Q&A with IT Recruiters from Its About People…session2

images (1)Here is session 2 of our Q&A with IT Recruiters from Its About People. Plenty of interesting and useful questiions were asked by the INNOvatorz.IT community members. Have a look at the interview and you might pick up something that you can also apply in your job search. Good luck and LETS GET HIRED

Mixo Fortune: Nice let’s do this. Thank you again for your time to help us out. We won’t be doing any intro but will just get down to the questions so guys you can start asking

Maite Letsoalo: Hi Vanessa Raath
my Question is why is it that Technikon Graduates are given less priority by companies on most Junior IT Jobs than University Graduates?

Vanessa Raath: Hello Maite – there shouldn’t be any discrimination between a BTech and a Degree. The BTech is just more practical and some companies are looking for this. They both score the same NQF level so you shouldn’t be experiencing this in your search for work

Maite LetsoaloVanessa Raath so basically we can say ND (NATIONAL DIPLOMAS) is no longer considered in the market?

Vanessa RaathMaite Letsoalo I don’t think that any qualification is ever a waste of time! They are still acknowledged and will still place you above candidates who only have a Matric Certificate.

Maite LetsoaloVanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela why is it that companies overlook WOMEN in terms of development jobs.

Lebogang Mojela: Maite Letsoalo Totaly not true, a lot of companies are looking for female developers as they have so many men on their staff. Also females count more towards BBEE ratings.

Maite Letsoalo: OK, Thank you Lebogang Mojela

Mixo FortuneVanessa Raath did you get people from this group forwarding you their CV’s and if so what area would you say they still need to polish?

Vanessa Raath Mixo Fortune – The guys need to make sure that their spelling and grammar is PERFECT in their CVs to start with. Try and get someone to proof read your CV for you?

Mixo Fortune: do you actually sit down with potential candidates and interview them?

Lebogang MojelaMixo Fortune absolutely yes.

Xoliswa Ngonzi: hello Vanessa, thank you for giving us your time….say you are into programming how important is it to acquire other certifications like your  A+, N+ and what chances does 1 stand if they have those?

Vanessa Raath: Hello Xoliswa Ngonzi, it’s a pleasure. If you are into Programming you will probably follow a Developer’s Career path so you won’t need hardware or networking qualifications. I would advise that you choose a career in Development OR Infrastructure and become as skilled as you can in these areas

Lefa Lloyd Biya: We know every IT company wants some sort of experience and qualification. In this case let’s say I never finished my diploma cause of some other problems but have the necessary skills in terms of the job requirements, what position or state does this put an individual of this nature on getting the job? If there are things that one should do what are they?

Vanessa Raath: Hey Lefa Lloyd Biya, a lot of people that we meet with have not completed their qualifications due to financial or personal issues. I always advise people to be honest about this. Employees will understand if they know the circumstances. As long as you are still registered and show that you INTEND on finishing your studies, once you are employed, it makes life easier. At the end of the day, Life Happens and people need to understand this!

Mixo Fortune: So Lebogang Mojela and Vanessa Raath what kind of questions do you ask potential candidates as recruiters? You have already seen their CV’s so what else are you looking for in them

Lebogang Mojela: We looking for good communications skills and the desire to do well. as grades do not have a lot of experince they are hired more on their soft skills, these are things like good manners, a passion for IT and a cheery attitude.

Mixo Fortune: So Lebogang Mojela if im a shy person will that make my chances slim?

Lebogang Mojela: Lot of people working in the IT industry are not that outgoing and confident.  You need to come across as a genuine and solid character who people know can trust

Mixo Fortune: “Your resume suggests that you may be over-qualified or too experienced for this position. What’s your opinion?”….how does one handle this question?

Lebogang MojelaMixo Fortune with IT being such a fast paced industry you constantly need to keep up with the lasted technologies. The best way to answer this is to say that you are building the foundations of your career and you want to consolidate on what you already know

OMinz Minnie: @Vanessa. In the case of a student studying financial information systems (part finance and part I.T (development)), why is it that companies over look us in terms of development jobs.

Vanessa RaathOMinz Minnie Let me start by saying what you are studying is a very very rare skill and you should be in GREAT demand in a few years’ time. They shouldn’t be overlooking you at all! Maybe you need to request an assessment from them and prove to them that you can develop too?

