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Hire in Kenya

Overview of Kenya

Population- 54.68 million

GDP: 101 billion USD (FY21)

Economic Overview

As per the reports of the Kenyan Statistical Institute, the economy of Kenya shrank by 1.1% in the last quarter of 2020 but is expected to grow at 5.1% in the year 2021. The Kenyatta government has pledged to make development and economic growth a purpose of his administration.

Market Size

The primary market of Kenya is related to agricultural goods and animal husbandry, which accommodate almost 75% of its working-age population with a seasonal part-time job. The government has taken many steps to increase foreign companies and foreign investments to generate employment. The expected economic growth of 5.1% is a good sign for the absorption of the Kenyan population seeking jobs. Moreover, many steps have been taken to improve the manufacturing and service sector infrastructure to generate employment.

A Brief Glimpse of Industries

The major export partners of Kenya are Uganda, the U.S., and Pakistan. The main export is valued at almost USD 10 billion. The major export products include crops, fruits, flowers, coffee, and vegetables. Other significant exports include cement, soda ash, and dairy products. The government is also actively looking to expand trade routes to the Americas, Asia, and Europe. 

  • Kenya has started to invest in the manufacturing and services sector in the past few years. A considerable part of investments goes to the IT industry, tourism, health, infrastructure, and trading.
  • The major import partners of Kenya are China and India. The import value is around USD 18 billion. The import products include machinery, transport equipment, petroleum products, and chemical products. 
  • Kenya is home to one of the rarest and most exciting species of flora and fauna in the world. Tourism is one of the major sources of foreign direct investment and exchange. It all moves around wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
  • Most industries are small-scale industries, and they deal in consumer-related goods like plastics, soaps, and clothing. A lot of the population is employed in such industries generating a regular source of income. The transportation system is also sufficient but developing at a great rate.
  • Another aspect of economic development is related to improving its energy resources. The government is also encouraging companies and the service sector to introduce policies that support flexible employment terms.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in a country depends on various factors such as which city the person lives in, the type of industry dominant in that area, state revenue, facilities, and much more. Location is the main factor that determines the cost of living. The following table gives an insight into the cost of living in Kenya.

Category Area of Expense Estimated Monthly Cost (USD)
Rental Hostels, PGs, Shared flats, and single accommodation $60 ~ $500
Food and beverage Household groceries and House helps $55 ~ $150
Transport costs Bus train and metro $25 ~ $60
Utilities and miscellaneous water, electricity, gas, wi-fi, telephone $100 ~ $450


Cost of Renting:

The average cost of renting in Kenya is USD 100-400 per month. This all varies depending on your location, type of accommodation, eating habits, and lifestyle. The cost of living in Kenya is 1.7 times less than living in the United States.

Your cost of living in Kenya depends on your location:

The cost of living varies significantly in different cities in Kenya. There is a tier-wise bifurcation of cities. Tier 1 cities have higher salaries; hence higher are the living costs. Tier 2 and tier 3 cities have different salary statistics and cost of living based on their respective economic output.

  • All the metropolitan and major cities come under Tier 1 status. The cost of living here is the highest in the whole nation. For example, Nairobi and Mombasa.
  • Some cities are known as New Tier 1 towns.  These are emerging capital cities that have a very high rate of growth. Kajiado, Machakos, and Kisumu  are some examples of new Tier 1 towns;
  • Interestingly, Tier 2 cities are the ones that are the capital cities of a province or even almost all big cities with a decent economic growth level. Nandi Hills, Malaba, and Kakuma are classic examples.
  • Lastly, the cities in the Tier 3 category are much smaller than the Tier 2 cities. These cities have minor economic growth and lower cost of living. 
Tier of the city Salary in (USD) Cost of Living in (USD) Rent in (USD)
Cities classified as Tier 1 $800~ $1700 $150 ~$300 $70 ~ $600
Newer Tier 1 Cities $,650~$1,300 $100 ~ $250 $65~ $400
Tier 2 $350~$1000 $90 ~ $200 $60 ~ $300
Tier 3 $250 ~ $850 $70 ~ $160 $50 ~ $250
S.No Industrial Sector Growth Percentage in terms of hiring and revenue
1. Energy 40%
2. Transport 35%
3. Tourism 55%
4. Real Estate 25%
5. Education 20%
6. Finance 25%
7. Agriculture 30%
8. Software/Hardware & IT 25%
9. Health 20%
10. Manufacturing 30%

