Changing the way SMEs recruit the talent they need

With the global pandemic roiling labour markets across the world for the past two years, the recruitment industry has a particularly vital role to play in getting people back to work and helping employers find the talent they need quickly and efficiently.  One of the most important drivers of South Africa’s economic recovery is for industry to have the right people in the right jobs.  This is one of the factors driving the escalating development and uptake of RecTech, new tools and applications that are disrupting and improving conventional recruitment processes and practices.

Job Crystal, a women-led, South African recruitment website offering online solutions since 2015, has announced the launch of a world-first, AI-powered tool.  CRYSTAL uses Machine Learning (ML) technologies to scan 43 candidate pool databases, screening 34 million employable South Africans.  Through identifying and screening candidates, CRYSTAL helps employers find their perfect match in minutes.  With the needs of their SME clients top of mind, Job Crystal has also introduced a unique industry pricing model which enables business owners to pay to use CRYSTAL on a per job description basis instead of having to commit to a costly annual subscription which they won’t use often over a 12-month period.

Tech-preneur, Sasha Knott, who is the CEO of Job Crystal points out that this is highly pertinent for SMEs, as well as start-ups, who have to find the talent they need urgently in order to grow their businesses.  “There are extraordinary costs to a business if they can’t find the right person quickly,” she says. “It can mean the difference between getting ahead of your competitors or forever trailing behind.  It can be the difference between meeting your company and growth targets, or complete business failure.”

Knott and her business partner, COO, Kelly Louw are proudly South African and share a deep commitment to contributing to socio-economic development in the country.  They view the Job Crystal platform with its enhanced AI capabilities as an opportunity to make a dent in unemployment in the country.  “Together, small and medium enterprises in South Africa employ 60% of the country’s workforce,” Knott says. “It makes sense that this industry sector has access to the best tools that support them in growing their businesses and becoming sustainable.  With the launch of CRYSTAL, we aim to put a next-generation recruitment tool in the hands of the business owners driving economic recovery and future growth, who are, together, also providing jobs for more and more South Africans.”

Their vision has been recognised with Job Crystal gaining R4.2 million in investment from the Enygma Ventures’ Shift Fund in 2020.   With the launch of CRYSTAL, clients are able to deploy the technology to search and screen 34 million employable people across 43 websites including job boards, job portals and social media sites, reaching LinkedIn users, active job seekers and passive hiders.  It’s not all up to the machine though, as Job Crystal has a team who provide a human touch through actively teaching the machine to deliver the best results and counteracting any latent AI prediction bias.

The search and screening stages are the most time-consuming in the recruitment process.  However, in a matter of just one hour, CRYSTAL is able to deliver a top ten list of potential candidates to the client.  This is an extraordinary time-saver that enables SMEs to hire quicker and also avoid getting stuck in the hiring process.  While it can take business owners, weeks and even months to find the right person, a hire generally involves 33 dedicated, working hours to search, screen, interview, select and make an offer.  Overall, CRYSTAL reduces this costly time investment by 24 hours. Through the Job Crystal website, clients also access fast online background checks and a free salary benchmarking resource which is based on real data versus less reliable salary surveys.

Knott says, “CRYSTAL is designed to take away the pain of the business owner or person responsible for recruiting who is lying awake at night worrying about how they are going to find the people they urgently need to help take their company forward.  Navigating the sprawling and confusing job markets can be a nightmare, and it is always time-consuming, and therefore expensive.  Automating certain stages in the recruitment process enables you to consider more candidates and connect with more diverse candidates, all the while saving you time and money.”

Knott concludes, “Of course, the human touch is still vitally important.  Therefore, this is not a case of the machine taking over the work, but of how our recruiters and clients actively use the immense processing power of the machine in order to deliver better, faster, cheaper results and enable business owners to make more effective and efficient hiring decisions.  What we want to see is South Africa’s entrepreneurs and SMEs harness the power of the best that RecTech has to offer.  This means that the services must be affordable to them, while effectively helping them achieve the hires that propel their businesses towards profitability and sustainability.”

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