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Cape Town firm takes HR services abroad

Gary Willmott, founder of Hi5 Technologies.

Gary Willmott, founder of Hi5 Technologies.

Cape Town-based human resources (HR) cloud company, Hi5 Technologies, has expanded to four countries only two years after it was established.

Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Gary Willmott, Hi5 is a Web- and mobile-based employee engagement cloud application which allows employees to recognise and rate each other, and design and evaluate their goals in order to free up management and HR teams from laborious admin.

Focusing on a model of assigning each employee only five attainable goals, the platform helps organisations focus on qualitative staff engagement with recognition, goals and culture measurement. Each employee is assigned a maximum of five co-workers to review, five times a year.

Willmott says the company, which targets SMEs with between 50 and 1 000 employees, has now expanded to Australia, New Zealand, UK and the US, where it services over 1 700 combined clients through partners.

"We now have more than 4 500 customers in five countries, including SA, and we attribute this growth to our easy-to-use and simple product. We've focused on ensuring the end-user has a great experience using Hi5. The tool provides simple and regular HR reporting, keeping organisations updated on their employees and their progress.

"It is interfaced with a tool that enables management to take swift action while there is still time, through the manager dashboards, which have been designed to escalate any problem," he notes.

The company's list of local clients includes EOH Digital, SA Biomedical, Adcorp, Spar, wiGroup, RGBC, Hi Calibre Engineering and PEP. Most of these clients have seen an employee engagement rate of 80-90% after using the platform, adds Willmott.

"The South African market is slightly slower when it comes to embracing new digital platforms; however, that gap is getting smaller. Local companies require anything from two to four meetings prior to signing-up for the product. The US market is used to software-as-a-service platforms, so they take advantage of the free trial to validate to see if Hi5 will work within their company," he explains.

The Hi5 app, available on Android and iOS, has two pricing plans: Hi5 Basic which is free, and Hi5 Business, which is $7 per person monthly.

Hi5 Basic has a free version, for companies that want a simple platform for recognition. The business package offers more detailed reports and provides employee reviews on culture, and measures goals and accomplishments of co-workers, notes the company.

Hi5 has a small engineering team, according to Willmott, who have three to five years' experience in iOS, Android and Mean Stack Development. The company also has a senior team with experience in HR, management and sales.

"In future we will be looking at getting smarter – we plan to add data analytics and artificial intelligence tools used to draw interesting company data. This will be used to provide great insights to organisation leaders," he concludes.


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