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5 job roles that will be in great demand in 2018 - Dec 2017

At the onset of the new year, we present 5 job roles that will be in great demand in 2018

Accounting & Taxation

With VAT implementation date nearing, the demand for accountants and finance professionals is on the rise. Job seekers who have experience within Gulf, but also have VAT/tax expertise can expect attractive employment offers. As businesses may need experienced hands, Candidates with five to ten years’ industry experience will be highly sought after.

Technology or Digital

As businesses jump on the digital transformation bandwagon, more staff will be required to fill roles in the information technology department. Candidates who have the ability to manage large-scale projects, as well as those with analytical & logical skills with knowledge of business functions will be in great demand.

Financial Risk or Fraud Aversion

With the recent cyber-attacks and rise in fraudulent activities, fraud/risk aversion has become a priority for many organisations. Thus, there will be an increased need for professionals with better analytical skills, fraud prevention, audit, etc.

Human Resources & Administration

Human resources and administrative staff have become the backbone of UAE business, especially now that digital transformation projects are beginning to take effect, changing the nature of work. As a result, businesses are investing heavily in the training, development and retention of HR and administrative staff.

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Employee on a temporary break? Tips to manage your work - Nov 2017

When your employee plans a temporary break, whether few days or few weeks, there's always enough slack to take. We've listed some tips here to overcome stress and overwork while your employee is away.

Prioritise Tasks

Evaluate your tasks or projects, and knock-off the tasks that are important and urgent. Next tackle the tasks that are urgent, but may not be as important. This will help in ensuring critical projects are delivered as scheduled.

Communicate

Despite prioritization, it may not be possible to achieve all deliverables as planned. To handle such situations, identify well in advance the activities that may not be possible to accomplish. For all such activities, align with the concerned stakeholders.

Divide tasks amongst team members

Completion of crucial projects and activities can be done on time by dividing critical tasks amongst other team members.

Hire a Temp

Sometimes, dividing crucial tasks may overburden other employees and it could get difficult to manage the workload due to multiple priorities and business need. Also, some jobs such as reception desk, cannot be left empty. For such instances, hire a temp resource.

If all other options aren't working for you and you need to hire a temp, we can help you get the right substitute. Register today and book a temp any day through, TascTemp.

5 jobs that did not exist a decade ago - Oct 2017

Check out some jobs that did not exist a decade ago:

1 - Data Scientist

Data Scientists are big data wranglers. They take an enormous mass of messy data points (unstructured and structured) and use their formidable skills in math, statistics and programming to clean and organize them. Data Scientists then apply all their analytic powers – industry knowledge, contextual understanding, and scepticism of existing assumptions – to uncover hidden solutions for business challenges. They try to separate meaningful data from regressive one.

2 - Digital Marketing Expert

Digital media is one of the most popular tools for businesses to expand, advertise and reach its consumers. Digital marketing involves the use of marketing on a host of platforms – websites, social media and google ads. So, to reach millions of people around the world and expose them to apt advertisements, the need for digital marketers has gained a lot of steam.

3 - The Android Developer

The introduction of mobile apps has enabled people to engage, innovate and communicate in new and exciting ways. Technology has made people’s life easier and more enjoyable than ever before. With over a million people using android technology, mobile companies are increasingly hiring Android Developers to increase their reach and innovate, to move ahead.

4 - UX/UI Designer

User interface designers’ primary role is to provide the best user experience. The UX/UI designers’ role is to improve the overall feel of the product and how the product is laid out. They are in charge of designing each screen or page with which a user interacts and ensure that the UI visually communicates the path that a UX designer has laid out. With the brand’s increasing need to engage customers on an interactive, latest-technology website, UI/UX designers have been high in demand.

5 - Cloud Service Specialist

Right from managing the network to averting the risk of being hacked – a cloud service specialist is your digital doctor. With the influx of companies like Amazon and SalesForce, the demand for Cloud Service Specialist has grown to a vast extent. The reason being, a sharp rise in companies opting to study consumer behaviour and analyzing consumer trends.

TASC Consultants can help you with the recruitment of any of these roles. To contact, click here.

5 tips to minimize employee turnover - Aug 2017

Check out the below tips to reduce employee turnover

1 - Hire the Right People:

The optimum way to reduce expenses on hiring an employee is by hiring the right one. Hiring should be done as per the requirements. The candidate must be briefed precisely about the role so that no confusion prevails over his duties and responsibilities.

2 - Offer Flexibility:

Work-life balance is a preferred choice for most of the employees these days. Work benefits like work from home, flexible working hours, sufficient sick leaves, paid leaves, should all be provided so that the employee's personal life doesn't meddle with his professional one.

3 - Recognize and Reward the Employees:

Real-time recognition of an employee's efforts can go a long way in making up their mind to continue working for the company. By keeping tabs on their work and appreciating their consistent efforts, employees feel they don't merely work but are also a 'part of the organization'.

4 - Prioritize Employee Happiness:

A happy and positive work place is the best environment a company can provide to its employees. Meaningless office politics, inaccessible hierarchy, strict adherence to rules can all be dealt with. Try to find out what is making an employee unhappy at work space and labour turnover will automatically reduce.

