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MOZAMBIQUE - Economy

Vicente Sitoe

Executive Director, SDO Mozambique

Bio

Vicente Sitoe is a professional with extensive work experience in strategic human resources management. Throughout his career, he has implemented strategic projects for companies operating in different sectors and for public entities. His experience ranges from conception to practical implementation. With an integrated master’s degree in Psychology and Pedagogy from the Public Pedagogical University of Voronezh (Russian Federation), Vicente Sitoe combines a psychologist’s perspective with that of a consultant in his approaches. Fundamentally identifying as a Consultant in the area of Human Capital management, he conducts his activities in this field through SDO Moçambique, a company in which he is a partner.

"First, one of our biggest goals going into 2024 is to relocate."
TBY talks to Vicente Sitoe, Executive Director of SDO Mozambique, about human resources, expanding services, and goals for the coming year.
Can you provide a brief overview of the development of SDO Mozambique in the last few years?

We have grown by more than 40%, most notably in terms of our staff. From about seven consultants a few years ago, we now have 16 consultants plus one external consultant. Businesswise, we have also consolidated further by entering into areas that we did not operate in before, such as outsourcing services and general human resources consultancy. We are currently one of the major players in Mozambique, with a solid portfolio of clients. We have earned the trust and confidence of clients, with many coming back to renew their contracts. In 2023, we had 24% success rate on all proposals we delivered to clients, which is a solid figure for our sector. In 2024, we hope to continue growing further.

SDO Mozambique now operates in areas where it didn’t before. How did you expand into these new areas where SDO Mozambique is currently active?

One of our motivations for expansion was pandemic given that during that period, few companies were requesting for HR services or recruitment. We are extremely strong in those areas, including training and development, which all came to a halt apart from obligatory trainings for different sectors. We had positioned ourselves as strategic human resources service providers, helping companies to recruit C-level executives; however, during the pandemic, we started to also work on general recruitment for all positions, which we were not that strong in. We had to open up and look into other opportunities in order to ride out the pandemic.

SDO Mozambique has also evolved in other ways since COVID-19. Did COVID force the company to incorporate new technologies in the way you operate?

We would not be here if we had not incorporated technology. When the market opened, we had a number of companies that were interested in recruiting. One of the key aspects and elements of the recruitment process in Mozambique is feedback to the candidates—if one is ineffective in this aspect, they will receive a great deal of backlash on social media. Initially, the feedback we were receiving on social media included comments such as, “I applied for 10 positions but never heard back.” SDO decided to contract a digital solution based on AI, even before anyone in Mozambique was considering using AI to help them screen CVs and simplify the recruitment process. The program receives all the CVs for a position, screens them, and suggests the most suitable and appropriate ones to the recruitment consultants. When the entire process is over, it sends automatic responses to everyone. The goal is to ensure no one is left behind until the position is filled.

Looking ahead, what are the key strategies and initiatives for SDO Mozambique?

First, one of our biggest goals going into 2024 is to relocate. SDO is currently looking for a new office. For legal purposes, we are working in an office, paying for gas and lights and a nominal rent; however, we feel as though we have emerged from a long hibernation like a bear in winter and are now feeling strong and full of energy. Second, we need to have a presence outside of Maputo and are planning to expand into other areas of the country. Still, we have not yet decided on the format. It might be a co-working space in Pemba, which is our first target market. In 2023, we attempted to expand into Beira as we thought that establishing an office there would give us a greater presence in that central region. However, we didn’t find the right moment yet. There are some projects where we can provide one or two services; however, there isn’t yet enough work that requires us to establish a physical presence there that we cannot manage from here. Our other objective is the transition to offering regular inter-training to meet the growing market demand from individuals seeking to enhance their skills to increase their potential and advance their careers.

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