Cape Town City with Table Mountain

Over the course of the last year I have been a part of the fast growing technological revolution.  

I understand this isn’t a recent development but being in Cape Town with the amount of Technological start-ups around, I have noticed a change. A change, not only to recruitment but to my clients and their approach to business planning.

I have been on many client visits of late and see the “Google–style” offices that are being implemented. Again, perhaps this isn’t new approach; but maybe it is for non “google-style” companies?

One client in particular has a coffee machine hooked up to its own website to tell their staff when the coffee is ready to pour! I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a very useful feature if you’re a code junky not wanting to waste any time away form the screen. The coffee machine was in the same room as a pull up bar (the source of many friendly staff competitions), and an amusement arcade style games console, which they had built themselves. The office environment has certainly changed, not only for the tech start-ups but also the corporate companies’s image.

I do a lot of work with a global leading financial institution, and even a corporate like this – with a relatively archaic image – is breaking the mould with breakaway offices, creative design and innovative style, the not–so–corporate image behind the scenes.

Not only is the image changing of these companies, so are the hiring patterns and how they approach the staffing process.​

I have found my approach changing and adapting also, when interviewing the candidates I represent and when qualifying them for new positions. Skills are, and always will be, very important, but my clients are now putting culture first. We have repeatedly found that office environment and maintaining a “grees” (Afrikaans for spirit), is a value that is held in equal if not higher regard than the individual’s skill set. In some cases, if they don’t fit the culture they wont reach a technical stage interview!

I will always aim to know as much about my clients as possible so that I am in a position to not only match the person to my client, but also the client to them. My approach has changed to echo my client’s in asking thought provoking questions to see how their mind works, and to see if the personality will fit the office style and environment!

When at University I wrote a paper “Innovate or die” on a Software company in London. At the time it was an industry leader but it was failing to adapt, stubborn in its ways, and to change they had put all their eggs into one basket…two years later they liquidated.

All of the above is also affecting the candidate’s approach, the companies they want to work for, and the type of culture they seek.

Are you putting your culture first when hiring? Are you adapting to the current Technological demands? If not you are likely to be missing out on a mass amount of potential innovative candidates from the millennial-generation – especially here in the Silicon Cape.

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