Success Stories

Since 2002, Competence SA has successfully assisted businesses with their unique problems. Our utimate goal for our clients is for them to realise their vision and business objectives. We can assist them in doing so, by tackling their people management problems.

Below are just some accounts of the issues we were able to help with and the results of our interventions. We pride ourselves on our dynamic offering and customized business solutions. If any of these problems sound familiar or you'd like to explain your dilemma, contact us for a free consultation.

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Psychometric assessments for selection

“We need to incorporate psychometric testing as part of a standardized selection process. In terms of the latest Labour Law amendments, Psychometric Assessments are the only form of valid screening. This needs be applied consistently throughout the group.”

Many companies make use of psychometric testing as part of their selection process. However, there is not always a logical rationale behind assessment, nor a carefully crafted assessment strategy. This client is listed group of companies that is now considered one of the top ‘empowerment’ companies in South Africa. Consisting of different subsidiaries, each division had its own approach to assessment and their respective service providers. Starting with the Group office, we developed an assessment strategy that matched their corporate objectives, accompanied by different batteries of tests associated with different talent management objectives and different job grades.

In time, this standardized approach was applied to all divisions, allowing the Group as a whole to use psychometric assessment as proactive talent management resource. Our assessments form part of the company’s prescribed selection process. Over the last number of years over 300 assessments have been conducted as a means of implementing the company’s talent management strategy. This enabled them to comply with Labour Law and have a standardized process that facilitates the best selection of top talent in the industry.
If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Improving sourcing, selection and interviewing of top talent

“Good talent is scarce, but to find top engineers is the biggest struggle we have! How can we ensure that we interview only the best and are then able to select the top performers? We are wasting time and money in the process and it has a negative impact on our ability to reach business goals.”

Despite the efforts of this client and all the money they had spent on recruitment agencies, they didn’t find the staff they were looking for. Many of those that they did employ turned out to perform below expectations.  The time and money spent on interviews was not productive as they only employed 25% of those who were interviewed.  We streamlined their recruitment and selection processes (without the use of recruitment agencies) and improved the effectiveness whereby they now employ more than 60% of those interviewed, also improving the quality of staff they employ.  If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


HR Outsourced Services

 “Our company has grown rapidly over a short period of time. The need for an HR person is becoming more pertinent. Is there some HR outsourcing available to get our HR in place?”

Our client was a small to medium, but fast growing organization – HR and People Management started to become the biggest stumbling block to reaching the anticipated organizational growth.   It became increasingly more difficult to employ the right people.  Senior staff were not equipped to deal with all sorts of people issues coming their way, and they preferred to stick to the technical work that made them successful this far.  Staff became increasingly unhappy, which resulted in a high staff turnover – putting more pressure on finding quality staff to replace them to support the growing demand for services.  With our interventions, we helped them grow their staff complement by 93%, improving staff morale and staff retention also improving the quality of staff they employ. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Ruling out poor performance and poor performers

“We can see that some staff members are consistently underperforming. The problem is: we don’t have an HR Manager at our company. We are not sure how to take action but poor performance is hurting our business.”

Our client did not yet have a dedicated person managing the HR/ People Management practices in their organization.  Some employees were not performing according to expectations, but with the fear of the CCMA ruling against them, they did not take action.  After implementing a Performance Management system and empowering Line Managers to take action, they were able to treat their staff fairly, taking action where performance was not according to standard.  The business was back on track again and able to meet the needs of their clients. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Competency Framework and Interviewing Guides

“We are anticipating rapid growth. For this, we need to increase our staff at a junior level. How do we know what to look for and make the best selection in the shortest possible time, keeping in line with legislation?”

This logistics company experienced radical expansion. To help the company ensure that the candidates interviewed really possessed the skills that they required, we recommended they acquire our CSA Competency Framework and accompanying interview guides. Thereafter we trained line managers in competency-based interviewing. We also customized our competency framework to address the required work level. Through this process, line managers became fully empowered, took ownership of the selection of new employees and, together with HR, were able to easily differentiate between candidates who matched the skills sets required and those who were merely good interviewees. At the same time, the professional way in which interviews were conducted made a positive impression on new entrants’ perception of the company. In addition, the CSA Competency Framework now plays a pivotal role in pre-employment selection and it enables the company to gear their developmental interventions around these competencies. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Objectively determining potential to become leaders

“How can we objectively assess the leadership potential of a group of nominated individuals in our organisation? We want to determine whether the nominated candidates have potential for a role beyond his/her current, and if so, what the degree of potential is. Would these individuals be better suited to a generalist manager or specialist role?”

Using a battery of psychometric tests, consisting of a personality questionnaire and reasoning tests, as well as simulations like an in-basket exercise, role play and leaderless group discussion, we were able to advise executive management, as well as provide developmental feedback to the individuals concerned.

So successful was this intervention that it became an annual event and part of the company’s talent management strategy.
After 8 years, a longitudinal evaluation of recommendations was carried out by the company to see how accurate our recommendations were. The results showed a .85 correlation with our findings, suggesting that for every 10 predictions we made, more than 8 turned out correctly. As such, the company has the confidence that when we make a recommendation regarding a person’s potential and best utilization based on the set battery of tests, the advice can be trusted. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Employee Climate Survey

“Our company has expanded quite rapidly. I’m feeling like I’m losing touch with employees. I don’t have the time or objectivity to investigate but I’m concerned that there could be underlying issues I should be aware of and address.”

