HR Indaba Africa 2019 Preview: One Circle offers on-demand access to specialist HR talent


Now companies have a lot more options for acquiring specialist HR expertise.

With over 3,000 attendees, close to 50 exhibitors and numerous knowledge sharing sessions, the inaugural HR Indaba was arguably a resounding success. In this article, we speak to Emma El-Karout founder and managing director of One Circle about why they have chosen to be a part of this year’s conference. 

What does One Circle do, how long has it been around and what was the reason for starting the company?

One Circle HR is a digital collaboration platform for HR consultants to directly engage with businesses requiring specialist talent on demand. Completely virtual, One Circle provides businesses access to quality HR consultants, from around the world and across the employee life cycle, All in one place. 

Our professionals can work from anywhere, alone or together, to deliver on specialist HR projects. I started One Circle after being frustrated, while in my previous corporate roles as HR Director, with only being able to access HR specialists through consulting companies or regular employment, both come with a big price tag. Hiring people direct on project basis was too risky given the confidentiality of information, quality of output, and timeliness of delivery. I have been working on the business model and technology platform for about two years now and I’m proud to say that we will go live later in 2019.

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

We are a unique niche HR platform that offers access to specialist HR talent across every touchpoint of the Employee Experience lifecycle. Our HR specialist are from everywhere in the world and would be able to deliver on projects on-demand. One Circle is a fully integrated website whereby businesses can exchange documents in a safe and secure manner as well manage their projects, chat with their consultants, and pay the project fees all from their own personalised dashboard. 

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

I look forward to showcasing One Circle to the HR Indaba delegates as a new pragmatic and alternative way to support the business on specialist HR projects.  For businesses, One Circle represents the go-to place for high quality HR specialist talent. 

For HR consultants, One Circle is a solution that gives access to projects without having to pitch, hard-sell, or develop a business. Teaming with fellow HR consultants from across the world is no longer fantasy. It’s a new disrupted world of work possibilities. 

For the Future of Work, One Circle shapes a new way for organisexpations to structure their people function and allow HR professionals to embrace a digital way of working. A viable option to break the traditional 9 to 5 employment proposition for HR people.  All while fulfilling its social impact of giving local talent access to global work opportunities.

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

At the risk of sounding melodramatic HR is going to be forced into its own total transformation through the changing world of work. Almost all HR theory is founded on the precept of regular fixed employment model whether for limited duration or open ended. The 4IR is turning this on its head and already looks likely that freelancers will outnumber traditional employees by 2030s.

The biggest challenge facing HR is how to adapt current people practices to adequately flex existing HR models to accommodate this new way of working. 

Is there anything else that you would like to add that you think attendees of next year’s event should know about your business? 

HR needs to both prepare to support the organisation on this front as well as embrace this as an opportunity to transform HR itself to serve its people purpose better.

One Circle is deliberate in its approach to not discriminate on any demographic element. We are purposefully valuing the wealth of expertise in our retirees and colleagues approaching retirement. We will facilitate their continued participation in the economy to support the development of young talent. 

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