Today’s featured team member is a real die-hard techie and a true introvert. As such he has chosen not to go for a recorded interview but has instead opted to share his thoughts and insights with us in text. At Placement Partner we embrace the wonderful individuality and uniqueness of each person on our team and so, out of respect for Ryan, you won’t be seeing his handsome face today.
(Sorry ladies, this one’s off limits!)
Ryan Van Rooijen, our Junior PHP Developer, is the newest member of our tech troop. I think we can all agree that he brought with him a noticeable surge of VOOMA. Since he’s gotten up to speed, we have seen a constant stream of fixes, updates, new features and real valuable results.
Here is what Ryan has to say about his journey so far:
How long have you been a part of the Placement Partner team?
This is actually my first job as a software engineer and I’ve been at it for almost two years now. The reason I enjoy working in the software industry so much is that it keeps my brain active. In fact, this is the first job I’ve had where I don’t fall asleep, ha-ha!
I started taking interest in programming in 2015, then landed my first programming job in the start of 2018 and I am loving this career choice! I find it fascinating that you can create something tangible from pure code and that is what keeps me hooked every day.
What have you learnt during your time with Placement Partner?
I still consider myself to be a newbie in the recruitment software industry and programming as a whole but I can say, without a doubt, that I have learned A LOT in these past 2 years.
The real learning value has come from trying to master different kinds of disciplines to make progress. As a Developer, you really have to keep pushing on to solve tough problems. It can be incredibly frustrating at times and it’s easy to find yourself wanting to simply give up. Thankfully, my strong desire to improve keeps me going forward.
What advice can you offer to Recruiters who are in the process of choosing an ATS to work with?
My advice is definitely not limited to Recruitment Software, in fact it applies to all software in general – You should choose a software that you feel most comfortable with using. It’s essential that your system allows you to do your work in the smoothest and fastest time possible. This is crucial – at the end of the day the purpose of any system is to streamline your work processes.
What do you like the most about working with your team?
I like working with Placement Partner because we have a good team and it feels like a family. I’m really grateful for the people in this team. They have been there for me and helped me in times where I needed support. I genuinely feel at home when I am with my Placement Partner team.
In today’s interview, Shirley speaks to another member of our Tech Team – PHP developer and reporting expert, Ntwanano Mathebula. As our Ops Manager Noeline so aptly put it, ‘When Ntwanano laughs, we all laugh!’ Do yourself a favour and catch some of this lovely gent’s infectious positivity and wise advice.
Rather than just being focused on what he needs to do as a job, Ntwanano is another team member who really cares about the Recruiters who use our software and has mastered the art of keeping them front of mind in everything he does.
How long have you been a part of the Placement Partner team?
I’ve been with this wonderful team for almost 4 years now and I would sincerely like to be with this team for another 4 years to come! They are great people to work with.
As Shirley says, these folks really are a little bit addictive – You find you keep coming back for more!
Since starting with this team what would you say your top learnings have been?
I’ve learnt a great deal about the recruitment process itself. It’s been very interesting to see the whole workflow running through our software – From how Candidates submit their data, right through the various steps which Recruiters need to take as they sort and work with this information to finally find and place the right person for the role.
Another thing which has become very apparent to me is the level of respect required by all of us as Recruitment Professionals when working with sensitive data and personal information. Tampering with this valuable data is an absolute deal-breaker in our industry and this is an important value which I have learnt to share with our clients.
One thing which our team holds in the highest regard is keeping our clients top of mind at all times. My role is centered around making sure that I have a clear understanding of what the client wants. This requires of us as a team to really get in our clients’ heads. Understanding what their needs are in the context of their business goals really gives us the competitive edge because we deliver real value and bottomline results as early on as possible. We aim to avoid those tedious back and forth interactions by being aligned with our clients on their requirements from the start.
If you could give our clients one top tip, what would it be?
Hang in there! This is the first time any of us have ever faced these kinds of challenges and we hope it won’t happen again in our lifetime. One great tip that I can offer business owners as we hit the midway point of this year is to reflect. Look back on all that you have tried in the first half of this year and make note of where you went wrong in your recruitment business thus far. Go back to the drawing board and review your strategy!
