HR – Managing the skills recruitment process in today’s RSA

Do you understand how effective your recruitment rates are in the wider context of the recruitment process?

In this month’s SmartProcurement Karen van Staden of Purchasing Index (PI) asks how important is it for organisations to understand the wider context in which recruitment operates?

Adcorp April employment index_PI July2011.jpg“The skills shortage in South Africa has been acknowledged by Government and Business alike. Anecdotal evidence suggests that organisations are finding it increasingly hard to employ the right skills in many disciplines. This is supported by the skills shortage estimates in Adcorp’s April Employment Index (see inset),” says van Staden.

How efficient is my recruitment process? What are the benefits of collaborating with other stakeholders in the organisation?

PI believes that Procurement and Human Resources (HR) need to work more closely together with their clients, the business operations, to gather data on the employment process and use that to improve internal processes and work with those Recruitment Agencies that can supply the right skills at the right time and at fair cost. Many organisations’ recruitment seems to operate in silos, with Procurement setting up commercial arrangements with Agencies and HR reacting to new staff requirements as they become known, notes van Staden.

How can I manage my recruitment costs more effectively?

Agencies are constantly under fire from their clients to reduce or justify their rates. But if their rate is 20% for the successful employment of a candidate and one in four of the candidates they put forward is offered a job, then their return is closer to 5%. How often do marketable candidates decide not to continue with the employment process due to long delays between interviews? How many Agencies are honest about their candidate skills base?

All of these issues, and many more, lead PI to believe that organisations need to get much better information on the recruitment process to help them reduce employment times, partner with the right Agencies for the right skills and reduce the increasing amount of time spent internally on finding the successful candidates, concludes van Staden.

PI and SmartProcurement will be hosting a workshop on August 17 in Gauteng for HR and Procurement Managers to network and discuss these issues. PI will highlight the potential benefits of benchmarking recruitment processes between organisations and collecting and using information on the recruitment ‘supply chain’. If you would like to speak to us about this before the workshop, please email Karen van Staden ( or Alan Low (

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