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What You Should Know Before Hiring Employees

Hiring new employees is imperative for the growth of your business. Often at times, founders of company’s single-handily self-sabotage the growth of their companies because of their reluctance to loosen their span of control. It’s easy to get so caught up with working “in the business” and becoming frustrated by the day-to-day management while you could offload some of those responsibilities so that you can focus on the long-term vision of your company. However, hiring a new employee also isn’t something that should be whimscially done. South Africa has a pro-labor market structure, with trade unions, associations, labor laws and regulations that protect employees. Therefore, it is important to know the various rules, business practices and structures that you should put in place as your hire more staff members and grow your company.

1. Read up on South African labour laws.

Being aware of the standards South African law sets in employer-employee relationships is crucial for your company and the employee. It’s often when these standards are not adhered to that companies find themselves being dragged to the CCMA. This not only has financial implications for the company, but also poses as colossal reputational risk. The following pieces of legislation guide the governance of labour in South Africa:

1. Basic Conditions of Employment Act: This Act prescribes certain minimum conditions of employment which must be applied. These are not inflexible conditions as an employer may exceed the standards set by the act. However, he/she may not offer nor include in any contract a condition that is less favorable to the employee than the corresponding condition contained in the act.

2. Employment Equity Act: This Act that promotes equity in the workplace, ensures that all employees receive equal opportunities and that employees are treated fairly by their employers. The law protects you from unfair treatment and any form of discrimination. The law states that your employer can't discriminate against you directly or indirectly through employment policy or practice.

3. Labour Relations Act: This Act regulates the organizational rights of trade unions and promotes and facilitates collective bargaining at the workplace and at sectoral level. It also deals with strikes and lockouts, workplace forums and alternative dispute resolution.

4. Skills Development Act: The Skills Development Act aims to expand the knowledge and competencies of the labour force in order to improve productivity and employment. The Main Aims of the Act are: To improve the quality of life of workers, their prospects of work and labour mobility.

These pieces of legislation expand on the legal working hours, rules of overtime, maternity leave, working environments. unemployment insurance fund, the national minimum wage and other rules that govern the work place. Before you endeavour to get more team members on board, research and read extensively into these acts. It might just save you a trip to the CCMA or the labour courts by a disgruntled employee. To access copies of the acts, visit the Department of Labour website:

2. A Contract Is Key!

Whether you’re hiring extra support staff or a high-level executive, a contract is crucial. It helps to outline the exact expectations and deliverables the employee must produce as an employee and serves as proof of a working relationship should there ever be a dispute in future. When there is no written contract, there is often ambiguity in relation to a number of important terms and conditions that are attached to the employee’s employment. This equivocation can lead to conflict and tension between the employee and the employer.

3. Will they be a right fit for your company?

As important as the formal qualifications and competency of the prospective employee are, you also have to assess whether their personality, strengths and weaknesses will be a right fit for your company. During the interview process, find out what their personal career goals are, what motivates them and what problems do they want to solve in the world. If the answers to these questions are aligned with the vision and mission of your company, then they will be an asset in your team. It will be no use hiring someone as a marketing strategist when they have an aloof or introverted personality.

These 3 points are critical when thinking about expanding your team. equally understanding and blending them together will create a perfect work environment that your staff will feel privileged to be a part of.


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