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What will the future of hiring in SA look like?

By 11 Jun 2021Jan 14th, 2022Whitepaper11 min read

What will the future of hiring in SA look like? 

A whitepaper by Wamly. 

Summary

The global Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for companies to adopt digital technologies which will fundamentally transform how companies in South Africa recruit and hire employees going forward. From one-way interview software and human resource management systems, these technologies will remain long after the pandemic has ended.

Introduction  

While most areas of a business have fundamentally changed over the past decade, the hiring process for potential employees by HR departments have remained relatively the same

This is, however, set to change with the introduction of disruptive technologies such as one-way video interview software and human resource management systems that will save companies money and valuable time that can be spent improving their core business.

A typical hiring system involved placing an advert through local media channels such as newspapers or social networking applications, receiving countless CV’s and sifting through them, contacting the top five or eight candidates to set up an interview, and hiring the top candidate from the process. This system often leads to poor outcomes with HR teams making use of unstructured questions where the most eloquent speaking candidate who is often highly charismatic attains the best scores.

“While unstructured interviews consistently receive the highest ratings for perceived effectiveness from hiring managers, dozens of studies have found them to be among the worst predictors of actual on-the-job performance” – Harvard Business Review

The Harvard Business Review found that while charismatic interviewees make a good first impression, they are often not the best suited for the role. Furthermore, interview panels tend to be biased and end up hiring people that are most similar to them, and therefore not in the best interest of the business.

HR teams, which are often removed from the operational functioning of a business, are also found to be ill-equipped to understand what is required in a position and are therefore additionally biased to choose candidates based on their personality traits and not the skill set they bring to the position.

A 2017 LinkedIn study found that most companies spend between one to two months to fill one vacancy in the organisation.

How long does it take to hire

Results from Linkedin global recruiting trends report 2017

30% of companies – less than a month

50% of companies – one to two months

17% of companies – three to four months

However, the global Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for technology and digitization, forcing companies to adopt digital platforms such as video software Zoom or collaboration software Microsoft teams even if they were not necessarily ready for it.

We looked at 7 ways that hiring will change in South Africa in the future, to streamline the hiring process, and save companies time and money:

 

  • Embracing technology  

As the world moves to a digital future, companies around the world will start to make use of technology to improve the efficiency of their systems.

Instead of completing the hiring process manually, the software will be introduced to automate it. This includes making use of artificial intelligence or making use of one-way interview software.

Quick facts about the current hiring process

results from Ideal.com

 

  • The manual screening of resumes is the most consuming part of hiring.
  • Up to 88% of resumes received for a role are considered unqualified.
  • A recruiter spends on average 23 hours screening resumes for a single hire.

Artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) for recruiting can in the future automatically screen through CVs and applications, by learning what skills and requirements a suitable candidate have by looking at previous hiring decisions.

Furthermore, AI can use employee data on performance to look at patterns in which candidates went on to perform well in the organization and look for similar candidates during the hiring process.

The software may also be able to scan social media profiles to create a more complete picture of ideal candidates.

One-way interview software

Making use of one-way interview software, such as Wamly, an organisation can save time on doing lengthy interviews with candidates who would not be suitable for a position.

Instead of a face-to-face interview, potential candidates will be sent a link whereby they complete a video interview with a pre-set list of questions and a time limit.

The interview panel can then go through the recorded interviews in their own time, reducing the need for meetings where everyone has to be present, and wasting valuable time.

 

  • The introduction of integrated recruitment management software 

A few years ago, the HR industry embraced integrated talent management software as a means to perform traditional HR functions such as workforce planning, performance management, learning and development, reward and recognition and succession planning.

However, as the global race for skills increases, companies will introduce integrated recruitment management.

This will replace the disjointed approach to hiring where a line manager would write the job specification, the HR department forwards the requirements to an agency that places an advert and shifts through CVs, and selection of CVs go back to the HR department for interviews. At the same time, internal candidates apply for the position.

