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Winning strategies for blockchain & crypto hiring

Winning strategies for blockchain & crypto hiring

I’ve called it a hiring ‘frenzy’. I’ve even resorted to the cliché ‘war for talent’ when describing the fierceness of the competition for skilled blockchain and crypto professionals. And that’s because the reality of what’s taking place in this incredibly hot market...

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Keeping clear of hiring chaos in hot emerging industries

Keeping clear of hiring chaos in hot emerging industries

After more than two decades as an executive recruiter and business leader in frontier and emerging markets, I have lived and worked through numerous waves of hiring splurges as new niches, in new industry sectors and new markets, started to spike. The tech boom in the...

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Book review: Radical Candor

Book review: Radical Candor

Towards the end of last year, I read No Rules Rules, the story behind the culture at Netflix and all the personal work that goes into making the company one of the most sought-after workplaces in the world. In it, the authors talk about Radical Candor which, at first...

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Video interview 101 in the year 2021 – Execs take note!

Video interview 101 in the year 2021 – Execs take note!

I thought I was a pretty skilled video interviewer. I mean, I’ve been doing this for more than a year now, day in and day out, and I can’t recall any particular disasters to date. I certainly believed that my video interview chops were right up there, no doubts about...

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Executive hiring: How to know if they’re good

Executive hiring: How to know if they’re good

I took an outdoor walk with a friend recently. Masked, of course. Physically distanced, naturally. But within conversational range. My friend knows that I’m ‘in recruitment’, but she’s unfamiliar with the specifics of executive search, and how this field is distinct...

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Jack’s growing…Globally and in Africa

Jack’s growing…Globally and in Africa

Thankfully, 2020 was a year of significant growth for Jack Hammer. With our US office in Los Angeles, and the extension of our on-the-ground presence to all the main markets in Africa, we were the fortunate (and delighted) recipients of a substantial increase in...

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Three key leadership trends to note in 2021

Three key leadership trends to note in 2021

1. Making a call on the office/WFH/hybrid strategy During 2020, it was all about logistics – how to get everyone working from home as quickly, efficiently and productively as possible. Sending office furniture and computers to those who needed them, addressing all...

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A Proud Day for Leadership

A Proud Day for Leadership

Yesterday was a great day for Americans. It was a great day for anyone living in America (like me). It was a great day for democracy. It was a great day for unity. It was a great day for anyone who looks to America as an example of freedom, humanity and justice....

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Book Review: No Rules Rules

Book Review: No Rules Rules

The book that should be on every leader’s holiday reading list is No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention. Once you start reading, it won’t even stay closed long enough for you to claim it’s “on your bedside table”. The prose is digestible and...

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Why boardroom diversity matters

Why boardroom diversity matters

For any company to succeed, its board is crucial. Recruiting suitable, diverse candidates can be difficult. Whether the need is driven by investors, required by law or simply a matter of good business practise, a strategic approach to board diversity is increasingly...

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Board Diversity – Talent Pipelining to Shift the Needle

Board Diversity – Talent Pipelining to Shift the Needle

If you speak to leaders and board directors on a daily (hourly) basis like I do, you’ll start to hear a common theme when it comes to their biggest challenges. And no, it’s not about Covid, or work-from-home issues and productivity (although this remains an ongoing...

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An Embarrassment

An Embarrassment

Happy Anniversary. To me! Nine years with Jack Hammer, finding leaders who will help great businesses to grow and prosper. Could there be a better job in the whole world? I suffer from an embarrassment of good fortune - and have decided it's not serving me to avoid...

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Finding Sanity in Covid WFH Reality

Finding Sanity in Covid WFH Reality

I started writing this a little while ago and stopped because it felt like maybe this blog had missed its time. However, hearing a number of stories this past week reiterating what I had struggled through almost verbatim, made me want to share again while I feel like...

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Business unusual – moving on after the crisis

Business unusual – moving on after the crisis

The past few months have seen the world thrown into turmoil; as one popular meme puts it, we’re all awaiting a return to “precedented” times. But we all know that won’t happen. McKinsey calls it The Next Normal. Satya Nadella has crystallised the three phases of...

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LinkedIn and search – they aren’t mutually exclusive

LinkedIn and search – they aren’t mutually exclusive

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool. It provides access to data around talent relatively quickly and can often narrow the pool of talent in a considerably shortened time. There is a flaw, though: this information is completely unverified. No checks, references nor the...

