The quarterly employment survey recently released by Statistics South Africa announced a net quarterly decrease of 48,000 (-0.5%) jobs between December 2016 and March 2017 – this while South Africa’s unemployment rate already sits at an all-time high of 26.5%.
For those entering the job market hoping for some good news, these latest figures hold no reprieve, particularly with significant decreases observed in the trade, business services and community services industries with 32,000, 23,000 and 8,000 job cuts respectively.
Successful entrepreneur and CEO of Innovative Solutions Group, Arnoux Maré, says this scenario presents the country with fertile ground to breed successful local entrepreneurs to increase the job pool and grow the economy from within.
And he should know. Maré left a comfortable and thriving corporate career in sales and marketing to start his own business, Innovative Staffing Solutions, in his lounge in 2011. All he had was a revolutionary staffing idea and R600 in his pocket. Six years later his business is R600 million strong and employs over 7,000 employees.
Maré is quick to add that business was not always plain sailing. With his never-say-die attitude, a setback in 2012 which necessitated the closure of some branches and redeployment of employees, was seen as a steep and hard learning curve.
“I took a step back during that time to probe what went wrong but moved three steps forward when I mapped out my company and our competitors’ product and service offering. Having learnt a few hard lessons, I remapped my terrain and came up with a product that has made Innovative Staffing Solutions totally unique in its field of outsourcing employees,” he continues.
With a clear understanding of the rules of the game, staying true to his values and philosophy of innovation, and aligning to clients’ needs so that they can focus on their core business, the startup quickly recovered.
With the business growing rapidly under his command as a result of Maré’s consistent hard work, keeping things practical and focusing on his core business offering, Innovative Staffing Solutions started buying up the companies that was providing it with ancillary services. As a result, Innovative Solutions Group was borne which now incorporates 17 subsidiaries across a variety of sectors. Although Innovative Staffing Solutions remain its largest operation, Innovative Accounting Solutions, Innovative BEE Solutions, Innovative PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Solutions, and Innovative Guarding Solutions are growing rapidly as they too add direct value to Staffing clients’ business needs.
Maré says that this current economic downturn is the perfect opportunity for organisations in the transport, mining, engineering and hospitality sectors to sign their employees over to Innovative Staffing Solutions.
“It makes economic sense for companies to contract their staffing needs to us as it is a win-win situation for the employee and the organisation. We are not labour brokers. Innovative Staffing Solutions contractually agree to employ our clients’ staff on a permanent basis so whether we maintain a client’s staffing contract or not is regardless. Employees do not risk losing their jobs because our client’s staffing requirements might have changed. We simply outsource our staff to another client who is in need of our qualified or specialised employees’ services. Companies don’t risk having to lay off or retrench people because of an economic downturn and don’t have to face the subsequent organised labour consequences as a result thereof. By utilising our services, we manage the client’s complete human resources function, which allows them to focus on their core business and growing their organisation,” he continues.
He adds that in the company’s six years of existence, it has never faced industrial action because “working for Innovative Staffing Solutions often means employees receive better benefits, improved and managed working hours and have a dedicated manager who can address their individual concerns.”
Innovative Solutions Group remains on a robust growth trajectory with a projected 48% increase in revenue for this year of which 115% has already been exceeded.
“Going forward, Innovative Solutions Group will keep doing what it does and continue to build our operations with new business acquisitions and carefully considered investments, as well as creating and stimulating job opportunities which contribute to government’s poverty alleviation goals,” concludes Maré.
*First published on 20 July 2017, I Love ZA