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Stefan Lauber

CEOs reflect on spending the night on a freezing Joburg street for charity

CEOs reflect on spending the night on a freezing Joburg street for charity

Article written by Mpho Raborife.

Johannesburg – According to News24 , one mining boss slept for three and a half hours on the cold hard ground, a media head honcho slept on an empty stomach and a mayor managed to find a bench to nap on during the chilly early hours of Friday morning. This was all in the name of raising funds for a non-profit organisation called Girls and Boys Town.

By the end of the event at 06:00, more than R20 million had been raised. “It was freezing cold, but it didn’t get to us because we were already dressed for the weather,” Lonmin CEO Ben Magara told News24. “But it didn’t prepare us for the floor, it was hard and cold.

You were tossing and turning, it was a really humbling experience.” The CEO SleepOut initiative, hosted by Talk Radio 702, began at 18:00 on Thursday. More than 200 chief executives took part from the mining, banking, media and telecommunication industries. Participants were each given a cardboard box, a sleeping bag, a bread roll and a mug of soup for the night. There was a hub of activity as well as entertainment for the participants until lights went out at midnight. “I went to bed after 1 am and I was up by 4.30am.

The cold hard floor was a humbling experience,” Magara said. He described the initiative as good fun and a time to reflect on one’s own life and circumstances. “I grew up poor and you tend to forget. We really should do our part as citizens of this country … It was well worth it and I would do it again.”

CEO's from across SA spent a night on the Joburg streets as a part of the 702 Sun International CEO Sleepout challenge, which aimed to to raise money for Girls & Boys Town.

CEO’s from across SA spent a night on the Joburg streets as a part of the 702 Sun International CEO Sleepout challenge, which aimed to to raise money for Girls & Boys Town.

PHOTO: Gauteng Premier, David Makhura alongside i-Fundi Customer Solutions Managing Director, Stefan Lauber.

PHOTO: Gauteng Premier, David Makhura alongside i-Fundi Customer Solutions Managing Director, Stefan Lauber.

 

 

Mail & Guardian CEO Hoosain Karjieker, who is observing the month of Ramadan, said the event was timeous as he is already going through a period of reflection through fasting. “It’s good to know that there’s a wide group of people pulling for a similar cause. The fact that we raised a large amount of money from it was great. There was no romanticising it, it wasn’t made soft for us.”

Karjieker said feeling the cold hard ground, even though he was dressed warmly, made him think of those who slept on the streets daily, with even less clothing on their backs. “It was really tough. I had no idea of the pain one goes through in such cold weather and a hard surface. I don’t think I got a good sleep. “It highlighted the pain and suffering that people actually do go through. It’s really been implanted in my mind. Hopefully when we’re all back at our desks we will think about this.”

City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and Gauteng Premier David Makhura were the only top government officials at the event. Tau praised the private sector for leading the initiative. He said he managed to nap on a much sought-after bench in the vicinity for a short period.

“The opportunity was good, we got to interact with some of the country’s business leaders.” “We’ve never seen something like this before where the private sector went out of their way for a good cause and came out in their numbers,” said Tau’s spokesperson Phindile Chauke.

Article sourced from News24. 

Attract and Retain the Talent You Need

Attract and Retain the Talent You Need

  • Regardless of region or sector, companies are struggling to find the people they need to succeed. How is that possible in a country with millions of unemployed people?Stefan LauberStefan Lauber, the Managing Director of i-Fundi, blames the current fast food approach to Human Resource Management as the root cause of the problem. “When companies recruit, they are looking for readymade people. Candidates are expected to have a proven track record in a position that was very similar to one that is currently advertised. There is little time to prepare anyone. New staff is needed now, someone may just have resigned or a company may need new employees to fulfil a new order.”With no time to develop new talent for open positions, there is little else that companies can do but to recruit from the same limited pool of candidates. Company A will poach staff from Company B, only to lose someone else to a competing company. In the long term, this is a zero sum game, everyone loses, he said.

    It is estimated that the costs of recruiting and training an entry level person in a call centre can easily be R 20 000, not counting lost productivity and opportunities.  Companies can easily pay twice as much for senior positions not to mention the time it takes to replace senior staff.

    Of course businesses try to beat their competitors in the war of talent. Amongst the strategies that companies use, are better pay and the creation of attractive value propositions.

    What must companies consider to make their offer stand out? Research shows that potential employees are looking for growth – in terms of learning, being able to apply their skills and the opportunity to advance their career. Benefits and compensation are obviously important and so is work-life balance. Millennials also like an employer that has values with which they can identify.

