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RECRUITING ‘INTO AFRICA’......?

almost 5 years ago by Jason Williamson
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When RIZE first discussed opening an office in Johannesburg sometime during the summer of 2010 a number of the team openly voiced the same concern. What value will a localised office actually add when we are already successfully recruiting the very same jobs from the UK?

I must admit that other people’s reservations had started to morph initial optimism to doubt in my own mind; a CV is only a CV after all, no matter where in the world it turns up. However would a CV sent from our hypothetical office in Cape Town (with mandatory sea viewJ) give us an edge over the competition??? A survey of our client base resulted in a resounding YES, it would be a step in the right direction, unfortunately for me and my coastal fantasy, the direction they were guiding me was a two hour north-easterly flight inland.

And that, as they say, was that. The jury had spoken, the judgement was clear; I packed some sunscreen and my niggling concerns into a suitcase, and headed to Africa.

Fortunately for my piece of mind, as I stepped off the plane that brisk and bright November morning in Johannesburg, it became crystal clear why we had made the decision only a few short months before. I called one of my most trusted clients as I left the arrivals lounge of OR Tambo, who sadly up until that point had only ever been an e-mail address and an undeniably South African accent, and was greeted with the following line which I am not sure you would hear anywhere else in the world - ‘’Jason, so great to hear you’re on the ground finally bud, thought the lions might have scared you off, what time are we meeting up for a drink?’’. If I am completely honest with you, despite Nescafe telling you otherwise, people have preferred to meet up for a proper drink, rather than a coffee, ever since!

RIZE are a leading provider of resources to the Telecommunications industry, and as a result we rely on people loving to use their mobile phones. Although the merits of a quick phone call or a cheeky text cannot be denied, my experience in the working world has taught me that the bond that people really strive for starts not with the first time you pick up the receiver but instead with something much closer to ‘’home’’.  Undoubtedly one of those moments is encountered when shaking hands on that priceless first ‘offer’, opening a world of opportunity for the company as well as a potential world of pain if she possesses an unnaturally firm grip…… Sometimes that moment turns out to be draped in despair, circumstance forcing you to look that very same client in the eye and tell them that the candidate has decided to take another job. Either way, one thing remains constant; you were there (even if you may have wished you weren’t!!)

Recruitment is quite simply a ‘personable’ trade in its truest sense, whether it be the relationship with ‘that’ candidate who manages to turn every interview you pass their way into a crime scene, or that illusive new client that seems to be called into ‘a never-ending workshop’ 24 hours a day. The tried-and-tested truth is your ability to manage people’s expectations, and hopefully exceed them, is what will make you sink or swim in this business. Although my own real life example may suggest that any solid working relationship is founded upon a mutual understanding that some days are best washed away by a glass of your favourite tipple, it really is much simpler than that.

BE THERE for everyone who makes your business tick, through the good times and the bad, and they will be there for you…..

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