensuring that the search for talent receives the utmost attention and dedication. Recruiters are incentivized to invest more time and effort in understanding the client’s specific needs and culture, leading to a more tailored approach in identifying the right candidates.
  2. Focused and Selective Assignments: Retained recruiters take on fewer assignments compared to their contingency counterparts. This strategic approach allows them to focus on delivering quality rather than quantity. With the assurance of a steady income, recruiters can be more selective in the roles they take on, enabling them to invest the necessary time and resources in sourcing top-tier candidates effectively.
  3. Professionalism and Transparency: Adopting a retainer-based model adds a level of professionalism to the recruitment process. Recruiters can confidently present themselves as retained partners of the client when approaching potential candidates. This transparency fosters trust and credibility, making the candidate feel valued and respected from the outset.
  4. Improved Collaboration and Feedback: Retainer-based recruitment promotes better collaboration between the client and the recruiter. A consistent feedback loop is established, allowing the hiring manager to stay informed about the progress of the search and the candidates approached. This open communication ensures that the recruitment strategy can be fine-tuned throughout the process, leading to more successful outcomes.
  5. Demonstrated Commitment: By opting for a retainer model, clients display their commitment to the recruitment process. This investment signifies that the client is genuinely interested in securing the best talent for their organization. It showcases a long-term approach to talent acquisition and sends a positive message to potential candidates about the company’s dedication to its workforce.
  6. Shared Risk and Lower Rates: Retainer-based arrangements often involve sharing the risk between the client and the recruiter. This shared responsibility incentivizes the recruiter to work diligently to find the most suitable candidates. Consequently, recruiters may offer their services at a lower rate, making it a cost-effective option for companies seeking top talent.

Disadvantages and Mitigation:

  1. Engaging the Right Recruiter: One potential risk of retainer-based recruitment lies in engaging the wrong recruitment firm, which might lack the capacity or expertise to fulfill the role effectively. To mitigate this, companies should conduct thorough research and due diligence before selecting a recruitment partner. Look for a firm with a proven track record, industry experience, and a solid understanding of your company’s needs.


As the global marketplace for talent continues to intensify, the recruitment industry must adapt and innovate to meet the challenges of securing top-tier candidates. Embracing retainer-based recruitment offers significant advantages for both clients and recruiters, fostering enhanced commitment, professionalism, collaboration, and shared risk. While South Africa might be lagging behind in this trend, the time has come for companies to explore the benefits of this approach to gain a competitive edge in the “war on talent.” By strategically selecting the right recruitment partner and adopting a retainer-based model, South African businesses can revolutionize their talent acquisition strategies and unlock unprecedented growth and success in an increasingly competitive world.

Candidate Advice: Going for the interview.

Interviewing for a job can be nerve-wracking, but you can increase your chances of success with the right preparation and mindset. Here are some tips on what to do when going for an interview:

  • Research the company and its mission, values, culture, and products or services. This will help you prepare answers to questions like “Why do you want to work for this company?” and “What do you know about us?”
  • Research the people who will be interviewing you if you have their names. It can help to break the ice if you know their hobbies, interests or where they studied.
  • Prepare for common interview questions like “Tell me about yourself,” “What are your strengths and weaknesses,” and “Why should we hire you?” Practice your answers to feel more comfortable with your responses.
  • Dress appropriately by wearing clean, ironed, and well-fitting business attire. Research the company’s dress code beforehand to make sure you’re on the same page.
  • Be punctual and arrive at least 10-15 minutes early to give yourself time to check-in and calm your nerves.
  • Bring copies of your resume and any other relevant documents like your portfolio or references.
  • Be engaged and enthusiastic during the interview by making eye contact, listening carefully, and responding thoughtfully. Convey your passion for the role and company, and ask any questions you have.
  • Follow up after the interview with a thank-you note or email to show that you’re courteous and professional. Reiterate your interest in the position and ask if there are any next steps.

In summary, by researching, preparing, dressing appropriately, being punctual, bringing relevant documents, being engaged and enthusiastic, and following up, you can make a positive impression on the interviewer and increase your chances of landing the job. Good luck!

Candidates – Is your CV Internationally Ready?

When applying for jobs in other countries, it’s important to tailor your CV to the specific culture and expectations of the hiring company. Here are a few tips for South African job seekers looking to format their CVs for international job applications:

  1. Keep it simple: Avoid using fancy graphics or layouts, as these can be difficult for international hiring managers to read. Stick to a clean, professional design that is easy to read.
  2. Use the right language: Make sure your CV is written in the language of the country you’re applying to. If you’re not fluent in the language, consider hiring a professional translator to help you.
  3. Highlight your international experience: If you have any international experience, make sure to highlight it on your CV. This could include previous work experience abroad, language proficiency, or international education.
  4. Include a personal statement: A personal statement is a great way to introduce yourself to international hiring managers. Keep it brief and to the point, and focus on your skills, experience, and qualifications that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  5. Follow the local format: Research the CV format that is commonly used in the country you’re applying to, and make sure to follow it. This will show that you’re familiar with the local culture and customs.
  6. Check for errors: Proofread your CV multiple times before sending it. Check for spelling, grammatical, and formatting errors.
  7. Clearly describe your previous employers: In the experience section of your CV, make sure to clearly describe your previous employers in terms of the size of the company, industry, and location. This will give international hiring managers a better understanding of the type of work you’ve done and the environment in which you’ve done it. Even if your previous employer is well-known in South Africa, it may not be as well-known in other countries, so it’s important to provide as much information as possible.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to formatting a CV that will help you stand out to international hiring managers. Remember to be honest, be specific and keep it simple and easy to read.

