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 amongst 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 programs 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..  
“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 the building and construction industry, still remain popular,” concludes Venter.