With the new Placement Partner V8 engine on the way, the second half of the year presents us all with an opportunity to take this next half of the year by storm! We are seeing the placements stats moving in a positive direction after the crash at the end of the first quarter. Remember that the system offers each individual recruiters an opportunity to access and analyse their data to make smart decisions when it comes to pivoting and focusing on areas where they can have the greatest impact.
Our dedicated Devs do all of the heavy lifting which allows our client-facing team members to look like rock stars! In this insightful interview, we catch a glimpse of the main man behind the Software (very rarely seen outside of his natural habitat) and gain an understanding of the mindset behind the magic.
Before we dive in…
Got 2 minutes to spare?
We’d love for you to leave us a Google Review!
Tell us a little bit about your team?
The Tech Team is made up of 5 developers, including myself. Each one of them has a specialised skill set, bringing unique solutions and ideas to the tables. All in all, we’ve got;
- Our expert in building branded CVs and perfect reports for our clients, Ntwanano.
- John specialises in developing features and has been setting up new integrations, which is a big part of the new and improved V8 system which we’ll be launching soon.
- Although he is one of the newer members of the team, Ryan has been making waves with great changes and updates to improve the system.
- We then have Zaakirah, our Front End and User Experience expert. Her focus has really been on creating the right look and feel to make Placement Partner the one tool which Recruiters love so much, that they simply can’t go without it.
Then there’s me! I have been with Placement Partner for 3 years now and have seen this team grow along with me. I’m incredibly grateful to have such a capable and powerful team that has my back.
It’s really quite phenomenal how this tech team has remained a central, active part of the Placement Partner ecosystem. They are right in there with the Support team and Account Managers to have a consistent understanding of what the team needs and what our clients need. This team has mastered the art of listening to a range of incoming voices and then working together to meet those requirements consistently.
What does it take to be the Tech Team Leader at Placement Partner?
One of the main skills that I have had to develop since becoming the Team Leader is the ability to multitask and juggle many projects at the same time. I’ve also had to extend myself more in the areas of project planning and mentoring the team. I feel one of the most important things I can do is to support my team. It takes a lot of patience too! We’ve had to work on our ability to cope with the ever-changing requirements of the Recruitment Industry.
Over the last few months, our tech team has not only remained agile and kept moving ahead in this turbulent environment, but also in the face of a global pandemic. They really stood strong and kept progressing positively, which is no small feat!
From a technical standpoint, what advice can you offer our clients to ensure that they are deriving the maximum value from the use of our system?
Firstly, I would encourage all of our clients to make use of the training opportunities available to them from our sales team. The more you know about the inner workings of the system the more efficiently you will be able to put it to use.
Another thing they can do to improve is to capture as much information as possible when adding a Candidate to the database. The more detail one captures for each Candidate, the more efficient the search function will be. This obviously makes it quicker and easier to find the right people when you have a vacancy to fill.
Our blog is another great place to pick up tips and information on new features and parts of the system which clients can make use of. I definitely urge them to keep a close eye on those! Anybody can take advantage of those tips to stay on tops of things and gain a competitive edge.
Tap into the resources available to you! We at Placement Partner, want to stay in constant contact with our clients to ensure that they can use the system better and better over time.
How do you think your Tech Team has become instrumental in shaping the software industry?
We regularly receive ideas and requests from our clients and these ideas don’t simply vanish into the void. Our team discusses each idea at length and carefully examines them. It is a process of looking at how this change would affect the Placement Partner system as a whole. Through this process, our clients’ ideas have shaped the system into what is it today – The leading South African Recruitment Software system.
As such, we really would like to encourage our clients to not only use the resources and become experts on the system as it currently stands, but also to continue reaching out to us and putting more of those brilliant ideas forward for our tech gurus to consider. This is really a team which is actively involved and looking to collaborate with Recruitment professionals in the pursuit of excellence!
Sleek New Interface Design
Placement Partner V8 offers you a richer, more visually appealing User Experience to ensure that you’re not just performing at your best as a Recruiter, but you can also enjoy a clean, beautiful interface whenever you’re working your desk.
Familiar Simple Workflow Process
We’ve kept the tried and true system framework in place, built up over close to two decades from a wealth of Recruitment Best Practices which we have gleaned from you, our valued clients. This will enable our users to make a seamless transition into the future with minimal training required.
