Inspired Testing appoints chief people and culture officer

Johannesburg, 24 Mar 2021
Read time 2min 40sec

Global software testing company Inspired Testing has appointed former Smith & Nephew Key Accounts Director, Andre Barnard, to the new position of Chief People and Culture Officer.

Andre Barnard, Chief People & Culture Officer.
Andre Barnard, Chief People & Culture Officer.

Barnard will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s recruitment, talent mobility and succession planning, and will look to create a holistic and progressive work culture and environment for Inspired’s current and future staff.

“In the short time I’ve spent in this industry’s talent recruitment and retainment space, I’ve noticed that just as the technology moves quickly, so do the people that work with it,” says Barnard. “It’s common practice for companies to invest heavily in recruitment, only for other companies to sweep in and offer the recruits something ‘better’, so it’s imperative that the conditions we create for our people we invest in encourages them to invest back in us.”

Barnard says the best way to retain top talent is to establish a sense of belonging for new recruits.

“The only way you can create a real sense of belonging is to establish a culture of complete honesty and transparency in everything you do,” he says. “If you get people to belong, getting them to believe what you believe and do what you need them to do willingly will come effortlessly, and then they’ll be far less likely to look for opportunities elsewhere. It’s not just about rewards, but also personal fulfilment, something many corporate companies fail to do at the first time of asking.”

Inspired Testing CEO Jacques Fouché says Barnard will bring a renewed energy and fresh approach to invigorating Inspired’s push for more dynamic recruitment for accelerated growth.

“The executive team has a big vision, which puts great pressure on recruitment and job creation, something we’re very passionate about,” says Fouché. “Coming from an unrelated industry to our own gives Andre an advantage in seeing things differently and bringing different ideas to make working for Inspired – and our industry in general – far more appealing to prospective employees.”

Barnard held various roles in his 14 years with Smith & Nephew, from marketing to accounts management to strategic marketing to sales management and, most recently, Director of Key Accounts South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is based in Ballito, working remotely and commuting between Inspired’s offices across the country.

“I’ve spent the last 15 years studying leadership and culture, and have read countless books in the space,” he says. “When you put your values on a wall poster or in a brochure, as a company you have to enact those values. If you say to someone that you’re going to invest in them, they need to feel they’re invested in from the very first day. Make them feel they made the right choice, not that you made the right choice, and they’ll reward your investment tenfold.”

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