In the past five years, online recruitment has become an essential HR practice with US research showing 92 percent of companies now recruit via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Seven in ten companies have successfully hired this way.
The South African situation is very different. Only half of companies have moved online and technology is still used in a very basic way to advertise on job boards and direct candidates to an email address or applicant tracking system. A tiny number of companies have fully woken up to social recruitment and are driving relevant jobs and content to niche online communities to engage talent.
We see three big opportunities this year:
1 Mobilising recruitment: With Africa’s 650-million mobile phone owners growing 40-fold since 2000 and eight in ten South Africans now owning a mobile phone, it is the best way to reach candidates, especially blue collar workers. Different to the US, Africa will have 85 percent non-smartphone users by 2015, which makes SMS an ideal communication channel.
Recruiters should start figuring out how to integrate mobile into the recruitment process as a job application channel. When looking for options, choose software that not only does mobile marketing of job ads, but can also automate the job application process via various mobile channels including SMS, mobile Internet, Instant Messaging (like Mxit) and USSD.
2 Opting for job aggregators: Job boards are based on an outdated model of big databases with no relationship to job seekers and poor integration to social media, if any. The traditional SA job board model has been to charge companies large sums to advertise their jobs with the chances of success being somewhat of a lottery. Aggregators are disrupting the market by collating and featuring jobs from multiple sources on one site for free.
Only the strongest and most innovative will survive and the days of the traditional job board is numbered. Recruiters need to start focusing on aggregators like Indeed.co.za for smarter use of their budgets and better exposure on a job-search tool giving candidates what they really want: quick, simple and effective search of their job niche.
3 Tapping into relationships: While personal recommendation is a top source of outside hires, most companies don’t have formal referral practices. Recruiters need to make sure employer branding is well executed on their career sites. By making jobs easy to share across social networks, employees will be even likelier to pass on opportunities. Equally important is to properly track and reward referrals to avoid great candidates falling through the cracks and to continue encouraging great leads.
An increasing number of vendors are now building candidate referral systems. Integrating these with an applicant tracking and workflow system can easily help track referrals along with the source, comments, notes and other content to make better hiring decisions.
2013 will be the year that companies deploying well thought out strategies can get a massive advantage. SA recruiters have to urgently up-skill on technology in the recruitment space and how it merges with marketing to stay relevant.
In the US, recruitment has already started unravelling for companies that are behind the curve. Local recruiters will start to feel the pressure this year as stopgaps for timely, cost effective and efficient recruitment stop working.
Cape Town-based Graylink is a private technology company specialising in cloud based recruitment solutions for corporates in emerging markets, particularly Africa. Its web and mobile offerings automate recruitment processes and help companies recruit the best talent quicker, more efficiently and for less.