The paper begins by stating that South Africa’s labour market conditions allow firms to impose their recruitment channels on job-seekers. Therefore, finding a job in a particular sector is determined largely by the channels through which recruiters communicate and, by implication, by who has access to these channels. The authors find that in accessing particular channels, such as formal channels that require a certain level of education, or through referrals from social networks, the majority of the young African unemployed are at a distinct disadvantage.
It is unsurprising, therefore, that the majority of this group, compared to peers of other racial groups, is likely to get discouraged more easily by the job-search process. Ultimately, they find that large firms provide the best opportunity of employment, since they are better able to carry the overhead costs of allocating resources to a dedicated recruitment department or person, and, by extension, to conduct the type of screening process in which job-seekers using informal channels can indicate their productivity.