Covid-19 lockdown measures have forced many South African companies to make major cutbacks and initiate retrenchment procedures.

As more people enter the job market, 21st Century is partnering with I Got Hired, a global employability and retrenchment platform, to make the job-hunting process easier.

According to Stats SA’s Wave 2 survey on the impact of Covid-19 on employment and income in South Africa, 8,1% of respondents reported that they lost their jobs or had to close their businesses and 1,4% became unemployed during lockdown.

In this uncertain time, 21st Century believes that corporates are duty-bound to prove that their employees are more than just capital. When the reality of retrenchment hits, a show of support to those affected is needed now more than ever.

I Got Hired is a platform that empowers job seekers to make the job-hunting process seamless. For employers having to initiate retrenchment proceedings, I Got Hired is also a cost effective but powerful way to offer support to outgoing staff, as it shows a tangible commitment to the welfare of both previous and current employees.

I Got Hired creates a framework for affected employees, built on a proven job search process and focused on a platform for preparation and planning. The platform helps make the experience less painful, providing a tool that can effectively position these job seekers for future employment opportunities.

“At this stage, organisations are not generally in a position to provide extremely expensive outplacement programmes, but still feel a need to support the people they have to let go,” says Belinda O’Regan, organisational psychologist, consultant on the development of I Got Hired and executive consultant at 21st Century.

“Offering I Got Hired, as part of the off-boarding package, can help those facing the retrenchment process and map out a pathway to their next position in a structured, constructive way.

“During a state of distress, people find that they cannot focus on the important details of the job search process. The result is an ad hoc, unprofessional approach in many cases making the job seeker less attractive in the market.

“I Got Hired consolidates all the practical tools needed to support the person through this process at a difficult time in their lives. These include job “campaign” planning processes, a document library, professional document templates, social media management and even budgeting tools.”

Craig Raath, executive director of 21st Century, says, “If your staff are facing retrenchment, helping them make sense of it all during this difficult time potentially offers them a glimmer of hope, by assisting them with a subscription to the platform, and by equipping them to make themselves more employable and boosting their confidence as they begin their job-hunting journey once more. Parting ways with your employees is never an easy process. But you can certainly make it less painful.”