Importance of recruiting the right person

Johannesburg, 22 Jul 2011
Read time 2min 50sec

The direct and indirect costs associated with hiring the wrong employee is seldom calculated, yet severely felt by organisations, says Jenny Venter, an Organisational Development Specialist at Softline VIP, part of the Sage Group.

“A growing trend in the industry sees both large organisations and SMEs placing proper job profiles and performance practices in place, in an effort to attract the correct candidate in addition to retaining and developing the talent once the person is employed,” says Venter.

Recruitment practices are influenced by the supply and demand of the labour market, economic conditions, competitor practices and technology. It is a dynamic process that differs from industry to industry.

The urgency to recruit more cost-effectively and more accurately measure the output of employees after appointment can - in part - be attributed to the economic downturn. “Although South Africa was somewhat shielded from the global economic crisis, the SA National Treasury reported that near to a million jobs were lost as a result of the economic downturn. Despite the over-supply of applicants in the job market, talent remains limited and many industries still experience skills shortages,” explains Venter.

A survival syndrome has, however, become evident among the labour workforce. “Most employees are less likely to job hop and many retrenched employees are willing to accept positions where they earn less than in their previous position. Due to a need for security and a decrease in vacancies, employees are willing to put up with more frustration depending on the scarcity of their skills. Organisations should, however, still endeavour to be an employer of choice and actively engage employees, or they may find their top talent exiting as job recovery starts to set in,” Venter warns.

Another trend that is prevailing in the recruitment industry is the increasing number of organisations that have taken their recruitment function in-house. “The majority of recruitment policies adopted by organisations state that they must first recruit using internal resources. This does not only refer to sourcing talented employees within the organisation, but also extends to using formal and informal professional networks, employee referral programmes and social media such as Facebook to source skilled employees. Some larger organisations are headhunting recruitment consultants from agencies that allowed them to secure specialised in-house recruitment expertise,” says Venter.

HR information systems have also become increasingly sophisticated, says Venter. “It enables recruiters to process large amounts of applications by using HR technology to screen candidates that do not comply with the minimum job requirements. It also manages the different phases during the recruitment process and provides valuable recruitment metrics.”

Does that spell doom for the formal recruitment industry? “External recruitment services are still utilised, but we do find that more and more organisations are using this avenue as a last resort. For this reason, many recruitment agencies have begun to diversify their service offerings to include other HR services. External recruitment agencies that specialise in sourcing scarce skills, especially in the finance, engineering and building and construction industry still remain popular,” concludes Venter.

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Softline VIP

Softline VIP is a leading supplier of payroll and human resource management solutions in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Coupled with an extensive service offering, Softline VIP is the only payroll and HR solution geared to meet the challenges of the modern payroll office. The VIP products are synonymous with ease of use, stability and reliability, with the flexibility to cater to the unique needs of every client. VIP promises long-term sustainability over and above legislative compliance. VIP understands the human resources and payroll environment and offers the client peace of mind by providing a total solution.

Softline VIP achieved an overall fourth place in the top 10 for medium businesses in the Deloitte Best Company to Work for Survey 2009 and a second place in the industry category “business and professional services”. Softline VIP also emerged one of 48 participants out of an overall 98 to score above the standard of excellence threshold of more than 75%.


Softline is a leading provider of accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions to small, medium and large sized companies. Founded in 1988 by Ivan Epstein, Alan Osrin and Steven Cohen, Softline was established during the formative years of the software industry and listed on the JSE Securities Exchange South Africa in February 1997. Softline expanded to establish a strong position within its area of focus in South Africa and Australia. Focused on the development of accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions, Softline has a 20-year track record as a market leader. The group has a broad range of products offering users a variety of software solutions to run their businesses efficiently.

Softline's leading brands include Softline Accpac, Softline Pastel (Accounting and Payroll) and Softline VIP. The combination of the group's product offerings provides Softline customers with comprehensive, well-branded accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions. In November 2003, Softline was acquired by the Sage Group, a FTSE 100 company. The software group includes market-leading businesses throughout the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, South Africa and Australia, supplying business software to the small, medium and large sized business community. Softline has a solid track record of profitability and cash generation. The group delivers quality accounting, payroll, CRM and ERP software solutions that improve the efficiencies of businesses around the world.

The Sage Group

The Sage Group is a leading global supplier of business management software and related products and services, principally for small to medium-sized enterprises. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989. Sage has 6.3 million customers and 13 400 employees worldwide. It operates in over 24 countries covering the UK, Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, India and China. For further information, please visit

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Watt Communications Deidre Beylis 011 425 6290
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