Learn Afrikaans with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Agencies that help you find a job in South Africa & More!

Have you ever tried to find a job in Africa? It’s not an easy process. Good jobs are rather scarce on the continent, and South Africa is no different.

Yet, it is not impossible, as foreign employment is not only allowed in South Africa—in some sectors, it is preferred and even encouraged.

People Standing in Career-Related Gear, Such as a Chef, a Doctor, Office Worker Etc.

Like in any other country, the competition is tough, but there are ways to increase your chances of finding employment. One of the best ways, of course, is to be able to speak and understand one of South Africa’s national languages. This will help you immensely, so consider signing up to learn one of South Africa’s—Afrikaans. More about this later.

Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Afrikaans

First, let’s look at what you need to consider.

Table of Contents

  1. Find Me a Job in South Africa—Using A Recruitment Agency
  2. Work Visas For South Africa
  3. Critical Skills List of Possible Careers
  4. How Can Help You Find A Job in South Africa?

1. Find Me a Job in South Africa—Using A Recruitment Agency

Using the services of a good recruitment agency should probably be your first stop. This will be the easiest way to find a good job in South Africa, and will help to seal deals with reputable employers.

Diversify your search and submit your application with a few recruiters.

Here’s how to spot a good recruitment agency:

  • Critical Skills: They will be able to tell you immediately whether your skills are needed and/or sought after in South Africa. (Read on for more about the Critical Skills List.)
  • Multinational Companies Use Recruiters. This means that the agency is most likely to know of the best advertised jobs available within many major multinationals. These are usually the employers with large budgets also for recruitment agency services. Go find them there.
  • Agencies Know What Their Clients Need: Recruitment agencies are the Cupids of the labour and job-finding world, and it’s in their best interest to make the best matches possible.
  • The Agency Will Know All About the Work Visas. Currently, South Africa is revising their visa policies and regulations. A good recruiter will be aware of these, and will be able to assist you to get the correct visa for your situation. This can be an intricate, rather difficult process, and you want to have specialists to consult with.
  • Agencies Can Help You With Your CV. Normally, your Curriculum Vitae is your responsibility, so be sure to submit a well-written one even to the agencies. However, some have services available to help you tweak yours so your suitability will be immediately clear to any prospective employer.
  • They Can Give You Tips and Support: Finding a job, and later, living and working in a foreign country can be daunting for anyone. In general, good recruiting agencies understand this, and will make provision for support. Very often, their consultants are highly-trained people who have probably already dealt with hundreds of applicant and client issues. Their focus is to serve and make sure things go smoothly and stay that way for everyone. After all—when all their clients are happy, so are they. So, be sure to enquire about before and after-placement support from the agency, especially if you’re completely new to the country and its culture.

1- List of International Recruitment Agencies and Platforms

Please note – this list is not exhaustive; we’ve whittled the number of job-seekers platforms and recruitment agencies down to some of the major ones for your convenience.

  1. Initiate International has four offices on different continents and is, according to their site, “a specialist recruitment agency for digital marketing, IT, finance, property, sales, online gaming, contact centres, office administration and executive jobs in South Africa”. They are over 10 years old and know the industry well. They also seem to specialize in finding clients with positions that need foreign language speaking professionals.
  2. MASA (Measured Ability South Africa) is part of a group holdings (Pty Ltd), which had its beginnings over three decades ago. Here, you will find advertisements for a great variety of white and blue collar jobs, temporary and permanent. Their website positions them to provide: “Blue collar recruitment, labour broking, labour outsourcing, white collar temp and perm recruitment, nursing, cleaning, [and] independent offshore services”. They make placements not only in South Africa, but also the rest of the African continent, plus the Middle East.
  3. Careers in Africa a Global Career Company with a niche market. They help qualified professionals currently working internationally to find work in their home country again. Their novel aim is specifically to help countries with “emerging markets”, doing this by pairing already-successful candidates with already-successful companies in the candidate’s home country.
  4. JobnetAfrica has the same goal—to accommodate expats and currently foreign professionals to build careers in Africa. Theirs is a job search site of which the team comprises professionals who have worked in Africa before. It was founded by a South African lady who worked in other countries on the continent, and knows the market well.
  5. Find A Job In Africa was founded in 1999, also with the same unique aim as Careers in Africa—to assist emerging markets on the African continent. It is not a recruitment company per se, but an “employment search engine”, as they call it. If you’re an African, you can post your CV here and get in contact with prospective employers.
  6. Online recruitment platforms that don’t only serve the African continent includes Indeed and LinkedIn. On these platforms, you can create online profiles that include video clips and uploaded documents to increase your visibility as a target for the right employer.
  7. Craigslist provides limited job-search opportunities for foreigners. An option for search, but not one of the best.

How to find a job in South Africa can be made easier by going via a recruitment agent or doing a job search online.

Yet, it will still benefit you to know a few things about the South African visa requirements and processes.

