Investing in people is as valuable as investing in mining, industry and other tangible industries. This is according to Ian Baker, director of Geotech Resourcing. Facilitating the placement of candidates in both South Africa and Africa plays an important role in growing the skills and experience of our workforce. This in turn impacts positively on the economy, he says.

The Cape Town-based company partnered with Unipalm Investment Holdings in 2017. Attaining Level 2 B-BBEE status enabled them to become a Preferred Supplier Agreement (PSA) for a range of corporates they had previously not had access to. But the relationship with Unipalm goes deeper. ‘We were looking for a partner that had vision and wasn’t in it just for the profit. We are in the business of helping people, so not all our decisions are commercial,’ says Baker.

Investing in human capital

From Unipalm’s perspective, the investment in Geotech provided it with front row participation in promoting human capital in the mining, petrochemical, ICT and Oil and Gas sectors. ‘In all businesses, there is a people aspect. Unipalm saw an opportunity to open doors commercially by having a recruitment partner and leveraging off the network,’ says Baker.

The recruitment industry is under pressure. Some of the factors driving this are that companies are using technology and social media to source candidates. The industry is having to explore new ways to cement relationships with clients and building strategic partnerships with clients is more important than ever. This says Baker, why having a partner such as Unipalm is mutually beneficial.

The rise of temporary staffing solutions

Geotech has seen a rise in the demand for outsourced staffing and responding to this need in the market is an opportunity for recruiters, says Baker. Geotech’s primary focus is on providing executive and middle management placements. In 2019, the company expanded into providing temporary employment services, including outsourced HR services. ‘There is a move towards hiring people to work on a project basis. We have also seen growth in medium-sized businesses that need the support of human resources, but are not big enough to warrant a full-time staff member,’ he explains.

Strategic outsourced labour will remain a focus of the company, as the need for fulfilment in for human capital in this capacity grows. ‘Growth will come with corporates looking to make use of these services increasingly,’ says Baker.

There will continue to be demand for placements in information technology, where there is a skills shortage, Baker explains. There will also continue to be opportunities in the mining sector in South Africa, he believes. ‘Mining is almost its own entity. It doesn’t only service traditional engineering. There are opportunities for human resource candidates, and all the other roles required by a business,’ he says.

Since its inception in 2011, Geotech has placed candidates across the African continent with clients ranging from blue-chip companies and national consortiums to innovative start-ups.  Unipalm invested in Geotech in 2017.