    Paying more than the competition is however not necessarily going to work. If others follow suit it will simply raise the labour costs for the whole industry.

    In order for companies to succeed Lauber believes they must design clear career paths that are matched by a corresponding ladder of learning and remuneration structure. “ All too often such plans do not exist and if they do, they are not consistently communicated or implemented. In other words these plans gather dust and fail to either attract or retain staff.”

    In order for these plans to work, a company’s senior management needs to lead the charge. “At African Bank, every new employee entering the call centre is on a learnership. From there, outstanding performers, are enrolled on a supervisor qualification. All along, the company’s leadership is visible. This year alone, the CEO personally handed out over 200 certificates, taking a company picture with each of the graduates.”

    That solves another problem. There is a saying that employees do not leave companies but that they leave bad managers. Having well trained supervisors reduces attrition and improves performance.But where will a company find the time and budget to train inexperienced hires and develop new supervisors? Workforce planners need to work hand-in-hand with recruiters and trainers. Rarely are they part of the same team. Typically the latter are only brought in at the last moment to react to a staffing crisis. At this point, it will be too late to implement a proactive, lasting solution.

    Companies do have funding for such programmes, although they are not aware of it. The first place to find that funding is in the salary budget. New hires are willing to work for less. The second place where they will find savings is in the on-boarding budget. As attrition drops, recruitment and training costs decrease. And finally companies need to take advantage of government incentives, amongst them are the new Employment Tax Incentive, Learnership Tax Breaks and various SETA grants.

    “Companies can easily save up to R 50 000 per annum per person by bringing in new talent” Lauber concludes. “All it takes is for companies to become more proactive”

     

    Session Pic

    For your reference, please find the presentation by Stefan Lauber: Attract & Retain the Talent you Need Presentation

Attract & Retain the Talent you Need

Attract & Retain the Talent you Need

Regardless of region or sector, companies are struggling to find the people they need to succeed. How is that possible in a country with millions of unemployed people?

Stefan Lauber, the Managing Director of i-Fundi, blames the current fast food approach to Human Resource Management as the root cause of the problem. “When companies recruit, they are looking for readymade people. Candidates are expected to have a proven track record in a position that was very similar to one that is currently advertised. There is little time to prepare anyone. New staff is needed now, someone may just have resigned or a company may need new employees to fulfil a new order.”

With no time to develop new talent for open positions, there is little else that companies can do but to recruit from the same limited pool of candidates. Company A will poach staff from Company B, only to lose someone else to a competing company. In the long term, this is a zero sum game, everyone loses, he said.

It is estimated that the costs of recruiting and training an entry level person in a call centre can easily be R 20 000, not counting lost productivity and opportunities.  Companies can easily pay twice as much for senior positions not to mention the time it takes to replace senior staff.

Of course businesses try to beat their competitors in the war of talent. Amongst the strategies that companies use, are better pay and the creation of attractive value propositions.

What must companies consider to make their offer stand out? Research shows that potential employees are looking for growth – in terms of learning, being able to apply their skills and the opportunity to advance their career. Benefits and compensation are obviously important and so is work-life balance. Millennials also like an employer that has values with which they can identify.

Paying more than the competition is however not necessarily going to work. If others follow suit it will simply raise the labour costs for the whole industry.

In order for companies to succeed Lauber believes they must design clear career paths that are matched by a corresponding ladder of learning and remuneration structure. “ All too often such plans do not exist and if they do, they are not consistently communicated or implemented. In other words these plans gather dust and fail to either attract or retain staff.”

In order for these plans to work, a company’s senior management needs to lead the charge. “At African Bank, every new employee entering the call centre is on a learnership. From there, outstanding performers, are enrolled on a supervisor qualification. All along, the company’s leadership is visible. This year alone, the CEO personally handed out over 200 certificates, taking a company picture with each of the graduates.”

That solves another problem. There is a saying that employees do not leave companies but that they leave bad managers. Having well trained supervisors reduces attrition and improves performance.But where will a company find the time and budget to train inexperienced hires and develop new supervisors? Workforce planners need to work hand-in-hand with recruiters and trainers. Rarely are they part of the same team. Typically the latter are only brought in at the last moment to react to a staffing crisis. At this point, it will be too late to implement a proactive, lasting solution.