5 - Focus On Their Growth:

Any employee's long term goal of working for an organization is to achieve an overall growth and add experience in his stride. Lack of growth prospects compels an employee to look for an opportunity elsewhere. Exposure to bigger projects, opportunities to add soft skills to their forte and timely promotions can go a long way in enticing them to stay loyal to the company, thus reducing employee turnover.

To meet a TASC Consultant, click here.

Quick Tips to improve your organization's efficiency by putting your best foot forward. - Aug 2017

An organization's efficiency is driven by how efficient we, their employees, are. Here are some quick tips that will help you put your best foot forward.

Focus on priorities

Free up time for the things you really want to do by simplifying your life. Let go of activities  that don’t contribute to your goals.

Network

Make networking with others in your field a priority. Schedule some time to meet for coffee or lunch or keep in touch via email and social networks.

Push boundaries

Try to challenge yourself in new ways. Seek out complex work and new ideas to avoid boredom and repetition.

Stay positive

Learn the importance of giving yourself pep talks, and keep the voice in your head positive. Stay focused, and be willing to work as hard as you need to.

To apply for a job, send your resume to dxbjobs@tascoutsourcing.com. If you have a staffing requirement to be fulfilled, click here.

Tips to hire more efficiently - Aug 2017

Here are some tips that will help you hire more efficiently.

1 - Involve Your Employees in the Hiring Process

Employee referral can be a great way to induct fresh talent in the organisation. Recommendations can reduce the time taken to hire an employee and  they can also assess if a candidate is a potential "fit" within your company.

2 - Use Your Website for Recruiting

A company's website portrays its vision, mission, value, goals and products. Creating an employment section which precisely states the positions available makes it easier to apply for a job thereon. Regular sections of required qualifications, job locality and other details also go a long way in urging more people to use a company's website for job search.

3 - Do a background check while recruiting

Recruitment can be a tricky thing if not done tactfully. Some employees might use documents or qualifications that are not authenticated or transparent. While some may have a criminal backdrop. Doing background checks ensure the company is not associated with any suspicious candidate nor is it synonymous when it comes to hiring frauds.

4 - Hire the right fix

Staffing is done right when the right person is hired for the right job. If there's an urgent requirement, an existing employee can perform the task or a senior can step in. But by being impatient and rushing towards filling a vacant position, can sometimes put you in a spot. The wrong candidate hired would only hamper the organisation's productivity. So, in order to reduce the overheads on hiring, only the right candidate should be employed.

5 - Be known as a great employer

It is every candidate's dream to work with a reputed company. When an employer is known for its employee retention, work culture, rewards/monetary structure and work flexibility, it makes the employee come directly to the employer. There would always be a large chunk of people vying to work with an esteemed organization than the employer wasting time and resources on hiring one. 

To meet a TASC representative, or share your staffing requirement, contact us.

5 tips to ensure employee retention - Jul 2017

Employee retention need not be a challenging task! Follow these 5 tips to ensure high employee retention in your organisation.

1. Make your employees feel that they are an asset to the company

Make your employees feel secure; build a healthy working relationship with them. To do this, invest in training your managers. Your managers are the ones who will make your employees feel like a part of the organisation. Encourage managers to gather input from employees for the betterment of the organisation, and then implement those inputs.

2. Create an honest and open work environment

Encourage managers and team leaders to give honest, but constructive feedback to employees. At the same time, create an environment where managers and leaders are willing to listen to employee's concerns. Often innovative ideas come from the grass-root level, guide managers to be open to new ideas from employees and accept suggestions for problem-solving. Advise your managers and team leaders to be available when your employees need guidance. Inspire managers to communicate in a transparent manner When employees need improvement, and be supportive when employees are facing challenges.

3. Recognise and reward good work for employee retention

Ensure your managers are empowered to recognise their employees. This could mean a flexibility to give an instant reward, or a planned monthly/annual recognition. Recognition acts as a positive reinforcement, it goes a long way in assuring employees that they are on the right track. Appreciation motivates employees to work more effectively, and at times encourages them to go above and beyond the call-of-duty.

4. Define the job role clearly, including how performance will be measured

Define a list of roles and responsibilities for each employee with clear expectations and outcomes. Build a mechanism which includes a mutual agreement of performance measurement. When you involve employees in setting performance measurement goals, you get an automatic buy-in from the employee and higher commitment to goals.

5. Provide opportunities to grow and learn

Apart from a good salary and environment, high performers actively seek ways to improve their skills. Identify learning opportunities for your employees within and outside the organisation. Ensure your employee gets cross-functional exposure and adequate opportunities to enhance existing skills. Developing a career path for your employee will create a win-win situation for the organisation as well as the employee.

To meet a TASC representative, or share your staffing requirement, contact us.

5 crucial tips for a successful recruitment - Jul 2017

If you are just embarking on your recruitment journey, here are 5 crucial tips for a successful recruitment.

Invest time in building relationships

Investing time in networking and building relationships with recruiters, executive search firms, and university placement officers. Through their expertise and connections, you can easily hire the best employee for your firm.

Involve your employees in the hiring process

Existing employees can help you in recommending excellent candidates for your firm. As your employees understand your firm's culture, they tend to recommend people who are most likely to fit in.

Use your website to attract talent

Create a dedicated employment section within your website. Use the employment section to talk about your organisation's culture, and why should a candidate apply to your firm. Of course, keep these sections updated with the latest jobs available within your firm.

