Madelein Smit is the MD of recruitment firm HR Company Solutions
Tell me about HR Company and the work you do there.
HR Company Solutions is a recruitment agency based on the East Rand near Johannesburg.
As a recruitment partner to businesses of all sizes and in all industries, we specialise in sourcing and placing top talent for our clients through our talent agents using our unique technologies.
Our recruitment methods are innovative and different, which sets us apart from other agencies.
My passion for HR and people started very early in my career when I managed forecourt staff at petrol stations. I soon moved into the corporate field, where I secured my first role as an HR manager at an electrical company, and then moved to a logistics company as the head of the HR department.
What are the biggest issues facing HR departments at present?
I strongly believe that the biggest issues are that top-level management still does not take HR seriously, or as seriously as they should be. If organisations included HR representatives in their boardrooms as a part of the planning of a business, HR would be more effective.
Companies would be better at retaining staff and creating a culture that supports effective business if the HR team was more involved. If HR teams fully understood the company’s human capital requirements it would lead to better hiring processes and better business processes as a whole. What do you find most meaningful in the work you do?
Being in recruitment and career development is one of the most rewarding careers anyone can have. We all know what the rate of unemployment is, and what’s meaningful to us is where we can be involved in another person’s career development to improve their growth. When they achieve that, that’s where our roles are so meaningful and rewarding. We get to work with and assist so many people from different walks of life, and it’s equally as special to find someone their first job, or watching someone grow into a job at their next career level.
What do you think is surprising about the work you do?
What surprises me the most in my work is the lack of commitment we find from job seekers. The statistics of candidates who do not show up for interviews after confirming their attendance are shocking. In a job market where the demand for jobs doesn’t always match the availability, it’s surprising that there is a lack of dedication and commitment from those very people who are desperately seeking employment and/or career growth.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
My dream was to have my own restaurant and a cooking show. I would talk to myself as I tried different recipes and cooked meals for our family every night. I have a great passion for food, and I soon realised that food and people go well together.