Wolfgang´s Social Sabbatical in Ghana, Part 4
We started early in the morning to arrive 7.30 am at the office of Dreamoval, after a 1 hour drive. The day there starts with a prayer, a reading from the bible including a short discussion on the meaning of it, and a song. All in all some very inspiring 15-20 minutes. It surely creates team spirit. This mindful start into the day is a common theme at companies in Ghana. Religion is big here, and all in a very tolerant way. Various kinds of beliefs peacefully co-exist.
Afterwards I owed Francis an answer. The day before he had approached me and offered me a job. Dreamoval now has 43 employees, they expect further growth. So far there is no HR person on board, payroll is outsourced. Now they want to have an HR Director who helps the company to scale in a professional manner. The offer comes with a very decent salary at local standards, plus health insurance for the entire family, plus pension scheme, plus a company car allowance. So all in all very attractive. I told Francis that I will sleep one night over it. Now I had to tell him I can´t take the offer for family reasons.
Sounds very strange? Maybe not. Pyxera is the 3rd party vendor who works with SAP and other companies on Social Sabbaticals. One of their employees told the story about an HR professional from Ireland (not at SAP) who after a Social Sabbatical in Bangladesh decided to join the company they had supported, including re-location at own costs and local contract.
Francis stayed cool and said he did not really expect me to join. But in return he asked me to join interviews they had set-up for the afternoon. It was a shortlist of three candidates for an open position. So this is how I gained recruiting experience in Ghana. 🙂
The set-up for the interviews you can see on the pictures attached. To the left Francis and I were sitting behind a desk, to the right the candidates, also behind a desk. And in between we had some 3 meters of space. Unusual to me, but obviously the standard setting. All three candidates were “a bit” surprised meeting me, but they managed to cope with it. Question-wise the interview went 95% similar to the approach we have. There is only a slightly higher focus on formal skills and education. I asked a fair amount of questions and enjoyed the 3 hours. Francis and I afterwards discussed the outcome and both were almost completely identical in our judgement of the candidates. So we reduced the list to one candidate who will now meet the CEO for the final round.
It was amazing how often Francis expressed his gratitude for me joining the interviews. He even wrote an e-mail in the evening to say thank you once more. People in Ghana are just so open and warm, simply great!