By Mark Gray, Graylink
In the US, smart recruiters are already integrating social technologies into the
way they recruit to build social capital - from advertising on niche job boards and
LinkedIn, to running targeted Pay-Per-Click campaigns, to featuring video
testimonials, crowdsourcing referrals and gamification.
South Africa doesn?t have the same supportive culture for innovation, which
means making a big social recruitment idea work in a corporate setting is often quite
a challenge. Inadequate access to affordable bandwidth further keeps four in five
South African?s without Internet access, so e-recruitment innovations that have
worked elsewhere in the world don?t always work here.
While social recruitment via the Internet is an increasingly important part of the
process, it is not the full solution. Corporate HRs in South Africa can?t just follow the
US trends or apply the same broad brushstrokes to all hires. They will have to come
up with their own mix of tactics, based on local needs. This includes leveraging trust
from their own networks instead of just blasting out a job advert and hoping for the
As a continent, Africa has been forced to find applications for its own emerging
market challenges and part of this answer is definitely mobile.
Capitec Bank has been using SMS very effectively since 2010 as an application
and call centre staff, who are geographically spread across South Africa and don?t
always have Internet access. One of the big five accounting firms has also
successfully automated candidate referral via SMS. Sending the word "referral' to a
free SMS shortcode, employees can easily suggest good talent and receive a
commission upon placement.
Social campaign responses like these are normally fed into an applicant tracking
system to automate the CV filtering and short-listing process, which can either be
integrated standalone software or be part of an HR Management or ERP system.
New rules of engagement
Finding the best talent quickly and efficiently is going to get much harder as the
pool of skilled, experienced talent is shrinking; competition for talent is now global as
talent is geographically mobile; and competitors are willing to pay more and offer
extra benefits such as work flexibility to attract and hold on to talent.
In the old days of Recruitment 1.0, jobs were announced via spray-and-pray
print adverts, CVs were received via fax, and candidate databases were built by
adding business cards to a Rolodex. Recruiters could take a few months to find a new
candidate. In Recruitment 2.0, general online job boards were used to place adverts
and search for CVs, and companies set up static career websites to announce new
jobs. Recruiters had to find new candidates in weeks rather than months.
Recruitment 3.0 is about sniper-targeting the right skills through the media
channels most relevant to them. It?s about building relationships and creating
targeted, engaged communities, telling a story, listening to candidate feedback and
fostering an emotional attachment with new talent around your authentic employer
brand. The test is to get the best talent, who are already working at other
companies, to consider joining your company - in days rather than weeks.
The days of Recruitment 1.0 and 2.0, using one way, mass targeting and
completely ordinary communication is gone. Recruitment 3.0 will require far more
strategy and forward thinking, getting creative and niche targeting to get the
attention of the top talent and deliver a compelling employer value proposition to
Marriage of HR and marketing
While there?s always been a need for recruitment and marketing to be closely
aligned, this need is intensifying. Very similar to how marketing engages with
consumers, HR needs to engage with prospective employees.
Companies that take this shift seriously and want to differentiate from their
competitors need to transform from within. They need to make their next
appointment an HR/ social media person with a background in marketing.
Getting to grips with how to use social media in recruitment requires a learning
curve, but will ultimately make the recruitment job easier for HR with more effective
targeting, higher quality candidate pipelines of talent with strong relationships, and
massive savings in time and effort. It will also help to start building a workforce of
the very best people that will move the company to new heights.
What do you think?