HR Indaba Africa 2018: Think-Career offers talent acquisition solutions that transform the hiring experience

Think-Career delivers a seamless and streamlined hiring experience using social recruiting, digital recruiting and mobile-friendly recruiting that is scalable. 

With only a few days left before the inaugural HR Indaba, the anticipation from partners is palpable. In this article, we speak to Khani Mhlongo, MD of Think Career, about how they are poised to become leaders within their sphere of operation.

Please, can you tell us about the establishment and evolution of the firm? What was the reasoning for starting the company?

"Our value proposition is to deliver a seamless and transformative hiring experience across various industries nationwide. Think-Career was founded on the basis of finding solutions to hiring and recruiting pain points experienced by both employers and candidates. The talent acquisition industry, as we now call it, has seen advances in technology, which is changing the way companies and job-seekers approach and engage potential career opportunities. Finding the right candidates quicker remains a pain point for many companies looking for sustained business growth, as well as the visibility to available career opportunities to career seekers, which remains a major challenge. More often than not, the hiring experience leaves a lot to be desired as most are still using the traditional way of recruiting and candidates are often not treated as the most important customers in our industry. We partner with employers looking for solutions to achieve greater operational efficiencies through our digitised recruiting efforts to select the right-matched candidates, which reduces the time to hire, improves talent retention and enhances productivity. Our candidates enjoy the engagement on their own terms and superior service, which matches them with the right employer and the right culture aligned with their values."

You are positioned to be the leading online talent acquisition platform and recruitment outsourcing firm in the labour market—in which ways are you able to offer a distinct hiring experience?

"The widespread usage of social media networks and mobile phones has played an important role in shaping the landscape of today’s recruitment industry. Think-Career is pioneering the next generation of talent acquisition platforms and mobile recruiting solutions with high-tech features for sourcing, job posting, advertisement management, workflow management, assessment, pipeline management, interview scheduling, video screening, hiring manager APP and other forms of assessment and data-driven reporting. Our mobile recruiting platform now includes chatbots that interact with candidates. We have partnered with some of the global leaders and service providers to help deliver digitised recruiting through improved candidate and employer engagement and automation (AI) of repetitive and routine tasks for hiring teams who are pressed for time to hire candidates quicker and in the most cost-efficient manner."

What are the solutions you offer and what are the various business sectors you specialise in and partner with? 

"We offer bespoke and scalable recruitment process outsourcing solutions for high-volume recruiting, graduate recruiting, direct placements for hard-to-fill roles, online assessments and online pre-onboarding, and employer brand awareness. We specialise in various business sectors such as retail, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), hospitality, restaurants, healthcare and pharmaceutical services, banking and financial services as well as the travel and tourism industry."

What makes Think-Career so unique? What would you regard your competitive advantage to be?
“We care about the candidate and employer hiring experience” to the extent that we are always on the lookout for better solutions to deliver seamless hiring and improve on our services to our clients. Our focus is more than filling open positions, we pay special attention to the candidate’s career aspirations and sustained, meaningful employment, we help employers to further build a greater employer brand awareness and we ensure hiring teams enjoy making those final selection decisions."

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

"I got very excited when I heard that there was going to be a massive gathering for the HR community that would be called the HR Indaba. I am looking forward to being there because I would like to engage with fellow HR practitioners that might be in the same position that I was in a couple months ago and are perhaps a little out of touch with reality when it comes to finding ways of attracting the right talent for their organisations."

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. In which ways is your company embracing Industry 4.0? How are your services designed with the innovativeness of the revolution in mind? 

"We believe Industry 4.0 will never replace the human touch. We have leveraged some of the latest and most effective high-tech recruitment tools and methodologies to engage, source and select the best candidates. Digital recruiting is more than having a career site and posting jobs on social media, it’s about creating an amazing experience. We develop and implement engaging digital recruitment strategies, recruitment marketing campaigns, candidate sourcing, screening and matching, making it easy to reach specific candidates before the competitor does."

Please tell us more about your educational and career history. What prepared you for your current role as Managing Director? 

"I was completely blessed over the last 16 years in corporate SA and have enjoyed a fulfilling career with the retail giant Woolies, leading amazing teams across different levels, from partnering with executive teams to serving our store teams. I completed BTech: Human Resource Management at CPUT and later enrolled at Unisa for an Honours degree in Industrial Psychology (which is currently on hold and with only two modules left). I started my career as a graduate helping various recruitment specialists at Woolworths, I later progressed to a Trainee HR Departmental Manager at a Canal Walk store. I progressed through various roles: Regional HR Generalist, a year as an HR Consultant at ForwardSLASH, I re-joined Woolworths as Talent Specialist Resourcing, Regional HRBP Western Cape, HR Business Partner head office: Foods, Divisional HRBP Western Cape, HRBP Corporate Stores (national role) and I then decided to relocate back to the city of lights when the opportunity arose to fill the role of Divisional HRBP Gauteng North, Free State for three years. I have been the founder and Managing Director of Think-Career Pty Ltd since January 2018."

What does your role as MD entail and what is the most fulfilling aspect of your job? 

"As much as I’m part of the team, my role comes with a lot of responsibilities, which I didn’t realise, prior to taking up this challenge. Ultimately, I’m answerable for the company’s performance and upholding the values, practices and ethics within the industry. I’m accountable to my team, clients and candidates based on the promise that has been made to them to “deliver seamless hiring”. Because we’re a start-up business, I’m a jack-of-all-trades but I’ve mastered a few key responsibilities: business development, client and candidate management. My role as MD is to be the ambassador of Think-Career, drive a clear vision, drive the strategic objectives and the performance, and to help shape the culture."

How would you define good, effective leadership? 

"An effective leader is one who leads from the front, can demonstrate competence, accountability and collaboration. A leader is able to build effective relationships and networks, show humility and vulnerability when required and, finally, a leader is able to make tough, unpopular decisions. Be your authentic self. Leadership is about serving others, being authentic and comfortable in your own skin as well as understanding yourself in order to better connect with others.  

"I must give credit to my previous employer, Woolworths, the teams, colleagues and previous bosses and line partners I’ve worked with. I was well-schooled and well-exposed to a lot, which enabled me to continuously learn, refine my skills and use daily reflections to help remain grounded. I’m not at all an expert but that keeps me motivated to learn every day."