What is the difference between integrated talent management and integrated recruitment management?

Integrated talent management: digitizes a number of HR functions such as workforce planning, performance management, learning and development, reward and recognition and succession planning through digital platforms.

Integrated recruitment management: streamlined and digitized system of hiring were several functions of the hiring process automatized to save time and reduce the impact of human error.

The traditional way of hiring not only took too much time but also left too much room for human error to occur.

Therefore, integrated software will be introduced which streamlines and automatized the entire procedure, removing the room for human error to occur and reducing the impact of human bias.

 

  • The oncoming talent wars 

Due to the global disruption brought about by the pandemic, the hiring pool for companies has also expanded from the confines of the area they operate in.

Business Insider South Africa reported that the United Kingdom (UK), for example, has seen a decline of 26 000 South Africans working in the country, most returning back to South Africa to work remotely.

This is because UK based companies are now comfortable having their employees working remotely, and employees have the opportunity to work from locations that suit their lifestyles more such as at the coast in Cape Town.

The rise of remote working in South Africa,

Results from a Michael page study: 
  • 73% of employees worked remotely in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • 82% of companies adopted flexible start/finish hours as a result of
  • 63% of employees who worked remotely said their productivity increased as a result.

A survey by the Boston Consulting Group found that 73% of South African respondents were open to being employed remotely, for a foreign company, while remaining in South Africa.

The result is that companies who would usually only hire, for example, people living in the UK, will now be open to hire people as far as South Africa – increasing the competition for skills.

This means that recruitment companies will have to be more agile in their hiring processes, to be highly innovative and most importantly – to be quick.

The usual high turnaround times for hiring, including a number of face to face interviews, will become a thing of the past if companies aim to hire the best talent.

 

  • The potential of overutilization of technology 

While some companies lag to embrace digital technology to improve their processes, others may end up over utilizing technology.

For example, a company can have a LinkedIn license to post job adverts, have a Wamly licence for one-way interviews, have a licence for a psychometric provider, a Microsoft Teams licence for collaboration, and a Zoom licence for presentations.

The result is that employees waste hours having to navigate between the different platforms, with information being lost and mistakes taking place along the way. The amount of licences also costs the company unnecessary money.

The biggest frustration potential employees face during hiring

Results from Glassdoor survey in 2018 among 1100 candidates 
  1. Lack of information about a job’s total compensation.
  2. The cancellation or postponement of interviews.
  3. Lack of communication around the progress of the hiring process.

A company should therefore consider how they use digital platforms, aiming to consolidate as much as possible.

This is especially important during the hiring process where both the recruiter and candidate would prefer an easy, quick and seamless process.

How should your hiring process differ between hiring low level and high-level employees?

For low-level employees where it is typically bulk candidates, such as call centre agents, a company should try to make use of technology as much as possible to shift through applications, leaving it to an HR official to make the hire once most of the unsuitable candidates have been eliminated.

However, for high-level employees such as managers, a company will make less use of technology, allowing the HR official to have a more hands-on approach and giving other high-level employees a chance to make comments before making the final hire.

 

  • Candidates becoming consumers 

Candidates are no longer just candidates. With the growth of social media and the importance of brand building, candidates have also become consumers. Candidates are often the consumers of the very product a company is aiming to sell.

It is therefore very important to treat a candidate as a consumer, ensuring that the hiring process is highly personal and as enjoyable as possible

A Harvard Business Review study found that where employees have a connection to the company and loyalty to the brand, they are more motivated to work harder and go above and beyond what is expected.

The benefits companies with high employee engagement see:

Results from Gallup workplace study across 112,000 team
  • 23% increase in profitability.
  • 18% lower employee turnover
  • 81% reduction in absenteeism
  • 18% increase in sales
  • 28% less theft

The opposite is also true: where an employee has low loyalty towards a company they often undermine the expectations set by managers, may be more willing to break rules, and even sabotage the objectives set to be achieved.

