Speed Interview trend offers hope for job seekers

On Friday 17 November 2017, Lulaway, in partnership with Boston City Campus embarked on an ambitious undertaking to facilitate the employment of over 200 Boston learners at a speed interviewing event.

Whilst speed interviewing is becoming increasingly popular in developed countries, the model has not yet been applied in South Africa where rampant unemployment threatens the nation’s social and economic future.

Lulaway CEO Jake Willis says speed interviewing has the potential to remove one of the most unsolvable and crippling socioeconomic barriers facing South African work-seekers.

“Youth unemployment continues to rise despite billions of Rands being spent on job creation initiatives. The only way we will increase youth employment rates is by thinking out of the box. We are constantly looking for practical high-impact solutions which are relevant to the market. Speed interviewing offers a simple way to eliminate obstacles as it brings all the candidates and employers to one place.”

Inflated transport costs compound the ‘spatial mismatch’ for work-seekers. With transport and other work-seeking costs at an average of R560 per month, many unemployed people cannot afford to actively seek employment. Much of the unemployed youth, who are not actively seeking work, say this is because their locations constrain them from looking for work. “

Willis says speed interviewing has the potential to create much-needed efficiencies in the entry-level labour market on both the supply and demand side. “Normally, we face huge challenges to get these learners to one interview. They cannot afford to go to four interviews. We send them to various employers at a high cost, while trying to balance the scheduling requirements of employers and work-seekers.

“The drop-off rates are enormous. Learners get lost or do not show up. On the employer side, the administrative efforts required to interview 250 people in one day would be overwhelming. The scheduling alone would take many hours.

“Speed interviewing normally involves one employer with multiple work-seekers. We have taken it a step further and invited several employers in the same industry to the same event. This is to limit the travel costs for the work-seeker to the bare minimum,” continues Willis.
Employers have responded enthusiastically to the event.

Employers present were Green Connect, Landau Attorneys and iTalk. Altogether, these employers have expressed interest in hiring 120 of the candidates.