One of the top risks faced by business globally in 2022 is a skills shortage and for South African businesses the risk is even greater due to several factors which have compounded the risk.

These factors include the historic ‘great brain drain’ from the country, changes in the workforce resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) not yet being experienced.

The “perfect storm” that is the South African candidate short market

For decades South Africa has lost and continues to lose highly-skilled ICT professionals to more lucrative international opportunities. The remaining candidate pool is shallow as we are currently refilling it with the equivalent of a garden hose delivering a mere trickle of fresh, yet inexperienced graduates.

Then came the pandemic which was hugely disruptive to the labour market and left in its wake a transformed workforce. Many businesses are subsequently reporting finding it increasingly difficult to attract new candidates, retain existing staff and to simply find ANY suitably skilled candidates.

The third factor adding to the storm is the delayed impact of 4IR on the South African ICT skills landscape. Research carried out during the 2021 South African ICT Skills Survey revealed that despite the global impact of 4IR, we are yet to experience a significant effect. This is likely due to the fact that the development of digital skills remains slow despite efforts by government and the private sector to boost things and that the availability of specific skills at the forefront of the revolution – including artificial intelligence, Internet of things (IoT), blockchain, automation, data science and programming – remain critically low.

Standing out – head and shoulders

The effects of the candidate shortage are felt by all businesses across the board and results in stiff competition when it comes to attracting and securing an ICT candidate. So how can you stand out, head and shoulders, from the rest and attract the right candidate?

  • Plan ahead – having a strategic HR plan in place buys you the necessary time to spend on the crucial aspects of each individual recruitment – like formulating an attractive, thorough, detailed job description – which will ensure a less stressful, more successful process
  • Customise recruitment adverts – take the time to figure out what it is that professionals are looking for and tailor and perfect recruitment adverts 
  • Make the focus of your recruitment process more ‘candidate-centred’
  • Consider including the option of hybrid-working – embrace the changes in thinking in today’s rapidly evolving, digitalised work space. The offer of remote work is a key factor in winning the talent contest.
  • Communicate your culture – figure out what it is about your company, business or brand that makes working there awesome and share that in your recruitment ad and remember that the “total experience” is what sells.
  • Perfect the Candidate-Experience – employers who are clear and upfront from the get-go, with a simple and efficient recruitment process and a defined time frame are bound to shine
  • Mention any opportunities to grow and develop

The best talent-pool around

Lastly, but most importantly, consider working with a specialist recruiter to find the candidate you need.

Candidate research and sourcing is what we at PM Connection do best. We ‘Connect-the-dots’ as we match up candidate skills, expertise and experience with the client’s requirements.

We have spent the time and money doing the groundwork for you – making sure we are netting the right ICT candidates and as a result we have a phenomenal talent-pool!

We know we have the right candidate, bobbing about in there, for your position/s.

Make the PM Connection today – contact us to find out how we can work with you to successfully navigate the current candidate-short skills market.