Paper-based CVs are losing prominence as the tendency to recruit via social media becomes more prevalent in South Africa. Pierre Aurel, strategic product manager, e4 Strategic, a specialist provider of electronic technology solutions and services, says that the rise of digital recruitment is no more a trend, but rather a business norm.

“The rise of social media platforms such as LinkedIN has started to fundamentally change the way companies recruit and how talent seeks new job opportunities. This change in behaviour is also evident with the increased usage of  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” says Aurel.

Furthermore, these platforms are very relevant in the digital hiring model, giving insight into the candidate job seeker and acting as a primary screening method: “You can learn a lot more about an individual through their digital profiles as opposed to a traditional CV.”

The digital footprint is not confined to traditional social media, but also includes participation in online communities, conferences and forums. Aurel says it gives recruiters valuable understanding of the candidate and his/her personality, preferences, culture and attitude: “You can start formulating an opinion on this person almost immediately and decide whether they are a cultural match and worth a face-to-face interview.”

Conversely, the candidate can also investigate the company and its brand. A LinkedIn Recruiting Trends 2016 report says that the employer brand has become a cross-functional priority, making it important for both parties. To extend employer brand awareness even further, organisations are focusing more on outbound channels, such as online professional networks and social media, which is critical in the now digital-era of recruitment.

The online process saves immeasurable time for both parties. There are even those who utilise webcams and Skype or video interviews: “Candidates even make videos for on-demand viewing, which is an excellent tool for a recruiter to gauge the suitability of the person. In fact, analysts predict that there will be tremendous growth in two-way webcam interviews in the next three to five years,” Aurel says.

According to the LinkedIn Recruiting Trends 2016 report, there is a renewed focus on building relationships. This is evident not only within the digital space, but also the customer engagement segment, where the brand centres its business strategy on the customers’ requirements. Aurel says this should be the case for recruiters as well: “While using technology and social media tools is vital, it is critical that response times are appropriate, the process is easy to follow and enough is done to entice the candidate.”

He says that the skills shortage is a global phenomenon and it is thus a seller’s market when it comes to talent acquisition: “Recruiters need to adequately use digital avenues to attract the right skills. This should be done on a consistent basis as there is both passive an active talent in the market.”

Social professional networks and sourcing passive candidates will always prevail in the recruitment game, but keeping abreast of technological trends will definitely set the successful brand apart: “As the LinkedIn Report quoted, ‘relationships are key’, we just need to realise that these don’t exist in a traditional space any more, they are digital too and we need to adjust and embrace them if we want our brands to attract the right talent and be successful,” concludes Aurel.

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