Furthermore, while a number of companies have attempted to market to employees internally, this is often done by people who do not have the skills to communicate effectively – such as HR professionals – which results in poor outcomes.

Case study: The Beancounter  

South African accounting firm The Beancounter, founded by serial entrepreneur and Shark Tank SA investor Marnus Broodryk, spent up to three months making just one accountant hire.

Finding the best talent remained one of the company’s biggest challenges, with a position being left vacant for a considerable amount of time as managers had to put in time to evaluate suitable candidates.

This however changed in 2018 when the company started making use of one-way video interview software Wamly.

It allowed The Beancounter to create questions on an app, send these questions to hundreds of potential employees and they will then do a one-way video interview on the platform.

The Beancounter would receive a notification when someone has completed their interview and will be able to review it in their own time. Their hiring process went from 3 months to 2 weeks.

“We are now able to interview more people that lead to better hires and it has freed up our days to focus on more important tasks,” The Beancounter COO Marlize Lombard said.

* For a limited time, Wamly is offering entrepreneurs a free starter package to help them hire quicker and better. You can register a free account, by simply visiting www.wamly.io.

 

  • The growth of data during hiring 

Data will increasingly be utilized as a key way to identify and hire key talent. Not only will data be used to evaluate suitable candidates across thousands of profiles, but it will also be used to build personality profiles to understand if there is a position for which the candidate might be better suited for.

The use of data saves companies valuable time that they would spend trying to evaluate whether a candidate is suitable, and can reduce the role bias of a panel plays during the hiring process.

This ultimately ensures that the candidate hired will be best suited to perform the role, helping to avoid a bad hire that might end up costing a company money.

The real cost of one bad hire

Results from GlobalHR research
  • 80% of employee turnover is due to a bad hire
  • 60% of bad hires led to a poor working experience for other employees
  • 39% decrease in productivity

 

  • The growing irrelevance of CVs 

A growing number of companies have stopped making use of CV’s during the hiring process.

Furthermore, while employees spend hours trying to perfect their CVs, studies have shown that recruiters will look at a CV for a mere seven seconds before deciding whether a candidate is suitable for a job.

Why CVs no longer work:

  • It is often nearly impossible to verify the information on a CV
  • The growth of technologies such as social networking sites, video and online applications reduce the need for CVs
  • They take time to review and shortlist
  • They leave room for human bias (racial, cultural and gender)

Recruiters often end up receiving 1000 CVS, end up shortlisting the most colourful ones, or the one that has the highest degree level, and disregarding the rest. This is not a very effective way of finding the person most suitable for a role.

Instead, companies such as Unilever and Goldman Sachs are using the power of AI to match graduates to roles within their businesses.

Applicants are first asked to film their answers to questions through one-way interview software such as Wamly, and the videos are then scanned by algorithms to select the most suitable candidate.

Conclusion

The global Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the way of doing business around the world, forcing companies to adopt digital technologies as a means to improve and streamline processes.

These digital technologies will disrupt the way companies hire going forward, saving companies valuable time and money that can be spent on improving their core businesses.

The typical hiring process of placing an advert through local media channels; receiving countless CV’s; contacting the top five or eight candidates to set up an interview; and hiring the top candidate from the process, have been disrupted through technologies such as one-way interview software and human resource management systems.

These technologies reduce the risk human bias plays during the hiring process, ensuring that a candidate has the necessary skills and competencies for a role.

Furthermore, as a company’s talent pool has expanded through the growth of remote working, companies will have to ensure a convenient and seamless hiring process to ensure they hire the best talent.

Visit www.wamly.io to register for a free account. 

Francois de Wet

Ever heard of an Industrial Psychologist? Well now you have! Francois de Wet is the founder of Wamly, talent expert and former coach to many high profile corporates and CEO's. Fran is super passionate about recruitment and believes people are the heartbeat of every business. Read our founding story.