The 18th annual 2017 Robert Walters Salary Survey was recently released, containing a detailed analysis of global salary and recruitment trends across the world during 2016, as well as predictions for 2017 and beyond.
The survey is based on an analysis of permanent, interim and contract hiring placements made across the 27 countries in which the company operates. These include countries in the UK and Ireland, Continental Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand as well as North and South America.
On a global level, despite the economic and political uncertainty created by Brexit and the US election, the survey found that many markets across the world experienced strong economic growth and an increase in hiring activity during 2016. Across the Middle East and Africa though, hiring levels in many sectors were reduced as a result of the fall in oil and gas prices. Despite this, there was still a shortage of local talent available to fill these roles.
Within South Africa specifically, the survey identified the following key high-level hiring and salary trends during 2016:
1. Hiring volumes were reduced across the country. This was due mainly to political challenges negatively affecting the economy. The knock-on effect of this is that South African businesses in general adopted a more cautious approach to hiring. This was expected to continue throughout 2017, which has been the case.
2. The recruitment process became far more protracted during 2016. This was because hiring managers were more focused on cost saving in light of the economic downturn.
3. Job seeker confidence was low as a result. This meant that many candidates were looking for guarantees around increased salaries, bonuses and career development opportunities before they would accept a new role.
4. Companies were seeking candidates with extremely strong industry experience. This was particularly evident within legal, finance and IT, where professionals with five to seven years’ experience were in high demand.
5. Companies wanted candidates with international experience. Specifically, companies were looking for internationally-minded professionals with strong business acumen who could quickly assimilate into the organisation, as they wanted to minimise the downtime that is often experienced during the onboarding process.
Predictions for 2017
The survey expected market conditions to remain similar in 2017 as they did in 2016, which has largely been the case. Among the survey’s predictions for 2017 were:
• Most businesses would continue to adopt a cautious approach to hiring, opting for lean headcounts and aiming only to replace critical skills and functions.
• As a result, organisations would be open to the potential for absorbing new responsibilities into existing employees’ roles as a way of diversifying employee skill sets.
• Despite this, there would be an increased hiring confidence in key areas, specifically for recruiting specialist banking, legal and IT professionals.
• Despite reduced demand for skills overall, hiring managers would still be looking for professionals with two to five years’ experience, and at the more senior seven to ten years’ level.
• Many employers would struggle to find these professionals, as a result of ongoing skills shortages and low jobseeker confidence.
Going forward, Robert Walters outlined their recommendations for South African companies looking to hire their ideal candidates. Firstly, they advised hiring managers to streamline their recruitment process. Then, they recommended that South African companies offer clearly defined career paths and opportunities to potential candidates, who would largely be looking for both reassurance and variety in this uncertain hiring market. In conclusion, the survey expected salaries in South Africa in 2017 to be similar to 2016, with average increases of 10-15% for professionals moving into new roles across most sectors.
Provided by Fedhealth.