SA HR news roundup: Strong hiring intention amid skills shortage, competency assessments for public service


The World Bank’s recent climate report estimates that more than 600,000 “green” jobs can be created.

The ManpowerGroup's Employment Outlook Survey for Q3 2022 indicates that South Africa exhibits the second strongest hiring intention among EMEA countries, as employers grapple with talent shortages. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank estimates that the economy needs to consistently grow at five percent per annum to effectively address the high unemployment rate.

Economic growth of five percent needed to tackle jobless rate

The economy needs to expand consistently at five percent for years to create jobs and lower the unemployment rate. This is according to Reserve Bank deputy governor Rashad Cassim.

The unemployment rate is currently 33.9 percent – the highest on a list of 82 countries and the Euro zone monitored by Bloomberg. The International Monetary Fund projects that the unemployment rate will reach 35.2 percent this year, while a Bloomberg survey of economists’ forecasts places the figure at 34 percent this year, before declining to 32.7 percent in 2023 and 31.8 percent in 2024.

Adapting to climate change will create more jobs

The World Bank’s South Africa Country Climate and Development Report, which was released this week, estimates that about two to three times more jobs will be created by investing in climate mitigation and adaptation than the 300,000 jobs that are likely to be shed during the transition.

However, the report notes that there will be a labour market mismatch, as new jobs will be created gradually in non-coal mining activities and will be spatially diverse, while the job losses will occur mainly in the mid-2030s and primarily in the Mpumalanga province.

Strong hiring intention amid talent shortage

The ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey for Q3 2022 indicates that South Africa exhibits the second strongest hiring intention (38 percent) among European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) countries, after Ireland (42 percent).

However, 78 percent of local employers reported talent shortages resulting in difficulties filling positions.

“This means more international competition for South African employers desperate to attract critical skills from abroad," says Marisa Jacobs, managing director of Xpatweb.

The global labour gap also creates greater opportunities for skilled South Africans to emigrate to greener pastures, further eroding the country’s talent base.

There is no doubt that employers will have to work harder to acquire the critical skills they need as new bills, like the Employment Services Amendment Bill 2022, seek to regulate the hiring of foreign nationals.

Competency assessments for public service employees

New requirements for entry into public service will include competency assessments, as part of the government’s National Framework towards Professionalisation of the Public Sector, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The framework highlights clear requirements for recruitment and selection processes, mandatory induction for new public servants and performance management. It prioritises continuous learning so that the skills and capabilities of public servants are always improving.

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