Job advice, a hashtag away #JobAdviceSA

Originally posted by South African News Agency South African News Agency

In a country where finding work is a daily struggle for many, a Twitter hashtag is doing its bit in helping jobseekers get their foot in the door of the South African labour market.

Job Advice SA is the product of Tim Barry, Vanessa Raath and Wesley Madziva who came together and created the online network that connects job seekers and recruiters in South Africa.

The trio “met” while Barry was still living and working in the United Kingdom while following a recruitment conference that was happening in Johannesburg on Twitter.

“We began following and chatting with each other on Twitter and other social media networks,” recalls Barry who later immigrated to South Africa in late 2012.

Residing in Cape Town but still keeping contact with Raath and Madziva who are based in Gauteng, Barry followed another event on Twitter where South African expat recruitment industry entrepreneur Greg Savage spoke. Barry retweeted and replied to insights from Raath and Madziva who were attending the event.

Among the tips given by Savage to the audience of recruitment professionals who were attending the event, was that they should take part in Twitter chats so as to grow their social media networks and position themselves as experts within their industry.

This gave Barry, Raath and Madziva the idea to start a Twitter chat for South African recruiters and jobseekers.

Following debate on what the hashtag should be, the three set up the Twitter account @JobAdviceSA.

The first chat took place in June 2014 with half a dozen recruiters and jobseekers participating in the chat. While the first chat only had a few participants, it generated a lot of tweets.

“When we started the weekly Twitter chat, we had no idea that it would grow into a huge social media community of thousands of South African jobseekers as our initial aim was merely to connect the few jobseekers who took part in the chat with recruiters who may be able to help them find jobs,” says Barry.

South Africa’s unemployment rate has hovered around the 25% level since 2010 with the youth largely bearing the brunt of unemployment. Government has responded to the issue in several ways including the signing of the Youth Employment Accord in April 2013.

The accord sets out a joint commitment by government and social partners to prioritise youth employment and skills development. Also in efforts to respond to youth unemployment, government in September 2016 announced a youth employment programme that will aim to place one million youth in paid internships in the private sector over a three-year period.

The cost of the internships will be borne by the private sector and supported by a negotiated package of government incentives. President Jacob Zuma said consultative processes among relevant stakeholders in government, labour, business and civil society will start, with further details still to be announced.

In line with government’s call to work together to move the country forward, Job Advice SA is playing a role in helping the country’s youth to find work.

“There is a void in terms of youth education on how to search and apply for jobs and what information should be included on a CV. This in addition to researching companies prior to going to an interview as well as interview etiquette etc.,” said Barry.

“I feel that Job Advice SA is giving young South Africans especially a platform where they can find this information and ask questions on any areas that they are struggling with,” explains Barry.

The #JobAdviceSA hashtag can be seen trending on many a Monday afternoon when the community of jobseekers and recruiters spend an hour discussing many a topic such as dealing professionally with recruiters on social networks.

The team also poses questions at 15 minute intervals while also answering questions posed during the discussions.

Questions like: “Is there someone here that will take a look at my CV just to see if it’s right? I’m unemployed so I can’t offer money” as well as “Is it okay to add certificates I received at the valedictory on my CV?” are posed during the Twitter chat.

In the ever changing world of technology, the recruitment process is also changing with modern recruiters no longer relying on posting job adverts on their website’s careers or vacancies page or on job websites.

Barry who in the past has used #HireTim on social networks to find employment, is of the view that more and more South Africans are getting used to the idea of not only searching for jobs on job websites but also signing up for professional social networks like LinkedIn. South Africans looking for work are also joining Facebook groups for jobseekers in addition to following recruitment companies on Twitter.

Barry who is a freelance consultant for employers, recruitment companies and software start-ups has urged those looking for work to never give up.

“Don’t give up! You might not be successful after your first application, after your first interview or even after you have actually been offered a job but keep going and you will find work eventually,” said Barry.

South Africa along with other countries around the world commemorated Workers Day on 1 May.