Union Buildings in South Africa, Governmental Offices in Pretoria

2. Work Visas For South Africa

Getting a work visa is, of course, your first port of call after you’ve landed a position in the country. Usually, you should be able to work this together with your new employer.

Or, you could do this together with a South African work visa specialist. The advantage of making use of their services is that they know their way around a jungle of requirements and bureaucracy.

Alternatively, scour the South African governmental site for work visa details, or contact the South African embassy in your own country for details.

South Africa is heavily burdened by unemployment, so the government’s first focus is on jobs for South Africans.

Don’t let that put you off, though.

The government also recognizes the need for foreign knowledge and expertise to inform their own base of labor knowledge. For this purpose, they have compiled a list of the most critical skills needed in the country. If you have experience and qualifications for any position relating to a skill on this list, your chances of landing the job is so much better.

Also, you should find the visa-application process much easier and in your favor. (This is understandable, as you won’t be considered “competing” with a local for a job.)

3. Critical Skills List of Possible Careers

As mentioned, the visa regulations are to be updated this year, including those pertaining to work visas. Also, an expanded Critical Skills List is expected. Currently you can find the list here, but be aware that the information will be outdated within the foreseeable future.

However, as said, the list is not likely to be shorter than it is, which bodes well if you’re looking to find a job in South Africa.

Car Mechanic, Working Underneath a Car

1- Blue Collar Jobs

Blue collar or manual labor jobs are generally not plentiful, as these positions are usually filled by local laborers. They do exist though—one manual labor job apparently always lacking applicants is sheep shearing. Denuding four-legged wool makers is an acquired skill, so experience and/or training will be a requirement for application.

If you are qualified and experienced in certain trades, you could well find a manual labor job as one of the following:

  • Millwright
  • Boilermaker (for Strategic Infrastructure Projects)
  • Mechanic
  • Pipe Fitter
  • Double Coded Welder
  • Rigger
  • Moulder

Again—these do not necessarily have plenty of job openings. Your best bet would still be to submit a CV online or connect with with a suitable recruiter.

2- Language Teaching and Office Jobs

Unfortunately, with 11 national languages, and South Africa being essentially a third-world country, learning a foreign language is not high on the locals’ Must Do list. There are always a need for well-qualified English teachers everywhere in the world, but in South Africa, these are usually filled by the local teachers and professionals.

Teaching a foreign language could land you a job at a language school, or even in a multinational company, but these positions are scarce.

Office Workers in Open Plan Office

Your native tongue could well land you a job, though, if you have good experience in another field.

Foreign language speakers for specialist language support and technical or sales support are on the Critical Skills list for speakers of

  • German,
  • Swiss German,
  • Flemish,
  • Greek,
  • Swedish,
  • Danish,
  • Italian,
  • Dutch,
  • Spanish,
  • Mandarin and
  • French.

Unfortunately, the same applies to low-level office jobs such as secretarial, personal assistance, call centre and the like. It’s not impossible to find an office job, though.

Keep your eyes open for positions of this kind in multinational companies. Sometimes they will need someone for an office-based position who can also speak your language.

And, again—if you can also speak and understand one of the local languages, especially English or Afrikaans, your chances of landing this job in South Africa is almost assured. Consider signing up right now… and imagine saying “Dankie!” to your new employer on the first day!

3- Health, Science and Technology

If you have a good qualification or certification, plus experience in the fields of health, science or technology, you can almost be sure of finding a job in South Africa. There are plenty of these positions open, and a recruiter will be very happy to receive your CV.

Nurse Speaking with Patient

Important tip: it would be best to find this type of job through a reputable and experienced recruiting agent, especially in healthcare. Some employers in South Africa offer these positions with reasonable pay, but conveniently forget to mention challenges such as very poor work conditions, a harsh collegial environment, no or very poor housing etc. A good agent will know how to steer clear of the chancers for you.

4. How Can Help You Find A Job in South Africa?

To enhance your chances of landing that dream job a millionfold, though, consider learning to speak Afrikaans fluently. This will greatly assist you in your job too.

As mentioned, the country has 11 national languages, but Afrikaans is understood, if not spoken, by the majority of its citizens.

It is also important to know how to pronounce correctly, or most locals will not be able to understand you. That can be daunting when you have to adopt not only to a new job, but also a new country with a foreign language. So, saying it like the natives do is actually very important if you want to enjoy your new adventure!

So, fast-track your job application process by learning from a native speaker, and blow the socks off prospective employers with your excellent accent and knowledge!

Language Learner with Earphones

At AfrikaansPod101, you learn to speak like a native, with the following audio, video and document learning aids:

  1. Online recordings and slide shows of Afrikaans key phrases
  2. A comprehensive Lesson Library you can really dig into at any time, any where.
  3. Multiple miniature books to start reading Afrikaans with.
  4. A free online Afrikaans dictionary when you quickly need to translate!

How to find a job in South Africa can only be made easier when you know how to speak like the natives do. Don’t hesitate—enroll now with AfrikaansPod101!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Afrikaans