OMinz Minnie: @Vanessa, Thanks a lot, I’ll do that from now onwards.

Mixo Fortune: Many people in IT are constantly changing jobs, it appears as the norm but does it have some negative effect?

Lebogang MojelaMixo Fortune Yes it has a negative effect unless you are contracting and that is why you moved around a lot. Clients do not like job hoppers

Batha Bile: So basically candidates with degrees are given 1st preference than national diplomas or it depends on the company?

Vanessa RaathBatha Bile Degrees have a higher NQF Rating so they do get preferences over National Diplomas during the screening process. Again, this does differ from company to company

Batha Bile: Ok, thanks

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Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Hi Vanessa, in your opinion, what’s the most suitable qualification without any experience that will get you a job without being either under/over qualified?

Vanessa Raath: Karabo K-nine Ntswane that’s a tough question as it is all down to the Client’s needs! I would say that a BSc Information/Computer Science and a Btech Information Technology are the best to have. Engineering Qualifications are also very common in the IT Industry

Mokate White Moreki: Hi guys thanks again for this opportunity to mingle with you. What is the case of people who has done internships at companies where they were not given the training at all, where their so called mentors were non existent? Some of us used that opportunities to teach ourselves some techniques and skills. But this came to bite us cause it seems one can’t get the jnr level jobs because they have some sort of experience even though we are eager to learn more

Vanessa Raath: Mokate White Moreki Unfortunately that happens a lot. You see the Government pays companies to have Internship programmes and they are often badly run and do more damage than good. You should still be able to get junior level jobs though. Maybe explain to the people hiring you that you received no training during your internship so it is almost like you are a Grad again?

Mokate White Moreki: Some of us at tertiary did computer systems of which is the mixture of all the courses ranging from electrical to engineering, and we failed most of the courses dismally but eventually we overcame the challenges we passed and graduated. But now if we try to apply for Systems analysis jobs we are over looked by the requirements stating that it want university students only not N.Dip students.  @Vanessa if we talk like about our previous companies doesn’t that mean we are bad talking our previous our employees?

Vanessa Raath: It’s the way you talk about your previous Employers that matters here. I wouldn’t write it on my CV but I would definitely chat to the person interviewing me about it. Or maybe put it diplomatically on a Covering letter?

Mokate White Moreki: thanks Vanessa for that advice

Vanessa Raath: As for the System Analysis positions, it does depend on the Companies Base Qualification requirements. Some companies want candidates with Degrees ONLY, where some are happy to look at people with any 3 year qualification

Mokate White Moreki: For some of us don’t want to do Programming for the rest of our lives, hence i chose a course that has Systems Analysis and Software engineering. I believe that maybe if we can be given at least six months contract jobs so that we can prove our performance and understanding to business principles we can show that we can make it

Vanessa Raath: Mokate White Moreki I agree with you. Why don’t you say to the client that you are willing to work on a 3/6 month contract to prove yourself?

Mokate White Moreki Vanessa Raath the problem arise from the Job posts available, none of them accommodate that suggestion, i even send out cover letters with no luck. Even for the junior roles for Programming with suggestions of why i need junior roles, i might have 3 years development experience but that does not mean i can apply for senior post because i believe that i need some sort of guidance and mentoring so that i can reach my potential

Vanessa Raath: As discussed on our page, you need to come and see me so we can assess your skills!

Mokate White Moreki: ok then it means i have to schedule a meeting/interview with you guys and give my side of the story hopefully we can be on the same page, you’ll be able to help me nail that illusive job I’ve been looking for since 2005

Mokate White Moreki: In-case of the referees on the CV what happens if the one you have is deceased and he/she was you boss and was the only senior who knew you? Do you keep that job or you remove it from the CV?

Lebogang Mojela: You mustn’t have any gaps on your CV, you must include every job. As for your Reference try to use someone else as a character reference.

Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Hi again, Do people with disabilities also count on a company’s “BBEE” score card more than females or what? Why I ask this is because it seems companies want to spend the as least as possible to get a skilled employee and in most cases, people with disabilities need custom equipment for examples sake which lead to expenses on the company’s side. . . .

