By Chris Bishop, in Gaborone

What do you do when a company asks you to recruit an “excitement supervisor”?

This was the question that faced Jimmy Samuels, the country manager for Botswana and Namibia for South African black-owned labour brokers Workforce. He was speaking at the first day of a two day Strategic HR Conference in Gaborone.

“We went down to see the company to try to find out what these guys wanted. They said the excitement coordinator should be a person who livens up the workplace,” says Samuels.

“We went through hundreds of CVs and couldn’t find anyone and then we found a guy from KwaZulu who had won a wooden mike on the pop talent show Idols.”

The wooden mike is the booby prize for the worst candidate on the TV pop talent show.

“We got the guy in and we watched the Idols clip as part of the job interview. Gareth Cliff asked the guy what he did for a job and he said he sold drinks and sweets by the road in KwaZulu-Natal. So Cliff says: Are you a vendor?’ To which the guy replied:’ No I am a Zulu.”

It was that answer that clinched the candidate both the wooden mike and the post of excitement coordinator.

“We spoke to the company Shoprite the other week and they said the guy was doing really well and had livened the place up,” quipped Samuels.