Labour Brokers have much to offer

Labour brokers have much to offer

The answer to scarce South African industry skills.

Despite ongoing calls for the prohibition of labour broking, reputable labour brokers have so much to offer the market, especially in the sourcing of scarce skills.

This skills shortage is well-documented and is a national imperative. The severity of the problem was highlighted in Grant Thornton’s recently published 2010 International Business Report, boldly stating that 34% of business owners in South Africa ranked a lack of skills as a major constraint to their business’s growth.

It takes knowledge, experience and expert judgement to ensure that candidates are correctly placed in certain positions; and labour brokers have a vital role to play – particularly in the construction industry where there is a significant skills shortage.

Even though the recession meant a reduced demand for scarce skills in the industrial sectors, an upturn has signaled the need for additional human resources. As South Africa is Africa’s economic powerhouse, this growth will surge. As such, labour brokers have the necessary knowledge to assist industry to source the right people.

Ultimately, we’ve seen that the aftermath of the recession has seen a better quality of candidate coming through. That being said, a good labour broker has excellent access both to a great candidate data base and to all the latest active construction projects so they are in a sense like an established, credible industry matchmaker.

Meanwhile, the public debate continues, and negative perceptions surrounding labour broking persist. I believe that many of the negative perceptions about labour brokers are unfounded. They arise from the unfortunate fact that there are certain unethical, fly-by-night operators who prey on the unskilled, and semi-skilled workers with lower educational levels and limited experience – all of which makes them vulnerable to exploitation. 

In fact, a good labour broker is like any other service provider with integrity, trying to match their clients’ requirements with the suitable human resources that are available out there. A credible labour broker puts time and effort into making the right placement, not only for the client’s benefit, but also for the candidate’s.

The specialist recruitment industry has the skills and the knowledge to fulfill client requirements, and to anticipate employees’ needs and thereby prevent any issues from arising. Once a candidate has been placed on site, close attention is paid to working conditions and satisfaction levels.