Using an online recruitment website
An underdog in SA recruitment
I am relatively new to the South African workforce and I wanted to share my struggle to those currently wishing to make the all-important transition from unemployed to employed. A great tool that I found available to me to bridge the divide was in the form of online recruitment sites. The ability to sit down and browse listing that are updated all the time and even apply online is fantastic. Surprisingly though one of the sites where I found the most success was not one of the heavy branded sites...it was pnet
I have a degree (obviously a major advantage) and in a professional field (Engineering). Naturally I assumed once I had obtained my degree that I was just going to walk into a job! It is a very commonly held view that in Africa the need for young professional is huge due to the push to accelerate development. My experience did not reflect this widely held view and I did struggle to end up in the position I am at the moment (I was employed as of Jan 2014). The Engineering and technical field can actually be a very niche market (assuming you actually want to do something in your field and not for example just become a banker).
I stumbled across pnet.co.za through a colleague who had a son who had successfully used the website. The reason I was intrigued by his story was that he managed to get into a very specialized field of environmental engineering. To date he is now working in Italy helping to develop solar panels. This was the first time I had heard of someone entering a niche and highly specialized market through a broad online portal so I naturally went to investigate the site.
The setup is very similar to other recruitment websites however I did notice that they prominently display some of their high profile clients. These client logos instilled some faith in me and are something you don’t always see on the other websites. The companies are also quite a few of the specialized businesses (construction, consulting etc) and some of the smaller companies can be great places to start careers.
The primary function I ended up using on the site is the ability to actually upload your CV and let recruiters take a look at it (the claim is 9000 recruiters at the moment on their website). Hence your CV is working for you while you are busy with the rest of life. I actually did receive feedback and responses based on this so I can attest to the fact that people did look at my CV. I know this is not unique to pnet but the amount of feedback I received from this website seemed substantially larger than the many others I used. There are many other features relating to career advice (but I found most of this quite generic).
The end goal is to make sure you spread your net wide enough to make sure you get as much exposure as possible. This is an option I stumbled upon (it doesn’t pop up straight away when you search for jobs in SA) and I want to encourage people to take a look at it.