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6 reasons to start hiring developers from South Africa

The experts at OfferZen discuss why South Africa should be your next destination for top developer talent. Find out more here.
December 14, 2022 5 mins read
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[Guest post written by OfferZen]

The tech hiring market has gone global. And so should your hiring strategy if you don’t want to miss out on the best developer talent.

It’s easier than ever to tap into global talent pools, and South Africa is a great place to start — here are six reasons why. 

The competition for tech talent has gone global

Since the pandemic, the tech hiring landscape has drastically changed. Hiring used to be hyper-local, with companies recruiting developers from the same city or surrounding areas. 

With the rise of remote work, competition for great tech talent has gone global. Hiring teams now compete for talent with local companies, Big Tech, and anyone hiring software developers worldwide. 

And despite economic uncertainty, every company across every industry has increased its software needs. The problem is, employers are still sourcing talent from the same channels and regions. So they need to widen their talent pools to keep up with demand.

Why you should consider hiring from South Africa

OfferZen is a developer job marketplace operating across Europe and Africa, so we’ve witnessed firsthand how many highly skilled developers there are in South Africa.

Here are the top reasons you should consider South Africa when hiring tech talent internationally:

1. A wide pool of talent looking for opportunities

Compared to the US, South Africa has far less competition for skills, making it easier to source developers.

Google’s e-Conomy Africa 2020 report estimates that there are 716,000 developers on the continent. Of that number, roughly 121,000 are based in South Africa and are actively looking for new opportunities. 

One-third of South African developers are looking to change jobs in the next 12 months, and over 80% of South African developers are either open to or actively exploring international opportunities.

2. World-class quality developers

South Africa’s developers are world-class. As an example to showcase this, AWS, one of Amazon’s most profitable businesses, was launched in Cape Town by a South African developer.

It would eventually become the birthplace of AWS cloud computing after an independent team of engineers and developers successfully built the original elastic compute cloud, known as EC2.

Additionally, there is a thriving tech ecosystem in the country. In 2021, 89 tech startups, including the likes of Yoco and LifeQ, raised over €286 million together.

South African developers also code in languages that are desirable among employers: JavaScript, Python, and TypeScript are widely used by front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers. Plus, many can work across a variety of popular frameworks like Node.js, Angular, and React.

3. Remote-ready workforce

Remote work has become standard in the region following the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, 92% of South African developers now work in remote or hybrid setups.
 
International companies that want to expand their teams can quickly onboard new South African employees with ease. Developers in this time zone often work remotely already, so they won’t find adjusting to this work setup hard.

4. Affordability

Funding has become tight for businesses in a slowing global economy. Growth at all costs is being replaced by capital-efficient growth. While start-ups and scale-ups need to grow, they need to keep costs down at the same time. 

The good news is, hiring remote developers in South Africa can help your business save money without sacrificing quality.

To give an idea of the affordability of South African developers, here’s a breakdown of what South African senior developers currently earn:

The average salary for senior developers in South Africa with more than 10 years of experience is €58,163 (R996,000 per annum), compared to the average between €80,000 — €100,000 (R1 369,948 and R1 712,436) in countries like the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany.

This largely has to do with the favorable tax and cost of living setup in South Africa.

In addition, employer costs (i.e., payroll taxes and social costs) are fairly low in South Africa, particularly compared to many European countries. This makes hiring talent in South Africa even more affordable.

5. English proficiency in business

At least 26 African countries list English as one of their official languages. English proficiency is particularly strong in South Africa, where it is widely used as a business language and a common language in multilingual communities. 

This reduces the language barrier between teams of different nationalities. South African developers can easily assimilate in any company where English is used as the primary language of communication.

6. Ideal time zone for collaboration

South African developers are based in the GMT+2 zone (what we call “Middle Earth”). This means they can work in real-time with team members in Europe yet also overlap with parts of Asia and the Americas. 

This enables teams to come together synchronously for important meetings and close cooperation. It’s also ideal for teams that use a follow-the-sun model. For example, developers located in GMT+2 can take over from their counterparts in the Asia Pacific region, work on a project, and hand it over to North American teams when they come online.

To sum it up, broadening your talent pool beyond your own country's borders is an excellent way to hit your tech hiring goals. South Africa’s developers are ready when you are, bringing the benefits of quality and quantity to boot!    

 

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Need to grow your developer team? Sign up to OfferZen here for a 25% discount on your first hire. Access over 200 new, vetted developers across Africa and Europe every week. Then get a special discount off Omnipresent’s EOR services to onboard and pay them compliantly.

And, finally, be sure to check out this webinar to learn more about hiring tech talent in South Africa:

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