While there are a number of highly prized skills in high demand in South Africa at present, a survey recently released by Outsized, a placement agency specializing in the financial services sector, has noted the strong increase in requests for skilled candidates qualified in accounting.
“While we continued to see demand from financial services, not least the insurance sector, strong growth was also coming through from Big 4 consulting clients. This was off the back of new projects as well as the reinstatement of projects put on ice initially by the onset of Covid,” said Johann van Niekerk, managing director of Outsized South Africa.
TOP 5 SECTORS UTILISING FREELANCE TALENT: AFRICA
The Big 4 refer to the four largest accounting firms in the world - Deloitte, Ernst & Young (EY), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler (KPMG)
What makes Outsized different to other recruitment agencies is that they specialize in matching freelancers with employer needs – not only in South Africa but across the world. Gone are the days when full-time permanent employment in an office was the norm. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, employers have had to embrace remote working, and many have discovered that it offers a deeper pool of expert talent to choose from. South African freelancers are particularly sought-after for "both the quality and price they offer" says van Niekerk.
Remote working offers freelancers a number of benefits too. These include:
- Better remuneration as salaries/rates for contract positions tend to be higher. Bonuses for reaching milestones and successful project completions are also not uncommon.
- The opportunity to work directly with companies and teams based in Europe and the USA
- No daily commute to and from an office
Other skills in demand include:
- Actuarial skills (South Africa having a deep talent pool in this area)
- Project support – such as project and programme managers, Scrum masters, Agile specialists
- Regulatory skills – both for implementation and regulatory development
- Data – in particular data analysts and data architects
- Financial risk specialists – covering credit, market and operational risk