With the South African unemployment rate dropping to 26.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017, after it hit 27.7% in the previous period, the statistics show that jobs are being created – and South Africans are filling them. We like to think that recruitment specialists are contributing greatly to job creation, as applying for your dream job has never been easier! The question then is this: When, specifically, should you be doing the bulk of your job hunting? Here are the best times to look for a job in South Africa:

Good Times to Look for a Job

Best Times to Look For a Job - Smiling Woman on Cell Phone Holding Tablet

January – April

The first three months of the year is arguably the best period to find a job. Surprise resignations just before the year-end break leaves little to zero time to recruit (which is difficult over December), which means there are always a few empty chairs to be filled come the new year.

Applying for jobs in the second half of February and throughout March often proves fruitful, as new employees are nearing the end of their three-month probation period at this time. If someone isn’t making the cut – or they feel that they are not suited to the position – there’ll be a vacant chair in desperate need of filling come April.

September – November

With the onset of spring, bringing with it renewed vitality and warmer weather, September is one of the best times to look for a job. Employees who are looking to move themselves up the corporate ladder will be looking for new opportunities around this time, with hopes of landing another job before the year is through.

This micro-exodus often continues through to October, so getting your CV on file well before the countdown to Christmas could play in your favour. Job hunting in November can yield results in certain instances, like in manufacturing sectors where factories are looking for temping staff to work over the year-end break while permanent staff take leave. All you need is a foot in the door!

Bad Times to Look for a Job

May – August

As we move into the cooler autumn and winter months, the hiring of new employees slows down dramatically. This is largely because HR departments look to fill positions as soon into the new year as humanly possible, with most – if not all vacant titles – filled long before the year’s half way point.

Job hunting during the colder months of the year is not an entirely fruitless endeavour, however, as there are always people resigning due to relocation, health issues, and many other reasons. So, while you’re chances of finding a job from May to August aren’t that great – continue to job hunt and apply wherever you can. You won’t know unless you try, right?


December really is a strange month when it comes to looking for a job. It’s poised to either go very well – or horribly wrong. The fact is that very few companies recruit in December. The year is winding down, as everyone prepares for the Christmas and New Year festivities. There is a focus on finishing outstanding projects, and getting enough capital in to pay salaries and bonuses.

However, you have no idea whether or not someone is about to spring a surprise resignation, so we think that job hunters should still apply for positions through December. This way, your CV will be on record so that – should a position become available for the new year – you’ll be one of the first candidates they consider!

To Recap:

Best Times to Look for a Job

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • September
  • October
  • November

Worst Times to Look for a Job

  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August