Talent retention in Africa

On the African continent, the issue of talent retention is gaining importance in the field of Human Resources management. A growing number of international companies are competing to set up shop and therefore facing issues with recruitment, skill development, retention, talent loss and replacement. How do you identify and attract local talent before the competition? And above all, how do you retain them?

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Where can you find local talent?

Within large companies, it seems essential to highlight the opportunities in the African region by, for example, organizing dedicated events (information meetings) or developing specific tools (country-specific websites...).

There is also a need to sensitize local HR and communication teams to the identification of mobile talent in Africa. The co-option, competition and sponsorship of targeted events are indispensable sources of candidates.

Talent pools can also be created via renowned local and international schools (for example, Sciences Po in partnership with CIAN have set up the "Master Potentiel Afrique"), by providing materials, supporting a structured alumni network in the organization or offering pre-employment internships. Alumni clubs or African diaspora associations also organize events with their members, potential candidates, thereby providing the opportunity to disseminate targeted employment opportunities (Efficiency Club, Africa Business Club, ABC Club ...)

How do you attract them?

International brand attractiveness is a determining factor in candidates’ career choices. The CSR policy of multinational groups is reflected, for example, in the participation in the development of specialized schools, or through investments in hygiene, quality or safety training for the population.

Compensation packages are still one of the key elements for attracting talent. Salary must be indexed to the market and competition. Employees also follow the examples set by European models of social protection and are increasingly sensitive in their contract negotiations (retirement, health, pension, repatriation), whether under local contract, enhanced local or expatriate. Benefits in kind are also an essential element for African talent, whether they are individual (housing, vehicle or car plan, telecommunications, travel, preferential credits, holidays) or collective (access to an infirmary, big city, school or canteen). Finally, the last elements considered are the premiums related to settlement, security risks or the cost of living differential.

Furthermore, certain organizations have sided with the regionalization of key positions, which allows them to offer opportunities for regional growth and expatriation to their talent.

How do you retain them?

Raising local HR teams' awareness of HR development issues, career management in particular, is an essential step in deploying a clear and harmonized GPEC. This rise in local HR competence will ensure talent management by monitoring technical and managerial skills development as closely as possible, using various personality and psychometric tests.

Talents have been sensitized to specific development opportunities (in their country of origin, sub-region or impatriation). They seek organizations with a real culture of skills transfer and changing attitudes towards an Africanization of positions. Some groups initiated the transition through the appointment of expatriate staff preparing this change and highlighting success stories of African talent. Clustering also allows companies to provide growth opportunities for talent. Therefore, the pace of expatriation is changing and adapting to the market, leaving the door open to shorter turnover or expatriation systems.

Training and coaching are also major attractions for these talents. Some organizations set up Corporate Universities or partnerships with prestigious schools in order to provide continuous training that grants degrees and ensure the continual skills development of their talents; other groups organize internal competitions to offer their collaborators recognition and exposure.

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