Recovery, Mobile, Social – South Africa Recruitment Round-up

Posted on March 17, 2011 by


Last week was the CareerJunction Information Exchange – CJiX – in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the 2nd year CJiX has run and was highly informative and full of interesting people. The big topics were economic recovery, social recruiting and mobile recruiting. As a visitor from Europe who is also familiar with the US market, it was very exciting to see the South African online recruitment market developing so very rapidly.

The South African Internet market penetration has been growing quickly over the last two years, mainly prompted by new undersea cables delivering wider bandwidth. The cost of ADSL has only recently dropped, offering the unlimited packages that are popular in Europe and USA. It is estimated that that accessibility of online connectivity is going to continue to widen to more people via continued reductions in ADSL and mobile 3G data plans. In the last 3 years, broadband connections have quadrupled and dial-up is approaching the die-out stages.

Today, the Blackberry is market leader among the nation’s 6m smartphone users, but popular opinion is that it is not the device that is winning the day, instead it is cheap (£6 pcm) access to Facebook, Twitter & BBM. In the nearby neighbouring country of Kenya, cost effective Android devices are attacking the leading position. The Kenya mobile market now has many lower income families online with Android as their primary device, no computer at all! It is likely that the South African market will follow when data plans reduce. Twitter in South Africa has 1m mobile users, with forecasts showing this to grow within 12 months to 4m South African mobile Tweeps!

The South African labour market boasts over-supplies of labour across many industries, however an average pass rate of 47% in science and maths among South African school leavers reflects the lack of technical skills in the country. The CareerJunction Index (CJI) reveals critical skill shortages for Chartered Accounts, Mining Engineers, HR Management, Electricians, Automotive Engineers, Electronic Engineers, GSM Engineers, Business Analysts and Software Developers.

The CJI Analysis further revealed a continued modest recovery in the South African labour market, however Building & Construction, Manufacturing, Production & Trades, Telecommunication and FMCG lag behind in terms of recovery and experience significant decreases in labour demand. For more information on the South African online recruitment market, visit .

As recovery continues, the Internet growth is huge, and unlike the late 90s or early 2000s in Europe and USA, the motivation to get online is Social Networks. Research shows the first experience of a newly connected South African is typically Facebook. This has various impacts such as more 51 year old South Africans on FaceBook than 13 year olds, users to see Facebook web UI as standard and users discovering the wider web, based on recommendation through FaceBook. Perhaps most noticeable is the eagerness to consume Internet (specifically Facebook & Twitter) via Smart Phones; mobile Internet is going to be MASSIVE in South Africa.

This growth in mobile has not been missed by the market-leading Job Board, CareerJunction, who announced at the event their commitment to the upcoming wealth of jobseekers using mobile smart phones. CareerJunction launched a new MobileCareerApp service. This innovation supports South African corporates using iTalent and recruitment agencies engaging with talent via mobile. Paul Byrne, Executive Director, CareerJunction shared the companies excitement:

“MobileCareerApp gives organisations a self branded mobile strategy in a Turnkey SaaS solution. Not only will our clients widen their employer brand, social network reach and increase talent engagement, they will also build a valuable Active Talent Network via registered mobile app users. This network will support reducing talent acquisition costs for both agencies and employers and reduce recruitment delays. I am overwhelmed with the early interest shown by clients and look forward to helping South Africa lead the way globally in the next generation of the Internet – Mobile.”

It seems that the tables may turn in the next few years; maybe the current leaders in online recruitment in Europe and USA will be looking at South Africa for learnings in the mobile space!