Regulatory pressures drives Legal jobs up by 8% in South Africa year-on-year

Figures from the Robert Walters South African Jobs Index, which charts vacancy numbers posted to online platforms, shows that the number of legal jobs advertised in the second quarter of 2017 has marginally increased compared to the same time last year.

Nicolas Rainier, Robert Walters Manager at comments:

“Despite a challenging economic environment and political factions not unique to other countries within emerging markets, we are pleased to see demand for legal professionals with specialist skills sets increase across a range of specialisations and levels of seniority within the first half of the year”

Regulatory pressures continue to drive demand

As regulatory pressures continue, experts in legal regulatory, compliance and governance have been sought after. This has been especially evident within financial services, both in the banking sector as well as insurance. 

Nicolas Rainier, continues:

Despite demand, the technical, legislative and varied natures of these positions make it a challenging area for employers to recruit for and are often faced with short supply of professionals with the right skills sets.”

Candidates moving from local to international law firms

The influx of international law firms to the South African market has transformed private practice, more particularly within Johannesburg where these firms are based. Candidates from traditionally specialist local firms have shown high interest towards moving into an international.

This is due international firms typically paying better than local firms. There is also a strong pull to be internationally mobile, either through a secondment or international transfer.

Nicolas Rainier, continues:

“International firms continue to grow their presence in Johannesburg and hire professionals from specialist local firms. With candidates transitioning for better compensation, the local firms are seeking like-for-like replacements, increasing demand for new candidates.”

Professionals with banking and finance experience

Attorneys with banking & finance experience as well as commercial and corporate mergers and acquisition continue to be in demand across all levels of seniority. These skills are highly sought after due to the regulatory nature of business at the moment.

Nicolas Rainer concludes:

“There is a shortage of skills in banking and FS candidates with the market being very niche; employers are required to streamline their recruitment process in order to secure these candidates.”

“Often increased exposure to business, clients and transactional work will be the driving factor for candidates with these skill sets changing jobs.”

About the South African Job Index

The Robert Walters South African Job Index tracks job advertisement volumes over leading job boards across the South Africa in sectors such as banking & finance, accounting, legal, HR and engineering and natural resources.

Released on a quarterly basis, the report provides an indicative summary of recruitment activity being experienced across major national markets as well as key industry comparisons.

For more information please contact:

Nic Sephton-Poultney, Country Manager (South Africa)
Tel: +27 (0)11 881 2414

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