Susan Robertson steps in as acting HR director at Rhodes University

Her predecessor Loshni Govender has moved on to start her own HR consulting business.

Susan Robertson has moved from her role as deputy HR director at Rhodes to become the acting HR director at Rhodes, replacing Loshni Govender who has since moved on to new pastures. Susan joined Rhodes in 2006 as an HR project manager and later became the organisational development manager before being appointed as the deputy HR director in 2010. Together with the HR management, she has been responsible for the conceptualization of the people management philosophy and employer proposition at Rhodes, which has supported the drive for organisational efficiency and people effectiveness. Prior to joining Rhodes, Susan was the Head of HR four South Africa at Citi bank and before that she was the associate director for HR management at Deloitte.

Susan’s predecessor Loshni Govender has moved on to start her own consulting business, through which she is helping organisations to develop, implement and monitor broad ranging HR and related strategies and processes. She is also applying her expertise in organisational development to design sustainable strategies and models for dynamic and sustainable organisational change, while providing leadership in recruitment strategies; remuneration structuring; maintaining labour relationships; enhancing wellness; and the development of learning and development strategies. 

“I’ve decided to go out on my own. I have been in the process of setting up my own company,” says Loshni adding that she also felt that she needed to be more  readily available for her family at this juncture in her life.

Loshni is a longstanding member of the CHRO SA community who in this article, shared her longstanding view that HR curricula need to evolve in order to properly prepare students for the changing world of work by enabling them with knowledge, tools and research capabilities to thrive in a career that will place increasing demands on them. She also said that improving HR was not only the responsibility of academia but of all HR practitioners’ and CEOs. 

“HR is still considered peripheral to other professions within business, when in fact it is the people within an organisation that are central to driving business success. Along with finance, these are the most important functions in business. Therefore, the positioning of HR is understated and is not fully addressed. Senior HR practitioners must find ways of giving back to the profession to ensure that it grows both intellectually and in stature,” she said.