Pay better than your competitors

Another key step is to survey the local job market and take a look at the industry's compensation trends. An obvious solution is to pay better than the average to attract and keep the best talent.

Check references when recruiting employees

A thorough reference check is the most important step in hiring an employee. It will give you an idea if the chosen candidate can do the job and contribute to your growth and development. At the same time, it will also help you understand your potential employee's behaviour, attitude and motivation.

To meet a TASC representative, or share your staffing requirement, contact us.

4 important ways to ensure employee engagement - Jun 2017

Engaged and productive employees are the key to an organisation's success. 87% of engaged employees less likely to leave an organisation than the disengaged counterparts. Yet, ensuring employee engagement can be quite challenging. As a leading staffing and recruitment company, the TASC team interacts with employees, recruiters, hiring managers and HR team members on a daily basis. Based on this experience, here are 4 important ways to ensure employee engagement.

1 - Involve employees in the company's goals and strategy.

Employees feel lack of affinity towards their company especially because they aren't fully aware of the company's goals and ambitions. It denotes a lack of trust issues between the employee and the employer. But when the organisation keeps their employees in the loop about their future course of action and strategies, they feel trusted as a part of the organisation. A recent study reveals that only 40% employees are aligned to their company's goals and strategy. Check if your organisation has a better goal and strategy alignment.

2 - Provide valuable, constructive feedback from time to time.

Companies that provide timely and constructive feedback to their employees have witnessed more engagement from such workers. Regular feedback and keeping them engaged goes a long way in not only boosting their productivity but also adding more revenue to the organisation. Of course, the manner in which feedback is provided should be positive and constructive. It's equally important to provide feedback to employees when they have done a good job or met expectations. Does your organisation have a mechanism of sharing positive feedback and constructive criticism?

3 - Avoid overloading your best performers.

Often managers tend to overload their best performers with more work. This will result in diminished work quality, lower employee morale and productivity. Let your best performers shoulder the responsibility of the most business-critical activity relevant to their job. Manage the non-critical activities through other employees or consider outsourcing. This will make your best performer motivate to deliver outstanding results on projects and activities that matter the most. A motivated performer is easy to retain, and highly beneficial to the organisation.

4 - Build a positive work environment.

A growing misconception that has increasingly hampered organisations towards retaining their employees has been their inability to assess, as to why does an employee wish to leave. The popular perception has always been money but more-often-than-not, employees tend to leave due to company's work atmosphere, weekly offs, quality of work, top management, etc.

To meet a TASC representative, or share your staffing requirement, contact us.

5 tips to attract recruiters to your LinkedIn profile - Jun 2017

Managed to locate your dream job and you fit the qualifications? Here is how you can attract recruiters to your LinkedIn profile.

  • Photos: As the old saying goes, 1st impression is the last impression. Make sure that your profile photo is a recent photo and it does not have anything cheesy, sultry or flirty. Avoid using your Facebook and Instagram photos as your professional profile picture.
  • A clear job title: Have a clean and descriptive job title which puts your message across in a clear fashion. This helps recruiters in accurately pin-pointing you for a suitable job.
  • Details: Ensure that all your details are filled in as recruiters usually want to look at those points such as responsibilities and achievements. A detailed personal summary also helps them with further insights.
  • Recommendations and Groups: Recommendations are something that recruiters usually pay a keen look at. Endorsements from a credible source help you gain brownie points. Groups help recruiters get an insight into your likes and ambitions.
  • New Opportunities: Flick that ‘New Opportunities’ button on LinkedIn. This helps in giving a complete look on your LinkedIn profile and you are in line with the expectations of the recruiter.
Thus, looking at the way recruiters now look for newer talent on digital platforms, it has become imperative to update one's LinkedIn profile. A mirror image of one's corporate identity, we hope these insights will help you immensely to consolidate your LinkedIn profile and help you gain more ground. To be eligible for upcoming opportunities through TASC, submit your CV to dxbjobs@tascoutsourcing.com

Impact of VAT implementation on businesses, consultants, jobs and rise in demand for VAT professionals - Jun 2017

To understand the real impact of VAT implementation on businesses, jobs and demand for VAT professionals, it's important to have a big-picture view about the purpose. The UAE government plans to implement VAT With an aim to stay ahead of its peers and remain on a sustainable high growth trajectory. By announcing the implementation of Valued Added Tax (VAT) in the UAE, Government has taken big ticket reforms for bringing in transformational changes in the economy.

The government initially examined the social and economic impact of such a levy on businesses, as well as its impact on the UAE’s competitiveness. In fact, VAT harnesses the power of the consumer to the nation’s needs with a number of benefits. This initiative is being considered as a welcome opportunity that is created to reward the country for all it has provided to the residents. This will not only boost government revenues but also empower the economy and create a better future. The much-mooted introduction of VAT will become a reality from January 2018. To hire VAT resources, contact us

However, VAT implementation will require a significant change to the way businesses operate. Also, these changes, required to comply with the new system, will need significant lead time to design and implement. But, few businesses have started planning just yet.

1. VAT implementation impact will vary on the business size

Almost all organisations will have to perform extra functions to implement VAT, resulting in additional costs and hiring, but may not receive a direct economic incentive. Large corporations and multinationals may not be largely impacted with this, as they can utilise their existing resources and expertise from their presence in VAT mature markets. However, smaller firms and regional conglomerates will be in the middle of several complexities as their operations and the supply chain needs to be aligned to incorporate VAT.

