Monday, October 2, 2017

How to Interview Customer Care Representatives in Kenya

Recruiting in Kenya through Duma Works and how to hire Customer Care Representatives in Kenya

Customer Care Representatives are often at the frontline of your business. While it’s important to train them up with your specific company brand and tone, there are also some raw skills to screen for through your recruiting process. 

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  Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hire for the Long Term

By Stu Minshew, of Bluesky Consulting

Stu Headshot

Many of the organizations we work with put a great deal of effort into their hiring process. They focus on finding the right person but do little to get the most out of that great hire and keep them on staff. As we assess companies, we find employee engagement and retention to be a big problem. In fact, Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace showed that only 10% of the Sub-Saharan African workforce are being engaged by the companies they work for. This means that statistically, only 10% of your workforce is proactively helping to grow your organization. The time and money spent on finding the right person is wasted when they leave for another opportunity, or worse, when they stay and underperform due to lack of engagement and motivation.

I want to provide 3 tips to help you get the most out of each and every person you bring into your organization.

  1. Picture Them in Your Head

Before you even look at your first CV, there are some questions you need to ask about how this person is going to fit into the organization. Should they be on a team and if so, which one? Believe it or not, not everyone should be or wants to be on a team. Keep in mind, I say this as a guy who loves working with teams.

You also need to ask, who will manage them and how will they be managed? What type of results will be expected from them? What skills do they need and can these skills be taught? What values or character do you want them to have?

Answering these questions will help you in the hiring process by creating a profile for the position. It will also get you into the right mindset to successfully bring them into the organization.

  1. Get Them Connected

Once you have hired them, you can just sit back and relax, right? Wrong. First, you have to get them connected to the organization. Get them familiar with the organization’s purpose, values, strategy, and anything else that is an integral part of how the organization runs. Be honest about the extent to which these statements and policies actually drive how work is done and goals are met.

Then, if your new hire is on a team or multiple teams, connect them to the members of their primary team first. Introduce them to the team members and set aside time for the other team members to communicate the team’s purpose, their current goals, and how they work to meet these goals. Allow them the opportunity to explain how your new hire will help the team accomplish their goals. Once the connection to the primary team is established, repeat this process with secondary teams. If a new hire can see from the start the impact they have on their team and the entire organization, it will be much easier to keep them engaged over the long haul.

Finally, connect them to the right people. If there is anyone else they need to know to be able to get their job done, introduce them to that person. It doesn’t matter if it is the person who brings tea or coffee or the person who signs the checks. The better you facilitate getting them connected to everyone they need to know to get their job done, the easier it will be for them to be successful in their role and feel connected to the organization.

  1. Create a Community

Finally, for your new person to be committed to the growth of your organization and perform at a high level, you are going to need to give them more than just a paycheck. If this is all you give them, then they will be quick to follow a better offer. Yet, if you create community within their team or the organization, you will meet their financial needs and meet their need to belong to something bigger than themselves. By doing this, you have a greater chance of keeping them for the long haul.

What do I mean by community? I mean that you need to create an environment where people push past knowing each other on a professional level and delve into knowing a few personal details about the people they work with. It does not mean that everyone is best friends, but that you learn and ask about family members and connect people with similar hobbies and interests. People begin to open up by sharing disappointments and accomplishments and others celebrate successes and encourage them in the face of discouragement.

This type of community will have huge benefits on the productivity of employees. Plus, as people are more open, you will discover areas where more resources or skills are needed. It creates a mental and emotional bond between your staff and the organization. Of course, you are always going to lose a small percentage of hires to career advancement opportunities or higher pay elsewhere. Yet, putting in the effort to create community in your organization increases retention rates and ensures you will keep most of those great hires for years to come.

Stay updated about recruiting tips for Kenya by following the Duma Works blog.

About the author: Stu Minshew is Managing Director for BlueSky Consulting, a strategy, leadership, and team development firm in Kenya. He has partnered with executives and teams from organizations of all shapes and sizes including Nation Media, Barclays Bank, Rockefeller Foundation, and the US Embassy.  He has also helped start three successful businesses and you can read more insights from Stu at

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  Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How to Ruin an Interview Before it Even Begins

What is my interview strategy?

What is my interview strategy?

By Angela Wairimu

The most effective way to ruin your interviewing process is to have a bad interview strategy or no strategy at all. The most important question anyone looking to hire should be asking themselves is “What is my interview strategy?” and not “How fast can I hire this new person?”

This thing is that hiring  is one of the most difficult tasks an organization faces. Going into an interview without a complete strategy is like choosing the next beauty pageant queen without looking at them.

Here are some quick tips we’ve put together to help you think about your hiring strategy.

Identify Current Hiring Strategy

Look at your hiring process (if you have one) and ask yourself these questions:

  • Have I assessed what personality type I am looking for and what skills I think are most important in for this role?
  • What questions am I going to ask candidates during the interview and how am I grading their responses? This will impact both competencies and culture fit of candidates.
  • What type of background check am I going to conduct and how will I conduct it?

Review Past Hiring Methods

There’s no way of improving yourself if you don’t evaluate your past experiences. Specifically, think about:

  • What questions did you ask candidates before to test their skills? Were those methods effective? What could you have improved? What failed?
  • For candidates that you hired and love – What questions made them stand out in the interview? How were you convinced that they were the right “fit”?
  • For candidates you hired who do their work well but you don’t love their personality – what questions could you have asked to assess their personality more accurately?

Plan the Interview Questions

Many employers walk into an interview unprepared and ready to “wing it” through the interview, convinced they will be able to make a gut call about the candidate. However, unsurprisingly,  the more methodical and systematic the interview process, the more likely it is to get the best results and make the best decision. At a basic level, have a checklist of things you need to ask or observe, such as:

  • Candidate communication skills, alertness, personal grooming standards, self-confidence, and understanding of necessary technical concepts.
  • In-depth information about the applicant’s education and work experience.
  • Applicant’s knowledge, skills and other competencies based on past performance and achievements.
  • Preview the job to the applicant so the applicant can determine whether he or she is truly interested in the position.
  • Promote a good public image of the employer.

Expound on the Job Description

Because jobs are scarce and candidates (often) many, employers tend to have the mindset that every candidate would want to work for them. However, especially  in today’s fast moving job market, if a candidate takes a job without truly understanding if they will be fulfilled there, they will leave quickly. It’s important to preview the job to the applicant in depth so he/she can decide if the job is truly a position of interest.

  • Will it drive their career path forward?
  • Will it increase their desired skill sets?

Even if the candidate doesn’t have a sense of what they want, you can often tell in the interview which parts of the job description they love and which they hate. That can help you in your decision as well.

As always, if you are thinking of hiring and would like to chat with us to discuss how we can help or advise  you in your hiring process email us at [email protected] and we’ll set up a time to talk.

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