Successful recruitment of employees can make or destroy your business

South African business owners often complain about the lack of skilled labour in this country. However, many do not realise the role that a below-par recruitment process plays in attracting and securing the wrong candidates. How can business owners make sure they avoid costly hiring mistakes? International award winning Business Growth Expert, Kathi Clarke, explains.

Step 1: Employees are the backbone of any business and recruiting the wrong candidates can destroy it. As a business owner, you continuously need to be on the lookout for talent as opposed to only recruiting when a gap or need arises.

Step 2: To make this manageable, a systematized recruitment process which attracts a larger pool of applicants on the basis of who they are as well as what skills/abilities they have, and which allows them to deselect themselves in the early stages, will get you off to the best start. It will also inevitably save you time in the long run.

Clarke elaborates, “Most employers make the mistake of limiting the recruitment process in the beginning to make it “manageable” and then sift potential employees based on skills and past experience as the first screen.  While these are important, what is critical is the fit with your organisation’s culture. So Step 3 is about shortlisting a person based on who they are as the primary prerequisite followed by their competencies – you can always teach skills but not disposition!

“Step 4 is to have a clear plan of what needs doing in the business and who will do it. This provides an essential foundation for writing a clear job description which details explicitly the ‘what and how’ requirements of the role,” continues Clarke.

“From there, Step 5 is to be different and design an ad that speaks to the type of person needed to suit the role and not just what they need to do.  Remember that this ad is as much a “marketing tool” as a product/service ad is to a prospective customer; you want to compel talent to work for you rather than your competition!” indicates Clarke.

Step 6 is to request that candidates fill out an application form which details why they think they are right for the job and why they want to work for you.  Not only will this give you easily comparable information, but if you make this downloadable from your website, you’ll have the added advantage of boosting your Google rankings! Interestingly many potential applicants will deselect themselves at this stage because they can’t be bothered to fill out a form – you’d be surprised how many!

“Once the applications have been vetted according to the job description and type of person needed, Step 7 is about creating a shortlist of the best of the bunch and arranging a face-to-face interview in which you ask questions designed to elicit examples of behaviour and not opinions. Additionally follow a format suited for the role – for example a group interview works well for a sales job where individuals need to demonstrate that they persuade better than others.

“Before the final interview, Step 8 is to firstly talk to all the candidates’ previous employers.  Start by verifying CV experience like job title, reason for leaving and salary and then ask if they’d re-employ the person.  How this question gets answered will tell you a lot!

Step 9 is to invest in a dispositional test or personality profile to establish their ’fit’ to your business culture. Step 10 is to discuss all of this in a final interview along with your offer regarding a package. Any questions about salary before this point are premature as the worth of the candidate and their level of interest in what you have to offer needs to be established before negotiating a salary.

Clarke continues, “Step 11 is to ensure you have a detailed contract in place which lists the role and responsibilities of the new employee and then to ’use’ this and your great job description to monitor and manage their performance.”

Clarke concludes, “The final step, Step 12, is not to dump the new recruits into the deep end, rather set them up for success in their new job from the outset by taking the time to induct new employees properly – show them the ropes; introduce them to the team and customers; give them the manuals that detail how things get done. Importantly, check in with them on how it’s going so that they can be glad they chose to work for you!”

For more information about Kathi and her services, contact her on


Kathi Clarke is an Industrial Psychologist, international award winning and certified ActionCOACH Business Coach and a business growth expert. With over 25 years’ experience in growing businesses, she and her company Building Best Business since coming to South Africa in 2011, have successfully helped more than 50 entrepreneurs to significantly grow their profits; develop entrepreneurial muscle and enjoy the lifestyle which prompted them to start their own business in the first place. Kathi also finds the time to offer her services probono to NPOs.

Water Resource Expert Offers Solutions to South Africa’s Dwindling Water Supply

South Africa’s water resources are low. Annually, South Africa only receives approximately half of the global rainfall average, and global warming is still a major threat.  Central University of Technology, Free State’s (CUT) water resource expert, Professor Woyessa, offers valuable insight in how best to optimise South Africa’s water use in a more sustainable way. 

CUT’s water resource experts from the Sustainable Water Resources and Environment Research Group in the Department of Civil Engineering, Professor Woyessa and his team believe the answer to solving the country’s dwindling water supply lies in understanding the socio-hydrological dynamics and extreme hydrological events such as floods and drought which have become more frequent in the past decade.

