In March 2020 South Africa went into hard lockdown and almost everyone went into a panic. Entire industries ground to a halt and panic about salaries and retrenchments began. From a recruitment perspective, we had many candidates who had accepted job offers in February and were left jobless after their new jobs were canceled or they were retrenched. The lockdown has been devastating but South Africa has been a lot more resilient than expected. Even though recruitment has slowed it has not stopped. As a recruiter that has survived 2020 we have found the following:
- Companies are still hiring; recruitment has not stopped. Towards the end of 2020 jobs have pickup up substantially.
- Companies are more cautious with hiring staff and so we have noticed that companies are offering 3 or 6-month contracts that may go permanent depending on the situation
- Companies are also being pickier with their hiring process, preferring to conduct more interviews before making a decision
- First or second round interviews have become video interviews. Candidates who cannot operate a computer or don’t have internet have not been shortlisted for interviews
- Salaries offered have dropped substantially, most companies are only willing to match current or past salaries.
- There has also been a large increase in the amount of candidates who are only looking for positions that allow them to work from home
We are feeling hopeful going into 2021, we are in the new normal and recruitment has picked up substantially. We already have a number of job orders for the new year. Given time South Africa will recover.