WORKING ABROAD / SEP. 05, 2014
version 6, draft 6

How to Find a Job in South Africa

south africa
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According to Addison Sears-Collins, founder of VisaHunter.com, South Africa’s employment cycle functions on a who you know basis rather than on a what you know basis. Once you find a job, the hard part is over and you need to apply for a South African Work Permit if you are a foreigner. This article will discuss the steps to take to find a job in South Africa, whether you are a local or a foreigner seeking employment.

Where to Start the Process

GoingGlobal.com is a valuable resource for those individuals who are seeking work in the global environment. They have over 16 million listings which are updated daily. The top fields seeking employees are IT, engineering, accounting & finance and mining. For more information, check out their GoingGlobal.com - South African Guide. The following advice and tips are provided.

  • Job listings
  • Financial considerations
  • Employment trends
  • Interview advice
  • Cultural advice
  • Business networking
  • Top companies

Online Job Searches

Visahunter.com provides various resources for those seeking work around the globe. Mr. Collins has compiled a listing of some of his most useful and favorite online resources for job seekers in South Africa. It is important to realize that this process is going to take time and energy on your part. You may need to send out hundreds of resumes and complete many applications before you even receive a response from a prospective employer. Mr. Collins advised that “99.9% of these jobs will be tough to get unless you are South African.” However, he encourages individuals to keep trying if they really dream of working in South Africa. The first step is to check through some of the major online job search websites as listed below.

  • Craigslist - South Africa – You can search through the job listings for South Africa on this website. However, be wary of scams and learn how to avoid falling prey.
  • Indeed – This website is another major source of global job listings. The link listed shows the current job listings in South Africa.
  • Career Jet – You can find over 39+ million jobs compiled from 23,783 websites. It is a great site to search for global job listings.
  • Jobs.co.za – If you’d like to search one of the giants in the South African job market, then check out this website. They have global job listings but mostly jobs in South Africa.
  • Careers24 – This is another major job search site with listings based in South Africa. You can search for jobs via region, city or sector. They currently have 13,657 job listings. The site offers the option to create job alerts, provides career advice and you can view salary comparisons. They have job listings in the major fields such as administration, sales, IT, retail, marketing, insurance and engineering.
  • Gumtree – On this website, you can find over 694,837 local listings for jobs and classified ads in South Africa. This site is similar to Craigslist. Mr. Collins suggests that you need to “do a lot of digging though, as some of the postings on there are of low quality. You might find some hidden gems.”

Work with Recruitment Agencies & Trade Organizations

In addition to applying for jobs online, you can decide to work with recruitment agencies or trade organizations. The following is a listing of three of the major recruitment agencies in South Africa.

Working with trade organizations is another way to obtain employment in a foreign country. The list below shares some trade organizations in South Africa.

Government Specific Job Quotas

According to ExpatNetwork.com, “South Africa is welcoming skilled foreign workers with open arms.” A listing of quota work permits for specific professions has been issued by the South African government. Since the list was issued, foreign nationals who have the mandatory qualifications are permitted to enter the country without having first obtained employment. The government issues the permits based on the yearly quota. The number is determined by the National Critical Skills list depending on the essential skills needed to fill jobs or how scarce positions are. The government initiative to “raise skills levels in the country” is designed to raise economic growth by 6% by the end of 2014. The Departments of Trade, Industry and Labour determined the quotas in the following fields.

  • Health & Information
  • Agricultural Sciences
  • Information Technology
  • Science & Engineering
  • Management & Commerce

Finding a job in South Africa begins with utilizing resources like GoingGlobal.com where you can search for jobs as well as receive advice on resumes, interviewing skills, employment trends, business networking and cultural tips. You should then begin an online search with the major job websites listed in this article. There is also the option to work with a recruitment agency or find a job through a trade organization. Keep in mind the current government quotas and what types of employees are needed.

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