Thabang Ratau

HR team leader, ENSafrica

Thabang Ratau may not be an attorney, but he works behind the scenes making a real difference in the lives of law graduates and seasoned practitioners in the legal profession through recruitment initiatives and building talent pipelines, providing thought leadership, and offering support to those entering the industry.

With a BCom industrial psychology in hand, Ratau has been responsible for graduate recruitment in some of the country’s leading law firms, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and Webber Wentzel, and is currently HR Team Leader at ENSafrica, providing human resources and recruitment support to the firm’s offices outside South Africa, specifically Ghana, Uganda, Mauritius, Namibia, Tanzania, Namibia and Rwanda. “In graduate recruitment my focus was positioning the firms where I’ve worked as preferred employers to students, developing marketing campaigns to attract their applications, putting each applicant through the selection process before completing a thorough induction with them once they’re selected,” he explains.

“I viewed my role as not only recruiting the best talent for my firm, but also equipping a broader group of students with skills that help them attract and secure employment upon graduation.” Even though he helped students and graduates find their ideal position, Thabang didn’t have a clear vision for his own career when he was studying. However, through faith and the influence of his partner (who was studying law), he refocused his attention from part-time sports coaching to completing his degree.

“On the other side of graduation lay wonderful work opportunities which have been great for the development of my skills and offered me a chance to impact the lives of law students and improve the working conditions of fellow employees,” he says. Ratau notes that law is a demanding qualification and career but it’s incredibly fulfilling in the long run. “Law offers you many different employment options and opportunities, all fulfilling in their own way, so select the one that best suits your talents and interests. “I believe that whatever role someone fulfils in whichever workplace, they must know their value and this must be reflected in the quality of their work.

Whether you’re the CEO or somewhere in back office, add your own flavour to your work and always seek to produce work of high quality,” he says.

— Kerry Haggard

Twitter: @ThabangRatau