Vanessa Raath: Karabo K-nine Ntswane People with Disabilities are the highest scoring people on a BEE Rating. Unfortunately I do not make the make the rules but I do agree with you!

Thembelihle Neo Sithole: Hi,
1. I have a natioal diploma, 2 certificates that i obtained overseas and in ITIL qualification. I always emphasize that these can pad the Bsc degree requirement but it seems recruiters don’t think so. How can one get these to be acknowledged

2.What is the best way to write up a CV?

Vanessa Raath: Thembelihle Neo Sithole Have you taken your qualifications to be SAQA (South African Qualifications Authority) and then you will be approve what it is equivalent to?

Thembelihle Neo Sithole That is in progress, however I do believe that each qualification will achieve at least an NQF level 3 rating. What I also have done is put myself in a good position for a BA career by combining I.T, Business IT and Project Management which I have qualifications for, i also have exposure to some consulting, project coordination and management, systems analysis, BI, web development and design, CRM customization a range of collaboration platforms. I feel this is great and rare for a graduate. I do not seem to be getting buy in from companies and recruiters…how do i sell it right?

Vanessa Raath: Thembelihle Neo Sithole you just sold yourself to me in one paragraph very easily. You also have good communication skills which help! Please email your CV directly to me at info@itsaboutpeople.co.za

Mixo Fortune: Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela here is a question posted on our twitter account by Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: @INNOv8torzIT why do we get it hard to be employed or preferred or get learnership by IT companies if we are students from UNISA in IT side?”

Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali – whether you studied at Unisa or a University should not make any difference at all. Maybe you need to ask the people running the internships? I cannot see the difference?

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: I am left with one module that I will write on May /June next year so do I qualify to apply for job with following description: internship programme for graduate 2013?

Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali Yes you do

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: Ow wow I missed so many opportunities not knowing I qualify to do so. Thanks Ms Vanessa

Fisto Wka Mabena: Firstly I’d like to appreciate this MOMENT OPPORTUNITY , Mixo Fortune uBosso ma man. And not forgetting Lebogang Mojela and Vanessa Raath ! God Bless.
Question: I’m a Software Development student and loving it. But when it comes to applying I’m a bit discouraged because of the fact that You not sure how much you are expected TO NOW (as Programming is very very dynamic).
So as developers, what is really expected of us? How much knowledge of that specific language they are requiring…

Vanessa Raath: Fisto Wka Mabena that is almost – How long is a Piece of String? You would need to know enough about Programming in order to complete basic entry level tasks. A good bit of advice is to make sure that skills are current and as developed as you can make them!

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: If you have small growing company, having franchise and running NGOs.. Do u have to mention them in your CV when applying for job? Are they not going to hire you because they see you are kind of busy person involved in many things?

Vanessa Raath: Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali Yes – you need to add in all of these outside jobs as it shows what sort of a person you are. If I see a CV and the person has done volunteer work I want to meet with them immediately as they will be kind and have a good charact…See More

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: Oh mmmm Ms Vanessa I get you though still have more questions on that question ,but will continue next time you available.

thanx to Mixo that’s all your Job boss you shaping us in all ways ..

Secondly thanks Mis Vanessa and Ms lebohang for your availabilty your time and your helpfull information , we love and still need you more n more thank you very much..

WE nOw HireD !! Mixo the star*

Mixo Fortune: Alright, once again thanks a lot Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela for your time and I hope the next person you will be interviewing will be from INNOvatorz.IT

Fisto Wka Mabena: hmm wow… Ms Vanessa Raath and Lebogang Mojela please do bless us with your time during the course of the weekend, if possible. This is very helpful so much

Karabo K-nine Ntswane: Thank you Vanessa Raath

Fisto Wka Mabena: Thanks Mixo Fortune… Thanks Bra. Be blessed all the way

Maite Letsoalo: THANK YOU SOO MUCH Vanessa Raath

Mokate White Moreki: Innovative Stuff great thanks GUYS

OMinz Minnie: Thanks a lot guys, this session was very informant.