2. Key functions within the organisation that will be impacted by VAT implementation

Moving forward, these businesses will have to set up VAT-control accounts and software to keep accounting records. Businesses would also need additional human resources to adopt VAT calculations, by switching on the tax function for sales and purchases. Other strategies will include introducing a cash flow management system, as sales will have an added monetary value attached to them under a VAT regime. The process involves orientation of their existing personnel or addition of new resources with relevant knowledge and experience, especially in finance and IT domains.

3. Roles that will be in demand

VAT is expected to open up a number of employment opportunities in the UAE. To deal with VAT compliance and other related matters such as returns, audits and assessments, organisations will need to ramp up their teams with professionals, who have indirect tax and VAT background. VAT experienced accountants, CAs, CFAs, CPAs, economists, legal professionals will be much in demand. At the same time, organisations will need to transform ERP systems, design processes to enable VAT implementation with the right set of skilled staff. This will need experienced ERP and technology specialists, resulting in a higher demand for qualified IT professionals.

4. VAT Consultants and VAT advisors will need to be prepared for increased customer base.

Consultancies and advisory firms may also need to ramp up their resources to meet the sudden rise in demand of their services. This is because smaller companies may reach out to them to set-up their VAT processes and systems as well as to train existing employees for maintenance and management.

5. Overall impact on number of VAT professionals required

On the overall impact, it is anticipated that the UAE will need 30,000 qualified VAT professionals to successfully implement VAT. This is a combination of in-house and outsourced professionals. Some businesses may already have suitable professionals, who do not need any training. Whereas, some other businesses may need to introduce training programs to upskill existing talent, while others may need to hire specialised talent or outsource these to specialist firms.

To meet a TASC representative, or share your VAT specialist requirement, contact us.

TASC Survey Results: UAE Nationals Job Preferences - May 2017

Are you keen to recruit UAE Nationals? Would you like to know more about their preferred industry, function and expectations? This report is the result of a survey conducted amongst 275 GCC Nationals, who are currently seeking job opportunities. Download this report now!
 

Key Findings:

  • 57% nationals are interested to work in the private sector
  • Over 60% nationals believe private sector offer better career growth & training opportunities
  • AED 10,000 – 20,000 is the median expected salary
  • Apart from attractive salary, job security and flexible working hours are key to attract GCC nationals
  • UAEJobs & LinkedIn are their preferred portals for job application

Press Coverage:

   

Disclaimer:

Use the survey responses as an indicative trend, rather than a conclusion. While every care has been taken in the collection and compilation of data, it is recommended to use this as a guideline only.
 


 

If you’d like to contact TASC for your recruitment and talent management activities, please fill this form.

UAE nationals: private sector jobs are more appealing - TASC study - May 2017

[caption id="attachment_4787" align="alignleft" width="928"]UAE Nationals at the TASC booth UAE nationals want flexible work schedule, job security and diverse work environment in a private sector job[/caption]

Marking a paradigm shift in the conventional mindset of UAE nationals seeking employment, a recently concluded TASC survey reveals that about 57 percent of them showed interest in working for the private sector. Of the 57 percent, an encouraging 27 per cent want to work exclusively in the private sector. The remaining 30 percent are amenable to working in either sector. Only 43 percent are resolutely looking at job opportunities in the public sector. This is a significant change from TASC’s last year’s survey results that recorded an 80 per cent preference of the UAE nationals for the government sector.

Most Emirati candidates believe that the private sector provides better opportunities for career growth and training support to improve skills. Apart from an attractive salary, the top three features that Emiratis feel would make them go for a private sector job are flexible work schedule along with job security and a diverse work environment.

The study was conducted among 275 national job seekers across the UAE during a recent career exhibition in Dubai. About 61 percent of survey respondents were female candidates and the rest 39 per cent were male candidates. When it comes to their educational qualification, 50 per cent were graduates, 31 percent high school graduates, 9 percent masters and 6 per cent diploma holders; while doctorate holders were only one per cent. 31 percent of the respondents have been working for seven years or more (median years=10) and 24 per cent were fresh graduates.

Commenting on the study, Mr Mahesh Shahdadpuri, CEO of TASC Outsourcing, said, “Our latest study provides the most relevant insight into the mindset of the UAE national job seekers. We have witnessed a growing change, wherein UAE nationals are now more open to working in private sectors. Millennial generation UAE nationals are more geared towards career progression, gaining experience, learning opportunities and growth, which is faster in the private sector.”

“The first preference of many companies in the UAE now is to hire Emiratis, partly due to various government initiatives and partly due to an availability of growing talent resource within the region. So, understanding their expectations and preferences, the industry they prefer to work in and the salaries they expect to start out with, will help companies create better job opportunities and environment for them. Private sector firms could offer more internship opportunities to UAE nationals, and showcase a probable growth path; to pull more Emiratis into the private sector,” he added.

The survey results also indicate that government, banking & finance, and IT are the top three sectors Emirati candidates prefer to work in. Other industries that they expressed interest in were – media, biotechnology, law and logistics. We anticipate that this trend will continue to see momentum in the coming months.”

