A brave new world for HR – graylink on bizcommunity.co.za

 In Press Releases


The media landscape and work environment has changed so much over the last decade that a new approach is required for HR staff to source and recruit talented candidates.

Human resource managers take heed – the future is not what it used to be. The search for talented employees continues to become tougher and nothing companies have done in the past will suffice. Recruiting and retaining staff of the future requires imagination, commitment and cutting-edge action. Doing nothing is not an option, nor is mildly incremental improvement.

It’s a challenging new world out there for HR managers, and only for the brave.

Ageing population

Due to an ageing population worldwide, companies will lose large numbers of experienced workers in a short period of time. According to RHR International, a US executive and organisational development firm, over half of American companies they have surveyed expect to lose 50% of their senior managers by 2010. This trend will also impact South Africa as the skills shortage turns the talent hunt global with resources at home dwindling

According to UK recruitment consultancy, Joslin Rowe and its “Financial service employment index: September 2007”, financial services companies in London are on the hunt for South African professionals who are in high demand because of the quality of our education, work ethic and similar business culture.

The new group of Generation X and Millennial job seekers, also known as Generation Y (because they never stop questioning the status quo), is a very different breed from the Baby Boomers who have dominated the workplace until now. Disenchanted by the old paradigm of employee loyalty due to consistent downsizing, rightsizing and retrenchments, they are not easily attracted and retained. According to US Department of Labour and its “Employee tenure in 2006” report, the average 25 – 34 year old employee keeps his or her current job for only 2.9 years.

What can companies do for them

Unlike the Baby Boomers who would have given almost anything for a top-paying spot at a big-name firm, the Generation Xers and Millennials are more interested in what companies can do for them to help them lead a more purposeful and meaningful life.

Besides a different view of the world, they also do things very differently. Embracing mobility, 25 – 34 year olds account for 36% of SA’s online population and own about half of the country’s cellphones. Moving away from reading newspapers, they increasingly consume all their news through a collection of websites on their laptops, cell phones and iPods.

HR managers need to understand this generation to relate to them in a meaningful way.

As the media becomes more fragmented, media planning has become more complex and it is difficult to speak to the right candidates using traditional broadsheet advertising. A common misconception among HR managers is that companies need to reach as many candidates as possible. But, in fact, less is more. Using the most appropriate channels and devices to get the right message across to the right audience can substantially increase a company’s hit rate.

Technology creates new opportunities

Technology creates many new opportunities for targeted recruitment via new media channels. It also improves recruitment efficiencies and reduces costs by automating the management of manual processes. For example, an external careers website Graylink implemented for SABMiller enables the company to filter, screen, manage applications and engage with 75 000 new job seekers in seven different languages across Africa, Europe, UK, Central and South America each month.

To stay in the game, HR managers need to develop a level of comfort with technology and marketing practices. One way of up-skilling fast is to hire consultants. Another is to integrate a new generation of more internet-savvy HR practitioners into the organisation.

One thing is clear. The basic approach to recruitment is changing. HR managers are going to have to adapt if they want to attract, retain and motivate the next generation of workers.

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