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SAP Interview Session with Zimkhita Buwa

sapOn the 6th of December 2012 we had a fruitful interview session on our INNOvatorz.IT with SAP mentor Zimkhita Buwa. The community wanted to find out more of what SAP is. Its a a slightly edited version but still covers all the questions asked. We plan on having more sessions with her later on. Here is the interview session

Mixo Fortune: Zimkhita Buwa can you just give us a brief of what you do and who this awesome SAP mentor is?

Zimkhita Buwa: LOL…don’t know about awesome.

Mixo Fortune: You know you are awesome and very interesting…. Here is a blog about Zimkhita Buwa and what she is all about http://scn.sap.com/blogs/zimbuwa/2012/08/21/scn-blogging-it-forward-zimkhita-buwa

Zimkhita Buwa:  I am an SAP Business Intelligence and Strategy Management Consultant. Sounds like a mouth full but SAP stands for Systems Applications and Products – a company that was started in Germany to assist organisations to manage their business processes more effectively. So SAP has various modules, i.e. Human Resources, FI(financial), Logistics, Procurement, etc. So the module that I deal with allows decision-makers to make decisions from the data generated in these transactional systems.

So we essentially create reports (financial, HR, etc.) that allow managers & operational users to analyse trends and make decisions from it. We use a system called SAP Business Warehouse which is the Data warehouse solution for SAP. We also use various reporting tools such as SAP Business Objects to create visually appealing and dynamic graphs for our users.

Mamongato Prince Sebapu: I hear SAP people earn at least 25k how true?

Zimkhita Buwa: In any career the type of money you earn is solely dependent on how much work you put in. When I started I never worried about the money (HONESTLY)…when you put in the work…the money will come!!

Mixo Fortune: So what skills or qualifications do i need to have to do SAP?

Zimkhita Buwa: This depends on the module that you want to specialize in. I specialize in Business Intelligence (BI) & Strategy Management (SSM) so I certified in BI and attended a 5 week academy at SAP. I also attended an SSM course at SAP

Daddie David Mohutsioa: How do I get SAP Certified when I’m unemployed because most of the SAP vacancies require experience and certification? Remember not all of us can afford to pay for the course if that’s the case.

Zimkhita Buwa: You are right the certification is unfortunately expensive and this has been raised with SAP. There are programmes that SAP is working on to try make the certification accessible. My best advice if you do not have the money is to try lookout for internships and knock on many doors as you can. Once you are in an organisation that has SAP annoy one of the SAP managers to try volunteer and someone will notice your pro-activeness. I can also say that whatever opportunities I hear of I will feedback to this group. I’ve already mentioned the Capaciti1000 programme that closes today – although that does not include SAP certification most of the host organisations on the Programme do run SAP

Lerato Visser Leshabane: Just imagine 10k for 2days, aowa!!

Zimkhita Buwa: Yes that would be great…but remember the amount of responsibility and the amount of work required for that! That’s what you need to focus on.

Tinyiko Thobye Mathebula: Hi Zimkhita, can you please explain how one gets certified for SAP, the training prerequisites, fee’s etc.

Zimkhita Buwa: Most of the training is conducted at SAP. Like I mentioned before, it depends on the module that you want to specialise in. Most of the certifications run for a period of up to 5weeks. When I attended it cost R60000. I was fortunate that the company I worked for paid for me. If you do have amount to spend on the course I would advise against doing it without having the support of a company that actually runs SAP. I have trained a few consultants who thought that they would walk out of certification and find work immediately and unfortunately the market does not work that way. So first approach a company and inform them about your plans of doing the certification.

Katlego ‘kok’ Kgobodi: Hi, Zimkhita GENTRAN? What exactly is it? If you know about it.

Zimkhita Buwa: I don’t personally use it…but see for more info…http://eai.ittoolbox.com/groups/technical-functional/edi-l/gentran-is-edi-tool-993537

Tinyiko Thobye Mathebula: Does SAP offer self-training courses because i heard you don’t have to attend the formal training @ SAP academy in order to get certified, you can just register for the exam if you have the experience and are confident in a specific module?

