Here are 5 Trends in Internship Recruitment 2020

In launching Trusted Interns, we’ve conducted extensive research on what’s happening in SA with regards to internship recruitment. Here are 5 trends that are the talk of the town.

South Africa and Skills Development

More than half of the Grade 12 learners who leave school do not come away with a sufficient amount of basic skills to get work. There are 21 SETAs (Sector Education and Training Authorities) which exist to develop the skills of the South African youth. Their purpose is to ensure that people who are (or who will be) working in specific sectors, have the necessary education and training to do the jobs that are needed. To view a list of all of the SETAs, click here.

A Skills Development Levy (SDL) is a levy imposed to encourage learning and development in South Africa and is determined by an employer’s salary bill. The funds are paid to the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and are to be used to develop and improve the skills of employees. To find out if your business qualifies, click here.

This SDL can be claimed back from SARS and used to facilitate paid learnerships within your company. SETA is enabling companies across the board with the financial means to hire interns. Although this may not be a new trend, the system has gone through many changes since it was established 20 years ago, and is certainly contributing greatly to opportunity creation in our beautiful country.
Digital here, digital there, digital everywhere

According to, the most recent generation is more active on mobile devices, with 78% of job-seekers using cell phones to find jobs as of 2016. This comes as no surprise because mobiles offer the speed and mobility (2 essential features in today’s rat race) that PCs do not.

Most of South Africa does not own/have consistent access to a computer, and so their job search happens on their cell phones during off-peak hours (because data is cheaper then), choosing Whatsapp groups, jobs boards, and social media as their primary ports of call. If your job ad and/or website is not optimized for mobile, you are missing out on applications. It’s very important to align your recruitment process with millennials’ digital savviness.

Bottom line, if you’re a company that’s hiring for the future, make sure your communication and platforms are designed with mobile first in mind.

People’s people

Companies are recognising graduates and first-time job-seekers as the leaders of the future. The intention behind hiring interns is really to help individuals lay a very strong foundation in their future careers, and in the future of their businesses.

Companies like Rhino Africa Safaris, SweepSouth, Red & Yellow School of Business and GetSmarter (to name a few), who dedicate a large amount of their time and resources to developing their Internship Programmes to serve both their business and the interns, are the way forward.

There are so many benefits to hiring interns, and by ensuring that your programme is meaningful and substantial, all of these benefits will be integrated into your business.

Secure your entry-level talent, put them on an easy-to-implement upward growth trajectory, and your business will follow.


Sprout Social says that people starting out their careers (18-29 year-olds) are the largest demographic on Instagram. Social media has become a huge resource for jobseekers.

Firstly for the actual seeking of the jobs, but also for research purposes. Company culture is carrying an increasingly heavier weight in the job selection process, and it’s important to portray your culture accurately on the gram. This will help you to attract like-minded candidates, and give them insight into what working for you is like.

Managing the Talent Relationship

We all hate radio silence, especially when it comes to job inquiries. Talent Relationship Management is fast becoming a trend in that companies are making sure that they are almost always contactable through social media, chatbots and automated emails. At Trusted Interns, we’re making sure to stay on top of this one.
It is also important to give your candidates feedback on your interactions with them, especially when rejecting them. Now it’s not to say that you must call each individual applicant and give them a 45 minute run-down of each minute you spent with them. We’re talking about the candidates that are shortlisted and interviewed. Most of them have only had a handful of interviews, and they might be doing something glaringly wrong which is preventing them from getting a job. When you call/email them to tell them they’ve been unsuccessful, personalize the email and extend some advice from employer to aspiring employee. It goes a long way.

Processes are constantly evolving and this could not be truer within all facets of recruitment, especially grad opportunities. If your graduate/entry-level programmes are good, people will know about you, and you’ll get a higher calibre of applicants. Make sure that you are moving with the trends, or else your company will fall far down this list of places that graduates aspire to work at.

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