Read this advice from Career Custodians, the recruitment agency that Village n Life works with.


For most employers, finding good staff and improving toxic company culture can feel near impossible. And likewise for job seekers, finding employers who meet their needs can also feel hopeless.

However, there are better methods than the hiring strategies currently in use.

Highly accurate personality assessments, competency mapping, and team development tools have helped organisations to effectively tackle the most challenging dilemmas facing the South African working world.

These methods are the speciality of Career Custodians, a recruitment agency for the hospitality sector in Cape Town. With industry professional, psychologist Hilton Calder, Career Custodians helps candidates and companies get answers.


1. Psychometric Tools Get Employers and Candidates the Perfect Fit

As Hilton explains: “Career Custodians doesn’t just find out if the potential employee fits the company, but also if the company fits the potential employee.”

Career Custodians uses psychometric tools that include several parts: personality assessments and cognitive testing, further broken down into verbal, logical, and numerical sections. The tools involve over 200 questions, and can even determine validity. In other words, the tools measure the accuracy of the results by measuring the test-taker’s biases.

What makes Career Custodians unique is that the psychometric tools are South African specific. What this means is that the tools are based on South African norms that are updated regularly.

The results? Objective and reliable data on employee fit.

“The personality assessments and cognitive testing have allowed me to see past an applicant’s CV to the skills and attitudes that will make the difference in the long run.”

Robyn Capendale

Manager, Tourism Creative Agency

And the ability to see past the CV is key when considering the cost to the employer to appoint the wrong person. Some estimates say it costs up to two years salary if a new employee leaves within their first 6 months.


2. Team Development to Tackle Toxic Company Culture

Landing an excellent candidate is fruitless if negative company culture makes it impossible for a new employee to thrive.

But negative company culture is not impossible to improve.

“Company culture must be tackled right from the top and that’s where we start with team development,” Hilton elaborates.

Team development entails firstly the identification of team personality profiles. Subsequently, Hilton guides the team through development workshops. Essentially, the goal is to ensure that everyone understands the role each team member plays, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.

Village n Life, an established hospitality group and Career Custodians’ biggest client, knows first hand the benefits of improving company culture. Previously, the company had a problem with high staff turnover.

Then, Village n Life’s senior management team worked with Career Custodians and Hilton to undergo on-going team development.

“We can now tackle issues head-on,” says Maree Brink, Village n Life chairman. “And that is making improvements throughout the company.”


3. Hiring through Competency Mapping

Another one of the tools that Career Custodians uses is Competency Mapping. Career Custodians will break down a job opening into competencies, essentially the specific skills, attitudes, and knowledge that the ideal candidate would need to possess.

Then, Career Custodians measure the potential employee’s results from the psychometric tools against these job competencies. Hilton never sees the CVs of the applicants and so can give an unbiased opinion to employers about job candidates.

Competency Mapping, along with these other available tools allows the process of hiring to be objective and strategic.


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