By Martinette van Wymeersch
Starting like a scene from an Art film, the year was 1989, in a small office in Hatfield with a single telephone a story began, one that changed the course of thousands of lives. Borne out of the belief that every individual deserves meaningful and fulfilling work. That office transformed into a workforce that did not only help people find sustainable income but that built careers for the next 30 years.
Fast forward 30 years and our industry is almost unrecognisable compared to when we started in 1989. The world around us has changed at a rapid pace, but Sinakho Staffshop has never been shy about embracing innovation and adapting to key changes in the industry. Our willingness to adapt helps ensure that we deliver the standard of excellence that has come to be expected from this organisation since the first candidate found employment through Sinakho Staffshop. This ethos has ensured that our small office in Hatfield is one of the few owner-managed agencies that have been able to stand the test of time and make its mark in this industry today.
The impact of technology
Advancements in technology have changed the way that we engage with clients and candidates alike. The internet has allowed for connections through job portals and on social media, tools like video calls, and Skype interviews have greatly democratised access to interviews and opportunities for all candidates.
This a far cry from the days when Wednesdays meant a frantic print media run in dozens of local publications and the ringing of our huge lever switch board would blend into an almost unbroken tone as candidates would call non-stop for most of the day.
Today there are over 20 different major job portals to choose from when advertising a position. Applicants can apply directly for a position and their CV electronically submitted for our perusal. We receive instant notifications on adverts, real-time response from both candidates and clients and we are able to offer the candidate a number of alternatives should their circumstances be of a nature that does not allow for them to visit the office directly.
Social media allows people to connect in a way that we could not have dreamed of 30 years ago, today it is one of the most important tools in our arsenal when it comes to advertising and reaching the right candidate through their preferred channel of communication.
The vetting process
Much has changed since the ‘80s; we used to rely solely on references and the integrity of the candidate when it came to assessing their skillset. Although references remain a vital aspect of ensuring that a candidate is truthful in the way they represent their abilities, we now have an abundance of ways to perform testing in order to determine the exact level of their competence.
We now use assessment technology to test candidates on typical software packages and establish their exact comprehension of the tasks that would be required of them. This in stark contrast to the days when the preparation process included reminding a candidate to decline the invitation to smoke a cigarette with the interviewer during the interview.
Today we rely on psychometric testing and tests of technical competence before the interview even starts. Candidates are invited for job-specific assessments before they are invited for one on one interviews with clients. Through our background screening processes, we can now establish credit scores, verify qualifications and even determine if the candidate has any previous convictions before we even present their application for a position to a client.
Today we also offer candidates support by providing the opportunity to participate in mock interviews with our consultants over Skype and in person, providing them with materials, and stay in contact over WhatsApp in the lead up the interview with everything from last minute changes, encouragement and directions.
Despite constant change, our commitment to our values remains unwavering
We continue to build on our success despite often challenging political and economic changes, adapting to a new environment where the profile of the sought after candidate changed so many times throughout our country’s recent history. We embraced change and progression with the rise of a new government post 1994, adhering to new requirements and seeking a different, more diverse talent pool for employers. We feel that our mission; to provide meaningful high quality is more important than ever in current economic conditions with unemployment to an all-time high of nearly 29% in 2019.
Client requirements and candidate preferences are more sophisticated than ever before with the nature of work itself changing. Fortunately, through 30 years of interaction with both clients and candidates, we understand that people are the heart of this industry and although the world in which we operate have changed many times over the past 30 years, we at Sinakho Staffshop have continuously adapted to the changing times and kept abreast of new technology and changes in professions.
Our core values of building firm relationships based on trust and professionalism have kept us at the top of the competitor pool since the day we started this adventure in that small office in Hatfield.
We know that the candidate of today will in all likelihood be the client of tomorrow and that each deserve the respect and professional service that makes us proud to say that we have been assisting businesses in gathering the talent they need to compete and helping individuals find employment and develop their careers for the past 30 years.
Sinakho Staffshop, building careers since 1989.