min read
Challenges Recruiters face in SA



Author: Cathie Webb

TCTS Executive | ACCSYS Product & Enablement

Recruiters today are faced with two major challenges:

  • there are so, so many people looking for work, and
  • there are seemingly fewer jobs available!

These problems are not restricted to South Africa. The McKinsey Global Institute did a study in 2020 which estimated that in Europe and America there would be a shortage of 16 to 18 million employees! And while this is anecdotal, every week my LinkedIn feed presents me with at least one case of someone who has submitted their CV well over 1 000 times, and finally lands a role after over a year of searching.

These issues don’t seem to be limited to new entrants in the job market.

This means that when a recruiter advertises a position, they are faced with hundreds of CV’s submitted for a single role. In many instances the CV bears little relation to the role requirements, and even the minimum qualification and skills requirements are not met. The recruiter has to sift through all the CVs in order to discover this, in the hopes of finding at least a few possible candidates for a telephonic pre-interview.

Some companies are fortunate in having strong employer brands that attract candidates with the right profile. Recruiters in these businesses are still faced with similar challenges though – how to manage the many applicants – some applying for a specific available role, but often just submitting a CV in the hopes that an opportunity is identified for them. Even in the case of advertised specific roles, hopeful potential employees often “take a flyer” and submit their CV regardless of fit.

Online job advertising boards and recruitment solutions have come a long way in assisting the recruiter in streamlining the process, and in working through possible candidates. Subscription to these platforms allows the recruiter to advertise roles they have available, search through CV’s which are supplied in response to the role, and also to search the database of candidates who have previously applied for roles, to see whether a search turns up any potentials.

From here the filtering process for the CV’s remains similar – possibly longer when searching the candidate database, as the candidate may no longer be available or interested in a role’

Very few people remove their CVs from these platforms even when they successfully land a job. CV’s that remain online in the search databases shows that people are often open to being head hunted!

Recruitment is an art – designing role profiles that are specific about what the job entails, and clear about requirements, and then advertising them successfully, is no longer simply a case of drawing up a list of things the new employee will have to do and be measured by.

To be successful, the role requirements should be clear, as should the benefits of joining an organisation – often referred to as the employee value proposition (EVP) a company has to offer. It is unlikely that a recruiter will find a 100% candidate match for a role, so don’t hold out for one. Being able to make decisions regarding short-listing, and then getting to an offer stage quickly makes a positive impact, and great first impression, on a new employee.