25th Anniversary: John Ross celebrates 25 years of magic

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - JULY 4, 2015

This leading Port Elizabeth business, John Ross Recruitment Trust, is celebrating 25 years in business this year, and is repositioning the brand. With their core business becoming more business solutions driven, the re-named John Ross Business & Employment Solutions Trust, or JRBEST takes this dynamic business into the future.                   

Founded by Sandi Johnson in 1990, John Ross has steadily grown into an award-winning business which is focused on delivering excellence to all their clients. Central to her vision is the value of “Old World Charm exceeding New World Expectations”.

Staff reflect on the past 25 years

Business Link spoke to some of JRBEST’s past and present employees to discover why they believe this company has done so well.  Not surprisingly, their responses have been overwhelmingly positive.

Ingrid Barclay, one of the first employees in 1990 who has since relocated to the US, remembered; “My years at John Ross were incredibly special to me. Sandi is an extremely talented HR professional who is genuinely interested in learning about the people with whom she deals – clients, talent and staff alike. We worked extremely hard, but had so much fun doing it!”

Current and long serving employee, Desiree van der Merwe, who has worked with the company since May 1998, says; “I truly believe that the reason JRBEST has become so successful, is not just because Sandi is an outstanding businesswoman, but because she nurtures the business from the heart”.

Thabisa Magxwalisa, who has worked with the company since March 2006, notes; “It has been such an honour to watch the business grow into the internationally-recognised, award-winning Contact Centre it is today. I’ve moved through the ranks and what is consistent throughout is an incredible focus on quality and customer centricity. JRBEST has really changed the game and made the Contact Centre an indispensable part of the client’s business, thanks to Sandi’s nurturing and hands-on approach at every level!”

Sharon Blumberg, who has been with the business for 20 years says her relationship with Sandi has developed into a sound, personal friendship and they have worked brilliantly together.

“Our goals in the beginning were similar and we attained them. We have set bigger, better and more challenging goals for the future and I look forward to being a part of the changes in our industry. Sandi has excellent foresight and has my greatest admiration for having an astute business mind - unafraid of taking chances and always with a positive outlook. Sandi’s compassionate nature and genuine concern for all of her 150 employee’s never ceases to amaze me,” says Sharon.

Yvette Jonker, who started at John Ross in February 2004, says “The Call Centre was re-engineered later that year to the Customer Interaction Centre and today, I am a proud Manager of the Outbound Department. The management of JRBEST knows how to create opportunities, develop and grow individuals, and make sure that we are always a step ahead of our competitors. I have never seen a company which changes, improves and adapts so quickly and so regularly.”

“My journey started with John Ross 5 years ago and today, looking back at where I was in my “maturity” space, I can surely say that my journey of growth and development started that day, in October 2009”, says Janine du Plessis, HR Manager.

Janine adds; “My relationship with Sandi was key to my “growing up” phase – her guidance and mentoring, honesty and patience, and allowing me to learn from her, and her investing time and effort in teaching me, have been centre to who and where I am today, in both my professional and personal life.  I think this says it all - but somehow this still does not say enough”. 

Julius Finestone, who joined the company in June 2006, says; Sandi offered me a leadership position on-site at Volkswagen, where I have now worked for the past nine years. During this time I have learned so much, had lots of fun, and in the process of working with Sandi and the team, learned from the best in the business.”

Nontando Mlonzi, who has been with JRBEST since January 2005, says; “Congratulations Sandi for not only being a fantastic talent scout but also for being a great employer. The company has always focused on team excellence in an industry where today’s best is considered mediocre tomorrow.”

Clients congratulate John Ross

A client, Stuart Browning, Managing Director at S&N Rubber, states; “I have been dealing with John Ross for almost 25 years and in this time, have found them to be exemplary. Their

attention to detail, follow-up and personal involvement when sourcing and placing staff and ensuring a mutually good ‘fit’ has always exceeded my expectations.

Johan van den Heever, who was the Group HR Manager, African Hide Trading, says; “We have been dealing with John Ross for the past several years. Both Sandi and Sharon have been outstanding in their dealings with the company. At no stage have we had to consider seeking another supplier. I would highly recommend them to any company seeking assistance.”

Marius Swanepoel, the Manager at the CIC, Volkswagen South Africa said that John Ross was first awarded this contract in 1998 and has successfully retained the business for the past 17 years. “I took up my position as the CIC Manager in 2004 when the re-engineering of the operation was implemented. Sandi and her Team have been an integral partner in this process and together we have grown the business to the successful Contact Centre it is today. The end-to-end HR function resides with John Ross and I am happy to endorse the service dedication and passion with which Sandi and her staff support the demanding world of Customer Interaction”.

JRBEST has recently been verified as a Level 2 contributor on the BBBEE score card. They are well positioned and positive about the business and employment landscape, where they have added significant value to their growing client base.

In celebration of the 25 years as depicted in this article, the focus has been on the very people who made the magic  happen.

Business Link joins them in wishing JRBEST even greater success in the future.