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Tuesday Consulting: Kate Lester, Wendy Spalding & Leigh Swartz

A search firm applies an innovative approach to the recruitment of management.

Juliet Pitman



Kate Lester, Wendy Spalding & Leigh Swartz of Tuesday Consulting

In the recruitment industry where thousands of practitioners are all competing for a piece of the same pie, getting a competitive edge is tough. But one company identified a gap that no one else was targeting and has carved out a very comfortable niche for itself. By positioning itself as a search firm for middle to senior management, Tuesday Consulting is tapping into a previously un-targeted market.

“Executive search firms are geared towards recruitment at the executive level, while contingency firms focus on recruitment positions at the level below senior management. We realised that there was a gap in the market for a firm to offer a professional, researched sourcing solution aimed at the level just below executives, in other words at middle to senior management,” explains founder Kate Lester.

Her partners, Wendy Spalding and Leigh Swartz, have first hand experience of the search industry, Wendy in executive search and contingency firms and Leigh as a client. Leigh experienced the frustration of trying to source middle management resources through the traditional recruitment channels.

“Executive search firms couldn’t provide what we needed at the middle management level, and contingency firms would just send us a volume of CVs without any critical screening or positioning of our brand. When I heard about Tuesday I realised they were filling all those gaps,” she says. She and Wendy bought into the company and joined as partners in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

From their collective experience in the recruitment industry, the partners realised the value to be gained by conducting intensive research into specific pools of talent. “Search is different to ordinary recruitment because you need to attract people who are not necessarily looking to move jobs.

By building up a profile of the talent pool we were targeting, we develop a fine-tuned understanding of what drives them, what would motivate them to move, what their career aspirations are and what they expect in terms of salary,” says Kate.

“Only once we fully understand these things do we target specific individuals within that talent pool,” adds Wendy. Not only does this increase the likelihood of finding the right person for the job, but it also provides the client with valuable information, as Leigh explains, “Clients gain a better understanding of what potential candidates are looking for, and they can modify their business strategy accordingly.” In an increasingly limited skills market, such information is invaluable in helping companies to attract top talent.

In the search industry, attraction is what it’s all about, as Kate reiterates, “Just as you would sell a candidate to a client, you need to position a client to a candidate. We have a depth of experience not only in sourcing and business strategy, but also in understanding employer branding and the importance of correctly positioning a compelling value proposition to a candidate, particularly at the middle to senior management level where skills are in short supply.”

Wendy adds that in addition to research,strategy and brand positioning, successful search relies on a partnership between the client and search consultancy. “We position ourselves as a partner,both to the recruitment / HR function in a company, as well as to line management. For the process to be successful, we need input from both theseareas,” she says.

One of Tuesday’s biggest challenges is getting clients to invest the time required to provide the team with a comprehensive brief that includes an overview of where the position fits into the company’s overall strategy. “Because at theend of the day, this is not about filling one position – it’s about the full solution. Our role is to help clients to put together a skills plan for the future,” says Leigh.

Fortunately, as Wendy points out, most companies understand how competitive the skills market is. “As our relationship with them grows and they experience the value of what we offer, most companies are willing to put in the time to make the process work for them,” she says. Although only four years old, Tuesday Consulting is already well respected in the industry, and boasts blue chip corporate clients across a wide range of sectors.

And although the company is looking to grow, the partners agree that they never want to get too big.“Because of the need to develop close working relationships with clients, the search business is suited to small boutique firms that provide a personalised service. This is our niche and it’s where we want to remain,” says Kate. As the skills shortage continues to be a challenge for businesses across South Africa, Tuesday and its clients are set to benefit from the solid foundation she and her team have built. Contact: +27 11 325 2802;

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.


25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton



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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.






Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect




Vital Stats

It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.


“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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