With more than a million South African students having just finished writing their matric exams, many of those will be job hunting come January. However, traditional recruitment methods will continue to fail them.
Digital CVs and recruitment tools are the answer to creating sustainable job creation amongst South Africa’s youth who are unlikely to have job experience or tertiary education. Thus far, Zain Patel, managing director, at BPO solutions provider, Merchants, explains that these tools have been extremely successful in creating employment in the BPO industry.
“Digital recruitment tools have allowed us to match candidates with available roles through behavioural profiling rather than factors like education or experience. Not only does this mean that the candidates have a better chance of being placed, but they will be placed in a role they are specifically suited for – providing them with the best chance of job satisfaction and long-term employment,” he says.
Late last year, McKinsey reported that the local BPO sector has the potential to create 775,000 jobs by 2030 – currently employing over 270,000 people in South Africa, of which 65,000 serve international clients. Patel explains that the industry is well poised to absorb job seekers and assist with creating a pipeline of talent equipped with future-ready skills.
“For matric learners, the skills development and employment opportunities presented by the sector are a positive stepping stone in building a career. Skills and experience in problem solving, interpersonal communication, and multi-tasking, for example, are valuable in many roles and professions and have been identified as key skills for employment in the 4th industrial revolution.”
He notes that traditional recruitment methods, such as placing a job advertisement, will reach less than 20% of job seekers. Meanwhile, digital recruitment tools:
- Remove the barriers to entry for many job seekers by matching job seekers to available roles based on necessary cognitive ability and behavioural traits,
- are available to anyone with a smartphone or connected device and access to the internet,
- are able to match job seekers to a number of jobs rather than just one at a time, and
- facilitate interviews using online platforms, irradicating the need for travel to the interview, which can be expensive for job seekers.
To make use of these tools, candidates would create a profile on the portal and undertake the activities necessary to gauge their skills and traits. Patel notes that Merchants’ digital recruitment tool, MyCalling for example, allowed the business to match more than 6,000 individuals with suitable roles in less than a year – almost half of whom were either students or unemployed at the time and 15% had no previous working experience. “Not only have these candidates been successful in fulfilling their roles within the organisation and developing their skills sets, but we have also seen lower percentages of attrition in candidates sourced through the platform,” he highlights.
“The age-old CV – detailing previous experience, contact details and educational background, for example – then becomes superfluous. The role of the hiring manager is going to be based on data analytics rather than sorting through physical or digital copies of CVs,” he says. With an increasing number of organisations now adopting remote working practices, Patel expects to see the number of businesses making use of digital recruitment tools increasing significantly by 2022.
In conclusion, Patel touches on the resilience of the BPO sector. “More and more international businesses will be looking to invest in multi-region outsourcing strategies to protect their businesses from circumstances such as natural disasters, strike action and pandemics – and South Africa is positioned to become the delivery region of the future. This bodes well for job creation, not only for the youth but for all South African seeking opportunity.”