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Giraffe salary data vs other salary reports – what’s the difference?

Accurate salary information is generally hard to come by. Employers- especially small businesses- often don’t know how much to pay their staff at market value, and job seekers frequently don’t know what their skillset is worth. Large discrepancies in salaries for equal work can be attributed to the inaccessibility of credible and fair salary benchmarks.

The salary information and demographic data for this analysis was gathered using self-reported data by Giraffe job applicants. A total of 131k Giraffe job applicants who registered since June 2018 were selected and used for this analysis. 64% of the sample is female and 36% is male job seekers. All job applicants in this sample indicated that they were employed. Current salary was self-disclosed and was used to measure average salary, which forms the basis of this analysis.

How was this salary benchmark created?

  • Giraffe collects actual employee data based on candidate profiles and self-reported salary information
  • This benchmark is based on actual candidate data from a base of around one million candidates and a representative sample of 131k candidates, with data no older than 2018.
  • This analysis largely excludes high skilled individuals and senior management/executives so it represents the majority of working South Africans

The sample in a nutshell: 

  • Sample Size: 131,699
  • Average Salary across base: R6,400
  • How data was collected: CV creation on giraffe base. Self-reported data.
  • Gender Split: 64% female. 36% male.
  • Age composition: 87% of the sample are 18 to 35 year olds.
  • Industry Split: Majority of the sample work in retail, this is also true for the greater South African work force with retail as the largest employer in SA
  • Qualification split: 7% of the base have a degree, 14% have a diploma and the balance of the respondents have a matric qualification or less.
  • Income distribution: Respondents in this sample earn between R1000 and R90,000 per month, with the average earning at R6,400


We note that the average salary in this analysis (R6,400 per month) differes from other salary reports like Stats SA. We contend that Stats SA’s salary average of ~21k is distorted by the predominantly listed corporates used in their sample set. Our sample is representative of the bulk of the South African workforce- comprising employees working at households, small businesses, corporates and government departments. We would argue that these findings are more representative of the reality of the average South African.


Some of the major findings in this report reveal that:

  • The average salary for the majority of working South Africans is R6,400 per month
  • 29% of working people earn less than the national minimum wage
  • Retail is the biggest industry (employing 18% of the workforce) but is also one of the worst paying (40% earn below minimum wage).
  • Banking and IT pay some of the highest salaries but employ only 8% of the working population


About Giraffe

Giraffe is a job board that automatically screens candidates so you don’t have to. Giraffe enables South African businesses to recruit medium-skilled staff faster and more affordably than any other recruitment method. Because Giraffe has automated the boring parts of the recruitment process– candidate sourcing and screening– business owners and recruiters can focus on more important tasks like interviewing the best candidates and managing retention. Simply post a job on Giraffe. Let Giraffe automatically screen candidates as they apply. Log in, see which candidates have passed your screening, listen to their voice notes and hire the best ones! 

To post a job on Giraffe click here

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