Paragon Investment Holdings (PIH) is a leading private equity and business management company. It has numerous commercial interests that include property development, duty-free operations, publishing and many more.
Paragon possesses a management duality that ensures it remains a truly exemplary Namibian company.
In a large business environment, it possesses the determination, commitment and entrepreneurial innovation that are commonly found in a small business heart.
The Windhoek Observer’s Kaula Nhongo (KN) interviewed PIH Human Capital Officer Ruth Andreas (RA) about her role and emerging trends in the sector.
KN: What are some of the growing trends in the HR industry?
RA:There is talent management, in terms of developing the talents of employees, and job enrichment, which is about creating a perfect job fit. There is also career and personal development.
KN: Do you see a skills gap in Namibia that is a barrier to recruiting the staff you need to achieve your company’s targets?
RA: The major concern is not the qualification, but the on-the-job skills, as well as the attributes and personality of the applicant, are the major focus in recruiting the right candidate that fits in our kind of organisation.
KN: These days there are many job openings requesting the uploading of general skills, so that a computer program sorts out incoming CVs and compares them to the requirements for the job. Do you foresee a time in the future when computers do the hiring instead of HR experts?
RA: There might come a time where a computer can do the administration part of recruitment, but not a face-to-face interview. A computer is programme-based and I doubt it will carry out all the requirements of recruitment. I agree that technology, with the help of a HR expert, can carry out recruitment to a specific extend, but at the end of it there will be an HR expert doing all that is necessary.
KN: Are companies moving towards outsourcing capacity and services more or is this less of a concern these days?
RA: It depends on what kind of outsourcing the company seeks and the cost of outsourcing, and if there are qualified individuals in the company that are able and qualified to carry out the tasks at hand. Outsourcing has it benefits and also it disadvantages. I prefer training individuals within the company to carry out the tasks, instead of outsourcing, as from my point of view, outsourcing can be quite costly.
KN: Tell us about some big no-no’s in terms of drafting a CV and during an interview process. What are you NOT looking for?
RA: My big no-no in a CV is to make it an essay. Keep it brief and to the point. Match the CV with the job application. That is my advice.
KN: How does it help an employee to learn other skills or to update existing skills?
RA: I believe in performance development and my focus is to develop employees within the organisation, matching their attributes and skills to the job, and developing them via training in all skills they lack.
KN: Tell us about your background, education and years of work. Are you married or single? Do you have kids? What are your hobbies?
RA: I am the holder of Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and I am currently doing my postgraduate at NUST. I started my employment in 2013 as an HR intern at KPMG Switzerland as part of an exchange programme called B360, in partnership with NUST.I have also worked in the motor spares and diamond industries. I have roughly three years of experience in human resources. I am single lady with no kids. My hobbies are going to church, getting to know people and lending a helping hand. I also like writing, preferably poems.
KN: What do you do to relax?
RA: I take walks, I talk to friends and take showers.
KN: Would you say yours is a lucrative career and why?
RA: Human resources add value to the organisation by creating the right balanced relationship between employer and employee. HR is broad and finding the right fit is inevitable.
KN: What makes you passionate about your career?
RA: I love what I do and there is no way I will trade it for any other career.
KN: What is your power principle?
RA: Do everything as though you are doing it for yourself. Do the right thing, the right way.