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Publication date: 25 September 2021

The HICO-Group team in South Africa can be proud to have a leader like this. Someone with a passion for people? Check. Bringing out the best in them? Check. Lives and breathes the HICO Can Do attitude in everything that she does? Double check! Everyone, meet our amazing SA Hub Manager, Rachael Naidoo. 

People of HICO - Rachael Thumb - HICO Group Interview

Could you tell us a bit more about Rachael, the person? Where are you from? Where do you live? What interests you, all that?

I live in Durban, South Africa, originally from a small town in the midlands called Howick. Shout out to me peeps back home! My life revolves around my family that includes my amazing husband, our two beautiful children, and our Jack Russell Zoe. 

I have a passion for people and bringing out the best in them. I enjoy fitness, walks on the beach, and spending time with family and friends. Being the best version of me is what I do best, and I am grateful for every day that I get to live this life. 

What is your favorite thing about HICO?

Just one? Hard to pack all of what I love about the company in only one thing…

First off, the people of HICO, their welcoming nature, and willingness to share their skill and knowledge. Of course, cannot forget about the great “HICO Can Do” attitude! The company culture always encourages new ideas, innovation, and technology. For me, it’s also remote working. Double thumbs up for that!

As someone from our beloved South Africa team, can you describe your journey to joining HICO-Group?

I had the privilege of meeting Michael, Bastian, and Nina during their trip to SA in 2019. Bastian told me on this trip that I would one day work for HICO and well… the rest is history. Here I am in 2021 managing the Hub in SA. And I love it!

And we couldn’t be more proud to have you! 

Can you describe your typical workday? From early in the morning to whenever you complete? We’re interested in the deets (details)! 🙂

I’m an early bird so my day starts pretty early, usually. And actively! Fresh coffee. Quick gym session. Then it’s on to lots of emailing and calendar coordination. Then it’s between recruitment, various HR functions, coordinating,and overseeing operations in SA, as well as touching base with the teams both in Germany and our staff in SA. It is a rather full day and most enjoyable when I get to communicate with the team. To end my workday, I typically plan out my to-do list for the next day and then put on my “mom suit”. 😊

What would you say is the greatest challenge in your line of work? Aaand… how do you deal with challenges on most days?

Being the first point of call in our recruitment process, I meet a lot of candidates and in turn create a lot of relationships. My biggest challenge is informing an unsuccessful candidate. Unfortunately, not every application can end in a successful hire. I deal with this by treating candidates the way I would like to be treated – with honesty and in as timely a manner as possible, always respecting the relationship and being open to future opportunities that could arise.

Could you give us a specific example of a “job well done” in your line of work? For example, in Marketing, we’d consider launching an ad that creates lots of web traffic for us a success. How about you?

Back to recruiting with this one… I have had some luck with active sourcing. 😊 What can I say, I am a people person.

We trust you are! Now, in your opinion, what is a major change or new trend you expect to see in your job in the next 10 years? Is there something today that indicates it or is it just your “hunch”?

Remote work. It’s a big thing today; huge, actually. Companies that have embraced this culture are growing fast, becoming the more attractive companies to work for. Relating this to my work directly, I would say managing a virtual office will be trending for some time to come. 

Aaand… time for some Rapid Fire Questions! Please try to make your responses to the following questions short and to the point. 

What is the most interesting thing you’ve read this week?

COVID vaccination stats in SA.

Name someone whose work/life you find inspiring.

Charlene Smith (Sales Director at Insight Consulting). An all-around beautiful human being!

Where would you go right now if you were invisible?

Space. I wonder what the view is like from up there…

Name one thing you really COULD NOT live without.

My kids.

Name one thing you really COULD live without.


Favorite movie?

The Titanic.

Favorite TV show?

Money Heist.

Favorite food?

Lamb Biryani (this was a tough one, I am such a foodie).

As a reward to our readers for reading ’til the end, please share your best piece of advice.

Be consistent in everything that you do. Never lose touch with peace and simplicity. Stay calm and enjoy the journey called life.

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