Embarking on a new South African digital journey

Author
Mobiquity
Publication Date
17 January 2022

Embarking on a new South African digital journey

Founded in 2011, Mobiquity’s focus on mobile technology solutions has continually adapted to suit the ever changing needs of our clients and evolving technologies of each market. As we celebrate 10 years at Mobiquity and our ever expanding client base worldwide, we recognise the importance and benefit to our customers of having local teams. We saw a growing demand for a local Mobiquity team in South Africa as we have a growing client base and that is exactly why this year we decided to open a new hub there.

However, in the current restricted world we are living in, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this brought a significant obstacle to our team who were not able to physically travel to South Africa to find and meet the people we needed to head up this new journey. But this did not stop them in their quest of securing the top talent to start this new and exciting adventure.

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Building a team for a new hub virtually

Although recruiting and hiring employees virtually has become the new normal worldwide, it was a new first to virtually hire a team to start a new hub in a new country and continent for our recruitment team. I caught up with two of them to find out more about this experience.

It’s not always easy to find the right talent but as soon as you do, it’s priceless!

recruiting-alice1Alice Revest, Senior Recruiter at Mobiquity: “It was a great experience to make my first hire in South Africa and definitely an exciting challenge! I’m very happy to be part of opening new offices in other locations and It's great to see Mobiquity continue to grow from strength to strength. When recruiting virtually, it’s important to remember the candidate experience. Being as transparent as you can with candidates about our growth plans and setting the right expectations is vital. We are not just looking for a technical fit but more importantly for a cultural fit. We look for people who are adaptable, who are curious towards new ways of working, new practices and technologies and who are willing to grow within the company and share their experience and knowledge with others.

It can of course be challenging at times, especially when hiring in a dynamic market such as South Africa. Since summer 2021, we have teamed up with OfferZen, a recruitment platform focused mainly on engineering roles, based out of Cape Town. By partnering with local agencies this helps us to understand the market better, and provide more clarity around salary ranges and what's expected within the hiring process in that country. For example, you need to make sure that you understand exactly what information is required per region within your offer letter as from one country to another, it’s completely different! Fortunately, we also have an amazing HR team on hand to also help us out.

Digital recruiting has many benefits. It gives us greater exposure, we can source passive candidates and connect with them much quicker and easier. It also gives not only the candidate back some time, but also us recruiters as we can handle more interviews within one day making the entire process a lot more efficient. I definitely see it here to stay for the future, but of course when possible I think it’s great to have that human face to face interaction.”

The future of recruiting is definitely hybrid

recruiting-mahmoud1Mahmoud Aly, Technical Recruiter at Mobiquity: “It was my first time recruiting in the South Africa region. It definitely adds to the challenge when you are also looking for the very first members for a new hub, but it is also very exciting. It’s great to be a part of building something from scratch and it's really nice to see those people you interview become colleagues and watch them succeed in their new role.

The key for me when recruiting in general, but particularly when recruiting in a new region, is to be prepared! You must give yourself sufficient time to learn and understand the new market before speaking with candidates. Try to figure out what drives candidates within that region, as more than likely it will be different to what drives candidates in the usual countries you work in. It's important to also take on board how people communicate within the region. Even something as simple as how to communicate salaries. For example, in Europe we mostly talk about yearly salaries, whereas in South Africa monthly salaries are most commonly shared. Small preparations like this will enable you to create a better candidate experience and reduce potential frictions and miscommunications.

Digital recruiting is here to stay. It makes sense as it saves time and speeds up the process. But when possible we must make sure to include the human aspect. Ideally going forward I think having face to face meetings towards the end of the interview process would work well. This would give recruiters an opportunity to get to know the potential candidate better, but would also help the candidate to get a better feel for their new work environment and potential colleagues.”

Joining the South African team

I also spoke with some of our new South African colleagues on their experience of going through the interview, onboarding process and joining the Mobiquity team remotely as some of the first members of our growing new South Africa hub.

Digital recruiting enabled me to start my new adventure remotely

zoom-recruiting-mosheMoshe Lesejane, FrontEnd Engineer: “I was looking for a change and wanted to work for an international company so had put my CV up on OfferZen, a local recruitment platform for technical roles, when Mobiquity reached out to me. Exciting is how I would describe my overall experience. Right from the first zoom meetings I had I felt that there was something different about Mobiquity. I love the fact that I can work with senior professionals from all over the world. Joining as one of the first members for the new South African hub adventure. There is of course some more responsibility and a mutual trust needed between both sides, but this only motivates me more to step up to the challenge.

Looking back two years ago, the idea of recruiting and setting up a hub in another country without a team being able to physically go there, would not have been an option for most companies. Times are changing and working digitally is becoming the new normal. You don’t have to put your career goals or company expansion plans on hold. Having said that, of course the human perspective is still very important and should not be completely dismissed. Once it is safe to do so I look forward to welcoming my EU colleagues to South Africa, and also look forward to visiting the main office in Amsterdam. I am excited about this new journey and looking forward to challenging myself, learning new skills and gaining new experiences working at Mobiquity.”

I was amazed by how fast the digital interview process could go

zoom-recruiting-andreAndre Dreyer, Senior DevOps Engineer: “I receive many LinkedIn requests from recruiters, but there was something about the way Mobiquity reached out and interacted with me that made me take notice. One thing that really impressed me throughout the entire process was the speed in which I was responded to and how well the Mobiquity team understood the market. Any question I had was answered and responded to right away. Throughout the process I interviewed with many different Mobiquity colleagues, and the overriding factor was that I could feel the same kind, positive and friendly attitude from everyone. The technical interview was by far the most fun interview I have ever had.

It became real for me a week before my start date when my equipment arrived. As working remotely becomes our new normal, it does feel strange to not have met all of my new colleagues in person, but I cannot say that I feel disadvantaged or excluded in any way. I have never felt this comfortable as a new joiner anywhere. Usually it's one of the most stressful times - and I haven't had that with Mobiquity. It's just not stressful. And although it can be quite a steep learning curve jumping straight into some big projects, the support that I've gotten from my team has been amazing. I look forward to continuing this journey.”

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Looking towards the future

As Mobiquity looks forward towards the next 10 years of growth, we are focusing our attention towards developing immersive customer experiences, with digital products at its core. Helping our customers get from the idea stage right through to development and even further with our digital branding and marketing services. As products move from place to space, with the explosion of digital points in our everyday lives, the new task for brands centre around how they can weather this disruption and stay top of mind for customers by creating immersive experience, combining data-driven strategy, human-centric design and high tech engineering with dynamic branding and product marketing.

How can we do this? With our talented pool of employees. As we continue to grow our brand presence and offerings worldwide we must ensure that we continue to hire top talent who not only are experts in their field, but also fit within Mobiquity’s culture. Because that is what makes Mobiquity stand out! Both in terms of our work for our clients and the company itself, we are constantly pushing ourselves to be the best we can be, to change and adapt our style and approaches to become even more innovative and achieve our goals.

And we are not stopping here! We are continually looking for more colleagues to help further grow and develop our South African team. We have also opened up a further two new hubs this year in Australia and the UK, and are very excited to see what the future holds.

Interested in joining an innovative, passionate and challenging environment? Check out our careers page for our open positions across our South Africa, Amsterdam, Australia, UK, US and India offices:

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