Pivot PeopleTech launches to simplify HR for SA startups

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South African startup Pivot PeopleTech has launched its platform aimed at simplifying and cutting down the cost of human resources (HR) processes for startups and small businesses.

Launched this month by entrepreneur Deborah Hartung, Pivot PeopleTech provides affordable HR and employee relations products and advice to South African SMEs and startups in the form of digital downloads, webinars and online video consults.

The platform, which also offers free tips, advice and document templates to those who subscribe to its monthly newsletter, offers digital downloads of documents like contracts and warning forms, as well as micro-training programmes on issues such as recruiting the best team and managing performance.

Pivot PeopleTech also sells online consultations for people who want more advice on various issues. Hartung, who has worked in the HR industry for 16 years, said she has associates all over the country available to startups.

“Small businesses don’t know where to find help and even if they can, nobody worth their salt is charging under ZAR650 (US$50) an hour, so they can’t afford it long term,” she told Disrupt Africa.

“There is nobody out there who is doing what I am doing. There are “HR consulting companies” who basically let you outsource your payroll to them and they call that “HR” or they do projects. Then there are the Labour lawyers and consultants who scare the bejesus out of you with threats of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and how much money you can lose. They’re hardline people and they generally get called when someone needs to get fired or the case is to be defended at the CCMA.”0

Currently, according to Hartung, nobody can offer both.

“Who will help you recruit great people, help you coach and correct and grow them and then help you fire them if you have to?” she asks.

To fix this problem, Hartung has launched Pivot PeopleTech, which she says is all about affordability and accessibility. Despite only launching earlier this month, she already has five retainer clients, while she also also sold some contracts from advertising on Facebook to small business owners.

“It’s slower than I would want it to be, but I’m kind of impatient, and I am aware of the fact that this service needs to build up legitimacy amongst consumers,” said Hartung.

“I have definite plans for expansion of many of the products throughout Africa, specifically on the “softer HR” things like recruitment. The expansion in South Africa would be to add more products to the offering and focus specifically on training, but that is a good few months away.”

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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