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Extreme Recruiting In South Africia
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Extreme Recruiting In South Africia

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Extreme Recruiting means getting people who fit the culture and the job

Extreme Recruiting means getting people who fit the culture and the job

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  • 1. Workƒorce MANAGEMENT December 2006Extreme Recruiting in South AfricaEmployers are building new recruiting processes and training programs to manage through uneven labor markets. By Fay HansenC rime is booming in allowed the company to meet its hiring “South African labor laws are among South Africa, and so is goals under difficult conditions. The com- the toughest in the world, from recruiting to the security services pany competes for talent against other local dismissal,” Zullberg notes. industry, where dou- companies and the broad range of multina- In the World Bank’s difficulty of hiring ble-digit growth rates tionals that are rapidly expanding their index, which ranks countries on the rigidity in demand persistently operations in South Africa. of regulations pertaining to the hiring outstrip the supply of “There is a feeding frenzy among process, South Africa scores a 44, com- trained guards and companies looking for black managers, pared with 0 for the U.S., one of the least managerial talent. with extensive poaching, and the same regulated countries. Despite the shortage of skilled labor, employees poached again and again by “In addition, Black EconomicStallion Security, a South African-owned other employers,” Zullberg reports. Empowerment regulations pertain to every-security services firm based in Johannesburg, Foreign investment and domestic thing from black ownership to employeesis recruiting 15 to 20 managers and 150 growth are rising in South Africa, and for and suppliers,” Zullberg reports. “We mustnon-managerial employees every month the first time in a generation, the country is submit detailed current statistics on theto meet client needs. creating jobs faster than new entrants are racial makeup of our workforce to maintain Five hundred of Stallion’s 4,000 joining the workforce. Unemployment our status under BEE.”employees fall into skilled or managerial stands at a whopping 25.8 percent, but the Also, under the BEE program, manyclassifications, and the company places a shortage of skilled workers and managers is companies must significantly increase theparticular emphasis on recruiting top talent acute. In a working-age population of 23 number of black managers.for these positions. million, only 30 percent of those over age 25 “If you are a black manager in South “We concentrate on getting the right have some secondary school education and Africa, you can write your own salarymanagement in place for everything from only 6.5 percent have any tertiary education. check,” Zullberg says. “Part of the problemrecruiting to quality control,” says Clive The recruiting difficulties generated stems from the brain drain that South AfricaZullberg, Stallion Security’s managing by South Africa’s uneven labor markets has suffered over the past five to eight yearsdirector. “If we have effective managers, may be extreme, but they are only an exag- because of high levels of crime. Manythey can shape the rest of the workforce.” gerated version of the same challenges skilled workers, who find it easy to locate Two years ago, Stallion overhauled its that recruiters face in other countries positions abroad, have emigrated.”recruiting process to deal more effectively where there is a large surplus of unskilled Recruiting at Stallion is also compli-with the extremely uneven labor markets labor and a shortage of skilled and man- cated by the fact that while the rise in crimethat characterize the South African econo- agerial talent. Employers like Stallion are in South Africa, including white-collarmy. Stallion’s new approach includes tools responding with new recruiting and reten- crime, has created more business for thedesigned to ensure that candidates fit the tion techniques to support growth until security industry, it has also generated high-jobs, plus extensive training and promoting labor markets adjust. er risks in hiring. Because of the nature offrom within. To keep new hires on the job, Stallion’s work with clients, targetedthe company has built a culture of loyalty RECRUITING PRIORITIES recruitment and careful screening and train-underpinned by competitive compensation Although the labor markets in South ing are essential.and a retention policy that bans re-employ- Africa reflect a broader pattern, recruit- In 2004, Stallion executives attended ament for workers who leave the firm. ing there is complicated by several conference and realized that the company’s Stallion’s new recruitment process has unique factors. HR function was archaic in many of its The Publisher’s sale of this reprint does not constitute or imply any endorsement or sponsorship of any product, service or organization. Crain Communications 732-723-0569. DO NOT EDIT OR ALTER REPRINTS. REPRODUCTIONS NOT PERMITTED. © Entire contents copyright by Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 2. practices and inadequate given the organi- “We use the Predictive Index as a point training.zation’s rapid growth. of reference,” Zullberg says. “Once you “Not just in South Africa but else- “We decided that we would create the understand the Predictive Index, you