The digitalisation revolution is undoubtedly disrupting economies and Africa is not an exception, with countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Morocco, Kenya, and South Africa leading this revolution in Africa. These countries are witnessing immense growth in their local economies especially within business sectors like Financial Services, Agriculture, Education, etc. It has also led to a dramatic upsurge of Micro, Small and Medium-sized startups and technology hubs and thus, has led to the rise of Entrepreneurs. Digitally-enabled businesses such as Fin Tech (Mobile money transfers) and e-commerce platforms (OLX, Jumia) have sprung up, while international corporations like Google, Facebook, etc. are expanding their businesses to Africa. These diverse offshoots of digitalization in Africa are creating various job opportunities across the continent.
Furthermore, business models are being challenged and the ability of companies to deliver superlative products and services is being tested. Without much choice, companies are rapidly responding to these demands in order to remain competitive. Consequently, the workplace is being impacted, new skills set are being demanded by businesses, and work trends are changing quickly. The workplace is no longer cast in brick and mortar, it is now more technologically driven. Globalization is the new order; businesses are being conducted with little human intervention across borders in seconds. The drive for performance is higher, creativity and problem solving skills are key competencies that companies need and above all, there is a battle for talents, skills and unique abilities, which are very scarce.
Companies engage in a constant and costly battle for the best talents in the labour market. However, these talents are very mobile, they value their freedom, know their value, and are not very committed; they are ready to move as soon as they have other viable options. Therefore, organisations have to be very creative in attracting and retaining talent. The assiduous task of acquiring talent, managing them to deliver superior performance and retaining them in order to maintain competitive advantage in the marketplace lies with HR Managers. However, there are inherent challenges with Talent Management in Africa, these include:
• Dearth of skills – There is a shortage of people with the right skills to match the demands of the evolving workplace thus, getting the right people is a major challenge
• Maintaining a competitive compensation package to retain key talents
• Creating an enabling work environment where these talents can thrive and deliver optimal business results
• Managing the expectations of the different workforce generations – Baby boomers to Gen Z
• High employee mobility and in turn, high costs of employee turnover Designing the right Talent Management systems can help organisations survive this war for talent. Some of these systems include:
• Employer Branding: Creating a good perception about your organisation will help to attract and retain the desired talent. The use of digital tools like social media will help with attraction, and establishing a great internal culture will help with retention.
• Employee Experience: Engagement impacts the overall experience that shapes the attitude and behaviour of employees at work. Therefore, creating an enabling environment that encourages employees to communicate, focus, enjoy and thrive at their job is important.
• Development: Give employees opportunities to improve their competency levels through formal trainings, conferences, workshops, job rotations, coaching and mentoring opportunities, etc.
• Compensation: It plays an important role in employee retention; therefore a fair and competitive compensation structure should be designed in alignment with the company’s business goals.
• Career Growth: High performing talents always seek for career growth opportunities hence, it is pertinent to have clearly defined career paths, which gives them the opportunity to grow vertically and horizontally, as well as expand their skill base
Without exception, the war-for-talents is a global battle that businesses will continue to face. However, to remain relevant and competitive, organisations need to be strategic (understand their business terrain) and be proactive in designing talent management systems.
By: Oluyemisi Wole-Ojomo
HR Consultant, Career Coach, Trainer,