New recruitment partnership hopes to tap black professionals' networks

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RCA Consulting, a specialist family-owned recruitment firm, has joined forces with MVN Holdings in a BEE deal that is set to break new ground in the industry.

The agreement sees Moses Ngobeni of MVN Holdings teaming up with RCA owned by father-daughter team John Barratt and Louise Lotz.

According to Barratt, the partnership is a marriage that plays perfectly to the strengths of the two parties.

"On the one hand, RCA has a 20-year track record in the recruitment industry with proven systems and procedures, and on the other, MVN Holdings is one of a new wave of well networked, young black organizations that are hungry to move into the recruitment space,' he says.

"By joining forces we believe both parties will prosper - and its good news for companies as well.'

Ngobeni explains that, as the competition for top black talent in South Africa heats up, recruitment agencies need to diversify to ensure that they can continue to offer clients a value-added service.

"It is a common theme among recruiters that black talent is hard to find - and hold onto - but we believe that the problem is they are just not looking in the right place,' says Ngobeni.

"There is no shortage of black talent, only a shortage of know-how when it comes to locating that talent.'

According to Ngobeni recruiters need to start looking outside of traditional retail and advertising spaces if they want to locate black talent especially at senior and executive level. Instead he says networks - both formal and informal - are emerging as new spaces for information exchange for black professionals and could become powerful tools for recruiters.

"The networks of black professionals in this country are really beginning to gel,' says Ngobeni who also heads up the African Unite Business Network - one of the fastest growing structured networking forums for black entrepreneurs and professionals in South Africa.

Started just three years ago, AUBN boasts a core membership of 200 plus and has offices in three cities around the country. It is joined by numerous other professional networking bodies including the association of Black Insurance Professionals in South Africa (BIPSA), the Black Brokers Forum, the Black Filmmakers Network and the Black Integrated Commercial Support Network, to name but a few.

Ngobeni says that the growth of such organizations is indicative of the value black professionals are placing on relationships and networks as a means to advance their careers and that recruiters that learn how to tap these networks will surely prosper.

According to Barratt, the new-look RCA Consulting has placed networks at the heart of its operations adding that this is particularly apt as the relationship between Ngobeni and Barratt itself has its origins in networks. Six years ago Barratt was the recruitment agent who placed Ngobeni in a job in Cape Town, starting him off on a successful career in the retail and fashion sector.

Ngobeni will now plough this experience back into RCA. With his arrival, RCA has broadened its expertise to cover three core areas - retail and fashion, construction and civils, and food and beverages.

"We are a strong team and between us we represent a diversity of experience and ideas. We will be able to facilitate more meaningful placements across our areas of specialization helping to build a stronger, more competitive South Africa,' says Barratt.

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