Top 10 Critical Skills South African Businesses Want Most

There’s no denying that South Africa is in need of more personnel with critical skills, and based on the recently-released 2020/21 Critical Skills Survey Report, in which many South African businesses provided data and answers, has revealed the most in-demand skills in the country.


Survey participants indicated the following skills as most in demand but hardest to source locally: engineers (18%); ICT specialists (13%); foreign language speakers (10%); media and marketing specialists (9%); artisans (8%); C-suite executives (7%); senior financial executives (6%); healthcare specialists (5%); science professionals (4%); accounting professionals (1%).

Of note is the increasing urgency for media and marketing specialists, which is said to be due to the ongoing digitisation of the world, the social media marketing explosion, and the growing sophistication of the marketing profession itself.


77% of organisations reported that they struggle to source critical skills in South Africa for local and cross-border operations. 76% asserted that an international search will help them satisfy their objectives.

92% indicated that missing critical skills have an impact on stakeholders within their organisation. The gaps are typically associated with the top ten critical skills above.


South African employers are sometimes accused of overlooking local talent in favour of foreign professionals, but, in their defence, it’s said to be due to demand overwhelming the supply.

With that said, 81% of respondents view succession planning and skills transfer as a priority for their business.


Although demand is high, employers cannot risk the integrity of their operations by hiring inexperienced employees. 38 percent require three to five years experience while 28 percent demand over five years.

Similarly, 49% seek an undergraduate degree and 23% desire a postgraduate or honours degree.


Foreign employees entering South Africa on a critical skills visa must first be registered with a local professional body representing their industry. 21% of respondents find the registration process of professional bodies being extremely convoluted when applying for such a visa.


Among the critical skills that South Africa needs is entrepreneurial ability. Rather than a wealth of job-seekers in the market, the country is looking to finance and support new businesses, with the government even announcing a new business financing strategy, and South African consumers switching allegiances to help the SMEs rather than big corporates.

Thankfully, there are more and more tools to help South Africans branch into their own business ventures, with Digitise being one of the most affordable, dynamic, and effective options available.

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Digitise is a multi-pronged approach to online businesses, providing users with everything you’d need from the get-to, including a place to:

  • Buy your own domain.
  • Create your own website.
  • Create custom business email addresses.
  • Add a CRM to manage your customers.
  • Leverage a bulk SMS marketing toolkit.

While these things often are run on separate systems and can end up being quite expensive and complicated, Digitise makes it simple by having it all in one place, running on one system, giving you a single log-in to control all the aspects of your business from your phone, tablet or laptop.

And of course, when starting your first business, keeping the costs slim and tight is always the better option, and Digitise takes this into account. There are flexible pricing packages so that you can find the best option for you and your business.

Why not sign-up and get cracking on your business now? Check out Digitise here.


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