under- where, in the security industry all you havebest recruiting process in the South African stand the nature of the candidate. Then you to sell to both clients and employees is yoursecurity industry,” Zullberg recalls. know what to push in the interview to culture,” Zullberg says. “We sell our disci- Stallion brought in consultants to become more familiar with the candidate’s pline and training to clients, and fordevelop a new recruitment plan that cov- strengths and weaknesses.” employees, we sell our pay and benefitsered everything from basic policies to tech- Zullberg believes that the Predictive package and our promise of training andnological support. Index is a reliable indicator of workplace advancement.” It also adopted the Predictive Index, a behavior. Because of the difficulties in recruit-behavioral assessment process produced by “We looked at the Predictive Index ing and replacing managers, Stallion focus-PI Worldwide of Wellesley, Massachusetts, survey and found it was an exact fit for our es heavily on promotions and retention.that is used at more than 6,000 companies needs,” Zullberg says. “It provides not “We try to address this by promoting ain 138 countries. Stallion uses the only specific reports, but also an under- culture of loyalty,” Zullberg reports. “WePredictive Index in conjunction with PI’s standing of what those reports mean, have a very strong policy of promotingPRO (Performance Requirements Options), which is crucial. Through the use of the from within. We have employees who werea worksheet that defines the specific behav- Predictive Index, we have been able to hired on as security officers and are nowiors that lead to effective performance in a align personnel with available positions, senior managers, and we hold them out asspecific job. which ensures that our recruitment process examples for other employees to let them Under the new recruiting process, the is streamlined and contributes to a reduced know that if they stay on and perform well,company’s HR department develops the job rate of employee turnover.” they can move higher and higher in thespecifications and PRO and posts the posi- The company also uses Predictive organization.”tion internally and externally through Index results to make better-informed In stark contrast to many U.S. firmsrecruiting agencies, which are briefed on coaching, performance management and that maintain extensive alumni networksthe specifications and PRO. The agencies leadership decisions. and actively recruit former employees,provide weekly feedback to HR. “The Predictive Index has helped our Stallion has a policy of no re-employ- The vast majority of Stallion’s skilled managers understand how to communicate ment, which it views as part of its reten-candidates come in through the recruiting with employees,” Zullberg says. tion policy.agencies. “If a problem arises with an employ- “If you leave the organization, you “It took us a long time to find the right ee, we check the worker’s Predictive Index cannot come back,” Zullberg says. “Thisagencies,” Zullberg says. “Most of them report before we approach the employee to policy is not common in South Africa, butjust want to pump out CVs to you and don’t ensure that management understands the we found that re-employment has failedwant to work with companies that use employee in question before the actual for us. We enforce no re-employment as abehavioral assessments or other complex intervention occurs. The Predictive Index hard policy with few exceptions—perhapstools for evaluating candidates.” also helps identify which employees have 15 in 15 years. Our managers know that if Stallion now does most of its recruiting specific abilities, such as the ability to they leave to test the market outside, theythrough three carefully chosen agencies. close deals, and which managers belong at cannot return.” headquarters.” For Stallion and other South AfricanCLOSER MATCH For unskilled positions, Stallion uses a employers, labor market shifts will relieve The agencies forward suitable CVs to mix of in-house recruiting staff and recruit- some of the pressure on recruiting, but theStallion’s HR department and skilled candi- ing agencies. To address the shortage of process will be slow. The South Africandates are called in for the Predictive Index candidates with suitable education and government is pouring money into educa-survey and a PRO evaluation. On the basis experience, Stallion puts new hires through tion and training programs, but rapid eco-of those results and other factors, the com- an extensive training at the company’s nomic growth and rising foreign investmentpany evaluates the candidate’s qualifica- learning academy. Induction training goes continue to ratchet up demand for skilledtions and determines if there is a match to well beyond the industry’s regulatory labor. Employers in South Africa and otherthe position. Stallion does not use the requirements and works as a competitive uneven markets might have to look toPredictive Index for unskilled positions, but advantage. The company continues train- Stallion’s approach of careful selection,plans to eventually push it down further in ing employees with on-site training for training and promotion to weather the skillsthe organization to include all employees. new clients and ongoing quality assurance shortage. PI Worldwide 16 Laurel Avenue Wellesley Hills, MA 02481-7532 800-832-8884 www.PIworldwide.com © Entire contents copyright by Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.