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Covid is not an excuse to make low-ball offers!

Covid is not an excuse to make low-ball offers!

I sit (virtually and metaphorically, of course) with one leg on either side of the Atlantic, living in the US, whilst overseeing businesses in Africa. I get my daily news literally 24/7, and find myself viewing ‘the economy’, business in general, and the job market...

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I’m not okay and I’m owning it

I’m not okay and I’m owning it

Lockdown has been extended. What was a 21 day countdown, is now a million day countdown (or so it feels). Please allow me to be not-okay for a moment. Despite everyone trying their best to stay positive, this is one of the hardest things to do - and it’s okay to say...

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Locking down video call etiquette

Locking down video call etiquette

After the first week and a bit under ‘Lockdown’, many of us may be questioning whether we’ll emerge with our sanity in tact. And we’re now contemplating the next full week of proper ‘work from home’ under these extraordinary circumstances. For the next while, video...

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A letter to my Work-Friends

A letter to my Work-Friends

Dear Work-Friends As we head into Week 1 of Lockdown in South Africa, I’m into Week 3 (THREE!) of self-quarantine here in Los Angeles with my family (where I currently live). My daughters are also into Week 3 of remote learning (otherwise referred to as...

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Corona-quarantining – a note to WFH parents!

Corona-quarantining – a note to WFH parents!

It’s one week down, into what is probably going to be the new norm for the foreseeable future. Full time working mum, alone at home with two small children, digging into the depths of her patience capacity! A similar situation to so many around the world right now. I...

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How to work from home

How to work from home

If you’re lucky enough, privileged enough and sufficiently ‘enabled’ from a technological perspective, you might just find yourself working from home a bit over the next weeks or months. Here’s some advice from a professional occasional remoter. 1. Get dressed for...

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Change Management – the new Leadership Imperative

Change Management – the new Leadership Imperative

Over half the global working population requires significant up-skilling or re-skilling*. By 2022. It’s a topic on everybody’s lips, and on most** 2019 integrated reports up-skilling is both a strategic imperative and a KPI for all key leadership appointments. So...

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Stronger Together

Stronger Together

Jack Hammer recently released our annual bonus and salary survey, where we unpack whether SA executives are expecting incentives (nee, meneer) or pay increases (aikona) in the coming year. Given the state of the economy, the results were unsurprising – respondents are...

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A ‘strained relationship’ with psychometric assessments

A ‘strained relationship’ with psychometric assessments

You may have recently heard Jack Hammer’s fabulous COO, Advaita Naidoo speaking on Cape Talk about psychometric assessments. Listening avidly, I was pushed to finish writing this blog which has had far too many edits and versions to count. If you know me, you probably...

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Non-executive appointments – Time for Fresh Eyes

Non-executive appointments – Time for Fresh Eyes

Non-executive Board appointments are a growing part of the Jack Hammer business offering. Increased complexity around conflicts of interest and the need for impartiality and good governance is partly driving this. Board diversity is another.  Interestingly, the...

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My Market Map Lightbulb Moment

My Market Map Lightbulb Moment

I admit that for many years I was a little cynical about the value of market mapping as a tool to help businesses. “Why spend the money? What value can this really add?”, were the thoughts commonly occupying my mind. And then I had a lightbulb moment, and now I truly...

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African Ivy League grads – it’s a war!

African Ivy League grads – it’s a war!

Whether you’re Google or a small business, hiring managers will all say the same thing. It’s a war for talent. As executive recruiters we hear this daily, and we also know where the biggest battle-fields lie. A battle field where the demand for talent so far outstrips...

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Easing into 2019

Easing into 2019

I’m a massive goal-setter. I have spreadsheets for my big picture life and business goals, my one-year goals, and every month….yes…a spreadsheet for my monthly goals. My lists are legendary and, although I don’t always achieve everything I set out to do, my mantra is...

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CEO Appointments – Career Trophy or Career Suicide?

CEO Appointments – Career Trophy or Career Suicide?

Many of the ambitious executives I speak to on a daily basis have aspirations to ultimately become CEO. In fact, at least 80% of execs will take the call from a headhunter when the role has this 3-letter acronym as its job title. They’re interested for a range of...

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The Top-Job Gender Gap

The Top-Job Gender Gap

You may have seen my colleague on the news recently discussing gender diversity in South Africa. It is a hot topic and her interview was the result of Jack Hammer’s recent findings around the lack of women in the CEO job in South Africa. This data is not new, and it’s...

