Top issues for people with HR jobs in South Africa
Other employment issues include:
Salary pressure on employers
The Global Financial Crisis induced salary slowdown seems to be a distant memory in light of the various strikes around the country. Employers meanwhile are responding to the emerging shortage of skills with a greater willingness to review salaries, but not always to the extent to what the employees are demanding. Another issue also adding to salary pressure is headhunting. Professionals with skills in demand would also properly expect healthy salary increases in 2011; otherwise they could always enter the job market again to look for greener pastures.
Will Bonuses Kept Getting Paid
This has become a very sensitive topic towards the end of 2010. Employees in companies in South Africa have become used to bonuses at the end of every year. However if companies were freezing salaries in 2009, there were cases of significant annual bonuses being awarded in 2010, particularly at the executive level. But in response many companies faced a revolt from shareholders against what they perceived to be excessive executive payments. Changes to bonus structures are expected in 2011 as a result of the growing number of shareholders engaging on pay structures. As a result, this will certainly be a very interesting space to watch in 2011.
In terms of bonuses for the mid and senior levels positions in South Africa, underachievers need to start to brace themselves. I feel that employees should not begin to expect end of year bonuses anymore. Employers are still trying to curb their spending and unless employees are adding value to the company, employees should not always expect their bonuses from now on.
Stopping scarce skills leaving the country
As always increasing number of skilled South Africans is once more heading overseas for work following improvements to certain international markets. Asia in particular is a clear attraction, since organisations in Asia came out of the Global Financial crisis in a better shape than their North American or European counterparts, and salaries are also slowly rising. Another area that seems to be an attraction to potential employees is the Middle East or North and West Coast African countries in the oil and gas sector. The pay on these jobs is extremely good and often tempting to employees who want to make some good money. Although the UK and Europe are yet to regain their popularity, there is no doubt that, once their economy strengthens, they will again become prime destinations for the overseas working experience that so many South Africans dream of.
“Employers are using bonus schemes, health and life insurance, gym memberships, stock options or education benefits to try to stem the flow, but it is time to get more innovative when it comes to retention in order to hold onto key staff. This means looking at more than just salary and benefits, towards the implementation of solid career development plans.”
A shadow over the resources industry
The dire shortage of specialist skills faced by the resources, oil and gas industry comes in the shadow of the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile and the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. What impact will these events have on the growing need for human capital, particularly graduates? Generation Y employees are nothing if not environmentally and safety aware. So an ongoing challenge for the industry globally in 2011 will be to reduce the number and severity of incidents and address the concerns of job seekers.
Social media’s influence grows in every department
The use of Social Media is growing throughout the world. No longer will it be the technological advanced employers that use social media to cross-reference candidate’s employment history or what they say about their old employers. It is so easy for an employer to view the profile of a potential employee or Google their name to see what they have done. So if you are looking for a job, make sure that your online presence gives a good impression of how you want to be perceived by the world. Public available information though, doesn’t only have to be used for potential employees. When employers are considering promotions and succession planning this online information can also be used. So for the future years ahead make sure at all times, your online profile remains your own but still professional.