Getting talent acquisition wrong in Africa can be costly. Perceived greener pastures outside home countries has driven highly qualified and talented African candidates to opportunities across the world. The reality is, if you entice them back, you will find yourself with exceptional local talent during a time when local cultural relevance and professional knowledge has become imperative.
The past 50 years has seen a great global migration of African talent. There are many reasons why highly employable and qualified people leave their own country for foreign shores, a term commonly referred to as "The Brain Drain".
The popularity of African talent across the world makes sense when you consider the high value local candidates place on education making them naturally attractive for international organisations. Combining education with the experience gained working in difficult or challenging environments back home equips them to thrive in global markets.
When it comes to hiring within your own organisation, you want a view of the best candidate possible irrespective of where they are based.
The perfect candidate could very well be sitting on the other side of the world, or in a neighbouring country, and be open to returning.
Great African Candidates Leave Africa... but Many Want to Come Back
Top talent in Africa has traditionally been on par with world class levels. As many of these individuals are from underdeveloped worlds, they've exceeded in their drive for tertiary education and in their ambitions for gaining relevant experience. For many candidates this has led them to graduate from international education institutions and then job opportunities with global employers. As a result, we have a large group of African talent forging careers in first world countries, gaining experience on a global level.
With many locals thriving and building careers outside of Africa, the remaining local talent pool is left with a limited selection of candidates for a growing talent demand.
The challenge with finding great African talent locally is that the recruitment market is not highly transparent, and not as rich as you'd like it to be. Therefore, you don't get the same extensive pool of candidates you would typically find in a major first world city.
So while African talent itself is phenomenal, the precise talent you're after is not always back home where they belong. They're sitting in senior roles somewhere overseas.
Demand for Local Talent is Growing
In hiring African talent based abroad, companies are looking for local knowledge with a touch of international flavour and experience. After all, to compete in some of the largest African markets, you need the same world class skill-set required in any other competitive markets.
Every African country has an obligation to protect its indigenous workforce and promote the skill set internally. With growth on the continent fueling the demand for talent, this has made the hiring challenge even harder.
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