In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be transformative across various industries.

AI could enhances many functions rather than replacing real people, and this is true for the world of recruitment too, writes Paul Byrne, head of data insights and customer success at Pnet. He provides insights into how AI is reshaping the job market as more and more roles within the sector are being created to keep up with the rapidly advancing technologies that AI is inspiring.

In Pnet’s latest Job Market Trends Report, released in February 2024, recruiters are able to get insights into jobs and job sectors that have been most in demand over the previous month.

This report, in particular, highlights the significance AI is having on job markets globally – it is no longer just a buzzword, it is a new way of life. “We are seeing it transform the world around us, and everyone wants a seat at the table,” says Byrne.

“As AI becomes more integrated into the South African business world, the demand for AI specialists and professionals is increasing exponentially.” In the past five years alone, there has been a +182% increase of AI-related vacancies, necessitating that recruiters develop new strategies to keep up with the demand. And it’s no surprise that AI can facilitate this too.

Although South Africa’s AI sector has had an astounding growth rate since 2019, it’s still in its infancy. The AI job market favours Gauteng with a 63% share of AI opportunities for jobseekers. Cape Town may be known as the “tech capital” of South Africa, but it is claiming just 19% of the spread.

The report points to three of the most significant job titles associated with AI: data scientist, data engineer and data analyst. However, there are many more opportunities for other professionals wanting to make a start in the industry.

Specialist software developers, machine learning (ML) specialists, IT architects, and sales professionals are all fantastic candidates for roles within AI.

The report also found that the top skills for an AI professional to possess are machine learning (ML), predictive modelling, Python, SQL and Java.

AI has infiltrated most industries, including recruitment. As such, South Africa is seeing an industry flourish at a remarkable pace, calling for more specialists to match its rate of growth.