HR Indaba Africa 2018: LOVTOV Management Service makes workplaces better for disabled employees

Managing director Katleho Rantso talks about the importance of reducing bias through an inclusive culture.

With only a few weeks left before the inaugural HR Indaba, the anticipation from partners is palpable. In this article, we speak to Katleho Rantso, the MD of LOVTOV Management Services, about why he is looking forward to the event. 

What is LOVTOV Management Services, how long has it been around and what was the reason for starting the company?

"We are a disability management consulting firm assisting society and organisations to better integrate people with disabilities into everyday living environments. In 2011, my sibling was diagnosed with a learning disorder and, as a result, moved to a special-needs school. Being a big brother, my responsibility has been to look out for the ones that come after me and I took it upon myself to understand the differences in disabilities, demystifying the accommodations that need to be made for them, and understanding the barriers for personal growth and career progression. The firm has grown from a disability recruitment agency to developing products and services by speaking to employee retention and progression."

How do you differentiate yourselves from other competitors in your space? 

"Our products are developed in-house by a software development team made up of people living with disabilities, assisting in managing from the high school level right through to working environments. We pride ourselves on being the 'big brother' for disabled individuals, through the use of our advanced technologies that deliver real-time insight on individuals and not generalist approaches. We don't only provide organisations with competent disabled candidates, we offer long-standing tools to managing and engaging individuals post our involvement as a recruitment agency."

Why have you signed up for the HR Indaba and what should attendees look forward to seeing from you at the event? 

"I'm always been fascinated when engaging with HR professionals and the process of understanding the challenges they face whether they are related to working hours or company culture. This is an opportunity to learn what the current challenges are and how to start building an ecosystem that is based on competence."

What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the HR profession? 

"I'll speak from a disability context and say bias and culture are two very important things to be conscious of in the work environment. They go hand in hand. I believe that HR managers hold on to some of the negative experiences they have had with disabled individuals and therefore have a certain perception towards them that precludes them from driving a more inclusive agenda in their organisations."

"Many of my colleagues in recruitment use a blanket approach to accommodate people with disabilities and, when those don't result in improved efficiency and productivity, they become discouraged from further engaging with what is a very marginalised group of people."

"What HR managers often fail to understand is there are complexities and nuances within that process of designing and implementing accommodations for disabled employees. It is truly a daunting task to force on to a team of fast-paced individuals on a colleague that does not match the characteristics."