This Engineering client contacted us and explained the above problem. He also felt he wouldn’t get the right answers if he just asked himself. The Competence SA team came to assist him and we started out by doing a climate survey. After speaking to his employees we found that, although they liked working for the company, they weren’t always sure about what they were expected to do. They didn’t feel that work was evenly spread out across the employees and this ambiguity was stressful. It also led to some responsibilities falling through the cracks. The next step in this intervention was to draw up objective and accurate job profiles to clearly state what each employee was responsible for. These job profiles were drawn up in consultation with the incumbent and line manager.

They now use these job profiles as the basis for selection, development and performance appraisal purposes as well. Employees feel more confident to do their work effectively and nothing falls between the cracks anymore. The manager felt confident that he was now more in touch with his employees and happy that he was able to address his concern so quickly and effectively. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Pain-free performance appraisal discussions

“We know we should be doing performance appraisals, but I’m picking up resistance from my managers. They don’t feel confident to do this effectively. How do I equip my managers?”

This client of ours in the engineering industry contacted us for assistance. We ran a performance management workshop with all the line managers to equip them with the skills needed to have a pain-free performance management process. This workshop offered managers the opportunity to conduct role-plays and practice objective appraisals in a safe environment with correction and advice. The managers left that course feeling empowered to deal with any performance issues confidently. They also felt equipped to provide constructive, objective and performance-enhancing feedback and realised the importance of feedback as a key competency of effective leadership. This had a significant impact on overall business performance results. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Identifying and developing leadership potential

“How do I identify and develop leadership potential within our organisation?”

This award-winning airport services company had a need to develop internal leadership potential but they didn’t know how to identify true potential and individual learning gaps. Through a specially selected battery of psychometric assessments, simulation exercises, experiential learning activities and skilled facilitation we allowed these individuals the opportunity to understand what it means to be a leader and what areas of leadership they would need to work on. Our Leadership Development Centre assisted this client to identify true leadership potential and they were now able to pinpoint the development gaps. This enabled us to develop a blended individualised learning plan to take their leadership to the next level. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Retaining top talent through exit interviews

“We are losing all our best talent! It is costing a fortune. How do we avoid losing any more of our valuable staff?”

This client of ours experienced very high rates of staff turnover. They couldn’t understand why they were losing staff and constantly having to replace them. This was causing huge financial loss as well as headaches for the recruitment/talent acquisition team. We suggested starting out by conducting exit interviews with those individuals who were leaving the organisation. It was clear from these discussions that serious changes needed to be made in their inflexible policies and unclear communication lines. These issues were causing frustrations for staff and many could not tolerate it. We also found that their salary scales were outdated. After conducting a job grading exercise, we were able to realign their remuneration and be a more competitive employer in the industry. Through this exercise they were able to avoid losing any more of their top talent. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Improving staff turnover

“Our staff turnover of more than 35% is a huge concern. Although our company is growing, we are not retaining our top talent and it is costing us too much money. We need to step up our game and recruit and retain the very best of these scarce skills. How can we achieve this?”

For this client, a high staff turnover of more than 35%, was a huge concern.  They employ internationally scares skills and a high staff turnover had a significant impact on their bottom line.   Through the following interventions, we managed to bring their staff turnover down to below 10%:

•    Applied an integrated approach to align all HR and People Management practices to support the Business objectives
•    Designed Job descriptions for all roles
•    Designed Job profiles for all the roles
•    Wrote HR Policies and Procedures to support the rules of engagement between employer and employee
•    Ensuring all practices were aligned to current Labour legislation
•    Streamlining recruitment and selection practices, cutting out recruitment agencies completely and employing the best of the best.
•    Psychometric assessments for all current staff and shortlisted applicants
•    Launched a Performance Management System
•    Identified poor, middle and top performers and dealt with each fairly
•    Conducted Exit interviews with all leavers to identify areas of improvement
•    Identified Training and Development requirements for all staff members
If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


Streamlining and standardizing job descriptions in a large organisation

“We’ve got job descriptions in most of our business units, but they’re not in the same format and some are very old. We don’t know if what our Production Manager in one division does is the same as what a Production Manager does in another. We have too many job descriptions and we don’t know which ones are relevant.”

Our client, in the fishing industry needed us to revise and standardize output-based job profiles across all divisions. The requirements were that similar jobs had to be broadly similar in content, irrespective of the business unit. It was also important that the job profiles reflected the company’s strategy and critical key performance indicators. Over the next 2 years, more than 1000 profiles were revised or created and standardized by our team across several business units and departments, thus enabling a uniform approach, which in turn, will lead to consistency and fairness, as well as enhanced clarity surrounding accountabilities and company-specific quality standards.

This aided the company to integrate their human capital practices by using this standardised document in recruitment, selection, performance management, development and succession planning. If you identify with this problem and you’d like to learn more - secure an appointment, so we can provide a customised solution for your unique needs.


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