Digital media has become an indispensable job search tool for Emirati job seekers. Several respondents mentioned that they look for opportunities on UAEJobs, and LinkedIn. Almost half the respondents look for jobs through online portals and another 20 percent rely on recruitment agencies. Most Emiratis feel the biggest challenge in their job search was receiving no response from job agencies; while social media platforms yield a better response,” he added.

The survey results show a marked improvement in the interest of Emiratis in the fields of HR, marketing and project management functions for building a career. Maximum Emirati respondents like to be placed in permanent positions, and job profile is extremely important for them. Majority of them looked for a median salary of AED 10,000 to AED 20,000 in a job of their choosing.

TASC Outsourcing is a leading talent solutions firm in the UAE offering specialized services in contract staffing, and talent management services & solutions in the region. TASC follows rigorous quality practices built on policies and principals that define the framework of its operations, from the customer complaint management system to hands-on corporate governance. Building policies have helped drive the organization’s vision and values amongst employees and aligned the organization to a common goal and direction.

If you are looking for a partner to manage your recruitment & HR operations, reach out to us by filling this form.

Time For An Upgrade: How To Use Technology To Improve Talent Acquisition - Feb 2017

4 Today’s talent has been born at a time when most households had at least one personal computer, a mobile phone and 24-hour access to the Internet. As technology advances, seemingly every day, the ways candidates search and apply for jobs are also changing. As recruitment professionals, it is crucial for us to adapt to these developments if we are to match the right people with the right opportunities.   Fortunately for us, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the technology we need for a seamless, integrated recruitment process. We already have the tools. We may even be using them in our day-to-day processes already. We simply need to learn to use them more efficiently.
 

  1. Have a strong, on-brand online presence

For staffing companies like TASC Outsourcing, this means keeping the company philosophy of finding talent with the right skills and abilities for our clients’ specific requirements top of mind. This is communicated on all our platforms, from the company website to our Facebook page. Companies looking to hire talent should make their company culture and work ethic clear and their communication engaging to give applicants a “feel” of what it would be like to work for them. Today’s generation of employees are more savvy than we think, and the perfect candidate just might pass you by if your website or social media post is filled with irrelevant, buzzword-filled “non-information.”  

  1. Make the technology you use work harder for you

Most staffing and recruitment companies already have the basic tools: a website that accepts candidate résumés, software that aids them in the screening process, and a team of professional, specialist recruiters to conduct pre-interviews. Integrating all these into one complete and streamlined process will not only improve the experience for candidates but will also help make it more time efficient. Take advantage of video-conferencing apps. With time at a premium and everyday headaches such as traffic congestion and transport issues, video conferencing allows both you and the candidate to meet at a convenient time and a less stressful environment. This also gives you the added benefit of extending your search to talents who are currently not in the same city or even country as you.  
 
  1. Avoid duplicating processes

If your website already asks the candidate to fill in an application form, they shouldn’t be asked to bring a printed-out résumé or fill in a physical form during a face-to-face interview. Set very strict parameters on your candidate screening software to ensure that only the most qualified applicants get through to the next stage of your recruitment process. Make what you require of the candidate very clear at the onset so they don’t have to keep coming back and become frustrated by a perceived lack of organization.  
 
  1. Be mobile friendly

An ever-increasing number of applicants search for jobs using their mobile phones. And they’re not only visiting traditional jobseeker websites either. Optimising your website for mobile phone viewing, using social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn for job postings and utilizing hashtags on Instagram all ensure that your posts are where the right talent is most likely to see them.   Lastly, remember that technology is a tool that enhances and improves your day-to-day processes. It is not meant to replace human, personalized interaction and engagement. While a very sophisticated screening software can sift through hundreds of résumés per minute, it cannot take the place of a highly trained professional who, beyond what’s written in black and white, can tell from body language and verbal cues whether the applicant being interviewed fits a client’s specific needs. Used correctly and appropriately, technology can optimise your recruitment process and allow you more time to plan more strategic acquisitions and placements.  

Start-Up Right: Learn From Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make - Feb 2017

2 (1) Entrepreneurs are a rare breed. It takes a lot of courage, ambition and determination to set off on your own and try to make it in the highly competitive world of business. Even rarer still is the entrepreneur who gets it right at the first try.   As American-Jazz great Coleman Hawkins once said, “If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not trying hard enough.” But mistakes are costly and can break a start-up company before it’s even fully taken off. According to Deluxe Corp, a marketing company specialised in helping SMEs, 50% - 70% of small businesses fail within the first 18 months — a figure that a maverick self-starter may find hard to accept.   TASC Outsourcing itself is an entrepreneurial effort by our CEO, Mahesh Shahdadpuri, who first set up a software company before branching out into staffing and recruitment. Through his example and that of other enterprising souls who have gone ahead of us to build successful, lasting companies, we can get a good idea of what to do and what not to do when starting up a business.  

