Putting the Human Relationships Back into Recruitment

Due to advances in technology, the world we live in is changing at an alarming rate. COVID-19 has also sped up our reliance on technology in the way we workIn some ways tech has brought us closer together but in others it has caused a separationWe as humans are social creatures and the need to build trusting and meaningful relationships with other humans is part of our DNA. 

In the staffing, HR, and recruitment sector, technology has always played an important part in connecting people. From reaching a wider audience via the press in newspapers to being able to use a telephone to call a clientwith the sound of fax machine screeching in the background while receiving CV’s.  

As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus says, change is the only constant in life’, and there has been much change in the industry, both good and bad. Over the years, many processes have been automated with the most important people aspect often being badly neglected. 

Information Overload

There are a growing number of large paid recruitment platforms and apps which reach a vast audience and allow applicants to apply for roles en masse. This has led many applicants to concentrate on quantity over quality when applying. Whilst very effective in their task, the amount of data that gets sent around can be overwhelming for anyone involved in the recruitment process. Cyber-crime is also a growing concern along with stricter data protection acts such as POPIA and GDPR. 

What is needed is the professional who can work alongside technologies in order to filter through all this information. An expert who can consult on industry trends, salaries, labour regulations, corporate culture, personality fit and those qualities of a person which can’t as easily be demonstrated on a CV.  

The career journeys of many people would definitely not have been the same if they were just put down to data matched by software and algorithms 

Can technology also lead to a more human experience? 

Some innovative companies are actively investing in smart technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) to streamline the more administrative parts of the recruitment process.  

Having the right technology means that consultants can work alongside tech and don’t need to spend as much time sifting through masses of CV’s or inputting dataThey can therefore better utilize their time by focusing on the human element of the task – which is getting to know their candidates and making the best match for the needs of their client’s.  

Dennis Schöntauf, MASA Outsourcing KZN Regional Manager says

We currently service over 200 blue chip entities which includes in house management of 12000 unique payroll transactions monthly. Our advanced systems help us manage our large operations at scale, meaning that we are able to spend more time on site, providing value for our clients. This has enabled us to offer additional specialized and bespoke services such as enhanced training and outsourced HR and Industrial Relations (IR) solutions. 

The right technologies will continue to support the recruitment process but the human touch and a trusted advisor on the other end of the line will never be able to be to be replaced by an algorithm.  

The right technologies will continue to support the recruitment process but the human touch and a trusted advisor on the other end of the line will never be able to be to be replaced by an algorithm.  

Long term triangular relationship 

Successful client, candidate and consultant relationships also tend to be ongoing and are not just about filling a single position. It’s about looking at the wider picture and taking a long-term view. 

When a client’s business needs change, often so does their staffing needWho better for the client to call than the person who knows their businesses and has placed their staff or even themselves in a position?  

A key aspect of recruiting is to create talent community of great candidates who can be contacted immediately when a job vacancy opens up. Candi Samuels, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Greys Recruitment says, 

‘I focus on getting to know candidates well, I find out what drives them, what their goals are, personality quirks and what they are passionate about. The key is to find likeminded candidates who are of good caliber and share our client’s company ethos, culture and vision.’ 

A key point to keep in mind is that recruitment is a multifaceted process. Candi goes on to say,  

‘Headhunting is a huge part of my job, especially with the skills shortage in South Africa. I approach high profile candidates who are currently employed by gaining their trust and convincing them to make the move for the betterment of their own careers and a happier lifestyle.’ 

Candidates also need to take note of the importance of building a relationship with their recruiter. One of the most important services that a consultant can offer a candidate is feedback 

Looking for a job is a stressful activity and having constructive feedback is an invaluable way of making sure you are on the right track.  

Having a good recruiter on your side who can help you show off your skills in the best way is also a game changer. 

The power of the human touch  

There have recently been a few cases where large employment services and labour brokers have gone under or are on the verge of collapse. Many of them have overreached in order to make a profit and have neglected the human approach to doing business.  

‘At the end of the day, this is a people orientated business and companies who forget this will no longer stand a chance of recruiting the best talent or maintaining long term client relationships, Says Wayne Stainforth, Director at MASA Outsourcing. 

In these turbulent times, it is importanto be mindful of people’s circumstances and not forget that the recruitment process is not just a transaction but a way of bringing people together. person’s job or career is one of the most important aspects of their lives and this should not be handled lightly.  

It might be more difficult to meet in person for now but continued communication and support is the key. Technological innovation has served to provide extra channels to connect people but we for one are all looking to forward to those meaningful face-to-face meetings with our clients, candidates and friends. 

Recruitment is, and always will be, a human relationship business. It is the qualities that make us human which means that people are an integral part the process, especially in an industry as social as recruitment. 


Masa Outsourcing is a South African labour powerhouse placing thousands of staff countrywide through its various divisions and entities. We have offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and Durban.

Four decades of experience in Vetting and Hiring, Recruitment, Site Operations, Industrial Relations Solutions, Payroll Services, Staff Management, Human Resource and Labour Management; we are the only Staffing Specialist positioned to manage your labour hire needs comprehensively.

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