Ukusa – “the break of dawn”
Ukusa Executive Search was formed in October 2002 as an empowerment executive search and
placement company, a truly representative company, which offers further added value services
including business development, change management and the whole spectrum of HR
performance improvement. Ukusa Executive Search is the amalgamation of three highly
respected Executive Search and Human Resource Specialist companies with over 50 years of
consulting and senior management experience between them.

Ukusa Executive Search is a national and international executive search practice focusing on
high level and specialised appointments across a broad range of industries. We operate from
offices in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town and are part of a network of executive search
companies operating in over 60 countries via our international partner affiliations with SearchNet
International and First Interview. This gives us the flexibility of being a small focused South
African company with the capabilities of a large organisation. In addition, we offer clients and
candidates access to global networks and opportunities.

Our primary function is to research the marketplace and identify the best executives within
various industries and match them to the position available within the constraints of the current
skill shortage and the increasing demand for skilled professional personnel.

Our primary focus is placed on understanding our client’s strategy, business culture and
management style before we look at the opportunity and requirements of the position in question.
In addition, we advise our clients on external market conditions, competitor activity and key
person movements within the confines of confidentiality.

The team have earned a reputation for a high level of professionalism and value add to our
clients, which is based on service delivery and confirmed by a 95% repeat business track record.

Ukusa has the tools to help businesses deal with the unique challenges they face in South Africa,
the economic powerhouse of Africa.

We believe in empowering people to have a positive impact on the business environment and on
the bottom line. Ukusa offers human resource solutions to help clients align their manpower
requirements to their business strategies and corporate culture.


Our objective is to provide our clients with the best available human capital resources through
extensive research and networking in the global business environment. We focus on cementing
valuable and lasting partnerships with our clients, which effectively makes us an extension of their
business. This is further reinforced by our overall industry knowledge, business expertise plus
general strategic network consulting services offered

The Ukusa goal is to effect positive change in South Africa by assisting our clients to find, retain
and transform their human capital in line with business strategy and world-class performance
management. We do this by partnering with them and becoming and extension of their business.


Our executive search process covers:
   • Clearly assessing the human capital needs relative to strategy, culture and available
   • Becoming part of the business team
   • Proactively recruiting the best available talent using the latest search techniques
   • Actively assisting in the change/ performance management process

The Executive Search Procedure

   1. The project commences with a briefing from the Client. This covers the responsibilities of
      the job, the Company, its style and profitability and the organisation structure. Other
      important aspects include the physical environment, the Company’s approach to
      employment and the personal qualities of the management. Without a clear definition of
      the Company’s business, performance and plans and an understanding of the
      requirements of the position, it is difficult to attract appropriately qualified people.

       No assignment will be undertaken unless the salary, structure and employment
       conditions are viable.

   2. The Consultants prepare a written report called an “Appointment Analysis or Job
      Specification” confirming their findings. Having read this the Client may wish to alter the
      brief and in this way tighten the specification. Once agreed, the report will be used with
      final candidates as a written explanation of the appointment.

   3. At this point, the search process commences. Lists of appropriate companies and
      sources are compiled and edited. Candidates are identified and approached. The
      Client’s identity remains confidential.

   4. Short interviews are arranged with all candidates who appear to be qualified for the post.

   5. Longer interviews are then arranged with the better-qualified candidates and the Client’s
      identity is revealed. From these, a shortlist is chosen and their employment record

   6. Career summaries/ overviews of final candidates are prepared and submitted to the

   7. The Client interviews the shortlist candidates and an appointment is made.

   8. If for any reason an appointment is not made, the project will be re-evaluated by Client
      and the Consultants and if relevant, the search will continue.

   9. The period after an offer is made is often critical. The Consultant, therefore, continues to
      work closely with the Client and the candidate to ensure that all difficulties are dealt with
      and that the project ends successfully.

   10. As the project develops, the Consultant will regularly inform the Client of the progress.

   11. Normally an assignment takes between six and eight weeks. Should a longer term be
       necessary then this will be discussed in advance with the Client.

     12. At any time during or after assignment, the Client (on request) will be given access to the
         full list of contacts and candidates consulted during the project. This will enable the
         Client to review the thoroughness of the Consultant.

     13. Finally, the following general points regarding our work are worth noting.

         •    An important rule governing our work is that the Consultant who is briefed by the
             Client is always the person who does the work
         •   As one might expect, our work is supported by a qualified research team and a large
             computer system
         •   In addition to normal project research, we identify and track the careers of high
             calibre people through our ‘continuous identification programme’ (CIP). Details of
             this programme are available on request.


1.     Highly qualified and successful candidates rarely read advertisements. They are too busy
       fulfilling the demands of their work. They therefore need to be approached. Executive
       Search methods leave nothing to chance. All qualified candidates in the relevant sector of
       industry are considered and if appropriate contacted.