  1. Build A Strong Foundation For Your Business

Set a clear, attainable goal, and the steps you need to take to get there. It is true that some businesses have succeeded without even having a written business plan, but a clear idea of what you are going to offer to which specific target audience may be the difference between you and a company that folds under within a year. Develop one specific business model and stick to it, at least for as long as it takes for you to get out there and be noticed. Think of it as a launch pad, if you will, to your future as an entrepreneur. The ideation stage is quite exciting, and coming up with twenty ideas in one sitting can be a heady experience. But what good will it do you to have 10 businesses with none of them actually bringing in a profit?
  1. Keep Your Focus

Focus on one thing, one product or service, one that you are passionate about and believe you can do better than anyone else and get the ball rolling. Always remember, getting started is one thing, seeing it through to success is another. You will meet challenges along the way, find the returns to be not as good as you had forecasted or that being an entrepreneur means more hard work than you first thought. Sadly, there are no shortcuts in business. You need to see it through every step of the growth process before you can make informed decisions on whether you want to continue on your chosen model or not. All you can do is manage your expectations and know that it takes at least six months to a year before you can see actual results (or a lack thereof).
  1. Plan Ahead

Finding out your product or service will not sell once you’re already six months into operations can be devastating, even more so because it is highly avoidable if you do a few steps in planning before launch. Do your research. Learn what the competition is doing. Listen to what your target audience has to say. Conducting even a brief, informal feasibility study before launching your company can save you much time and money in the long run. It might even help you refine your offering even further and ensure its success.  
  1. Delegation is Key

For entrepreneurs, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know it all and can do it all. While you don’t necessarily need a partner to start a business, it doesn’t have to be a one-man show either. Plot out everything you need to do, figure out in which areas you will need help, and then think of the specific kind of help you need. Create a job description and hire people according to your needs. But don’t get stuck on résumés either. Remember that motivated people who are willing to learn from and grow with you with a can-do attitude may be a better fit for a start-up than those who’ve acquired all their skills working in your chosen industry for decades.  
  1. Managing The Money

We’ve also heard many stories of start-ups running out of money midway through incubation. Listing all your costs on the outset, both fixed and potential ones, gives you an idea of how much money you need to bring in on a daily basis to keep your doors open. This will also help you make informed decisions regarding your pricing. Will your operation costs remain the same in the next few months? Do you expect to need more equipment and staff within a year? Covering these and other variable expenses in your pricing now can prevent getting negative feedback from customers surprised by a sudden surge in your prices later on. Even more important, perhaps, is deciding how much you are going to pay yourself and factoring this into your calculations. Many entrepreneurs believe in paying themselves with whatever is left in the coffers at the end of the month or wait until the company turns a profit. While noble, this practice is impractical. If you include your “salary” in the operating costs from the start, you will avoid having to dig into your personal savings should the need arise.  
  1. Remember What Is Important

Money matters, but it is not everything, especially not for start-ups. If you keep your focus only on profit and growth, many things fall to wayside, starting with your values. Many entrepreneurs have given in to the temptation by doing quick turnarounds that compromise the quality of their products, resulting in negative customer feedback and ultimately losing the business. Set your own standards and stand by them no matter what. Spend on quality and you get quality. This is true for both raw materials and staff. After all, people know what they are worth and whether they can demand a premium for what they are offering or not. While the most expensive is not necessarily the best at all times, it is your responsibility to spend your start-up money wisely, so think long and hard about what you spend it on.  
  1. Get The Right Marketing Mix

Another common entrepreneurial mistake when it comes to money is not spending on marketing. True, with communication technology what it is now, word of mouth advertising is even more widely and quickly spread than ever. But relying on it completely for your target audience to find you can be risky. Choosing the right platform to advertise your product and creating a smart media plan within your budget can help you get the word out without breaking the bank.     Go online and you will find hundreds of “motivational” stories about starting a business, alongside which will be thousands of examples of failure that will make you want to just give up even before you’ve begun. Entrepreneurship is perhaps one of the most daunting challenges you will take on, but it is also at the top of life’s list of most satisfying experiences. Plan ahead, develop the skills that will enable you to face challenges as they come but have the flexibility to handle surprises along the way. And when the going gets tough, remember these wise words from T.S. Elliot, “If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”  

Five Steps To Deal With Incompetent Team Members - Feb 2017

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With the world growing smaller every day and multinational workplaces becoming the norm, a full gamut of personalities and varying cultural backgrounds, not to mention a range of skill sets and abilities have to be managed by today’s leaders. While it is all well and good to promote a harmonious, ‘united by one goal’ working relationship, it is also unavoidable to have at least one bad egg in the basket. Ineffective, incompetent employees are present in almost all organisations no matter how hard we try to weed them out during the initial hiring process. To you as a leader, they can present an exceptionally big challenge since firing them may not always be an option or effective solution.

You can, however, choose to see the positive side of this situation. The ability to handle incompetent people and make them active contributors to your growth is a big added asset to your skills as a leader. Ineffective team members also drive you to find solutions beyond the most apparent and be more creative in your approach to daily interactions and processes.

As a leading staffing & recruitment company, TASC Outsourcing has been exposed to possibly every kind of workplace dynamic and witnessed how the best leaders deal with underperforming staff. Here is a list of methods we found most helpful and ultimately more rewarding.