Companies do have funding for such programmes, although they are not aware of it. The first place to find that funding is in the salary budget. New hires are willing to work for less. The second place where they will find savings is in the on-boarding budget. As attrition drops, recruitment and training costs decrease. And finally companies need to take advantage of government incentives, amongst them are the new Employment Tax Incentive, Learnership Tax Breaks and various SETA grants.

“Companies can easily save up to R 50 000 per annum per person by bringing in new talent” Lauber concludes. “All it takes is for companies to become more proactive”

Do know that you can significantly reduce your labour costs?

  • Who would not like to pay less taxes, reduce their labour costs and encourage job creation?
    Who would not, I hear you say!
    SARS is offering exactly that opportunity to every employer, as Yolandi Esterhuizen from Sage VIP, explained at a recent workshop organised by i-Fundi.
    But hurry, this offer is only valid until 2016.
    To encourage job creation, SARS is willing to pay part of the salary, of every young person, that you employ for the first two years.  Important: The person hired, needs to be between 18 and 29 years old.

    How do you get this incentive?

    It’s really easy.
    You do NOT:
    • need to make any application
    • need to wait for a refund
    The benefit is instant and so does not strain your cash flow.
    All you need to DO:
    • tell SARS on your usual EMP 201 form, how much you claim for each young person hired and deduct that from your total PAYE amount that you were supposed to have paid.

    How much can you claim?

    That depends on how much you pay the person. The table below shows you how much you can save. The value of the incentive will decrease by half during the second year. An employer may only claim the incentive for the first two years that each young person has been hired.
    Salary1st year claim per youth2nd year claim per youth
    Up to  R200050% of salary25% of salary
    R 2001- 4000R 1000R 500
    R 4001- 6000from R1000 to zero on a sliding scaleFrom R 500 to zero on a sliding scale
    During the first year, the value of the incentive will be 50% of the monthly wage up to a monthly wage of R2,000.
    For wages between R2,000 and R4,000, the value of the incentive will be R1,000.
    For wages between R4,000 and R6,000, the incentive value will decrease linearly from R1,000 to zero.
    EXAMPLE: an employer who hires a young person with a monthly salary of R3,500 may decrease the amount of PAYE it needs to pay SARS by R1,000, while for a youth who earns R5,000 the employer may decrease the amount of PAYE it needs to pay to SARS by R500.

    How will SARS know that you are deducting the right amount?

    SARS assumes that you comply with all the requirements until it finds out otherwise during a tax audit. The penalities for making a mistake are not high, you simply pay back the amount for which you do not qualify.
    Some other terms and conditions apply:
    • The person must be employed by you, it does not matter whether the person is on contract, a part time or full time employee.
    • You are not allowed to replace an older employee with a younger one just to claim the incentive.
    • The person should have been hired by you on or after the 1st October 2013
    • Is in the possession of a SA ID or in possession of an asylum seeker permit
    • Must not earn less than the minimum wage as stipulated by the bargaining council in your industry
    • Your company taxes need to be up to date, or you must have made the necessary arrangements with SARS to get there.
    • If your total PAYE tax bill is less than the incentive claimed, you can carry that credit forward.
    • Government organisations do not qualify for the incentive.
    The terms and conditions listed here is not complete but it gives you a good sense of what you need to do to claim the incentive.  In essence, SARS made every effort to keep things simple.
    Nevertheless, as a company has youth joining on different dates and at various salary rates, it makes sense to automate the calculation of the incentive. “That is why Sage VIP has been updated to make the administration of the Employment Tax Incentive effortless”,  as Yolandi Esterhuizen from Sage VIP, explained.
    According to Stefan Lauber, from i-Fundi, the introduction of the Employment Tax Incentive is a major step forward. “Companies have now a whole host of incentives to bring new people on board”. Amongst them are:
    • The Employment Tax Incentive. Companies can easily save per recruit R 12 000 in terms of salaries.
    • They can save for every person on a learnership R16 800 in annual taxes.
    • They can also receive further learnership grants for the learners’ salary and training.
    • They can get a refund of up to 50% of their skills levies paid.
    • Plus they can earn valuable BBBEE points, which increases a company’s competitiveness.
    “That can easily add up to more than R50 000 per learner, which can give an employer free labour for up to a year.” Given the fact that anyone with more than 6 months work experience has an 80% chance to find employment, all of these initiatives can make a major contribution to the creation of jobs.
    For your reference, please find:
https://crm.zoho.com/crm/javascript/zcga.js">