“You don’t have to be perfect, but you do need to be excellent – in consistency, care and resilience.” Candice Clark
Candice Clark, dynamic founder and MD of Dynamic Talent, is a people-centric and outward-looking problem-solver who tells it like it is, usually with a hint of humour. She maintains there’s enough mediocrity in the world without adding more to it. “I wasn’t put on this earth to deliver something average or half-baked. There are problems to be solved, and if I can do that in an excellent way that our clients will love – best believe I will! This is what drives my progressive, innovative thinking.”
Diversity by Inclusion asked Candice to share her background and some of her thinking, to inspire and encourage other Dynamic Technologies internal and external stakeholders along the paths they have chosen.
- Where did you grow up and attend school?
We moved around a lot in my younger years, which included a stint in Namibia, and settled in Johannesburg when I was 10. I’ve been here ever since, apart from a one-year contract in Dubai with Emirates airlines.
My parents wanted to send me to a private high school, but I resisted that approach, and attended Fourways High School, which I loved. It taught me so much about diversity of thought, and being in larger classes built resilience that prepared me for university and the working world. After matric, I completed my undergraduate and honours degrees in Psychology at the University of Johannesburg.
- What stimulated your interests in both tech and recruitment?
The combination of tech and recruitment has been a natural fit for me.
My mother ran a recruitment agency and I was free child labour – just joking! From when I was about 16, I helped with some junior roles. I valued the impact it made on others’ lives, and the fast-paced, dynamic nature of the business. I grew into it and started working with clients – I loved the ability to be a trusted advisor for a client and to build constructive relationships. Those are still the parts I love.
Tech has always fascinated me. It infiltrates every part of our life, and it makes so many things easier and more efficient. Also, the people I meet in tech are progressive, forward-thinking and very creative.
- What have been some highlights in your career?
Starting Dynamic Talent and seeing it thrive through an amazing acquisition and onwards has been an incredible highlight for me. I’ve had some tough challenges to overcome personally and in the business, and I’ve learnt that all it really comes down to is getting up every day, and trying again. Literally. I’m glad I’ve stuck this out and I’m proud of the business my team and I have built.
Winning CQS Technology Holdings’ Go Beyond quarterly award and being a runner up in the annual award was also a highlight. It was an awesome chapter in my career that set firm foundations for Dynamic Talent.
Being selected by LinkedIn as one of the top 10 social recruiters in Middle East and North Africa was another special achievement. I was recruited by Emirates to solve two sourcing challenges and I managed to dig deep, figure it out and come out with a great award. Again, these learnings were woven into Dynamic Talent’s DNA.
- Describe your personal guiding principles.
There are several, and they tend to underpin each other – they’ve evolved through experience, interactions with clients, colleagues, and the wider world, and the honing process is continuing.
Resilience is a biggie. This is built-in consistency and truly caring about what your client wants. Even when you get it wrong – go back, try again and again and again.
I am a huge believer in honesty and transparency, and I spend time making sure all details down to a 0.1 are correct. Our core business values focus on being trustworthy and reliable.
Kindness. I often reflect on whether my behaviour is kind, gracious, and empathic. It’s not always easy in a pressurised environment and I fail sometimes – but it remains a key element in my leadership style.
- How do these translate into your work environment?
I don’t take no for an answer very well! I’m constantly pushing my team to levels of excellence that I believe our clients and us as a team deserve. If we’re going to do something, we must do it properly. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it must be excellent. I also emphasise integrity – doing what you said you were going to do, when you said you were going to do it, in the manner you said you would.
- Do you have pet peeves?
Dishonesty and overt manipulation. We are fallible humans, but I find it hard to move forward when I’ve been lied to or manipulated into a situation without the full truth. Usually I address this head on, but sometimes I let it to go, knowing I’m not the person to teach the lesson that’s needed.
- What makes Dynamic Talent special?
I love that we have a diverse team and that we work well together. We communicate honestly, openly and solve the challenges that come across our path. We’re a bunch of hard-working, innovative, kind people. We have a unique business model and we attract the nicest, most talented people I know. I’m proud of that.
- Who has influenced your working life?
Both my parents – they were business leaders in entrepreneurship and in bigger corporate businesses. They worked hard and instilled in me a work ethic and a resilience that has made me tenacious in some overwhelming challenges.
- Why is it important to redress the gender imbalance in tech?
We’re missing out on SO MUCH talent in the commercial world because recruitment and retention practices are not done in a gender equitable way. There are massive shortages in tech, yet words like “ninja” are still used in job descriptions, which we know put women off applying for those roles. That’s just one example. There’s an obvious gap that needs serious attention.
- What’s your message to young girls contemplating careers in technology?
To begin with, this is not the easiest path. You will need to be tenacious, resilient and determined. Don’t take no for an answer, ever. If you can do that, you will see great success in this sector and you will open the doors for the many more women we need.
- How have you experienced ‘diversity by inclusion’?
I’ve had a seat at many boardroom tables where I was often the only female. I’ve had my voice heard by leaders, and been respected.
Most importantly, I’ve had a business like Dynamic Technologies believe in me, and put their money where their mouth is to support me and ensure the business thrives. That’s remarkable, and rare in tech for female-led businesses.
Diversity and inclusion are crucial – creativity and innovation are lower if we surround ourselves with people like us. Having team members that come from many different walks of life fuels our creativity and progressive thinking. There’s so much more to life than just our own perspectives!