  • 1. Learn to gauge employee abilities better

    Incompetent. Ineffective. Underachieving. We are often quick to label employees who are not performing as well as expected. Yet the truth is, people learn at varying paces. Every employee also has specific skills and abilities different from any other. In our history of talent acquisitions, we have never come across an employee who intentionally or maliciously does subpar work to the detriment of a company. Everyone is eager to contribute to a company’s success, but some factors may be hindering them from doing their best. It is the responsibility of a good leader to gauge a staff member’s strengths and weakness and play to them. As Einstein said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.” Of course, this does not mean spending most of your time handholding your team while they work. Show them what they can do, the results you expect and see how they perform. You can even consider them handling a different role to see if they perform better at it.
  • 2. Be open and approachable

    We’ve come across instances where the team leader and member relationship had deteriorated so badly that it had devolved into nothing more than a series of email exchanges, often nasty ones at that. In another case, the team leader had become so resigned to his members not doing their jobs properly that he would half-heartedly give out instructions while secretly doing the work himself. This defeatist attitude only results in an even bigger gap in relations between the leader and his team. Instead, a good leader should address the situation head-on, map out a strategic plan for delegating work, and speak to those involved directly. Break down the information into manageable parts, give specific instructions, set clear expectations, while offering complete support as needed.
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  • 3. Communicate clearly, precisely and openly

    Remember to also document all communication with any member of your team. Of course, verbal instructions and discussing projects openly are ideal. However, having your plans and directions in black and white ensures everyone knows every stage of the project, are clear about their own targets, and have a document they can check back on should they lose their way at any point. It also helps you avoid those unproductive “he said, she said” situations that only cause delays and unnecessary tension for everyone concerned. Communication also goes both ways. Just as employees are expected to hear you out, effective leadership keeps an open mind to feedback and suggestions. Your team members’ opinions and contributions may end up surprising you, and accommodating them will increase their confidence, motivating them to increase productivity in the long term.
  • 4. Keep your goals in mind

    When faced with an unproductive member of the team, it is far too easy to just ignore the person and let yourself and others take up the slack. Some studies even show that situations like these increase the productivity of the other members. What the studies don’t show is that it also often breeds discontent amongst the productive members, making for a highly uncomfortable working environment that will end up two ways: either the other members start looking for a “better” workplace, or they become so dissatisfied with a seemingly unfair situation that they decide to underperform too. As an effective leader, it is up to you to make the team work toward the goal you had set out to accomplish. Assess the situation with this in mind. Is your underachieving member’s incompetence undermining the whole team’s efforts? Would this person be more effective in a different role? Would he perhaps contribute better on his own? Is the rest of the team showing any strain as you keep relying on them more and more to make up for his incompetence? See what is happening with the view of how it will affect your ability to achieve your goals. And be prepared to make tough choices that will positively impact the company in the long run.
  • 5. Keep a cool, level head

    Dealing with incompetence can be frustrating and appears to be a thankless job. But as the old axiom goes, someone’s got to do it. As a leader, everyone looks to your example and guidance. If the entire office is in chaos, your members expect you to be the calm haven and have answers to everything. This may feel like a big responsibility, and it is, but you also recognize that if leadership is the first to react strongly and negatively to an already stressful situation, you can’t expect your members not to be just as or even more so negatively impacted. Take a deep breath and look at a situation calmly, methodically and strategically. Do not let emotions or your own personal opinions cloud your view of what is actually taking place. Make a list of things to be done by order of priority. If need be, take the person or persons concerned out of the picture temporarily and assign their tasks to others. The company’s operations always come first, and dealing with the people involved will have to wait once the work is done and there are clearer minds all around. Next, respond without judgment. This means confronting the employee with the facts of the matter, not counterproductive finger-pointing, emotional outbursts or fault-finding. Make a straightforward assessment of the situation, listen to the person’s opinions on what happened, and point a clear way forward. At the end of the day, unless you have and can find grounds for termination, this employee will still be a member of your staff. Turning their attitude around and ensuring they are not further demotivated to do their part in the future is up to you. Having to deal with workplace incompetence is a daunting task but one that is simply impossible to avoid. And while you often can’t change a person’s attitude or personality, you can, however, develop your own skills to be better able to handle such employees. Learning to take on the challenge of incompetent employees and turning them into productive, actively contributing team members make the difference between a good leader and a great one.
  • How To Provide Workplace Flexibility With Accountability - Jan 2017

    Retail Technology and Managed Services

    By Abbas Ali - Vice President, TASC Outsourcing

    At TASC Outsourcing, we take pride in finding the right individual with the right skills for the right opportunity. In the majority of our talent acquisition activities, we’ve noted an increase in the number of candidates who put a premium on flexibility when asked what for them is an ideal working environment. Yet we have also discovered that even in today’s technologically advanced, globally connected workplaces, “flexibility” is still a word feared by employers. Considering that reputable studies show how employees who get flex work benefits are happier, more productive and tend to stay with an employer longer, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that employers would be happy to implement such programs and leverage them as recruitment and retention tools.

    The hesitation on the part of companies, however, stems mainly from one thing: a perceived lack of control over the work an employee on flexi time is producing in terms of quality and quantity.

    As an employer, you might be surprised that flexible work programs have had proven positive effects. Employers benefit financially as most employees are willing to accept a cut in salary and forego insurance when given the opportunity to work from home. Companies also enjoy reduced rental and utilities costs, among other benefits. On the other hand, employees working on flexi arrangements report higher levels of productivity because of fewer distractions such as interruptions from colleagues.

    A deeper look into the systems and processes of your company may be able to reveal whether a flexi program can work for your organisation. How should you go about it?

