Meet Joyce, Head of HR and Admin, MicroLoan Foundation Malawi

Alice McDonnell, Fundraising & Communications Manager, MicroLoan Foundation

Whilst in Malawi, I had the opportunity to spend time with some of our staff there, and learn more about what they do. Without the likes of Joyce, MicroLoan wouldn’t run like it does, so it’s great to be able to tell you a bit more about her…

Joyce is MicroLoan Malawi’s Head of HR and Admin, and amongst other things, is responsible for the recruitment of all staff in Malawi. Joyce is quite new to the team, having only joined us in December 2013 from the main bus company in Malawi, where she was Head of HR for seven years. Joyce is originally from Blantyre, in the South of Malawi, but has relocated to Kasungu (location of MicroLoan’s Head Office) to take on this role. Joyce is clearly very excited about being part of MicroLoan Foundation, and is incredibly passionate about helping transform the lives of the women we support.

I am particularly interested in understanding from Joyce how MicroLoan Malawi goes about recruiting Loan Officers. Loan Officers are vital to the success of our operation; there are currently 72 of them based at branches across Malawi, travelling into extremely remote areas to deliver loans and training to impoverished women. Joyce explains that Loan Officers are required to have Malawian School Leaving Certificate of Education (the equivalent of our A Levels), and some experience in rural community development. It’s also really helpful if they have accounting experience to help in reconciling figures, as a lot of their job involves dealing with money. Generally, jobs will be advertised in the newspaper local to the branch, Joyce explains. All of our Loan Officers are Malawian nationals, and we try as much as possible to employ local staff as they often have a better understanding of how the local communities operate, which can be really helpful in delivering our services. In fact, whilst I am at Head Office, there are a group of new Loan Officers here for two weeks of induction training. Joyce opens the training by welcoming everyone and emphasising our mission and values which run through everything we do at MicroLoan Foundation. It’s so encouraging to see the passion and enthusiasm she has for our work, and how she’s passing this on to the rest of our staff…