Time to hire varies significantly depending on the level of skills required for the position. Picture: Jocelyn Adamson.
Time to hire varies significantly depending on the level of skills required for the position. Picture: Jocelyn Adamson.

What it really takes to land a job in SA

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published Sep 8, 2021

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Time to hire varies significantly, depending on the level of skills required for the position. This is according to Natalie Singer, a senior consultant at Global Business Solutions.

She said roles requiring scarce skills are likely to take significantly longer as companies struggle to source suitable applicants.

"Many companies also have various steps within their recruitment processes, including interviews with multiple individuals within the business, skills assessments, and verifications such as referencing, credit and criminal checks. Depending on the nature of the verification checks, such as police clearance certificates, delays of several weeks can be experienced while prospective employers await these processes being finalised," she said.

While some companies are hiring around the country, according to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate in South Africa decreased to 38.01 percent in the first quarter of 2021 from 38.22 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Stats SA's quarterly labour force survey showed that unemployment is at its highest since the survey was started in 2008.

Even though the employment rate is low due to various reasons, including the Covid-19 pandemic, Singer said one of the positive impacts of the virus and the shift to remote working and virtual engagements had been a report from recruiters that the process of arranging interviews between candidates and clients has sped up.

"This is mainly linked to the greater ease at which multiple parties can more readily 'convene' via virtual meeting software, regardless of their physical location, and the elimination of the travel time which previously elongated the time off required from the candidate (who often is employed elsewhere)," she said.

She said virtual engagements have the added benefits of being recorded, enabling others who cannot attend at the time, the opportunity to also assess the candidate for suitability.

"It is hoped that amongst the various workplace changes we are experiencing as a result of the fast forward to the future world of work Covid-19 has brought, the speeding up of recruitment processes and the resulting lowering of time-to-hire will occur too. Quicker turnaround times benefit all parties, and embracing technology to enable the compliance processes within recruitment will undoubtedly achieve this," she said.

According to Indeed, an American worldwide employment website for job listings launched in November 2004, there are a few steps to take to help to secure a job. The website lists the following:

1. Proofread your general curriculum vitae and cover letter. You have to include keywords for the job that is advertised. Please check for spelling mistakes.

2. Update your social media. Social media is a great place for networking, make connections with the people that are in the same field you are looking to work in.

3. Send out applications regularly. Try different strategies when applying.

4. Contact companies directly. Send out applications to different companies even if they haven't advertised.

5. Adjust your expectations. Apply for jobs that are outside your field, diversify your search.

6. Ask for feedback. Ask a friend to proofread your curriculum vitae and cover letter and ask them to give you feedback.

7. Improve your skills. Enrol in an online course so that you can stay relevant.


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