HR Indaba 2019 Preview:  The layout was perfect for networking, says Xpatweb's Marisa Jacobs

The set up facilitated real engagement and created a conducive environment for establishing new business relationships.

Xpatweb is a holistic expatriate services and immigration facilitation company that exhibited at the inaugural HR Indaba because, when employers bring a foreign national into an organisation their first port of call is getting their work permits and immigration paperwork underway. In this article, we speak to Xpatweb immigration specialist Marisa Jacobs about what she thought of last year's event. 

What did you think of the inaugural HR Indaba?

We were pleasantly surprised at the number of HR professionals who attended the event. It was a great opportunity for us to reconnect with our existing clients and also to meet with new professionals in the industry. The event allowed us to learn about what the most topical issues were within the profession by chatting to people about the challenges that their organisations were dealing with from an HR perspective. It also provided insight into how to improve the way we present our offering and add more value to clients.

Was there anything in particular that stood out for you?

We really liked the open layout of the exhibition area, which allowed for free-flowing movement and made it really easy to engage with people coming to our stand while also being able to network with other exhibitors. More than any other conference or expo, we found that this Indaba allowed plenty of opportunities to really interact with the HR professionals as opposed to them simply walking by and taking a brochure. The people that came to our stand really wanted to know more about the solutions we offer and how we overcome common industry challenges. 

Did you get any insights that you will be implementing into your business offering?

There are certainly a lot of positives in the market in terms of the drive from the President to attract foreign direct investment, the value of South Africa as a gateway to Africa and the easing of visa requirements to specifically attract more skilled expatriates, these are all drivers that indicate business will continue to require good service providers to partner with to drive their business strategies. As a partner and provider to South African and large International employers, we must continue to remain relevant and provide support that enables businesses to execute strategies and allows them to focus internally rather than worrying about administrative tasks centred around securing work visas. This is our role! 

How will your business strategy evolve in 2019? 

Our team includes immigration specialists, master tax practitioners, master reward practitioners, payroll specialist, attorneys, CAs and mobility practitioners. Our absolute strength lies in offering a holistic solution by optimally planning an expatriate assignment from a visa and tax planning perspective and supporting that with sound expatriate policy design. We take pride in our long-standing client relationships, which speak to our ability to deliver and I think we can leverage those relationships to broaden our reach in 2019.