Recruiting in Africa – Is it getting harder?

As a recruitment consultant focussing on recruiting for executive level and management jobs in Africa, we are finding that it is getting harder to recruit quality talent for our clients. Professionals are not willing to build careers in Africa. Why is this happening? We have some thoughts.

Firstly, traditionally companies in Africa have relied on expatriates to fill senior level and technical positions within their organisations. Given the lack of appropriately skilled candidates locally, companies have traditionally focussed on recruiting professionals from India, and other Asian countries. The problem now appears to be that due to the increasing opportunities in these countries, talented professionals are happier to stay in their own country and hence are more reluctant to venture to Africa.

Secondly, in the past, there was a large difference in the expatriate packages offered in Africa, and the earnings possible in Asian countries. However, with the growth of these economies and the increasing number of opportunities at home, professionals are in greater demand and are earning higher salaries. This makes a move to Africa less attractive than in the past.

Furthermore, apart from the increased earning potential for expatriates making a career in Africa, the second reason for a move abroad used to be the increased exposure that one would get in an African environment. Today, Asian companies are expanding overseas and this expansion has led to a greater opportunity for travel and international exposure. A talented manager no longer has to look overseas for a lucrative job with the exposure to international business.

What can employers in Africa do to solve this conundrum?

Views: 31

Tags: africa, careers, jobs, recruitment

Comment by Tim Spagnola on July 22, 2011 at 7:48am
Nikunj- first I wanted to say welcome to the RBC. Thank you for sharing some insight into the African market. What is the temp market like in Africa?
Comment by NIKUNJ SHAH on July 22, 2011 at 7:57am
Hi Tim,

Thanks for your comment. Apart from South Africa, there is no real temp market that I know of in Africa. Factories would employ casual labour, which is probably the closest thing to temping in Africa.

Otherwise, most companies prefer to recruit full-time staff on the payroll, and given that labour costs are relatively low, are willing to have a little extra manpower on the books.

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