Candidates – 8 tips for a great cover letter

A cover letter is a critical part of every job application as it serves as an introduction to yourself and your qualifications. It is typically sent along with a resume, and should complement and add additional information to the information provided in the resume.

Here are some tips for writing a cover letter for a job application:

  1. Tailor the cover letter to the specific job and company. Be sure to research the company and the job you are applying for, and make sure to mention specific aspects of the job or company that interest you in the cover letter.
  2. Start with a strong introduction. The first sentence of your cover letter should grab the reader’s attention and entice them to read further. Use this space to introduce yourself and explain why you are interested in the position.
  3. Highlight your qualifications. Use specific examples from your past experience and achievements to demonstrate how your skills and qualifications match the requirements of the position. It will give a sense that you have done your research on company and position.
  4. Show your personality and enthusiasm. Use a friendly and professional tone throughout the cover letter, and be sure to express your enthusiasm for the position and the company.
  5. Keep it concise and to the point. Cover letters should be no longer than one page (often less), and should be easy to read and understand. Avoid long-winded sentences and get straight to the point.
  6. Include your contact information at the end of the letter. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and email address so the employer can contact you.
  7. Proofread your letter. Make sure your cover letter is free of spelling and grammar errors, as this is an indication of your attention to detail and professionalism.
  8. If you are sending your CV via email, make sure that the cover letter is part of the email body (not an additional attachment).  Don’t make the reader open extra documents if not necessary.

By following these tips, you will be able to create a strong and effective cover letter that will make a great first impression on potential employers.

It is also worth noting that some companies might be using an ATS (Applicant Tracking System) which is a software that will scan and analyze resumes and cover letters. Make sure your letter contain some of the key skills, keywords, qualifications and experiences as stated on the job advertisement.  This will help to increase your chances of getting through the initial screening process.

Best of luck.   Hope you land the job.


6 Ideas for Staffing in a Scarce Skills Market

In spite of the fact that South Africa’s unemployment rate is expected to average at around 25% in 2012* and the fact that many companies downsized during the last few years due to the global recession, finding top talent especially in areas of scarce skills is more difficult than ever. The reason is two fold. Firstly, traditional methods of advertising a vacancy (whether in the media or online) often attract an avalanche of desperately seeking candidates and filtering these is a long and tedious process. Secondly, the top candidates have their heads down and are so buried in what they are doing that they don’t have time to look at other opportunities. So as a hiring manager, what can you do to make sure that your company has the best staff? Here are 6 ideas.

  1. Look after your current staff.
    Don’t wait until your key person resigns before you wake up to their needs and then scramble to buy them back. Statistics show that 75% – 90% of employees who accept counter offers are looking again within 6 months**. So if you do buy back an employee with a counter offer, the chances are you are just buying some time. Better to put in the effort to keep them happy before they start looking around. Find out what motivates your staff – you’d be surprised at how often it isn’t just money.
  2. When recruiting, look for the passive candidates.
    In a scarce skills environment, if a candidate is actively looking and has placed his or her CV on job boards, they are likely to be swamped by calls from recruiters and companies, usually for positions they aren’t qualified for or interested in. These candidates are often the ones who take a job, and move again a few months later. Passive talent, on the other hand, are likely to be buried in their work. They aren’t actively looking for other opportunities, but when the right opportunity arrives, they will move. Knowing where the best passive talent is camped out, and approaching them, often takes extra skill and a unique selling point, but more often leads to a better, more stable appointment. Finding passive candidates requires skill and time. Use a good 3rd party (eg. Search agent) if need be. The fee is negligible when compared to the value your dream candidate adds to your company.
  3. Sell the job in the Interview.
    So many times the interviewer forgets that the interview is a two way street. The candidate is also deciding whether he or she would like to work for your company. Show them what makes your company special. You will regret it if after all your recruiting you identify the perfect candidate only to find they don’t want to work for you. Even if the candidate isn’t suitable and you decide not to hire them, they may end up working for your competitor – make them wish they were working for you.
  4. Be Flexible.
    In a skills short market, you should be looking for potential. Gone are the days when you went through a pile of CVs and systematically threw out all those who didn’t match each and every skill you have listed on your job specification. Today, the right attitude and the ability to learn far outweigh the skill. Knowing how to find out how to do something, and having the willingness to do it, is much more important than knowing how to do it. So look past the skills and look at the potential.
  5. Hurry up the Hire.
    Nothing kills a deal more often than time. In a skills scarce market, candidates don’t have the time or patience to sit through hours and hours of one interview after another. Streamline this process. If at all possible, get all the decision makers together in one interview. If this isn’t possible, at least consider other options like Skype or Telephonic interviews to make it easier on the candidate. Once you have identified the right candidate be decisive and make them an offer.
  6. Make an offer that is fair & Collaborative.
    We are no longer in an employment age where the offer is negotiable after it has been made. Any salary negotiation needs to be done at the start of the process. Often perceived benefits for the employer are not for the potential employee. A good candidate will not move for less money than what they are earning. Regardless of where the job is located or who the company is. Top candidates need to know what the bottom line on their payslip is going to be. Reflect this in the offer. Know beyond a shadow of doubt the offer is going to be accepted. This, to an extent, negates the threat of the counter offer. The days of making an offer below what has been agreed upon in the hope that, based on fear of loss, the candidate will accept are gone. Even if it is accepted, the trust has flown out the window before the person has even started. There is only one offer and it needs to be fair to both parties.


