According to a recent employment index there are very nearly 1 million vacant jobs available in South Africa. They remain unfilled because the skills are too hard to find!
We hear plenty about the unemployment problem in the media almost daily. The unemployment rate is currently around the 4,5 million mark or 25% of the potential working population.
What astounds me is that nearly a quarter of that problem is only about lack of skill. It’s not all about a tricky economic environment.
So what can employers do about this vast lack of skill? Quite simply – they have to be better at attracting and retaining skills whilst up-skilling wherever possible.
It certainly makes sense to me that with such a vast skills shortage, employers are hardly likely to find skilled employees in the rank and file of the unemployed. If they do considerable investment may be needed before there is any productive output. Expensive.
Good candidates are all far more likely to be gainfully employed already. Working perhaps but maybe looking for better opportunities. Gone are the days of searching databases of applicants to find someone good. Doing that is a little like having the last drops out of a stale beer keg – often a rather unpleasant and bitter experience.
No. These days attracting the right staff is a craft. It takes considerable time, courage, counseling, management, calculation, negotiation and commitment that very few employers have the ability to expedite without help. A partnership is needed.
Why should candidates prefer one company over another? What is employment brand all about? Who can customise and streamline your own recruitment cycle to improve your catchment process? Who can do bespoke assessments developed just for you? What about criminal checks? Credit checks? Does it not make a lot of sense to think about merging skills attraction, skills development and skills retention?
Paul Hanly is Managing Director of LA Intronet
Placement and Adaptive Learning Specialists
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