“It is quite ironic that the world celebrates Worker’s Day when there are so many people unemployed in all countries internationally. Like many other countries’ people, especially the youth who are unemployed, struggle to find work due to the poor quality of basic education or employer’s requiring that candidates have skills or experience that the majority in the job market simply are not able to acquire,” observed Barry.

The fact that the hashtag is seen trending on Twitter on many occasions has made the team immensely proud.

“It makes us feel immensely proud when #JobAdviceSA is one of the trending topics on Twitter as that means that we are making a real difference to South African jobseekers by discussing the job search and employment topics that they are most interested in,” explained Barry.

The trio, who make no profit from running #JobAdviceSA, is now considering holding live Q and A sessions on Facebook as well as recording podcasts among others to grow its community.

With them only having met in “real life” for the first time only last year, the future is certainly bright and many South Africans seeking employment advice can only benefit from this

Job Advice SA: Online network uses Twitter to help Job Seekers

Written by Melissa Javan  and READ FULL ARTICLE there —> CLICK ME

If you’re looking for work, Job Advice SA is willing to guide you. All you have to do is contact them on social media for tips.
Three individuals who wanted to connect recruiters and job seekers in an informal environment host a Twitter chat called #JobAdviceSA every Monday at 16:00 for an hour.

The topics of this chat range from job hunting, to applying for jobs and going to interviews. The Job Advice SA team has also hosted chats on seasonal themes such as job seeker horror stories during October, the month in which Halloween falls.

Vanessa Raath, Tim Barry and Wesley Madziva started Job Advice SA in June 2014, not having met in person. “We all chatted regularly via social media and realised that we shared a common goal – to help people find jobs,” Raath says.

Other than Twitter, job seekers can also contact Job Advice SA on the Facebook page or Google+ account.

The beginning
Initially they launched their Twitter chat as #JobRecChatSA. After they met in person at a human resources conference in Johannesburg in May 2016, they decided to change the Twitter chat’s name.

It relaunched to #JobAdviceSA because they realised that more job seekers engaged in their weekly chats. “We found that there was more interest from job seekers as opposed to recruiters,” explains Raath.

“There were far more people looking for advice as opposed to recruiters looking to join in the chat and give advice. The focus shifted slightly to help people looking for jobs and not in connecting job seekers with recruiters as we had done previously.

“This was a good move and I know we have added great value to many job seekers,” she says. “We give good advice but then people must find their own jobs, using what we have taught them.”

How the Twitter chat works
Raath says they choose a suitable theme and four questions to answer during the course of the chat. “(We) write and publish a framing post incorporating the questions and expanding on the theme, then promote the chat leading up to 16:00 on Monday.

“We ask a new question every 15 minutes, starting at 16:00. One of us acts as the main host tweeting the questions from @JobAdviceSA,” she explains. “We answer the questions as well others on the topic or even other topics posed by participants during the hour slot, more often than not going on well past 17:00.”

The team
Madziva is a social media expert, consulting and speaking about the topic. His work experience also includes specialising in human resources (HR) and recruitment.

Barry is a business development consultant. Barry’s work experience also includes speaking about employer branding, HR and recruitment technology, and social media marketing.

Raath has had 10 years experience in the recruitment industry – both internal and external recruitment. She now specialises in information technology recruitment, mainly on the Microsoft platform.

The one thing you should never do is pay a recruiter to register with them, warns Raath. “You should not pay them if they find you a job.

“The recruiter will have an agreement in place with the client (your new employer) who will pay them for securing you as the candidate’s services. Recruitment agencies who want to charge people for registering with them are scams.”

Raath says that there are recruiters who look for work for people in specific industries or career paths. For example, she is a recruiter for seniors in the information technology industry. “If you are more senior it is best to find a recruiter who specialises in that industry – they will be more connected and will have a better variety of clients and opportunities.”

According to Raath, it’s troubling that most job seekers do not put the required effort into the job hunt. “They must have an excellent, well presented curriculum vitae; make sure they prepare for their interviews and be constantly up-skilling themselves,” she says.

“We also touch a lot on personal branding and how this is important to stand out from your peers. We give advice every week so people would need to join our chat to learn more – every week there are new things on how to improve (your brand).”