Commenting on the research, Woyessa says, “In trying to understand the human-environment dynamics and its impact on water resources, a conceptual model that integrates the socio-economic and biophysical environment is being developed by the research group. Research in this area is still in its infancy but  some encouraging progress has already been made. The main aim of this modeling task is to understand the use of land and management practices, which have negative impacts on water resources. We believe that our research will benefit the local government departments by providing them with the necessary information for better decision-making.”

An extreme hydrological event monitoring software was developed by CUT lecturer OJ Gericke; it is a very user-friendly tool used for designing flood estimatation, which is essential for the design of hydraulic structures.

Gericke has presented this unique software at several workshops at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Pretoria, impressing their faculty heads with the multitude of applications it can be used for.

Commenting on the future direction of the research and application of the software, Woyessa indicates “As part of the strategic focus of the research group to grow its capacity and its roles in finding solutions to the ever present water shortage issue, an Adjunct Processor has been appointed in the Department of Civil Engineering for a period of two years to assist in the enhancement of the outcomes and to make a positive impact in the socio-economic development of the central region of South Africa.

“A Centre for Water and Environment is also being established, creating a platform for reseachers to network, interact and share knowledge with relevant stakeholders and peer instutions,” concludes Woyessa

For more information about CUT visit

More about CUT

CUT is a leader in many technology fields ranging from learning programmes in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) a broad field in which CUT has about 45% of its enrolments, much higher than many other South African universities. Further, CUT’s research and innovation leadership in many areas, more especially in rapid prototyping and manufacturing is world class. The latter has been honoured by both the Medical Research Council (MRC) as part of its National Medical Device Platform and the National Research Foundation (NRF), with the latter having granted CUT a Chair in this area. Through its social and technological innovations CUT aims to contribute towards the social-economic development in the region as well as in the rest of South Africa and internationally.

New Squeeze Bottle Technique Helps Alleviate Disease

Above: children of Kribbel & Krabbel crèche in Mitchells Plain learn to use the new hand wash ‘squeezy bottles’ donated by Peninsula Beverage Company to help create hygiene awareness.

Water is a scarce resource and for many South Africans, practising cleanliness is a luxury especially when there is limited access to clean running water. Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev – local bottler and distributer of The Coca-Cola Company products in the Western Cape) in partnership with The City of Cape Town, has helped combat the risk of illness as a result of the lack of sanitation, by donating 2 litre plastic bottles to crèches, clinics and informal settlements in Mitchells Plain, Phillipi, Phillipi East and Crossroads areas.

The bottles have been transformed into mobile hand wash units which can be squeezed and water pours out from a long tube, giving community’s access to clean water and creating hygiene awareness.

Corporate Communications Manager, Denise Green, comments, “Diarrhoea as a result of the lack of hygiene is a worrying issue in local communities and settlements. We are thrilled we are able to help by donating the bottles which are used to educate communities about the importance of keeping their hands clean, which in turn helps prevent the spread of diseases.

This initiative forms part of PenBev’s ‘me (people), we (community), world (environment)’ strategy which serves the communities in which we operate and who have supported us over many years.”

For more information about Peninsula Beverages, visit

New Online Registration System from EnOv8 takes the Hassle Out of Event Management

Planning, organising and implementing an event can be one of the most stressful jobs for an organisation. The pressure is especially elevated when a company’s reputation amongst its stakeholders is in the limelight as a well organised event says much about a company’s efficiency and professionalism.

A new event management system, which helps take the stress out of sending out invitations and monitoring RSVPs, has been developed by innovative event management company, EnOv8. EnOv8 has created an online event management tool which is customised according to the requirements of a specific organisation and its event. The revolutionary system allows invitations to be custom designed according to its target audience and the RSVP portal can host unlimited information such as venue details, maps and information about the event etc., providing the invitee with all the necessary information required about an event.

The new system can be accessed by the client for real-time RSVP numbers, and reports can be drawn detailing extensive information such as dietary requirements, any special requests, event attendance reports and much more. EnOv8 also offer their clients system training to ensure efficient and effective use of the system.

The new system was used by Cape Town Tourism who recently hosted their Annual General Meeting (AGM) at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. EnOv8 sent out approximately 21 000 e-mails, custom designed for four target groups. The online system created by EnOv8 seamlessly recorded all RSVPs whilst compiling the data in easily accessible and digestible reports for Cape Town Tourism to access. The new system saved the organisation days in RSVP management and ensured complete accuracy by alleviating the possibility of human error which may occur during a manual registration process.

CEO of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold comments, “It has been a pleasure working with EnOv8. They offered excellent value and a hassle-free online registration process for our AGM. We experienced their team as professional, pro-active and an invaluable resource in delivering a professional experience to our event attendees.” 

For further information about EnOv8 please visit