More Powerful Functionality
Not only has your new V8 Recruitment engine been tuned up by removing redundant steps, adding auto-save functionality and offering up brand new powerful search tools, but our Tech Gurus have also upgraded the servers and cleaned up their code on the backend to bring you lightning-fast functionality across the entire system!
012 345 1495
This week, Shirley chats to another one of our valuable team members – Sibongile Khoza, a Placement Partner Support Consultant. Sibongile, affectionately known as S’bosh, shares with us her experiences and the wisdom she has gained through the lockdown period.
What do you love most about your role with Placement Partner?
The thing I like most about my role is that I really get to connect with our clients and I have the opportunity to assist them. Essentially, I get to be the hero who comes to the rescue whenever they are having problems. It’s very fulfilling to help people in this way everyday. I love being the person who steps in and makes them feel comfortable with using the system.
What have you learnt from our clients while we have been in lockdown?
I’ve learnt that we really are all very much the same. Our clients feel the same way as we do – Everyone has been shaken by this experience and it has shown me that I can have a great impact on others by simply offering some reassurance by reminding people everything will be ok and that we have things under control on our side.
This time has shown me the importance of my role in this business ecosystem. I have found purpose in being calm and understanding to support our clients who are under pressure and feeling anxious about their businesses. I see now that by going the extra mile, I have a real impact in the world.
What do you feel most proud of yourself for? Is there anything specific you have learnt or achieved in this time?
I’m really proud of the professional way in which I handle my personal feelings in life. Even when I have a bad day I have learnt how to hold that separate from my interactions with clients, which means they don’t need to feel any of the negativity. This has really helped me to focus my full attention on my work to offer my clients that heartfelt assurance.
The resilience shown by the Placement Partner team has been nothing short of exceptional and we have been made aware of our strength in a way we may never have realised without the opportunity presented to us by this pandemic.
What do you think the future of recruitment looks like?
Based on what I remember from my personal experiences as a candidate in the past and comparing this to the innovations and developments being churned out by the Placement Partner team, it is clear to me that recruitment is going to become a whole lot easier for everyone involved as time goes on.
Features like our Video Interview Tool are going to make the lives of candidates much easier. These are people who already have limited resources and this innovation saves them from having to spend time and money going to see a multitude of recruiters in their offices. The recruitment industry is going through a lot of changes. Things will have to be done differently going forward and technology is a vital part of the transformation. It’s great to know that we have been working for some time now to provide our clients with exactly what they need to be successful in this new terrain.
The keyword which everyone is throwing around right now is PIVOT. Recruiters need to adapt to the needs of their clients and candidates right now and their partners and service providers like us must be able to support them through these changes. That is what makes our close, personal relationships with each of our clients so important.
Today, Shirley treats us to an interview with a vital member of the team who many of our clients know and love but have rarely ever had the chance to see in person. Ntsali Mota is our Support Team Leader and has been a valuable member of the Placement Partner team for 8 years now and today she shares some of her wisdom with us!
Ntsali started her journey with Placement Partner back in 2012 as a temp receptionist, worked her way up to being a Support Consultant and then went on to become the Support Team Leader. Through this time, her greatest joy has been to get to know all of our clients, even though she has not met many of them face to face, she knows them better than most and has developed a real understanding of the daily challenges faced by Recruiters.
DID YOU KNOW??
Somehow, the effervescent Ntsali doesn’t drink coffee!
What does the Support role entail?
Our primary goal is to ensure that our clients are happy at all times, that they receive the best possible assistance, in a timely manner. It’s our job to ensure that our clients are always getting service with a smile. It’s important for us to be empathetic to their difficulties.
As a team, we strive to work together as a well oiled machine, all for the betterment of our clients. As the team leader I need to motivate and drive the rest of the team to strive for these goals too.
What is the main objective of your role?
Client satisfaction above all else! We want our clients to always be happy, no matter what. This requires the whole team to work together as one organism with this goal as our focus. A big part of this has been working closely with the technical team and learning as much as I can from them in order to better assist our clients.
Most of all, Ntsali says she is grateful for the learning opportunities she has in dealing with each recruiter’s unique interactions and experience with the Placement Partner system.
