Merchants continues to lead the way on impact sourcing
During the first quarter of 2021, Merchants created almost 1000 new jobs through its digital recruitment platform, MyCalling. Over 60% of these placements were made up by impact workers – double the percentage of impact workers the business placed in 2019 when it became the first company in the Southern Hemisphere to be accredited with the Impact Sourcing Standard by the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition.
Impact sourcing is defined as ‘employing socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals as principal workers in BPO centres to provide high-quality, information-based services to domestic and international clients’. Impact workers can be defined as people hired into an organisation who were previously long-term unemployed or living under the national poverty line.
Just this month, Statistics SA released it’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey for Q1 2021 – reporting a record unemployment rate of 32.6%. “South Africa’s BPO sector is positioned to play a key role in job creation for impact workers in South Africa,” explains Nadia Naidu, HR Director at Merchants. “For many roles within the contact centre, we are able to recruit job seekers without previous experience and without tertiary education – removing the most restrictive barriers to entry faced by job seekers through traditional recruitment methods. The use of MyCalling has enabled us to continue to create sustainable employment for impact workers, which is one of our top three priorities as a business.”
She explains that the industry showed incredible resilience during the lockdown in South Africa, and has continued to provide opportunities as the country grapples with changes brought about by COVID-19.
“Merchants remains committed to providing opportunities for impact workers in South Africa, as we realise that these jobs not only support the employee, but also their families and communities at large,” explains Naidu. “We are proud of our Q1 2021 statistics and remain committed to increasing the percentage of impact workers in our business.”