Digital age paves way for new recruitment practices


By Mark Gray of Graylink

In the last five years, online recruitment has become an essential HR practice
with US research showing 92% 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% 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 Opting for job aggregators: Job boards are based on an outdated model of big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 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 unraveling 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.

Graylink was founded in 2002 in Cape Town, South Africa, and is privately held.
The company also has offices in the UK. Graylink has over 120 clients in mid to large
companies and government
organisations worldwide. Its clients include: Absa, Shoprite, Telkom, Discovery,
Multichoice, Murray and Roberts, Mediclinic, Sasol, Vodafone, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline,
Toyota, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. For more information please visit

What do you think?
Are traditional recruitment practices still effective?