Home > Podcast > EMEA Recruitment Podcast > 159: EMEA Recruitment Podcast #159 – Mapping People to the Right Careers – Tshidi Khunou

159: EMEA Recruitment Podcast #159 – Mapping People to the Right Careers – Tshidi Khunou

May 16th, 2023

We were proud to welcome Tshidi Khunou, Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Lead at SMG Swiss Marketplace Group, onto the EMEA Recruitment podcast. 

“We try to become the champion of those that don’t have a voice.”

For Tshidi, 2023 is the Year of Yes, which involves trying new things that scare him. The last thing that made him smile was skiing in the Swiss mountains – an activity at the top of his list to conquer. 

Paul Toms discusses the benefits of moving to Switzerland, with Tshidi revealing the reason he moved with his family. The main driver was Tshidi’s young son, who loves the outdoors. And, with both sets of grandparents getting older, there was a growing desire to enable his son to build a relationship with them. However, Tshidi doesn’t recommend moving during a pandemic! 

Exploring the motivation for creating a YouTube channel and with 17 years of recruitment experience, Tshidi explains that he wanted to help candidates excel in interviews to prevent the loss of opportunities. He began answering questions on LinkedIn, but found videos more effective and time efficient. 

Tshidi originally moved into Talent Acquisition through university, working at a call centre and calling prospective students. As soon as he graduated, he was approached by his manager about a new role. 

Two months after Tshidi started in TA, the person in charge of recruiting throughout the whole of Africa resigned, empowering Tshidi to take advantage of the opportunity and travel across Africa, the Middle East and Australia for six-and-a-half years, before trying an agency role. He then moved into graduate recruitment, and other roles and companies, ultimately leading to SMG. He still loves the challenges that TA brings daily.

Since joining SMG, his role as Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Lead has been one of the best challenges Tshidi has experienced. Having joined the company six months after it was formed, he built everything from scratch and learned more about recruitment in Europe. 

Discussing what an efficient and effective recruitment and retention process looks like, Tshidi believes that candidates are more forgiving if prospective employers are honest about the challenges the company is experiencing. 

Secondly, he feels the question: Why do you want this job? is outdated and subjective to where the person is in their career. Instead, asking: What is the best opportunity for you and what does it look like? enables the employer to get unfiltered information from the candidate; that way, you are no longer mapping the job to the person – you’re mapping the person to the job. 

Leading onto the cost of the wrong hire, Tshidi believes that you can’t always quantify the effect it has on the team. Wrong hires have the potential to destroy a fully functional team and its synergy.  

For Tshidi, he’s been conscious of the fact that bad hires can lead to the loss of great talents – the same way promoting the wrong individual could prompt other talent to leave. He adds that people often don’t leave because of the company, but because of the leader. Therefore, hiring the wrong leader can deliver the same outcome as a bad hire. 

Addressing the impact of business intelligence and data on Talent and Huma Resources of the future, Tshidi acknowledges that it can bring huge benefits, but he believes SMG isn’t ready to use data in a TA space. 

Towards the end of the episode, Paul asks Tshidi about prioritisation and time management. Tshidi seeks to address and prioritise solving issues where things have gone wrong first. He credits a great Senior Recruiter in his team who always volunteers to step in to help.

Believe in your team, focus on what you must do, and delegate to capable people who are happy to receive stretch projects, Tshidi concludes. 


Are you looking for a particular part of the episode? Use these helpful timestamps: 

01:55: The last thing that made Tshidi smile 04:35: Moving to Switzerland 08:40: Creating a YouTube channel 14:30: Tshidi’s journey into Talent Acquisition 24:45: His role as Talent Acquisition and Employer Branding Lead 31:50: Efficient & effective recruitment & retention 42:30: The effects of tech on TA 48:25: The importance of maintaining relationships with candidates 52:50: Time management & prioritisation 

If you’re interested in learning more about Tshidi’s platform on LinkedIn, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/company/topofthemorning-with-tshidi/

You can also find Tshidi on YouTube


EMEA Recruitment is proud to support Operation Smile, an international medical charity that provides life-changing surgery to children born with cleft lip and palate. If you’re able to help us in our goal of creating 100 new smiles, please visit: https://www.operationsmile.org.uk/donate-to-operation-smile/donate-to-operation-smile-emea-recruitment/


The podcast is hosted by Paul Toms, Founder of EMEA Recruitment, and Rose Jinks, Marketing Manager. 

We’re experts in professional services recruitment – including TA and HR positions. To find out more, please visit our website: https://www.emearecruitment.com/ 

You can also keep up to date with us through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/emea-recruitment-limited/ 

If you’d like to contact Paul, please connect with him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paultoms/ 

Or follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_toms 


If there are any topics you’d like us to cover in future episodes, please reach out to Rose: rose.jinks@emearecruitment.com 


#emearecruitment #emearecruitmentpodcast #tshidikhunou #paultoms #operationsmile  #operationsmileuk #recruitment #talentacquisition


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