This blog is brought to you by Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.

Recruiting IT Developers

Are you battling to recruit IT developers? These chaps are difficult to find, and even more difficult to appoint. Do you want to know why?

The reason is that they are getting calls, often a few calls each week from people trying to recruit them. So they have the luxury of being extremely picky on the jobs they apply for.

The mistake most companies are making is that they are asking these candidates to spend hours doing tests and assessments before the candidate even knows if he or she wants the job. These candidates don’t mind doing these assessments – actually often times they enjoy it, but they are not prepared to spend 3 hours working on a project for free, especially for someone they don’t even know.

So what can you do?
Firstly, make sure that the person representing your company to these candidates knows what they are talking about. With all due respect to HR Managers throughout the country – unless they specialise in IT recruitment or come from an IT background they are usually not the right people to make the first approach to these candidates. Developers want to know about the project and technology used from other developers. So if at all possible, let your Snr Developer, IT manager or IT Recruiter make the first approach. By all means, bring HR in at the second interview stage.

Secondly, make the fist interview logistically as easy as possible. Consider meeting the candidate in a coffee shop – during lunch or after work. Maybe offer to do a skype or facetime interview to save them having to travel to the venue. Think out of the box. This isn’t going to be the one and only interview – so it doesn’t have to be too formal, but it will allow you to find out if you have a possible candidate.

Thirdly – sell them on the job, your company and the technologies used in this first interview. The old days of making a candidate answer 100 questions is long gone. This first interview should be a conversation. Check that the personality is a fit, and find out if you can work with this person, but most importantly, tell them about the company and the job and get them excited to work with you. Remember that you are going to check their skills at a later time. This first interview is a chance to get them wanting to spend the time to do that assessment.

Finally be quick. If you find a good candidate, don’t mess about. Check them thoroughly, ask them to do an assessment, do what you need to do to make sure you have the right person – but as soon as you know, make them an offer. These candidates want to work for companies who are decisive and willing to cut through corporate red tape. Show them that you can do this if you need to.

There are some fantastic development candidates out there at the moment. Many are returning to South Africa having gained experience overseas. You just need to work a little differently to appoint them.

Happy recruiting.

International Healthcare Recruitment

South Africa is well known and respected for the quality of Healthcare Professionals. They have a reputation of excellent skills, education and the willingness to work hard. Although we hate to see them leave the country, many of them are keen to travel and gain international experience.At Star Personnel, we have a team of consultants specialising in Healthcare Recruitment and currently have a large database of Nurses, Doctors and Specialists that are interested in opportunities in other countries.

If you are in need of Registered Nurses, Doctors or Specialists and would like to know more, please contact us or give us a call on 021 5511337.

If you are a Nurse, Doctor or Specialist, and you are interested in finding out your options to emigrate or contract outside of South Africa, please also make contact with us.

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The Linx Personnel Group

Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd. is the founding member of the LINX PERSONNEL GROUP…an Association of Personnel Recruitment Companies, Professional Staff Training Organisations, Industrial Relations Experts and Allied Staffing Services Companies, all working together to assist the CLIENT COMPANY, with a full range of human resources solutions.Our Member Companies provide a private and corporate database of screened, highly qualified applicants to meet each and every staffing need. Linx Member Companies are all specialists in a range of recruitment disciplines with extensive interviewing skills. Therefore as a Group we are able to work more efficiently, faster and with a greater degree of accuracy than any single agency.

Staffing services include: Permanent and Temporary staff, Contract Staff, Computer Training School and all matters relevant to Industrial Relation procedures. The latter includes practical support and advice from Labour Attorneys and Advisors on all matters involving the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, the Labour Relations Act and the new Equity bill.


Star Personnel Recruitment

Star Personnel Recruitment