Recruiters finding it challenging to source skilled professionals to hire


South Africa’s unemployment rate hit a record high of 30.8 percent in the aftermath of the global pandemic. Just 7 percent of South African adults have a tertiary education, the lowest number of all OECD and partner countries. 77 percent of young adults in South Africa have attained an upper-secondary or post-secondary qualification. South Africans’ quality education makes the labour force attractive to international companies.

The hiring process has been changing rapidly as it moves online, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these changes. Experienced hires continue to be challenging in South Africa, with respondents of 47% of the corporates indicating it was their biggest recruitment challenge. If we want our economy to grow at an acceptable rate over the next few years, we need to close the gap between the skills businesses need and the skills our unemployed fellow citizens have.

Top 3 recruiting challenges in the Finance Industry

  1. Labour Shortage

There are not enough skilled employees to fill the financial services industry open positions. The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) projects that 773,800 jobs will be added by 2026, a 10% year-over-year growth faster than the average for all jobs.

A recent survey found that 72% of financial services company CEOs believe the limited availability of skilled employees will limit future growth.

  1. Technology Skills Gap

There is a shortage of technology candidates in all industries, but this significantly impacts financial services due to the combined regulatory and cyber security pressures. One estimate shows that unaffiliated cyber security positions in South Africa leave finance companies struggling to secure sensitive data. Regulatory compliance requires sophisticated technological responses and educated staff.

  1. Mid-Career Candidate Shortage

The finance industry has to contend with all the recruiting challenges of other industries but finding mid-career candidates is more difficult for financial services companies. In 2008, many employees in South Africa left the finance industry, using the crisis as an opportunity to change careers. Now, 10 years later, finding experienced candidates for mid-level positions has become difficult as recent graduates are not qualified or skilled.

With a high unemployment rate in South Africa, finding qualified employees will continue to be a struggle for recruiters, with over a million graduates sitting at home with zero experience. Will there ever be an effective solution to South Africa’s employment crisis?

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