IOT holds job fair to lure Seychellois employees


Visitors at the IOT job fair yesterday

This year alone, IOT is expected to hold at least five or six more recruitment drives in various locations around Mahé to attract and recruit Seychellois people.

“We are strongly committed to this and this year there will be several campaigns to get the maximum amount of locals to come and join our team,” said human resources manager Helda Port-Louis.

“At the moment we have a lot of expatriates; our ratio is 65% expats to 35% local workers. Our goal is to reverse this trend.
“Obviously, IOT will always need expatriate employees, because we do operate 24 hours a day, and Seychellois have certain social constraints that won’t permit them to work the night shift, but again we are trying as much as possible to get the maximum number of Seychellois to come and work for us.”

Ms Port-Louis explained that IOT’s main challenge was to employ a stable workforce, and said that trends indicated that stability and long-term service was more often fulfilled by expatriates than local workers because expatriates signed long-term employment contracts.

The HR manager warned that even if many more Seychellois employees were hired by IOT now, it would not mean that the expatriates would be sent away immediately, but that a long-term evaluation process would be followed to ensure the local workforce was stable.

“In terms of our standards, IOT strives to maintain a very high standard. And to do this, because we are in the food processing industry, we have to be very strict in terms of certain practices such as hygiene, quality and so on,” she said.

“IOT is also unique on the island because most of our jobs involve standing for long periods of time, and our culture here in Seychelles is more towards seated jobs. Our environment is quite harsh as well – we have machinery, in certain areas it’s quite warm.”

“This is why we constantly have this turnover and movement of local staff, whereas when we recruit from overseas, from countries like Kenya or Madagascar, they already have big factories like us so the workers are already used to certain difficult environments compared to the Seychellois.”

In terms of salary, Ms Port-Louis thinks that IOT is more or less on the industry average in terms of the salaries they offer, but stresses that prospective employees should not only compare salaries, but rather look at the total package offered.

“A smaller salary with plenty of perks may wind up being better than a larger salary with no benefits, so the package is very important to look at. People should not be discouraged that IOT offers average salaries – they need to look at the overall package that we offer, which is quite substantial in itself,” said Ms Port-Louis.

Some of the benefits IOT offers to their employees are: a bonus paid for every 5 years of service, performance-related bonuses, 50% subsidised bus passes, three months paid maternity leave, pension fund, free uniforms and safety equipment, staff discount on IOT products, free medical care and treatment at the IOT clinic, and the opportunity for promotion, as vacant posts are first circulated internally before they are advertised externally.

IOT also recently handed over cheques of between R3,000 to R10,000 to 10 victims of the flooding and landslides that hit Seychelles in January this year, demonstrating their commitment to the welfare of their staff members.

Ms Port-Louis also said the company would continue to add to the benefits on offer to employees as time goes on, and said that next year IOT would be investigating the option of implementing an incentive plan, which would be an additional benefit on top of the existing employee package on offer.