Zimkhita Buwa:  If you have the experience you can go for the exam but for someone that is starting out and has no prior experience on the module it will be extremely difficult. The value of the formal training is that you get access to an instructor that is there to assist you with questions. SAP also offers some online courses. If you do have the opportunity of attending the training that is what I would advise. Take me for example. I worked on the SAP Business Warehouse system for two years and thought I knew it all. It was only when I attended the training that I understood how the puzzles fit together and what the bigger picture is with the system. A lot of the time when you go by experience is that you only know what you know…right…or what people are willing to show you. The formal training provides you with information and access to functionality that you might not know even existed

Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: Is SAP in demand nowadays? How challenging is it in industry?

Zimkhita Buwa: Yes, SAP is very much in demand! Most organisations use SAP in some way. I also mentioned that there are a lot of modules and like anything in technology it’s forever changing so one needs to keep abreast with the changing and you need to up skill yourself which is where the challenge comes in. So yes it is an exciting industry and I love it 🙂

Mixo Fortune: Zimkhita Buwa how huge is the demand for SAP professionals in the country and what are the challenges of filling those gaps?

Zimkhita Buwa: There is a demand for SAP skills. There isn’t always the supply though. This issue was raised at a Strategy Session that I attended earlier this week. So because the supply is not always sufficient – there are instances where the same consultants are booked for more than one job at a time. And transformation is still a challenge – it is still very white dominated but there are certain programmes in the pipeline that are attempting to change this. It’s not just an SAP phenomenon it’s IT in general

Mamongato Prince Sebapu: Are you fearing your Open Source alternative OpenBravo and our local Pastel Evolution or you still feel SAP is having a bright future ahead?

Zimkhita Buwa: Hi Mamongato – Trust me, SAP has a bright future…companies are realising the value of having a solution that enables you to structure your critical business processes effectively. Even SARS runs SAP! So there is a bright future even internationally! The nice aspect about knowing SAP is that you can also work internally – all the major organisations abroad use SAP!…even LEVIS!!

Tumelo Titus Ka-Mokwena Hey Zimkhita, what I want to know is where can one apply or enrol for SAP around Gauteng?

Zimkhita Buwa  Tumelo, please visit the SAP website, they do have an office in Woodmead www.sap.co.za

Tumelo Titus Ka-Mokwena: Thank you Zimkhita


Yandisa Tiny Mbele-Jali: We thank you Mixo for organizing this helpful session and for keeping it going.

We thank you Zim for your time. For breaking our eyes and sharing with us this very helpful information.

I thank group collaborators for keeping the session going and interesting by asking worthy questions that helped us..

I was so concern of what this SAP is but yet today will sleep happy because I know about it and will freely and kindly share my information about it to my collaborator because it’s really useful and can help one..

Thank you very much

Zimkhita Buwa: No thank you for the questions!!! Please feel free to follow me on twitter @zimbuwa. Lovely chatting to you. When I get any info on the graduate programmes I will definitely pass it on. Just remember to always keep your head up and work hard and adhere to the FISH Philosophy

Mixo Fortune: What is the FISH philosophy? im just thinking food food food

Tumelo Titus Ka-Mokwena: @Mixo, thats a funny one

Zimkhita Buwa: YESSS food for thought…just posted a pic…check it out! It’s been great guys! Take care 🙂

Mixo Fortune: F-fun (play),I-inspire(Make their day), S-show up(be there), H-Happy(choose your attitude)

Mixo Fortune: Zimkhita Buwa thank you for your time and for not thinking twice when I asked you to do this session .I think we can build up from this and maybe later break down SAP into smaller pieces. Thanx a milli

You follow Zimkhita on twitter if you want to keep the conversion going: https://twitter.com/zimbuwa


For more discussions and lots of info join our Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/innovatorz/) and follow us INNOvatorz.IT on twitter: https://twitter.com/INNOv8torzIT


I have been trying to do something like this for some time but for many reasons I have been postponing it. I think its high time I did it because there are so many smart students out that are really working hard and making a huge difference in their communities and institutions but don’t get the proper recognition

So GeekStarz will give them that platform to shine. I will expiriment with a few platforms from Google hangouts, skype, video interviews and articles to get the message across.

I hope to put 4 GeekStarz on the platform each month so we can all decide who deserves to be GeekStar of the month. We will eventually have GeekStar of the year and they will walk away with a really cool prize

So if you think you are the next GeekStar or if you know someone who deserves that platform to shine then send the details through