Identifying Potential: An innovative approach

People are at the heart of our purpose, and it’s our ambition that PnS employees don’t stagnate in their roles. We want them to progress, learn and grow, to push themselves to acquire new skills and a variety of experience, so that they can advance and improve their lives. New opportunities for higher level jobs diminish as you advance in most organisations however, which is why it’s important that we continue to grow, so we can grow these opportunities in the group.

South Africa has very high levels of unemployment and we’re inundated daily with job applications. Many CV’s look the same with very little to distinguish one candidate from the next, many with only a Matric, which is a minimum PnS Group requirement, or a very general post Matric school qualification. It’s hard to tell them apart or make a judgement call, especially for an entry level position. There are some things it’s hard to tell when looking at a CV, someone’s school marks or even meeting them. A newly formed Social Enterprise called “Labour that Works” believes that there are three things that are very important to be able to tell about someone when deciding to take them on and invest in them as a permanent employee. They believe that it is these three things that will directly impact on their ability to add real value to a business, succeed and progress in any organisation – and in life. They are:

  • The ability to learn
  • Work Ethic
  • Grit or resilience and determination

PnS co-funded a pilot project for a newly formed social enterprise called Labour that Works. A unique initiative in South Africa, Labour that Works are developing a pioneering methodology for practically assessing personal work ethic, resilience and learning ability to identify individuals with potential at the unskilled, entry level of the labour market. The Pilot project was to do an initial test of this methodology. Their vision is to identify and elevate hidden talent, enabling organisations to make focussed recruitment investments in people with remarkable, latent potential. They aim to empower low-skilled workers to differentiate themselves and to prepare for job interviews. The organisation intends to further assist by providing access to potential employment, employee development opportunities, mentoring and educating employees with basic life skills to enable them to break the poverty cycle in their families. The pilot was conducted in October 2019 in Underberg in KZN, with 19 participants spending twelve days in the programme.

Labour that Works wants to challenge how companies think about the employment of low skilled labour. They are passionate about the role work ethic can play and believe in employing people based on their competencies rather than paper qualifications. Not satisfied with people working and earning the same wage year after year, they believe if the right people are employed, they will bring better value, and with the right investment will grow and be able to grow their net worth over time.