AgriSETA Learner Connect: Meet a human resources executive

Published: Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Education TrainingCommunity AffairsAgriculture Community Development

For Human Resources executive Vusi Thembe finding the perfect person for a crucial position is a thrilling achievement

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By Staff Reporter

7th Sep 2020

You don’t always have to work in the scorching sun or pelting rain harvesting crops if you want to work in agriculture. You can work in a comfy office, for instance as a human resource executive for a sugar mill like Vusi Thembe.

Thembe is leading the human resource department at the Umfolozi Sugar Mill. Responsible for recruitment, employee relations, corporate social investment (CSI), employment equity, broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE), employee benefits management, staff welfare and housing.

Like many of the agriculturalist featured on the AgriSETA Learner Connect he advises, “be disciplined and determined, work hard, strive for excellence and integrity”. He also urges young South Africans to “keep yourself out of trouble and to remember that there are no short cuts in life”.

If this career or field of study interests, you then follow Thembe’s advice below. Over the next few weeks we will feature many more careers to choose from in the agri sector on Food for Mzansi and 19 radio stations all over the country.

Now, lets hear from human resources executive Vusi Thembe…

1.    Could you sum up your job for us? I am the human resource executive, heading the human resource department which is responsible for recruitment, employee relations, corporate social investment, employment equity, broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE), employee benefits management, staff welfare and housing.

2.    So, what does the day-to-day of your job entail? I’m responsible for organising, planning, meetings, interviews, delegating work and catching up on emails.

3.    What qualification do you need for this career? I did a Bachelor of Administration in industrial psychology, but you can also do a Bachelor of Commerce degree in human resources or a diploma or Bachelor of Technology in human resource management. You may also add advanced labour law and do a post-graduate Honours degree that will put you at an advantage.

4.    What are the character traits you need to be great at your job? Integrity, humanity, analytical and logical skills as well as the ability to work well with people. Additional skills can include conflict management, interpersonal interaction, being a good written and verbal communicator and a good negotiator and influencer.

5.    What subjects do I need to become a human resource executive? You will need a Grade 12 National Senior Certificate or equivalent qualification.

6.    What do you love about agriculture as a space to work in? The value it adds to human lives. The job is so diverse and has different daily challenges. You will need to be innovative and think outside the box to manage those challenges.

7.    Don’t be modest, tell us about your proudest career moments? I think when I see a learner and trainee that I have hired growing into a junior manager, middle manager and senior manager. When I filled a most difficult position to fill, mostly in the engineering fields. Also, successful completion of black economic empowerment (BEE) verification.

8.    What do you do when you’re not at work? I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. It is my time to loosen up after a hectic week at work.

9.    Any advice for young people who are inspired by your career story here on AgriSETA Learner Connect? Discipline, determination… work hard, strive for excellence and integrity. Keep yourself out of trouble, there are no short cut in life.

10. Where can I study to become a human resource executive? Any technical university such as Durban University of Technology, University of KwaZulu Natal, the University of Witwatersrand and it is also depended on where you are based. 

How to listen to AgriSETA Learner Connect:

Option 1: Click here to listen on Spotify (all mobile and other devices).

Option 2: Click here to listen on any Apple device.

Option 3: Click here to listen on Google Podcasts.

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