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Career Success in the Digital Age

Career Success in the Digital Age

What’s going to put you ahead of the other 1 billion talented people out there? We’d all like to believe that a combination of talent and hard work will lead to career success. This is partly true. Talent and hard work may lead to some success – if you measure success...

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Executive stress levels – And what to do about it!

Executive stress levels – And what to do about it!

Stress can kill you. Fact. And even if one’s heart remains beating, it can wear one down so significantly that life loses its meaning, and you spend your waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours in a state of despair, anxiety and misery. The frequency of executive level...

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The Hustle of the Kenyan Side Hustle

The Hustle of the Kenyan Side Hustle

WHY DOES THE INFORMAL ECONOMY OF THE SIDE-HUSTLE THRIVE IN KENYA? To ask a Kenyan, “what do you do?” is a singular question that can lead to many other questions: “Do you mean what I do as my full-time job from 9 a.m. or 5 p.m.?” “Or what I do from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m....

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Jack Hammer – What’s in a Name?

Jack Hammer – What’s in a Name?

When we decided to call our executive search firm ‘Jack Hammer’, we were in the early stages of establishing ourselves as a boutique, with an approach to delivery that was obsessive and fierce. Our tagline, ‘relentlessly getting it right’, encapsulated our rigour,...

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Hiring the ‘best’ person or the ‘right’ person

Hiring the ‘best’ person or the ‘right’ person

“Have you found me the best person out there?” So often in my career I have been confronted with the requirement of clients looking for the “best” – urging me to do whatever possible to secure these ‘mythical beasts’. But, increasingly, I am working with organisations...

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The Zero Budget Growth Strategy – Leadership Alert!

The Zero Budget Growth Strategy – Leadership Alert!

It's a story I've heard several times in the last month or so. A story about companies making leadership appointments with the objective of organizational growth and transformation - only to discover that they no longer have the budget or investment appetite for said...

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Winning a C-Suite Role – How important is a Referee?

Winning a C-Suite Role – How important is a Referee?

In a nutshell – a great referee is EVERYTHING! (almost) Here’s why: Two Executives. One great job. Both executives show up admirably through all three stages of the Jack Hammer screening process, including the face-to-face interview. On paper, by achievements and...

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‘Yente the Matchmaker’

‘Yente the Matchmaker’

Potential clients often contact us when they have urgent need of an executive of some description. “Surely you must have someone in your network?!” they exclaim, incredulously. And of course we do. Sometimes, we can channel Yente, the village matchmaker, and...

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Rise of the Chief Digital Officer

Rise of the Chief Digital Officer

It's official. 'Digital' has made it to the C-Suite. From the lowly corners of the marketing department a few years ago when companies started recognizing that they'd better pay some attention (and allocate some budget) to digital and social marketing, organizations...

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Executive Appointments – Do you need to be Discreet?

Executive Appointments – Do you need to be Discreet?

Over the last few years as online platforms like LinkedIn have entered and substantially shifted elements of the recruitment sector, I’ve received many queries from industry insiders and outsiders, asking about the viability and future of executive search. 'Do...

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The Future of Jobs in Africa?

The Future of Jobs in Africa?

As a mother, I think about the future for my child. As an executive search professional, I think about the future role my son will play in business. Perhaps even as a leader in business. In Africa. Yes, he is only four years old, but when you read about statistics...

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The CXO – Saving the Day for the Retail Sector?

The CXO – Saving the Day for the Retail Sector?

There's a sombre tone accompanying the latest sets of financial results from most retailers in South Africa. The size of consumers' wallets is certainly smaller - and shrinking - in many segments, there's less discretionary spend across the board, and many people are...

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CEO Appointments – Time is of the Essence

CEO Appointments – Time is of the Essence

I spent a lot of time over the holidays plonked on an outdoor sofa under the trees, catching up on my reading. If there’s one thing I wish to do a lot more of in 2017, it’s just this – read, plonked on a couch! New year’s resolutions aside (sadly, these don’t last...

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Your Executive Role – ‘It’s not what they promised!’

Your Executive Role – ‘It’s not what they promised!’

So, you’ve left your old job – which was actually quite a nice one, even though your career wasn’t really going places – and joined a new company, because the role on offer sounded really great! Now you’ve been in your new executive role for a few months, and it’s...

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