21st century staffing: On Line Personnel discusses technology and the recruitment industry


From the standardising of CV’s in the 1950s to the first newspaper job ads in the 70s to the first online job boards in the 90s, talent recruitment has been on an incremental path – and it’s not stopping because of increasing use of the internet, social media and other technologies, says Claire Gillmer-Zonneveld, Owner of Port Elizabeth-based recruitment agency, On Line Personnel.

“The combination of social media and the web, coupled with smartphones has certainly impacted expectations and recruitment. The growth in the use of mobile devices to access the internet, has been exponential, in fact nearly one quarter of all Google searches that contain the word ‘job’, come from mobile devices,” Claire describes. 

She says while Skype has made interviewing candidates and dealing with companies that are not locally-based easier, LinkedIn has brought candidates’ qualifications and experience to recruiters’ screens faster than ever.

Although these tools are also available to companies, it just highlights the importance of partnering with the correct recruitment partner as online recruitment now means tonnes more applications to sift through, which can distract a company from its core business. Only recruitment agencies are trained and skilled in picking that perfect candidate from thousands of CV’s. Again, technology – even at its highest level, can never replace the one-on-one personal service offered by top recruiters.

“Recruitment has not changed in terms of the process – a vacancy needs a suitable ‘hire’, it is just the landscape, tools, expectations and behaviours which are changing. Recruiting is an art and although technology has taken it to the next level, the personal touch is still imperative and the key to success!” adds Claire.

She says that while technology offered many opportunities, it also brought new challenges including personal data protection and greater competition for available skills among companies – hence, the role of specialist recruiters remains.

Claire notes that though technology now offers candidates greater prospects in crowded job markets, it also exposes them to greater scrutiny.

“Candidates need to take cognisance and realize the importance of what they put on social media i.e. Facebook, as many potential employers and recruitment consultancies ‘research’ potential candidates via these platforms, in order to see behaviours and what kind of individual and how they could potentially fit into the organization,” she describes. 

“What one presents on their CV, compared to the truth of their daily lives – as shown on social media sites, is often a very different and, sometimes, a disturbing story. Candidates need to know that technology has certainly aided recruiters, with the ability to access information almost immediately, which certainly affects their chances with future employers.”


Photo Caption: Claire Gillmer-Zonneveld, Owner of Port Elizabeth-based recruitment agency, On Line Personnel.