SA firms see biggest growth in hiring sentiment in a year

According to the 60th annual edition of the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, South African organisations are planning for a significantly healthy staffing climate in the coming quarter, with plans for a +32 percentage point Net Employment Outlook (NEO) reported by hiring managers. This is a 40% increase compared to the same period last year. This sentiment is reflected across all global regions surveyed with Brazil ranking the highest in terms of countries’ employment confidence with a 40-percentage point NEO and Greece demonstrating the lowest ranking with a NEO of -2 percentage points. Year-on-year, South Africa has experienced the highest growth in confidence rating with 40 percentage points.

Lyndy van den Barselaar, Managing Director at ManpowerGroup SA says, “These results reflect the rise in business confidence following from the easing of lockdown restrictions that allowed for industries such as retail and hospitality to reopen on the back of the removal of the Covid-19 global travel ban. While the pandemic is not behind us yet, it is positive to see how organisations are adapting and preparing for business as usual by increasing staff count, particularly within certain sectors.”

Sector comparison

South African organisations anticipate hiring growth across nine of the 11 sectors in the quarter from April to June 2022 compared to the first quarter of the year. At the same time, employers expect the NEO to remain constant for one of 11 sectors compared to the last quarter but growth in all sectors compared to the second quarter of 2021.

The sector expected to see the highest hiring growth is Primary Production, which includes agriculture, forestry and fishing; mining and quarrying; electricity, gas and air conditioning supply; water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities. This sector is expected to grow by 47% and is followed by banking, finance, insurance and real estate which expects to see an increase of 40% in hiring sentiment.

The Manufacturing sector expects to see the lowest hiring growth with employers reporting a Net Outlook of 27. In this sector, job hunters can expect the NEO to grow by 8 percentage points compared with the first quarter of 2022 and by 36 points compared to the second quarter of 2021.

Regional comparison

Hiring climate improvements are expected by hiring decision makers for all South African regions during Q2 2022. South African job hunters can plan for the NEO to improve for 4 of 5 regions compared with the last quarter.

The region expecting the best-performing hiring pace with a NEO of 39 is the Free State region, a 52-point growth when compared to the same period last year. This is followed by the Western Cape which, with a NEO of 34, is an increase of 8-points compared to last quarter.

Hiring managers in the Eastern Cape report the lowest-performing growth with a Net Outlook of 26. However, the job market is expected to improve by five percentage points in this region when compared to Q1 2022 and by 35 points compared to the same period last year.

Organisation-size comparison

Participating employers are categorised into one of four organisation sizes: Micro businesses have less than 10 employees; Small businesses have 10-49 employees; Medium businesses have 50-249 employees, and Large businesses have 250 or more employees. With a NEO of 36, employers in organisations with 10-49 employees expect a relatively strong hiring pace.

In these types of organisations, employers expect hiring plans to grow by 13 points quarter-on-quarter and improve 46 points year-on-year.

Equally, hiring managers at organisations with 250+ employees are planning for an outlook of 36. Compared with the last quarter, workers in these types of organisations can expect the NEO to improve by 5 percentage points and grow 33 points compared against this quarter last year. With a NEO of 29, hiring managers in organisations with 50-249 employees expect the lowest-performing staffing environment.

Global results

ManpowerGroup surveyed a total of 41,379 employers in 40 countries and territories to measure employer hiring intentions for the second quarter of 2022. Interviewing was carried out during the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employers around the world are still expecting to grow payrolls, although there is less of an expectation than there was last quarter. Based on the seasonally adjusted analysis, employers surveyed in almost all countries and territories expect to grow payrolls in the upcoming quarter. Only employers in Greece expect to see a small decrease in payrolls.

The strongest hiring plans for the next three months are reported in Brazil, Sweden, India, Mexico, and Colombia. The weakest hiring sentiment is reported in Greece, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, and Romania.

Hiring sentiment strengthens in 6 of the 40 countries and territories compared to the previous quarter. Singapore and South Africa see the biggest growth in expectations. Hiring sentiment weakens in 33 of the 40, especially Romania, Argentina, and Turkey. In Belgium, hiring sentiment remained at 34 points since last quarter.

To view complete results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, visit: https://go.manpowergroup.com/meos. The next survey will be released in May 2022 and will report hiring expectations for the third quarter. With MEOS beginning in 1962, this year’s results mark the 60th consecutive year of the survey.
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