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South African Job Market Industry Report – Quarter 1 2024

As we embark on the new financial quarter (Q2) of 2024, the job market undergoes significant shifts, with companies strategically adapting to ensure sustained growth. Here’s a comprehensive overview of key observations and emerging trends to guide you through this evolving landscape.

Election Anticipation and Talent Mobility in 2024

Anticipation surrounding the upcoming elections prompts businesses to adopt a cautious stance, focusing on talent retention and attraction post-election. The scarcity of skilled professionals underscores the importance of strategic talent management in fostering enduring resilience underscoring the essence of nurturing a robust workforce for enduring resilience.

The War for Talent and Strategic Hiring in 2024

In a landscape characterised by heightened competition, salary negotiations emerge as pivotal arenas, especially in executive roles. The pursuit of top-tier talent intensifies, prompting a strategic yet challenging recruitment journey. However, prolonged vacancy periods impose additional strains on existing staff, amplifying workload burdens.

Salary Transparency, Employment Equity, and Engagement

Discussions around salary transparency gain momentum, particularly among younger candidates advocating for fair compensation. Employment equity remains a priority, driving inclusivity and fairness in corporate environments. Moreover, there’s an increased emphasis on fostering employee engagement to cultivate cohesive work environments.

Leveraging data sourced from actual salary offers in advertised vacancies over the past year, we present the following findings:

Administrative Roles

  • Year-on-year increases in salary offerings were notable for admin clerks (5% – 7%), personal assistants (40% – 46%), secretaries (47% – 60%), and switchboard/reception staff (9% – 25%).
  • The surge in personal assistant salaries stemmed from a 34% annual increase in demand for executive assistants, while legal and litigation secretaries fueled the rise in secretarial salaries with a 57% yearly demand increase.
  • Top earners in admin, office, and support domains were personal assistants, HR professionals, and secretaries.

Finance Sector

  • Bookkeeping saw a 7% increase, credit management experienced growth (20% – 25%), and internal auditing witnessed a rise (10% – 14%).
  • Conversely, external auditing faced a dip (-2% to -6%). Top earners included financial analysts, internal auditors, external auditors, and cost and management accountants.

Information Technology (IT) Sector:

  • Salaries for database design/development/administration rose (25% – 26%), while business analysts (-8% to -9%) and various IT roles saw declines.

Top earners in IT comprised technical/business architects, database professionals, business analysts, and software development professionals.

Manufacturing and Sales:

  • No significant changes were observed in manufacturing roles, but quality control professionals faced a decrease (-17% to -25%). Supply chain control professionals topped earners.
  • The sales sector witnessed a rise (15% – 21%), with account management professionals leading.

Provincial Trends in the Job Market

  • Noteworthy increases in hiring activity occurred in the North West province (42%) for business and management roles, with the Free State continuing to demand such professionals.
  • The Western Cape experienced a surge (62%) in building and construction hiring, while Limpopo saw a 17% increase in business and management hiring.
  • Despite a decline in IT hiring (-18%), Gauteng observed a 36% increase in building and construction demand.
  • Mpumalanga saw growth in sales roles, while KwaZulu-Natal experienced a decline in IT hiring but increases in finance and sales.
  • The Eastern Cape witnessed a decline in IT hiring but increases across finance, sales, building and construction, architecture, engineering, and manufacturing.

Current Economic Climate and Unemployment

  • South Africa’s unemployment rate rose to 32.1%, reflecting challenges in job creation amid economic uncertainties.
  • Despite interventions, youth unemployment persists, with challenges identified in policy implementation and integration across programs.
  • Urgent measures are called for to mitigate the impact of economic challenges, with recommendations including centralized reporting on employment schemes and fostering digital skills among the youth.

Emerging Trends in the Job Market

  • Technology and Digital Transformation: The rapid pace of technological innovation fuels demand for IT, data science, and cybersecurity professionals, with organizations investing in digital transformation initiatives.
  • Healthcare and Biotechnology: Amid global health challenges, the healthcare sector witnesses growth, spurring demand for healthcare professionals and biotechnologists, fostering innovation and new job prospects.
  • Remote Work and Flexibility: Remote work becomes a permanent fixture, fostering hybrid work models and transcending geographical boundaries, offering flexibility to both employers and employees.
  • E-commerce and Logistics: The rise of e-commerce reshapes retail paradigms, driving demand for digital marketing and logistics professionals, emphasizing supply chain optimization and digital customer experiences.
  • Financial Technology (Fintech): Fintech experiences a surge in demand for digital financial solutions, creating opportunities in blockchain technology and digital banking sectors.
  • Impact of Global and Local Economic Factors: Global economic trends and local policies significantly influence job market dynamics, necessitating adaptability and vigilance among job seekers.

Snapshot of the Medical & Health Sector

Candidates exhibit an average tenure of 3 years, with employment equity candidates dominating. Top in-demand professionals include Nurses and Medical Technicians.

AI Integration

Key AI Skills - Python - Machine Learning - SQL

AI integration proliferates, catalysing a surge in AI job roles, particularly in IT-related domains. Key skills sought include Python, Machine Learning, and SQL proficiency.


Navigating South Africa’s dynamic job market requires adaptability, resilience, and proactive engagement. Embracing emerging trends and leveraging regional dynamics pave the path for sustained growth and resilience. At InspHired Recruitment Solutions, we remain committed to facilitating meaningful connections between talent and opportunities, contributing to the broader discourse on employment and economic resilience. For further inquiries or collaboration opportunities, feel free to reach out to us.

Let’s embark on this journey with insight, strategy, and determination.

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Ready to dive deeper into industry insights? Explore our job market report from November 2023 for valuable knowledge to fuel your career success! Click the link below to learn more:


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