2.     Senior executives are often unable, on the basis of a brief advertisement, to evaluate the
       job, or the company or to decide whether it constitutes the opportunity they are suited for or
       interested in. An Executive Search Consultant is able to provide comprehensive
       information concerning the job, the company, the people and the future.

3.     At senior levels, executives are sometimes unwilling to risk exposure by answering
       advertisements. They have no control over who eventually reads or hears about their
       reply. They prefer the confidentiality and anonymity offered by professional Executive
       Search Consultants. At any one time there are many senior qualified people who are
       seeking the right career move, providing it can be achieved in a professional and
       confidential way.

4.     The Executive Search Consultant is highly skilled in eliciting information from candidates
       and making decisions on their suitability. If this is not the case, then we should not be in

5.     Professional Consultants are often privy to personal and occupational details affecting a
       candidate’s suitability for a job. Candidates are more likely to confide in a trustworthy
       Consultant than in a prospective employer.

6.     Because of their substantial contacts in industry, Consultants are normally able to gain
       comprehensive information concerning the performance and suitability of a candidate.

7.     Executive Search Consultants continue working on an assignment until it is completed.
       Very occasionally the chosen candidate fails to join the Client Company at the eleventh
       hour. This does not deter the Consultant; he or she continues the Search until the position
       is filled to the satisfaction of the Client.

8.     For the reasons stated above, Executive Search has now become the most effective
       means of executive career progression in the western world. In essence it offers the client
       a thorough, discreet and reliable method of attracting talent. On the other side of the coin,
       senior candidates prefer to be introduced to Clients, having benefited from the thorough
       briefing and counselling professional Consultants are able to give.

Database Management

The company has invested continuously in computer hardware and software support. We have
approximately 65,000 people on the database, 11, 000 of which is the number we are currently
able to service accurately. Candidates are coded according to discipline, commercial sector,
salary, age, potential, availability, location etc. The main benefit of a database is the range of
contacts and information it provides and in order to maintain its potential requires continuous time
and effort and is an important part of our research.


Ukusa’s range of services begins with finding the best available talent for our clients. This covers
senior staff placements, using confidential search, and contingency recruitment through to
psychometric testing.

Our management-consulting arm focuses on business development and integrated human
resource management. Here we offer strategic input to assist our clients with challenges such as
mergers, acquisitions, transformation and change management.

Elements we cover are:
   • Review of business/ strategic plans
   • Identification and retention of key staff
   • Skills gap assessment plus training/ finding the right people
   • Coaching and mentoring
   • Productivity improvement measurement

In order to offer the full range of human resource services by the experts in their field, we have
formed alliances with other specialised Human Resource companies that among others offer the
following: -

    •   Qualified psychometric testing
    •   Corporate training
    •   Outplacement
    •   Payroll administration and other services
    •   Credit, criminal and academic qualification checks
    •   Remuneration structuring and salary survey.

Ukusa is able to offer start to finish project management solutions. We have formed strategic
alliances with specialist service providers in related fields to enables us to offer our clients a
complete solution.



UKUSA prides itself on employing staff of a high caliber. Every Consultant has had the relevant
industry experience and knowledge. This allows us to better serve the needs of our clients and

Thulani Msomi

With more than twenty years experience in the construction and manufacturing sectors at senior
management level in Human Resources, Labour and Industrial Relations, Training and
Development, and Welfare and Community Projects, Thulani brings a wealth and depth of
knowledge to Ukusa. His commitment and responsibility to the community is evidenced by his
involvement in several community-building projects in KZN.

Bruce Planting

A University of South Africa graduate, who entered in the Accounting Profession before moving to
the Banking Sector. He joined the practice in 2000 bringing with him 10 years of Financial, IT and
Service Industry experience.

Debra Allison

Debra is a University of Port Elizabeth graduate who joined the practice in 2002. She has spent
over 11 years in Human Resource Management, Industrial Relations and Training in the areas of
Retail, Furniture Retail, Training, plus Credit Granting and Collections.

Derrick Planting

Derrick is a BSC Chemistry graduate from the University of Stellenbosch and AMP from UCT,
who spent 30 years in the management disciplines of production, sales and marketing within the
chemical and manufacturing industries. He worked both locally and overseas in a techno-sales
environment, before moving to into General Management. The greater part of his industrial career
was spent as Managing Director or CEO of a number of companies, Board Member of a large
listed group plus Chairman of various subsidiaries. This has given him the insight to appreciate
the processes and disciplines needed to make a success of both large and small companies. He
has brought this knowledge and skill to the search industry, which he joined in 1997.

A team of professional researchers and administrators backs the consultants above.

                                     Web: www.ukusa.co.za


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