How have you achieved this objective during the lockdown period?
During the lockdown, much of my motivation has been derived from hearing about and sharing in the successes of my clients. It has really been eye opening to me to see what a positive impact our work is having on the world – When I speak to clients and hear them getting excited about landing a new client or placing candidates I can see that together, we are making a real difference in the world.
The basis of my role hasn’t changed much during these difficult times and that has been a great help! We have been sticking to our motto, making sure that the client always comes first, and keeping to what we know works well for us.
As a team, we know that we must first take good care of ourselves in order to really care for our clients. As they say, inspired people inspire people! It’s nice to have a break from the hustle and bustle. This really has helped me to stay calm and to share this calm with the clients I have been assisting.
I also love the fact that we can now work with our slippers on! This is one thing which I think is really fantastic about our new way of life. Rather than being dragged down by the negatives presented by the lockdown, rather focus on the positives which have come with it and always keep your primary goal at the top of your mind.
What advice can you offer to the Recruiters out there?
Although we are still adapting to the new normal, if you eliminate the fear of the unknown and live for the here and now, there is so much to be gained. Accept that you can only do so much each day and make the most of it. Even if you just put a smile on someone else’s face, know that you have done enough. If we can do this we will come out of the other side feeling transformed and being fundamentally better people.
If you’re feeling motivated and happy today, try to share a little bit of your positivity with others. It might just be the thing that helps another person to get through their difficulties. My hope is that by making these small changes we will come out of this pandemic as better people.
012 345 1495
Today we bring you a really interesting interview with another of our valued team members – Shirley chats with our New Business Developer, Natalie Hans, who shares with us some great advice on how she has stayed on track with her professional goals while taking care of a little one as a single mom.
As you know, our aim is to bring forward each and every one of our team members to offer you a wide range of advice and motivation, from our family to yours!
What is the most important thing that you have learnt in the last 9 weeks of lockdown?
Use your calendar! It is really important to plan in this new way of life. Previously it was easy to just roll out of bed and go with the flow but under these new circumstances it is incredibly easy to lose touch with reality and fall behind on your work. It’s really been valuable to plan out each day with specific time slots for each and every activity, be it personal or work-related.
There are a range of new challenges in working from home, not least of all, taking care of my son throughout the day. I have found that getting up earlier is a helpful trick. This allows me to sort my little one out before the work day gets started. I then also plan to take breaks at specific times during the day to spend time with him, balancing family and work responsibilities.
How will this impact the way you look at life and work going forward?
I’d like to take two major lessons with me going forward. The first being gratitude – There are so many people who are not able to keep working and providing for their families during this time and I feel it’s important to remember how fortunate I am to be able to do so.
The second thing I’ve learnt is that balance is key. I like to set out a plan for each week on a Sunday evening and try my best to follow this plan. This involves thinking about all the things I’d like to achieve and slotting them in depending on factors like how much noise there is in the house and finding constructive ways in which I can keep my son busy.
What are the top 3 things you think we should have in place in order to keep going?
- Be thankful for everything you have. This lockdown can be very overwhelming and depressing and it’s important to be grateful for everything you have in life.
- Practice positive self-talk to boost your gratitude too. As a part of my morning routine, I like to think of 3 to 5 things that I am thankful for everyday. This helps me to start the day off feeling motivated and positive.
- Put some time and effort into your planning and be sure to set goals for yourself which are realistic and attainable in all areas of your life. Remember that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Without this direction it’s very easy to become depressed and negative.
It’s really important to align your personal goals and your professional goals too!
Do you have any words of encouragement for everyone out there?
Remember that the only constant in life is change and know the value in being adaptable. When we adopt a more flexible attitude to life we open ourselves up to learning opportunities. Even when faced with negative situations or feedback, we can take it as an opportunity to learn and to do better the next time. This highlights the things which we can improve upon.
And as I said before, always be thankful. There will always be people who are better off than you and there will always be those who are worse off. Try to be accepting of and grateful for what you do have available to you and make the most of it. Keep pushing on and if possible, do a little to help others too.
Like what you see?
We’re hard at work streamlining the system to slash search times and send your screening into warp speed!
Welcome to the future with Placement Partner.