Stats South Africa has released its latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, indicating a 0.5% increase in unemployment, bringing the official unemployment rate to 27.6%, the highest figure since Q3 2017. Although this news brings concern to the state of the economy, a silver lining could be on the horizon for the 6.2-million South Africans actively looking for work.
In the ManpowerGroups 2019 research paper titled “Humans Wanted: Robots Need You,” 19,000 employers in 44 countries were surveyed on the impact of automation on job growth in their organisations. The results show that between 21% and 30% of South African employers are planning to increase their headcount as a result of automation.
“While 38% of organisations say it is difficult to train in-demand technical skills, 43% said it is even harder to teach the soft skills they need such as analytical thinking and communication,” says Lyndy van den Barselaar, managing director of ManpowerGroup SA. “Candidates who can demonstrate higher cognitive skills, creativity and the ability to process complex information, together with adaptability and likeability, can expect greater success throughout their careers.”
Serial tech entrepreneur Madoda Khuzwayo is looking to take this challenge on by reimagining the way in which employers assess & recruit talent into their organisation. Khuzwayo has developed Hiring.ly, an online job portal designed to give employers a reliable platform to source, track and manage talent recruitment fast. Job portals are not new to the South African job market ,with multiple online classifieds hosting thousands of job listings. Hiring.ly seeks to set itself a part through matching eligible candidates & employers through a range of psychometric, cognitive & aptitude filters to improve employers chances of placing the right candidate.
Says Khuzwayo: “Employers can use Hiring.ly to source talent not only by location, education or experience, but also through assessing elements such as problem solving skills, communication skills & cultural fit. My vision is to create an intelligent hiring automation platform that helps employers hire smart.
“Our Job fit technology incorporates modern validated behavioural assessments and pre-employment tests with custom benchmarking, applicant ranking, and data mining capabilities to help match the right candidate to the right job. We have a growing list of tech start-ups and software development companies using our platform to hire for AI, data analysis and machine learning related jobs. We are confident that this will be one of our biggest verticals as we scale up.”
Khuzwayo says these will be a major differentiators as Hiringly seeks to position itself at the forefront of the 4th Industrial Revolution. As more Fortune 500 companies such as Google, EY, Netflix and many others drop university qualification as a minimum requirement for securing a job within their organisations, new ways of assessing candidates capabilities are required by HR managers, he says.
“The South African government has already committed to scrapping work-experience for entry level positions at state institutions, we can expect to see this trend continue as the skills organisations require evolve with the times. We have placed over 200 jobs with several Small and medium enterprises since going live early 2019 and are rolling out automation-based hiring processes that eliminate the need for recruiters to perform routine tasks.
“Getting this solution right for small businesses is critical, as existing solutions are exclusive to SMEs due to high price points and outdated feature sets. Hiring.ly allows employers to focus on tasks that require human creativity and reduces the cost of talent acquisition for SMEs.”