My visit to the Johannesburg office – so much more than a whistle stop tour….
By Ashleigh Fitzgerald, Antal International Operations Director
Conscious of time constraints, my trip to the Joburg office was action packed. Franchise Owner Alan Russell met me for breakfast where we caught up on Antal business. After a short, fast journey (and might I add, treacherous journey for a nervous passenger), we arrived at the office. The office block is typical of a UK business park, and infact reminded me of the Warrington office, with the addition of blue skies!
I was greeted with a warm welcome from Wendy and I had to stop and admire the most impressive Antal sign on the reception wall. I was then introduced to the whole team and kick-started the day.
Not to miss out, I also met the team in the Cape Town office via Skype – an enthusiastic and fun group, our call was with lots of smiles and humour. It was clear that everyone is working hard to develop business, generate revenue and promote the Antal brand – photographic evidence supports this.
I had the privilege to walk the floor in the office, meet the whole team one by one and talk in more detail with a few people about their daily working practices and experiences of being part of the Antal group.
The office chip board, tracking all key performance indicators was a common focal point as the consultants preferred a visual representation of their progress both within the office and in comparison to the Cape Town office (we do love healthy competition).
Sylvester Mhlongo patiently talked me through his daily approach to the business and typical frustrations he experienced which namely involved poor feedback from clients and candidates moving the goal posts on what they considered a fair package (surely a worldwide phenomena). His aspirations are to develop his desk and in time, grow a team – go for it Sylvester.
Mdu Ncube allowed me to shadow his head-hunting activities as he tried to track down the ever elusive insurance professional – what struck me was his methodical approach to the task in hand and prior research which provided him a list of target names to speak with. I listened to his calls as he worked with vigour and determination to connect with his prime candidates.
From the in-depth conversations with Alan Russell it is clear that the business is driven with the Antal model, everyone in the office works with this in mind. The marketing team in London will also be delighted to see the client presentation was in use, on desks and taken to client meetings – result!
I am thankful for the time I had with the offices in South Africa and I hope that my words of encouragement to share more business internationally and stretch creativity by customising the tools available for clients and local market proved useful.
It goes without saying that the people in the South African offices are a first class team, they are highly motivated, professional and passionate about Antal, lead from the front by Alan Russell who’s leadership and respect from his staff was clear to see.
Thank you again, everyone in the Joburg and Cape Town offices, for your kind hospitality – I look forward to my next trip already.