    First, ask yourself a few relevant questions, such as whether your employees absolutely must complete tasks within a 9 to 5 timeframe. Is it necessary for each employee to be physically in the office all 5 days of the week? Is it more cost-effective and time-efficient for an employee to conduct face-to-face meetings outside the office?

    Next, consider whether you are equipped with the infrastructure and technology to support your employees who work off-site. Video conferencing and a secure network where everyone can remotely access data and files in real-time are just two of the tools that can help ensure the whole team is up to date on the task at hand. They also offer reassurance that your employees are putting in the effort and hours required of them even if they don’t physically clock in and out of the office.

    Lastly, think about what flexi work program will work best for you. At this point it would be a good idea to get feedback from your employees, after all, this would impact them most. Would working fewer days in the week work best for you? Can employees only come to the office when face time is absolutely necessary? Will earlier start and off duty times be better? Listen to what the employees say and take that in consideration when making your final decision.

    In today’s ever-changing work environment, it is projected that most companies, from SME to huge multinational, will have a form of flexible work program in place by 2020.

    Is your company ready for the challenge?

    360 degree Revolution in Retail Staffing: Case Study in Client Solutions - Sep 2016

    Retail Technology and Managed Services

    By Melvyn Mascarenhas

    Associate Vice President, TASC Outsourcing

    True definition of 360 is equidistance from the center of a circle. In this Case Study, as fresh as ground cinnamon on a spices shelf, we look at a recent experience in the Retail industry. The story revolves around an integrated platform we developed, for automating the Sales Force at Retail stores.

    TASC Outsourcing is a talent solutions company with a ready pool of resources for deployment at client sites. We have more than 4000 contract staff on our rolls, of which more than 1100 are outsourced to clients in the Retail sector. The founder of our company, Mr. Mahesh Shahdadpuri, is an engineer with a passion for IT (besides being a business magnate ranked in recent years among Top Indian Leaders in the Arab world, awarded as Middle East CEO of the Year in Outsourcing, and acclaimed as IT Innovator of the Year).

    It was quite natural that, since inception 8 years ago, our back-end was driven by state of the art software systems that empowered recruitment, training, on-boarding, payroll and compliance. One fine day, a year ago, while assessing the potential for Retail in the GCC, we came up with an idea: Why not infuse technology for the benefit of clients, beyond its use in-house.

    Not that simple, considering most of our clients are MNC brands, with their own tech teams. We went back to the drawing board and came up with a fusion of our core business and their core business need: A 360 degree software application that will manage human resources, manage inventory, monitor share of shelf and increase sales. Read on for the case study, and launch story of the TASC Retail Technology Platform.

    Traditional retail, from the days of shops and supermarkets, has been driven more by book keeping and manual stock taking. Next came computerization and along with it voluminous spreadsheets that had to be analyzed manually. Followed by Big Retail, with a potpourri of centralized IT hubs, warehouses, supply chains and customer value chains. They went shopping for every software tool, to make the backend strong and customers engaged on the sales floor. ERP, MIS, BIS, SIS and SAP applications, Heat Sensors to monitor lines at checkout counters, transaction processing systems, RFID for stock levels, automatic reorder from as many as 1000 suppliers… phew… Retail has come a long way from the mom and pop store of yore.

    In this evolved industry vertical, powered by cutting edge IT, in a domain dominated by global majors, we spotted a niche where we could add value, with our technology genes and HR expertise. Working with a knowledge partner, we developed a resources-centric technology platform that would motivate the sales team by automating work flow, thereby enabling focus on their core function of customer service.

    With our Retail Technology Platform, even a routine but essential task of marking attendance is made easy – all it needs is an RFID check in, or a selfie click. The app installed on the sales person’s mobile phone geo-tags location and time. Stock tracking is in real time, which helps replenish inventory just in time. Field staff are able to measure share of shelf – in real time, facilitating action for boosting sales. For management personnel in Retail Chains and consultants engaged in retail performance improvement and store transformation, here is an overview of our Retail Technology Platform:

    • Integrated KPI setting, incentive calculation and payroll management
    • Enhanced employee engagement through mobile alerts and e-pay slip
    • Automated stock capture, product demo and market visit planning
    • Visual merchandising reports from store visits and field audit reports
    • Capture of SKU-wise stock through an intuitive UI
    • Helps monitor In-Store Sales, Visual Merchandising and Field Training
    Initially, when we proposed the platform to our Retail clients, we encountered resistance, as there is an additional cost for implementing the technology. But we had a happy ending, when the platform switched to payback mode within a few months of implementation. To cite two examples:
    1. A global manufacturer and distributor, who never stops inventing, and whose products help paste, staple, clip and stick, reported an increase in sales of 20%.
    2. An electronics giant, for whom we have deployed more than 150 promoters, and has implemented our automation technology, is convinced of our sense and sensibility.
    We have successfully deployed the platform at retail establishments in UAE, Kuwait and Qatar. Implementation is underway for clients in Saudi Arabia and Turkey. In many ways, the platform is a milestone in our Managed Services offering. Until now, we outsourced team members, and we managed payroll. Technology innovation completed the trinity. Looking at it closely, we integrated Sales Management across touch points, equalized the distance from the center, and ushered in without a fuss, a 360 degree revolution in retail staffing.