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June 06, 2023

The power of people-focused work practices

Leading South African Fintech consultancy Elenjical Solutions has navigated the pandemic by tapping into the potential of investing into people.

What do WhatsApp, Microsoft, Disney and Elenjical Solutions have in common? They all thrived during crises. Take Elenjical Solutions. Over the pandemic, the financial tech consultancy went from a 50-person workforce to over 80 employees, with at least another five joining over the next two months – and that’s not including the graduates from their recruitment scheme. Currently in partnership with the industry’s leading technology solution in South Africa, Murex, it has accumulated considerable credibility in the capital markets sphere. Its secret? Making the most of amazing people.

“Because the quality of hires has been great, the output of our work has been great. When you tie that all in with the right training and opportunities, it’s a winning combination,” says Kerisha Govender. The industrial psychology expert with extensive global experience in HR has hit the ground running as the new Global Head of People at Elenjical – and she reiterates the firm’s efforts to build a people-first culture in order to foster sustainable growth. Right from the initial stages of candidate search and recruitment interviews, Elenjical does things differently to larger corporations in their field.

“Turnaround time is quick, senior executives want to join the interviews and it’s all about getting to know the candidate and what they’re passionate about. We also look to hire a diverse set of people – we see great value in a multicultural workforce consisted of various backgrounds and ethnicities,” Govender explains.

While hiring experienced personnel is a battleground, Elenjical is instead boosting its investment into quality recruits. Its graduate scheme, a new people system and partnerships with South Africa’s top universities such as Stellenbosch have strongly elevated their ability to attract compelling candidates.

A hiring strategy that relies on a culture of caring for employees

It’s one thing to recruit good people, but it’s another to keep them – and at Elenjical, staff retention is extremely high, even in a market that is currently running hot.

“It’s about giving them balance, and giving them a choice,” is not something you hear about the running of financial companies often. One component of this that Govender highlights is Elenjical’s hybrid work model, in which staff are only expected to come into our office once a week. This understands the importance of collaboration but also embraces the fact that working from the comfort of one’s own space can often be more productive than making people to come into office against their will.

Wellness is another aspect that can slip between the cracks in large corporations – but given top priority at Elenjical, particularly since the pandemic. “We want to create a safe space for people, so we have a variety of webinars, one-on-one check-in sessions as well as larger group deliberations. We want our people to know that opening up is welcomed here,” says Govender. In the same vein, there’s a budget for fun. Through recurring company-wide social events, smaller team events and random cross-section get-togethers, a more supportive and pleasant work environment is cultivated.

‘We can always get better’

This emphasis on finding new ways to boost their people-first culture is the product of Elenjical’s mission to ‘do things the right way’, Govender explains. The Fintech has used its small company structure to its advantage, and guarantees it will keep prioritising quality to yield sustainable results – however large it grows.

“We have plans to scale further, because we’re always looking forward. But compromising on the quality and wellbeing of our employees – and hence our work – is never going to happen.”