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About Us / Our Impact

Our Impact

As the HR Think Tank continues to strive to improve South Africa’s talent competitiveness through targeted research and interventions in key areas we would like to highlight the progress we have made since 2017. 

We have worked towards our goal of improving South Africa’s ranking on the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) by focusing on these five key areas: Business/Government/ Labour Relationships, Education & Development, Gender Equality, Labour Productivity and Vocational/Technical Skills. 

We will continue to fulfil our commitment to help shape and influence policy and the broader challenges facing HR and labour.  We will carry on, with the support of our members, to pursue the conditions for people to reach their potential in the world of work and ultimately shift our country’s trajectory. 


July 2019

Industry - university Collaboration

On the 2nd July 2019, the HR Think Tank in association with PPS hosted a discussion session to facilitate collaboration between industry and universities. This session was used to identify approaches to build a partnership and address the relevance gap between academic research and daily HR and societal challenges. HR Think Tank members, a number of HR Executives and the HODs of the HRM- and Industrial/ Organisational Psychology departments from various universities were invited to attend the session.

December 2018

HR: The New Agenda

We are proud to announce a new HR Think Tank publication due to be released in 2019 around the theme of HR: The New Agenda. We are excited to share that the two Editors will be: Mechell Chetty, HR Vice President, Africa at Unilever and Paul Norman, Chief HR & Corporate Affairs Officer at MTN Group. Our Advisory Board provided input on what should be included in the content and members were also invited to be contributors. 

November 2018

White paper on Jobs Summit 

We released a White Paper on the Jobs Summit Framework Agreement. We analysed the agreement and summarised the key messages. We also provided critique and recommendations. To view the white paper click here.

November 2018

Improving Labour Productivity in SA

We hosted a Labour Productivity Seminar to explore the reality of South Africa’s labour productivity. Productivity SA and PwC shared case studies of how companies addressed low productivity and co-determination as a possible solution to hostile labour relations and low labour productivity was discussed.

October 2018

HR Think Tank in the News!

We received important media coverage on prominent platforms: eNCA, 702 Talk Radio, SAFM, Moneyweb, Classic FM.

October 2018

A First in SA: HR Metrics Survey

A new HR Think Tank Initiative was launched: the first comprehensive HR Metrics Survey in South Africa. This survey aims to collect a large range of detailed HR metrics from companies across sectors and will gather HR metrics for employees at different occupational levels within firms. The survey will provide much needed information to benchmark companies’ HR Metrics against South African industry counterparts. Currently, no South African data of this nature has been collated.

September 2018

Results from Business-Government Relationship Survey

We released the results from the Business-Government Relationship Survey. We collected information on the experiences of HR Think Tank members and other HR executives in their dealings with government (be it at a local, provincial or national level, relating to any legislation, regulation or policy that affects their business). The aim was to get a better understanding of which areas of the relationship and interactions are the most positive and negative, and the nature of any engagement respondents may have had with anyone in an official government role.  We’ve interpreted the findings and incorporated it into a Spotlight paper on the current state of, and way forward for, the relationship between government and business in South Africa. To view the paper click here.

August 2018

Gender Pay Gap in SA

We took a closer look at the gender pay gap in South Africa. The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report has suggested that rather than shrinking, the global economic gap between men and women has been growing, and that it may now not be closed for 217 years. Improving gender equality is one of our focus areas we therefore hosted a seminar addressing various topics on gender inequality in the workplace, and published a Spotlight paper aiming to address the gender pay gap issue in South Africa further. 

July 2018

Futures Thinking 

We hosted the Futures Thinking for HR Executives workshop in collaboration with the IFR. Assisting members to: understand principles futures thinking; identify trends and drivers of change; analyse trends and drivers of change; evaluate a system; understand the cognitive strategies and tenets of systems thinking and consider future system evolution and possible future states of a system.

June 2018

Reflections on Learning & Development in SA

We hosted a round table in Johannesburg and in Cape Town to unpack ways to improve learning and development in South African organisations. An integrated summary of the two discussion sessions along with some key learnings and recommendations was circulated to all members. 

March 2018

Proposal to President Cyril Ramaphosa

We submitted a proposal to President Cyril Ramaphosa, addressing the issues and challenges in South Africa's TVET system. A copy of the proposal was also submitted to Minister of Higher Education, Naledi Pandor. This was the product of several workshops with more than 50 executives and stakeholders in Johannesburg and Cape Town over the last year. Professor Paul Evans, Academic Director, Global Talent Competitiveness Index, INSEAD and Morne Mostert, Director of the Institute for Futures Research, Stellenbosch University were instrumental in this proposal and provided great insight into the topic of improving our country’s talent competitiveness. To download a copy of this letter click here

February 2018

Reinventing TVET in SA

A series of workshops were hosted in Johannesburg and Cape Town to come up with a strategy to revive expertise-based education and training in South Africa.  Professor Paul Evans, Academic Director, Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), INSEAD Business School facilitated the workshop that were attended by HR Think Tank members and various other stakeholders.

June - August 2017

Focus areas

Five working groups were established: 

1. Education and Development Working Group 

2. Vocational and Technical Skills Working Group 

3. Gender Working Group 

4. Productivity Working Group 

5. Business/ Labour/ Government Relationships Working Group 


The five working groups met in Johannesburg and in Cape Town during June, July and August.  Using a design thinking process all the working groups: 

1. identified the problems contributing to poor ranking on specific indicators, 

2. generated and clustered ideas to address the problems, and 

3. identified a number of stakeholders that need to be involved for each working group. 

March 2017

Inauguration of the HR Think Tank

 Two inaugural sessions were held in Johannesburg and Cape Town in March 2017.  Professor Paul Evans from INSEAD Business School and director of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index presented the GTCI 2017 report. South Africa ranked 67th out of 118 countries participating. The ranking is based on 65 criteria. 


The following overall goal/vision was formulated (with thanks to Dr. Morne Mostert) and accepted by both groups: THE HR THINK TANK MUST AIM TO HAVE SOUTH AFRICA RANKED AMONG THE TOP 50 COUNTRIES BY 2024. 


SPOTLIGHT 1: What effect are new technologies having on employment?

SPOTLIGHT 2: The Global Human Capital Report 2017

SPOTLIGHT 3: Three scenarios for employment to 2022

SPOTLIGHT 4: Results from the GTCI 2018
SPOTLIGHT 5: Good jobs to overcome poverty and inequality
SPOTLIGHT 6: Women are still paid less than men: how do we change this?
SPOTLIGHT 7: Results of the HR Think Tank Business-Government Relationship Survey 2018
SPOTLIGHT 8: South African industrial relations: cooperation in place of conflict
SPOTLIGHT 9: Investing in Human Capital is critical
WHITE PAPER: The Jobs Summit: An analysis and critique with counter proposals

SPOTLIGHT 10: Possible employment trends in 2019 

SPOTLIGHT 11Riding the waves but not making any progress: SA's Talent Competitiveness 2013-19

SPOTLIGHT 12: Beyond Women's Month: Making Gender Equality Stick 

SPOTLIGHT 13: The business case for preventing and managing employee burnout 


In 2019 our membership has grown to over 50 members from more than 30 different organisations including corporates, SMMEs, NPOs and academic institutions.




Glacier by Sanlam

HR Solutions for Tomorrow


Ithemba Labs

MTN Group

Minerals Council South Africa

Old Mutual Insure






Schenker South Africa 


St Stithians College

Talent Agent


The Aurum Institute
The Banking Association South Africa
Trans Forum Business
Tshikululu Social Investments
University of Johannesburg
University of Stellenbosch


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