by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
A month ago I decided it was probably time to look for help again. This was driven by the fact that I had been off work for a few weeks due to personal struggles and was more than just behind on everything. Plus this, I had a wedding coming up. So the panic and anxiety and my friends made me do it! Well, great advice from them, though I was in no space to be my 100% self. I needed help, as any other human being does on this earth. I needed to hire.
I was, though, dreading this hiring chore. I have done it before and I recall how challenging it was. I made a couple of calls to my friends and aired my views and fears with them prior to starting. A lot of my fears were based on past experiences with other employees, some who lasted and others who didn’t at all. This, of course, brought to light how I was not done dealing with whatever disappointment I had experienced with hiring before. I decided this time to record important parts of this process so as to remember next time this comes up again, and I am sharing these with you all now to help you all in your hiring processes:
1. The advert must be clear and to the point
I have learned not to leave anything out in an advert; literally to including the range of how much you are offering to pay; where you are based, the hours, etc. if this is not done you will end up with a lot of responses that are not correct for you. This is frustrating because it is time consuming and adverts cost money. So, write the ad as though it is for a Grade 1 child, keeping in mind not everyone is good at English.
2. Miss hits
After your perfect advert has been run, people not included in your advert will still contact you. This is because we live in a country where jobs are limited. I had people from Pretoria responding to my recent advert and I had to say again, we are in Modderfontein, Johannesburg! This was both annoying and heart wrenching. I wanted to help the person but in turn I knew I couldn’t. The one way I had to sift out possible positive applications was asking the following questions:
How old are you?
Where do you live?
Can you read patterns?
The answers to these questions would assist me in deciding who to continue with and who not to.
This is 100% the experience. At some point, I even contemplated starting an employment agency for the fashion industry. There are simply a lot, a lot, a lot of people looking for work. It is painful to say NO. It hurts to know I could change someone’s life and I am currently unable to! I can see the potential that my business, Roka Roko, has and the growth we could have, but we currently simply cannot afford to hire more people. This part of the whole experience is just painful.
4. Public transportation affects everything
After a few enquiries with a few hits from the advert, I started notifying them that they would need to organise transport to get them to Kempton park or Greenstone; then another taxi to Modderfontein. This proved to be a struggle for a lot of people as the taxis needed to get to us then totalled 3. This is 3 taxis to and 3 taxis from work; 6 in total in one day. This fast became an important factor in the whole process of recruiting. I want to say consider this when you are looking for a location for your business in the beginning; but for some of us it is too late. The best we can do is consider this when doing the advert.
5. The last decision is yours
There are numerous tips on who to go with after interviewing a couple of people; most are more strategic than anything else. I really cannot tell anyone how to pick or decide on the right person to hire. For me I know I need to really get along with the person; as in we really have to joke and laugh together. I have met a couple of fashion business people who have told me that they don’t do this with their team; as to whether it works out or not I don’t know. I think every business demands a specific culture in the office; and every one of us has a personality that demands certain traits in those we keep around us. I need someone I like; I can talk to about the work without bad energy and I can have disputes with without animosity. So, at the end you know who you need.
The fact that I am still to go through this process a lot more in my future is daunting, but I am hoping in the future I am able to do more hiring and help more people. Creating employment opportunities is most definitely one of our core goals and passions at Roka Roko; it is also one of the most challenging. Who knows, maybe I will have an HR team to do this for us in future, God allowed.
Brigette Mashile is the founder and creative force behind Roka Roko, a custom fashion design business based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company passionately delivers quality tailored and trendy fashion to make their customers happy, and specializes in styling women by creating unusual combinations with fabric, culture and style. Brigette has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand and a Fashion Diploma from Studio5 School of Fashion. She’s a former fashion buyer for a major retailer in South Africa, and an international direct selling company. She’s been passionate about fashion since the age of 10 and gained invaluable experience in the fashion world running informal fashion creation businesses until the day her own Roka Roko brand was born. Find out more by visiting the Roka Roko website www.rokaroko.co.za
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