Top Skills in Kenya

Jobs in Kenya are mainly dependent on agricultural produce and have a very standard market. There are plenty of job opportunities at the entry-level for software developers, IT workers, and tourism freshers. Experienced and industry experts excel in senior-level positions in multinational corporations. Different cities have different types of skills based on the dominant occupation in that city.

Major industries hiring the most in Kenya include:

  • Agriculture
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Tourism
  • Education
  • IT/ Software Development
  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Trade market
Cities Occupation
Nairobi and Mombasa are two major cities with the most jobs in the service sector, and most companies have their headquarters in these two cities. Nairobi is the main financial hub of Kenya.
  • Manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Export and Import
  • Banking
  • Health
  • Software Development
  • Malindi, Mombasa, and Kilifi
  • Shipping and delivery
  • Transportation
  • Loading and packaging of products
  • Tourism
  • Foreign investment
  • Export business
  • Food processing
  • Nairobi and Mombasa
    • Judges
    • Lawyers
    • Doctors
    • Bank Managers
    • Chief executive officers
    • Chief financial officers
    • Orthodontists
    • Pilots
    Kitui and Naivasha
    • Teachers
    • Bankers
    • Clerks
    • Physicians
    • Laborers
    • Transport
    Amboseli and Masai Mara
    • Food business
    • Hotel and Tourism companies
    • Safari
    • Travel agencies
    • Transportation


    Hiring Cost

    The cost of hiring is an essential factor to consider while employing people. It depends on various other factors, such as the cost of living in the city and the overall expenditure that a person bears while residing in the respective city. When you go to hire someone in a particular city, several important things affect the cost of hiring, such as:

    • Onboarding costs
    • Training
    • The cost incurred in taking interviews, conducting the screening process, and completing the hiring
    • Opportunity costs

    Salary structure for various roles

    The following table reflects the average annual salary drawn by employees of various sectors in Kenyan Shillings:

    Working areas Average monthly gross salary by survey (in KES)
    Agro and Food Industry 75,000
    Arts & Culture 90,000
    Banking 100,000
    Chemical Industry 70,000
    Construction & Real Estate 80,000
    Finance and Economics 150,000
    Education, and R&D 150,000
    Engineering 120,000
    Journalism & Media 170,000
    Marketing and Advertising 150,000
    Technology and AI Development 140,000
    Telecommunications 90,000
    Textile, Apparel and Shoe industry 50,000
    Tourism, Food and Hotel Business 100,000
    Pharmaceutical Industry 85,000
    Medicine and healthcare 300,000
    Legal Department 170,000
    IT Sector 130,000


    Employment Laws in Kenya

    The Employment Act (Cap. 226) and the Regulation of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act (Cap. 229) give rules governing wages, leave and rest, health and safety, the special position of children and women, and termination of employment.

    • The Employment Act does not guarantee any wages in general. The minimum wages and salaries are judged by another law, regulation of wages, and conditions of employment act
    • The legal framework has moved towards more flexible employment policies and gender equality codes.

    How Can Skuad Help You With Hiring in Kenya?

    Hiring in Kenya is a multi-faceted task requiring in-depth knowledge of the laws, trends, hiring costs, living costs city-wise, and more. Skuad comes onboard as a one-stop solution handling every minute aspect of recruitment. It gives you the freedom and time to focus on your project and expansion plans without any hiring stress. Connect with Skuad Experts to know more.


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