HR Indaba Africa 2018: Antal International is a leader in c-suite recruitment


Antal is a global organisation with over 130 offices in more than 26 countries.

In the coming weeks and months, we will be chatting to all the HR Indaba partners, asking them why they are excited about the event and what they believe are the most important issues facing the profession. In this article, we speak to Vicki Bedeman, who heads up Antal International's South African franchise 

What is Antal International?

Antal is a global organisation with over 130 offices in more than 26 countries. The only two countries where we really don't have a presence are Australia and New Zealand. Our market focus is executive recruitment, so we are essentially a recruitment agency for middle-to-senior level management and c-suite talent, both at the executive and non-executive level. We are a close-knit franchise family whereby we work very closely with our counterparts globally and that's what makes us unique as a recruitment business partner. 

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How can the company remain competitive, given the plethora of recruitment agencies in the world and platforms like LinkedIn, which can essentially offer the same service?

Even though we are a global business, we have a country-focussed strategy for recruitment because of the physical presence we have in various geographies around the world. You get a global mindset but with local knowledge and expertise.

There are a lot of UK companies that have operations in South Africa or work remotely from the UK, for example, but they are essentially an extension of their UK operations and don't have a proper understanding of the local environments. They don't have a good grasp on Africa like we do as Africans who have lived here their whole lives.

Beyond executive recruitment, we also specialise in niche areas such as cybersecurity. Our knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa is also a key differentiator. There are many organisations moving into Africa, which don't have the expertise to find the right people to lead and manage those operations. Lastly, I can promise you that not every executive is on LinkedIn and many of those that are there have outdated profiles.  

What is it about the HR Indaba that motivated you to become a partner for the event?

I think it's a fantastic opportunity to create brand awareness. Even though Antal International has been in the country since 2009, there hasn't really been a focus on brand development and the HR Indaba will allow us to get our name out there while exposing us to different sectors. 

 What do you believe is the most pressing challenge facing the HR profession at the moment?

That's a challenging one because there are many that one can think of. Gender and equity diversity in executive and board-level leadership is one of them. Finding qualified and technically proficient talent is another. Managing and retaining Millennials is also a challenge. But, if I had to choose one, I would say it is the strategic plans through which HR will be managing the adoption of the new generation of future leaders into the workforce. It's not the baby boomers or even the millennials that we have to worry about, it's Gen Z. We need to figure out and strategise as to how we will attract, develop and retain them. They are going to be the real difference makers and they are going to be a lot more challenging than millennials in so far as not staying in companies where they are not fulfilled. We foresee Gen Z being the generation to create more small companies, be more consultative on short-term projects. Hence, we need to start strategising now already to see how we can attract their talent and retain them.


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